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Light on Leeds

Arts & Culture Podcasts

This is a podcast about all of the fantastic things happening in Leeds and the amazing people who are making them happen. We've got social activists, writers, BAFTA winners, artists, gallery owners, playwrights, stand-up comedians, authors, raconteurs, bands, fiddle players, charities - and you don't have to live in Leeds to enjoy it...

This is a podcast about all of the fantastic things happening in Leeds and the amazing people who are making them happen. We've got social activists, writers, BAFTA winners, artists, gallery owners, playwrights, stand-up comedians, authors, raconteurs, bands, fiddle players, charities - and you don't have to live in Leeds to enjoy it...


United Kingdom


This is a podcast about all of the fantastic things happening in Leeds and the amazing people who are making them happen. We've got social activists, writers, BAFTA winners, artists, gallery owners, playwrights, stand-up comedians, authors, raconteurs, bands, fiddle players, charities - and you don't have to live in Leeds to enjoy it...








Episode 64: Mat Cooper - Script Consultant and Writer

I had a fantastic rambling chat with Mat Cooper who is a BAFTA nominated script writer for hire, a script consultant and script doctor. He has written for Eastenders, Emmerdale, Hollyoaks and Family Affairs. Mat was the first ever winner of the Lloyds Bank Film Challenge and the the winner of the Oscar Moore Screenwriting award. Mat works with producers, directors, production companies, brands, broadcasters and content creators across the globe. He has directed and produced two films...


Episode 63: Sue Jennings - Left Bank Leeds

Sue Jennings is the Director of Left Bank Leeds. We first had a brilliant chat back in April but unfortunately, technology failed us. Sue very kindly agreed to rerecord our conversation and I am very glad that she did. "Left Bank Leeds is a progessive space for creativity, culture and community, set inside a beautiful Grade 2 listed former church building." Sue chose to feature the track "Coffee Shop" by Lucky Iris - it's a fantastic...


Episode 62: Rob Wilson - Angels of Freedom

I had such an interesting conversation with Rob Wilson, founder of Angels of Freedom. "Bringing a caring LGBT+ scene to a compassionate city The Angels of Freedom is a community based initiative organised by volunteers and supported by Leeds City Council, British Transport Police and West Yorkshire Police. Our aim is to provide visible support for the LGBT+ community based in the Freedom Quarter area of the city every Friday evening. Our volunteers provide conversations on support &...


Episode 61: Bryn Mostyn - Leeds Community Gambling Service

This was such an interesting interview with Bryn Mostyn (Team Leader at Leeds Community Gambling Servcie). We discuss the impact of gambling not only on your finances but also on your time; what he and his team are doing to reduce the stigma of seeking help with gambling and how all of this affects family and friends. The featured track on this episode is "Glimmer" by Leeds band Precept - it's a really soothing and beautiful track. Should you wish to own a copy there is a link to their...


Episode 60: Steven Burt - The Remarkable History of Hunslet

Steven Burt has written a fantastic book "The Remarkable History of Hunslet" which covers the history of this area from 11th century to the present day. More people were living within the bounds of Hunslet by 1850 than in Wakefield or Dewsbury. Many visitors, from the Seneca Indians of North America to the future Tsar of Russia, came to see the marvellous machines of Hunslet in action. The book provides an insight into this exciting period of radical change and highlights the role played...


Episode 59: Lucy Ndlovu - Leeds African Communities Trust

Lucy Ndlovu is the Communications Director at Leeds African Communities Trust. We had a great chat about how and why the trust was formed, how they are looking for more communities to join them, their food hub at Little London Community Centre and much more: "The Leeds African Communities Trust promotes the wellbeing of people of African descent throughout Leeds, by advancing education, relieving poverty and improving their welfare, through community based activities in partnership with its...


Episode 58: Pamela Crowe - 23 Press

It was really lovely to chat to artist Pamela Crowe about 23 Press, art, community walks and poetry. "23 Press is a Small Press, a new inclusive publishing platform co-created within the community of Headingley & Hyde Park, LS6. #23PRESS is part of My World My City My Neighbourhood and Leeds 2023 Year of Culture. 23 Press would like to explore how we use words and our voices to define and occupy a personal and shared space in the world. To challenge perceptions of culture and who defines...


Light On Episode 8: Miranda Keeling - The Year I Stopped to Notice

It was really great to chat to author Miranda Keeling about her new book "The Year I Stopped to Notice". We talk about her inspiration for the book, her Twitter friends and the art her book inspired in them, her work in theatre and on radio and much more. The featured track on this episode is "The Snow" by a brilliant band originating south of Leeds, Astoria. Astoria describe themselves as "bringing together the music of their individual record collections to create a sound with its roots...


Episode 57: Chris Baillie - Swarthmore Education Centre

I had a grand old chat with Chris Bailie, Director of Swarthmore Education Centre. We talked about how Chris got into working in adult education, Sawrthmore being founded by members of the Quaker movement in 1909, the Grade II listed building it's housed in and much more. Chris chose to feature the brilliant track "Rail Road Blues" by Brendan Croker and the 5 O'Clock Shadows. Brendan has a quote from Mark Knopfler his website: "… his marvellous voice; sometimes a howling Blues shout and...


Episode 56: Zip It - Annabel Harrison & Hester Cox

I enjoyed chatting to Annabel Harrison (writer and director) and Hester Cox (assistant director) about their upcoming play "Zip It". " How many voices must be taken before we are heard? Join the studio audience of this dystopian and comedic gameshow and follow the friendship of two young women and their experience of womanhood, sexual harassment and domestic violence. Created with an all-female cast and creative team, comprised of members of the National Youth Theatre of Great Britain....


Light On Episode 7: Caleb Ranson: Writer/Creator

I have been looking forward to speaking with Caleb for such a long time! Caleb Ranson is a writer and creator from Dorset. If you enjoyed the BBC production of 80 Days Around the World at Christmas you have Caleb (And Ashley Pharoah) to thank for that. Caleb has written and created some of the biggest successes on UK television in recent years. We talk about the nature of TV today, his production company, about what inspires him to write and so much more. Caleb chose to feaure "Shooting...


Episode 55: Emma Bearman - Playful Anywhere

I have been looking forward to speaking with Emma Bearman for such a long time and I was not disappointed! We had such fun chatting about Playful Anywhere "Catalyzing creativity and conviviality with people, in places". Emma tells me about her gigantic playboxes, the Playlab, Culture Vulture, Digital Access West Yorkshire and we discuss the nature of fun and play and so much more. There is a small amount of swearing in this episode. Emma chose to feature the joyous track "Eurospin" by...


Episode 54: Elvi Piper - Wrongsemble

I had a lovely chat with Elvi Piper from Wrongsemble. Wrongsemble are a theatre company based in Leeds who specialise in creating work for schools, families and young people. Elvi and I talk about how she got interested in theatre, the company and their upcoming production The Not So Ugly Sisters which runs from Saturday 2nd April until Sunday 24th April and is a Leeds Playhouse, Red Ladder and Wrongsemble co-production. Elvi chose to feature a brilliant song from the show U.G.L.Y....


Episode 54: Carl Hutton - The Leeds Library

I chatted to Carl Hutton, Chief Executive at The Leeds Library - the city's oldest cultural institution. We spoke about the Grade 2 listed building the library is housed in, the resident ghost, Sternberg, about all of the amazing events they hold in the building and much, much more. The featured track is "(Shitting Bricks) Lucky 13" by Undisclosed...


Episode 52: Laura Beare - Marketing & Galleries Assistant Manager, Leeds University Library

Laura Beare was a great person to chat with about the Stanley and Audrey Burton Gallery and the Treasures of the Brotherton Library. Laura tells me about her love of museums and galleries beginning in childhood, how she and her team have been expanding their digital content, some of their fabulous collections and works of art and the Leeds University Library Tik Tok account (it's great fun and very interesting - check it out). Listen out for the story of the Cottingley Fairies too -...


Episode 51: Amy Letman - Transform

What a great conversation I had with Amy Letman, the Creative Director of Transform! "Transform is an engine room for powerful performance. We create exhilarating international festivals and work year-round to catalyse future-gazing artists and creatives to reimagine what theatre can be. We bring Bold, Brave, Vivid & Socially-Conscious international performance to the Leeds City Region and beyond." The Transform Festival runs biennially and has been running for 10 years. "Transform 21-22...


Episode 50: Joe Kent - Barca-Leeds

What a great conversation I had with Joe Kent, Business Development Manager at Barca-Leeds. Joe told me about some of the great things they do "Barca-Leeds delivers transformational services to adults, children, young people and families in Leeds" and it was especially great to hear about the work they do around homelessness. We talk about how the team deal with vicarious trauma by taking part in random acts of kindness and how disappointed Barca fans occasionally get them mixed up for a...


Episode 49: Vanessa Matthews - Flamenco De Leeds

I learned a lot about the history, culture, fashion, music and dance of flamenco with this week's guest, Vanessa Matthews. She was a fascinating guest and I was glad to learn more about something I knew very little. "Flamenco de Leeds was started in 2015 after looking for local Flamenco workshops and events and found they were few and far between. Since then, they are providing regular workshops, events and performers across Leeds and further afield. The ethos of Flamenco de Leeds is very...


Episode 48 Deby Jackson - That Leeds Mag

I had a grand old chat with Deby Jackson who is the creator, editor, all-round-everything of That Leeds Mag, an independent printed Leeds magazine that goes out to 19,000 homes across North Leeds. It provides advertising for local businesses, has great editorial features and the cover art work is really beautiful too. Deby tells me about how and why she got started and what she thinks of Leeds as a relative newcomer to the city. I had been interviewed by her for That Leeds Mag the previous...


Episode 47: Testament (aka Homecut)

Where to begin?! Testament is a rapper, a spoken word poet, a world record holding beatboxer, a writer, a theatre maker, a workshop facilitator, a husband and a father... We spoke about his perfomance for Desmond Tutu, how he came to write Orpheus in the Record Shop and performed it with seven members of the Opera North orchestra, how his First Word record label was voted Label of the Year and how he had to keep Idris Elba off the stage at an event. It's a brilliant conversation that...