BBC DJ Jo Whiley misses radio show as sister with learning disabilities and diabetes taken to hospital with Covid

DJ Jo Whiley has announced she is missing her BBC Radio 2 show as her sister Frances, who has learning difficulties and diabetes, was admitted to hospital with Covid-19.

Whiley wrote on Twitter: "I can’t do my BBC Radio 2 show this evening.

"My sister Frances is v poorly in hospital with Covid. I don’t feel shiny or happy tonight, I feel very scared. However I’ll be listening to Will Young who I know will light up our kitchen in the depths of our darkness."

In a second tweet, she added: "Ps. Things we’ve learnt. Get yourself an oximeter - they are vital for exposing dangerously low oxygen levels which you can have even though u feel fine with Covid."

Whiley revealed earlier this week that Frances has caught Covid-19 and said she cannot understand why she was offered the Covid vaccine before her younger but vulnerable sister.

The BBC Radio 2 DJ said she is "living through a nightmare" after Frances's care home suffered a coronavirus outbreak and said the effect on her sister's mental health has been "quite extreme".

Whiley said if she could, she would give up her vaccine “in a heartbeat” to her 53-year-old sister who has the rare Cri du Chat genetic syndrome.

Speaking on Radio 4's Today Programme earlier this week, Whiley said: "It is the stuff of nightmares at the moment. I feel like I am living through a nightmare.

"All weekend it has been awful – really, really difficult. It has been hard for my parents, it has been hard for everyone in the care home, and it continues.

"And then, ironically, I got a message to say I was due to have my vaccine before my sister who has got learning difficulties and underlying health conditions. Go figure."

Credit: PA

The 55-year-old DJ has been campaigning for her sister to be prioritised for the jab and said people with learning disabilities are often neglected.

As more than 16.4 million people in the UK have received their first dose of a Covid vaccine, the vaccine rollout is opening up to more priority groups.

The government initially targeted the top four priority groups, including people over the age of 70, the clinically extremely vulnerable and frontline health and social care staff.

Whiley said she does not know why has been called for her injection, but suggested it may be because she is classed as a carer for her sister.

"I fail to understand, to be honest with you," she said.

"Myself, my parents and the home have done everything we can to try and facilitate the vaccine coming in to the people who need it the most."