How To Fail With Elizabeth Day
S9, Ep 4 How to Fail: Ruby Wax

S9, Ep 4 How to Fail: Ruby Wax

September 16, 2020

I've wanted to get this guest on for ages and now - hooray! - here she is: the inimitable Ruby Wax. Ruby started out as an actress at the RSC, took a side-step into comedy and had a hugely successful television career, interviewing everyone from Madonna and Imelda Marcos to the Spice Girls. But, after living with depression all her life and a series of breakdowns, she got a Masters from Oxford University in Mindfulness-based Cognitive Therapy and is now a mental health campaigner and author.

Ruby joins me to talk about mental health, mindfulness, job loss, how to deal with anxiety and comedy as a vehicle for truth. We chat about the influence of her late, dear friend Alan Rickman, the trauma of a difficult upbringing, the time she mortally embarrassed herself in front of Sir Paul McCartney and her spectacular failure at an audition for Saturday Night Live. Oh, and we talk about what happened when she interviewed the future President of the United States, Donald Trump, on his private jet [spoiler alert: it wasn't great].

And if you enjoyed this episode, Ruby's new book, And Now For The Good News...From the Future With Love is out TOMORROW!

 

*

PLEASE PRE-ORDER MY NEW BOOK TOO, THANK YOU! Failosophy: A Handbook For When Things Go Wrong is available here

*

To celebrate the publication of Failosophy, I am doing a LIVE show at The London Palladium. It is also live-streamed online. If you'd like to buy tickets for either option, you can do so here.

*

How To Fail With Elizabeth Day is hosted by Elizabeth Day, produced by Naomi Mantin and Chris Sharp. We love hearing from you! To contact us, email howtofailpod@gmail.com You can buy our fantastic PODCAST MERCH here.

Social Media:

Elizabeth Day @elizabday

Ruby Wax @rubywax

How To Fail @howtofailpod 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

S9, Ep3 How to Fail: Annie Nightingale

S9, Ep3 How to Fail: Annie Nightingale

September 15, 2020

At the age of 80, Annie Nightingale still manages to be one of the most forward-looking and future-facing people I've ever interviewed. She is the legendary Radio 1 DJ - the first woman ever to get a job at the station and now the BBC's longest-serving presenter and a vital force in British music.

Annie joins me to talk about confronting sexism, breaking the mould, getting the best of of interviewees and what it's like to have met everyone from David Bowie to Paul McCartney to Eminem and Jim Morrison (he didn't impress her much tbf). We also touch on her convent school education, her inability to tell a lie, her failure at A-Levels and her terrible financial planning. She is, it has to be said, a total riot.

*

PLEASE PRE-ORDER MY NEW BOOK! Failosophy: A Handbook For When Things Go Wrong is available here

*

To celebrate the publication of Failosophy, I am doing a LIVE show at The London Palladium. It is also live-streamed online. If you'd like to buy tickets for either option, you can do so here.

*

Annie Nightingale's memoir, Hey, Hi, Hello, is out now.

*

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

Annie Nightingale @aanightingale

How To Fail @howtofailpod 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

S9, Ep2 How to Fail: Mohsin Zaidi

S9, Ep2 How to Fail: Mohsin Zaidi

September 2, 2020

Mohsin Zaidi's memoir, A Dutiful Boy, is one of the most powerful and emotive books I've read this year. It tells the story of his upbringing in a poor pocket of east London, in a devout Shia Muslim community. His family were close-knit and religiously conservative. From a young age, Mohsin knew that his sexuality was a secret he had to hide in a household where being gay was viewed as an inconceivable taboo. Despite these personal struggles, Mohsin became the first person from his comprehensive school to go to Oxford University, later becoming a leading barrister. And then he told his family the truth.

Mohsin joins me to talk about the realities of being gay and Muslim, about what it means to love your family while keeping your truest self hidden and about how he found the strength to break through the barriers surrounding him in the search for a truly authentic life.

Trust me, YOU WILL LOVE THIS EPISODE. Mohsin is so eloquent and interesting and sweet-natured and funny that you can't help but fall in love with him a little bit, even when he's talking about such harrowing and difficult experiences. Inspiration is a word that gets bandied around a lot, but Mohsin Zaidi is a man who is wholly worthy of it.

*

PLEASE PRE-ORDER MY NEW BOOK! Failosophy: A Handbook For When Things Go Wrong is available here

*

To celebrate the publication of Failosophy, I am doing a LIVE show at The London Palladium. It is also live-streamed online. If you'd like to buy tickets for either option, you can do so here.

*

A Dutiful Boy by Mohsin Zaidi 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 howtofailpod@gmail.com

Social Media:

Elizabeth Day @elizabday

Mohsin Zaidi @mohsinzaidi_ldn

How To Fail @howtofailpod 

 

 

 

 

 

S9, Ep1 How to Fail: Adam Buxton

S9, Ep1 How to Fail: Adam Buxton

August 26, 2020

IT'S SEASON NINE AND I FEEL FINE, BABY! And we open with a humdinger - the podcasting king, comedy legend and all-round thoroughly decent bloke that is...[drum roll + X Factor announcer voice]...ADAM BUXTON.

Adam joins me to talk about misdirected perfectionism, dropping out of university, mid-life crises and what it means to be a parent after the death of your own. We talk about privilege, being sent to boarding school aged nine, whether he feels rivalry with his astonishingly successful friends (*coughs* Louis Theroux *coughs*) and about what makes a bad spoon. That's not a euphemism, by the way, we do literally talk about bad spoons.

Adam is such a lovely man and it was an honour to have him on How To Fail, especially given that his podcast always charts higher than mine, the bastard. He is so funny - listen out for the anecdote involving wrapping scaffolding in multi-coloured ribbon - and he introduced me to the brilliant concept of having a mind like a sat nav, which is to say: if something doesn't go according to plan, the challenge is to find another route to the destination.

I like that. I hope you like the episode. It's good to be back.

*

PLEASE PRE-ORDER MY NEW BOOK! Failosophy: A Handbook For When Things Go Wrong is available here

*

Ramble Book by Adam Buxton is out (in physical form) next week. You can pre-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 howtofailpod@gmail.com

Social Media:

Elizabeth Day @elizabday

Adam Buxton IS NOT ON SOCIAL MEDIA...wow

How To Fail @howtofailpod 

 

 

 

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.

*

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

*

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.

*

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!

*

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

*

Girl Woman Other by Bernardine Evaristo is available to buy here

*

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

Social Media:

Elizabeth Day @elizabday

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).

*

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

*

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.

 

*

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.

*

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.

 

*

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.' 

*

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

*

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.

 

*

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.

*

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.

*

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

*

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

Social Media:

Elizabeth Day @elizabday

Scarlett Moffatt @scarlettmoffatt

How To Fail @howtofailpod 

 

 

 

 

Play this podcast on Podbean App