Andy is one of my good friends from my university days (Sheffield Hallam represent!), and it goes to show, that while a degree in media studies is sometimes frowned upon, as with many things in life, it's all about how hard you work to get towards your goals. Andy is a great example of this, as he made the rise from BBC runner to presenting the Beebs longest running kids show. Find out a little more below....


As a non Londoner, do you think you found it more difficult to crack TV?

I don't think accents have too much to do with it, simply because it's actually quite 'cool' to have An accent in TV and in voice over work?  The real question is, where are all the minorities male or female in the prime time shows. Excluding news, music and children's television. Sport is now embracing women as the lead anchors, but where are the black Asian etc that make up our sports teams. We are all equal and we have all got a brain, the job of the industry is to represent the mass diversity we have in this country.

The Great British Bake Off? What went wrong? Lactose intolerance must have made that fun!

Bake off was brilliant, it was also good to do it for comic relief too. I'm a decent cook, but because I'm allergic to dairy I stay away from baking, well that and in the fact that I'm petrified of it. Loved that my summer fruits gateau won the show stopper round, unfortunately the rest of my baking was absolutely shocking. I'm good at the complex dishes it's the simple stuff I get wrong, shouldn't that be the other way around? Haha

Andy on Great British Bake Off, with Warwick Davies, Duncan Bannatyne and Simon Reeve

Plans for the foreseeable?

Keep grinding and keep flipping the script. I was the first ever black male blue Peter presenter in history. We need to keep breaking boundaries and keep moving forward. The same is happening with music, what used to be coined 'black music' doesn't really exist anymore in that paradigm. There are people like Laura Mvula, Michael Kiwanuka, Ghost Poet etc redefining what stereotypically black people have been known to produce musically.

Favourite spots in your area for a drink and a bite to eat?

Mate the list is massive as I live in east London and it's plethora of Turkish Caribbean restaurants. London itself is unbelievable for food.  Although I'm Nigerian, I always go to a place called Yum Yums in Clapton East London for my soul food fix. There is a really nice place for amazing views called Sushi Samba where you can see the entire city from the top of a sky scraper, they specialise in Brazilian/Japanese cuisine. I'm a good fan of coffee shops too , to shoot the breeze and really nice one is The Coffee Works in Angel.

Not many people know that you are an avid fan of all kinds of soul & hip hop, jazz and the rest... Ever thought about a career in radio DJing? What are your top tips for music in the next few months? I know you have your ear to the ground on that sort of thing!

It's so funny I've always wanted to be a radio DJ my problem is do I do Daytime or a more specialised show? I've been listening to music properly since I was 15 and luckily got the opportunity to interview one of my music Hero's DJ Giles Peterson recently. There is so much music out there at the moment, I'm currently listening to a guy called Bipolar Sunshine and just bought an LP called Overdose of the Holy Ghost ( sounds of the Gospel through the Disco and Boogie eras). I still feel 15 on the inside when I buy new music and all I can think about is sticking it on the record player or playing it out. Music is moving so quickly these days though it's tough to stay across it all...

Who are your favourite DJs? Is there one song that never leaves your iPod / phone?

Big fan of Gilles as I mentioned, when you hear Amir Thompson play too (quest love from the roots) he usually mixes it up nicely. As for my iPod, Robert Glasper's 'All Matter'  almost never goes a week without being played. Great modern Jazz at its finest.

Who do you get mistaken for the most?

Haha mate I have too many stories of people thinking I'm Kele from Bloc Party, but my all time favourite has to be Don Cheadle absolute classic.

Andy Akinwolere, also sometimes known as Kele from Bloc Party to the general public...


Finally, where is the best place television has taken you, and the worst!

I've been lucky enough to have seen over 120 different cities around the world, it sounds really strange but I completely fell in love with Italy, mainly because of the food. Bolivia and Turkey also made a great impression and Argentina too. No disrespect but Middlesborough had to be one of the, how can I say this.... Least exciting place I've been. There are more but that would be just mean.