How To Fail With Elizabeth Day
S8, BONUS EPISODE! How to Fail: Gloria Steinem

S8, BONUS EPISODE! How to Fail: Gloria Steinem

August 5, 2020

GLORIA STEINEM. Gloria ACTUAL Steinem.

 

For this very special bonus episode, I had the absolute honour of interviewing one of my all-time heroes, the feminist activist, writer and icon, Gloria Steinem. And yes, I'm still pinching myself.

 

We talk about her failure to understand her mother, her failure to be at her father's deathbed and her failure to learn lessons quickly enough - yes, we go deep... She also talks to me about how, at the age of 86, she is joyfully outliving society's expectations of her; of how fear can often be a sign of growth (let that sink in), about how 'anger is an energy cell', about how we are 'linked not ranked', about not having children, about spending a lifetime combatting misogyny and racism and sexism and injustice, and about the counteracting forces of love and compassion and friendship which keep her going. If you've been watching the Mrs America miniseries about the battle for equality, then this is a MUST-LISTEN, even if I do say so myself.

 

I love Steinem's work so much that I often quote her in my own - the book of How To Fail is a classic example (she's in the 'Anger' chapter) - and so to be given a chance to meet her, albeit remotely, was honestly a life highlight. She did not let me down. In fact, she exceeded my wildest expectations.

 

Whoever said never meet your heroes clearly never met Gloria Steinem.

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If you've enjoyed this season of How To Fail, you might like to join me for a livestream event I'm doing on 2nd October to mark the launch of my new book Failosophy: A Handbook For When Things Go Wrong You can book here

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The Truth Will Set You Free, But First It Will Piss You Off, an illustrated collection of Steinem's best quotes, is out now and available to buy here.

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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

Gloria Steinem @gloriasteinem

How To Fail @howtofailpod 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

S8, Ep8 How to Fail: Bernardine Evaristo

S8, Ep8 How to Fail: Bernardine Evaristo

July 22, 2020

It is the SEASON FINALE, BABY! I know, I know - it goes so quickly doesn't it? But here we are, two months after we started season eight, with a truly phenomenal guest. Bernardine Evaristo was the first black woman to win the Booker Prize, with her stunning novel, Girl Woman Other. She joins me to talk about her failure to be an actor, her failure to drive from London to Australia (hey, it happens to the best of us) and...brilliantly...her failure to be a lesbian. Along the way, we talk about writing, motivation, race, coercive control, age, gender and the courage she found to create her own work when none was offered to her. Bernardine is the embodiment of that overused term - an inspiration - and a truly jouyous interviewee. Thank you for listening!

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If you've enjoyed this season of How To Fail, you might like to join me for a livestream event I'm doing on 2nd October to mark the launch of my new book Failosophy: A Handbook For When Things Go Wrong You can book here

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Girl Woman Other by Bernardine Evaristo is available to buy here

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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

Bernardine Evaristo @bernardineevaristowriter

How To Fail @howtofailpod 

 

 

 

 

S8, Ep7 How to Fail: Siena Castellon

S8, Ep7 How to Fail: Siena Castellon

July 15, 2020

Siena Castellon is my youngest ever guest. She's a 17-year-old activist and mentor. She is autistic, has dyslexia and dyspraxia and Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder. And she's just published her first book.

Her book, The Spectrum Girl's Survival Guide: How to Grow Up Awesome and Autistic, is a brilliant guide for neurodiverse girls navigating a neurotypical world. It is packed full of information and insight into many of the challenges that autistic teen girls face. There are sections on how to date, how to deal with social anxiety and sensory sensitivity and an analysis of the fact that autism is routinely underdiagnosed in girls (in Siena's words: 'we’re really good at hiding our autistic traits. In fact, we become so good at pretending to be “normal” that we convince everyone that we’re neurotypical.')

Siena joins me to talk about being bullied at school, being misunderstood by teachers and failed by a mainstream education system that seemed unable to appreciate her difference. We discuss neurodiversity, sexism, dogs, prejudice, challenging the stereotypical 'Rainman' view of autism and why it's important to stand up for yourself. As Siena puts it: 'I've learnt that you can't assume that people experience the world the way you do and that it's important to express yourself to avoid people making untrue assumptions about you.'

Siena is AMAZING. Listen to her and feel inspired (and also probably quite old).

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The Spectrum Girl's Survival Guide: How to Grow Up Awesome and Autistic by Siena Castellon is out now and available to purchase here.

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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.

 

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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

Siena Castellon @NCWeek

How To Fail @howtofailpod 

 

 

S8, Ep6 How to Fail: Glennon Doyle

S8, Ep6 How to Fail: Glennon Doyle

July 8, 2020

This week, I bring you the utterly sensational Glennon Doyle. She is the author of three books, the latest of which, Untamed, is a memoir that defies easy categorisation - somewhat like the woman herself. Untamed is thrilling, original and brave. In it, Glennon dismantles our socialised preconceptions of what women should be and challenges us all to look at the boxes we're trapped in that are not of our own making. She joins me to talk about all of this, and about why women are taught to 'look outward for permission, approval and consent' when we should be looking 'inward for wisdom' (I KNOW! THIS IS GENUINELY HOW SHE SPEAKS!) But, don't worry, there's also plenty of amazing stuff in here whatever gender you are. 

We also discuss her failure to have a thick skin (and how she protects herself from judgement), her failure to keep her family together (and what this taught her about love) and her failure to be fully comfortable with her own body image (despite years of trying). Every sentence she utters contains a revelation, which is why when the time came to edit this interview I just...couldn't. So I've let it run at full length, with no cuts, exactly how it happened. 

Enjoy.

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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.

 

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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

Glennon Doyle @glennondoyle

How To Fail @howtofailpod 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

S8, Ep5 How to Fail: Julia Samuel

S8, Ep5 How to Fail: Julia Samuel

July 1, 2020

Today's guest is someone I fell in platonic love with by reading her work. Julia Samuel is one of the country's leading psychotherapists but she is also well-known as an author. Her first book, Grief Works, was a Sunday Times bestseller and is routinely cited as one of the most helpful and compassionate books on bereavement you will ever read. Her second book, This Too Shall Pass, Stories of Change, Crisis and Hopeful Beginnings, was published just before lockdown and could not have been a more insightful guide to the uncertain times we all found ourselves in. Adwoa Aboah called it 'one of the most valuable books I've ever read', while my hero Esther Perel, said it was 'a remarkable portrayal of how we need to understand ourselves to truly heal'.

She joins me to talk about failing exams, failed jobs, her self-perceived failures as a mother and the impossibility of putting our emotions through a logical system. We also touch on imposter syndrome, quitting things you aren't good at, being a twin (she is one!), her close friendship with the late Princess Diana (plus what kind of godmother she is to Prince George) as well as the discomfort she feels talking about herself, rather than being the one to ask questions of a client. 

I am so honoured to have Julia on the podcast. Her integrity and intelligence, forged through 30 years as a working therapist, shine through absolutely everything she does. Her work has been crucially important to me personally and I'm sure it will be to you too.

As Julia says: 'We are brought up thinking life is an upward journey, a stairway to a better place, each step higher than the last. but the reality is far less certain: there are ups and downs, and the only certainty that exists is that there will be change.' 

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Julia's latest book, This Too Shall Pass, is out now and available to order here.

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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.

 

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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

Julia Samuel @juliasamuelmbe

How To Fail @howtofailpod 

 

 

 

 

 

S8, Ep4 How to Fail: Scarlett Moffatt

S8, Ep4 How to Fail: Scarlett Moffatt

June 24, 2020

Scarlett Moffatt was working at the checkout in Asda when she and he family got the chance to be on Channel 4's Gogglebox. She rapidly became the show's break-out star with her brilliant one-liners. Television fame followed - she co-presented with Ant and Dec, won 2016's I'm A Celebrity and now hosts the official podcast for Rupaul’s Drag Race UK. But with her overnight celebrity also came increased scrutiny and criticism.

She joins me to talk about becoming an accidental famous person and dealing with online abuse (she will now reply to trolls with the phone number for the Samaritans). Scarlett also discusses her shifting relationship with body image and her own struggles with anxiety and low self-worth.

This is a woman who has worked hard all her life - from her first job at 14, putting sweets into Pic n' Mix to being employed in sales at the Carphone Warehouse. When she went on I'm A Celebrity, she had only just managed to clear her student overdraft. With the fee she was given from that show, Scarlett paid off the mortgage on her parents' house. She talks to me about the value of hard graft, being bullied at school, a bicycle accident that left her with Bell's Palsy and using humour as a defence mechanism. This episode also contains what is quite possibly the greatest Tom Hardy anecdote you will ever hear.

Thank you Scarlett, you are an absolute gem. Those school bullies were wrong about you. They always are.

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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.

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You can listen to Scarlett hosting Rupaul's Drag Race UK: The Podcast here.

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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

Scarlett Moffatt @scarlettmoffatt

How To Fail @howtofailpod 

 

 

 

 

S8, Ep3 How to Fail: Matthew Syed

S8, Ep3 How to Fail: Matthew Syed

June 17, 2020

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.

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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.

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Matthew Syed's lates book, Rebel Ideas: The Power of Diverse Thinking is available to order here.

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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 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

S8, Ep2 How to Fail: Samantha Irby

S8, Ep2 How to Fail: Samantha Irby

June 10, 2020

*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!

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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.

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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.

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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

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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 

 

S8, Ep1 How to Fail: Jessie Ware

S8, Ep1 How to Fail: Jessie Ware

June 3, 2020

*This episode was recorded before recent tragic events in America. There are links to useful Black Lives Matter resources and ways to help below*

WE'RE BAAAAAACCCCKKKK just like Backstreet, The Mack, and the toilet roll that's now in stock again in Sainsbury's. And what a guest I have for you! It is the one, the only, Jessie Ware. Not only is she one of my favourite singer-songwriters (four Brit nominations to her name, three top-ten albums and a whopping 120 million streams on Spotify for one of her most famous songs, Say You Love Me...JUST SAYIN) but she's also one of my favourite podcasters, co-hosting the brilliant Table Manners with her mother, Lennie and interviewing an array of astonishing talent over a home-cooked dinner. Their eponymous cookbook is a Sunday Times bestseller.

Part of what makes Table Manners so special is Jessie's down-to-earth manner, whip-smart sense of humour and her ability to shortcut to the real stuff (it's also the affectionate bickering with Lennie, who says that they 'put the fun into dysfunctional'). All of these qualities also make her a wonderful interviewee. She joins me to talk about her failure to tidy up, her failure to be a journalist and her failure to live in the present. Along the way, we discuss imposter syndrome, body image, accidental success, life, love and almost everything in between. Basically all you need to know is that I loved her before we recorded this episode, but now I love her even more.

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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.

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Jessie Ware's latest album, What's Your Pleasure, is out on 19th June and available to preorder here.

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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

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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

Jessie Ware @jessieware

 

 

 

 

SPECIAL EPISODE! How to Fail: Daisy Edgar-Jones on being the star of Normal People, the lockdown television hit everyone is talking about

SPECIAL EPISODE! How to Fail: Daisy Edgar-Jones on being the star of Normal People, the lockdown television hit everyone is talking about

May 20, 2020

Ok, so I said I was done with the special lockdown episodes but, forgive me, I CHANGED MY MIND. The reason for this is that I watched Normal People and thought it was the most exceptional piece of television I've seen in...well...an absolute age, and I basically hunted down Daisy Edgar-Jones like the obsessive fan I was until she agreed to be interviewed by me.

And so here it is: Daisy Edgar-Jones, who gave the performance of a lifetime as Marianne in the BBC adaptation of Sally Rooney's acclaimed novel, Normal People, joins me for the most beautiful chat about failing to go to university, feeling the need for constant validation, wanting to do things for their own artistic sake but being hamstrung by other people's approval, body image, living with anxiety (which manifests as hypochondria), feeling lost in her late teens, dealing with rejection, the weirdness of overnight fame and Connell's silver chain (in-joke there for Normal People mega-fans). We also talk allllll about Normal People: how she approached the part of Marianne, her on-and-off-screen relationship with Connell (played brilliantly by Paul Mescal), how they filmed those extraordinary, respectful sex scenes and the story behind Marianne's fringe.

Daisy is 21 but speaks with the wisdom of someone three times her age. She is so open, so funny, so kind and so generous in this interview that I know it's going to be a great help to a great many people, especially as it's Mental Health Awareness Week and we need more people to talk like this. Thank you Daisy, you're insanely talented and a genuinely lovely person and I'm so grateful you replied to my Instagram DM.

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I haven't taken sponsorship for any of the special lockdown episodes because it didn't feel right, but if you have enjoyed this interview or any of the others, I'd be so grateful if you'd consider donating to Samaritans. a truly incredible charity which helps people in crisis by being there, at the end of a phone line, 24/7, 365 days a year. Covid-19 has placed an unprecedented pressure on Samaritans volunteers at precisely the time that we need them the most. Any donation, however small, will help and I'd be so grateful if you felt able to make one. Here is the link to donate:

https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/howtofailwithelizabethday

CORRECTION: during the course of our conversation, Daisy made an innocent mistake in referring to the condition where you effectively 'drown yourself' through drinking too much water as 'hyperhidrosis'. In fact, hyperhidrosis is a serious dermatological condition experienced by 2 million people in the UK which causes excessive sweating, caused by the sympathetic nervous system overreacting and causing bodies to go into stress overdrive. Despite 3 in 100 people in the UK having this condition, not many people talk about it for fear of shame and embarrassment. Thank you to the lovely listener who pointed out the error and who wished to raise awareness of this overlooked condition.

What Daisy actually meant to say was hyponatraemia, a rare but potentially lethal over-hydration which dilutes salt levels in the blood and has similar symptoms to dehydration, such as headaches, nausea and cramp. 

 

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If you really can't get enough How To Fail content and are looking for something to read during lockdown, there is a book! How To Fail: Everything I've Ever Learned From Things Going Wrong is out now and available to order here

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How To Fail With Elizabeth Day is hosted by Elizabeth Day, produced by Naomi Mantin and recorded, edited and mixed by Chris Sharp. We love hearing from you! To contact us, email howtofailpod@gmail.com

Social Media:

Elizabeth Day @elizabday

Daisy Edgar-Jones @daisyedgarjones

Connell's Chain @connellschain

 

 

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