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BBC Radio 1's Clara Amfo breaks down live on air as she reveals emotional reason she skipped radio show

The presenter was speaking in response to the death of George Floyd

clara amfo radio 1
Francesca Shillcock
Francesca ShillcockSenior TV & Film Writer
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BBC Radio 1 presenter Clara Amfo was overcome with emotion during her radio show on Tuesday while discussing her mental health in the wake of George Floyd's death. The morning radio DJ, who took over Fearne Cotton in 2015, began her show by explain why she had missed the previous broadcast, explaining that she didn't have the "mental strength" to do the show following the police brutality protests in America after George's death at the hands of a police officer.

In a moving statement, Clara began: "So as you would have noted I wasn't in work yesterday, and I want to talk to you directly about why that was […] At Radio 1 we talk a lot about mental health, and mine was in a really, really bad way yesterday, in fact it has been for the past few days in particular in relation to the death of George Floyd. George Floyd, an unarmed black man, died while being held under arrest."

MORE: The stars sharing powerful messages to support the Black Lives Matter movement

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BBC Radio 1 posted Clara's emotional message online after it broadcast

She continued: "I didn't have the mental strength to face you guys yesterday, to ask 'Hi how was your weekend?' [...] because I know that my weekend was terrible, sat on my sofa, crying, angry, confused and also knowing stuck at the news, stuck at the news of yet another brutalised black body knowing how the world enjoys blackness. And seeing what happened to George, we, black people, get the feeling that people want our culture but they do not want us. […] One of my favourite thinkers is a woman called Amanda Seales and she says 'You cannot enjoy rhythm but ignore the blues' and I say that with my chest."

MORE: 9 powerful shows and documentaries about racial injustice that are essential viewing

clara bafta© Photo: Getty Images

Clara has presented the mid-morning BBC radio show since 2015

Clara, who worked alongside the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge for the BBC Radio 1 Teen Heroes event last year, finished her statement by stating: "I wanna say to our black listeners, I hope you seen and heard today and to those of you that have already let me know that you are doing the work to be committed to doing better, I see you. Let's do this, let's all be anti-racist."

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