My best teacher

1955 Born in Liverpool

1966-73 Educated at St Edmond's College

1973 First job, as an insurance claims clerk

1974-76 Works as an air hostess

1980 Joins BBC Radio Merseyside as a producer of current affairs and entertainment

1982-87 Presents The Janice Long Show on Radio1 (first female DJ to have her own programme); first woman to present Top of the Pops

1989 Hosts the breakfast show on GLR

1995 Sets up Crash FM

2000 onwards Presents The Janice Long Show on Radio 2.

March 11, 2002 Launch of BBC Radio 6 Music; hosts Dream Ticket show

Miss Taylor, my headmistress at St Edmond's College, Liverpool, was a bit like Miss Jean Brodie. We were told we were the cr me de la cr me and encouraged to go to university. When I said my ambition was to go into the theatre, I was told: "You don't come to a school like this if you want to be an actress."

It was a fee-paying school with only 300 girls, aged 11 to 18, and several of the staff wore academic gowns. The rules were rigid and included having to wear your skirt two fingers above the knee when kneeling on the floor, which I thought strange. Miss Taylor insisted on calling me Jeanisse and suggested I become an air traffic controller.

I'd won a free scholarship and because of this always felt a bit of an odd one out. Also, I lived in Bootle and it was a long trek involving two buses and an hour's journey to get there, which put me off. However, although I hated the school, I did like some of the teachers, and all my favourites were those who taught languages.

Unlike Miss Taylor, Miss Clegg, who taught Latin, encouraged my theatrical ambitions. She was in charge of drama productions for the entire school and always gave me a part. She put me in lots of things she had written herself, and which we performed in Liverpool cathedral. I loved Latin and she was approachable and easy-going. She encouraged discussion and, if an interesting topic arose in the middle of a lesson, she would organise a lunchtime debate. She was good at getting people to think.

The French teacher, Madame Rutterford, also did drama and we did a lot of productions in French. I was the ugly sister in a French version of Cinderella, much to my mother's chagrin. Madame Rutterford was kind. She was the sort of teacher who would give you a cuddle if you were feeling sick. She was French, married to an Englishman, and glamorous and chic. I thought when I grew up I wouldn't mind looking like her.

I also loved Miss Fielding, who taught English. She was about 4ft 11in and fiery. She was fabulous, full of life, dynamic - a real whirlwind.

Miss Dutton looked like Edward G Robinson and taught Spanish. She used to tell fabulous stories about Spain and, like Madame Rutterford, would encourage us to talk in the language we were learning as much as possible. She told us about her trips to Spain and insisted that when we went we must taste churros. For years, every time I went to Spain on holiday I tried to find these blinking churros. Eventually, I tracked them down in Minorca and discovered they are donuts, which you dip in chocolate.

I stayed on at school to doA-level French, English and Spanish, but the strict, restraining atmosphere put me off going to university. My teachers had inspired in me a love of travel and I became an air hostess. I had a great time travelling around the world using my languages before I got a job at BBC Radio Merseyside as a producer and, three years later, had my own record show on Radio 1. I have always been a chatterbox, and music and talking are my favourite things.

St Edmond's no longer exists, but in the mid-1980s I was invited back to open the school fete and I met Miss Clegg and Madame Rutterford again. They had published a book about the school and I was pleased to learn I was mentioned as one of the pupils who had gone on to do something notable - even though I never became an air traffic controller.

DJ Janice Long was talking to Pamela Coleman

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