OwlTail

Cover image of The Penguin Podcast

The Penguin Podcast

The Penguin Podcast is a fortnightly interview series where we speak to authors about what drives them: from where, how and why they write, to their inspirations, aspirations, and even the struggles they've faced along the way. Listen for lively conversations and plenty of book recommendations. See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.

Popular episodes

All episodes

The best episodes ranked using user listens.

Podcast cover

Neil Gaiman with Richard E. Grant

Neil Gaiman discusses his friendship with the late Terry Pratchett and how they worked together to create Good Omens, a story of the impending apocalypse. Neil reveals how they relied on an answerphone to write the book and how Terry helped him with writers block.#PenguinPodcast See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.

46mins

8 Dec 2015

Rank #1

Podcast cover

Philip Pullman LIVE with Sophie Dahl

‘His Dark Materials’ author Philip Pullman, talks to Sophie Dahl live from the Sheldonian Theatre in Oxford. Philip has a new novel in The Book of Dust trilogy entitled ‘The Secret Commonwealth’, which continues the story of his protagonist Lyra, now aged 20. Philip brings objects that have inspired him including a ‘real’ alethiometer and he also reads an extract from his new book #PenguinPodcast See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.

33mins

5 Nov 2019

Rank #2

Similar Podcasts

Podcast cover

Zadie Smith with David Baddiel

Zadie Smith joins David Baddiel in the Penguin studio to talk about her latest novel, Swing Time. Zadie brings along objects including a carved wooden head, a sequinned glove and a book on Fred Astaire as she talks dancing, motherhood and the importance of knowing your roots. #PenguinPodcast See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.

47mins

30 Nov 2016

Rank #3

Podcast cover

Stephen Fry with David Baddiel

Comedian, actor, broadcaster and writer Stephen Fry joins David Baddiel in the Penguin studio to talk about his new book Mythos, which retells the Greek Myths. Stephen brings in words (instead of objects) that have inspired him and he and David discuss typewriters, AI teachers and of course the Greek gods. #PenguinPodcast See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.

1hr 1min

1 Nov 2017

Rank #4

Most Popular Podcasts

Podcast cover

Jo Nesbo with Konnie Huq

Thriller writer Jo Nesbo joins Konnie Huq in the Penguin studio to talk about his new novel The Thirst, the latest instalment in his bestselling Harry Hole series. Jo brings along objects including a photograph of his favourite coffee shop and rock climbing ropes as he tells Konnie about bringing Harry Hole out of retirement to track down a vampirist, and explains how he combines his writing career with singing in a chart-topping band. #PenguinPodcast See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.

40mins

3 May 2017

Rank #5

Podcast cover

Deborah Levy with David Baddiel

Playwright, novelist, poet and author Deborah Levy joins David Baddiel in the Penguin studio to talk about her critically acclaimed novel ‘Hot Milk’, which was shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize in 2016. Deborah has written 6 novels including ‘Swimming Home’ (another Man Booker finalist), has written extensively for the BBC and her work has been staged by the Royal Shakespeare Company. She tells David about her upcoming autobiography ‘The Cost of Living’ and brings along objects that have inspired her work, including a sketch given to her by the artist Rose Blake and a skein of bright blue thread. #PenguinPodcast See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.

43mins

9 Mar 2018

Rank #6

Podcast cover

Anne Enright with Nihal Arthanayake

Booker prize winner, Anne Enright chats to Nihal about her new novel ‘Actress’ - the story of a legendary theatre star seen through the eyes of her daughter. Anne, who was the first Laureate for Irish fiction, tells Nihal how she sometimes spends hours and hours choosing the right word for her novels (and other times it just flows). Anne's objects of inspiration include a photo of Carrie Fisher and a magazine piece where Joan Crawford describes her best dinner party (everything has vodka added). #PenguinPodcastFor the audiobook of ‘Actress’ by Anne Enright: http://bit.ly/PPAnne See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.

31mins

11 Mar 2020

Rank #7

Podcast cover

Rory Sutherland with Katy Brand

Rory Sutherland, the charismatic Vice Chairman of advertising agency Ogilvy, tells Katy how thinking counterintuitively can lead to success. Using examples from his Ted Talks (viewed 6.5 million times), his new book ‘Alchemy’ and the objects he brought in - he explains how ‘psycho-logic’ sells #PenguinPodcast See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.

34mins

25 Sep 2019

Rank #8

Podcast cover

Johnny Marr with David Baddiel

Musician, songwriter and singer Johnny Marr joins David Baddiel in the Penguin Studio to talk about his autobiography Set The Boy Free (and jam with David on the guitar). Johnny talks about first falling in love with the sound of the guitar listening to the Everly Brothers, reveals how he developed a passion for reading whilst bunking off school and explains how he handled huge fame as a teenager. He brings along a selection of treasured objects including The Complete Essays of Aldous Huxley, a Marc Bolan EP, and, of course, his signature model Fender Jaguar. #PenguinPodcast See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.

48mins

16 Nov 2016

Rank #9

Podcast cover

Eoin Colfer with Paul Smith

Author of the award winning 'Artemis Fowl’, Eoin Colfer, joins Maxïmo Park frontman, Paul Smith, in the Penguin studio. Eoin talks about his book ‘And Another Thing’, the sixth instalment of the 'Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy’ (commissioned by the Douglas Adams Estate), which has recently been made into a drama for BBC Radio 4 starring the original cast - 40 years after the first comedy series aired. Eoin chooses objects that inspired his writing include a shabby red-checked dressing gown and some David Bowie and Kate Bush cassette tapes. #PenguinPodcast  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.

36mins

4 Apr 2018

Rank #10

Podcast cover

Caitlin Moran with David Baddiel

Caitlin Moran joins David Baddiel in the Penguin Studio. The critically acclaimed journalist and author penned her first book aged 13, has been writing for The Times since she was 18 and has had bestselling novels including ‘How to be a Woman’ and ‘How to Build a Girl’. She’s in to talk about her new book, ‘How to Be Famous’, and bringsobjects that have inspired her including: headphones; a Wolverhampton library ticket; a letter from Clive Anderson and a swimming costume (which she carries everywhere with her). #PenguinPodcast See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.

39mins

18 Jul 2018

Rank #11

Podcast cover

Nigella Lawson with Katy Brand

Nigella talks about her first cookbook ‘How To Eat’, which is 20 years old and has now been made into an audiobook. She tells Katy why she thought this would the only book about food she would write, why some of her ideas have changed since writing and what her rider is when working abroad. Nigella beings in some objects that inspire her including a tea caddy and a photograph of her kitchen table. #PenguinPodcast See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.

33mins

19 Jun 2019

Rank #12

Podcast cover

Philippa Perry with Nihal Arthanayake

'The Book You Wish Your Parents Had Read’ by Philippa Perry recently topped the Sunday Times Bestseller List and has been called ‘a parenting book for people who don’t normally buy them’. Philippa, a psychotherapist and broadcaster, talks about not judging parents, how there is no 'good and bad' and what to do about screen time. Philippa’s objects that inspire her writing, include a tiny pair of walking boots and a TV remote control. We also hear an extract from the audiobook. #PenguinPodcast See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.

32mins

22 May 2019

Rank #13

Podcast cover

Malcolm Gladwell with Paul Smith

The author of five New York Times bestsellers and one of the world's most successful non-fiction writers, Malcolm Gladwell speaks to Paul Smith down the line from LA. Malcolm talks about the themes behind Blink, Outliers, David & Goliath and on writing his new book. Plus he selects five objects that have inspired his chart-topping podcast Revisionist History. #PenguinPodcast (Photo: Bill Wadman) See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.

38mins

18 Oct 2017

Rank #14

Podcast cover

Bill Bryson with Richard E. Grant – Live

Bill Bryson discusses The Road to Little Dribbling, his follow up to Notes From A Small Island. To tell the story of his journey Bill brings along his passport, a walking stick, a cow, Stonehenge and an ordnance survey map. Recorded with Richard E. Grant in front of a live audience at the Cambridge Corn Exchange.#PenguinPodcast See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.

1hr

27 Oct 2015

Rank #15

Podcast cover

Simon Mayo and David Baddiel

Radio broadcaster and author Simon Mayo joins David Baddiel in the Penguin studio to talk about his first adult novel 'Mad Blood Stirring'. Simon hosts Radio 2’s Drivetime show, the BBC’s flagship film review show Kermode and Mayo and has previously written 4 young adult books. He brings with him objects that have inspired his writing including a map, the periodic table and a Stephen King book. #PenguinPodcast   See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.

41mins

23 May 2018

Rank #16

Podcast cover

Jojo Moyes with Konnie Huq

Jojo Moyes, author of the hugely successful novel ‘Me Before You’, joins us in the Penguin studio to talk about the final book in her Lou Clarke trilogy ‘Still Me’. Jojo’s books have sold more than 30 million copies and she’s one of the few authors to have had three novels on the New York Times bestseller list at the same time. ‘Me Before You’ was also adapted into a major feature film starring Emilia Clarke and Sam Clafin. Jojo introduces five objects that have been an inspiration - including a bumblebee necklace and a photo of Big Dog. #PenguinPodcast See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.

43mins

24 Jan 2018

Rank #17

Podcast cover

Irvine Welsh with Richard E. Grant

Trainspotting author Irvine Welsh joins Richard E. Grant down the line from Chicago to talk about bringing back the incendiary Francis Begbie in his latest novel The Blade Artist. Irvine talks about a number of objects that shaped and inspired the novel, including a copy of The Big Issue and a pair of white gym socks. Irvine muses on how art can transform lives, talks about writing ultra-violence and explains the difference between a psychopath and a sociopath (sociopaths go into banking or politics). #PenguinPodcast See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.

37mins

25 May 2016

Rank #18

Podcast cover

John Finnemore with Richard E. Grant

Comedian John Finnemore joins Richard E. Grant in the Penguin studio to talk about his award-winning shows Cabin Pressure, Double Acts and John Finnemore’s Souvenir Programme. Renowned for his wordplay, John admits that writing doesn’t always come easily and confesses that he has a “heart-breaking” ability to procrastinate (often with tinfoil). John brings along a number of objects that have influenced his career, including his father’s airline hat and his bicycle, and observes how Benedict Cumberbatch single-handedly changed the demographic of Radio 4. #PenguinPodcast See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.

37mins

15 Jun 2016

Rank #19

Podcast cover

Colm Tóibín with Katy Brand

Bestselling author Colm Tóibín tells Katy Brand why he returns to the theme of home again and again in his work and what it’s like writing about violence for the first time. Colm wrote ‘Brooklyn’, which was made into a feature film starring Saoirse Ronan, and has been nominated for the Booker three times. He brings objects into the Penguin studio that have inspired his new novel ‘House of Names’ including a Greek play and an opera CD. #PenguinPodcast See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.

34mins

26 Sep 2018

Rank #20