Award-winning LBC presenter and best-selling author James O’Brien hosts a series of compelling conversations with fascinating people. These are revealing interviews with people who rarely give in-depth interviews, be it from politics, entertainment or news. Subscribe to get a new episode every Friday.
She would not have become an MP were it not for her sister, Jo Cox who was murdered on a street in Birstall, West Yorkshire in 2016 by a white supremacist terrorist. Speaking to James one week after the killing of Sir David Amess MP, Kim Leadbeater questions how much has changed since her sibling's death. After fighting and winning a toxic campaign in her late sister's constituency of Batley and Spen, safety for politicians is an issue at the top of Leadbeater's agenda as she forms her own unique political voice and seeks to build what she describes as a more compassionate society.
Joe Tracini was only 18 months old when he first performed on stage with his Dad, Joe Pasquale. By the time he was 15 he was named as the most promising comedy act by Ken Dodd. Tracini then landed a role in Hollyoaks but his acting career was overwhelmed by a serious drug and alcohol addiction. Then in 2018 Tracini revealed that he had been diagnosed with Borderline Personality Disorder and he started to make short films explaining the condition, drawing in a new crowd and taking on a new relevance during the coronavirus lockdowns. His book, Ten Things I Hate About Me is available on pre-sale.
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When Bernardine Evaristo was in her thirties she decided she wanted to win the Booker Prize. After breaking away from her career in theatre, Evaristo eventually became the first Black British person to receive the literary award and was catapulted into the international spotlight with her novel, Girl Woman, Other. But Evaristo’s life began in “curtain twitching” white suburbia where racists routinely smashed in the windows of her family home. Her first non-fiction book, Manifesto is also her memoir - a guide to never giving up.
Waheed Arian spent his childhood fleeing the war zones of Afghanistan. After recovering from an almost fatal illness at a Pakistan refugee camp as a child, he set his sights on becoming a doctor. Putting his life in the hands of people smugglers, Waheed eventually reached the UK and studied medicine at Cambridge. He now saves lives as an NHS A&E medic and is the founder of charity, TeleHEAL, providing volunteer medical support to people around the world. His book, In the Wars is out now.
The Deputy Leader of the Labour party was brought up by a parent who could not read or write. After getting pregnant and leaving school aged 16, Angela Rayner became a home carer where she found her feet as a union representative, eventually rising to be Unison’s most senior official in the North West. Now she’s taking on the government over workers’ rights and cronyism; her battles no longer fought on the estate she grew up on, but from across the despatch box.
In the run up to the 2016 Trump election, Joe Mulhall of Surrey, England managed to convince the American white supremacist terrorist group, the Ku Klux Klan, of his support for them. Shortly afterwards he found himself armed and accompanying an Alabaman militia group on the hunt for undocumented migrants and ISIS members on the Mexican border. Mulhall works for Hope Not Hate, an advocacy group that campaigns against racism and fascism. His book, Drums in the Distance: Journeys Into the Global Far Right is out now and documents his decade as an anti-fascist infiltrator.