Women With Balls

Women With Balls

By The Spectator

Katy Balls speaks to women at the top of their respective games, about their passions, their battles, and what makes them tick. Katy Balls is Deputy Political Editor of The Spectator.


The Kate Forbes Edition

Kate Forbes is an SNP MP and the Scottish Finance Secretary. She stepped in at the last minute when her predecessor, Derek MacKay, was suspended from the party on the day of the Budget. On the podcast, she talks about her international upbringing and how that relates to her nationalism, what it was like to step in for the Budget on that day, and how she squares her faith with politics. Get a month's free trial of The Spectator and a free wireless charger here (https://subscription.spectator.co.uk/?prom=A558G&pkgcode=03) . Presented by Katy Balls.
22/05/2036m 37s

Time to start saving – how to make the best of uncertainty

The economic impact of coronavirus is already felt keenly by many people. A large chunk of the population is having to dig into its savings to cover for lost income. But what if you don't have much in the piggy bank in the first place? Often, the discipline to save gets overtaken by events. With two fifths of adults having less than £500 in savings, what can be done to encourage people to think about their lifetime savings more? With Mims Davies, Minister for Employment; Lord David Willetts, President of the Resolution Foundation; and Emma Watkins, Annuities Director at Scottish Widows. Presented by Katy Balls. This podcast is sponsored by Lloyds Banking Group.
08/05/2032m 31s

The Ruby Wax Edition

Ruby Wax is an actress, comedian, and mental health campaigner, for which she received an OBE. On the podcast, she tells Katy about her difficult upbringing which put Carrie Fisher's to shame, the moment she realised she couldn't act, and her campaigning work, especially during these stressful times. Presented by Katy Balls.
24/04/2026m 32s

Controlling lives, controlling money: how to tackle financial abuse

Domestic abuse services are braced for an avalanche of new cases as a result of social distancing. Of these cases, not all have or will be physically violent - instead, Women's Aid reports a significant proportion of cases in which access to money was used as a form of control. In the government's Domestic Abuse Bill, economic abuse will be for the first time recognised as a form of coercive control. So how can it be identified, and how can the women and men who are its victims be helped?  Katy Balls speaks to Jess Phillips, Labour MP and domestic abuse campaigner; Olivia Robey, a safeguarding and vulnerability advisor and former SpAd at the Home Office; and Fiona Cannon OBE, Responsible Business, Sustainability and Inclusion Director at Lloyds Banking Group. This podcast is sponsored by Lloyds Banking Group.
10/04/2034m 27s

The Lisa Nandy Edition

Lisa Nandy is the Labour MP for Wigan and former shadow energy secretary. She is one of the remaining three contenders for Labour leader. On the podcast, she talks to Katy about her childhood ambitions, cross-party friendships, and the worst advice she's ever been given. Presented by Katy Balls.
27/03/2030m 11s

The Emily Thornberry Edition

Emily Thornberry is the shadow Foreign Secretary and former contender for the Labour leadership. On the podcast, she talks to Katy about her challenging childhood, what practising law taught her about politics, and her bid to succeed Jeremy Corbyn. Presented by Katy Balls.
20/03/2037m 11s

The Prue Leith Edition

Prue Leith is a restaurateur, Bake Off judge, and advisor to the government's review on hospital food. On the podcast, she talks to Katy about growing up in apartheid South Africa, how she got her first Michelin star, and having breakfast with Boris Johnson in Downing St. Prue Leith will be live in conversation with her nephew Sam Leith (the Spectator's Books Editor) and her niece Peta Leith on the 24th March. Get tickets here (https://events.spectator.co.uk/events/2020-03-an-evening-with-prue-leith) . Presented by Katy Balls.
06/03/2031m 54s

The Thérèse Coffey Edition

Thérèse Coffey is the MP for Suffolk Coastal and the work and pensions secretary. On the podcast, she talks about her famous karaoke parties, the importance of her Catholic faith to her, and that (https://twitter.com/Emmabarnett/status/616969918483955712?s=20) picture from one Spectator party. Presented by Katy Balls.
21/02/2028m 10s

The Ayesha Hazarika Edition

Ayesha Hazarika is a journalist and comedian, and a former Labour advisor to Harriet Harman and Ed Miliband. On the podcast, she talks about growing up in Glasgow, vetting Ed Miliband for Prime Minister's Questions, and the stand-up jokes that bombed the most. Presented by Katy Balls.
07/02/2036m 17s

The Joanna Cherry Edition

Joanna Cherry is the SNP's Justice and Home Affairs Spokesperson and a prolific QC, known for her successful legal challenge against the government over its decision to prorogue parliament. In the end, Boris Johnson's prorogation was declared unlawful. On the podcast, she talks to Katy about her Scottish Labour days, the misogyny she identifies in the current debate over trans rights, and taking the Prime Minister to court. Presented by Katy Balls.
24/01/2034m 41s

Election Special: who would want to be an MP?

Why would any woman want to be an MP in this general election? In recent years, parliament has been plagued by horror stories of abuse against MPs, especially female ones, with a number of them leaving the job before their time. So does parliament have a woman problem? Katy Balls speaks to a series of guests, especially a handful of the young women who are looking to join parliament this election. With Paul Goodman, Isabel Hardman, Inaya Folarin Iman, Rebecca Smith, Danielle Rowley and Claire Coutinho. Presented by Katy Balls.
02/12/1934m 32s

The Nicky Morgan Edition

Nicky Morgan is the Secretary of State for Culture, and former Conservative MP for Loughborough. Despite her success in Boris Johnson's cabinet, she announced that she'd be standing down at this election. On the podcast, she talks about student politics in Oxford with Dan Hannan, filling in Michael Gove's shoes as Education Secretary under David Cameron, firing herself for Theresa May when the latter became Prime Minister. Presented by Katy Balls.
08/11/1927m 17s

The Katharine Birbalsingh Edition

Katharine is the headmistress of Michaela Community School, dubbed by some as 'Britain's strictest school'. She talks to Katy about why she regrets speaking at Conservative Party Conference, her school's 'tiger teacher' philosophy, and why she would ban smartphones for everyone under the age of 18. Presented by Katy Balls.
25/10/1926m 35s

The Lynn Barber Edition

Lynn Barber is an award-winning journalist known for her incisive interviews and her best-selling books An Education and How to Improve Your Man in Bed. On this episode, she talks to Katy about her lifetime of interviewing the great and the good, from Salvador Dali to Katie Price; the death threats she received from Rafa Nadal's fans; and her favourite (and least favourite) BBC journalists. Presented by Katy Balls.
11/10/1926m 55s

Conservative party conference special: Liz Truss II

Liz Truss is the Secretary of State for International Trade and holds the Women and Equalities brief. On the podcast, she talks about why Boris picked her for the job (having heard her speech about cheese exports), the limitation to trans rights, and how punchy language is all just a part of politics. Presented by Katy Balls.
29/09/1926m 56s

The Margaret Hodge Edition

Margaret Hodge is the Labour MP for Barking and Dagenham, and well-known for her role as former head of the Public Accounts Committee, in which she scrutinised senior civil servants and politicians alike. She has also been one of the most vocal critics of Labour's anti-Semitism problem. On the podcast, she tells Katy about how boarding school made her rebellious, her remorse for supporting Tony Blair on Iraq, and what fighting the BNP on her own turf taught her about racism. Presented by Katy Balls.
27/09/1934m 20s

The Amber Rudd Edition

Katy talks to Amber Rudd, Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, about walking in Theresa May's shoes, No 10's SpAd jihad, and the government's whip withdrawal for the 21 Tory rebels this week. Presented by Katy Balls.
06/09/1933m 41s

The Joan Collins Edition

Dame Joan Collins is an actress, author, and entrepreneur. Her acting career spans three quarters of a century, including 1950s Hollywood movies, to her role as Alexis Carrington in Dynasty. In this episode, she talks to Katy about breaking into acting as a young woman, what she thinks about Love Island, and why she supports both Boris Johnson and Brexit. Presented by Katy Balls.
16/08/1920m 55s

The Karen Pierce Edition

Karen Pierce is the UK's Permanent Representative to the UN. In this episode, she talks to Katy about her career ambitions when she was young, using Lewis Carroll to combat the Russians, and what day to day life is like in the UN. Presented by Katy Balls.
02/08/1928m 32s

Lib Dem Special: Jo Swinson

Jo Swinson is the current deputy leader of the Liberal Democrats, but she's running to be leader against Ed Davey. With the Liberal Democrats' surge in the polls, Swinson's role in the coming months could be vital for Brexit. In this special edition of Women with Balls, she talks about losing her seat in 2015 after the coalition, problems with pairing in Westminster, and what she has in common with Boris Johnson. Presented by Katy Balls.
19/07/1919m 44s

The Tracey Crouch Edition

Tracey Crouch MP has earned a reputation for being independently minded. She has rebelled on issues from press regulation to fox hunting; and served as a sports minister until last year until she resigned over the government's stance on fixed odds betting terminals. In this episode, Tracey Crouch tells Katy about being the only student Tory in Hull, swearing at Philip Hammond, and why she's never told anyone what she voted in the Brexit referendum. Presented by Katy Balls.
12/07/1934m 29s

The Jo Coburn Edition

Broadcaster and journalist Jo Coburn tells how German got her into journalism, what it's like to work with Andrew Neil, and what happened behind the scenes of that infamous Will Self-Mark Francois death stare (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NfFrW4yDubc) . Presented by Katy Balls.
28/06/1934m 15s

The Layla Moran Edition

Layla Moran tells Katy Balls about her childhood as a diplomat's daughter, the social life of an MP, and getting arrested at Lib Dem conference. Presented by Katy Balls.
14/06/1929m 46s

The Claire Fox Edition

Claire Fox, left libertarian thinker, director and founder of the Academy of Ideas, and panellist on the Moral Maze, was this week elected as an MEP for the Brexit Party. In this episode of Women With Balls, she talks to Katy Balls about her disagreements with Nigel Farage, the prejudice she has received in green rooms, on the streets, and on social media, and the decadent perks of her new job. Presented by Katy Balls.
31/05/1941m 37s

Nine years in Yemen - stories from a war reporter

Iona Craig is an award-winning war correspondent who has been reporting from Yemen since 2010\. On the podcast, Iona tells Katy about her near-death experiences, dealing with survivor's guilt, and why being a woman makes her job possible.
17/05/1928m 30s

The Kate Hoey Edition

Kate Hoey is a Labour MP for Vauxhall, having been in that role for 30 years.  Hoey talks to Katy Balls about growing up in Northern Ireland, fighting to win her current seat in Vauxhall, and how she developed a reputation as a rebel in her party.
03/05/1932m 37s

The Lionel Shriver Edition

Lionel Shriver is an American journalist, author and Spectator columnist. Her novel We Need to Talk About Kevin – about a mother and her son who goes on to carry out a high school massacre – won the Orange Prize for fiction in 2005.  Shriver talks to Katy Balls about why she changed her name age 15, the struggles new writers face in the digital age and what role the media plays in the gun violence debate.
19/04/1925m 21s

The Victoria Atkins Edition

Victoria Atkins is a former barrister, a Conservative party MP, and a Minister at the Home Office.  She talks about her legal career and her work at the Home Office creating legislation to protect women and vulnerable people.  Hosted by Katy Balls.
08/04/1925m 10s

The Kay Burley Edition

Kay Burley is a Sky News founding member, host of The Kay Burley Show, and holds the record for hosting more hours of live television than any other news presenter. Kay tells Katy about how she 'knocked the rough edges' off her accent, her love for Jane Fonda, and why the BBC couldn't afford her these days. Presented by Katy Balls.
08/04/1918m 5s

The Mary Curnock Cook Edition

Mary Curnock Cook is an educationalist and former head of Ucas. On this podcast, she talks about leaving school at 16, how boys suffer from the real gender gap in education, and why it would be 'ludicrous' to abolish university tuition fees. Presented by Katy Balls.
08/04/1927m 24s

The Andrea Leadsom Edition

Katy Balls talks to Leader of the House of Commons, Andrea Leadsom, about her childhood ambitions to prevent nuclear war, giving birth the night before a selection meeting, and going head to head with John Bercow in the Commons.
08/04/1928m 35s

The Jess Phillips Edition

Join Katy Balls as she talks to MP Jess Phillips about growing in an activist home, her life path before becoming an MP and her newfound Twitter fame.  Hosted by Katy Balls.
08/04/1929m 44s

The Sarah Baxter Edition

Sarah Baxter is Deputy Editor of the Sunday Times. Katy talks to Sarah about what it was like to be a woman in the lobby before 'Blair's Babes', the best way to tackle sexism (she says, ignore it and go 'full speed ahead'), and whether Jeremy Corbyn is quite the Labour leader she hopes for. Presented by Katy Balls.
08/04/1928m 51s

The Helena Morrissey Edition

Join Katy Balls as she interviews Dame Helena Morrissey - a financier, a campaigner for more women in the boardrooms, and the mother to nine children. How does she balance kids and a career? Why does she think men and women are fundamentally different? And what is the most effective way to get a raise?
08/04/1936m 57s

The Liz Truss Edition

Katy Balls talks to Liz Truss, chief secretary to the Treasury, about her shameful Lib Dem past, why she loves cheese, and how The Thick Of It made her life harder.
08/04/1927m 3s

The Emma Barnett Edition

With columnist and BBC Radio 5 Live broadcaster, Emma Barnett. Katy talks to Emma about stepping in for Andrew Marr, interviewing the Prime Minister, and how her granddad is her most loyal fan. Presented by Katy Balls.
08/04/1929m 59s
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