17 episodes

In Crisis What Crisis? Andy Coulson, former newspaper editor, Downing Street Communications Director and inmate of HMP Belmarsh, talks to embattled, shamed, courageous, ruined, resilient, unlucky (and lucky) survivors of crisis. Some names will be familiar, some less so. But they will talk honestly, with humour and in the hope that they have valuable lessons to share at a time when crisis has become the new normal. Crisis What Crisis? is all about frank, authentic and useful storytelling.

Crisis What Crisis? Andy Coulson

    • Personal Journals
    • 3.9 • 7 Ratings

In Crisis What Crisis? Andy Coulson, former newspaper editor, Downing Street Communications Director and inmate of HMP Belmarsh, talks to embattled, shamed, courageous, ruined, resilient, unlucky (and lucky) survivors of crisis. Some names will be familiar, some less so. But they will talk honestly, with humour and in the hope that they have valuable lessons to share at a time when crisis has become the new normal. Crisis What Crisis? is all about frank, authentic and useful storytelling.

    14. Connie Yates on the fight to save her son Charlie Gard, losing control, and the power of hope

    14. Connie Yates on the fight to save her son Charlie Gard, losing control, and the power of hope

    In this final episode of series two I talk to Connie Yates, mother of Charlie Gard who in 2017 was at the centre of a crisis and debate that stretched from the High Court in London, to the Vatican, the White House and into homes across the world. That debate raised issues of medical ethics and the fundamental rights of parents. But for Connie and partner Chris it brought only pain. For the question being asked was the most heart rending imaginable – should their son be kept alive to receive treatment that might extend his life? This is ultimately the story of a mother and father’s unbelievable determination in the face of systemic resistance. From Charlie’s diagnosis to a final court case to decide where he would die, Connie charts the full shocking detail of their fight against Britain’s medical and legal establishment.
    This is, of course, ultimately a story that ends in heartbreak. But it’s also a story of hope and of a mother’s fight for control against a tide of unrelenting crisis.
    An episode full of lessons and perspective for anyone facing their own challenges.

    Links:

    Charlie Gard Foundation: https://thecharliegardfoundation.org/

    Charlie’s Law: https://services.parliament.uk/bills/2019-21/childrenaccesstotreatment.htm

    Episode notes:

    This was our longest episode so far – and for good reason. Connie Yates and her husband Chris are remarkable people. They faced the unimaginable – a devastating diagnosis for their first born. But what singles them out is their determination to fight against the consensus view every step of the way – each step a crisis in its own right. To get their sick son to Great Ormond Street, to refuse to accept that his condition was untreatable, to raise over £1m to fund the treatment in the US and to fight in every court in the land to get him that treatment. And then, when time ran out, to fight in the courts a final time so that Charlie might die at home and in peace. Connie’s background as a carer for disabled children (her Mum remarkably did the same job) clearly gave her a certain perspective. But in the end, it was an inner determination – a stubbornness – that drove Connie to fight against the medical and legal systems. Her greatest frustration came when the courts intervened to stop Charlie from being transferred from one hospital that wanted to end his life to another that wanted to save it. “I had no idea the courts could do that,” she says.
    Most of us, thankfully, will not live the heart-breaking crisis that Connie and Chris Yates faced. But in their story there are lessons, I think, for anyone dealing with a crisis. First the power of hope – the fuel for any long running campaign. But also the power and importance of control. Quite often we talk in this podcast about the need to work out what you have control over and what you don’t. No-one would have criticised Connie if she surrendered to the system much earlier in her story. But she did not … instead taking each defeat as a challenge to find another way forward.
    As Connie says: “It’s not that I wanted the control, I just wanted the best for my baby.”

    Stream/Buy ‘Allies’ by Some Velvet Morning: https://ampl.ink/qp6bm

    Some Velvet Morning Website: www.somevelvetmorning.co.uk

    • 1 hr 22 min
    13. Sir Kim Darroch on Trump, leaks and the art of the resignation

    13. Sir Kim Darroch on Trump, leaks and the art of the resignation

    Sir Kim Darroch is the US Ambassador who, after his unflattering views of President Trump were leaked, found himself persona non grata in the White House. In this episode Sir Kim gives a full and detailed account of the crisis that led to his shock resignation last summer. And he explains how he managed and coped with the high-profile political scandal that brought an end to his 42year diplomatic career. With just days to go to the US election, Sir Kim, whose memoir Collateral Damage is now available, also shares his unique and waspish insights on the President and his democrat rival Joe Biden. And he predicts who he believes will win the most important political contest on the planet.

    Kim's Crisis Cures:

    1. A half-hour walk: “Just get away from it, leave your phone at home and ground yourself in a different reality.”
    2. The fiction trilogy Three Body Problem: “I love to read and this is a stunning work which conjures up images that just transfix you.”
    3. Five Easy Pieces: “I’m a movie buff and this Jack Nicholson film is my favourite film of all time.”

    Links:

    Collateral Damage: Britain, America and Europe in the Age of Trump: https://www.harpercollins.co.uk/products/collateral-damage-britain-america-and-europe-in-the-age-of-trump-kim-darroch?variant=32551380779086

    Episode notes:

    Sir Kim Darroch’s admission that he still feels ‘bursts of anger’ gave a glimpse of the impact his resignation as US Ambassador has had on him. His concern, that an otherwise stellar diplomatic career would be defined by the events of last summer, is real and raw 15months on. As a resigning recidivist myself, I found Kim’s detailed account of the thought process that led to the decision to quit, fascinating. As we discussed, resignations are lonely decisions that, in the end, are values based. That Kim’s only regret (anger of the leaks aside) is that he didn’t quit sooner, speaks volumes about his integrity. In terms of precedent and practicalities, his stepping down was, of course, inevitable. How can a US Ambassador do his job, unwelcome in the Washington corridors of power? But I couldn’t help but wonder how amusing it would have been for the PM to keep Kim in place, if only to get even further up President Trump’s nose.

    Stream/Buy ‘Allies’ by Some Velvet Morning: https://ampl.ink/qp6bm

    Some Velvet Morning Website: www.somevelvetmorning.co.uk

    • 1 hr 2 min
    12. Payzee Mahmod on child marriage, honour killing and freedom

    12. Payzee Mahmod on child marriage, honour killing and freedom

    In this episode fashion stylist and activist Payzee Mahmod gives an intense and moving account of a young life etched with horror, pain but now also, years later, with hope. Payzee was just 15 and living in South London when her Kurdish father ordered her to marry a stranger twice her age. Her 17-year-old sister Banaz had already suffered the same fate. Whilst Payzee lived her own nightmare with an abusive husband, Banaz managed to run away from hers. When she later began a relationship with another man, her punishment was to be abducted, raped and murdered. With a police investigation underway, Payzee was then able to escape her own forced marriage. Banaz’s death, as she puts it, enabled her freedom. But the awful truth about what happened in January 2006 then became apparent. Banaz and Payzee’s father and uncle, along with other male relatives, were later convicted and sentenced to life for her murder – a so called honour killing. Payzee now devotes her life to a campaign to make all forms of child marriage in the UK illegal. This is Payzee’s story told with heartbreaking detail, clarity of thought and driven by a breathtaking, awe inspiring sense of purpose.

    Sign Payzee’s petition: https://www.freedomunited.org/advocate/safeguard-futures/

    Payzee’s Crisis Cures:
    1. Creativity – If I’m not in the best place I want to make something.
    2. Social media - For me, it’s where I’ve really found a great deal of support and friendships. I never knew that speaking out and telling my story would encourage so many young, especially Kurdish girls and women to tell me their stories.
    3. Walking with my dog just soothes and calms me.

    Links:
    Payzee’s website: https://www.payzeemalika.co.uk/
    Chat with Payzee podcast: https://www.payzeemalika.co.uk/podcast
    Savera UK: https://www.saverauk.co.uk/
    IKWRO: http://ikwro.org.uk/
    Freedom United: https://www.freedomunited.org/
    Payzee’s petition: https://www.freedomunited.org/advocate/safeguard-futures/

    Episode notes:

    This episode is, at times, a difficult listen. At several points in our conversation I struggled to find an adequate response to Payzee’s eloquent and painfully honest description of her young life. How does someone survive or cope with all that Payzee and her sister Banaz endured?
    What perhaps struck me most deeply was the inexplicable absence of support for Payzee and, of course, her sister. How could an ordeal lived in plain sight in modern day London be ignored so often and so comprehensively? By schools, shopkeepers, the registrar who married her and, of course, the police. As Payzee said: “It blows my mind that not one person in my life asked if I was ok.” What is also astonishing is that Payzee has only recently been able to find and receive the professional help she needs. She now, thankfully, has a Kurdish counsellor who understands the multi layered complexity of her experience. Payzee is determined, on Banaz’s behalf, to campaign for an end to all forms of child marriage. Through her passionate activism she has turned the oppression that killed her sister, into an inspiring, powerful tool for good. As Payzee puts it: “My sister deserved better. What happened to her and what happened to me – it can’t happen to other girls. That’s what drives me.”

    Stream/Buy ‘Allies’ by Some Velvet Morning: https://ampl.ink/qp6bm

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    • 1 hr 13 min
    11. Mark Hix on going bust, losing his name and battling back

    11. Mark Hix on going bust, losing his name and battling back

    Mark Hix is one of the greats of British food. His HIX empire spread across London and beyond with a string of critically acclaimed restaurants. But when the COVID lockdown struck, the HIX group quickly crumbled. Mark – having previously handed control to investors – lost everything including the right to use his own name. In his words, he was: “Done, gone, finished for good”. Back in his native Dorset, and a bottle of wine in, he decided to get back in the game … by buying a mobile food truck, converted from an American ambulance, on eBay. This is the astonishing story of a famous chef’s refusal to surrender to the collateral damage of COVID and the vagaries of the hospitality trade. A must-listen for anyone facing or fearing business collapse in these challenging times.

    Mark’s Crisis Cures:

    1. Stay positive
    2. Just keep earning - however small the amount
    3. Drink the best wine possible

    Links:

    The Oyster & Fish House: https://theoysterandfishhouse.co.uk
    HIX Oyster & Fish Truck: https://www.facebook.com/Hixoysterandfishtruck

    Episode notes:

    Rarely on the podcast do we talk to someone still in the midst of their crisis, so it was a privilege to chat with Mark this week. He is a brilliant chef whose move from the kitchen to restaurant owner 12 years ago was seamless and successful. But as he explained with such brutal honesty, the financial reality of his business was not always as it appeared to customers and the media. “People would say, ‘Hix SoHo looked really busy last night, Mark’ when actually, we were losing £200k a year because the landlord put up the rent.”
    That financial reality pushed Mark into a partnership that in turn led him to cede control of his business. And when COVID struck that meant the decision to close was not his, and that he lost the right to use his own name as well as the ability to protect his 130 staff.
    The shock of those developments would send most people into the darkness. But instead Mark went back to basics, remembered that his talent had not evaporated with his business and found a small but smart way to keep in the game. Even if it meant making mayonnaise in his own kitchen before a day’s work that would pay only £140.
    I think the HIX food truck is a great totem for Mark’s astonishing resilience - mobile, flexible and sturdy. Mark had lost it all but having reset himself and his expectations he is able to focus on the rebuild. More modest, for sure, but also more experienced and independent. And the food is just as good.

    Stream/Buy ‘Allies’ by Some Velvet Morning: https://ampl.ink/qp6bm
    Some Velvet Morning Website: www.somevelvetmorning.co.uk

    • 1 hr 10 min
    10. Frank Warren on near-death, fighting Mike Tyson and staying positive

    10. Frank Warren on near-death, fighting Mike Tyson and staying positive

    Frank Warren, one of boxing’s greatest ever promoters, has survived and coped with an astonishing amount of incoming crisis throughout his 40-year career. An attempt on his life, a high-profile court case that could have seen him jailed, and the collapse of his dream venue, The London Arena are just three of the dramas that Frank has bounced back from. The question, of course, that I wanted to focus on in this conversation was “How?”. Frank’s formula for resilience is anchored in his ability to stay focused and strategic when all seems lost. As he explains: “I get a big rush of adrenaline when things are against me – and that makes me really focus and gives me a clear mind to what I’m going to do. I don’t panic about things.”

    Franks’ motivation for survival is crystal clear: “You’ve just got to be true to yourself and the most important thing is you’ve got to make sure your family is safe. You’ve got to make sure that you’re protecting them”. Speaking about his younger brother Mark, who very sadly took his own life, Frank shared his thoughts on mental health and revealed how a brief spell of therapy helped him understand aspects of his personality. In this conversation my friend of 25years, gave an authentic, powerful account of his approach to crisis and to life. Family, friends, loyalty and fun are the guiding lights of Frank Warren’s incredible life.

    Frank's Crisis Cures

    1. Just being home.
    2. My family photo album... because my wife Susan and my children are what drives me.
    3. I love music and The Temptations - The Way You Do The Things You Do is guaranteed to lift my mood.

    Links:

    DEBRA: https://www.debra.org.uk
    Website: https://www.frankwarren.com

    Stream/Buy ‘Allies’ by Some Velvet Morning: https://ampl.ink/qp6bm
    Some Velvet Morning Website: www.somevelvetmorning.co.uk

    • 1 hr 6 min
    9. Ruby Wax on anger, optimism and taking ownership of your crisis

    9. Ruby Wax on anger, optimism and taking ownership of your crisis

    TV presenter, best-selling author, mental health campaigner and academic – Ruby Wax is a woman always on a mission. That she’s achieved so much whilst managing clinical depression and the burden of a deeply troubled childhood, makes her all the more remarkable. In this episode Ruby talks with power and honesty about how she confronted her demons to reach a deep understanding of what makes her brilliant, but at times troubled, mind tick. And – after travelling far and wide to research her inspirational new book And Now For The Good News – To The Future With Love - she also speaks movingly about how she found hope for all our futures in the most desperate of places.

    Ruby's Crisis Cures:
    1. Community: ‘Not just a wine tasting club, but where you genuinely talk to each other’.
    2. Compassion: ‘When I’m in a queue sometimes I’ll find somebody in a really bad mood, and I’ll start talking to them or somebody who’s giving me grief. It’s just an experiment… I’m trying to exercise those [stress] muscles.’
    3. Mindful exercise: ‘Tai chi, Pilates, Yoga… but not something mindless. You have to notice what’s going on in your body.’

    Links:
    And Now For The Good News...: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Now-Good-News-much-needed-frazzled/dp/0241400643
    Website: www.rubywax.net
    Frazzled Cafe: www.frazzledcafe.org
    Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/rubywax
    Twitter: https://twitter.com/Rubywax

    Stream/Buy ‘Allies’ by Some Velvet Morning: https://ampl.ink/qp6bm
    Some Velvet Morning Website: www.somevelvetmorning.co.uk

    • 51 min

Customer Reviews

3.9 out of 5
7 Ratings

7 Ratings

LindseyLaine ,

Honesty and crisis cures- great podcast

Andy and his guests are bitingly honest in looking back at times of crisis in their lives. My favorite content is the end of each episode when each guest is asked for their 3 “crisis cures”- as guidance and help for everyone now trying to survival a global pandemic crisis of our own.

SJ Weho ,

Great podcast!

So many people make success look easy and effortless. Not Andy and his guests. They harness the power of failure and resilience to show how both can be a driving force that ultimately lead to a fresh perspective on life, and how both can be used to turn negative events around into positive forces in life.

claudiajm1989 ,

Andy is a wonderful interviewer

Great interviews, where Andy is able to glean golden nuggets of warmth, humour and new insights from his guests as to how they have each persevered in the face of adversity

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