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How To Fail With Elizabeth Day

How To Fail With Elizabeth Day is a podcast that celebrates the things that haven’t gone right. Every week, a new interviewee explores what their failures taught them about how to succeed better.

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  • 29.06.2022
    63 MB
    01:06:14
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    S14, Ep8 How To Fail: Asim Chaudhry

    As well as being a stone-cold legend, Asim Chaudhry is probably best known for co-creating the BAFTA-award-winning mockumentary sitcom People Just Do Nothing and if you’ve ever been on a British Airways flight and paid attention to the safety video, you’ll recognised him instantly as the inept director of a sketch involving national treasures Sir Michael Caine and Olivia Colman. He's an actor, writer, director and musician. And he's also hilarious. He joins me to chat about failing drama class and being kicked out of school with two GCSEs, the time he got deported from America (no, really) and a vicious mugging that left him questioning what life was all about. Along the way we discuss comedy as a defence mechanism, using his dad as creative inspiration and why he wasn't sure about the jeans he was wearing on the day he came to my house. -- How To Fail With Elizabeth Day is hosted by Elizabeth Day, produced by Naomi Mantin and Chris Sharp. To contact us, email [email protected] -- Social Media: Elizabeth Day @elizabday How To Fail @howtofailpod Asim Chaudhry @asimc

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  • 22.06.2022
    60 MB
    01:03:01
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    S14, Ep7 How To Fail: Benjamin Zephaniah

    Benjamin Zephaniah was the author of the first poetry collection I ever owned. For many of us, he was the chronicler of our youth: a novelist and poet who made language exciting and funny and told stories full of action and hilarity. I was so excited to get to speak to him for today's episode, and he didn't let me down. We talk about his failure as a 'gangsta' - and his early brushes with the law (he served a prison sentence for burglary) as well as what being incarcerated taught him. We talk about his failures at school, his dyslexia and leaving mainstream education at the age of 13. And, in one of the most emotional conversations I've ever had on the topic, we talk about his failure to have children and his own journey with male infertility. It's the first time I've spoken about fertility struggles with a male guest, and it's a conversation I'll never forget. Just a note to say: we both get emotional and if you're feeling in a fragile space yourself because you're going through something similar, you might understandably want to come back to this episode later. On the other hand, it might be exactly what you need to remind you that you're not alone. -- This episode is airing on Windrush Day in the UK, 22nd June, a legacy Zephaniah explores in his latest book for children, We Sang Across the Sea: The Empire Windrush and Me, available to order here: https://www.waterstones.com/book/we-sang-across-the-sea-the-empire-windrush-and-me/benjamin-zephaniah/onyinye-iwu/9780702311161 -- How To Fail With Elizabeth Day is hosted by Elizabeth Day, produced by Naomi Mantin and Chris Sharp. To contact us, email [email protected] -- Social Media: Elizabeth Day @elizabday How To Fail @howtofailpod Benjamin Zephaniah @BZephaniah

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  • 15.06.2022
    53 MB
    55:53
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    S14, Ep6 How To Fail: Warsan Shire

    TW // eating disorders I'm biased but oh my goodness, I love this guest and this episode SO much. Ahead of Refugee Week, which runs 20-26th June, it is my honour to welcome the poet Warsan Shire to the podcast. Warsan was born in Kenya to Somali parents. She migrated with her family to the UK at the age of one and her powerful poem Home - which opens with the line ‘no one leaves home unless home is the mouth of a shark - has become the unofficial anthem to raise awareness of the refugee crisis. She's also a frequent collaborator with Beyonce - her poems are featured in the singer's seminal visual album, Lemonade. Now, at the age of 33, Warsan’s first full length collection, Bless the Daughter Raised by a Voice in Her Head, has just been published to critical acclaim. Warsan joins me to talk about her failures in everything from breastfeeding to maths. We also talk about her eating disorder and her 'failure to control it'. We discuss what 'home' really means and what it is to be a refugee. And yes, we OBVIOUSLY talk about Beyonce. Warsan is a beautiful, powerful communicator and this interview made me think and understand better. I hope you like it as much as I do. -- Warsan's poetry collection, Bless the Daughter Raised by a Voice in Her Head, is available to order here: https://www.penguin.co.uk/books/111/1119216/bless-the-daughter-raised-by-a-voice-in-her-head/9781784743703.html -- How To Fail With Elizabeth Day is hosted by Elizabeth Day, produced by Naomi Mantin and Chris Sharp. To contact us, email [email protected] -- Social Media: Elizabeth Day @elizabday How To Fail @howtofailpod Warsan Shire: @warsanshiree

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  • 10.06.2022
    45 MB
    47:00
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    S14, MID-SEASON BONUS! How To Fail: Caroline Stanbury

    Look, anyone who knows me knows of my love for reality TV. And anyone who knows anything about reality TV realises that when you get the chance to interview a bona fide Real Housewife, you jump at it. Which is why today's special bonus episode is with Caroline Stanbury. Now, if you're not versed in your Bravo TV herstory or your pre-Selling Sunset heritage, you might not have heard of Caroline. She first appeared on our screens in 2014 as one of the cast members of the (sadly) short-lived Ladies of London. Viewers were either riveted by her ice-maiden ways or really quite scared. I was one of the latter, but I couldn't stop watching. This is a woman born into privilege and old English money who went on to make her name in a completely different - and some might say, antithetical - world. Now she's back on our screens as part of The Real Housewives of Dubai. I've never interviewed anyone quite like Caroline. She is impressive almost *because of* her lack of self-reflection: she just dusts herself down and gets on with it. Which is kind of hilarious when your podcast is all about failure. But it also caused me to reflect on how rare it is to see a woman inhabit this emotional space. And I came away thinking I had things to learn from her about inner strength. This is a long way of saying: it's not a typical HTF episode. But it is a wildly entertaining one as we talk about everything from surviving divorce (and then getting married to a much younger man), failing to go to university, the loss of her first business, IVF, boarding school, the power of manifestation and yes, of COURSE, the highs and lows of reality television. Thank you Caroline - you're one in a billion. -- Caroline's podcast Divorced Not Dead is available to listen to here: https://dearmedia.com/shows/divorced-not-dead/ -- How To Fail With Elizabeth Day is hosted by Elizabeth Day, produced by Naomi Mantin and Chris Sharp. To contact us, email [email protected] -- Social Media: Elizabeth Day @elizabday How To Fail @howtofailpod Caroline Stanbury @carolinestanbury

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  • 08.06.2022
    55 MB
    58:04
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    S14, Ep5 How To Fail: Michael Rosen

    My sound engineer Chris is a lovely man, but he is not easily impressed. After an interview, if Chris says 'yeah, that was good' I know I've struck GOLD. Today's episode garnered TWO SEPARATE 'yeah that was good'(s) from Chris which is why I know it's a very special one. And of course it would be, because my guest is the truly wonderful Michael Rosen. He is the author of more than 200 books, including some of the most beloved children’s stories of all time. We’re Going on a Bear Hunt is one of his, a book which is now (terrifyingly) over 30 years old. When the Covid-19 pandemic hit in March 2020, Michael was one of the first to be hospitalised. He spent 47 days in Intensive Care, some of them in an induced coma and on a ventilator. He returned home in June to discover that his poem, These Are The Hands, had become a viral anthem for NHS care workers. He joins me to talk about all of this, as well as his failures in cricket, academia and health. In one of the most moving conversations I've ever had on this podcast, we also talk about the death of his beloved son Eddie from meningitis at the age of 18 and how Michael still feels (misplaced) guilt over what happened. Thank you Michael for being so open and vulnerable. This is a wonderful listen - but do have tissues nearby. -- Michael's latest book, Please Write Soon: a story of Two Cousins in World War II is out now an available to order here: https://blackwells.co.uk/bookshop/product/Please-Write-Soon-by-Michael-Rosen-author-Michael-Foreman-illustrator/9780702303180 -- How To Fail With Elizabeth Day is hosted by Elizabeth Day, produced by Naomi Mantin and Chris Sharp. To contact us, email [email protected] -- Social Media: Elizabeth Day @elizabday How To Fail @howtofailpod Michael Rosen @michaelrosenyes

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  • 01.06.2022
    53 MB
    55:37
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    S14, Ep4 How To Fail: Natasha Brown

    Natasha Brown is the author behind one of my favourite novels of recent years. Assembly runs to 100-pages and has already been compared to Virginia Woolf's Mrs Dalloway. It was shortlisted for both the Folio and the Goldsmiths Prize, as well as being named the Foyles Bookshop Book of the Year. It tells the story of an unnamed Black British woman working at a bank in the city, who is confronted with the numbing aggression of racist encounters and systems as she confronts a life-or-death decision. When I first met Natasha, I knew I had to get her on the podcast. She is so wise, clever and emotionally intelligent. She talks to me about failures in social media, learning French and a tele-sales job that taught her about the power of language itself. We also discuss how she feels about failure given her objective levels of success, the concept of separating your own identity from what it is you do, race as a construct and what 'privilege' really means (if anything). Also: what she learned from studying Maths at university (yes, she's one of a select bunch of novelists with a Maths degree, including David Foster Wallace...). -- Assembly by Natasha Brown is now out in paperback and available here: https://www.penguin.co.uk/books/444/444275/assembly/9780241992661.html -- How To Fail With Elizabeth Day is hosted by Elizabeth Day, produced by Naomi Mantin and Chris Sharp. To contact us, email [email protected] -- Social Media: Elizabeth Day @elizabday How To Fail @howtofailpod Natasha Brown @wordsbynatasha

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  • 25.05.2022
    43 MB
    45:49
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    S14, Ep3 How To Fail: Jarvis Cocker

    Todays' guest is Jarvis Cocker: musician, writer, broadcaster. He was the frontman of Pulp, one of the most successful 90s Britpop groups whose hit, Common People, turned Jarvis into a star at the age of 32. He joins me to talk about the vagaries of fame, his failures in acting and academia, abandonment by his father, being raised by a household of women and the impact this has had on him, as well as divorce, co-parenting, clearing out the loft and why ephemera is an important part of our culture. Plus, he gives me a Birmingham-based anecdote that I think might be one of the greatest metaphors for celebrity I've ever heard. Jarvis's book. Called Good Pop, Bad Pop, is out TOMORROW https://www.penguin.co.uk/books/111/1114959/good-pop--bad-pop/9781787330566.html He will be in conversation at the Royal Festival Hall in London at 7.30pm on Friday 27th May. Book here: https://www.southbankcentre.co.uk/whats-on/literature-poetry/jarvis-cocker-good-pop-bad-pop -- How To Fail With Elizabeth Day is hosted by Elizabeth Day, produced by Naomi Mantin and Chris Sharp. To contact us, email [email protected] --- Social Media: Elizabeth Day @elizabday How To Fail @howtofailpod Jarvis Cocker @jarvisbransoncocker

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  • 20.05.2022
    56 MB
    58:34
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    S14, Ep2 How To Fail: Minnie Driver

    Ugh. Today's guest is just SO GOOD. Minnie Driver, actress, musician and writer, was nominated for an Academy Award for Good Will Hunting and later starred in TV shows such as Will & Grace and Starstruck. Her (brilliant) debut book is called Managing Expectations and is described as a ‘tell-most memoir’. In her own words, it’s about how things not working out actually worked out in the end. She joins me to talk about her failures in acting, her failure to get an agent or to perform a convincing orgasm at an audition (a crash course in sexism in the industry), her run-ins with Harvey Weinstein, her experiences in the fakery of Hollywood and how that affected her mental health, and her self-perceived failure to get married. We also touch on the death of her beloved mother, becoming a single parent herself and what it means to be a fully-realised woman in her 50s. I adored this conversation - Minnie is so wise and eloquent and has really, truly spent time thinking about what life means. As such, she's the most perfectly imperfect guest. -- Minnie's memoir-ish, Managing Expectations is out now: https://www.waterstones.com/book/managing-expectations/minnie-driver/2928377083793 -- How To Fail With Elizabeth Day is hosted by Elizabeth Day, produced by Naomi Mantin and Chris Sharp. To contact us, email [email protected] --- Social Media: Elizabeth Day @elizabday How To Fail @howtofailpod Minnie Driver @driverminnie

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  • 18.05.2022
    42 MB
    43:54
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    S14, Ep1 How To Fail: Simu Liu

    We're back, baby! And I thought I'd open this new season with a bona fide SUPERHERO. Because that's just how we roll. My guest today is Simu Liu - the first Asian superhero in the Marvel cinematic universe and the star of the 2019 movie Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings. He also appeared in season 4 of Selling Sunset, where Chrishell tried to sell him a house (arguably the real achievement, amirite?). Simu was born in China. His parents were products of Mao's Cultural Revolution and ended up emigrating to Canada. Simu was raised by his grandparents for the first four years of his life before being taken to Canada, where he couldn't speak the language. It was an early lesson in resilience - one he would never forget. Simu joins me to talk about this, as well as his failed accountancy career, a formative heartbreak and failing to get a part in Crazy Rich Asians. Along the way we discuss 'the white gaze' and marginalisation in Hollywood, the dark days of his adolescence when he rebelled against his parents restrictive (and sometimes abusive) behaviour and...well, menstruation. Plus: how he's still friends with Chrishell and what it's like filming Greta Gerwig's Barbie. I adored our conversation because Simu came so willing to own every single one of his failures. His experience of heartbreak from a straight, male perspective was fascinating to me. And he's so smart I could just listen to him for days. -- Simu's memoir, We Were Dreamers, is published next week! Pre-order it here: https://www.waterstones.com/book/we-were-dreamers/simu-liu/9780008546472 -- How To Fail With Elizabeth Day is hosted by Elizabeth Day, produced by Naomi Mantin and Chris Sharp. To contact us, email [email protected] --- Social Media: Elizabeth Day @elizabday How To Fail @howtofailpod Simu Liu @simuliu

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  • 27.04.2022
    54 MB
    56:37
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    BETWEEN SEASON BONUS! How To Fail: Colin Hehir

    TW: This is an episode in which we talk about violence, loss and grief. This bonus episode is one of the most special, moving encounters I've ever had while doing this podcast. It was prompted by an incredible book I read while I was away over Christmas - a book unlike any other. But to explain how it came about, I need to take you back a few years. On 31st October 2015, 20-year-old Morgan Hehir was walking home after a night out with friends when he was viciously attacked by a group of strangers and stabbed in a random act of violence. He died later in hospital. In the aftermath of this tragedy, his father, Colin, started keeping a diary both of his grief and of his long fight to bring his son's killer to justice. That diary has now been turned into an extraordinary book, About A Son, written by the acclaimed novelist David Whitehouse. It’s a book that moved me to tears with its empathy and precision. And it’s a book that has brought me to Colin Hehir, who is today's guest on this very special episode of How To Fail. --- About a Son is published tomorrow. You can order it here: shorturl.at/behiI --- MAGPIE, my latest novel, is out now in the UK in paperback. You can order it here: shorturl.at/iuDEN --- How To Fail With Elizabeth Day is hosted by Elizabeth Day, produced by Naomi Mantin and Chris Sharp. To contact us, email [email protected] --- Social Media: Elizabeth Day @elizabday How To Fail @howtofailpod Colin Hehir @Hairy007

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  • 23.03.2022
    55 MB
    57:20
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    S13, BONUS EPISODE! How To Fail: Candice Carty-Williams

    So many people have requested this guest and now I'm beyond thrilled to oblige! Yes, that's right it's author Candice Carty-Williams whose first novel, Queenie, became a publishing sensation. Queenie won the 2019 Book of the Year at the British Book Awards making Carty-Williams the first Black author to do so. Now, her second novel People Person is about to be published, a TV adaptation of Queenie for Channel 4 is in the works and she’s writing an original drama for the BBC. She joins me to talk about growing up in South London, re-writing her novel through lockdown, why she regrets not having therapy sooner and what she's learned about boundaries. Plus: Amy Winehouse. She also opens up about the death of one of her closest friends and what it taught her. And: why readers assuming her books are autobiographical is actually kind of annoying. -- People Person is published next month but you can pre-order it here: https://www.waterstones.com/book/people-person/candice-carty-williams/9781398710542 --- How To Fail With Elizabeth Day is hosted by Elizabeth Day, produced by Naomi Mantin and Chris Sharp. To contact us, email [email protected] --- Social Media: Elizabeth Day @elizabday How To Fail @howtofailpod Candice Carty-Williams @candicec_w

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  • 17.03.2022
    1 MB
    01:57
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    Best Friend Therapy: trailer

    I'm launching a BRAND NEW PODCAST, hosted with my best friend (and professional therapist) Emma Reed Turrell. Best Friend Therapy launches on 28th March. Search for it wherever you get your podcasts and hit the subscribe button now to make sure you never miss an episode! Two best friends. One therapist. Zero filter.

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  • 16.03.2022
    50 MB
    52:54
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    S13, BONUS EPISODE! How To Fail: Ashley Walters

    Yes, it's the one and only Top Boy himself: Ashley Walters. As Dushane, the East London drug kingpin in Netflix's hit show Top Boy, Walters is our favourite kind of antihero - and it’s a role he’s about to reprise for the fourth series. He joins me to talk about his own upbringing in Peckham, South London, an only child raised on a council estate by his mother, Pamela, and what it was like combining that reality with a burgeoning love for acting which sometimes felt like a double life. Plus, his failure to have invented Deliveroo (it's a long story), what prison taught him, the failure of toxic masculinity, his failure to remember lines and what being recognised by strangers has made him feel about this inner worth. I love love LOVE this episode because Ashley was so open and vulnerable in a way that just adds to his power. Enjoy! --- How To Fail With Elizabeth Day is hosted by Elizabeth Day, produced by Naomi Mantin and Chris Sharp. To contact us, email [email protected] --- Social Media: Elizabeth Day @elizabday How To Fail @howtofailpod Ashley Walters @ashleywalters

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  • 02.03.2022
    57 MB
    01:00:10
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    S13, Ep8 How To Fail: Delia Smith

    Yes, it's the SEASON FINALE so you bet I'm going to use CapsLock. And for our final episode of Season 13, I speak to the cooking legend that is Delia Smith. But if you're expecting a chat about her failure to poach an egg in 1986, you're very much mistaken. Because, at 80, Delia has just written a new book about the meaning of life. Called You Matter, it's an insightful inquisition into what it is to be human. She joins me to talk about human evolution and where it's leading us, as well as why failure is an integral part of getting to know ourselves. This is such an interesting episode: I loved chatting to Delia but we didn't spend that long on her actual three failures. Instead we talked more broadly about life, love, loss, faith, meditation (without using that specific word) and everything in between. She tells me about what it's like to be a cooking icon, why she hates Masterchef and the sous-vide machine and yes, we do talk about THAT moment of 'let's be having you' at the Norwich City football match. She opens up about being a woman who doesn't have children in the public eye, her failure to pass the 11 plus and how that shaped the rest of her life, and her love of Pharrell Williams. It was a joy to have such an unexpected conversation. I hope you like it too - and we'll be back soon with some bonus episodes. PLURAL. -- I'm doing a live show! Come along to the Royal Festival Hall at 4pm on Sunday 13th March and join me, the wonderful Andi Oliver and Jordan Stephens, for an afternoon of chats and laughter and, yes, failure. I'll be interviewing the two of them, chat-show style, and then YOU will get a chance to ask us all your questions. Hope to see you there. You can book tickets here: https://www.southbankcentre.co.uk/whats-on/literature-poetry/sunday-afternoon-wow-elizabeth-day?eventId=890800 -- Delia's new book, You Matter, is out tomorrow and available to order here: https://www.waterstones.com/book/you-matter/delia-smith/9781912914333 -- The YouTube video with Karim Sulayman that Delia mentions in this episode is here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lCy8Cfvoe6g --- How To Fail With Elizabeth Day is hosted by Elizabeth Day, produced by Naomi Mantin and Chris Sharp. To contact us, email [email protected] --- Social Media: Elizabeth Day @elizabday How To Fail @howtofailpod

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  • 23.02.2022
    64 MB
    01:07:40
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    S13, Ep7 How To Fail: Dr Rangan Chatterjee

    Rangan Chatterjee is one of the most influential doctors in the UK and has pioneered a different kind of approach in healing the sick. He believes almost everyone has the ability to transform their health and their happiness through making small, sustainable everyday changes. It shouldn't be revolutionary - but it is. And it's a message he's taken to TV, radio and his own hit podcast, Feel Better, Live More. He joins me to talk about how why happiness is like a 'three-legged stool', why self-compassion is a superpower and why he once slapped himself on the face while playing pool. He opens up about his self-perceived failure to look after his son during a terrifying illness, his failure to lose well and his failure to be himself. Rangan is such a lovely, kind man. I feel so jealous of anyone who gets to have him as their GP (although I do actually love my GP...shout out to the Mawbey Group Practice massive! Whoop whoop!) Anyway, I hope you enjoy putting this episode in your ears. -- Rangan's new book, Happy Mind Happy Life: 10 Simple Ways to Feel Great Every Day is available to preorder here https://www.waterstones.com/book/happy-mind-happy-life/dr-rangan-chatterjee/9780241397855 --- How To Fail With Elizabeth Day is hosted by Elizabeth Day, produced by Naomi Mantin and Chris Sharp. To contact us, email [email protected] --- Social Media: Elizabeth Day @elizabday How To Fail @howtofailpod Rangan Chatterjee @drchatterjee

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  • 16.02.2022
    57 MB
    01:00:13
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    S13, Ep6 How To Fail: Self Esteem

    I'm so excited about today's guest. Self Esteem has been providing me with my preferred soundtrack for life, the universe and just about everything since the release of her BRILLIANT second album, Prioritise Pleasure, last year. I'm not the only one who's obsessed - it was the Guardian's album of the year and earned her a Brit Award nomination. If you haven't yet listened to her soaringly beautiful anthem, I Do This All The Time, then do that right after you've heard this. Promise? Ok, then. Rebecca Lucy Taylor, was born and raised in Rotherham, before becoming one half of indie folk duo Slow Club. When the band broke up, Taylor reinvented herself as a solo artist. Her name? Self Esteem. She joins me to talk about her failure to get into drama school, her failure to 'make it' in music, and her failure at 'happy ever after' in relationships. We also discuss body image, toxic partners and what success really means. It's a goodie. Enjoy. --- How To Fail With Elizabeth Day is hosted by Elizabeth Day, produced by Naomi Mantin and Chris Sharp. To contact us, email [email protected] --- Social Media: Elizabeth Day @elizabday How To Fail @howtofailpod Self Esteem @selfesteemselfesteem

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  • 09.02.2022
    52 MB
    55:10
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    S13, Ep5 How to Fail: Munya Chawawa

    Munya Chawawa is the comedian who repeatedly went viral during the pandemic thanks to his hilarious social media videos. His parody of the Shaggy song, It Wasn’t Me, in which he satirised the former health secretary Matt Hancock’s extra-marital dalliance, has been viewed over a million times on YouTube. He's also a presenter on the Channel 4 show Complaints Welcome and was nominated for a 2021 MOBO Award for Best Media Personality. Munya joins me to talk about Zimbabwean discipline, the art of satire and dressing up as a urine sample (yes, you did read that correctly). We also talk about his A-Level failure and that one time he accidentally sent a nude he really regrets. Prepare to laugh until your belly aches. --- How To Fail With Elizabeth Day is hosted by Elizabeth Day, produced by Naomi Mantin and Chris Sharp. To contact us, email [email protected] --- Social Media: Elizabeth Day @elizabday How To Fail @howtofailpod Munya Chawawa @munyachawawa

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  • 02.02.2022
    65 MB
    01:07:43
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    S13, Ep 4 How To Fail: Andi Oliver

    TW // eating disorders and discussion of racist experiences Oh be still my beating heart, because today's episode is with one of my favourite people on this planet! She is Andi Oliver, TV presenter extraordinaire, beloved cook and restauranteur, and my sister from another mister. On screen, you will see her presenting Great British Menu, the Sky Arts Book Club (with yours truly) and an array of acclaimed documentaries, including her most recent: The Caribbean with Andi and Miquita. Andi came to How To Fail with a total willingness to be vulnerable. We talk about her failure to crack the music industry and the death of her beloved brother, Sean, at the age of 27. We talk about her failure, as she puts it, 'to stop berating myself for not being in a much slimmer body' which leads us into one of the most moving conversations I've ever had about the terrible cost of living with an eating disorder. We talk about her experiences of racism growing up in rural England and how she grew to love herself. And we talk about her failure to find a sustainable work-life balance. Although we go deep, I promise there are plenty of laughs along the way. I love Andi and I just know, after listening to this, you will too. --- How To Fail With Elizabeth Day is hosted by Elizabeth Day, produced by Naomi Mantin and Chris Sharp. To contact us, email [email protected] --- Social Media: Elizabeth Day @elizabday How To Fail @howtofailpod Andi Oliver @andioliver

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  • 26.01.2022
    47 MB
    49:51
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    S13, Ep3 How To Fail: Alan Cumming

    *TW // brief mention of childhood abuse* Alan Cumming is a highly acclaimed actor on both stage and screen. He's played everything from Hamlet to a James Bond villain - and, of course, the political spinmeister Eli Gold on seven seasons of The Good Wife. His latest memoir, Baggage, was published last year and was described as 'wonderful, witty and wise' by Nigella Lawson. He joins me to talk about his self-stated failure to have children, his failure to see Kate Bush live and - bear with me - his failure to spit. Yes, you read that correctly. This was such a deep and stimulating conversation. We cover so much, including Alan's abusive upbringing at the hands of his father and what that taught him about self-worth, vulnerability and sexuality. I am so grateful for Alan's curiosity about life and his refusal to shy away from the darker stuff. And also for teaching me why memory is like drained spaghetti... (Trust me: it's a good metaphor). --- Alan Cumming's latest memoir, Baggage, is out now and available to buy here: https://canongate.co.uk/books/4160-baggage-tales-from-a-fully-packed-life/ --- How To Fail With Elizabeth Day is hosted by Elizabeth Day, produced by Naomi Mantin and Chris Sharp. To contact us, email [email protected] --- Social Media: Elizabeth Day @elizabday How To Fail @howtofailpod Alan Cumming @alancummingsnaps

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  • 19.01.2022
    58 MB
    01:01:26
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    S13, Ep2 How To Fail: Steven Bartlett

    Today's guest is Steven Bartlett: millionaire by 25, Sunday Times bestseller by 28, the youngest ever Dragon on Dragon's Den by 29. He's also the host of The Diary of a CEO podcast, which recently reached the number one slot on both Apple Podcasts and Spotify. And all this before his 30th birthday. Honestly, I'd have to hate him if I didn't think he was so great. Steven joins me to talk about his first business failing, a relationship break-up, toxic masculinity, his failure to tap into his feminine side, the art of making decisions and the power of knowing when to quit. I went on Steven's podcast last year, and it felt as though this chat was a natural companion piece to that: just two people, opening up about the stuff that counts. I'm blown away by Steven's insight, vulnerability and strength and it was such a pleasure to chat to him and learn from him. --- Steven's live tour kicks off next month. It's currently sold out but to be alerted first with new tickets, visit https://thediaryofaceolive.com/ --- How To Fail With Elizabeth Day is hosted by Elizabeth Day, produced by Naomi Mantin and Chris Sharp. To contact us, email [email protected] --- Social Media: Elizabeth Day @elizabday How To Fail @howtofailpod Steven Bartlett @steven

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  • 12.01.2022
    53 MB
    56:12
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    S13, Ep1 How To Fail: Brené Brown

    We’re back for a brand new season and PINCH ME BECAUSE I TRULY CAN’T BELIEVE I’M WRITING THIS but… Our first guest of 2022 is… The one, the only… Brené Brown. I’m a huge admirer of Brené’s work, much of which laid the groundwork for the formation of this podcast. She has spent the past two decades researching and changing the global conversation around courage, shame, empathy and vulnerability. She is a professor at the University of Houston, the the author of five number one New York Times bestsellers, the host of the weekly podcast Unlocking Us, which averages one million listens per episode and her 2010 TED talk, ‘The Power of Vulnerability’ is one of the most-watched of all time. Her latest book, Atlas of the Heart, takes the reader on a journey through 87 emotions and experiences that define what it means to be human. Brené joins me to talk about the failure of her first book, failure to prize consistency over intensity and her multiple failed hobbies ‘where buying the supplies was more fun than the actual hobby.’ I loved this conversation so much because of the truth bombs it contains (I was feverishly writing notes so I would’t forget any of what she said) but also because Brené speaks with such honesty, clarity and humour about what it is to be human and how to make sense of the world. Even if this weren’t actually my podcast, I’d tell you this episode is a must-listen. -- Buy Atlas of the Heart here: shorturl.at/bgEZ6 Visit Brené's website here: https://brenebrown.com/ Listen to Brené's podcasts here: https://brenebrown.com/podcasts/ Watch Brené's TED talk here: https://www.ted.com/speakers/brene_brown --- How To Fail With Elizabeth Day is hosted by Elizabeth Day, produced by Naomi Mantin and Chris Sharp. To contact us, email [email protected] --- Social Media: Elizabeth Day @elizabday How To Fail @howtofailpod Brene Brown @brenebrown

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  • 06.01.2022
    853 MB
    00:54
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    How To Fail: Season 13 Trailer

    We're back! Season 13 launches on 12th January. Subscribe now to be the first to hear new episodes.

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  • 27.12.2021
    62 MB
    01:05:09
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    TWIXMAS BONUS EPISODE! How To Fail: Clemency Burton-Hill

    This one comes to you straight from my heart. Clemmie Burton-Hill is one of my closest friends. She is also one of the most accomplished and brilliant people I know - a gifted violinist, a wonderful author, a talented actor, a peerless broadcaster, a fantastic mother, a wildly loyal friend. But in January 2020, her life changed forever. Clemmie suffered a brain haemorrhage and a massive stroke. She underwent emergency surgery and spent 17 days in a coma. When she regained consciousness, it was to a radically different reality. Clemmie had to relearn how to walk, talk and write. She had to re-learn how to be. No-one was sure how much of her brain she would recover. And yet, Clemmie set about defying every single medical expectation made of her. Now, almost two years later, she is miraculously herself again. Her recovery is still ongoing, but in the midst of this personal trauma she has achieved the unimaginable and written a new book. Another Year of Wonder is a follow-up to her much-loved Year of Wonder, and offers up one extraordinary piece of music to listen to every day of the year. This interview will leave you changed. It will remind you of the beauty of life, even in the midst of extreme suffering. It will show you what it truly is to be human. -- You can buy Another Year of Wonder by Clemency Burton-Hill here. -- If you've been affected by any of the issues discussed in this episode, you can contact Headway, the brain injury charity, here. --- How To Fail With Elizabeth Day is hosted by Elizabeth Day, produced by Naomi Mantin and Chris Sharp. To contact us, email [email protected] --- Social Media: Elizabeth Day @elizabday How To Fail @howtofailpod Clemency Burton-Hill @clemencybh

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  • 25.12.2021
    4 MB
    05:01
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    How to Fail: A Christmas Message 2021

    With love from me to you on Christmas Day. This might not be the Christmas you expected or wanted or felt like you deserved but you're not alone. Here's to another day passing, and to the next day being full of possibility. -- Whatever you're going through, a Samaritan will face it with you. They are there 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Call 116 123 for free or email [email protected]

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  • 03.11.2021
    58 MB
    01:01:01
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    S12, BONUS EPISODE How to Fail: Holly Willoughby

    Oh what a truly lovely bonus episode I have for you today! I'm so delighted that I get to welcome the one and only Holly Willoughby onto the podcast. As the co-presenter of ITV's This Morning, she is a combination of daytime TV icon, national best friend and highly infectious giggler (if you need a boost, just YouTube this). But she's also now a BESTSELLING AUTHOR - her book Reflections was published last week and swiftly shot to the number one slot on Amazon. And she recently launched her own lifestyle and wellness platform, Wylde Moon. Holly joins me to talk about her failure to be present, her failure to to live by her own set of beliefs and falling into the trap of meeting other people's expectations and her failure 'to be an individual'. Along the way we discuss fame, body image and 'repackaging jealousy as possibility' (I know! It's a quote from her book! So good!). It's such a wonderful, open-hearted conversation and I'm so grateful to Holly for sharing her beautiful vulnerability with me. -- You can buy Reflections by Holly Willoughby here -- My new novel, Magpie, is out now. You can order it here. --- How To Fail With Elizabeth Day is hosted by Elizabeth Day, produced by Naomi Mantin and Chris Sharp. To contact us, email [email protected] --- Social Media: Holly Willoughby @hollywilloughby Elizabeth Day @elizabday How To Fail @howtofailpod

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  • 20.10.2021
    71 MB
    01:14:25
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    S12, Ep8 How to Fail: Meg Mason

    For the final episode of this season of How To Fail, I bring you the author of one of my favourite books of recent years. She is Meg Mason and her novel, Sorrow & Bliss, was the novel of the summer, lauded by everyone from Ann Patchett to Gillian Anderson via Olivia Wilde who was pictured reading it while on a yacht on holiday with Harry Styles. True facts. Meg, a New Zealander who lives in Sydney, wrote a quintessentially British book that was at once utterly tender and riotously funny, about sisterly love, mental illness, the complexities of marriage, family pain and what it means to be human (complete with references to slag-heaps and a dishevelled Kate Moss). It is STUNNING and if you haven't read it yet, you must. In the meantime, have a listen to this episode which - like Meg's writing - is poignant, humane and true. We talk about failures both creative and personal - how people telling her she had her children too young made her almost believe it, how she regrets writing an 'angry' memoir, and how she fell-out with a childhood friend and almost lost her forever. If you've ever been through a friendship break-up, then this one's for you. I love Meg and I love this episode. It seemed an utterly perfect way to end our season. But, don't worry. We'll be back soon. -- You can buy Sorrow & Bliss by Meg Mason here -- My new novel, Magpie, is out now. You can order it here. --- How To Fail With Elizabeth Day is hosted by Elizabeth Day, produced by Naomi Mantin and Chris Sharp. To contact us, email [email protected] --- Social Media: Elizabeth Day @elizabday How To Fail @howtofailpod

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  • 13.10.2021
    53 MB
    55:32
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    S12, Ep7 How to Fail: Lady Hale

    Well this one was quite intimidating, to be honest. My guest this week is Baroness Hale of Richmond, one of this country's finest legal minds. She was the first woman President of the supreme court, the youngest and first female commissioner to be appointed to the Law Commission and has been dubbed the Beyoncé of the legal world owing to her popularity among young law students. But you might just know her best for her spider brooch, which she wore in 2019 while delivering a stinging ruling finding Boris Johnson’s prorogation of Parliament to be unlawful. Her memoir, Spider Woman: A Life, has just been published. Lady Hale joins me to talk about battling sexism in law, her failures at school and academia, the loss of her father at a young age, the death of her beloved husband during Covid and her 'abject failure to knit a dishcloth aged five.' Along the way we cover, Beyonce, spiders, Ian McEwan and much, much more. -- Spider Woman: A Life is out now. You can order your copy here. -- My new novel, Magpie, is out now. You can order it here. --- How To Fail With Elizabeth Day is hosted by Elizabeth Day, produced by Naomi Mantin and Chris Sharp. To contact us, email [email protected] --- Social Media: Elizabeth Day @elizabday How To Fail @howtofailpod

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  • 06.10.2021
    58 MB
    01:00:57
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    S12, Ep6 How to Fail: Stanley Tucci

    Today, I welcome the inimitable Stanley Tucci. His talents are legion: he's an Academy Award nominated actor whose credits include everything from The Devil Wears Prada to The Hunger Games and Julie & Julia. He's also a notable foodie, and the presenter of the Emmy-award-winning Searching for Italy and a beautiful memoir, Taste: My Life Through Food, which is published on Thursday. And, of course, he's the negroni-making Instagram sensation whose lockdown cocktail skills launched a thousand salivating online comments. Stanley joins me to talk about his failure to swim, his self-perceived failure to direct and his failure to help his first wife, Kate, when she was dying of cancer. He is everything you would expect him to be: charming, urbane, eloquent, funny and profoundly moving. I absolutely loved recording this episode and I hope you love listening to it too. What. A. Guy. -- Taste: My Life in Food is out on Thursday. You can preorder your copy here. -- My new novel, Magpie, is out now. You can order it 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 [email protected] --- Social Media: Stanley Tucci @stanleytucci Elizabeth Day @elizabday How To Fail @howtofailpod

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  • 29.09.2021
    57 MB
    59:45
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    S12, Ep 5 How to Fail: Ruby Tandoh

    [TW: eating disorders] Oh but how I *love* today's guest. Ruby Tandoh is the former Great British Bake Off contestant who went on to write cookery books, a manifesto for eating what you want (Eat Up), a column for the Guardian and pieces for the New Yorker, among other prestigious publications. Her new book, published next month, is called Cook As You Are and contains 100 original recipes accessible to real home cooks, no matter their age, budget, ability or background. She joins me to talk about her failures at university (dropping out of four different degree courses and counting), her failures at cooking (no, really) and her failure to 'rise above things'. Along the way, we chat about short attention spans, spontaneity, calling people out on hypocrisy, regrets and why she keeps comparing men she doesn't like to types of ham on Twitter. -- Cook As You Are: Recipes for Real Life, Hungry Cooks and Messy Kitchens is out on 7th Oct and available to preorder here. -- My new novel, Magpie, is out now. You can order it 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 [email protected] --- Social Media: Ruby Tandoh @ruby.tandoh Elizabeth Day @elizabday How To Fail @howtofailpod

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  • 15.09.2021
    49 MB
    52:08
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    S12, Ep3 How to Fail: Phil Wang

    Today my guest is the excellent Phil Wang, stand-up comedian and soon-to-be published author. As a comic, Wang has appeared on a host of comedy panel shows including Would I Lie To You? and 8 out of 10 Cats. During the pandemic, he became the first UK comedian to tape and release a Netflix special at a sold-out London Palladium. His new memoir, Sidesplitter: How To Be From Two Worlds At Once examines his dual identity as the son of a white British mother and a Chinese-Malaysian father. He joins me to talk about failed shows, failed sporting endeavours and failing to learn Mandarin. We also discuss racism, introversion, height and why we're perfectly matched tennis partners. -- Sidesplitter by Phil Wang is out on 16th September. You can preorder it here. -- My new novel, Magpie, is out now. You can order it 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 [email protected] --- Social Media: Phil Wang @PhilNWang Elizabeth Day @elizabday How To Fail @howtofailpod

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  • 08.09.2021
    59 MB
    01:01:56
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    S12, Ep2 How to Fail: Jacqueline Wilson

    Dame Jacqueline Wilson is the beloved children’s author of over 100 books and the creator of one of the most memorable characters of all time: Tracy Beaker. But it wasn’t until her 40s that Jacqueline became a bestseller. Now, at 75, she remains as indefatigable as ever. Her latest book, The Primrose Railway Children, a reimagining of E. Nesbit’s children’s classic, is published next week. She joins me to talk about her failure to be practical, her failure as an actress and her failure to be healthy. In person, she's just as charmingly unforgettable as her fictional heroines. Enjoy! -- The Primrose Railway Children by Jacqueline Wilson is out on 16th September. You can preorder it here. -- My new novel, Magpie, is out now. You can order it 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 [email protected] --- Social Media: Jacqueline Wilson @FansofJWilson Elizabeth Day @elizabday How To Fail @howtofailpod

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  • 02.09.2021
    68 MB
    01:11:17
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    BONUS EPISODE! How to Fail: Tanya Reynolds

    Today, to mark the publication of my new novel Magpie, I bring you an EXTRA-SPECIAL TREAT in the form of the wonderful Tanya Reynolds. Tanya is a brilliant actress who plays Lily in the hit Netflix show Sex Education and was recently seen on our screens as Mrs Elton in the remake of Emma, starring Anya Taylor-Joy. She's ridiculously talented, an all-round legend and also, as my tremendous good luck would have it, the audiobook narrator for Magpie - this episode even includes an exclusive chapter. Tanya joins me to talk about her failure to get into drama school, her failure to make decisions, the life-changing art of improv and her failure to 'spend her time wisely'. Highly relatable and hilarious. Enjoy! --- If this episode whetted your appetite, you can buy the rest of Magpie on audiobook here You can also order it in other formats 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 [email protected] --- Social Media: Tanya Reynolds @tanyaloureynolds Elizabeth Day @elizabday How To Fail @howtofailpod

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  • 01.09.2021
    56 MB
    59:21
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    S12, Ep1 How to Fail: Derren Brown

    My first guest for Season 12 is mind-blowing in the truest sense of the word. Derren Brown has had a 20-year television and stage career, during which he has deployed magic, suggestion, psychology, misdirection and showmanship with extraordinary - and sometimes - controversial results. He played Russian roulette live on screen. He predicted the results of the National Lottery. He convinced law-abiding citizens to rob a bank. He's also a painter and bestselling author. All of the facets of his career have been linked by his intense curiosity about human nature. His new release, A Book of Secrets, considers the value of difficulty in our lives so, yes, he's PERFECT for How To Fail! He joins me to talk about failed driving tests, social anxiety and what failing on stage has taught him about life. This was such a profoundly stimulating conversation - and I hope it blows your mind as much as it did mine. --- Derren's new book, A Book of Secrets, is available to order here. --- My new novel, Magpie, is out TOMORROW. You can order it 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 [email protected] --- Social Media: Derren Brown @derrenbrown Elizabeth Day @elizabday How To Fail @howtofailpod

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  • 28.07.2021
    66 MB
    01:09:41
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    S11, BONUS EPISODE How to Fail: Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

    When I started this podcast, I had a list of dream guests.* At the top was Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie. Her third novel, Americanah, is one of my favourite books of all time. I can remember exactly where I was when I read it. I was moved by the power of its epic sweep, the brilliance of its observations and the characters who made your heart break. But although she's an amazing writer, Chimamanda's cultural reach goes much further than the literary world. Her TED Talks are among the most viewed of all time. Beyoncé sampled her words in Flawless. Anything she writes, whether it be fiction, essays or commentary attracts global attention. Her latest book, Notes on Grief, is an essay examining the devastation of her father’s unexpected death in June 2020. In March 2021, there followed a second heartbreak: the death of her mother, on what would have been her father’s 89th birthday. Chimamanda joins me to talk about those terrible losses, the grief and rage it has left her with and how she is trying to cope. She also talks about being a daughter, motherhood, fertility and her unsuccessful attempts to conceive a second child, her frustration that she can't seem to write more at the speed she would like and...well, Kim Kardashian. NB: This interview was recorded before Chimamanda's recent blog post on cancel culture which is why we don't talk about it. And a further note: this is an emotional listen that explores the raw depths of grief, so if you're not in that frame of mind, maybe leave it for another day. But if you want to hear someone eloquently explain what grief feels like to go through and what to do with the pain, then this is for you. Thank you Chimamanda, for your honesty and your power. *Michelle Obama, Stormzy, Dr Dre and Michael Jordan, since you ask. I've recently added Marcus Rashford to the list. ---- Notes on Grief by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie is out now and available to buy here. --- My new novel, Magpie, is out on 2nd September. I'd love it if you felt like pre-ordering as it really helps authors! You can do that here. --- This episode is sponsored by Sweaty Betty. Use the code HOWTOFAIL at check out to get 20% off. 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 [email protected] --- Social Media: Elizabeth Day @elizabday How To Fail @howtofailpod Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie @chimamanda_adichie

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  • 14.07.2021
    52 MB
    54:18
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    S11, Ep8 How to Fail: Maggie O'Farrell

    For our season finale, I bring you the glorious Maggie O'Farrell. She is one of my favourite authors, and her books include the highly acclaimed novels After You'd Gone, The Hand That First Held Mine, Instructions for a Heatwave and the bestselling memoir I Am, I Am, I Am. Her most recent work of fiction, Hamnet, imagined the untold story of Shakespeare’s son who died at the age of 11. It won the 2020 Women’s Prize. She joins me to talk about resurrecting the untold stories of women, how to be a writer and a parent (Cyril Connolly and his 'pram in the hallway' come in for a bit of a bashing) as well as how she applies concepts of success and failure to her books. She talks about her stammer and her failure to do a PhD and we also discuss how a childhood illness changed her forever, and the various physical repercussions that she still lives with. Plus: why she always finds the back of a tapestry far more interesting than the front... * Hamnet by Maggie O'Farrell is out now. You can buy all her books here. * My new novel, Magpie, is out on 2nd September. I'd love it if you felt like pre-ordering as it really helps authors! You can do that 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 [email protected] * Social Media: Elizabeth Day @elizabday How To Fail @howtofailpod

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  • 11.07.2021
    65 MB
    01:08:25
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    BONUS EPISODE: HEERRREE'S DOLLY!

    SHE'S BAAAAAACK! To mark the third anniversary of How To Fail, I invite back the one and only Dolly Alderton. Dolly was one of my first ever guests in the debut season of How To Fail, way back in the mists of time (by which I mean the summer of 2018). Back then, she had just published her memoir Everything I Know About Love a few months earlier. She could have had little idea of the success that was to follow: it became a bestseller, won Autobiography of the Year at the National Book Awards and was selected for Stylist magazine’s best books of the decade by remarkable woman. Dolly is now adapting the book into a BBC drama. Her first novel, Ghosts, was published last year and went straight in at Number 2 in the Sunday Times Bestseller list. It's out in paperback later this month. She was also the co-host of the hugely beloved (and sorely lamented) The High Low podcast. In public, it might have seemed as though Dolly was cresting the wave of extraordinary success. But it didn't always feel that way for her personally. She joins me to talk about the disconnect between outward success and inward sensitivity; about social media and her strategy for managing it; about love and loss and everything in between; about understanding that she is an extreme person and that's ok; and about her abject failure to bake birthday cakes. Plus she introduces me to the mind-shatteringly great concept of 'creative monogamy'. Dolly is one of my favourite people. She's kind, generous, compassionate, wise, empathetic and hilarious and her return to How To Fail demonstrates all these qualities in abundance. I'm so touched she chose to come back and speak so honestly about her experiences. And I hope you enjoy this extra-special treat of an episode. * Dolly will be turning the tables and interviewing me on 2nd September at London's Barbican to mark the publication of my new novel Magpie. If you're desperate for YET MORE OF US, I can promise an evening full of big emotion and belly-laughs. To book tickets (there's also an option to pre-order Magpie here so you'll be the first to get your hands on a copy) go to https://www.fane.co.uk /magpie See you there! * Ghosts by Dolly Alderton 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 [email protected] * Social Media: Elizabeth Day @elizabday How To Fail @howtofailpod Dolly Alderton @dollyalderton

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  • 07.07.2021
    65 MB
    01:08:41
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    S11, Ep7 How to Fail: Martine Wright

    Martine Wright is a survivor of the 7/7 London terrorist bombings. Sixteen years ago today, she was travelling on a Circle Line tube to Aldgate station on the morning of 7th July 2005, when a suicide bomber sitting three feet away from her set off an explosion that would change her life forever. She lost both of her legs and was in a coma for 10 days after which she underwent a year of intensive rehab and multiple surgeries. Astonishingly, Martine went on to become an international sitting volleyball player and represented the Great Britain’s women’s team at the 2012 Paralympics in London. This is her extraordinary story. She joins me to talk about resilience, living loss, experiencing an able-bodied world as a disabled woman, fertility, grief and how she believes catastrophic life-changes can have positive outcomes. Martine is one of the most inspiring, hopeful, strong and brilliant people I've ever had the pleasure of interviewing. You do not want to miss this episode. * You can read more in Martine's memoir Unbroken * My new novel, Magpie, is out on 2nd September. I'd love it if you felt like pre-ordering as it really helps authors! You can do that 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 [email protected] * Social Media: Elizabeth Day @elizabday How To Fail @howtofailpod Martine Wright @martine_wright

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  • 30.06.2021
    56 MB
    59:11
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    S11, Ep6 How to Fail: Paris Lees

    [TW: sexual abuse] Today, my guest is the absolute PEACH of a human that is Paris Lees. Paris is an award-winning journalist and a Contributing Editor for British Vogue. She was the first trans woman to present on BBC Radio 1 and Channel 4 and the first to appear on Question Time. Her recently published memoir, What It Feels Like For A Girl, is the uniquely told, semi-fictionalised story of her childhood in Nottinghamshire - which included a spell as a rent boy and an eight-month prison sentence for armed robbery - and the refuge she found in partying, music and, eventually, books. Paris joins me to talk about everything from dating and failed relationships to missed deadlines and trans rights. Plus we discuss what it feels like to be a highly sensitive person and how this self-perceived 'failure' has actually turned into one of her biggest strengths. * Buy Paris's memoir, What It Feels Like For A Girl, here * My new novel, Magpie, is out on 2nd September. I'd love it if you felt like pre-ordering as it really helps authors! You can do that 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 [email protected] * Social Media: Elizabeth Day @elizabday How To Fail @howtofailpod Paris Lees @parislees

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  • 23.06.2021
    58 MB
    01:01:15
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    S11, Ep5 How to Fail: Christie Watson

    Christie Watson is a nurse turned bestselling author who went back to frontline nursing during the Covid-19 pandemic. But if you were to call her a 'hero' she would refuse the label - and during the course of this interview, she tells me why. Watson left school at 16 and volunteered at a charity before training to become a nurse at Great Ormond Street Hospital. She spent the next 20 years in hospitals in various disciplines and mainly in paediatric intensive care. Alongside that, she built up a successful writing career. Her debut, Tiny Sunbirds Far Away, won the Costa First Novel Award and in 2018, she published a memoir - The Language of Kindness: A Nurse’s Story, which has been translated into 23 languages. Her most recent book, The Courage To Care, is just out in paperback. She joins me to talk about failures in nursing, motherhood and, in an especially enlightening conversation, she tells me what happened when she thought she was having a breakdown only to be diagnosed as peri-menopausal. Every woman (and man) should listen. [WARNING: contains mention of clambering into fishfinger freezers]. * The Courage To Care is out now and available to buy here. * My new novel, Magpie, is out on 2nd September. I'd love it if you felt like pre-ordering as it really helps authors! You can do that 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 [email protected] * Social Media: Elizabeth Day @elizabday How To Fail @howtofailpod Christie Watson @christiewatsonwriter

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  • 16.06.2021
    53 MB
    56:10
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    S11, Ep4 How to Fail: Guvna B

    My guest today is Guvna B, the MOBO-award winning rapper, author and broadcaster. He grew up on a council estate in East London and went on to study at the University of Hertfordshire before forging a full-time career in music. He's since released 10 albums and a memoir, Unspoken, in which he examines toxic masculinity and male identity. Guvna B - otherwise known as Isaac Borquaye - joins me to talk about the death of his father, and two of his close friends, and how he had to address his grief in order to carry on living. We discuss the power of vulnerability, fatherhood and finding 'blessings in the struggle'. We talk about faith, identity, race and inter-generational trauma. Plus we discuss failures in exams, driving tests and...erm...mobile phone storage - and why he once blew £4000 on trainers in Westfield. Thank you Isaac, for opening up with such generosity in what turned out to be a deeply inspirational conversation. * Unspoken by Guvna B is out now and available to buy here. * My new novel, Magpie, is out on 2nd September. I'd love it if you felt like pre-ordering as it really helps authors! You can do that 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 [email protected] * Social Media: Elizabeth Day @elizabday How To Fail @howtofailpod Guvna B @GuvnaB

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  • 09.06.2021
    55 MB
    58:05
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    S11, Ep3 How to Fail: Ed Miliband

    I absolutely loved this interview. Whatever your preconceptions about politicians, please set them aside, because you're about to meet Ed Miliband: former leader of the Labour Party, current shadow business secretary, fellow podcaster and author of a new book, Go Big: How To Fix Our World. Ed joins me to discuss his failure to win the 2015 general election, suffering from anxiety, failing to get the degree he worked so hard for and a failure to keep his late father, the noted Marxist academic Ralph Miliband, alive. We touch on his family history - both his parents escaped Nazi Germany and many of his relatives were killed in the Holocaust - and we consider whether carrying the hopes and dreams of previous generations makes him feel more duty-bound to succeed. Along the way, we discuss therapy, competitive swimming with Alastair Campbell, political optimism, the power of big ideas, bacon sandwiches, Ed-stones, Milibae, sibling rivalry (yes, I do ask him how things are with his brother David), Boris Johnson, fatherhood and why he'll never win an argument with his wife. Ed, thank you for coming on How To Fail with such a generous spirit and for engaging so brilliantly with the premise. You're a mensch. * Go Big: How To Fix The World by Ed Miliband is out now and available to order here. You can listen to Reasons To Be Cheerful, his excellent podcast, co-hosted with comedian Geoff Lloyd here. * My new novel, Magpie, is out on 2nd September. I'd love it if you felt like pre-ordering as it really helps authors! You can do that 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 [email protected] * Social Media: Elizabeth Day @elizabday How To Fail @howtofailpod Ed Miliband @ed_miliband

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  • 02.06.2021
    56 MB
    59:26
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    S11, Ep2 How to Fail: Jessica Ennis-Hill

    Dame Jessica Ennis-Hill is an Olympic heptathlon gold medallist and a three-time world champion. This is a woman who knows what it takes to succeed at the very highest levels, and who has learned to process failure when she doesn't win. I learned so much from her insight. And she's still only 35! We had a truly fascinating conversation about the psychology of competitiveness, the importance of loyalty and roots, how injury taught her the value of rest and how losing the 2011 World Championship to a woman who later turned out to be a drugs cheat fuelled Ennis-Hill's desire to do better. We also talk about the specific challenges facing female athletes - from dealing with heavy periods to suppressing menstrual cycles altogether in order to compete - and how the fact that these issues weren't really talked about has now motivated Ennis-Hill to make fitness more accessible to women. Plus she talks about making the difficult decision to return to athletics after the birth of her first child, and why she wishes she'd trusted her own instincts. Oh, and obviously I ask her about the London 2012 Olympics. Enjoy! * Ennis-Hill's fitness app for women, Jennis, is available here. * My new novel, Magpie, is out on 2nd September. I'd love it if you felt like pre-ordering as it really helps authors. You can do that 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 [email protected] * Social Media: Elizabeth Day @elizabday How To Fail @howtofailpod Jessica Ennis-Hill @jessicaennishill

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  • 26.05.2021
    60 MB
    01:03:18
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    S11, Ep1 How to Fail: Graham Norton

    What better way to kick off a new season of interviews by interviewing one of the very best interviewers? INTIMIDATED, ME? Pahahahahaha. We open Season 11 of How To Fail with the peerless, hilarious and warm Graham Norton. Chat show host extraordinaire, bestselling author and beloved radio presenter, he joins me to talk about his failure to become an actor, to crack America and to throw a ball (no, really). We also talk about the art of the interview, his workaholic tendencies and, in an incredibly moving exchange, his near-death experience. Plus: what he learned from being a waiter and what happens when your lifelong dream *doesn't* come true. And I ask him whether he's jealous of James Corden. We laughed. We welled up. We chatted. What a gent he is. (Graham, that is, not James. I mean, I'm sure James is too, but...you know what I mean...ok I'm going now...byeeee!) * Graham Norton's latest novel, Home Stretch, is out now in paperback and available to order here. * My new novel, Magpie, is out on 2nd September. I'd love it if you felt like pre-ordering as it really helps authors. You can do that 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 [email protected] * Social Media: Elizabeth Day @elizabday How To Fail @howtofailpod Graham Norton @grahnort

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  • 12.05.2021
    61 MB
    01:03:52
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    BONUS EPISODE How to Fail: Dr Alex George

    TW: discussions about suicide For Mental Health Awareness Week, we have a very special bonus episode with Dr Alex George. A former Love Island contestant who after exiting the villa, returned to his job as an A&E doctor. Throughout the Covid-19 pandemic, he’s been hard at work on the frontline. Behind the scenes, he has had to cope with devastating personal tragedy - his younger brother, Llyr, died by suicide in July 2020. Alex’s openness about his own mental health has been a comfort for many, and in February he was appointed the UK’s Youth Mental Health Ambassador. This week marks the publication of his first book, Live Well Every Day. Alex joins me to talk openly about everything he’s been through - from failing to get the grades for med school to getting sunburned on Love Island. We talk about mental health, resilience, fear, depression, introversion - and why he loves bath bombs. We also talk about his brother’s death at the age of 19, the guilt Alex feels at not having known Llyr was struggling and the lifelong pain his absence has left behind. Thank you Alex, for all that you do and for trusting me with your story. * This special episode is sponsored by Jo Malone London * If you've been affected by any of the issues discussed, Samaritans are here to help. Call them for free on 116 123 or email [email protected] * Alex's book Live Well Every Day is out now and available to order here. * How To Fail With Elizabeth Day is hosted by Elizabeth Day and produced by Naomi Mantin and Chris Sharp. We love hearing from you! To contact us, email [email protected] * Social Media: Dr Alex George @dralexgeorge Elizabeth Day @elizabday How To Fail @howtofailpod Jo Malone London @jomalonelondon

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  • 07.04.2021
    49 MB
    51:44
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    S10, BONUS EPISODE How to Fail: Adrian Dunbar

    I'm almost too excited to write this but..for this extra-special bonus episode, I bring you none other than Adrian Dunbar: the man, the myth, the legend who plays Superintendent Ted Hastings in one of my favourite ever TV shows Line of Duty. If you're watching season six of Jed Mercurio's addictive police procedural, I suspect you will be obsessed with this interview (and yes, of course I ask him about 'H') but if you've never seen Line of Duty, I promise you'll still love it because Adrian is such a wonderful, thoughtful guest. We had a really moving conversation about growing up in Northern Ireland at the height of the Troubles, the sudden death of his father from a brain haemorrhage, the impact this had on his family and what it meant to win a place at drama college in the midst of all the uncertainty. Plus what it's like to work with Vicky McClure and Martin Compston on Line of Duty, where he gets his catchphrases from and I ask him to call me 'fella' which was joyous. That's it from me for season 10. I'll be back in a few weeks' time for a special Mental Health Week episode. Please do make sure you've subscribed so as not to miss out! And thank you, as ever, for listening. * If you'd like to listen to a How To Fail episode with another Line of Duty star, I interviewed the wonderful Vicky McClure aka Kate Fleming way back in Season 4. You can find it here. * With many thanks to Scott Bryan for permission to use his fantastic video mash-up of all Ted Hastings's catchphrases. You can follow Scott on Twitter on @scottygb * Failosophy: A Handbook for when Things Go Wrong is out now and 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 [email protected] * Social Media: Elizabeth Day @elizabday How To Fail @howtofailpod

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  • 24.03.2021
    57 MB
    59:47
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    S10, Ep8 How to Fail: Kazuo Ishiguro

    It's the season finale, so obviously I insisted our last guest be a Nobel Prize winner and...HERE HE IS! Kazuo Ishiguro, arguably one of our greatest writers of contemporary fiction, and a very lovely man to boot. His most famous book, The Remains of the Day, was written when Ishiguro was only 35. It won the Booker Prize and was adapted into a major film starring Antony Hopkins and Emma Thompson. His other works, including Never Let Me Go and The Buried Giant, collectively earned him the Nobel Prize for Literature in 2017. Now, at the age of 66, he's back with his latest novel, Klara and the Sun, which is told through the eyes of an AI robot designed to befriend children. He joins me to talk about observation and outsiders, imposter syndrome and self-belief, his movie script failures and his failure to grasp the importance of science. Plus, his failure to understand life outside the metropolitan bubble leading up to the events of the Brexit referendum of 2016 and the election of Trump in the same year, something he describes as 'a major failure of vision, curiosity, imagination and empathy.' We also talk about the fact that he wrote the rough draft of The Remains of the Day in...wait for it...FOUR WEEKS. I really loved this interview: he's just so clever and interesting. And funny too, which is even better. Thank you, Sir Kazuo Ishiguro, for being my first Nobel laureate guest. And that's all for season 10! We'll be back in the coming weeks for an extra-special bonus episode which, trust me, you will not want to miss. * Klara and the Sun is out now, published by Faber and 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 [email protected] * Social Media: Elizabeth Day @elizabday How To Fail @howtofailpod

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  • 17.03.2021
    57 MB
    01:00:16
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    S10, Ep7 How to Fail: Emma Reed Turrell

    On an excitement scale of 1-10 I am currently at a 15 because this week's guest...is my best friend. As well as being my bff (arguably her most important qualification, I'm sure you'll agree) Emma Reed Turrell is also a brilliant psychotherapist and the author of what is destined to become a must-read book, Please Yourself: How to Stop People-Pleasing and Transform the Way You Live. This is the manual every single self-identifying people pleaser needs to read (and in fact, even those who don't think they are people-pleasers should read it because Emma has helpful advice for you too). The book is packed full of clinical expertise, case studies, practical guidance, intellectual rigour and humour. Plus the odd mention of me. (Well, ok, there's one). It's her first book and it truly blew my mind. I've been wanting an excuse to get Emma on the podcast for ages because she is my life guru: a person who has been there for all my ups and downs, who has seen me at my lowest and highest ebbs and who has always had these incredible stores of wisdom that have helped guide me through. I honestly don't know what I'd do without her. And I wanted to be able to share some of that with you! She joins me to talk about why we people-please, how to stop it and how we can benefit from not being liked, as well as her own journey to understanding the difference between feeling alongside, rather than along with, her failure to be a good extrovert and her failure give the appropriate number of f***s. And we revisit some of our favourite friendship memories, which might or might not include her dance routine to Salt N' Pepa's Push It. I love you, Emma. And I love that I get to share this with all you lovely listeners. It's a special one. * Emma's book Please Yourself, is available to pre-order here And if you'd like to get in touch with her directly, Emma's website is 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 [email protected] * Social Media: Emma Reed Turrell @etcounselling Elizabeth Day @elizabday How To Fail @howtofailpod

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  • 10.03.2021
    42 MB
    44:27
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    S10, Ep6 How to Fail: Jim Down

    Today's episode is an important one. Jim Down is an ICU doctor on the frontline of the Covid crisis. He is a consultant in critical care and anaesthesia at University College London Hospital, running the intensive care unit at one of London’s busiest hospitals, where life and death decisions are an everyday occurrence. Despite having spent all his adult life working in these conditions, nothing could have prepared Jim Down for Covid-19. As the pandemic descended in spring 2020, Down found himself under almost unimaginable pressure. He and his colleagues dealt with an unprecedented surge in patients, critically ill from a terrible new disease with no known cure. Down is still working at the frontline, still donning PPE every day, still under extreme pressure as the NHS continues to battle through the pandemic and keep us safe. He joins me to talk about this, as well as how he manages his own anxiety, why lockdown works (it's worth it, everyone!) and what he's learned from this unprecedented time. He tells me about his awkwardness at being described as a 'hero' and how he deals with the emotional challenge of informing relatives their loved ones have died. Plus, we discuss his failures in adolescence, professional failures and - rather unexpectedly - a failure in stand-up comedy. Listen to be both moved and informed. Thank you, Jim. * You can watch Jim Down being interviewed on BBC News at the height of the pandemic here. * Jim Down's book, Life Support: Diary of an ICU Doctor on the Frontline of the Covid Crisis 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 [email protected] * Social Media: Elizabeth Day @elizabday How To Fail @howtofailpod

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  • 03.03.2021
    68 MB
    01:11:21
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    S10, Ep5 How to Fail: Dr Nicole LePera, The Holistic Psychologist

    This week, Dr Nicole LePera is here to blow your mind. Better known to many as The Holistic Psychologist on Instagram, where she has over 3.4 million followers, Le Pera has gained huge popularity by breaking down complex but helpful psychotherapeutic ideas into accessible, and often life-changing, social media posts. A trained clinical psychologist, LePera was frustrated by the separation between body and mind in some traditional therapy. Now she's put her theories into a book, How To Do The Work: a holistic approach to mental health which encourages us to look for connections between our body and mind, and empowers us to believe that sometimes we have the tools for our own healing. She joins me to talk about failing at marriage, failing at work and family estrangement. We discuss personal boundaries, trauma bonds, how to deal with criticism (and what her response is to the criticism directed at her methods specifically), co-dependency, how to say no, epigenetics, guilt and much, much more. I have been following LePera's work for some time now and I gleaned so much from this episode, so all I'm saying is...you might want to have a notebook ready. * How To Do The Work by Dr Nicole LePera is published next week and is available to pre-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 [email protected] * Social Media: Elizabeth Day @elizabday How To Fail @howtofailpod Dr Nicole LePera @the.holistic.psychologist

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  • 24.02.2021
    69 MB
    01:12:55
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    S10, Ep4 How to Fail: Emma Barnett

    Emma Barnett is the presenter of BBC Radio 4's Woman's Hour, a gifted broadcaster whose forensic interviewing style has reduced politicians to gibbering wrecks and whose compassion and insight can move listeners to tears. She's also the author of Period: It’s About Bloody Time, a book borne out of her own experience of living with painful endometriosis which for years went undiagnosed. At the time of recording, her book was about to come out in paperback, but that's been pushed back to 8th July because, well, pandemic. Link to buy / pre-order is below! Emma joins me to talk about the ingrained sexism that means so-called 'women's issues' are concealed by misplaced shame, as well as how her failure to get pregnant for two-and-a-half years led her to a dark place. It is one of the most honest conversations I've ever had about fertility, from someone who has truly walked that path. Plus, she admits to getting bored easily by repetitive conversations and failing to live in the moment enough...and I mean, DON'T WE ALL? I first interviewed Emma on a

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