140 episodes

How To Fail With Elizabeth Day is a podcast that celebrates the things that haven’t gone right. Every week, a new interviewee explores what their failures taught them about how to succeed better.

How To Fail With Elizabeth Day Elizabeth Day

    • Society & Culture
    • 5.0 • 24 Ratings

How To Fail With Elizabeth Day is a podcast that celebrates the things that haven’t gone right. Every week, a new interviewee explores what their failures taught them about how to succeed better.

    S14, Ep3 How To Fail: Jarvis Cocker

    S14, Ep3 How To Fail: Jarvis Cocker

    Todays' guest is Jarvis Cocker: musician, writer, broadcaster. He was the frontman of Pulp, one of the most successful 90s Britpop groups whose hit, Common People, turned Jarvis into a star at the age of 32.
    He joins me to talk about the vagaries of fame, his failures in acting and academia, abandonment by his father, being raised by a household of women and the impact this has had on him, as well as divorce, co-parenting, clearing out the loft and why ephemera is an important part of our culture. Plus, he gives me a Birmingham-based anecdote that I think might be one of the greatest metaphors for celebrity I've ever heard.

    Jarvis's book. Called Good Pop, Bad Pop, is out TOMORROW https://www.penguin.co.uk/books/111/1114959/good-pop--bad-pop/9781787330566.html

    He will be in conversation at the Royal Festival Hall in London at 7.30pm on Friday 27th May. Book here: https://www.southbankcentre.co.uk/whats-on/literature-poetry/jarvis-cocker-good-pop-bad-pop

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

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    Social Media:

    Elizabeth Day @elizabday

    How To Fail @howtofailpod 

    Jarvis Cocker @jarvisbransoncocker

    • 45 min
    S14, Ep2 How To Fail: Minnie Driver

    S14, Ep2 How To Fail: Minnie Driver

    Ugh. Today's guest is just SO GOOD. Minnie Driver, actress, musician and writer, was nominated for an Academy Award for Good Will Hunting and later starred in TV shows such as Will & Grace and Starstruck. Her (brilliant) debut book is called Managing Expectations and is described as a ‘tell-most memoir’. In her own words, it’s about how things not working out actually worked out in the end.
    She joins me to talk about her failures in acting, her failure to get an agent or to perform a convincing orgasm at an audition (a crash course in sexism in the industry), her run-ins with Harvey Weinstein, her experiences in the fakery of Hollywood and how that affected her mental health, and her self-perceived failure to get married. We also touch on the death of her beloved mother, becoming a single parent herself and what it means to be a fully-realised woman in her 50s. I adored this conversation - Minnie is so wise and eloquent and has really, truly spent time thinking about what life means. As such, she's the most perfectly imperfect guest.

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    Minnie's memoir-ish, Managing Expectations is out now: https://www.waterstones.com/book/managing-expectations/minnie-driver/2928377083793

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

    ---

    Social Media:

    Elizabeth Day @elizabday

    How To Fail @howtofailpod 

    Minnie Driver @driverminnie

    • 58 min
    S14, Ep1 How To Fail: Simu Liu

    S14, Ep1 How To Fail: Simu Liu

    We're back, baby! And I thought I'd open this new season with a bona fide SUPERHERO. Because that's just how we roll.

    My guest today is Simu Liu - the first Asian superhero in the Marvel cinematic universe and the star of the 2019 movie Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings. He also appeared in season 4 of Selling Sunset, where Chrishell tried to sell him a house (arguably the real achievement, amirite?).

    Simu was born in China. His parents were products of Mao's Cultural Revolution and ended up emigrating to Canada. Simu was raised by his grandparents for the first four years of his life before being taken to Canada, where he couldn't speak the language. It was an early lesson in resilience - one he would never forget.

    Simu joins me to talk about this, as well as his failed accountancy career, a formative heartbreak and failing to get a part in Crazy Rich Asians. Along the way we discuss 'the white gaze' and marginalisation in Hollywood, the dark days of his adolescence when he rebelled against his parents restrictive (and sometimes abusive) behaviour and...well, menstruation. Plus: how he's still friends with Chrishell and what it's like filming Greta Gerwig's Barbie.

    I adored our conversation because Simu came so willing to own every single one of his failures. His experience of heartbreak from a straight, male perspective was fascinating to me. And he's so smart I could just listen to him for days.

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    Simu's memoir, We Were Dreamers, is published next week! Pre-order it here: https://www.waterstones.com/book/we-were-dreamers/simu-liu/9780008546472

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

    ---

    Social Media:

    Elizabeth Day @elizabday

    How To Fail @howtofailpod 

    Simu Liu @simuliu

    • 43 min
    BETWEEN SEASON BONUS! How To Fail: Colin Hehir

    BETWEEN SEASON BONUS! How To Fail: Colin Hehir

    TW: This is an episode in which we talk about violence, loss and grief.

    This bonus episode is one of the most special, moving encounters I've ever had while doing this podcast. It was prompted by an incredible book I read while I was away over Christmas - a book unlike any other. But to explain how it came about, I need to take you back a few years.
    On 31st October 2015, 20-year-old Morgan Hehir was walking home after a night out with friends when he was viciously attacked by a group of strangers and stabbed in a random act of violence. He died later in hospital. In the aftermath of this tragedy, his father, Colin, started keeping a diary both of his grief and of his long fight to bring his son's killer to justice.
    That diary has now been turned into an extraordinary book, About A Son, written by the acclaimed novelist David Whitehouse. It’s a book that moved me to tears with its empathy and precision. And it’s a book that has brought me to Colin Hehir, who is today's guest on this very special episode of How To Fail.

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    About a Son is published tomorrow. You can order it here: shorturl.at/behiI

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    MAGPIE, my latest novel, is out now in the UK in paperback. You can order it here: shorturl.at/iuDEN

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

    ---

    Social Media:

    Elizabeth Day @elizabday

    How To Fail @howtofailpod 

    Colin Hehir @Hairy007

    • 56 min
    S13, BONUS EPISODE! How To Fail: Candice Carty-Williams

    S13, BONUS EPISODE! How To Fail: Candice Carty-Williams

    So many people have requested this guest and now I'm beyond thrilled to oblige! Yes, that's right it's author Candice Carty-Williams whose first novel, Queenie, became a publishing sensation. Queenie won the 2019 Book of the Year at the British Book Awards making Carty-Williams the first Black author to do so.
    Now, her second novel People Person is about to be published, a TV adaptation of Queenie for Channel 4 is in the works and she’s writing an original drama for the BBC.
    She joins me to talk about growing up in South London, re-writing her novel through lockdown, why she regrets not having therapy sooner and what she's learned about boundaries. Plus: Amy Winehouse. She also opens up about the death of one of her closest friends and what it taught her. And: why readers assuming her books are autobiographical is actually kind of annoying.

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    People Person is published next month but you can pre-order it here: https://www.waterstones.com/book/people-person/candice-carty-williams/9781398710542

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

    ---

    Social Media:

    Elizabeth Day @elizabday

    How To Fail @howtofailpod 

    Candice Carty-Williams @candicec_w

    • 57 min
    Best Friend Therapy: trailer

    Best Friend Therapy: trailer

    I'm launching a BRAND NEW PODCAST, hosted with my best friend (and professional therapist) Emma Reed Turrell. Best Friend Therapy launches on 28th March. Search for it wherever you get your podcasts and hit the subscribe button now to make sure you never miss an episode! Two best friends. One therapist. Zero filter.

    • 1 min

Customer Reviews

5.0 out of 5
24 Ratings

24 Ratings

PNFalzon ,

Making failure warm and inviting.

Thank you Elizabeth, for helping to destigmatize failure through your warm, empathic interviews with interesting people.

Red kiera ,

Engaging and inspiring

Thank you Elizabeth for your “How To Fail” podcasts. Your ability to connect with your guests and have them open up about their failures, is inspiring. It makes us realise it’s ok to fail, actually it’s better to try otherwise we won’t be able to succeed! Love your podcast!

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