June Sarpong

June Sarpong

June was born in Leytonstone in East London in May 1977 - her parents are both Ghanaian. She attended Connaught School for Girls in Leytonstone and loved it - "I was the kid everyone got on with," she says. "I could be mates with the cool gang and also with the nerds! " At the age of 15, however, June was on her way to school when she was hit by a car - a moment which was to change her life.

 

She suffered a fractured and dislocated spine and had to spend 18 months in various hospital beds including the Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital. The accident had a profound effect on her religious beliefs - "I always believed in God, coming from a spiritual family, but after the accident I really believed - he was there when I needed help."

When she had fully recovered, June's life seemed to take on a more driven quality - as if she were making up for lost time. She got a work experience position at the London radio station Kiss FM, much to the alarm of her family who couldn't understand why she should want to turn her back on her studies to work in media, she did so well that she was offered a full time position within months. This led to another post at Arista Records where she looked after artists including Whitney Houston and Puff Daddy (perhaps this early taste of working with celebrities gave June her "no nonsence but warm" approach), which her famous interviewees seem to love - many years later, June was warned that Robert De Niro wasn't in a good mood prior to her interview; she promptly won him over immediately with a vivacious "Hi Bob, I'm June".

From Arista, June started presenting for MTV on programmes which included 'Dance Floor Chart', 'Weekend Edition' and 'Select'. While at MTV, June presented 'Planet Pop', a segment which was shown on Channel 4's T4 and this led, in 1999 to a regular role as front-woman and celebrity interviewer for T4, a role she continues to this day. T4 has become one of Channel 4's most successful and long-lasting home-grown series - a Sunday morning must see. The laid-back style of both June and the show, have been crucial to locking in some of the biggest guests in music and entertainment including Sir Elton John, George Clooney, Halle Berry, Britney Spears, Will Smith and Nicole Kidman. She has also interviewed and introduced some of the worlds biggest dignitaries and including such as: HRH Prince of Wales, Bill Clinton, Al Gore, Nelson Mandela and Gordon Brown.

In recent years, June has also presented many other series including 'Your Face Or Mine?', a game show co-hosted with Jimmy Carr for C4; 'Dirty Laundry', a lively youth talk-show which was originally June's idea; 'Playing It Straight', a dating game-show filmed in Mexico. June is a regular at the prestigious MOBO Awards and has presented three years in a row. She has also appeared on BBC Television's Question Time.

She has fronted many major fashions shows such as: "One Night Only with Georgio Armani", Channel 4's "Slave to Fashion" and ITV's runaway hit, "Wags Boutique".

June is an ambassador for the Prince's Trust and also campaigns for the Make Poverty History movement - in April 2005 she visited Ghana to make a film for Make Poverty History, an experience which profoundly moved her. She also hosted the major Make Poverty History event in London's Trafalgar Square which featured Nelson Mandela and Bob Geldof.

She was awarded an MBE on the Queens 2007 new years honours list for services to broadcasting and charity.