Ahead of her first show tomorrow (January 25), we got ourselves better aquainted with the star by asking those all-important questions. Who is her favourite presenter in the show's 48-year history? And what's the first single she ever bought? Find out what she had to say below:
Hi Clara - congrats on becoming the new host of The Official Chart! Your first show is tomorrow; have the nerves kicked in yet?
“I am nervous but so excited! I joined Jameela at the end of her last show last Sunday and I’m glad I did as I think it’s taken the edge off this Sunday.”
Did Jameela pass on any pearls of wisdom last week?
“She did give me some advice actually. She said, ‘don’t lose any of that sass - don’t lose your opinion and say what you think!’ I think I’m going to stick by that. I’m not going to set out to offend people but I’m not going to pretend I love a song if I don’t because it’s obvious when people are lying. That said, the show isn’t about me – I’m there to relay the message in my way.”
Were you surprised to be offered the job or did you have your eye on it for a while?
“A shock is exactly what it was – I had absolutely no idea it was coming. My boss called me in for a meeting last month which I thought was going to be an appraisal, but instead he told me about the job… I could barely contain myself! I’m carrying on with my 1Xtra show on Sunday as well, which means that day is now officially a write-off – no more Sunday roasts!”
We know the feeling – Sundays are our speciality!
“Maybe we should all just cook for each other. Can we start up an Official Charts Sunday roast club? We’ll do it on a Tuesday. A pre-midweeks roast.”
As long as you're cooking! Back to the show – you’ve obviously got to squeeze 40 songs into three hours, but have you thought about how you’re going to put your own stamp on the show?
“One thing I really want to do is hear from the mega fans. I’m fascinated by the psychology of fan groups, especially on Twitter. I’m also obsessed with reading comments sections on websites and blogs. You really see what people think and feel - it’s comedy, drama and research all in one! People always say, ‘are the charts still relevant?’, but the fact that people are talking about their favourite artists and chart positions so much online proves that they are!
What are your memories of the chart show growing up? Who was YOUR presenter?
“It’s probably Fearne [Cotton] and Reggie [Yates] who I remember the most. It was nice to have people fronting the show that looked like you and had the same kind of vibe. I actually bumped into Reggie the other day and asked him for advice and he said, ‘just do you!’”
There have been a lot of big chart moments in recent years; which are the most memorable for you?
“Ding Dong battling for Number 1 after Margaret Thatcher’s death was really interesting – its chart position was a reflection of the time we were living in and social change. Then there was the Mark Ronson/Fleur/Uptown Funk gate. That was so exciting because Mark Ronson effectively had a Number 1 single, but someone else was singing it, so was the song’s success off the back of Mark or Fleur? Mark’s been Number 1 for five weeks now, which showed that people only cared about The X Factor version for that particular moment in time.”
Now for the really important questions: What was the first single you ever bought?
“TLC’s No Scrubs. I was obsessed with the video.”
An album that changed your life?
“Miseducation of Lauryn Hill. That album will always be in my Top 5. For me, her coming out at the time she did was vital – I needed it! It just spoke to people, and the songs were great and still sound incredible.”
“I queued for six hours to see Prince in London last year and that was incredible. I’m going to be cliché, but Beyonce’s I Am… tour was just incredible. It’s what turned me into a complete Beyonce stan. If you’ve seen that show, you can’t question her artistry - she’s just incredible.”
What was the last song you played on your iPod?
“I actually lost my iPod the other day and spilled prawn juice on my back-up…don’t ask. So I can’t remember! I’ll get back to you on that.”
What’s your karaoke song?
“I am completely obsessed with going to [karaoke bar] Lucky Voice. I love singing anything by Mariah Carey, but my proper karaoke song is Ouch by N-Dubz. That and Viva Forever by the Spice Girls.”
Who was your first pop crush?
“I remember fancying Abz from 5ive a little bit, although I think I liked his clothes more than him. His outfits were so cool.”
And your current pop crush?
“It’s obvious but Pharrell… he’s a cool dude isn’t he? Dare I say, I think he’s the Quincy Jones of our generation.”
Listen to Clara Amfo's first Official Chart show on Sunday, January 25 on BBC Radio 1 between 4pm and 7pm.