149 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 • 3 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, BONUS EPISODE! How To Fail: Jane Goodall

    S14, BONUS EPISODE! How To Fail: Jane Goodall

    The legendary Jane Goodall is a scientist, convservationist and humanitarian, whose 60-year study of wild chimpanzees in Tanzania challenged and overturned much of the conventional scientific thinking at the time. Her tireless work over the years - she is now 88 - has won her a legion of admirers, including David Attenborough, Leonardo di Caprio, Prince Harry and Greta Thunberg who calls Goodall ‘a true hero’. She joins me to talk about the resilience of hope, whether chimpanzees have a sense of failure, her own failures in language, correspondence and motherhood, and her belief in the next generation. This was one of the most enlightening podcast interviews I've ever had the privilege of doing. Please listen!

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    Jane Goodall's latest book, The Book of Hope: A Survival Guide for Trying Times, is out next week in paperback and is available to pre-order here https://www.penguin.co.uk/books/320237/the-book-of-hope-by-goodall-jane/9780241479469

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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 

    Jane Goodall @janegoodalluk

    • 56 min
    S14, BONUS EPISODE! How To Fail: Kit de Waal

    S14, BONUS EPISODE! How To Fail: Kit de Waal

    Our extra-special bonus guest today is the author Kit de Waal. Her debut 2016 novel, My Name Is Leon, told the story of a mixed-race nine-year-old boy and his quest to reunite his family after being taken into care. It won the Irish Book of the Year Award and has recently been adapted for TV starring Lenny Henry. Her second novel, The Trick to Time was longlisted for the 2018 Women’s Prize. A short story collection followed, and now de Waal has turned her gaze onto her own life. Her memoir, Without Warning and Only Sometimes, is out next month and tells the moving story of being raised by a Caribbean father and an Irish Jehovah's Witness mother who believed Armageddon was coming.
    Kit joins me to talk about how reading became her salvation, the experiences of being mixed race and working class, her failure to read enough women and her failure to adopt a child. Plus - and here's the big one - her failure to ride a bicycle.

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    Without Warning and Only Sometimes by Kit de Waal is available for pre-order here: https://www.waterstones.com/book/without-warning-and-only-sometimes/kit-de-waal/9781472284839

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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 

    Kit de Waal @KitdeWaal

    • 58 min
    S14, Ep9 How To Fail: Russell Kane

    S14, Ep9 How To Fail: Russell Kane

    TW // descriptions of self-harm

    Russell Kane is a comedian, novelist, playwright, podcaster, memoirist and presenter. He's know for his sell-out stand-up gigs across and for his TV work, including Live At the Apollo and Celebrity Juice. Plus he has two -count 'em - podcasts, Evil Genius and Man Baggage.
    I think Russell is genuinely one of the smartest people I've ever interviewed and his mind functions at about three times the speed of everyone else's. It was a real honour to talk to him, especially because he's a fan of the podcast and came ready, willing and able to open up. His failures include his inability to relax, his 20s and his failure to be fully authentic. And, for the first time ever, he opens up about his experiences with self-harm, and how he finally sought help during one of the darkest episodes of his life.
    This is such a riveting and enlightening listen. Thank you so much, Russell.

    And this is the last episode of the season - but don't worry, you know me, we'll be back with a couple of brilliant bonuses before you know it.

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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 

    Russell Kane @russell_kane

    • 56 min
    S14, Ep8 How To Fail: Asim Chaudhry

    S14, Ep8 How To Fail: Asim Chaudhry

    As well as being a stone-cold legend, Asim Chaudhry is probably best known for co-creating the BAFTA-award-winning mockumentary sitcom People Just Do Nothing and if you’ve ever been on a British Airways flight and paid attention to the safety video, you’ll recognised him instantly as the inept director of a sketch involving national treasures Sir Michael Caine and Olivia Colman. He's an actor, writer, director and musician. And he's also hilarious.
    He joins me to chat about failing drama class and being kicked out of school with two GCSEs, the time he got deported from America (no, really) and a vicious mugging that left him questioning what life was all about. Along the way we discuss comedy as a defence mechanism, using his dad as creative inspiration and why he wasn't sure about the jeans he was wearing on the day he came to my house.

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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 

    Asim Chaudhry @asimc

    • 1 hr 6 min
    S14, Ep7 How To Fail: Benjamin Zephaniah

    S14, Ep7 How To Fail: Benjamin Zephaniah

    Benjamin Zephaniah was the author of the first poetry collection I ever owned. For many of us, he was the chronicler of our youth: a novelist and poet who made language exciting and funny and told stories full of action and hilarity.
    I was so excited to get to speak to him for today's episode, and he didn't let me down. We talk about his failure as a 'gangsta' - and his early brushes with the law (he served a prison sentence for burglary) as well as what being incarcerated taught him. We talk about his failures at school, his dyslexia and leaving mainstream education at the age of 13. And, in one of the most emotional conversations I've ever had on the topic, we talk about his failure to have children and his own journey with male infertility. It's the first time I've spoken about fertility struggles with a male guest, and it's a conversation I'll never forget. Just a note to say: we both get emotional and if you're feeling in a fragile space yourself because you're going through something similar, you might understandably want to come back to this episode later. On the other hand, it might be exactly what you need to remind you that you're not alone.

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    This episode is airing on Windrush Day in the UK, 22nd June, a legacy Zephaniah explores in his latest book for children, We Sang Across the Sea: The Empire Windrush and Me, available to order here: https://www.waterstones.com/book/we-sang-across-the-sea-the-empire-windrush-and-me/benjamin-zephaniah/onyinye-iwu/9780702311161

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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 

    Benjamin Zephaniah @BZephaniah

    • 1 hr 3 min
    S14, Ep6 How To Fail: Warsan Shire

    S14, Ep6 How To Fail: Warsan Shire

    TW // eating disorders

    I'm biased but oh my goodness, I love this guest and this episode SO much. Ahead of Refugee Week, which runs 20-26th June, it is my honour to welcome the poet Warsan Shire to the podcast. Warsan was born in Kenya to Somali parents. She migrated with her family to the UK at the age of one and her powerful poem Home - which opens with the line ‘no one leaves home unless home is the mouth of a shark - has become the unofficial anthem to raise awareness of the refugee crisis. She's also a frequent collaborator with Beyonce - her poems are featured in the singer's seminal visual album, Lemonade. Now, at the age of 33, Warsan’s first full length collection, Bless the Daughter Raised by a Voice in Her Head, has just been published to critical acclaim.

    Warsan joins me to talk about her failures in everything from breastfeeding to maths. We also talk about her eating disorder and her 'failure to control it'. We discuss what 'home' really means and what it is to be a refugee. And yes, we OBVIOUSLY talk about Beyonce.

    Warsan is a beautiful, powerful communicator and this interview made me think and understand better. I hope you like it as much as I do.

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    Warsan's poetry collection, Bless the Daughter Raised by a Voice in Her Head, is available to order here: https://www.penguin.co.uk/books/111/1119216/bless-the-daughter-raised-by-a-voice-in-her-head/9781784743703.html

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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 

    Warsan Shire: @warsanshiree

    • 55 min

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