How To Fail With Elizabeth Day
S11, Ep4 How to Fail: Guvna B

S11, Ep4 How to Fail: Guvna B

June 16, 2021

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.

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Unspoken by Guvna B is out now and available to buy here.

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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.

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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

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Social Media:

Elizabeth Day @elizabday

How To Fail @howtofailpod 

Guvna B @GuvnaB

 

 

 

S11, Ep3 How to Fail: Ed Miliband

S11, Ep3 How to Fail: Ed Miliband

June 9, 2021

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.

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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.

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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.

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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

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Social Media:

Elizabeth Day @elizabday

How To Fail @howtofailpod 

Ed Miliband @ed_miliband

 

 

S11, Ep2 How to Fail: Jessica Ennis-Hill

S11, Ep2 How to Fail: Jessica Ennis-Hill

June 2, 2021

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!

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Ennis-Hill's fitness app for women, Jennis, is available here.

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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.

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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

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Social Media:

Elizabeth Day @elizabday

How To Fail @howtofailpod 

Jessica Ennis-Hill @jessicaennishill

 

 

S11, Ep1 How to Fail: Graham Norton

S11, Ep1 How to Fail: Graham Norton

May 26, 2021

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!)

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Graham Norton's latest novel, Home Stretch, is out now in paperback and available to order here.

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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.

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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

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Social Media:

Elizabeth Day @elizabday

How To Fail @howtofailpod 

Graham Norton @grahnort

 

BONUS EPISODE How to Fail: Dr Alex George

BONUS EPISODE How to Fail: Dr Alex George

May 12, 2021

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.

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This special episode is sponsored by Jo Malone London 

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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 jo@samaritans.org.uk

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Alex's book Live Well Every Day is out now and available to order here.

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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 howtofailpod@gmail.com

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Social Media:

Dr Alex George @dralexgeorge

Elizabeth Day @elizabday

How To Fail @howtofailpod 

Jo Malone London @jomalonelondon

 

S10, BONUS EPISODE How to Fail: Adrian Dunbar

S10, BONUS EPISODE How to Fail: Adrian Dunbar

April 7, 2021

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.

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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.

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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

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Failosophy: A Handbook for when Things Go Wrong 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

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Social Media:

Elizabeth Day @elizabday

How To Fail @howtofailpod 

 

 

 

 

 

S10, Ep8 How to Fail: Kazuo Ishiguro

S10, Ep8 How to Fail: Kazuo Ishiguro

March 24, 2021

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.

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Klara and the Sun is out now, published by Faber 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 Chris Sharp. We love hearing from you! To contact us, email howtofailpod@gmail.com

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Social Media:

Elizabeth Day @elizabday

How To Fail @howtofailpod 

 

 

S10, Ep7 How to Fail: Emma Reed Turrell

S10, Ep7 How to Fail: Emma Reed Turrell

March 17, 2021

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.

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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

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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

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Social Media:

Emma Reed Turrell @etcounselling

Elizabeth Day @elizabday

How To Fail @howtofailpod 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

S10, Ep6 How to Fail: Jim Down

S10, Ep6 How to Fail: Jim Down

March 10, 2021

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.

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You can watch Jim Down being interviewed on BBC News at the height of the pandemic here.

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Jim Down's book, Life Support: Diary of an ICU Doctor on the Frontline of the Covid Crisis 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

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Social Media:

Elizabeth Day @elizabday

How To Fail @howtofailpod 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

S10, Ep5 How to Fail: Dr Nicole LePera, The Holistic Psychologist

S10, Ep5 How to Fail: Dr Nicole LePera, The Holistic Psychologist

March 3, 2021

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.

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How To Do The Work by Dr Nicole LePera is published next week and is available to pre-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

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Social Media:

Elizabeth Day @elizabday

How To Fail @howtofailpod 

Dr Nicole LePera @the.holistic.psychologist

 

 

 

 

 

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