How To Fail With Elizabeth Day

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Phoebe Waller-Bridge, creator and star of Fleabag, writer of Killing Eve, superstar feminist and human embodiment of a Star Wars droid, joins How To Fail to talk about how she failed at her 20s (but got lots of brilliant material from the terrible dates she endured), failing at drama school, terrible auditions (including one for Downton Abbey) and how her female best friend is quite possibly the love of her life. She also talks about emotional vulnerability, why women fail at anger and about finding glory in one’s mistakes. There’s a great exchange about whether women should be open about whether or not they want children and a whole segue into the desirability of alabaster foreheads. Oh, and we cover the time Phoebe met Meryl Streep and embarrassed herself horribly, in what might be one of the greatest celebrity anecdotes of all time involving apple crumble.    How To Fail is hosted by Elizabeth Day and produced by Chris Sharp    How To Fail is sponsored by Moorish     Social Media:   Elizabeth Day @elizabday Moorish @moorishhumous DryWrite @DryWrite Fleabag @Fleabag Killing Eve @KillingEve
Fearne Cotton blazed the trail for podcasts like mine. When she launched Happy Place in March 2018, it went straight to the top of the iTunes chart and has seemingly stayed there ever since. It has done so much to bring discussions about mental health into the mainstream, partly because Fearne has also been honest about her own experiences with panic attacks and anxiety. So when I started How To Fail in July 2018, I always knew Fearne would be top of my list of dream guests. A few months later, we ended up sitting next to each other at the British Podcast Awards (spoiler alert: neither of us won but embarrassingly, we both presented awards to other winners) and having a good old natter, and then I was sent to interview her for a magazine and we got on so well that we hatched the idea of doing each other's podcasts now HERE WE ARE. What makes Fearne so special is not just her impressive broadcasting career as a TV and radio presenter, or her bestselling books or the fact that she turned Happy Place into a full-blown festival, complete with yoga workshops and inspiring talks. No, it's that she is unafraid to be honest. She believes, as I do, that true strength comes from true vulnerability, and it's these qualities that make her a phenomenal guest. Fearne joins me to talk about failing most of her GCSEs, a failed engagement and, in one of the most powerful passages of any interview I've ever had the privilege of doing, about her failure to be herself in her 20s and how she lived with an eating disorder for years. This is the first time she has ever spoken about it, and I am so truly grateful that Fearne felt this was a safe enough space to bare her beautiful soul. Thank you, Fearne. Your words and your courage will help a great many people. * The How To Fail Live tour is almost over. SNIFF! There are limited tickets left for Belfast with Sinead Burke (14th November) and Gateshead with Jess Phillips MP (8th December). Dublin with Amy Huberman (15th November) has SOLD OUT! Thank you! These events are not recorded as podcasts so the only way to be there is to book tickets via www.faneproductions.com/howtofail *  The Sunday Times Top 5 bestselling book of the podcast, How To Fail: Everything I've Ever Learned From Things Going Wrong by Elizabeth Day, is out now and is available here. * You can listen to Fearne Cotton's Happy Place here *  This season of How To Fail With Elizabeth Day is hosted by Elizabeth Day, produced by Naomi Mantin and Chris Sharp and sponsored by Sweaty Betty. Sweaty Betty are offering listeners 20% off full-price items with the code HOWTOFAIL To contact us, email howtofailpod@gmail.com *  Social Media: Elizabeth Day @elizabday Fearne Cotton @fearnecotton Sweaty Betty @sweatybetty            
'And now, the end is near / And so I face the final curtain...' Yes, it's the SEASON FINALE! I know, I know: it's gone so fast hasn't it? What's that they say about time flying when you're having fun calling your brain Becky? (That's a podcast in-joke, peeps, don't panic if you're a new subscriber and you haven't got a clue what I'm on about, but do check out my episode with Mo Gawdat, S4, Ep4). Anyway, don't be too sad because I have one solid-gold, cast-iron, brilliant guest for you to usher out this season. Step forward, Jamie Laing. Some of you might know him from E4's structured reality show, Made In Chelsea. Some of you might not watch reality television and believe it to be ushering in the end of days. But I implore you, even if you have no interest in the show and even if you've got preconceptions of who Jamie is, to give this episode a listen. He is such an sincere, funny, generous and self-aware person and so willing to talk openly about the times in his life when things didn't go according to plan that I truly think you will get a lot from it. Jamie joins me to talk about he impact of parental divorce, panic attacks, anxiety, sporting injury and what happens when your idea of your entire future seems to collapse. We also talk about why he's never managed to have a lasting long-term relationship. Along the way, he quotes life lessons learned from Socrates, William Blake and, that seminal 21st century philosopher, Lucy Watson. I hope you enjoy the final episode in this season. Thank you for all your incredible support. We'll be back in July with eight new fantastic guests for season five. In the meantime, if you felt like rating, reviewing and subscribing, I'd be eternally grateful.   How To Fail With Elizabeth Day is hosted by Elizabeth Day, recorded by Chris Sharp and sponsored by 4th Estate Books The Sunday Times Top 5 bestselling book of the podcast, How To Fail: Everything I've Ever Learned From Things Going Wrong by Elizabeth Day, is out now and is available here. You can buy Jamie's delicious all-vegan Candy Kittens sweets here and you can listen to his and Frances Boulle's podcast, Private Parts, here.   Social Media: Elizabeth Day @elizabday Jamie Laing @jamielaing_UK Chris Sharp @chrissharpaudio 4th Estate Books @4thEstateBooks        
This week, I bring you a truly incredible woman. Her name is Tara Westover. She wrote a memoir called Educated, which is quite simply one of the best books I have ever read: profound, moving, unerringly original. It tells the story of Westover's upbringing, born the seventh child of Mormon survivalist parents who didn't believe in public schooling or mainstream medicine. It wasn't until she was 17 that Westover decided to educate herself - with astonishing results. We talk about what it's like to love your family but to be estranged from them, and how the two ideas can co-exist. We also discuss how on earth someone teaches themselves algebra ('Yeah,' says Westover, 'that wasn't fun') and what it was like to refuse any pain medication despite having a dental abscess. Her failures include flunking tests, finding it difficult to make friends, her failure to believe in her family's religion even though she wanted to and her failure to make her relationship with her parents work. She also quotes John Stuart Mill on feminism and it's completely brilliant. This was one of those very special interviews where I felt my mind expanding just from the privilege of listening to her speak. I hope you enjoy it too.   How To Fail With Elizabeth Day is hosted by Elizabeth Day, produced by Chris Sharp and sponsored by 4th Estate Books   Educated by Tara Westover is out now published by Penguin   Social Media: Elizabeth Day @elizabday Tara Westover @tarawestover Chris Sharp @chrissharpaudio 4th Estate Books @4thEstateBooks        
A live recording of a one-off How To Fail With Elizabeth Day special with authors Philippa Perry (The Book You Wish Your Parents Had Read) and Sadie Jones (The Snakes) about How To Fail...At Families. Recorded in front of a live audience at Foyle's bookshop on Charing Cross Road in London. This episode is sponsored by Penguin Life, which publishes books by experts who share a passion for living well. * Philippa Perry's The Book You Wish Your Parents Had Read is available to order here. Sadie Jones's The Snakes is available to order here. * I am thrilled to be taking How To Fail on tour around the UK in October, sharing my failure manifesto with the help of some very special guests. These events are not recorded as podcasts so the only way to be there is to book tickets via www.faneproductions.com/howtofail *  The Sunday Times Top 5 bestselling book of the podcast, How To Fail: Everything I've Ever Learned From Things Going Wrong by Elizabeth Day, is out now and is available here. * This bonus episode of How To Fail With Elizabeth Day was hosted by Elizabeth Day, produced by Chris Sharp and Naomi Mantin and sponsored by Penguin Life. To contact us, email howtofailpod@gmail.com *  Social Media: Elizabeth Day @elizabday Sadie Jones @thatsadiejones Philippa Perry @philippa_perry Chris Sharp @chrissharpaudio Naomi Mantin @naomimantin  
Farrah Storr, the award-winning editor-in-chief of Cosmopolitan, is this week's guest on How To Fail With Elizabeth Day and I'm so thrilled to have her on as have basically been stalking her on Instagram for years. In person, she does not disappoint. We talk about the curse of perfectionism, the notion of  having-it-all (ish) and Farrah's decision to be a child-free woman. We also cover her failures as a child carol singer (and why she still can't face doing karaoke because of it), being rejected from the university of her dreams, disordered eating, failing at a job she'd wanted for ages and failing at a blind date with the man who later became her husband. Plus, we discuss her new book, The Discomfort Zone, and explore how doing what scares you can sometimes be the pathway to success. And we talk about Farrah growing up in Manchester, the half-Pakistani daughter of the local green-grocer who was desperate to 'blend in' and her creepy habit of shaving the heads of her Barbie dolls when she was a girl.   How To Fail With Elizabeth Day is hosted by Elizabeth Day, produced by Chris Sharp and sponsored by 4th Estate Books   Farrah's book, The Discomfort Zone, is out now published by Piatkus   Social Media: Elizabeth Day @elizabday Farrah Storr @Farrah_Storr Chris Sharp @chrissharpaudio 4th Estate Books @4thEstateBooks        
We're BACK! How To Fail With Elizabeth Day returns for a second season, and to kick this one off, I'm joined by mega-star, besteslling author Jessie Burton. Burton's 2014 debut novel, The Miniaturist, was published in 38 countries and sold over a million copies and last Christmas, it was adapted into a sumptuous two-part BBC drama starring Romola Garai and Anya Taylor-Joy. Her secnd novel, The Muse, was a Sunday Times bestseller and Burton has just published her first book for children, The Restless Girls. But Jessie actually started out wanting to be an actress, and spent much of her 20s trying and failing to land parts. Writing was something she did on the side, which eventually became her full-time career. It wasn't all plain-sailing, however, and in this interview, Jessie talks movingly about her struggles with anxiety, her breakdown at the height of her success and her failure to grieve the end of a meaningful relationship. We also talk about bodies, beauty, ambition and what to do if your instinct is to put your mum in a bin-bag (this makes sense if you listen, promise). Also featuring Margot, her extremely lovely grey-and-white cat.   How To Fail With Elizabeth Day is hosted by Elizabeth Day, produced by Chris Sharp and sponsored by 4th Estate Books   The Restless Girls by Jessie Burton is out now, published by Bloomsbury   Social Media: Elizabeth Day @elizabday Jessie Burton @jesskatbee Chris Sharp @chrissharpaudio 4th Estate Books @4thEstateBooks    
This week, the podcast welcomes its first ever Michelin-starred chef. Yes...it's Tom Kerridge! And what a chef he is. He failed at school, but found his way in catering college after the death of his Dad. He climbed the ranks of the profession, working hard and partying harder. Professional success followed, at the same time as personal failure - the long hours triggered a drink problem and he became unhealthily overweight. Faced with his own mortality, he gave up alcohol and went on a fitness regime that resulted in his losing 11 stone. His transformation was so impressive that it inspired a series of bestselling books, the latest of which, Lose Weight and Get Fit, is out now. Tom joins me to talk about his failure at education, his failure in business, his alcoholism and the associated failure to live in the moment. We talk about living to the extremes, having an addictive all-or-nothing mindset, how you can work with your spouse in a stressful industry and stay married, what it means to fail in a high-pressure environment and how he once had ambitions to be a child actor because it meant he got to hang out with the girls from a local private school. What a lovely chap he is - I hope you enjoy!   * The Sunday Times Top 5 bestselling book of the podcast, How To Fail: Everything I've Ever Learned From Things Going Wrong is out now in paperback and available to buy here. * Lose Weight and Get Fit by Tom Kerridge is published by Bloomsbury Books and is available to buy here.    * How To Fail With Elizabeth Day is hosted by Elizabeth Day, produced by Naomi Mantin and Chris Sharp. We love hearing from you! To contact us, email howtofailpod@gmail.com *  Social Media: Elizabeth Day @elizabday   Tom Kerridge @cheftomkerridge                             
Ahead of next week's season finale, I offer you, my wonderful listeners, a whole new BONUS EPISODE. I know, I'm too good to you, I really am. No, but honestly, thank you so much for your continued support - for all those lovely messages, ratings and reviews. I appreciate it so, so much. Here, by way of a thank you is the amazing Kristen Roupenian, author of the viral short story sensation Cat Person, and an all-round brilliant woman who has such interesting things to say about failure. This episode was recorded earlier this month in front of a live audience at Foyle's Bookshop in London as part of Kristen's UK tour to promote her newly published collection of short stories, You Know You Want This which has ALREADY been optioned for adaptation by HBO. In this episode, we talk about how Kristen dealt with her unexpected and overnight fame and what it's like to be confronted by the forceful opinions of strangers when all you've done is written a short story. We also talk about her failed attempt to re-home a dog (leading to lots of profound realisations), a serious relationship break-up and how she lost her way in her 20s, as well as why it's pointless to live your life in anticipation of 'a future you' that might never exist.    You Know You Want This by Kristen Roupenian is published by Jonathan Cape. You can order it here   The book of the podcast, How To Fail: Everything I've Ever Learned From Things Going Wrong by Elizabeth Day is available to pre-order here.   Social Media: Elizabeth Day @elizabday Kristen Roupenian @kroupenian Chris Sharp @chrissharpaudio 4th Estate Books @4thEstateBooks          
 Eniola Aluko is a former footballer who bears the notable distinction of being one of only 11 women to play for England over 100 times and the first ever female pundit on Match of the Day. Born in Nigeria, she was raised on a Birmingham council estate, where her talent for football was obvious from a young age. At 15 she signed up for Birmingham City Ladies. Later, she played for Chelsea and Juventus, gaining a First Class law degree along the way. Later still, she was a whistleblower for racist bullying within the Football Association  It was a public battle that required extraordinary reserves of strength, courage and determination. Eni joins me to talk about racism, sexism, equal pay, psychological pressure, failing the New York bar exam twice and the very real difficulties of dating when you're a female athlete. We also discuss her gripping memoir, They Don't Teach This, which is ALL about the incredible lessons she's learned from failure and is therefore very on-brand for this whole podcast. Thank you Eni! This word is overused but you are truly an inspiration.   * The Sunday Times Top 5 bestselling book of the podcast, How To Fail: Everything I've Ever Learned From Things Going Wrong is out now in paperback and available to buy here. * They Don't Teach This by Eniola Aluko is published by Yellow Jersey and is available to buy here. * How To Fail With Elizabeth Day is hosted by Elizabeth Day, produced by Naomi Mantin and Chris Sharp. We love hearing from you! To contact us, email howtofailpod@gmail.com *  Social Media: Elizabeth Day @elizabday Eni Aluko @EniAlu  
For the last episode of the first season of How To Fail With Elizabeth Day, our interviewee is…well…Elizabeth Day. Which means I’m currently writing shownotes about myself in the third person. Which is weird. Let me stop doing that. Over the course of the last eight weeks, I’ve been lucky enough to interview some truly wonderful, interesting, successful people, all of whom have opened up to me and made themselves vulnerable by discussing the place failure occupies in their lives. It seemed only fair to turn the tables on myself. In this episode, I’m truly honoured to have my brilliant friend Dolly Alderton interviewing me. Dolly is not only the author of the bestselling memoir, Everything I Know About Love, but she’s also a super-talented journalist and co-host of the iTunes-topping The High Low podcast. The way she interviewed me is really quite spectacular because she made it feel like a conversation, sharing her own excellent insights and humour along the way. As a result, I ended up being far more honest than I’d intended, opening up about everything from infertility and grief to intimacy and regret. I also talk about my conspicuous failure to be good at sport, despite lots of people assuming I must be good at things like tennis and running because I’m tall. I know, it makes no sense to me either. This is the final episode in this season, but How To Fail With Elizabeth Day will be BACK with a whole new selection of fantastic guests in October. In the meantime, if you’ve enjoyed listening, please do rate and review us on iTunes. Thank you, thank you, thank you so much for listening, and see you  in October!     How To Fail is hosted by Elizabeth Day and produced by Chris Sharp   How To Fail is sponsored by Moorish   The Party by Elizabeth Day is published by 4th Estate     Social Media:   Elizabeth Day @elizabday Dolly Alderton @dollyalderton Chris Sharp @chrissharpaudio Moorish @moorishhumous
This week on How To Fail With Elizabeth Day, my guest is the brilliant Sharmaine Lovegrove. Sharmaine is a champion of stories. As a publisher, she heads up her own imprint, Dialogue Books, at Little, Brown and has been instrumental in bringing more diverse voices into print. But Sharmaine is also one of the most dynamic and inspiring women I've ever had the privilege of meeting. This is a woman who survived a challenging childhood and ended up living on the streets while studying for her A-Levels. This is a woman who, through sheer force of will, began selling second-hand books under the arches of Waterloo Bridge before rising through the ranks to head up her own publishing imprint. This is a woman who, despite the myriad obstacles she faced along the way, set up the first English language bookshop in Berlin and became literary editor of Elle magazine. This is a woman who says, quite candidly, that books saved her life. We talk about failure to be a child, failure to conform and failure to be a perfectionist (and I discover you can Deliveroo pizza to a park. MIND. BLOWN.) You might not have heard of Sharmaine before this podcast episode, but after listening to her story, you will quite possibly become her biggest fan.   How To Fail With Elizabeth Day is hosted by Elizabeth Day, produced by Chris Sharp and sponsored by 4th Estate Books   The book of the podcast, How To Fail: Everything I've Ever Learned From Things Going Wrong by Elizabeth Day is available to pre-order here.   Be sure to check out the forthcoming titles from Dialogue Books !   Social Media: Elizabeth Day @elizabday Sharmaine Lovegrove: @sharlove Dialogue Books @dialoguebooks  Chris Sharp @chrissharpaudio 4th Estate Books @4thEstateBooks    
You could say that my guest this week became famous because of failure. Andy McNab led the Bravo Two Zero SAS mission during the first Gulf War but his team was compromised soon after they were dropped into Iraq in 1991. This was the most horrific kind of failure. It resulted in the deaths of three of the squad, a cat-and-mouse chase across the desert and McNab's eventual capture. He withstood six weeks of torture and imprisonment, later turning his harrowing experiences into the bestselling book, Bravo Two Zero. He was also awarded the Distinguished Conduct Medal for his courage behind enemy lines. In 2017, he was awarded a CBE. But this SAS hero did not have the most auspicious start in life: abandoned as a baby in a carrier bag on the steps of a London hospital, he was brought up by adoptive parents on a Peckham council estate and dropped out of school as a teenager, barely able to read or write. He fell into a life of petty crime. After an arrest for burglary at the age of 16 he decided to turn his life around, and joined the British Army. Andy joins me to talk about the failure of that Bravo Two Zero mission, about what the SAS taught him about how to fail, about how someone who struggled with literacy managed to make a career as a bestselling author, about why he's been married so many times (four, since you ask) and about how he's now found lasting happiness with his wife Jenny (partly to do with a laminated strip in his wallet...listen to find out more). Oh, and he tells me he's a certified psychopath, but not - apparently - one of the bad ones. So that's a podcast first.   Andy McNab's books are available to buy here How To Fail With Elizabeth Day is hosted by Elizabeth Day, recorded by Chris Sharp and sponsored by 4th Estate Books The Sunday Times Top 5 bestselling book of the podcast, How To Fail: Everything I've Ever Learned From Things Going Wrong by Elizabeth Day, is out now and is available here.     Social Media: Elizabeth Day @elizabday Andy McNab @the_real_mcnab Chris Sharp @chrissharpaudio 4th Estate Books @4thEstateBooks                        
I have my FIRST POET on the podcast this week - and my, what a poet. Charly Cox is not only a beautiful soul but a beautiful chronicler of what it is to be human. Her first collection, She Must Be Mad, became the bestselling poetry debut of 2018 and Cox was named by Elle magazine as one of their 20 ‘power players’ of the year. Although still only 23, she's accumulated an astonishing store of wisdom and I was so, so happy to have her on the podcast because what Charly has to say is deeply important for anyone struggling with how to value themselves for who and what they are rather than how they aspire to be perceived. She's been dubbed an Instagram poet for the millennial generation, but I think her work has relevance for all ages. We spoke about anxiety, depression and her diagnosis with PTSD and Bipolar II disorder. We also discussed dropping out of school and failing to find lasting romantic love (and her fear that she is ultimately unloveable. AS IF, CHARLY). And we chat about a career failure that left her on a hotel bathroom floor in the grip of a panic attack at which point she remembers thinking: 'I will never work again. I can't believe it's taken this long for everyone to finally see I'm an imposter. I can't do this.'  One of my favourite things about Charly is that she made me realise that the personal can be universal - that by being open about our vulnerabilities, the things we feel most shame about, we not only diminish the shame, but we connect with others who experience exactly the same emotions. And that, my friends, is what creates SOLIDARITY as a force for meaningful change.   Charly Cox's bestselling She Must Be Mad is available to buy here Her brilliant new collection, Validate Me, is out in October and available to pre-order here  How To Fail With Elizabeth Day is hosted by Elizabeth Day, recorded by Chris Sharp and sponsored by 4th Estate Books The Sunday Times Top 5 bestselling book of the podcast, How To Fail: Everything I've Ever Learned From Things Going Wrong by Elizabeth Day, is out now and is available here. *IMPORTANT NEWS KLAXON*  I’m doing a live How To Fail With Elizabeth Day event on 5th May at The Bridge Theatre in London with ZAWE ASHTON (who is amazing). There are still some tickets available here. This is NOT being recorded, so the only way to be part of it is to be there or...erm...be square?    Social Media: Elizabeth Day @elizabday Charly Cox @charlycox1 Chris Sharp @chrissharpaudio 4th Estate Books @4thEstateBooks          
Oh, Samin Nosrat! Where do I start? With her ebullient personality and wildly infectious laugh? With her four-part Netflix show, Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat where she travels the world eating freshly baked focaccia and Japanese seaweed? Or with the award-winning, bestselling cookbook of the same name, that revolutionised the way we thought about food? I don't know where to start. So let me just tell you that she is one of the bubbliest, most open and generous interviewees I've ever had the pleasure of meeting. She joins me to talks about growing up in San Diego, the child of Iranian parents, who was 'the only brown kid' in her school, and what this sense of outsidership taught her. She talks about overnight fame, and the weirdness that comes with that, as well as failing to write, what happens when your business fails and the one memorable time she burned the sauce for a dinner she was cooking for Hillary Clinton. Oh, and the story of how she got the description of osmosis wrong in the science part of Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat and was berated by critics. Also the way she talks about cassoulet will probably leave you feeling very hungry. Thank you so much Samin for coming on my podcast! * Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat by Samin Nosrat is published by Canongate and is available to order here * I am thrilled to be taking How To Fail on tour around the UK in October, sharing my failure manifesto with the help of some very special guests. These events are not recorded as podcasts so the only way to be there is to book tickets via www.faneproductions.com/howtofail *  The Sunday Times Top 5 bestselling book of the podcast, How To Fail: Everything I've Ever Learned From Things Going Wrong by Elizabeth Day, is out now and is available here. * How To Fail With Elizabeth Day is hosted by Elizabeth Day, produced by Chris Sharp and Naomi Mantin and sponsored by Teatulia. To contact us, email howtofailpod@gmail.com *  Social Media: Elizabeth Day @elizabday Samin Nosrat @ciaosamin Chris Sharp @chrissharpaudio Naomi Mantin @naomimantin Teatulia @TeatuliaUK            
So here we are at the end of SEASON TWO of How To Fail With Elizabeth Day, 16 wonderful interviews (and untold numbers of pots of babaganoush) later. In order to mark this momentous occasion, I speak to the legend behind the microphone, the one and only Chris Sharp, producer extraordinaire. We chat about our favourite moments of the podcast so far and discuss the most memorable building work we've had to contend with along the way (it's a nightmare for the sound quality, apparently). Ironically, this takes place just as building work is being done in the flat above mine, so you get to hear an unexplained thumping sound about three-quarters of the way through. You're welcome.   Thank you so, so much for listening, rating, reviewing and subscribing. We'll be back in the New Year with eight new brilliant guests. Until then, remember what Truman Capote said: 'Failure is the condiment that gives success its flavour.'     How To Fail With Elizabeth Day is hosted by Elizabeth Day, produced by Chris Sharp and sponsored by 4th Estate Books   Social Media: Elizabeth Day @elizabday Chris Sharp @chrissharpaudio 4th Estate Books @4thEstateBooks
This week How To Fail With Elizabeth Day welcomes Alastair Campbell to the confessional booth. The former spin doctor to Tony Blair (and inspiration for the character of foul-mouthed Malcolm Tucker in The Thick Of It) talks movingly about his mental health breakdown in 1986, and how that changed the course of his life. He also discusses living with depression, admitting to an alcohol problem, almost crying on live TV and playing the bagpipes (not all at the same time). Along the way, we talk about Brexit, Iraq, the dodgy dossier, the impact his workaholism has had on his personal life and whether he thinks New Labour was a failure or not. Campbell is a beautifully open interviewee with some deeply candid and helpful things to say about coming back from failure and operating at the highest level of politics. It was a privilege to interview him, and somewhat surreal that he came to my flat and drank tea from my mug while I did so.   How To Fail With Elizabeth Day is hosted by Elizabeth Day, produced by Chris Sharp and sponsored by 4th Estate Books   The latest volume of Alastair Campbell's diaries, From Crash To Defeat, is out now published by Biteback Publishing.  Social Media: Elizabeth Day @elizabday Alastair Campbell @campbellclaret Chris Sharp @chrissharpaudio 4th Estate Books @4thEstateBooks  
This week on How To Fail With Elizabeth Day, we're joined by the author James Frey who also just so happens to be my first American guest (hello, USA! I heart you!). Frey has written four critically acclaimed novels, and his fifth - Katerina, a sweeping love story set between 2018 Los Angeles and 1992 Paris - has just been published. But he's probably as well known for his notoriety as his talent. In 2003, Frey published A Million Little Pieces, a memoir of his criminal past and addiction to crack cocaine. An instant bestseller, it was picked by Oprah Winfrey for her influential book club. But when it was subsequently shown that Frey had fabricated large portions, Oprah brought him back on her show to give him an exceptionally public dressing down that made headines around the world. This is a man who has been a literary rock-star and a literary pariah; someone who has experienced public failure on a level most of us couldn't even begin to comprehend. He joins me to discuss what that felt like, what he learned from the fallout, what the difference is between factual truth and truth in fiction, living with addiction, what he has learned from failure, and he tells me about his peronsal motto: 'Fail Fast, Fail Often'. Along the way, he also reveals whether he'd vote for Oprah if she ran for President and his unlikely support for the England football team.   How To Fail With Elizabeth Day is hosted by Elizabeth Day, produced by Chris Sharp and sponsored by 4th Estate Books   Katerina by James Frey is out now published by John Murray   Social Media: Elizabeth Day @elizabday Chris Sharp @chrissharpaudio 4th Estate Books @4thEstateBooks        
*This episode was recorded before recent tragic events in America. There are links to useful Black Lives Matter resources and ways to help below* You know when you read someone's work and feel like you'd be friends in real life, and you become basically a little obsessed and Google them to inhale all the online content that is out there about this person and their work and THEN you get to to meet them and despite thinking they couldn't possibly live up to all your overhyped expectation, they actually do? Well, ok, so that's what happened to me with Samantha Irby. Not only is she a brilliant, hilarious and perspicacious essayist (she has published three collections, the latest of which, Wow, No Thank You, entered the New York Times bestseller list at number one) but she's a wonderful, generous and warm human being. Samantha joins me to talk about failure to complete college, her failed relationships, failing at drama class, being her mother's carer, growing up poor, using humour as a defence mechanism and the BRILLIANT theory she has developed of 'Detachment Parenting' which she deploys on her wife's children. Oh, and we talk about The Real Housewives too, because we're both huge fans (in fact, we went on about it for so long that I had to edit some of it out in case we bored everyone else). My other favourite thing about this interview is that producer Naomi nonchalantly informed me that Samantha would be dialling in from Kathmandu, Nepal. It turns out that she had misheard and actually meant Kalamazoo, Michigan. Samantha, I heart you. Please can we be friends for real? CALL ME! * I've written a new book! Failosophy: A Handbook For When Things Go Wrong is out in October. It's a practical, inspirational and reassuring guide to the seven principles of failure I've developed since doing this podcast. Packed full of contributions from loads of former guests, as well as listener stories, it is also beautifully hand-illustrated by Paul Blow and I would love it if you wanted to pre-order a signed copy here. * Samantha Irby's latest book, Wow, No Thank You is out now and available to order here. Her extraordinary essay, My Mother, My Daughter is available to read for free online here. * Many of you will have been as appalled as we are by the recent tragic news from America and the homicide of George Floyd. If you'd like to help there is a link to Black Lives Matter resources (including petitions to sign and places to donate) here.  Belly Mujinga was a railway worker at London's Victoria station who was spat at by an assailant and who later died of Covid-19. You can donate to her family here.  * How To Fail With Elizabeth Day is hosted by Elizabeth Day, produced by Naomi Mantin and Chris Sharp. We love hearing from you! To contact us, email howtofailpod@gmail.com *  Social Media: Elizabeth Day @elizabday Samantha Irby @wordscience How To Fail @howtofailpod   
Matthew Syed is an acclaimed author, newspaper columnist and broadcaster. He is also, in many ways, is the father of failure. I mean that as a compliment, obviously. Through his seminal, bestselling books - Bounce, Black Box Thinking and his latest, Rebel Ideas - he has shown again and again that failure can actually be the richest seam of data acquisition.  His interest in making mistakes in order to evolve started, incongruously, with table tennis. He was the British number one in 1995 but later choked in spectacular fashion at the Sydney Olympics in 2000. The experience triggered a fascination with what it means to fall apart under pressure and why it happens. Syed joins me to talk about all this, as well as leaving school at 15, his childhood experiences of racism, the horror of cold-calling when he ran a marketing agency, the 'terrible' early newspaper columns he wrote, the necessity for diversity of thinking, fatherhood and why we don't need to be scared of airplane turbulence (thank goodness, quite frankly, because I'm terrified of it). It was a joy meeting Matthew, and I also liked his exceptionally polite way of saying 'thank you' when I ask a question. * I've written a new book! Failosophy: A Handbook For When Things Go Wrong is out in October. It's a practical, inspirational and reassuring guide to the seven principles of failure I've developed since doing this podcast. Packed full of contributions from loads of former guests, as well as listener stories, it is also beautifully illustrated by Paul Blow and I would love it if you wanted to pre-order a signed copy here. * Matthew Syed's lates book, Rebel Ideas: The Power of Diverse Thinking is available to order here. * How To Fail With Elizabeth Day is hosted by Elizabeth Day, produced by Naomi Mantin and Chris Sharp. We love hearing from you! To contact us, email howtofailpod@gmail.com *  Social Media: Elizabeth Day @elizabday Matthew Syed @matthewsyed How To Fail @howtofailpod               
Frankie Bridge is probably best known as a member of one of the UK's most successful girl bands of all time, The Saturdays. But, more recently, it's as a mental health advocate that she has been making headlines. Her new memoir, Open: Why asking for help can save your life, is a brave and unflinchingly honest attempt to destigmatise the conditions that so many of us struggle with in private. Frankie lives with treatment-resistant depression. Initially, she struggled in silence but when she was hospitalised in 2011, she could no longer ignore the severity of what she was facing. Open tells the story of what happened next, of how she survived and of the decisions she makes on a daily basis to protect that survival. It was an honour to have her on the podcast to talk about all of this, especially in the wake of the devastating news about Caroline Flack. I met Caroline a few years ago and she was really lovely: so warm and funny and kind. I - like many of you - have been so sad and so shaken by the idea that she could see no other way out. I cannot imagine the pain that her family and friends are feeling. I am thinking of them. Although this interview with Frankie was recorded before any of us knew what Caroline was going through, Frankie has a lot to say about the dark places that depression can take you and offers many helpful insights into how to cope. Below are some useful numbers that can help you if you are going through a tough time or have been affected by any of the issues raised. Please know that you are not alone. Please know that, even if it doesn't feel like it right now, this too shall pass. You are loved, you are wonderful, you are unique. You are worthwhile. You exist. Please hold on.   USEFUL NUMBERS Contact Samaritans 24 hours a day, 365 days a year on 116 123 (free from any phone). If you don't feel like talking, text Shout to 85258 to get help from crisis volunteers 24/7 (free on all mobile networks).  Mind, the mental health charity, is on 020 8519 212. * Frankie Bridge's memoir, Open,  is out now and available to order here. * This episode is sponsored by one of my favourite jewellery brands, Missoma. Visit uk.missoma.com and use the code ElizabethDay10 at checkout for 10% off your next purchase! * The Sunday Times Top 5 bestselling book of the podcast, How To Fail: Everything I've Ever Learned From Things Going Wrong is out now in paperback and available to buy here. * You can now buy exclusive How To Fail podcast merchandise - sweatshirts, t-shirts, mugs, post-its and notepads. The perfect gift for the failure in all of us! View the full range at howtofailshop.com * How To Fail With Elizabeth Day is hosted by Elizabeth Day, produced by Naomi Mantin and Chris Sharp. We love hearing from you! To contact us, email howtofailpod@gmail.com *  Social Media: Elizabeth Day @elizabday Frankie Bridge @frankiebridge        
For this extra-special bonus episode, I'm delighted to welcome Lemn Sissay to the podcast. Lemn is a poet, author and broadcaster whose memoir, My Name Is Why, is one of the most moving I have ever read. In it, he writes about his childhood - the son of Ethiopian parents who was wrongly given up for adoption as a baby and fostered by a white, working-class family in Lancashire. At the age of 12, he was told by his adoptive family that they would be putting him in a children's home and would never contact him again. He spent the next five years in a succession of brutal institutions during which he had a mental breakdown. In these dark times, the light of his poetry began to form. It is astonishing, then, that Lemn is such a gloriously expansive interviewee. You know when people talk about good energy? Lemn has good energy by the bucketload. There is not a trace of bitterness in his demeanour, in spite of what he has been through, and he's unafraid to be vulnerable and honest, even though his early life was a succession of betrayals. He joins me to talk about his failure to belong to the family he spent his life searching for, his failure to marry or have children (Lemn is the first male guest to have chosen this as a failure, which in itself is pretty fascinating), why he gave up drinking and his failure to be the poet he wishes he could be. Along the way, we talk about the power of human resilience and what family really means. Oh, and his dislike of cauliflower. This is a deeply inspiring and humbling interview. You might want to have the tissues ready.   * The How To Fail Live tour is almost over. SNIFF! There are limited tickets left for Belfast with Sinead Burke (14th November) and Gateshead (8th December). Dublin with Amy Huberman (15th November) has SOLD OUT! Thank you! These events are not recorded as podcasts so the only way to be there is to book tickets via www.faneproductions.com/howtofail *  The Sunday Times Top 5 bestselling book of the podcast, How To Fail: Everything I've Ever Learned From Things Going Wrong by Elizabeth Day, is out now and is available here.   To contact us, email howtofailpod@gmail.com *  My Name Is Why by Lemn Sissay is out now, published by Canongate, and available to order here * This BONUS SPECIAL episode of How To Fail With Elizabeth Day is sponsored by Sceptre, publishers of The Scriptures by Phoebe Waller-Bridge. This is the complete Fleabag. Every word. Every side-eye. Every fox. Out now. Available from Waterstones, online, and all good bookshops.   Social Media: Elizabeth Day @elizabday Lemn Sissay @lemnsissay Sceptre Books @sceptrebooks              
Today, I welcome Shirlie Kemp to the podcast. She was an 80s icon: a backing dancer for Wham! who ACTUALLY APPEARED IN THE MUSIC VIDEO FOR 'LAST CHRISTMAS', as well as being a best friend to George Michael until his untimely death in 2016 at the age of 53. She was also one-half of the pop duo Pepsi & Shirlie and the wife of Martin Kemp, of Spandau Ballet fame (fun fact: their son, Roman, is the Capital Radio DJ). Shirlie joins me to talk about what went on behind the scenes of fame and her memories of George, including the last conversation they ever had. She talks about her challenging council estate upbringing, feeling a failure at school and developing an eating disorder in her teens. We also discuss her long journey to self-confidence as a woman and how she and Martin coped with his brain tumour diagnosis in 1995, and what got them through those tough times as a couple. And we touch on the mean photography teacher whose criticism she will NEVER FORGET (but more fool him, because now she's an amazing photographer so there). Thank you for coming on How To Fail, Shirlie: you are truly the loveliest woman.    * The How To Fail Live tour has now started! I will be at various venues around the UK and Ireland over the next two months, sharing my failure manifesto with the help of some very special guests. Limited tickets left! These events are not recorded as podcasts so the only way to be there is to book tickets via www.faneproductions.com/howtofail *  The Sunday Times Top 5 bestselling book of the podcast, How To Fail: Everything I've Ever Learned From Things Going Wrong by Elizabeth Day, is out now and is available here. * Shirlie and Martin Kemp are releasing a joint album, In The Swing of It, next month. You can pre-order it here. *  This season of How To Fail With Elizabeth Day is hosted by Elizabeth Day, produced by Naomi Mantin and Chris Sharp and sponsored by Sweaty Betty. Sweaty Betty are offering listeners 20% off full-price items with the code HOWTOFAIL To contact us, email howtofailpod@gmail.com *  Social Media: Elizabeth Day @elizabday Shirlie Kemp @shirliekemp Sweaty Betty @sweatybetty                  
So. This podcast episode almost didn't happen because I'd forgotten to put it into my iCal (I find any diary that isn't paper so confusing, don't you?) and on the allotted day, I had a text from sound engineer Chris saying 'We're outside!'. Needless to say, I was not inside. I was half-an-hour away having breakfast with my friend Viv. It is a testament to Adam Pearson's kindness that, when I spoke to him, harassed and sweating as I ran for the train, he didn't seem remotely put out. 'It's very on-brand to fail at turning up,' he quipped. Anyway, I'm so glad Adam stuck around because when we did sit down to record this interview, he was utterly phenomenal. Adam is a broadcaster, actor, campaigner and documentary-maker (and also Celebrity Mastermind champion) who has lived for most of his life with the incurable genetic condition, neurofibromatosis which causes benign tumours to grow along the nerves. In his case, the tumours are mostly on his face and they have severely affected his physical appearance since the age of five. Adam joins me to talk about what his condition has taught him: from standing up to bullies at school to confronting the people filming him on their cameraphones when he ventures outside. He talks about the discrimination, the name-calling and how he has managed to channel his anger into changing the world for the better. Along the way, we discuss the pressures of social media in a culture that has learned to value superficial aesthetic 'perfection' at the cost of other, more meaningful characteristics. And we talk about his failure at dating, which involves once taking a Swedish woman to Ikea (it seemed like a good idea at the time) and possibly the most offensive joke you'll ever hear about why he was barred from eHarmony - listeners of a sensitive disposition might like to turn away for that bit, but I've left it in because it will give you a sense of Adam's humour, which is an integral part of how he has learned to survive. I hope you enjoy the episode. As the man himself might say: BOOYAH. *  This episode is sponsored by Frank Body who are offering listeners 15% off when they spend £20 or more with the code HOWTOFAIL15 at checkout. * The Sunday Times Top 5 bestselling book of the podcast, How To Fail: Everything I've Ever Learned From Things Going Wrong is out now in paperback and available to buy here. * You can now buy exclusive How To Fail podcast merchandise - sweatshirts, t-shirts, mugs, post-its and notepads. The perfect gift for the failure in all of us! View the full range at howtofailshop.com * How To Fail With Elizabeth Day is hosted by Elizabeth Day, produced by Naomi Mantin and Chris Sharp. We love hearing from you! To contact us, email howtofailpod@gmail.com *  Social Media: Elizabeth Day @elizabday Adam Pearson @adam_pearson    
My guest today has the middle name Alabama-Pearl, which is pretty cool but NOT QUITE AS COOL as the fact that she's a chart-topping pop-star who has racked up three top-10 hits and recently wrote one of the best Christmas songs of all time, Loneliest Time of the Year (and I say that as a die-hard Mariah fan). Plus, my guest is still only 23 years old. Revolting. Yes, that's right, it's Mabel, a double Brit nominee and the creative brains behind the hit song Don’t Call Me Up, which was in the top 40 for four months. She was born in Malaga, went to school in Stockholm and now lives in London. Her creative lineage is quite something: Mabel's mother is Neneh Cherry, her dad Cameron McVey is a producer who has worked with Massive Attack, Portishead, All Saints and Sugababes, her uncle is Eagle-Eye Cherry and her  step-grandfather is the legendary jazz musician Don Cherry. But her talent and self-possession is all her own. Mabel joins me to talk about her failure to remember lyrics, her failure to stay vegan (which is hilarious) and her failure to sleep, which is a first on the podcast and I'm so glad she decided to broach the subject of insomnia as I know it effects so many of us and is such a debilitating thing. Thank you, Mabel, for coming on the podcast and doing your research so well that you actually read my book first. I heart you hard for that. * Talking of that book...the Sunday Times Top 5 bestselling book of the podcast, How To Fail: Everything I've Ever Learned From Things Going Wrong is out now in paperback and available to buy here.   *  This episode is sponsored by MEYA, a new meditation app that uses the power of music to switch you into a meditative state. Download the app here to experience the power of MEYA mind journeys and a new way to fit meditation into your daily routine this January.  * How To Fail With Elizabeth Day is hosted by Elizabeth Day, produced by Naomi Mantin and Chris Sharp. We love hearing from you! To contact us, email howtofailpod@gmail.com *  Social Media: Elizabeth Day @elizabday Mabel @Mabel MEYA @meya_app          
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Podcast Details

Started
Jul 13th, 2018
Latest Episode
Jul 22nd, 2020
Release Period
Weekly
No. of Episodes
76
Avg. Episode Length
About 1 hour
Explicit
No

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