Spinning Plates with Sophie Ellis-Bextor

Spinning Plates with Sophie Ellis-Bextor

By Sophie Ellis-Bextor

Hello I’m Sophie Ellis-Bextor and this is my new series Spinning Plates where I speak to busy working women, who also happen to be mothers, about how they make it work. I am a singer and have released 7 albums in-between having my 5 sons who are aged between 1 and 16 so I spin a few plates myself. Being a mother can be the most amazing thing.. but it can also be hard to find time for yourself and your own ambitions. I want to be a bit nosy and see how other people balance everything. Join me while I speak to a host of interesting and inspirational women who’ve really made me think - and laugh, and sometimes cry.

Welcome to Spinning Plates.

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Episode 70: Emilia Sandulescu

Meet someone who literally ran away to join the circus! Emilia Sandulescu is the proud mum of a sweet one year old boy, who everyone calls 'baby Tony'. Originally from Romania, Emily joined the circus temporarily as a dancer, planning to use her wages to fund the rest of her studies at university. But she never went back. Two decades on she now performs acrobatics on horses, alongside - and sometimes balancing on top of! - her husband. He is one of five boys and a ninth generation circus performer. Emilia told me what life in the circus involves and how she loves the friendly, tight knit community. The much longed-for baby Tony is surrounded by adoring adults, melting the tough guy exteriors of his circus uncles and grandfather, and Emilia can't imagine life anywhere else.Spinning Plates is presented by Sophie Ellis Bextor, it is produced by Claire Jones and post-production is by Richard Jones. See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
27/06/221h 13m

Episode 69: Gemma Kemp

Gemma Kemp is a forensic pathologist and a mum of two little girls. We talked about the juxtaposition of motherhood with a job which is on the one hand fascinating, but on the other hand, unremitting and emotionally demanding. We agreed that the British attitude to dealing with death is generally unhelpful, from the euphemisms used to talk about it, to our inability to face the inevitable. Gemma explained in down-to-earth terms how she performs an autopsy, which she does day in and day out. She explained she feels honoured to be present at this final part of a person’s journey. But she also shared that sometimes these encounters stay with and trouble her - especially when they involve children. Spinning Plates is produced by Claire Jones. Post-production is by Richard Jones.  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
20/06/221h 12m

Episode 68: Karen Elson

Karen Elson is a supermodel and singer-songwriter. We were born in the same year and I’ve admired her from afar for a long time, so it’s great to have got to actually speak to her via zoom at her home in Nashville. Karen has a son and daughter with her ex, The White Stripes frontman Jack White. Karen was born in Manchester but by the age of 16 she was travelling the world as a model. We talk about the treatment of young girls in the industry when she was young, how that’s changing, and about how she’d like to see that change further. She tells me about her love of Nashville and how she strives to be just a normal mum to her kids, after seeing how privileged children she met as a model, were often not happy.  In 2020 she published new autobiography Red Flame, and in lockdown she released an EP called Radio Redhead, in which she sang some of her favourite covers as well as her own songs. A lockdown pastime we also have in common!Spinning Plates is produced by Claire Jones. Post-production is by Richard Jones.  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
13/06/2259m 15s

Episode 67: Melissa Hogenboom

Melissa Hogenboom is a Dutch-born science journalist, now working at the BBC. A mother of two, she is also a  documentary-maker and author of a fascinating book (which she astoundingly wrote during her maternity leave) called The Motherhood Complex, which mixes her own personal experience of motherhood with proper science. It’s fascinating, as is the documentary ‘A Mother’s Brain’ which is still on bbc iPlayer now. There’s so much that happens when you become a new parent and Melissa introduced me to the phrase ‘matrescence’ which is the physical, hormonal, emotional and social transition to motherhood. We talked about how your brain changes and improves with motherhood (the opposite of what we’re normally led to believe!) and Melissa also shared one of the most surreal post birth stories I have ever heard - trigger warning for anyone squeamish - the story she tells about being in the shower is NOT for you.Spinning Plates is presented by Sophie Ellils Bextor, produced by Claire Jones, and post-production is by Richard Jones. See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
06/06/221h 14m

Episode 66: Stacey Heale

Stacey Heale is a writer and former fashion academic and mum to 2 little girls.  I have followed her on Instagram for a long time. Five years ago her artist musician husband Greg was diagnosed with bowel cancer, on their second child’s first birthday. Stacey and I talked about how she then took voluntary redundancy to spend all the time she could with Greg, how she had to navigate first his illness, and then his death six months ago. She explained how she is now trying to establish life with her daughters -  just the three of them - without Greg.  Somehow Stacey manages to make us both laugh even while talking about such a bleak subject. I can’t wait to read her forthcoming book based on the warts and all truth about death and grieving. I guarantee it will be funnier than it sounds!Spinning Plates is presented by Sophie Ellils Bextor, produced by Claire Jones, and post-production is by Richard Jones. See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
30/05/221h 27m

Episode 65: Sophia Webster

Sophia Webster is a sought-after British shoe designer whose business took off like a rocket soon after she left college. We sat at the kitchen table in her colourful house in East London and chatted over a cup of tea. Sophia described how her shoe designs have mirrored her own life, with her adding a bridal range and a children’s shoe range along the way. Also how her husband Bobby became her business partner very early on which means there is no work/life balance in their house - but she wouldn't have it any other way!I was struck both by Sophia’s modesty and drivenness, as well as the perfectionism she brings to her shoe designs. I was also impressed that she makes very little of the painful health issues she’s experienced - endometriosis and post-natal foot problems. Alongside her business, she is mum to three girls (including twins) and stepmum to a 16 year old son. And as we spoke she was heavily pregnant with her fourth child  - so I was extra grateful for this chat at such a busy time in Sophia's life. Spinning Plates is presented by Sophie Ellis Bextor,produced by Claire Jones, and post-production is by Richard Jones. See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
23/05/221h 11m

Episode 64: Lorraine Kelly

Lorraine Kelly is a hugely-loved TV presenter and phenomenal communicator, and known by everyone in the land simply as ‘Lorraine’.  Well, nearly everybody 😉 We sat down with a cup of tea to talk about what it’s like having a grown up child (Rosie, now in her 20s) and how their relationship has changed and become richer as she’s become an adult. We talked about Lorraine’s modest start in life in the Gorbals in Glasgow and she shared her recipe for staying young: to always be curious and open to new ideas. I am nodding in total agreement! Spinning Plates is produced by Claire JonesPost-production by Richard Jones See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
16/05/221h 1m

Episode 63: Lisa Eldridge

Lisa Eldridge is a make up artist with her own brand, who has also appeared on TV in ‘10 Years Younger - the Challenge’ and in a documentary series which I adored, called ‘Makeup: A Glamorous History’ about the manufacture, use and politics of makeup. She grew up in New Zealand and then Liverpool and was at the top of her career, flying around the world and doing fashion shows and Vogue covers when she became pregnant and had her son. We talked about how Lisa managed to enjoy being a mum to the full, and then reignite her career once her son was a teenager She also told me how her son and stepson are of similar ages and very much like brothers.I share Lisa’s passion for makeup so it was fascinating for me to hear about how her love affair began with her mum’s old Mary Quant collection, how she started collecting her own vintage cosmetics with a box of Biba makeup she bought for a fiver, and has gone on to acquire some incredibly personal items including Audrey Hepburn’s lipstick holder.And of course, no conversation with Lisa would be complete without hearing about the co-star of her you tube videos, Ted the talking cat, who acts as her fashion adviser and stylist!Spinning Plates is presented by Sophie Ellis Bextor,produced by Claire Jones, and post-production is by Richard Jones. See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
09/05/221h 5m

Episode 62: Claire Richards

Claire Richards - or Claire from Steps as most of us know her - left school at 17 and within 2 months had signed a record deal. So began a hugely successful pop career, with Steps still at the top of their game in this, their 25th anniversary year. They recently finished an arena tour - where I was their support act and experienced for myself what incredible fans they have - almost like a giant, joyful family!We talked about pre-performance nerves, how Claire manages to compartmentalise her work and homelife, and about how working makes her feel she comes home as a better mum to children Charlie and Daisy. We also talked about Claire's relationship with food and how she never wants her children to go through that. Plus we laughed about the ridiculousness of our jobs, with Claire winning on this occasion as she recently had to die on stage every night in War of the Worlds, in front of her husband played by Duncan from Blue dressed as a vicar! Beat that!! Spinning Plates Podcast is Produced by Claire JonesPost-production / engineered and edited by Richard Jones See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
02/05/221h 23m

Episode 61: Jools Oliver

Jools Oliver may be well-known for being married to chef Jamie Oliver but what I wanted to talk to her most about, was being a fellow ‘mum-of-five’. We talked about how we both coped with the eponymous ‘spinning plates’ of raising our children alongside our work, about how we both ended up turning the cameras on our otherwise private families during lockdown, and how we’re always trying to talk ourselves out of having another baby!Alongside her family life, Jools designs the 1970s-inspired Little Bird children’s clothes range which you will see as lot of in our house!During our talk, Jools also shared her painful experience of multiple miscarriages and explained the aftercare support that she believes women going through this should receive.Towards the end of our talk I heard about her close relationship with her wonderful mum. Also the poignant story of her dear dad who suffered a stroke when Jools was seven years old, and of their treasured café visits after school. Spinning Plates Podcast is Produced by Claire JonesPost-production / engineered and edited by Richard Jones See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
25/04/221h 1m

Episode 60: Becky Unthanks

Becky Unthank is a folk musician best known for performing with her elder sister Rachel in The Unthanks. As well as singing and touring, she is also mum to 3 year old Wren who she says she loves hanging out with, like a little buddy. We talked about her childhood which was steeped in folk music from her musical parents to summers spent at folk festivals. She described the frankly sublime-sounding experience of harmonising, especially with her sister. We also talked about the joy of her recent move to the country, as well as her excitement about getting back on the road with her band. I spoke to Becky a couple of months ago when she was just about to run an online version of one of her Northumberland singing weekends. But now, at time of podcast, she is just about to go back on tour (and I’m on the road at the moment, too!) x https://www.thisiscolossal.com/2018/05/stems-stop-motion-ainslie-henderson/kumon.co.uk/trial kumon.ie/trial See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
14/03/221h 9m

Episode 59: Karen Gurney

Dr Karen Gurney is a psychosexologist who has been helping couples overcome sexual problems since 2003. I can see why. She is a reassuring presence and talks in a straightforward way about sex. She is full of wisdom about how to futureproof a long term relationship, as well as how to guide your children, especially as they get into their teens. This is an important chat I feel - as we Brits are famously buttoned up about sex. We talked about how I want to give my children the information and guidance for them to have happy sex lives in the future - and Karen admitted she feels nervous as well as excited about bringing up her own sons with the right messages. We also laughed about how my early attempts at sex education with my eldest son, backfired publicly in the park one day, when he was 4! For more information and resources, Karen recommends https://www.bishuk.com/ (good for teens) and the book Sex is a Funny Word by Cory Silverberg for younger kids.  kumon.co.uk/trial  kumon.ie/trial  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
07/03/221h 16m

Episode 58: YolanDa Brown

YolanDa Brown is a saxophonist and broadcaster who has a constant, dazzling smile and an air of joy, which I hope comes across during our chat. In our house we know her best for her Cbeebies show YolanDa's Band Jam where she shows children the joys of music through singing, dancing and playing.  Mum to 8 year old Jemima and 2 year old Alelphi, YolanDa talked to me about her two very different experiences of having her girls, and takes her hat off to all other parents who have had babies during the pandemic. When she is able to tour, she likes nothing better than to take her whole family away with her, with the support of her parents.  She talked to me about how teaching herself saxophone as a teenager helped her process her emotions, how she coped when her littlest daughter was born with a cleft soft palate, and her comforting discovery that 'you can only be you'.She has won many awards and incredibly she has TWICE won a MOBO in the Best Jazz Act category. She runs the Drake YolanDa Award to support emerging music artists in the UK. And as if all that wasn't enough, she's also worked with Mr Tumble! kumon.co.uk/trial  kumon.ie/trial See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
28/02/221h 10m

Episode 57: Nina Conti

This week’s guest for Spinning Plates is the wonderful comedian ventriloquist Nina Conti. I’m a huge fan of Nina, having seen her live a few times, so it’s particularly special for me that she agreed to chat. We spoke about her childhood memories of watching her actor father Tom Conti on broadway, the joy of bringing your real personality out on stage, how puppets and the conversations you have with them are good therapy and the relationship her two boys have with Nina’s main comedy companion - Monkey (a very sweary and funny puppet) kumon.co.uk/trial kumon.ie/trial See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
21/02/221h 2m

Episode 56: Clara Francis

Clara Francis is an actor and businesswoman, who’s recently started her own online dress company 'O Pioneers' with a friend. Happily married to actor Jason Watkins, she has an older daughter, Bessie, and a younger son, Gilbert. On the surface she has the perfect life.But Clara came to speak to me about how she is surviving the death of her child. Her middle child Maud, who was 2 when she died of sepsis, would have been 13 now.This is a difficult listen. It’s emotional, it’s painful, it’s unthinkable. I’m very grateful to Clara for speaking so openly about the taboo subject of the death of a child, and by this story being heard, I hope it will help someone. I also hope it will help me to talk to any bereaved parents in the future.kumon.co.uk/trial kumon.ie/trial See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
14/02/221h 9m

Episode 55: Helen Glover

Helen Glover is a two-time gold medal winning rower and a mum to three under threes. She is also the first mother to have qualified for the GB Olympic rowing team. We talked about how lockdown hit when her twins were 6 weeks old and how Helen found herself training at home and then qualifying for the Tokyo Olympics.She explained how she found her body was actually stronger after giving birth - a discovery which she has since shared with Olympic coaches so that more women might be channeled into Olympic training post-children. She also talked about her love of being outdoors, which she ofcourse shares with her husband Steve Backshall. See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
07/02/221h 11m

Episode 54: Hannah Graf

Hannah Graf is a transgender campaigner and mum to 21 month old Millie. Hannah came out as a trans woman in 2013, while serving in the British army, and met trangender Jake in 2015. When they married in 2018 they became the highest-profile transgender couple in the UK. I recommend watching the excellent Channel 4 documentary about their journey to parenthood 'Our Baby: A Modern Miracle'Hannah spoke to me about her wonderfully supportive parents, her deep feelings of gratitude to the surrogate mum Laura who made parenthood possible for Hannah and Jake, and the joy of watching her little girl's character emerge. We also talked about her love of watching Wales play rugby, but I'm yet to be convinced!  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
31/01/221h 12m

Episode 53: Helena Merriman

Helena Merriman is a radio and podcast producer who discovered she was going deaf when her second child was 4 months old and she realised she wasn't being woken up by him crying in the night. She was working on her podcast Tunnel 29 at the time and found great solace in her work. She now has a BBC Radio 4 series 'Room 5'. It's based on her conversations with other people who have gone into an anonymous consultant's room, where they have received a shock diagnosis which has changed their lives forever.We talked about how pregnancy fast-tracked her otosclerosis, how an operation to improve her hearing left her with extreme tinnitus, and how her children have adapted to her hearing loss. She also shared some tips about living with tinnitus, which will be very welcome in our household where my husband is also adapting to living with tinnitus. See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
24/01/221h 15m

Episode 52: Christine McGuinness

Christine McGuinness is a model and TV personality and a mum of three. She has just featured in a TV documentary with husband Paddy, talking about their life with their children, all of whom have been diagnosed with autism. Christine was also diagnosed herself during the making of the documentary. We spoke about her parenting journey so far, and how, during her own tough childhood, her wonderful mum showed her what a strong independent woman is. She also talked about how she has never heard anyone in the public eye talk about autism, and how grateful she is that she and Paddy can fill that gap now and talk publicly about autism. Christine is refreshingly honest and positive: this is a good story about neurodiversity. She also gets my top award for podcast patience as this chat on zoom took quite a while to set up! See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
17/01/2255m 25s

Episode 51: Katie Piper

My guest this week is Katie Piper, who is a lovely woman. In itself this a massive achievement, considering her life story and the continuing challenges she has faced, since she was the victim of an acid attack in 2008. We spoke over zoom and I felt I got to know and like her immensely - and I hope you will feel the same. Katie talked about her love of being busy, her work on many things including the Katie Piper Foundation and how writing a book with her mum made her feel guilty for what her mum had been through. She also spoke about how her two little girls cope with seeing her go through various treatments, and how you can use every situation to your advantage, as an opportunity to start again. It's a privilege to begin the new series of Spinning Plates with our conversation and how brilliant to see her charity work has been recognised with her recently awarded OBE.  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
10/01/221h 13m

Episode 50: Stacey Cordery

While I was preparing for my Children in Need 24 hour Danceathon, I was lucky enough to visit Bonny Downs community centre in Newham, East London which receives some funding from Children in Need to help local children attend their 3 week summer camp. I met some amazing people there and one of them was the powerhouse that is Stacey Cordery, a woman so full of energy, positivity and kindness that you can't help but have some of it rub off on you. So I thought, who better to speak to, for the last in this series of Spinning Plates?Stacey is a mum of two who volunteered at Bonny Downs well before she was a mum, then used it herself while on maternity leave with her second baby, before eventually becoming one of the directors there, looking after children and families who use the centre.She loves the work she does there and the wide range of people she works with. We talked about her journey from leaving school as soon as she could to avoid exams, and working with diamonds in Hatton Garden in London, before motherhood and Bonny Downs became the bedrock of her life. We discussed how to help people while avoiding 'poverty porn', we touched on some of the misconceptions people have about refugees and immigrants, and we talked about the problem of bringing up your family in a country where you are not officially allowed to work. In amongst all of this serious talk though, runs Stacey's joyful nature and her love of a cup of tea and a chat.Donate to Sophie's 24 hour kitchen disco here: https://donate.bbcchildreninneed.co.uk/kitchendisco See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
23/11/211h 28m

Episode 49: Harriet Gibsone

Harriet Gibsone is a freelance journalist and mum of a much-longed-for one year old. She recently interviewed my mum and I for a lovely Guardian feature called Flashback. But even before that meeting I liked her immensely as I had come across an incredible article she wrote about her journey to becoming a mum. At 31 and newly married, Harriet started suffering the symptoms of the menopause and, as soon as she was diagnosed with POI, she was on a race against time to try and have a baby. We talk about the confusing and dramatic symptoms that took her to the doctor originally, and how she went all-out to have a baby with the help of her sister, before having her son through an egg donor.  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
15/11/211h 10m

Episode 48: Polly Morgan

This week’s guest is artist Polly Morgan. She's a taxidermist and uses animals in her art. At the moment she's making sculptures using stuffed snakes. So, she's an artist who works in a basement where she has a freezer full of dead snakes (!), but she is also a mum to two little boys, Clifford and Bruce. Polly had her boys through IVF after suffering a burst appendix which damaged her fallopian tubes. She talks to me about her journey to getting pregnant, how working makes her a nicer mum and about the practicalities of having her eggs frozen. See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
08/11/211h 22m

Episode 47: Kate Robinson

Kate Robinson is a writer, a speaker and a mother. She’s making it her mission to continue her father’s legacy and finish the book he was writing. It’s a promise she made to him just before his untimely death last year. Kate’s beloved Dad was Sir Ken Robinson, whose TED Talk about education remains the most watched TED Talk nearly 2 decades after he delivered it. Probably because he is so charismatic, funny and wise. And because education touches us all, whether we have children or not. If you haven’t watched it, here’s the link - it’s worth it! Kate and I talked about her own bumpy road through school and how her parents ‘unschooled’ her at the age of 16. She also shared her hopes and fears as she puts her own 3 year old daughter Adeline onto the first rung of the education system.  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
01/11/211h 22m

Episode 46: Dannii Minogue

Dannii Minogue is a woman of many talents. From acting to singing to presenting to fashion designing, Dannii has been honing her craft in the world of show business since she was in single figures. Mother to 11 year old Ethan, she spoke to me from Melbourne (still on lockdown) about her range of clothes for petite women, how much she loves her job and the ‘effortless’ way her son joined her life. Oh - and the fact she’s just had a big birthday. Happy 50th, Dannii! 🥳 See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
25/10/211h 3m

Episode 45: Pallavi Barnwal

Pallavi Barnwal is a sex coach and she lives in Delhi with her eight year old son. I first heard about Pallavi when I read about her in an article on the BBC news website. I then watched her Ted Talk and thought her story and perspective on life was fascinating. She was born and raised in a traditional Indian family, and didn’t become a coach until she found herself a single mum and a divorcee, the other side of an arranged marriage. Her experiences led her to be more open with her friends and they started coming to her for advice. She could see there was an opportunity to help more people talk safely and freely about sex. Now she aids lots of women - and men - find their way to being happier and more knowledgable in their intimate lives. See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
18/10/211h 4m

Episode 44: Helen Thorn

Helen Thorn is one half of the wonderful comedy duo Scummy Mummies whose stage show and podcast explores all the dirty, grimy, embarassing stuff you never thought was part of being a mum - till you become a mum. She's just written a book called Get Divorced Be Happy, charting the year she split from her ex, which happened to start 3 weeks before lockdown. She told me how difficult it was going through this at the very time we suddenly weren't allowed hugs. But she unexpectedly loves being a single parent to her son and daughter - and is now in fact the happiest she has ever been. By the way, Helen asked if she could swear before we started recording and I said yes - so she does! And she does it well! See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
11/10/211h 0m

Episode 43: Rachel Ama

Rachel Ama is a chef and a vegan, as well as mum to her one year old boy. We talked about the pros and cons of having a 'lockdown baby', about her amazing-sounding home birth, and how living with her mum has helped with the birth of two babies: her son and her new book! See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
04/10/211h 3m

Episode 42: Jo Tutchener Sharp

6 years ago businesswoman Jo Tutchener Sharp underwent brain surgery and was very much afraid she wasn't going to see her family again, including her then 1 and 3 year old boys. Happily surgery was successful, but having looked at her life so far, from the pearly gates, Jo decided she hadn't done enough good with her life. So she came up with superhero sleep buddies - cuddly toys which have a pocket to carry a photo of mum or dad so your parents are with you even if one of you is not well in hospital. She donates one for every one sold. Now she heads up a successful and brilliant clothing company - Scamp and Dude - built from this beginning and with the desire to reach out to others going through similar situations at the heart of it. See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
27/09/211h 1m

Episode 41: Binky Felstead

Binky Felstead made her name on Made In Chelsea back in 2009, leaving 8 years later, just after she'd had her daughter India.  Binky told me how being a reality TV star gave her huge anxiety but how becoming a mum to India was the best thing that ever happened to her. Now she's just got married to the dad of her new - and very well-behaved - baby, Wolfie, who mostly slept through our podcast interview this week. We talked about Binky's new venture Bloss Life - a yellow pages of credible experts for parents. And she happily shared that has never been as content as she is now.  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
20/09/2159m 31s

Episode 40: Dr Catherine Green OBE

My guest this week has just helped save the world! Dr Catherine Green OBE is one of the team in Oxford who developed and began manufacturing the AstraZeneca vaccine. Together with her colleague Professor Sarah Gilbert (now a Dame) she has just written a book 'Vaxxers' which explains in a rather thrilling and readable way, just how they did this, in the hope of communicating the science behind it and reassuring those who are vaccine hesitant at the moment. I was due to speak to Dr Green in person but two of my children got covid that very week, so instead we spoke down a line. Very frustrating not to actually meet her but with scientist Catherine Green - or Cath as she is more often known - even a glitchy line can't dampen her energy, enthusiasm and humour.We talked about how she's never felt particularly 'mumsy'; how her friends looked out for her at the height of her work on the vaccine, leaving flowers or food on her doorstep for her; and how her 10 year old daughter Ellie has insisted they install a disco ball in the kitchen of their new house. Ellie sounds fabulous - clearly a girl after my own heart! See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
09/08/211h 7m

Episode 39: Laura Brand

Laura Brand is a mother of two little girls and author of the book The Joy Journal. We spoke about where you find joy after motherhood and how expectation and reality can sometimes (always?) be very different beasts but you have to be able to roll with it - especially when you have a young family. She now runs online tutorials to show people ideas for craft and fun with the children in their life and this month has been doing them inspired by Peter Rabbit. She struggled with Hyperemesis Gravidarum with both her pregnancies which caused her to end up in hospital and has made her very sympathetic to anyone going through the same thing. We also spoke about what happens when you get back together with someone you used to date, as happened with her now husband Russell Brand, and how it can work out for the best.  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
02/08/2152m 11s

Episode 38: Natalie Imbruglia

Natalie Imbruglia is an Australian born singer songwriter who’s got 5 albums to her name with a sixth, Firebird, coming out in September. In 2019, at the age of 44, she announced on Instagram that she I’ve given birth to a boy who had been conceived using IVF, and a sperm donor. We talked about the joy and peace that her little boy has brought her, and the new period of creativity that he has also enabled her to have. We also talked about some of the annoying aspects of pregnancy including, as two people who love their food, not being able to eat as much as you’d like because of acid reflux.  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
26/07/211h 11m

Episode 37: Sylvia Mac

Sylvia Mac is a campaigner, a survivor and an award winner. Sylvia was two when she suffered horrific burns, in a scalding accident, and was given the last rites. Against the odds, she survived but it wasn't till her 40s that she learned to accept her scars and not to feel ashamed of them. Her three children have been on a difficult journey with her but there is love everywhere in her life and she says it's never too late to start believing you're beautiful. She won the Wellness Warrior award in 2020 and founded Love Disfigure to offer support to those living with burns and scarring.Trigger warning: this podcast mentions a burning accident and suicidal thoughts. See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
19/07/211h 20m

Episode 36: Deborah James

Deborah James is a podcast presenter, campaigner, writer... and mum to 11 year old Eloise and 13 year old Hugo. It's nearly five years since she was diagnosed with stage 4 bowel cancer. Since then she has found a loyal band of followers on instagram as @bowelbabe, where she talks about living with the diagnosis, her ongoing treatment and is just all-round inspiring. She’s often dancing around - even when she has a chemo pump attached - and generally makes the most of every day. We talked about turning up for sports days, making memories, how much we both love Halloween.. plus the joy of throwing parties in general and what a great life skill it is. She is honest, brave and beautiful and I felt very lucky that she came to talk to me and now I can share it with you. Thank you, Deborah. Xx See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
12/07/211h 26m

Episode 35: Sarah Willingham

Business woman and former Dragon's Den dragon Sarah Willingham surprised everyone some years back, by taking her 4 children out of school and setting off for a round the world adventure. She and her husband rented their house out, put all their possessions into storage and were only allowed 23 kilos of luggage each, which she found hugely liberating. Now back in the UK with the children back in school, she is a fan of talking to her children about everything, including money, as she wants them to grow up earning and knowing the value of money, just as she has done since her childhood in Stoke-on-Trent. See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
05/07/211h 16m

Episode 34: Emma Barnett

Journalist Emma Barnett is a regular presenter of Newsnight andhas recently become the main presenter of Woman's Hour on BBC Radio 4.She's good at asking questions and bringing people to account but saysshe's had to learn patience because as a mum, 'losing your shit' getsyou nowhere! Emma struggled to get pregnant, which after two and halfyears she realised was because of endometriosis. She had her babythrough IVF but she says she will always have one foot in the camp ofthose who would like to be mothers but have not managed it. We talkedabout childcare, we talked about periods a lot, and if you stay listening tillthe end you will hear us sharing our most embarrassing stories with each other. See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
28/06/211h 9m

Episode 33: Kath Gillespie Sells

This week’s episode is very close to my heart as it’s a friend. Meet Kath Gillespie-Sells MBE. She talks with kindness, honesty and humour about making bravedecisions and following her path as a mother who was also a lesbian, back when that was acheivement in itself. But she didn’t stop there - she was awarded an MBE for her work founding REGARD, campaigning for LGBTQ+ disabled rights. She has 3 sons, one of which, Dan, is in a band (The Feeling) with my husband Richard which is how I’m lucky enough to know her. See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
21/06/211h 36m

Episode 32: Helle Thorning-Schmidt

Helle Thorning-Schmidt was the Prime Minister of Denmark from 2011 to2015. She was the first female leader of the Danish Social Democratsand the first female PM. I think she should wear that as a slogan ona T-shirt! She lives in London with her husband, MP Stephen Kinnock,while their two daughters, now in their early 20s, live in Copenhagen.We talked about how Helle managed to juggle work and home-life, firstas a busy MEP with small children, and then as the mum of teenagerswhen she was Prime Minister. Over the course of our conversation weuncovered her obsessions with jigsaws and transport. We talked abouthow she has been a feminist since the age of 12. And she shared herpositive mantra, which saw her through her time as chief executive ofSave the Children, that things are generally getting better, and thatwe should always listen to young people. Her energy and positivity isinspiring and infectious. See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
14/06/211h 5m

Episode 31: Melanie C

Woo! It’s a new episode of my podcast Spinning Plates. I’m so excited to be back with new episodes for you. Kicking off series 4 is the wonderful, warm and wise Melanie C. She tells me about the challenges and joy of being a solo artist and about facing the worst nerves she's ever had before going on stage for Blood Brothers on the West End. We also talk about her lovely relationship with her 12 year old daughter and how much fun they had together on the Spice Girls tour in 2019. Big thanks to Melanie for speaking so openly with me and thank you to you for lending me your ears when you listen! Enjoy 😘❤️ See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
07/06/211h 6m

Episode 30: Tina Crawford

It’s the final episode in this series of Spinning Plates! Wow what a lovely group of guests and my 30th is no exception. Meet Tina Crawford, who is an artist who I got to know through her embroidery. She used the Kitchen Disco as a subject for part of a huge piece she started working on as lockdown began. Its an incredible piece and talks about how we are all connected - hasn’t so much about this last year been about the importance of connection? The work is about to start life in its new home at the Science Museum. Tina has a 13-year-old son and she claims to have the besthusband in the world. We talked about having a child through IVF,being a disabled parent and how people lie about being happy inpostnatal classes. Turns out we met once when I was a teenager and Tina found me aloof, but hopefully my superb tea making skills have changed her mind now. 😊We also had the additional excitement of my cat Titus that kept jumping on thetable where we were talking! He’s a bit annoying that way, but I love him none the less. 🐈Xxxxxxx See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
26/04/211h 15m

Episode 29: Anna Whitehouse

Anna Whitehouse is a journalist, author and radio presenter and thefounder of Mother Pukka, 'a platform for people who happen to beparents'. She is a long-term campaigner in the fight for flexibleworking for everyone.We talked about the concept of family and how you can get trapped intobelieving that 2.4 children and a white picket fence equals happiness;we discussed flexible working hours and how other countries do itbetter (yes I'm talking about the Netherlands and Sweden again!) andwe agreed that it is time to end the 1950s hapless dad trope - or asshe put it, "men don't want to just spunk and leave, they want toparent!" See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
19/04/2155m 6s

Episode 28: Rebecca Vincent

I have been following tattoo artist Rebecca Vincent on instagram since I saw a beautiful tattoo which she did for one of my earlier SP interviewees, Sali Hughes. Rebecca's style is usually botanical-inspired pure black ink. She reinvented herself as a tattoo artist when she felt her previous job as a pub landlady didn't fit well with becoming a mum. Her child is now ten and has recently started identifying as non-binary - a decision which Rebecca and husband Lee have welcomed and embraced. She's a lovely woman with a particularly gentle and kind aura for someone who can inflict so much pain - and I'm seriously considering having a second tattoo now! See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
12/04/211h 8m

Episode 27: Giovanna Fletcher

Giovanna Fletcher is a writer, presenter and blogger who has a hugelysuccessful podcast Happy Mum Happy Baby. When we chatted I asked aboutthe course which took her to marrying her childhood sweetheart, TomFletcher, she also told me how her three boys loved watching her onI'm a Celebrity and we compared notes on how many people ask her, asthe mum of sons, whether she really wanted a girl! Aaaaghhh! See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
29/03/211h 6m

Episode 26: Ellie Taylor

This week I talk to stand up and soon-to be-published writer EllieTaylor. She went from being completely disinterested in children to,now that she has a little girl herself, finding new mums 'like catnip'and striking up conversations with them whenever she can. We talkedabout having a baby when you're not really maternal, performing onstage when heavily pregnant, and writing in a pandemic. Her first book'My Child and other Mistakes' is out in July. See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
22/03/211h 4m

Episode 25: Mim and Liv NERVO

I first met Australian DJ twin sisters Mim and Liv (aka @nervomusic) over 10 years ago when we wrote a song called Not Giving Up On Love together. It was the most fun writing week. I immediately adored them both. Such smart, talented and gorgeous women - and so much positive energy! When they both became pregnant around the same time it seemed the fates were smiling on them. They both have gorgeous baby daughters now but for Liv, she has had to face a very different beginning to motherhood than the one she had envisaged - one as a single mum and the road to that has been traumatic for her. This podcast episode features lots of tears.. but also life lessons and laughs. Some of the themes might be upsetting to listen to but there is still lots of optimism in there, too.. and tons of sisterly love.  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
15/03/211h 23m

Episode 24: Cariad Lloyd

This week I'm talking to Cariad Lloyd, actor, comedian, writer, podcaster and mum of two. I hope you'll agree that this is a really positive and uplifting chat, even though we are talking about death. Cariad lost her Dad when she was 16 and we talk about how that has affected her through her life, including when she became a mum. In the last 4 years she has spoken to over a hundred people about their own experiences of losing loved ones, in her popular podcast, Griefcast, which she launched just as she became a mum herself. See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
08/03/211h 14m

Episode 23: Rosa Bloom

This week I meet Rosa Bloom, designer of the sequinned capes and cat suits that have brightened so many festivals. They've been described by one of her customers as 'wearable happiness' and I love the superhero feeling I get when I wear her clothes on stage.  In our chat I hear about growing up in a household shared by three families, and about how she and her husband chose a new family name when they had their little boy. She also tells me about how her husband offered to take over as primary carer of their little boy Otto when he was a few months old, helping her continue with her company but resulting in him being diagnosed with post natal depression. We talk about adapting to life in a pandemic and how we can't wait for festivals to be back on! See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
01/03/211h 17m

Episode 22: Jess Phillips

I really wanted to meet Jess Phillips. We are just about the same age and I have followed her career with interest and affection. I was very glad to say that I liked her just as much in real life as I have done from afar. Jess is the Labour MP for Yardley in Birmingham, serving the same area she grew up in. It's also where she has brought up her 2 sons with her husband Tom, who has always done the lion's share of the childcare and cooking. Jess jokes that she sometimes feels like a 1950s househusband asking Tom why dinner isn't on the table, when she's finshed work. She is pleasingly happy in her own skin and has a turn of phrase that really tickles me. She talked to me proudly about her mum and dad's political activism, and happy memories of watching Prime Minister's Questions after school with her nan every week. She talked about how every woman should be able to choose to have or not have a baby. And she described how she sometimes deals with aggression by fighting back with humour. She revealed that having two children made her feel she could do anything. And she also has one of the best stories I have ever heard invoving paving slabs. Though I realise the bar for that may not be very high. See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
22/02/211h 21m

Episode 21: Jack Monroe

Jack Monroe is a cook, a writer, a campaigner and also a mum to 10 year old Johnny. We talked about Jack's dream job in the fire service, experiences of not having enough to eat as a new mum, what it means to identify as non-binary, and how you should never panic when your child only wants to eat chicken nuggets.  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
15/02/211h 43m

Episode 20: Róisín Murphy

Musician Róisín Murphy can be a creative ‘bag of baldoons’ - a phrase her mum uses to conjure up what she’s like when she’s working on multiple projects. She is also mum to 10 year old Clodagh and 8 year old Tadhg. We talked about savouring every moment while your children are little. And I learned a lot about elaborate bedtime tucking-in routines, which I’ve been practising on my boys ever since!  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
21/12/201h 14m

Episode 19: Carrie Reichardt

Let me introduce you to Carrie Reichardt. She's an artist who lives round the corner from me in little old suburban Chiswick. And she has completely covered her home with mosaic so that it's now an eye-popping work of art. When I met her, she did not disappoint. She's refreshingly honest, she's brave and she's a bit bonkers. And she says that as a post-menopausal woman, she now feels more like a teenager than she ever has before.We talked death row, her mum's ferocious knitting, and being honest with your children about your failings.Oh yes, and by the way, this one's got a happy ever after ending! See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
14/12/201h 33m

Episode 18: Sali Hughes

This week I meet Sali Hughes beauty writer and co-founder of the Beauty Bank which distributes toiletries, self care products and make up to people who can't afford them. She's also been vocal on the subject of trolling which she experienced herself recently. She's a mum of two teenage boys, who she is proud of and loves spending time with. We started by talking about how people get really hung up on the subject of having all sons - something we've both experienced... See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
07/12/201h 23m

Episode 17: Holly Tucker

This week I meet 'Hurricane Holly'. Real name Holly Tucker, she is the small businesses guru who founded Not on the High Street . She has helped many creative people start to sell from their homes and reach a wider audience. Holly has one son and many 'business babies'. And if you want to hear her recipe for following your dream, she shares it near the end of our chat!  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
30/11/2058m 30s

Episode 16: Jessie Cave

This week I'm talking to Jessie Cave, writer, performer, cartoonist and soon-to-be author. She's an ex-national tennis player, she's played Lavender Brown in Harry Potter, and she refuses to be pigeon-holed. She shares with me the terrible, recent impact of losing her brother. She also shares the amazing story of getting pregnant after a one-night stand with comedian Alfie Brown. At the time of recording she was just about to have her third child with him - they now have baby Abraham (Bam for short), 4 year old Margot and 6 year old Donnie. See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
23/11/201h 42m

Episode 15: Sophie Robinson

This week I'm talking to Sophie Robinson, a woman who I've admired for a long time, for her passion for putting colour into houses who now runs courses online showing how other people how to be bold with colour and have fun with their interiors. We spoke between lockdowns at her house tucked away inthe East Sussex countryside...in fact so tucked away that even the sat nav got lost! Hers is a happy home is filled with her trademark mix of vibrant colours and wallpapers and I loved her infectious laugh which bubbled up even when we talked about her most difficult time struggling with infertility.  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
16/11/201h 30m

Episode 14: Gina Miller

This week I think I met a real superhero. Remember Gina Miller who stood on the steps of the supreme court, seemingly alone, as she sued the government for being unconstitutional? Some misunderstood the case as being anti-Brexit but it was about standing up for failrness, something she's done ever since having a special needs daughter at the age of 25. This was something that affected her profoundly and that she has used in a positive way. We talked about some of the tough times she has gone through and her drive to fight for justice. See?... A real life superhero! See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
09/11/201h 35m

Episode 13: The Yorkshire Shepherdess / Amanda Owen

‘Yay! Someone with more children than me! I spoke to brilliant mother of 9 Amanda Owen aka the Yorkshire Shepherdess who appears on TV sharing her life as a hill farmer whilst raising her glorious family. We met up when she was in London to talk to her publisher about her 4th book. We spoke about how she tends to book the tooth fairy for a job lot, how she prefers dry stone walling with her children to doing jigsaws with them, and she also described her perfect birth - number 8 - on her own, in front of a coal fire at midnight. Inspiring and brave. I loved talking to Amanda and am excited to share our conversation with you. Enjoy! Xx See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
02/11/201h 23m

Episode 12: Louise Redknapp

This week I talk to Louise Redknapp who pressed pause on her performing career when she became a mum. Now her two boys are older, Louise has thrown herself into writing and performing - something that she’s loved since she was young. We spoke about self-confidence, the concept of having it all and the urge to perform 'even' when you're a mum. we also compare notes as members of the ‘people who’ve done strictly ’ club! See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
26/10/201h 11m

Episode 11: Nadiya Hussain

Welcome back to Spinning Plates! Series two starts here. Full candour - for some strange reason I wrote this blurb bit in the third person when I started uploading the first series but now, full disclosure - it’s me, Sophie! First person comes a lot more naturally to me. Anyhoo, for the first episode of the series I talk to chef and presenter Nadiya Hussain. Nadiya and I talked about family expectations versus career ambitions, anxiety about falling in love with your newborn baby and how she actually wanted to pretend she'd died so she wouldn't have to do Bake Off!  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
19/10/201h 1m

Episode 10: Hadley Freeman

In the final episode of the series, Sophie chats to author and journalist Hadley Freeman. Hadley has twin four year old boys and a baby girl (and also a dog called Arthur who interrupted the chat when he thought sophie had had enough time!). Hadley has written many books and her latest, House of Glass, was released in March this year. During their conversation, Sophie and Hadley discuss catastrophic imaginings, covering the oscars with a 6 month old baby and the need for earplugs when working from home. See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
07/09/201h 10m

Episode 9: Thomasina Miers

Welcome to the 9th episode of the series where Sophie chats to chef and founder of Wahaca Thomasina Miers. Tommi has built her life around her love of food and cooking and she is keen to make a healthy, sustainable diet achievable for all. Her three little girls are aged 4, 7 and 9 and they eat a broad range of homemade food where kids meals aren’t infantilised and everyone eats better as a result. Here Sophie and Tommi talk food as a political issue, bad moods in lockdown and the eternal joy of tequila. See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
31/08/201h 15m

Episode 8: Julie Deane

Spinning Plates this week sees Sophie talking to the founder of the Cambridge Satchel Company Julie Deane. Julie started her company in 2008 when she didn’t have enough money for school fees so she sat down with a spreadsheet and a load of ideas and worked out the most profitable. The company was started with just £600 and is now worth over £10,000,000. Julie is mother to two children: her daughter Emily is 20 and her son Max is 18.  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
24/08/201h 25m

Episode 7: Jacqueline Gold

For Spinning Plates this week Sophie is joined by the gentle yet radical businesswoman Jacqueline Gold. Jacqueline is CEO of Anne Summers and she revolutionised the company after introducing the Anne Summers Party concept in the 1980's. She is mother to twins Scarlett and Alfie. Scarlett is now 10 and Alfie sadly died when he was just eight months old. Here she talks proving grey-suited men wrong, quietly changing culture to empower women in the bedroom while all the time striving to be an awesome mum. See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
17/08/201h 12m

Episode 6: Yvonne Telford

Sophie’s podcast guest this week is Yvonne Telford who is mother to two girls aged 10 and 12 whilst running her gorgeous clothing company Kemi Telford. Her the tale of how she discovered exactly who she was after having a baby which will resonate with so many as it’s so easy to become a parent and forget who ‘you’ are. Hoping this episode will reassure and inspire folk!  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
10/08/201h 26m

Episode 5: Janet Ellis

The most personal episode of spinning plates yet sees Sophie talk to her mum, Janet Ellis. Janet has 3 grown up children.. Sophie (her eldest) and Sophie’s two younger siblings Jackson and Martha. she also has a dog called Angela. See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
03/08/201h 15m

Episode 4: Myleene Klass

This week Sophie is joined by the gorgeous and multi-talented Myleene Klass who is mother to her girls Ava (nearly thirteen), Hero (nine) and baby son Apollo (one in august) as well as step mother to her partner Simon's two children. In this episode we find out how dating as a mum is terrifying, why learning to mend a tap is so important, and how 20 pasta shapes can save the world. See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
27/07/201h 21m

Episode 3: Candice Brathwaite

Welcome to week 3 and Sophie's guest is the brilliant writer and blogger, Candice Brathwaite. Candice has two young children with her husband Bode and has just published her first book, I am Not Your baby Mother, all about being a black mother in the UK. Sophie and Candice talk social politics, the legacy you leave your ancestors and the importance of putting Chanel on your cosmic wishlist. See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
20/07/201h 26m

Episode 2: Caitlin Moran

This week's guest is the fantastic writer Caitlin Moran, who is mother to two teenage girls aged 16 and 19 with her husband Pete Paphides. Caitlin shares her tips on mooing, talking to your future self and the importance of a room of one's own. See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
13/07/201h 33m

Episode 1: Fearne Cotton

In the first episode of the series, Sophie talks sleep deprivation, coping with anxiety and tidying up other people's houses with Fearne Cotton. In-amongst running her festival, writing books, presenting and other projects, Fearne is also mother to two children and step-mother to two more. Sophie and Fearne chat about how she finds the time to get it all done. See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
06/07/201h 2m

Spinning Plates with Sophie Ellis-Bextor

Hello I’m Sophie Ellis-Bextor and this is my new series Spinning Plates where I speak to busy working women, who also happen to be mothers, about how they make it work. I am a singer and have released 7 albums in-between having my 5 sons who are aged between 1 and 16 so I spin a few plates myself. Being a mother can be the most amazing thing.. but it can also be hard to find time for yourself and your own ambitions. I want to be a bit nosy and see how other people balance everything. Join me while I speak to a host of interesting and inspirational women who’ve really made me think - and laugh, and sometimes cry. Welcome to Spinning Plates. See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
Heart UK