107 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 howtofail

    • Arts
    • 4.6 • 493 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.

    S11, Ep4 How to Fail: Guvna B

    S11, Ep4 How to Fail: Guvna B

    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


     


     


     

    • 56 min
    S11, Ep3 How to Fail: Ed Miliband

    S11, Ep3 How to Fail: Ed Miliband

    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


     


     

    • 57 min
    S11, Ep2 How to Fail: Jessica Ennis-Hill

    S11, Ep2 How to Fail: Jessica Ennis-Hill

    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


     


     

    • 59 min
    S11, Ep1 How to Fail: Graham Norton

    S11, Ep1 How to Fail: Graham Norton

    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.


    *


    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


     

    • 1 hr 5 min
    BONUS EPISODE How to Fail: Dr Alex George

    BONUS EPISODE How to Fail: Dr Alex George

    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


     

    • 1 hr 3 min
    S10, BONUS EPISODE How to Fail: Adrian Dunbar

    S10, BONUS EPISODE How to Fail: Adrian Dunbar

    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 


     


     


     


     


     

    • 51 min

Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5
493 Ratings

493 Ratings

Yogatini ,

Fantastic

Love this podcast! Refreshing, inspiring and genuine.

Delia Folk ,

What a great concept!

Thank you to Elizabeth for creating such an interesting show :)

megan@podcastingyou ,

Amazing Content!

Elizabeth does such a good job covering a variety of topics. Her guests offer awesome advice and have incredible stories as well. I would recommend this show to anyone looking to be inspired!

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