Episodes
This episode contains discussion of suicide. Joe Tracini is an actor, comedian and champion magician. He's also frequently suicidal. Joe suffers from borderline personality disorder and since speaking publicly about it, he's not shied away from talking about the 'unfashionable' side of mental illness. He's now written a book called '10 Things I Hate About Me: how to stay alive with a brain that's trying to kill you', which he says he wrote to save his life. Joe joins Bryony to talk about...
Published 09/28/22
Published 08/11/22
James Purefoy is one of Britain's most prolific actors, appearing in everything from the Royal Shakespeare Company to Netflix's Sex Education. But his latest film, Fisherman’s Friends: One and For All, while ostensibly about a bunch of Cornish blokes who sing sea shanties, is really about the fragile issue that is male mental health. James joins Bryony to talk about dealing with the grief of his father, while playing a character grieving their father, boarding schools as a place to...
Published 08/11/22
Charmain Bynoe is one of our favourite guests here at Mad World, an unsung hero making a difference in our communities. She's a housing officer for Southwark, in London, and you may have seen in the Channel 4 TV series, Council House Britain. The work she does in helping vulnerable people is vitally important, but often overlooked. Now she's written a book, The Estate, which lays bare the challenges so many are facing in the midst of the UK's housing crisis. Charmain joins Bryony to talk...
Published 08/03/22
Salma El-Wardany has been described as a half Egyptian, half Irish Muslim writer, travelling the world, eating cake and dismantling the patriarchy - but even that doesn't quite sum up the unapologetic brilliance of her. Now, she's released her first novel, These Impossible Things, which charts the friendship of three British Muslim women and what life throws at them. Salma joins Bryony to talk about the hurt of not finding yourself in the pages of the books you love, the impact of growing...
Published 07/27/22
Abi Morgan is the BAFTA and Emmy award-winning screenwriter of films like Suffragette, Shame and The Iron Lady, as well as creating the impossibly brilliant BBC drama The Split. But all the screenwriting expertise in the world could not have prepared her for the series of cataclysmic events that shattered her life three years ago. Now she's written a book about those events, 'This is Not a Pity Memoir.' It's a love story, but not as you know it. Abi joins Bryony to talk about the 'quiet...
Published 07/20/22
Right now, 332 million people across the globe are suffering from depression. You might be one of them. And yet despite the prevalence of this illness, it is still barely understood, with precious few treatment options available. The science writer Alex Riley - this week’s guest on Mad World - has now produced the most comprehensive history of depression ever written, with the hope of changing this. In A Cure For Darkness, Riley busts a whole host of myths about depression. It is not a...
Published 07/13/22
Self Esteem AKA Rebecca Taylor is a multi-award winning and Brit Award nominated artist, touring the globe and supporting Adele. And yet, during her 20s, she was crippled by shame and feeling like she was never accepted as herself. She found time to come on Mad World and talk openly and honestly about mental health and the role it's played in her life, including shaking off the shackles of patriarchy and getting out of self destruct mode. Listen to Self Esteem | Read more from...
Published 07/06/22
In 2018, Rebecca Humphries was thrust into the spotlight when her boyfriend cheated on her very publicly with his Strictly dance partner. Seeing your partner snogging someone else on the front page of a tabloid might not be the ideal way to discover you've been cheated on, but Humphries has come to realise it was the best thing that could ever have happened to her. Set free from an emotionally abusive relationship, she was able to finally live the life she wanted to... with amazing results....
Published 06/29/22
To his millions of fans, he was Avicii - music producer and DJ extraordinaire who created some of the most anthemic dance music of recent years. But behind the global superstar DJ was Tim Bergling, an anxious boy from Sweden who first saw a therapist at the age of 14, and years later tragically took his own life. Swedish journalist Måns Mossesson was given extraordinary access by Tim’s parents to the artist’s friends, family and colleagues, as well as his texts and emails to write 'Tim', the...
Published 06/22/22
When Joanna Scanlan was in her twenties, she had a breakdown and was told by her doctor that if she didn't do what she loved, she would never get better. Thank goodness for that doctor's words, because today she is an award winning actress and screenwriter, starring in the Thick of It, Getting On and her recent film After Love, for which she won the best actress BAFTA. Joanna joins Bryony about the dark thoughts that came young and followed her into later life, having to make an effort to...
Published 06/15/22
Today's guest is on a mission to transform the way we view people addicted to drugs. This year, Professor Dame Carol Black led a government review into the way we handle drug addiction in this country - be that treatment and recovery, or even prevention. She called for a more health-based approach and more than £500 million investment over five years. This Addiction Awareness Week, Bryony has teamed up with Action on Addiction and the Forward Trust to bring you a conversation each day...
Published 10/21/21
Arsenal and England legend Tony Adams has done as much in his career to challenge the stigma around addiction as he has to make footballing history. From becoming sober very publicly back in the 90s, to setting up Sporting Chance, a charity that provides mental health support to current and former professional athletes, he's made it his mission to help others by sharing his story.  This Addiction Awareness Week, Bryony has teamed up with Action on Addiction and the Forward Trust to bring you...
Published 10/20/21
In the 90s there was rarely a week where Davinia Taylor wasn't on the television or in the newspapers, as an actor, presenter and well-known member of the so-called "Primrose Hill set". But behind the seemingly glamorous partying was a person in the grips of addiction. This Addiction Awareness Week, Bryony has teamed up with Action on Addiction and the Forward Trust to bring you a conversation each day tackling a different element of addiction. Because even though we are slowly breaking down...
Published 10/19/21
When today's Mad World guest first sought help, she didn't even realise she was a gambling addict. But within a few years Hayley had lost her job, her home, and she had arrived at a rehab centre with a small suitcase containing all of her possessions.  This Addiction Awareness Week, Bryony has teamed up with Action on Addiction and the Forward Trust to bring you a conversation each day tackling a different element of addiction. Because even though we are slowly breaking down the stigma...
Published 10/18/21
When Camilla Tominey isn't writing in the Telegraph, she's the patron of Nacoa, The National Association for Children of Alcoholics, a charity that provides a space for people, young and old, to discuss the effect parental drinking has had on their life.  This Addiction Awareness Week, Bryony has teamed up with Action on Addiction and the Forward Trust to bring you a conversation each day tackling a different element of addiction. Because even though we are slowly breaking down the stigma...
Published 10/17/21
Legendary musician and producer Nile Rodgers joins Bryony for the first episode of this special series of Mad World. This Addiction Awareness Week, Bryony has teamed up with Action on Addiction and the Forward Trust to bring you a conversation each day tackling a different element of addiction. Because even though we are slowly breaking down the stigma around discussing mental health, addiction - sadly - remains a taboo, even though we will all know someone touched by it. Listen as Nile...
Published 10/16/21
On World Suicide Prevention Day, Bryony talks to someone with a very unusual - but important - job. Laura Campbell is the suicide prevention manager for Govia Thameslink Railway - the first person to have that title and the only suicide prevention manager for any train company. Laura joins Bryony to talk about how she trains railway staff to carry out suicide interventions at their stations, shares invaluable tools to support vulnerable people and opens up about the painful childhood...
Published 09/09/21
Have you ever felt like a fraud? That you don't belong in the room? That you could get found out at any moment? You're not alone - and we have a podcast to help you. As this series of Mad World comes to a close, Bryony Gordon introduces The Telegraph's Women's Editor, Claire Cohen, and her new show, Imposters. Each week, Claire meets a woman at the top of her game and finds out how she defeated imposter syndrome to get there. Follow Imposters to make sure you don't miss an episode:...
Published 06/15/21
Fearne Cotton's voice is instantly recognisable, whether from TV or the radio waves, or now on her Happy Place podcast. Like Bryony, she's dedicated her recent career to continuing the conversation around mental health - and through that work, the pair have become firm friends.  Fearne joins Bryony on Mad World to talk about the importance of setting yourself boundaries, why we have to consider the link between mental and physical health, and why sometimes we shouldn't be so quick to judge...
Published 06/01/21
Professor Rory O'Connor has dedicated himself to research into suicide and suicide prevention for over 25 years, and his new book, When It Is Darkest, aims to untangle the complex reasons why people take their own lives.  He joins Bryony on Mad World to dispel unhelpful myths, give practical advice to both those suffering and their loved ones, and to talk candidly about the painful reality of losing a friend to suicide as an expert on the subject. Read Bryony's columns:...
Published 05/25/21
Shadow Minister for Mental Health, MP for Tooting and an NHS doctor working throughout the pandemic: it's safe to say Rosena Allin-Khan has had a busy year. She manages to find time to join Bryony to discuss why we need to treat ourselves as we would our best friends, how the country can best support healthcare workers after the year gone by, and which guilty pleasure TV show has been helping her switch off. Read Bryony's columns: https://www.telegraph.co.uk/authors/bryony-gordon/ | For 30...
Published 05/18/21
Scarlett Moffatt and her infectious giggle burst onto our TV screens back in 2013 when her and her family featured on Channel 4's Gogglebox. But while she was becoming an on-screen favourite, she was also battling with her mental health, and eventually had to ring the Samaritans for help. She joins Bryony at the start of Mental Health Awareness Week to discuss why she's joining the organisation that helped her as an Ambassador, and why she wants to give her online trolls a hug. Read...
Published 05/10/21
Being an addict is a difficult thing for anybody to navigate - but Hunter Biden’s struggles with addiction were put under worldwide scrutiny when his father, Joe Biden, was running for president. Now he’s taking control of his own narrative with the publication of a brutally honest memoir. In it, he opens up about the tragedy that has befallen the Biden family - from the car crash that killed Hunter’s mother and sister, to the loss of his brother, Beau to cancer in 2015. In this powerful...
Published 05/03/21
Bestselling author Vex King has made it his goal to make talking about trauma accessible to everyone. After a difficult start in life, he now uses his immensely popular Instagram account and self-help books to try to give others the tools that helped him on his own path to self-acceptance. He tells Bryony how Bruce Lee played a surprising role in his journey towards self love, why positive thinking isn't just "woo-woo", and the secret to collectively healing after Covid.  Read Bryony's...
Published 04/27/21