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The Modern Mann

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Let's Live Adventurously (Season 5, Ep 10)

From the desert to the jungle, Belinda Kirk has lead expeditions through some of the world’s most inhospitable places. She’s been kidnapped, suffered extremes of heat and cold, and nearly drowned - yet believes such adventures help keep her sane in a modern world that can seem increasingly sedentary and predictable. In this inspiring interview with Olly, Belinda explains the difference between ‘right’ and ‘wrong’ stress; defines ‘type 1’ versus ‘type 2’ fun; and recommends some...

Duration: 00:56:21

Life In Westminster (Season 5, Ep 9)

Would you be an MP, at a time when public trust in politicians has fallen to the lowest level in living memory? Could you dedicate yourself to your constituents, yet also make time for your family, fighting fires on social media and keeping the media on-side? Wes Streeting, Labour MP for Ilford North since 2015, entered the fray in time to experience the Brexit vote, the murder of his colleague Jo Cox, and the Palace of Westminster coming under terrorist attack. In this candid interview...

Duration: 00:48:54

Hacker For Hire (Season 5, Ep 8)

Using the same techniques as criminal hackers, ethical ‘white hat’ hackers help governments and companies test their own security. FC (hacker name: ‘Freakyclown’) has been a white-hat hacker ever since being approached by some ‘men in suits’, having found himself in a spot of legal bother. He’s since been employed to rob dozens of high street banks - all with the consent of the owners. In this honest and fast-moving interview with Olly, he recalls how he stepped away from a childhood...

Duration: 00:56:58

How Are We For Time? (Season 5, Ep 7)

Being a TV warm-up man is one of the hardest jobs in showbiz. How can you capture the interest and affection of an audience who don’t know who you are, have spent hours sitting around, and may simply want to go home? Andy Collins is a man who knows. Often cited as the best in the business, he’s honed his skills over decades, warming-up audiences for shows as diverse as Strictly Come Dancing, Big Brother, Celebrity Juice and The Alan Titchmarsh Show. In this candid and riotously funny...

Duration: 00:41:14

The Accidental Pimp (Season 5, Ep 6)

Being a landlord means trusting strangers to live in your house. Try as you might, you can't know everything about them. Sometimes, you just have to rely on an instinct that your tenants are good people. Until, that is, you get a knock on the door from the Police... That's what happened to listener Ian from Dublin. In this interview with Olly, he re-lives the moment he became involved in an armed Police sting - and began to regret renting out his property. Also this week, Ollie and Olly...

Duration: 00:46:03

Subliminal Criminal (Season 5, Ep 5)

Does the mind of a murderer look any different to yours? Can brain-scanning technology help explain criminal activity? And if could - should that evidence be admitted into court? Dr Lisa Claydon, Senior Lecturer in Law at the Open University, has spent decades considering these questions. In this fascinating interview with Olly, recorded at Cheltenham Science Festival, she explains the issues around neuroscience in the courtroom, from the problems of malingering and false memory syndrome...

Duration: 00:51:19


From Glastonbury to The End Of The Road, Summer festivals continue to colonise the countryside. But how do people pull together such enormous events year after year? In our 2017 Summer Festivals Special, Olly meets Pete Lawrence, co-founder of The Big Chill, which went from being a low-key ‘festival in a club’ for 150 people in Islington to an massive outdoor happening, taking over huge venues across Britain, with acts including Lily Allen, The Proclaimers, Basement Jaxx, and Leonard...

Duration: 00:44:18

I See Dead People (Season 5, Ep 3)

Pathology technician Carla Valentine always knew she wanted to work with corpses. In childhood, she conducted funerals for roadkill. These days, she is curator of the St Bart’s Museum of Pathology, and a passionate advocate for more discussion about what happens when the mortuary doors swing shut. In this interview with Olly, she reveals how to prepare for an autopsy, how to get a sense of how a person lived from examining their remains, and how to create that ‘look of gentle repose’ so...

Duration: 00:53:18

Micronesia's Got Talent (Season 5, Ep 2)

Paul Watson realised he would never play football for England - so attempted, instead, to be recruited by the worst international team in the world. His quest lead him to Pohnpei, Micronesia; and, although he never realised his dream of becoming an international soccer star, he ended up coaching them instead... What's it like training a team 9000 miles away from home, in a country with no football culture? What is the beautiful game's secret at bringing communities together? And how can...

Duration: 00:57:20

Serving the Super-Rich (Season 5, Ep 1)

There are more billionaires than ever. Rockstars. Oil tycoons. Internet entrepreneurs. And all of them - all of them - employ private staff. The age of Jeeves and Wooster may be over, but the demand for a dependable butler remains. Lawrence McKenna has been serving the super-rich for three decades, including stints in private suites in London's poshest hotels and the Royal Enclosure at Ascot. In this interview with Olly, he reveals how to remain invisible yet available; poised to deliver...

Duration: 00:52:22

Yours Sincerely (Season 4, Ep 10)

Is there still a place for the pen-and-paper posted letter? Alison Hitchcock thinks so: when she discovered her friend Brian Greenley had cancer, she decided to write him regular letters throughout his treatment - initially as an attempt to cheer him up, then as companionship through some of his darkest hours. In this interview with Olly, she recalls how writing over a hundred letters to Brian helped get them both through a difficult chapter, and deepened their friendship immeasurably....

Duration: 00:48:36

The Woman Who Talks To Paedophiles (Season 4, Ep 9)

Dr Sarah Goode spent six years talking to, and writing about, self-defined paedophiles - grown men sexually attracted to children. She believes, if our society were more accepting of this ‘involuntary’ sexual predilection, then more children might be protected from abuse - if the men concerned were prevented from acting out their fantasies. In this compelling interview with Olly, Dr Goode outlines her contentious view and why she believes hysteria around predatory paedophilia ironically...

Duration: 00:59:27

Having The Last Word (Season 4, Ep 8)

From David Bowie to George Michael, celebrity deaths are becoming increasingly common, as the rock generation reaches retirement age. How does a paper of record go about documenting their lives? Simon Pearson is Obituaries Editor of The Times, and in this interview with Olly he explains how profiles of the great and the good are created - ready to be published the moment a notable name pops their clogs - and how lesser-known figures also find their way on to the paper’s illustrious pages....

Duration: 00:44:44

I Was A Child Soldier (Season 4, Ep 7)

When he was just 14, Wayne Sharrocks realised he wanted to join the Army - within a year, he’d begun the process of signing up to serve his country. At 18, he had his regimental cap badge tattooed on to his chest. In this searingly honest interview with Olly, he describes how the Army broke him down and built him back up again; training him to follow orders without question and desensitising him to violence. In postings to Afghanistan he saw courage, commitment - and life-changing...

Duration: 00:57:01

The Man Who Stole My Year (Ep 6, Season 4)

What’s it like when the person you’re closest to in the world is not the person that you think they are? ‘Elizabeth’ spent a year dating a man who provided only sketchy details about his life, but ingratiated himself into her friendship circle, her family and her home. In this interview with Olly, she reveals how it felt to discover he was living a double-life, and how it’s affected her trust ever since. Also this week, Ollie Peart considers whether the return of The Matrix heralds a new...

Duration: 01:01:43

The Quiet Ones (Season 4, Ep 5)

From Morrissey to Laurence Olivier, public figures through history have channelled shyness and stage-fright into their work. But is shyness a useful tool, or is uninhibited confidence a better way to navigate the modern world? Backstage at the Royal Festival Hall’s ‘Being A Man’ festival, social and cultural historian Joe Moran talks to Olly about the implicit difficulty of silence, the internal monologues that plague him in social situations, and how shy people can weaponise irony,...

Duration: 00:44:11

Being Amy Winehouse (Season 4, Ep 4)

Amy Winehouse’s voice may have seemed unique - but you can sing just like her if you understand her influences. So says Emma Wright, whose musical journey began with an X Factor audition that sounded like Christina Aguilera, morphed into a Stars In Their Eyes contest in which she played Lady Gaga - and culminated in a fully-fledged career impersonating one of the most troubled and celebrated musical icons of recent times. Elsewhere this episode, in The Zeitgeist, Ollie Peart - whose Mum...

Duration: 00:35:19

The Impossible Cream (Season 4, Ep 3)

The story behind Baileys, the blockbuster booze brand, is unexpectedly lo-fi. It was invented not in Ireland but in London’s Soho, with ingredients purchased on impulse from a corner shop. David Gluckman was one of the creative team who, by mixing whiskey and cream, unwittingly spawned a new sub-category of drinks - Irish chocolate cream liqueurs - which went on to sell billions of bottles. In this interview, he tells Olly Mann how a disparaging focus group, some drinking policemen and a...

Duration: 00:40:01

The 21st Century 'It-Boy' (Season 4, Ep 2)

Artist, muse, socialite: when Daniel Lismore visits a nightclub, he charges THEM to host him. How did this quiet man from the Midlands become a fashion insider with countless celebrity contacts and an outrageous style that has strongly influenced London clubland? In this interview with Olly, he discusses how his battle with bulimia, his love of Star Trek and savvy use of social media has propelled him from his mum's dressing-up box to become a 21st Century 'It-Boy'. Daniel's book of...

Duration: 00:43:44

CEO at 22 (Season 4, Ep 1)

Raising $1m in venture capital whilst still at Uni; starting a business seemed like child's play for James Routledge. His start-up attracted 50m page views per month, and his investors believed he could be the next Mark Zuckerberg. Except, beneath the surface, he felt stressed, isolated and alone - and his business was burning £30,000 per month. In this honest and compelling interview with Olly, he explains what happened next. James is now co-founder of mental health start-up Sanctus. You...

Duration: 00:51:43

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