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How To Fail With Elizabeth Day

Elizabeth Day and Sony Music Entertainment

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How To Fail with Elizabeth Day is a podcast that celebrates the things in life that haven’t gone right and what we might learn from them along the way. Every week, Elizabeth’s guest explores three failures, and what these failures have taught them about how to grow and succeed, better. We’d love to hear from you! Get in touch with Elizabeth to share your failures, problems or questions - anonymously or otherwise. She'll go through these each week with the help of her very special guests. And ...
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Today’s guest has the biggest selling studio album ever in the UK by an international female artist. She has won five Grammys, sold more than 100 million albums worldwide and, at 58, remains the top-selling female country pop artist of all time. This year, she makes her Glastonbury debut in the coveted Legends slot, undertakes a new tour of the UK …
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Oh my. I can’t tell you how moving I found this interview. That doesn’t mean it’s a weepy one - sometimes, the most powerful exchanges are the ones where you witness the sheer strength it takes someone *no*t to cry. Dame Arlene Phillips is defined by her strength: strength of mind and of body (at 80, she’s still hard at work as a hit choreographer)…
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When Henry Winkler played Arthur Fonzarelli (The Fonz) on Happy Days, he was treated like a rock star. Afterwards wasn’t so easy though. Winkler couldn’t get work as an actor and his career as a director failed at the first hurdle. He tells me how he endured emotional abuse from his parents and had to cope with undiagnosed dyslexia at school, all o…
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TW: miscarriage This week, brace yourself for A TOTAL ECLIPSE… of all other podcast episodes, because this one’s a total banger. I could not have asked for a more open, hilarious, moving or riveting encounter than with the formidable Bonnie Tyler. She grew up in a working-class Welsh family and answered a newspaper ad for a backing singer when she …
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TW: this episode contains discussion of sexual assault and suicide. In many ways, Will Young is the definition of resilience. As a child, he endured physical and psychological abuse at prep school. In his 20s, he found fame on a reality TV show and was forced to be public about his sexuality by a tabloid newspaper, after which he faced years of hom…
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I loved interviewing Richard Osman and can’t stop thinking about our conversation. I think it’s because his brain works at warp speed: I genuinely felt he was three steps ahead of every question I was about to ask. It became something of a personal challenge to ask a question he couldn’t guess beforehand and I *think* I managed it when I asked if h…
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TW: infant loss and birth trauma Dr Jen Gunter is an obstetrician-gynaecologist, pain medicine physician and bestselling author. She’s most well-known to many of us as Twitter’s resident OB-GYN, the woman who took on Gwyneth Paltrow’s Goop with claims of medical misinformation and one of the fiercest advocates for women’s health the world over. She…
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My guest today has a nickname in showbiz circles: he’s called ‘Ideal Actor’ because of his scene-stealing talent and his ability to get under the skin of what it is to be human. If you’ve watched Netflix’s monster hit, Fool Me Once, or seen Sherwood or Back To Life or The Night Manager or if you’ve watched the movies Four Lions or Murder Mystery 2,…
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TW: this episode contains discussion of sexual assault and suicide. In the 90s you might have known Katie Price as ‘Jordan’ - featured on page three, known for her succession of plastic surgeries and her complicated personal life. But, in reality, she is so much more than the cartoon character the media created for her. Today, Katie is a mother of …
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Nicole Scherzinger became famous as part of The Pussycat Dolls - one of the biggest selling female groups of all time - but it almost didn’t work out that way. For years, she was a jobbing singer and dancer who learned how to deal with rejection from a succession of failed auditions. Yet her resilience - and her work ethic - shone through. Now, aft…
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Jon Ronson is a journalistic hero of mine, as he is to many. He was one of the first people to write about the culture wars, well before the phrase became commonplace in our news cycles. His two audio series exploring real-life origin stories from these everyday battles ‘Things Fell Apart' (BBC Sounds) have been a huge commercial and critical succe…
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Big Brother host, Strictly Come Dancing finalist and the woman who, by her own admission, ‘puts black into Blackburn’, AJ Odudu is a force to be reckoned with. Growing up in Lancashire, no one ever knew how to pronounce her name and she was questioned constantly on why she was different. But as an adult, she has turned these early experiences into …
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TW: coercive / controlling relationships Mel B has a story that everyone needs to hear. It’s a story of resilience in the face of severe adversity - and how we can conquer our biggest fears if we put our minds to it. Melanie was in a coercively controlling and abusive relationship for a decade. After finding the courage to leave, she dealt with yea…
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Spoiler alert: I’m low-key obsessed with this woman. Sabrina Dhowre Elba is a UN Goodwill ambassador, a skincare maven, an actor, producer and all-round good egg. She is, then, *so* much more than some bloke’s wife, but given that the bloke in question is Idris Elba, she’s incredibly understanding when asked questions about how she copes with the a…
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TW: miscarriage Paloma Faith’s teachers used to ask her why she ‘acted stupid’, which is ironic given that she’s now one of the smartest, sharpest guests I’ve ever had on this podcast. A global singing sensation, as well as an acclaimed actor, she’s got a totally unique perspective on the world - and a refreshingly frank way of expressing it. Her f…
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Full disclosure - Sathnam is a dear friend of mine. He was a guest on the first ever season of How To Fail and there’s a very good reason why I’m chatting to him again. A lot has shifted in both our lives. Since he was last on here, Sathnam has written Empireland and more recently Empireworld, two bestselling books which have garnered him critical …
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TW: addiction The popularity of Joe Wicks’s online workouts and meal plans as ‘The Body Coach’ catapulted him into fame during lockdown. He’s a source of endless positive energy for the rest of us, but he had a challenging childhood. Growing up on a council estate, his father had a debilitating heroin addiction and his mother lived with severe OCD.…
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