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How To Fail With Elizabeth Day

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Rank #72 in Arts category

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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.

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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.

iTunes Ratings

231 Ratings
Average Ratings
192
13
9
3
14

Yes

By chuffed99999 - Feb 12 2020
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I wasn’t sure at first, but now I’m a huge fan - Elizabeth has the warmest heart and soul, and she’s willing to be vulnerable to her own learning curve about people and the world. I’ll be listening.

Beautiful podcast

By Maud44420 - Jan 21 2020
Read more
Grateful for Elizabeth Day and her wise words

iTunes Ratings

231 Ratings
Average Ratings
192
13
9
3
14

Yes

By chuffed99999 - Feb 12 2020
Read more
I wasn’t sure at first, but now I’m a huge fan - Elizabeth has the warmest heart and soul, and she’s willing to be vulnerable to her own learning curve about people and the world. I’ll be listening.

Beautiful podcast

By Maud44420 - Jan 21 2020
Read more
Grateful for Elizabeth Day and her wise words
Cover image of How To Fail With Elizabeth Day

How To Fail With Elizabeth Day

Latest release on Feb 18, 2020

The Best Episodes Ranked Using User Listens

Updated by OwlTail 5 days ago

Rank #1: S5, Ep2 How To Fail: FLEABAG IS BACK

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Yes. That's right. Phoebe Waller-Bridge is back.

One year on from her debut appearance on How To Fail With Elizabeth Day, my first ever guest returns to talk about the craziness of her last 12 months, during which she has written and starred in Fleabag 2 (described as a televisual masterpiece by...well...almost everyone), made Killing Eve (described as a televisual masterpiece by...well...almost everyone) and been brought in by the James Bond producers to work her magic on the franchise.

It's a year that, from the outside, has seemed to many of us to be the epitome of success. But what failures lie underneath the surface? What about those private moments of vulnerability and self-doubt we are so rarely privy to?

Phoebe joins me to talk about three failures from the past year, including her failure to connect with her family, her failure to speak up for herself and her failure to Marie Kondo her bedroom. Along the way, we discuss what makes the perfect water bottle, filming THAT final scene in Fleabag (apparently the foxes were total divas), sexuality, exhaustion and why female creators are often unfairly assumed to be writing autobiography. And yes, the Meryl Streep apple crumble anecdote makes an appearance.

Thank you, Phoebe, for coming back onto the podcast and being such a generous and wonderful friend.

If you haven't already listened to her first episode, you can do so here

***SPECIAL ANNOUNCEMENT KLAXON***

I am thrilled to be taking How To Fail on tour around the UK in October, sharing my failure manifesto with the help of some very special guests. These events are *not* recorded as podcasts so the only way to be there is to book tickets via www.faneproductions.com/howtofail

How To Fail With Elizabeth Day is hosted by Elizabeth Day, produced by Chris Sharp and Naomi Mantin and sponsored by Teatulia. To contact us, email howtofailpod@gmail.com

The Sunday Times Top 5 bestselling book of the podcast, How To Fail: Everything I've Ever Learned From Things Going Wrong by Elizabeth Day, is out now and is available here.

Social Media:

Elizabeth Day @elizabday

Chris Sharp @chrissharpaudio

Naomi Mantin @naomimantin

Teatulia @TeatuliaUK

Jul 03 2019

57mins

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Rank #2: S4, Ep4 How to Fail: Mo Gawdat

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Just occasionally in life, you meet someone who changes your way of thinking about the world. The shift might be subtle or it might be seismic, but afterwards, you are never quite the same again.

This is what happened to me when my path crossed with that of Mo Gawdat who spoke to me about what it is to live a contented life in a way that had an immediate and practical impact on my outlook. Gawdat is the former chief business officer at Google X (Google's so-called 'moonshot factory' responsible for off-the-wall ideas such as self-driving cars and a balloon-powered internet) but for a long time in his life, despite having professional, personal and material success, he realised he wasn't happy. So he set about solving this problem by applying his scientific research skills to the issue: how can one individual be happy?

After 12 years, he developed an algorithm for happiness, eventually arriving at an equation which states simply that happiness is greater than, or equal to, your perception of the events in your life minus your expectation of how life should be. He even wrote a book about it, Solve For Happy, which became an international bestseller.

Gawdat joins me to talk about how that algorithm was put to the ultimate test when his beloved 21-year-old son Ali died in tragic circumstances. We talk about how to survive depression and grief; how happiness is like fitness; how to cope with break-ups; why social media is driving us further apart and what to do about it; why life is like a computer game; the illusion of time and why we should always, always be polite to Siri.

This episode is slightly longer than normal just because I didn't want to cut any of it. I hope you take as much from Mo's words as I have.

Solve For Happy: Engineer Your Path To Joy by Mo Gawdat is available to order here.

How To Fail With Elizabeth Day is hosted by Elizabeth Day, recorded by Chris Sharp and sponsored by 4th Estate Books

The Sunday Times Top 5 bestselling book of the podcast, How To Fail: Everything I've Ever Learned From Things Going Wrong by Elizabeth Day, is out nowand is available to pre-order here.

*IMPORTANT NEWS KLAXON* 

I’m doing a live How To Fail With Elizabeth Day event on 5th May at The Bridge Theatre in London with ZAWE ASHTON (who is amazing). There are still some tickets available here

Social Media:

Elizabeth Day @elizabday

Chris Sharp @chrissharpaudio

4th Estate Books @4thEstateBooks

Apr 24 2019

1hr

Play

Rank #3: S1, Ep3 How to Fail: Dolly Alderton

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This week’s guest on How To Fail with Elizabeth Day is memoirist, podcaster and journalist Dolly Alderton. Dolly, the co-host of the utterly fantastic The High Low podcast and author of the brilliant Sunday Times bestseller Everything I Know About Love, talks about being rejected from Bristol University (and still feeling resentful of anyone she meets who went there), being ‘compassionately’ fired from a job she didn’t really want and what happens when you don’t meet the love of your life, even when you think you’re going to.

Along the way, we talk about the horror of being a teenager, internalised misogyny, the pressure for women to look good (‘I try very hard to remember that I’m not disappointing anyone if I don’t look perfect,’ says Dolly), sensitivity, people-pleasing, narcissism, discomfort zones, the brilliance of female friends and why it’s sometimes good to have a thin skin.

We also discuss Made in Chelsea (Dolly used to be a story producer) and her efforts to invent a new game show, where you would win your dream home but it wouldn’t have any doors. Sounds amazing. Not sure why it never got commissioned.

Note: this episode contains the phrase ‘absolute rotters’ used in a non-ironic way.

How To Fail is hosted by Elizabeth Day and produced by Chris Sharp

How To Fail is sponsored by Moorish

Social Media:

Elizabeth Day @elizabday

Dolly Alderton @dollyalderton

The High Low @thehighlowshow

Moorish @moorishhumous

Jul 25 2018

49mins

Play

Rank #4: S2, Ep7 How to Fail: Tara Westover

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This week, I bring you a truly incredible woman. Her name is Tara Westover. She wrote a memoir called Educated, which is quite simply one of the best books I have ever read: profound, moving, unerringly original. It tells the story of Westover's upbringing, born the seventh child of Mormon survivalist parents who didn't believe in public schooling or mainstream medicine. It wasn't until she was 17 that Westover decided to educate herself - with astonishing results.

We talk about what it's like to love your family but to be estranged from them, and how the two ideas can co-exist. We also discuss how on earth someone teaches themselves algebra ('Yeah,' says Westover, 'that wasn't fun') and what it was like to refuse any pain medication despite having a dental abscess. Her failures include flunking tests, finding it difficult to make friends, her failure to believe in her family's religion even though she wanted to and her failure to make her relationship with her parents work. She also quotes John Stuart Mill on feminism and it's completely brilliant.

This was one of those very special interviews where I felt my mind expanding just from the privilege of listening to her speak. I hope you enjoy it too.

How To Fail With Elizabeth Day is hosted by Elizabeth Day, produced by Chris Sharp and sponsored by 4th Estate Books

Educated by Tara Westover is out now published by Penguin

Social Media:

Elizabeth Day @elizabday

Tara Westover @tarawestover

Chris Sharp @chrissharpaudio

4th Estate Books @4thEstateBooks

Nov 14 2018

48mins

Play

Rank #5: S7, Ep1 How to Fail: Andrew Scott

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HAPPPPPY NEW YEAAARRRR! I hope you've woken up with a sense of rejuvenating freshness about the year ahead, but if you haven't - if you're hungover or feeling weird or sad or discombobulated or tired or like you haven't achieved enough - then fear not. You are simply caught up in this messy business of being human and that's fine. There is no need for a new year to mean a new you. The old you is great! The old you has stuff to say. And to remind you of this, I have the most wondrous of all special guests to help you usher in the first days of 2020.

Andrew Scott, as well as being an utterly lovely person, is an astonishingly talented and versatile actor. Yeah, ok, you might just have heard of him from the little-known, moderately successful television show that is Fleabag, in which he played the Hot Priest and somehow made 'KNEEL' the sexiest word in the English language, but he's also been in Bond movies and Shakespeare plays and in some of the best television shows and films of the last decade. I'd list them all here but there wouldn't be enough room.

He joins me to kick off a new decade and to talk about his failure at a drama competition aged 10 (a failure that ended up teaching him about the arbitrary nature of criticism), his failure to complete his degree and - his words - his 'failure to be heteronormative'. Along the way, we talk about the judgemental language of sexuality (why do gay people have to 'come out' when it implies you're hiding something? Why refer to someone as 'openly gay' when you wouldn't say 'openly Irish'? What does 'casual sex' really mean?), why acting should be playful, why growing older is an act of un-learning the things you think you know and why he still feels bad about a pizza delivery guy.

I love this man. I know you will too.

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The Sunday Times Top 5 bestselling book of the podcast, How To Fail: Everything I've Ever Learned From Things Going Wrong is out NOW in paperback and available to buy here.

This episode is sponsored by Secret Spa - the mobile app that provides you with all your beauty treatments in the comfort of your own home. Now covering London and Manchester, for 15% off your first booking, use the code HOWTOFAIL on the app or via the website secretspa.co.uk

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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

Social Media:

Elizabeth Day @elizabday

ANDREW SCOTT IS NOT ON SOCIAL MEDIA. (Yet another reason to love him).

Jan 01 2020

1hr 1min

Play

Rank #6: S6, Ep2 How to Fail: Alain De Botton

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This week on How To Fail, we are doing something slightly different. I know, I know, we don't like change, but sometimes IT'S GOOD FOR US. It's especially good for us when it comes in the form of Alain de Botton, one of the most intelligent, eloquent and thoughtful people on the planet.

And because it's Alain de Botton, modern philosopher, founder of The School of Life and bestselling authors of life-changing books such as Essays In Love, I decided to allow him a little leeway. Instead of choosing personal failures, Alain wanted to talk about three philosophical 'failure concepts' and I'm so glad he did, because it led to one of the most fascinating and enlightening discussions I've ever had on the topic.

We discuss the idea that we can be good people and yet fail, and the concept (which I'm forever banging on about) that failure is the norm, and that we should find contentment in the average rather than constantly expecting the exceptional. He also has brilliant insights into why romantic break-ups are not, in and of themselves, tragic, because each relationship teaches you something you need to know, and when the time is right, it is ok to move on. Along the way, I also ask him about X Factor, so fear not, I'm there to pepper his brilliance with my usual lowbrow content, as per.

It was such a delight to meet Alain. An hour in his company left my brain fizzing with new (and reassuring) ideas, and I hope it has the same effect on you.

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The new book from The School of Life, co-authored and introduced by Alain de Botton, is out now and available to buy here

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I am thrilled to be taking How To Fail on tour around the UK in October, sharing my failure manifesto with the help of some very special guests. These events are not recorded as podcasts so the only way to be there is to book tickets via www.faneproductions.com/howtofail

The Sunday Times Top 5 bestselling book of the podcast, How To Fail: Everything I've Ever Learned From Things Going Wrong by Elizabeth Day, is out now and is available here.

*

This season of How To Fail With Elizabeth Day is hosted by Elizabeth Day, produced by Naomi Mantin and Chris Sharp and sponsored by Sweaty Betty. Sweaty Betty are offering listeners 20% off full-price items with the code HOWTOFAIL

To contact us, email howtofailpod@gmail.com

Social Media:

Elizabeth Day @elizabday

Alain de Botton @alaindebotton

Sweaty Betty @sweatybetty

Oct 02 2019

54mins

Play

Rank #7: S3, Ep1 How to Fail: Lily Allen

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Haaaappy New Year! We're back with a whole new season and we open with a bona fide musical superstar: Lily Allen.

A singer, songwriter, the recipient of multiple awards, Lily's songs such as Smile and The Fear are observationally crafted with honesty and irreverent wit. In 2018, she was nominated for a Mercury Prize for her (brilliant) fourth album, No Shame, and published her memoir, My Thoughts Exactly, which was a Sunday Times Number 1 bestseller. In it, she writes unflinchingly about feminism, fame and family dysfunction. Oh, and shagging Liam Gallagher in an airplane toilet. 

She joins How To Fail With Elizabeth Day to talk about failing to be famous, failing to report a sexual assault, body image, children, marital breakdown, drugs and alcohol, songwriting and why, one day, she might just enter politics.

I am SO EXCITED to have Lily on the podcast. It's so rare that someone this famous is also this honest and it's a real treat. I hope you enjoy listening.

How To Fail With Elizabeth Day is hosted by Elizabeth Day, produced by Chris Sharp and sponsored by 4th Estate Books

My Thoughts Exactly by Lily Allen is out now published by Blink Publishing

Social Media:

Elizabeth Day @elizabday

Lily Allen @lilyallen

Chris Sharp @chrissharpaudio

4th Estate Books @4thEstateBooks

Jan 02 2019

40mins

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Rank #8: S3, Ep8 How to Fail: Pandora Sykes

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This week I get to interview one of my favourite fellow podcasters: Pandora Sykes is a journalist,  co-host of The High Low and all-round woman of impeccable taste (I mean, she must be to have agreed to come on How To Fail, right?) 

Sykes is also a contributing editor at Man Repeller and Elle magazine and writes regularly for other publications. Her High Low co-host, Dolly Alderton, is a former How To Fail guest and - fun fact - Dolly's episode is the most downloaded OF ALL TIME.

I'm so happy Pandora agreed to come on the podcast and to talk eloquently and insightfully about not fitting in with friends at school, being fired from an internship in her 20s and 'failing to harness/ contain my brain after having a baby' even though, on the surface, her life seemed to be picture-perfect. Her words will carry so much resonance for so many of us and I loved doing this interview (partly because I got to nose around Pandora's beautiful house and to meet her mother who was as terrific as you'd expect and makes a mean sausage plait).

If you haven't listened to The High Low, hello who are you and what are you doing and please download it right now. It's a brilliant weekly take on high and low-brow news and culture.

You can order Pandora's essay, The Authentic Lie, via the crowd-funded publisher The Pound Project. (Full disclosure: I wrote the foreword).

The book of the podcast, How To Fail: Everything I've Ever Learned From Things Going Wrong by Elizabeth Day is available to pre-order here.

Social Media:

Elizabeth Day @elizabday

Pandora Sykes @pinsykes

The High Low @thehighlowshow

Chris Sharp @chrissharpaudio

4th Estate Books @4thEstateBooks

Feb 20 2019

51mins

Play

Rank #9: S1, Ep8 How to Fail: Elizabeth Day

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For the last episode of the first season of How To Fail With Elizabeth Day, our interviewee is…well…Elizabeth Day. Which means I’m currently writing shownotes about myself in the third person. Which is weird. Let me stop doing that.

Over the course of the last eight weeks, I’ve been lucky enough to interview some truly wonderful, interesting, successful people, all of whom have opened up to me and made themselves vulnerable by discussing the place failure occupies in their lives. It seemed only fair to turn the tables on myself.

In this episode, I’m truly honoured to have my brilliant friend Dolly Alderton interviewing me. Dolly is not only the author of the bestselling memoir, Everything I Know About Love, but she’s also a super-talented journalist and co-host of the iTunes-topping The High Low podcast. The way she interviewed me is really quite spectacular because she made it feel like a conversation, sharing her own excellent insights and humour along the way. As a result, I ended up being far more honest than I’d intended, opening up about everything from infertility and grief to intimacy and regret. I also talk about my conspicuous failure to be good at sport, despite lots of people assuming I must be good at things like tennis and running because I’m tall. I know, it makes no sense to me either.

This is the final episode in this season, but How To Fail With Elizabeth Day will be BACK with a whole new selection of fantastic guests in October. In the meantime, if you’ve enjoyed listening, please do rate and review us on iTunes. Thank you, thank you, thank you so much for listening, and see you  in October!

How To Fail is hosted by Elizabeth Day and produced by Chris Sharp

How To Fail is sponsored by Moorish

The Party by Elizabeth Day is published by 4th Estate

Social Media:

Elizabeth Day @elizabday

Dolly Alderton @dollyalderton

Chris Sharp @chrissharpaudio

Moorish @moorishhumous

Aug 29 2018

1hr 8mins

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Rank #10: S1, Ep7 How to Fail: David Nicholls

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David Nicholls, bestselling novelist, critically acclaimed screenwriter, aspiring piano player and thoroughly nice man, joins How To Fail to talk about his myriad failures. You might not expect the author of One Day, which sold five million copies and was adapted into a film starring Anne Hathaway, to have much of an acquaintance with failure, but Nicholls insists there’s plenty to discuss.

We touch on his failure to be an actor for 10 years (he was always the understudy; never the main part), the anxiety that comes with success, the challenges and beauty of fatherhood and his failure to drive a car competently above 40 miles per hour.

We also talk about his Booker-longlisted novel, Us, and his brilliant TV adaptation of the Edward St Aubyn Patrick Melrose novels starring Benedict Cumberbatch, as well as the time he acted with Dame Judi Dench.

Despite all his achievements, Nicholls admits he still feels ‘very thin-skinned’ which is partly why he left Twitter after accidentally getting into a row with Stephen Fry (trust me, it’s a good story) and why, when a critic once said ‘No-one turns to David Nicholls for great sex scenes’ he felt he had to defend himself. So listen in to find out how to write sex. Or maybe how not to write sex. One or the other.

How To Fail is hosted by Elizabeth Day and produced by Chris Sharp

How To Fail is sponsored by Moorish

Social Media:

Elizabeth Day @elizabday

Moorish @moorishhumous

Chris Sharp @chrissharpaudio

Aug 22 2018

43mins

Play

Rank #11: S7, Ep2 How to Fail: Malcolm Gladwell

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My guest this week is Malcolm Gladwell, a man who has challenged and changed the way we think with six bestselling books including The Tipping Point, Blink and Outliers. Gladwell also hosts his own highly successful podcast, Revisionist History and is basically 98% brain. Obviously this makes him quite an intimidating prospect to interview, but luckily he was extremely nice and, as luck would have it, his new book is all about how we can best talk to strangers. It is called, appropriately enough, Talking To Strangers, and I found it a fascinating read, written in Gladwell's trademark style which combines academic research with humour, insight and journalistic expertise, all of which makes for a curiously propulsive narrative.

Malcolm really engaged with the idea of this podcast and came up with three highly thoughtful failures, including a professional low-point which caused him public embarrassment and a deeply felt failure to stand by an alcoholic friend. We also chat about running, faith and whether prejudice can ever be a force for good. Talking to Malcolm for an hour felt like plunging into a freezing pool and emerging zingily refreshed from the experience. It was thought-provoking in the best, most meaningful way and I hope it stimulates you as much as it did me.

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The Sunday Times Top 5 bestselling book of the podcast, How To Fail: Everything I've Ever Learned From Things Going Wrong is out now in paperback and available to buy here.

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Talking To Strangers by Malcolm Gladwell is published by Penguin Books and is available to buy here

This episode is sponsored by MEYA, a new meditation app that uses the power of music to switch you into a meditative state. Download the app here to experience the power of MEYA mind journeys and a new way to fit meditation into your daily routine this January. 

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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

Social Media:

Elizabeth Day @elizabday

Malcolm Gladwell @gladwell

MEYA @meya_app

Jan 08 2020

46mins

Play

Rank #12: S5, Ep6 How to Fail: Samin Nosrat

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Oh, Samin Nosrat! Where do I start? With her ebullient personality and wildly infectious laugh? With her four-part Netflix show, Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat where she travels the world eating freshly baked focaccia and Japanese seaweed? Or with the award-winning, bestselling cookbook of the same name, that revolutionised the way we thought about food?

I don't know where to start. So let me just tell you that she is one of the bubbliest, most open and generous interviewees I've ever had the pleasure of meeting. She joins me to talks about growing up in San Diego, the child of Iranian parents, who was 'the only brown kid' in her school, and what this sense of outsidership taught her. She talks about overnight fame, and the weirdness that comes with that, as well as failing to write, what happens when your business fails and the one memorable time she burned the sauce for a dinner she was cooking for Hillary Clinton. Oh, and the story of how she got the description of osmosis wrong in the science part of Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat and was berated by critics. Also the way she talks about cassoulet will probably leave you feeling very hungry.

Thank you so much Samin for coming on my podcast!

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Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat by Samin Nosrat is published by Canongate and is available to order here

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I am thrilled to be taking How To Fail on tour around the UK in October, sharing my failure manifesto with the help of some very special guests. These events are not recorded as podcasts so the only way to be there is to book tickets via www.faneproductions.com/howtofail

The Sunday Times Top 5 bestselling book of the podcast, How To Fail: Everything I've Ever Learned From Things Going Wrong by Elizabeth Day, is out now and is available here.

*

How To Fail With Elizabeth Day is hosted by Elizabeth Day, produced by Chris Sharp and Naomi Mantin and sponsored by Teatulia. To contact us, email howtofailpod@gmail.com

Social Media:

Elizabeth Day @elizabday

Samin Nosrat @ciaosamin

Chris Sharp @chrissharpaudio

Naomi Mantin @naomimantin

Teatulia @TeatuliaUK

Jul 31 2019

53mins

Play

Rank #13: S1, Ep5 How to Fail: Olivia Laing

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This week on How To Fail, we’re joined by the brilliant writer Olivia Laing. Her three critically-acclaimed works of non-fiction, To The RiverThe Trip to Echo Spring and The Lonely City, have explored themes of alcoholism, loneliness and suicide (and yet somehow manage to be deeply uplifting to read). Her recent debut novel, Crudo, has everyone from Jilly Cooper to Viv Albertine in veritable ecstasies. 

Olivia talks to us about losing her way in her 20s, how the torture of romantic break-ups has ultimately led to some of her greatest creative work and about what it’s like to be made redundant from a job you love. Along the way, we discuss gender fluidity, whether women are conditioned to self-deprecate, getting married at 40, why being raised by lesbians made Olivia less susceptible to patriarchal assumptions about What Men Want. We also debate whether Brighton has more dogs on strings than the average British city (spoiler alert: Elizabeth thinks that yes, it definitely does).

How To Fail is hosted by Elizabeth Day and produced by Chris Sharp

How To Fail is sponsored by Moorish

Crudo by Olivia Laing is out now, published by Picador

Social Media:

Elizabeth Day @elizabday

Olivia Laing @olivialanguage

Moorish @moorishhumous

Picador @picadorbooks

Aug 08 2018

45mins

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Rank #14: S6, Ep 8 How to Fail: Jane Garvey

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*SEASON FINALE KLAXON* I mean...where does the time go? A minute ago it was summer and now here I am posting the final episode of Season Six and it's a mere 24 shopping days left until Christmas. Sheesh. 

But what a pleasure I have in store for you! She comes in the form of the ICONIC Jane Garvey: broadcaster extraordinaire, host of Radio 4's Woman's Hour and one-half of the brilliant podcasting duo, Fortunately...with Fi and Jane. I couldn't have asked for a better guest to bring this season to a close. (Well, I suppose I could have asked, but the point is, no-one would have been able to fulfil that request).

Jane so engaged with the premise of How To Fail that she sent not three but seven failures over email, saying she was 'struggling to narrow it down' and that it was up to me to choose which ones we talked about. We talk about her failure to listen, her tendency never to be seen to be trying too hard in case she doesn't succeed and her failure to appreciate fully what women were really up against in terms of equal pay at the BBC, partly because of what she sees as her own internalised misogyny and self-acknowledged white privilege. Most poignantly, Jane talks about her three miscarriages, and the long-felt emotional impact of each one. As anyone who has ever been through it will know, having a miscarriage is a specific form of grief that is difficult to describe but Jane articulates her feelings so beautifully that I know her story will be a great help to many of us.

'All sounds a but whiny,' she signed off her email, 'but I’m actually a laugh when I try!!'
 
You are indeed Jane. You're HILARIOUS. But you're also someone who isn't afraid to go deep and we're so grateful for it.
 
I'll be taking a little break now but will be back in January with eight more fabulous guests. I'm deeply appreciative of everyone who has listened, downloaded, rated, reviewed and subscribed. You make me very happy (and, on a practical note, you also make it more financially feasible for me to carry on doing this so YAY for that). Until next year: thank you and keep failing better!

Looking for a Christmas present? THEN LOOK NO FURTHER THAN MY MEMOIR, the Sunday Times Top 5 bestselling book of the podcast, How To Fail: Everything I've Ever Learned From Things Going Wrong which is available here.

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You can listen to Fortunately...with Fi and Jane here

This season of How To Fail With Elizabeth Day is hosted by Elizabeth Day, produced by Naomi Mantin and Chris Sharp and sponsored by Sweaty Betty. Sweaty Betty are offering listeners 20% off full-price items with the code HOWTOFAIL

To contact us, email howtofailpod@gmail.com

Social Media:

Elizabeth Day @elizabday

Jane Garvey @janegarvey1

Sweaty Betty @sweatybetty

Nov 20 2019

1hr

Play

Rank #15: S3, Ep4 How to Fail: Deborah Frances-White

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My guest this week is Deborah Frances-White: an award-winning stand-up comedian, author and quite possibly the defining feminist of our generation. You'll probably know her from her hit podcast, The Guilty Feminist, or from her book of the same name and if you don't then WHERE HAVE YOU BEEN, FOR THE LOVE OF EVERYTHING, WHERE?

Deborah joins me to talk about failure at improvisation, failure to be a biological mother and how to rebuild your life after leaving the Jehovah's Witnesses. Along the way, we discuss her adoption, the Syrian refugee who lives in her house and why learning to be joyful about miserable failure could actually be the key to long-term happiness. Deborah is such an impressive and clever woman and every time I hear her speak, I learn something unbelievably helpful and new. This occasion was no exception. My favourite bit is where we talk about dating as a data-gathering exercise. Enjoy!

How To Fail With Elizabeth Day is hosted by Elizabeth Day, produced by Chris Sharp and sponsored by 4th Estate Books

The book of the podcast, How To Fail: Everything I've Ever Learned From Things Going Wrong by Elizabeth Day is available to pre-order here.

The Guilty Feminist by Deborah Frances-White is out now published by Virago.

Social Media:

Elizabeth Day @elizabday

Deborah Frances-White @deborahFW

The Guilty Feminist @GuiltFemPod

Chris Sharp @chrissharpaudio

4th Estate Books @4thEstateBooks

Jan 23 2019

46mins

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Rank #16: S1, Ep6 How to Fail: Gina Miller

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Political activist Gina Miller is best known for one major victory when she successfully took the government to court over the triggering of Article 50 to leave the European Union. But in this week’s How To Fail, she discusses the failures that led her to that point. In a frank and honest conversation with host Elizabeth Day, Gina talks about failing to graduate from law school, surviving an abusive marriage, raising a daughter with special needs and building up her emotional resilience so that when it came to the crunch, she was able to find the strength to take a stand for what she believed in. Now that she has been catapulted into the unforgiving glare of the public limelight, Gina faces a daily barrage of death threats and racist abuse. She talks about how she handles this and how her unlikely heroes, Iggy Pop and Bruce Lee, have got her through even the darkest times.

How To Fail is hosted by Elizabeth Day and produced by Chris Sharp

How To Fail is sponsored by Moorish

Gina Miller’s memoir, Rise, is published by Canongate on 30th August 2018.

Social Media:

Elizabeth Day @elizabday

Gina Miller @thatginamiller

Moorish @moorishhumous

Canongate @canongatebooks

Aug 15 2018

41mins

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Rank #17: S6, Ep7 How to Fail: Fearne Cotton

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Fearne Cotton blazed the trail for podcasts like mine. When she launched Happy Place in March 2018, it went straight to the top of the iTunes chart and has seemingly stayed there ever since. It has done so much to bring discussions about mental health into the mainstream, partly because Fearne has also been honest about her own experiences with panic attacks and anxiety.

So when I started How To Fail in July 2018, I always knew Fearne would be top of my list of dream guests. A few months later, we ended up sitting next to each other at the British Podcast Awards (spoiler alert: neither of us won but embarrassingly, we both presented awards to other winners) and having a good old natter, and then I was sent to interview her for a magazine and we got on so well that we hatched the idea of doing each other's podcasts now HERE WE ARE.

What makes Fearne so special is not just her impressive broadcasting career as a TV and radio presenter, or her bestselling books or the fact that she turned Happy Place into a full-blown festival, complete with yoga workshops and inspiring talks. No, it's that she is unafraid to be honest. She believes, as I do, that true strength comes from true vulnerability, and it's these qualities that make her a phenomenal guest.

Fearne joins me to talk about failing most of her GCSEs, a failed engagement and, in one of the most powerful passages of any interview I've ever had the privilege of doing, about her failure to be herself in her 20s and how she lived with an eating disorder for years. This is the first time she has ever spoken about it, and I am so truly grateful that Fearne felt this was a safe enough space to bare her beautiful soul.

Thank you, Fearne. Your words and your courage will help a great many people.

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The How To Fail Live tour is almost over. SNIFF! There are limited tickets left for Belfast with Sinead Burke (14th November) and Gateshead with Jess Phillips MP (8th December). Dublin with Amy Huberman (15th November) has SOLD OUT! Thank you! These events are not recorded as podcasts so the only way to be there is to book tickets via www.faneproductions.com/howtofail

The Sunday Times Top 5 bestselling book of the podcast, How To Fail: Everything I've Ever Learned From Things Going Wrong by Elizabeth Day, is out now and is available here.

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You can listen to Fearne Cotton's Happy Place here

This season of How To Fail With Elizabeth Day is hosted by Elizabeth Day, produced by Naomi Mantin and Chris Sharp and sponsored by Sweaty Betty. Sweaty Betty are offering listeners 20% off full-price items with the code HOWTOFAIL

To contact us, email howtofailpod@gmail.com

Social Media:

Elizabeth Day @elizabday

Fearne Cotton @fearnecotton

Sweaty Betty @sweatybetty

Nov 06 2019

55mins

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Rank #18: S1, Ep4 How to Fail: Sathnam Sanghera

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This week, journalist and author Sathnam Sanghera joins How To Fail and kicks off by saying how flattered he was to be asked to contribute to a podcast on failure because he hates hearing nice things said about himself. So that’s good.

As well as discussing his failure to take a compliment, Sathnam talks movingly about growing up in a household where both his father and his sister had schizophrenia. At first, he tried to run away from accepting it and then when that didn’t work, he wrote a brilliant, award-winning memoir called The Boy With the Topknot which was later adapted for the BBC. (Harry Potter author J. K. Rowling is a fan).

Sathnam talks about his social failure at university (and his inability to get a girlfriend for three years), as well as his failure to learn an instrument,  his failure to score a high Uber rating and his failure to read back his own handwriting moments after he’s written something down. 

Along the way, we cover his childhood job in a Wolverhampton sewing factory, the modern tendency to confuse anxiety with serious mental health issues, grief and how he coped with the death of his best friend, heartbreak, success, the concept of 'negative mindfulness', racist dogs and Sathnam’s undying love for George Michael and Club Tropicana.

We also spend longer than necessary trying to remember the common colloquial phrase 'prepare for the worst, expect the best' which is embarrassing given that we both make a living from words.

How To Fail is hosted by Elizabeth Day and produced by Chris Sharp

How To Fail is sponsored by Moorish

The Boy with the Topknot is published by Penguin and available to buy here.

Sathnam Sanghera’s website is here.

Social Media:

Elizabeth Day @elizabday

Sathnam Sanghera @sathnam

Moorish @moorishhumous

Aug 01 2018

46mins

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Rank #19: S6, Ep4 How to Fail: Lisa Taddeo

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Lisa Taddeo is a phenomenon. Although she is too humble to recognise that description of herself. But this is a journalist and author who spent eight years - EIGHT YEARS - of her life travelling the United States and embedding herself in the lives of three 'ordinary' women in order to report back on that hitherto unexplored topic: female desire as it really is. Not as pornographic exploitation or rom-com fantasy viewed through the male gaze, but as women truly experience love and loss and expectation and sex and marriage and crushes and abuse and threesomes and motherhood and daughterhood and sisterhood and all the liminal spaces in between.

The resulting work of narrative non-fiction, Three Women, caused a sensation on its publication earlier this year. It shot simultaneously to the top of the bestseller lists in both the UK and America. Elizabeth Gilbert called it 'the best book of the year'. Dave Eggers said it was 'scorchingly original'. When I read it, I was blown away: I had never experienced a book quite like it. It turned out I had been desperately thirsty for these female stories to be shared, and Three Women was like a long, cool glass of water.

I'm so thrilled to welcome Lisa as a guest on How To Fail. Meeting her was like falling in platonic love. She speaks so openly about crippling anxiety, losing both her parents in her 20s, quitting university for a boy and professional rejection, that I'm pretty sure you won't be able to help falling in love with her too.

Along the way, we also discuss female desire and repression, the practicalities of writing Three Women, and her relationship with the women she wrote about.

Thank you Lisa, for your work, your empathy and your humanity.

Oct 16 2019

48mins

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Rank #20: S5, Ep1 How to Fail: Nigel Slater

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We’re BAAACK! As House of Pain once rapped in their immortal hit Jump Around, ‘Just like the Prodigal Son I’ve returned’. Yes, here we are for Season 5 of How To Fail With Elizabeth Day: eight sparkling new episodes featuring eight marvellous guests.

And for our opening episode, I could not be happier to welcome the legendary Nigel Slater to the podcast. The bestselling and beloved cookery writer, whose books have adorned every kitchen worth its (Maldon) salt for decades, joins me to talk about his failure to be a proper chef, his fear that he let his father down and his failure to be a good friend. We also talk about sexuality, children, neatness, ceramics and whether or not he believes in an afterlife. Nigel was an utter joy from beginning to end and arrived in my flat for the recording bearing a bunch of flowers he had picked from his garden and a packet of green tea so delicious I promptly devoured it and had to order a massive packet of it online.

Thank you Nigel, for being so lovely. I hope you all enjoy the episode as much as I enjoyed doing the interview - and if you do, I’d be so grateful for any ratings or reviews you’d like to give us.

***SPECIAL ANNOUNCEMENT KLAXON***

I am thrilled to be taking How To Fail on tour around the UK in October, sharing my failure manifesto with the help of some very special guests. These events are not recorded as podcasts so the only way to be there is to book tickets via www.faneproductions.com/howtofail

How To Fail With Elizabeth Day is hosted by Elizabeth Day, produced by Chris Sharp and Naomi Mantin and sponsored by Teatulia. To contact us, email howtofailpod@gmail.com

The Sunday Times Top 5 bestselling book of the podcast, How To Fail: Everything I've Ever Learned From Things Going Wrong by Elizabeth Day, is out now and is available here.

Nigel Slater’s latest (wonderful) book, Greenfeast, is published in two volumes. Spring / Summer is out now and available to order here. Autumn / Winter is out later this year and available to pre-order here.

Social Media:

Elizabeth Day @elizabday

Nigel Slater @nigelslater

Chris Sharp @chrissharpaudio

Naomi Mantin @naomimantin

Teatulia @TeatuliaUK

Jun 26 2019

53mins

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