197 episodes

This is the podcast which accompanies the work I am doing on Nostalgia at the University of Kent. We often know what our colleagues are researching and teaching, but we don’t always know what it is that inspires those interests and passions.

What is it that shapes us? What propelled us into persevering with our studies and then to want to impart that knowledge and enthusiasm to subsequent generations of students? How did we end up where we are – not just the books we read and the ones we wanted to write ourselves, but what influenced us in terms of the music, the films, the sporting events and the relationships and family members that brought us to where we are now?

These interviews are unscripted and take the form of a free-flowing conversation with a range of guests, both within and outside of academia, and are inspired by the great radio interviews I grew up listening to when I was in my teens and early twenties.

(A huge thank you to Stephanie Painter at the University of Kent for the fantastic logo!)

Nostalgia Interviews with Chris Deacy Nostalgia Interviews with Chris Deacy

    • Society & Culture
    • 4.0 • 1 Rating

This is the podcast which accompanies the work I am doing on Nostalgia at the University of Kent. We often know what our colleagues are researching and teaching, but we don’t always know what it is that inspires those interests and passions.

What is it that shapes us? What propelled us into persevering with our studies and then to want to impart that knowledge and enthusiasm to subsequent generations of students? How did we end up where we are – not just the books we read and the ones we wanted to write ourselves, but what influenced us in terms of the music, the films, the sporting events and the relationships and family members that brought us to where we are now?

These interviews are unscripted and take the form of a free-flowing conversation with a range of guests, both within and outside of academia, and are inspired by the great radio interviews I grew up listening to when I was in my teens and early twenties.

(A huge thank you to Stephanie Painter at the University of Kent for the fantastic logo!)

    Duncan Woodruff

    Duncan Woodruff

    My guest this week is actor and stage combat instructor Duncan Woodruff who did a History degree at the University of Kent about fifteen years ago. We learn that Duncan had a plan from when he was at school to go into acting, and that his work in fight directing was more serendipitous.

    Duncan used to take part in the Dickens Festival Play every year in Broadstairs, and we talk about the relation between the director and the actor and the way actors can interact on a stage in a way they can’t in a film with an audience. Duncan also discusses how the editor can change the way in which the actor comes across.

    We talk about his film Occupied (Bruce Partleton, 2024) and how it developed from the original short, and discuss the various different components which make it work, and how the audience can play detective.

    We learn why Duncan is not such a fan of method acting, and we talk about the role of fiction, and we find out about Duncan’s favourite scene from Occupied.

    We find out why Duncan is a fan of fantasy, in the light of what he was brought up on, and about the specifically Kent connection that inspired his acting bug.

    Duncan reveals that auditions can be more nervous than doing the job itself, and that sometimes when one is performing on stage mistakes that happen can lead to a better outcome. He relays a story about what happened when an accident took place during Singin’ in the Rain at Canterbury's Marlowe Theatre and how it worked to the actor’s advantage.

    Duncan discusses how the best stories are about us overcoming obstacles, and we hear his thoughts on what happens when actors stop shows to tell audience members off for using their phones, and we find out when it is acceptable to break the fourth wall.

    Then, towards the end of the interview, we learn what sort of roles Duncan would like to play, and Duncan reflects on what has changed in the industry in recent times, and he refers to the golden age of performing. We also find out at the end why Duncan looks back in order to look forward.

    • 1 hr 6 min
    Sofia Akin

    Sofia Akin

    My guest this week is Sofia Akin, journalist and main anchor at KMTV's Kent Tonight, and (as we learn in the breaking news at the end) who is about to join the BBC as a Broadcast Journalist.

    We learn that Sofia, who is from West Sussex, started out as a video journalist, and she talks about how no two days are the same. Sofia gives the example of a current story at the time we recorded the podcast regarding the bombshell defection of Natalie Elphicke MP from the Conservatives to Labour.

    Sofia talks about being one’s own worst critic, the role of feedback, and Sofia discusses her upbringing and her educational journey, and we find out how she got into journalism. Originally, she wanted to be a print journalist but Sofia explains why she especially loves telling a story through TV. Sofia also reveals how quickly one needs to learn in such a short amount of time.

    We learn that Sofia’s favourite movie is Harry Potter and how she doesn’t get tired of it, and how she also likes to watch films which take her by surprise.

    We talk about the ‘Sliding Doors’ and ‘what if’ notion, too, and about the way not having breakfast in the morning can impact in unexpected ways on how one’s day unfolds.

    We find out about the teachers who have inspired her, including Rob Bailey at the University of Kent with whom Sofia went on to work at KMTV, and the experience of reporting from the count in Tunbridge Wells at the local elections.

    We learn about how Sofia and her peers have been thrown in the deep end due to the quantity of breaking news over recent years, and we discuss the local element to the news in Kent.

    Then, at the end of the interview, before finding out whether she is a looking back or a looking forward type of person, we have a big reveal – Sofia announces that she is moving to BBC South East in mid-June.

    • 44 min
    Andy Richards

    Andy Richards

    My guest this week is Andy Richards, Channel Director of KMTV. Born in Guernsey in 1982, Andy reveals what it was like to grow up on a small island. The first film he saw was ET and Andy discusses the importance in those days of Blockbuster Video where he worked when he was 18, and we learn about the migration in that era from VHS to DVD.

    We talk about the success of particular films from those days, such as The Shawshank Redemption, the role played by technology including AI, and we talk about the importance of theatre.

    Andy also discusses the culture and professions of those who live in the Channel Islands, and how arts and humanities were really important to him.

    Andy went pretty much as far away as he could to university, studying for a year at the University of Teesside. He had been told he wasn’t university material, and Andy discusses how Middlesbrough was quite a challenging environment, and quite a contrast to Guernsey, and we find out why he ended up transferring to Chichester.

    Andy talks about his work ethic, what he has learned about himself, and what he learned about the poverty he saw around him, and how he got into journalism.

    We discover that Andy loved radio but didn’t know he wanted to be a journalist until he became one. Andy talks about an interview that went badly and how the station asked him back and he ended up falling in love with journalism.

    Andy also reflects on the nature of management, and why he draws on the analogy of the end of 8 Mile in terms of the importance of owning your own mistakes.

    Andy, who also worked for ITV as an onscreen reporter, reveals who his heroes are, and we find out about the decision he took to finally leave Guernsey and how he ended up running KMTV.

    Then, towards the end of the interview, I ask Andy whether one can be nostalgic about negative experiences and whether he is a looking back or a looking forward type of person, and Andy ruminates on the future of things at Kent. He discusses how the media world and academia work according to different timescales.

    And Andy announces an exclusive on my podcast – that Generation Why, a series I made with KMTV and where I am the lead presenter, is going to be screening on ITV.

    • 1 hr 23 min
    Abby Hook

    Abby Hook

    My guest this week is Abby Hook, Assistant News Editor, journalist and presenter at KMTV where she has been based for the last two years. Abby talks about the demanding nature of journalism and how you have to love it to do it, and we learn that she grew up regularly doing drama.

    Journalism wasn’t the route Abby thought she would originally follow, and she discusses how much she loves learning, and we find out why Abby doesn’t want people to recognize her for doing just one thing.

    We talk about the way we present ourselves and the way others will perceive us, and how one gets their personality across when covering a range of stories, as well as about how Abby uses social media as a timeline.

    Abby grew up in Surrey, and we learn about her wonderful extended family. We find out about the role that confidence plays in her life and how she originally associated journalism with a profession that people hate.

    We talk about the role of the audience, and how Abby will be recognized in the street, and how her nan keeps up with her by watching her on TV of an evening.

    We discuss the viewer that we will imagine speaking to when we are on TV, the things that go wrong, and about the notion of being the person who is the ‘centre of attention’, as well as about the role of music and camping growing up, and doing karaoke with her mum which was more nerve-racking than going on TV.

    Abby talks candidly about the heartbreaking end of a relationship and how much the experience has taught her, what she has learned about herself, the importance of not losing oneself in a relationship, and having a strong sense of self.

    Then, at the end of the interview, we discuss the concept of ‘it’s meant to be’, and Abby reveals why she is a forward-looking type of person and why she has a fear of failure.

    • 1 hr 9 min
    Paul Badham

    Paul Badham

    My guest this week is Professor Paul Badham who for many years was Professor of Theology and Religious Studies at Lampeter, where he began his career in 1973. His own father had done an English degree there before studying Theology at Oxford and whose own writings were influential on Paul.

    We find out how Paul got interested in his seminal research on life after death, which hadn’t been a central plank of his studies beforehand. He mentions Penny Sartori’s work in terms of gathering the relevant evidence and we find out about other students of his who have undertaken research on NDEs and the afterlife, including his Canadian students who worked on the care of the dying which brought about a change of emphasis in Paul’s own work in this area.

    Paul talks about being a patron of Dignity in Dying and how his work here prompted former Archbishop of Canterbury George Carey to change his mind on the topic.

    We discuss his media appearances and Paul talks about his regret that he has been associated so much with this particular branch of theology when his interests have spanned the wider area of Christian theology, with world religions being of particular interest to him.

    We talk about his own PhD supervisor John Hick and how he made it respectable to talk about issues around parapsychology but that the work was not always seen in this way.

    We find out about the funding that was available in the 1990s for students from Turkey to undertake PhDs in the department and we discuss Paul’s stance on the ordination of women and how in many ways he was ahead of his time.

    We find out where Paul grew up and that his father was a vicar, and Paul reflects on how it feels as though he grew up into a different world in some respects. He did Theology at Oxford which, he reflects, was quite an old fashioned Christianity-centred degree. He talks about how the parameters of the subject and its relationship to Religious Studies was to change over the years.

    We also find out about the way music has impacted on Paul’s life, and how he first met his wife, Linda, in a choir when they were both at Birmingham, and Paul talks about how music is often one of the triggers for religious experience.

    We find out also how due to Paul’s health he has turned increasingly to being ‘read to’ via podcasts.

    Paul also discusses his work on comparing religious experience in Britain and China, and we find out whether Paul, who was ordained, imagined that he would follow an academic or a church career.

    We learn that at Lampeter Paul wanted to move away from the notion that academic theology should be taught only by believers and that other religions should be taught by atheists who were interested in religious studies. He is proud of how world religions were taught by scholars who were both within and from without the faith traditions concerned.

    Paul talks about having gone five times to Japan to lecture and about his experience of working across theology and religious studies colleagues at Lampeter. It is all very different from when he arrived in Lampeter as back then everyone was a Christian theologian.

    I ask Paul if there was a particular golden age from his time at Lampeter, and Paul reveals what his younger self would think about what he went on to do in his life and career. We also find out at the end of the interview whether Paul is a looking back or a looking forward type of person.

    • 57 min
    Henrik Schoenefeldt

    Henrik Schoenefeldt

    My guest this week is Henrik Schoenefeldt, Professor of Sustainable Architecture, who has been at the University of Kent since 2011. He was at Cambridge prior to moving to Kent and we learn about the role of sustainability in architecture from an historical perspective, such as from the Victorian era.

    Henrik grew up in Germany in a former industrial city, a site of industrial heritage, and indeed he grew up in a house on a former industrial site.

    Henrik reflects on how Covid and Brexit prompted a lot of thinking regarding identity, including his own future in the UK. He’s working on the largest conservation project in the UK at the Palace of Westminster, and reflects on how far what one does in academic work resonates with our interests as teenagers.

    We find out how the rebuilding of Coventry Cathedral became a personal story for Henrik as his grandmother was in Dresden during the bombing. It also links to matters of faith, as Henrik recounts.

    Henrik discusses how his family did talk about the Second World War and how it shaped their lives, and we talk about the things we once took for granted but which is no longer the prism we would look through, now. We talk about crossing national boundaries and Henrik recounts how he would go on interrail journeys as a teenager, and we see the things we have in common, and how some people today want to go back to those more isolated sovereign units.

    We discuss why it is that we come back to things, and we learn about his secondment over the last seven and a half years to Parliament. We find out how Henrik got into this project. We learn that the Palace is a treasure trove for the study of the development of environmental technology and design principles. He has direct access to the underground tunnels etc. in the building.

    Musically, we talk about how Henrik was more interested in the popular culture of a previous age when he was growing up, and how he still listens to The Beatles today, and he is aware of the techno scene from his final days of school. He enjoys going to live classical music.

    Then, towards the end of the interview, we find out whether Henrik’s younger self would be surprised to see the journey he has taken. We learn that many of his peers at a Steiner school were also interested in the environmental interests he has. And, we find out why Henrik is somebody who looks back in order to look forward.

    • 57 min

Customer Reviews

4.0 out of 5
1 Rating

1 Rating

JoshuaChrisman ,

Fair Start

My interest in this University lead me to the podcast and I found it worth the listen.

It has a free/open conversation style which I enjoy but I hope for more of a focus on the topic of Nostalgia in the future episodes.

I enjoyed the conversation regarding music and how some tend to go back to the past for music once contemporary songs don’t do it for you anymore.

Looking forward to hearing more.

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