Episodes
SPENCER MATTHEWS! I confess, I enjoyed this conversation SO MUCH. It's not just because I'm an unabashed viewer of Made in Chelsea from the early days.* It's also because I've watched Spencer transcend his (decidedly not great) reality TV persona to become a successful entrepreneur, broadcaster, husband and father. I've always had a soft spot for him even though I've never actually known him, partly because he's got a great sense of humour and real self-awareness. All of which makes him a...
Published 01/25/23
I can't find the right words to do enough justice to Yusra Mardini's story. I think it's best that you just listen to the episode. Suffice it to say, she's one of the most impressive people I've ever met. Yusra grew up in Damascus. When war broke out, she and her sister embarked on a perilous journey to Germany to seek asylum. En route, they nearly died when the dinghy they were using to cross the Aegean sea had an engine failure. Yusra and her sister Sara - both competitive swimmers - jumped...
Published 01/18/23
Published 01/18/23
TW: miscarriage; infertility. Oh Alex Jones, how do I love thee? Let me count the ways... Like many of you, I already felt I knew Alex before I met her. She is one of the most trusted and famliar faces on our TV screen as co-host of BBC's The One Show. But in person, she was EVEN lovelier than I could have imagined: warm, funny and totally genuine. She's currently presenting an extraordinary documentary series on the W Channel which saw her train as a fertility assistant at one of Britain's...
Published 01/11/23
We're back for a brand new season. Well...you didn't think we were ever GONNA GIVE YOU UP did you? (See what I did there?) My childhood self is utterly thrilled that we get to open Season 16 with the legendary Rick Astley. The singing superstar who gained worldwide fame in the 1980s with hits such as Never Gonna Give You Up and who is now being discovered by a whole new generation thanks to the viral internet phenomenon known as Rickrolling (don't worry - I didn't know what this was either:...
Published 01/04/23
TW: discussions around suicide The period between Christmas and New Year can be tough for many. That's why I wanted to bring you an episode designed to help you feel less alone, where my guest talks openly about his own mental health and his desire to make others take care of theirs. Roman Kemp has presented the Capital FM breakfast show since 2017, attracting a weekly audience of almost six million. In August 2020, his best friend and the producer of his radio show, Joe Lyons died by...
Published 12/28/22
All this week, I'll be dropping the recordings of our How To Fail live shows, held at Shoredtich Town Hall earlier this year. On our final night, we welcomed Craig David to the stage and we were treated to a beautiful, vulnerable conversation (with added singing!) Craig brought such generosity and open-heartedness to this event, both with me and with the audience. Listen to be uplifted, inspired and also to hear Craig's note-perfect rendition of Fill Me In during the Q&A. -- This...
Published 12/09/22
All this week, I'll be dropping the recordings of our How To Fail live shows, held at Shoredtich Town Hall earlier this year. Today it's the turn of the very lovely Sophie Ellis-Bextor. The kitchen disco queen joins us to talk about being dropped by her record label, being rubbish at drawing and the challenges of juggling all the different aspects of her life (tbf she does have five children). Along the way, we discover she used to have a thriving black market enterprise selling Blue Peter...
Published 12/08/22
TW: eating disorders All this week, I'll be dropping the recordings of our How To Fail live shows, held at Shoredtich Town Hall earlier this year. Now, I know we shouldn't have favourites. Having a podcast and labelling one of your episodes as your 'favourite' is akin to choosing your preferred child. But, sod it, this is one of my favourite conversations of all time. Caitlin Moran is as brilliant, witty and generous as you might expect. Here, she talks about the terrible sadness of...
Published 12/07/22
All this week, I'll be dropping the recordings of our How To Fail live shows, held at Shoredtich Town Hall earlier this year. To kick off, I asked back one of our most cherished guests of all time: the inimitable Mo Gawdat. As regular listeners of How To Fail know, Mo first appeared on this podcast way back in season four. His interview blew my mind and changed how I lived my life. I asked him back during the first Covid-19 lockdown to help us navigate our way through the crisis. And now,...
Published 12/06/22
Dame Sheila Hancock is one of our most esteemed actresses: her 1966 Broadway debut in Entertaining Mr Sloane earned her a Tony nomination and on TV, she has appeared in everything from Dr Who to Kavanagh QC, in which she starred alongside her late husband, John Thaw. She has also been a semi-regular contestant on the BBC Radio 4 panel game Just a Minute since - wait for it -1967. The 89-year-old Dame Sheila joins me to talk about her crippling stage fright, her failure to enjoy the moment,...
Published 12/02/22
TW: discussions around suicide, infertility and miscarriage Trinny Woodall has been part of my life for years - even if we had never actually, well...met. Like many of you, I was riveted by the success of the makeover TV programme she presented with Susannah Constantine, What Not To Wear. Later, I would start buying Trinny London products and became mildly obsessed with their quality and efficacy (my make-up routine is now approximately 95% quicker). When she took to social media, I watched...
Published 11/30/22
Today, in a special bonus episode, I have the joy of bringing you one of my favourite people - the broadcaster, journalist and now charity boss, Jo Elvin. She's an Australian powerhouse who I've been lucky enough to work with over several years (first when she was the editor of Glamour, then later when I became a columnist for You magazine under her reign) and now I just get to hang out with her as mates, which is even better. She joins me to talk about the end of Glamour as a print magazine...
Published 11/29/22
TW: discussion around suicide, body dysmorphia and disordered eating. For my season finale, I wanted to do something a little different. I wanted to interview one of the most amazing people I know. Conveniently, that person is also my husband, Justin Basini, so it was pretty easy to co-ordinate diaries. As well as being my husband (arguably his most important qualification) Justin is also a highly successful entrepreneur and CEO. In 2015, he founded Clearscore, an app which provides free...
Published 11/16/22
I am obsessed with today's guest and I'm not even going to pretend otherwise. Geena Davis, the star of such seminal movies as Tootsie, Beetlejuice, Thelma & Louise, A League of Their Own and the underrated classic, The Long Kiss Goodnight, TURNED UP AT MY ACTUAL HOUSE to record a witty, warm and fascinating conversation.* We talk about her feelings of imposter syndrome and self-doubt in the early days of her career, the fact that her failure as a model led to her first film role alongside...
Published 11/09/22
Lorraine Kelly has been on our TV screens for the best part of 40 years. Born to working-class, teenage parents, she turned down a university place to join the local paper and then BBC Scotland as a researcher. By 1984, she was TV-AM’s Scotland correspondent. Today, she’s at the helm of the eponymous Lorraine show live every weekday morning. In a special bonus episode, she joins me to talk about everything from the power of drag to the TV executive who told her to change her accent to how...
Published 11/04/22
Tom Daley is an Olympic gold medallist diver, a three time World Champion and the first ever British person to win four Olympic diving medals. He's also, for the purposes of this podcast, just such a lovely, joyous person. He joins me to talk about diving failures, choking at the Rio Olympics, anxiety, body image, the curse of perfectionism, parenthood via surrogacy and what knitting has taught him about mistakes (surprisingly profound fyi). Plus: how he persuaded Kate Moss to pose for his...
Published 11/02/22
I'll be honest. I was intimidated by the prospect of this interview. Plus, I never believed it would *actually* happen. I was going to get to speak to arguably the most famous activist on the planet? Yeah, right. As if. But then - it happened! And Greta Thunberg - the founder of the School Strike for Climate movement who has been nominated three times for a Nobel Prize - was an absolute revelation. She is a deeply intelligent and thoughtful 19-year-old: someone who takes issues seriously but...
Published 10/26/22
Today, in a very special bonus episode, I bring you an interview it was an honour to record. Rob Delaney is a comedian, actor and writer, known to many of us as the star and co-creator of the hit Channel 4 sitcom, Catastrophe. But behind the public smile, he has dealt with unfathomable private tragedy. In 2018, Rob and his wife's beloved son Henry died at the age of two-and-a-half of a brain cancer. Delaney’s memoir of this time, A Heart That Works, is published today. It is an astonishing,...
Published 10/20/22
TW: miscarriage Today's guest is one of our most beloved writers: the one and only Malorie Blackman. She joins me to talk about how her setbacks have helped her define who she is - from being evicted and made homeless as a child, to the early years of writing rejection when over 80 publishers turned her down and the devastating loss of her second pregnancy. Throughout it all, Malorie Blackman has survived and thrived. In 2013 she was appointed the Children’s Laureate and now, at the age of...
Published 10/19/22
Nihal Arthanayake is a broadcaster and author. He is the host of Radio 5 Live’s Afternoon Show and won interviewer of the year at the 2019 BBC Radio and Music Awards. His new book, Let’s Talk: How To Have Better Conversations, investigates the art of good dialogue - a skill that has served him handsomely in his chosen career. He joins me to talk about his academic failures, his failures as a son, husband and father, and his failures in friendship. Plus he makes me burst out laughing with an...
Published 10/12/22
Jordan Stephens was formerly one-half of the band Rizzle Kicks, formed with his childhood friend while they were both at school. He is now an actor, a solo musician, a writer and - as if that weren't enough - a gifted artist too. He's also a super smart, funny and perceptive human. It's always a joy to talk to him and today's episode was no exception - we cover male vulnerability, sobriety, competitiveness, the challenges of fame (and dating a celebrity superstar but keeping it private), the...
Published 10/05/22
Well, you asked. And here she is. Domenica Calarco, the breakout star from the latest season of Married At First Sight Australia, is one of my most requested guests. On screen, we fell in love with her feisty Italian character, her brutal honesty and her friendship with fellow contestant Ella May Ding. Off screen, Domenica is an absolute treasure: hilarious, talkative and with plenty to say about the whole MAFS experience. Yes, we talk about Olivia. Yes, we talk about Jack. Yes, we talk about...
Published 09/28/22
TW: eating disorders Florence Given is the ultimate feminist multi-hyphenate: an artist, a bestselling author, a podcaster and a social activist with a huge online following, especially among the young women who see her as the wise big sister they always wanted. She wrote and illustrated her debut book, Women Don't Owe You Pretty, which spent 12 weeks in the Sunday Times top 10, making her the youngest author ever to achieve this goal. Last year, she launched her own podcast, Exactly with...
Published 09/21/22
TW: eating disorders; suicide; sexual assault I am so honoured to welcome my first ever Spice Girl to How To Fail! Today Melanie Chisholm - the artist formerly known as Mel C or even Sporty Spice - joins me in what is arguably her most open interview yet. She tells me about the impact of her parents' divorce, the extreme lengths of her people-pleasing as one of the most famous stars of the 1990s and her own struggles with her body. She talks bravely about the toxic impact of media...
Published 09/14/22