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.

Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.


Episode 121: Trinny Woodall

Trinny Woodall is the CEO of the beauty brand Trinny London - she's an entrepreneur, businesswoman and author. She became a household name in the late 90s when she teamed up with Susannah Constantine to present the TV makeover show What Not to Wear. Last year she published her book Fearless about how to find your style and boost your confidence. She has a 20 year old daughter Lyla, who she describes as joyful, and she told me how, without her own roadmap to motherhood, she found a way to bring Lyla up, with the help of a wonderful woman called Jenny,We had an honest and fascinating talk in the attic room of her home in West London, which doubles as an office and a dressing room, full of colourful clothes. Trinny has just celebrated her 60th birthday and is as vibrant and fun as you could hope for. We sat there together, in our pyjamas, just after she'd shown me her microneedling tool, and I really understand why people open up to her and tell her their innermost secrets! Spinning Plates is presented by Sophie Ellis-Bextor, produced by Claire Jones and post-production by Richard Jones. Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.
12/02/241h 9m

Episode 120: Michelle Kennedy

Michelle Kennedy is a tech entrepreneur and businesswoman. She is CEO of Peanut App, and mum to two young children, Finlay and Nuala.Michelle started her working life as a corporate lawyer and became interested in tech when she worked for Badoo and then Bumble. She set up Peanut after she gave birth to her first child and felt lonely and isolated. Peanut is an online community for women, as Michelle says, at 'seismic stages' of their life including fertility, pregnancy, motherhood and menopause. It's a place where women can come and speak honestly with other women going through the same stage of life as them, and she feels it acts as a social barometer of which issues are important to women.I certainly wish it had been around when I had my first baby. And I look forward to watching Michelle's plans unfold for creating a space for young girls to talk about their challenges in their teen years... Little me could have done with that too!Spinning Plates is presented by Sophie Ellis-Bextor, produced by Claire Jones and post-production by Richard Jones. Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.
05/02/241h 14m

Episode 119: Kelly Hoppen

Kelly Hoppen is an interior designer who is renowned for working with big celebrity names and is known for her signature neutral palette.Kelly started her business aged 16 and a half, just afer her father died unexpectedly, and she told me that the feeling she wants to create for her clients is the one she had from her grandmother's home where she remembers learning to crochet and having tea.Kelly has spoken openly about being dyslexic. When we met at her office, just before Christmas, she described how music is a massive component in her design process, and that she will often ask a client which song would sum up the look of the room they want her to create for them.Kelly had her daughter Natasha when she was 23, and became stepmother to Sienna and Savannah Miller when they were teenagers, and the three girls ended up going to boarding school together. She says being a stepmum to Sienna and Savannah is one of the greatest achievements of her life.Spinning Plates is presented by Sophie Ellis-Bextor, produced by Claire Jones and post-production by Richard Jones. Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.
29/01/2452m 13s

Episode 118: Sophie Darlington

Sophie Darlington is a wildlife cinematographer for shows such as David Attenborough's 'Planet Earth'. She regularly gets up way before dawn in places such as Sri Lanka or East Africa, and sits for over 12 hours a day watching the animal she’s filming, often for weeks at a time. She says it’s the best job in the world but you come back 'rinsed'. When her son Louis came along 23 years ago, Sophie had to take a break from her cinematography work for several years, but she returned when Louis was 4 and a half and even took him to live with her in the Serengeti for a year, while she worked. She also has an 11 year old step daughter now, who she says is 'so cool'.She is passionate about nature, and she is worried about the effect of climate change on the natural world, having observed worrying trends over the past decades during her cinematography projects.Sophie says it takes a certain mindset to want to sit for 10 hours in 36 degree heat in a metre by metre hide, or 30 metres up a tree. She also says that when she comes back from filming she can't cross a road for a while as she's so unused to city life.  Sophie says her purpose is to 'make people give a damn'. And it's definitely worked on me.Spinning Plates is presented by Sophie Ellis-Bextor, produced by Claire Jones and post-production by Richard Jones Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.
22/01/241h 15m

Episode 117: Amy Hart

Amy Hart is a social media influencer, former reality TV star and podcast presenter. She appeared in Love Island in 2019 (Richard and I are avid viewers!) and she now has an adorable little baby called Stanley.Amy is the only Love Island contestant to have appeared on Question Time and she is a big food bank supporter.Amy worked as cabin crew before she joined Love Island, which I imagined would prepare her for sleep-deprived motherhood...except Stanley is a very good baby and sleeps through the night!We talked about how supportive her parents are as grandparents to Stanley. We also discussed how Amy had frozen her eggs prior to meeting her partner, and how she plans to donate those eggs to people stuggling to conceive.Spinning Plates is presented by Sophie Ellis-Bextor, produced by Claire Jones and post-production by Richard Jones Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.

Episode 116: Gabby Logan

Gabby Logan is best known as a BBC sports presenter but has also turned her hand to stand up comedy for Sports Relief (2012), to writing her memoir called The First Half, and to ice baths on Freeze Your Fear (2022). She hosts an excellent podcast called Mid-Life in which she, a guest and an expert explore how to navigate the mysterious territory of middle age.She has 18 year old twins and is married to retired Scottish rugby union player Kenny Logan.  I spoke to Gabby a few months after her son Reuben had left the nest, with her daughter Lois following suit in a year, and she told me how the house is starting to feel too big.We talked about her brother Daniel's sudden death in 1992 when he was 15, and Gabby was 19 - and how she and her family were - and still are - impacted by this tragedy. But Gabby has a core of positivity and stressed that people can go on to have a good life even when something so terrible happens.Gabby represented Wales at the Commonwealth Games in 1990 as a rhythmic gymnast, which Gabby so perfectly described as: where sport meets showbiz. The brightly-coloured leotards she wore were not a million miles from what I wear on stage now - but she wasn't too impressed by my opening bid to buy them as a job lot. I'll keep working on her!Spinning Plates is presented by Sophie Ellis-Bextor, produced by Claire Jones and post-production by Richard Jones Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.
08/01/241h 23m

Episode 115: Alex Head

Alex Head is the founder of Social Pantry which runs food events with the wow factor, as well as a restaruant, and a cafe. I first met Alex this Summer where she was rustling up a banquet twice a day, in a tent at Latitude Festval. Two of the banquets featured food from 'Love, Food, Family' and Richard and I had the much easier job of meeting and greeting everybody there.Alex got into catering aged 16 when she was expelled from school in Saudi, just before her GCSEs. As she says, she was quite naughty. But she ended up setting up a sandwich-making business to keep herself busy.Fast forward a few decades and Alex now runs Social Pantry which she describes as a non-shouty and nurturing catering environment where she often employs ex-offenders, to help them create a new life for themselves outside of prison.Alex and her husband George had a daughter Roxy, aged 3, who was born just before the pandemic, and they now have a one year old son Eddie.Alex spoke to me about Eddie's diagnosis of Down's Syndrome while she was pregnant, and how she and George made the decision to continue with the pregnancy, and what a gorgeous, smiley boy Eddie is.  This I can vouch for, as I love to see Alex's happy Instagram posts showing Eddie beaming, at the centre of his family.  Spinning Plates is presented by Sophie Ellis-Bextor, produced by Claire Jones and post-production by Richard Jones Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.
18/12/231h 4m

Episode 114: Sandra Igwe

Sandra Igwe decided to turn a painful experience into purpose. When we spoke recently she told me about some of her difficult experiences both during childbirth and afterwards.These led her to become the founder of The Motherhood Group which supports the Black maternal experience. Sandra has also written My Black Motherhood which demands that Black women are listened to, believed and understood by healthcare professionals.We spoke about Sandra’s two daughters Zoe and Chloe, and the legacy Sandra hopes her work will leave, for when they come to have children. We also talked about her forthcoming third child. I got a bit over-excited about Sandra’s search for a name for that will rhyme with theirs, as I realised ‘Sophie’ is a near rhyme. Sandra kindly said she’ll let me know!Spinning Plates is presented by Sophie Ellis-Bextor, produced by Claire Jones and post-production by Richard Jones Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.
11/12/231h 10m

Episode 113: Julia Bradbury

Julia Bradbury is a TV presenter and an author with a passion for the outdoors. She has a 12 year old son, and 8 year old twin daughters who she had through IVF. Her motto to them is: 'Be good, be strong, be kind'.We met at Julia's London West London home and talked about how in 2021, she and her husband had the nightmare task of breaking the news of her breast cancer diagnosis to their children. She also mentioned how 'Fruitfly Collective' and 'Maggie's Centres' can support all sorts of people at these difficult times. She is thankfully now in remission: working back in TV and writing, but making sure she puts her health first.Julia talked to me about how she feels we're all suffering an indoor epidemic at the moment and how she is doing all she can to live in a healthy way. She shares a lot of those thoughts in the book she has just published called 'Walk Yourself Happy', which reflects her belief in health through nature. Even in London, she manages to have her nature fix first thing every morning by sitting on her (very safe) windowsill and getting the morning light as soon as she wakes up. She then takes further 'nature snacks' through the day.I left Julia feeling full of positivity and good intentions, vowing never to eat sugary cereal ever again! It remains to be seen whether I manage to change my ways...Spinning Plates is presented by Sophie Ellis-Bextor, produced by Claire Jones and post-production by Richard Jones Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.
04/12/231h 15m

Episode 112: Helen Skelton

Presenter Helen Skelton has been a familiar and much-loved presence on our TV screens since she presented Blue Peter (2008-2013) and then Countryfile.Famous for her can-do attitude to life she still has several Guinness World Records under her belt, she’s run a Namibian ultra-marathon (which is 3 marathons back to back), kayaked the entire length of the Amazon, and made it to the finals of Celebrity SAS Who Dares Wins... and Strictly! Helen and her three children now live in Cumbria, near where Helen grew up herself, and they all love the outdoors. I caught up with Helen at her publisher’s office in London on the day her autobiography ‘In My Stride’ was published. It’s a brilliant read and I love how Helen is someone pretty extraordinary but she has such a generous spirit she makes me feel like I might be able to do some of those things, too. Not sure I’m going to test the theory though..!Spinning Plates is presented by Sophie Ellis-Bextor, produced by Claire Jones and post-production by Richard Jones Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.
27/11/2351m 34s

Bonus Episode: Janet Ellis

This is an extra special bonus episode in partnership with the lovely team at Clarks. Thanks to Clarks, I have brought my mum, Janet Ellis, back for this special shoecentric chat! We talked about the excitement of buying your child’s first pair of shoes, and we happily admit that we very much share the sentimental gene, as we have kept all our children’s ‘firsts’. My mum even has them on display as you go down the stairs to her kitchen. My Ma also shares her memory of a Clark’s badge that she got as a child - I think they should bring those back - they are very sweet!!Spinning Plates is presented by Sophie Ellis-Bextor, produced by Claire Jones and post-production by Richard Jones Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.
16/10/2323m 49s

Episode 110: Dilly Carter

Dilly Carter is an expert in decluttering who presents the TV show 'Sort Your LIfe Out' alongside Stacey Solomon. Born in Sri Lanka, she was adopted and then brought up in the UK, and is very positive about the cards she was dealt. However, her childhood home was chaotic, with her parents at work all hours, and when Dilly was 11 her mum was diagnosed with bipolar disorder. During her childhood Dilly found peace when she frequently spent time at a neighbour's more ordered home. It was also at this point that she discovered her love of tidying and organising people's houses.Dilly has a 9 year old daughter who also sounds incredibly tidy and organised and she and Dilly operate on a one thing in, one thing out policy in her bedroom, so it never becomes cluttered.Following her recent cancer diagnosis, and a subsequent hysterectomy, Dilly is keen to encourage people with busy working lives like her, to prioritise their health. She is also an ambassador for Adoption UK.As you will hear, Dilly is a very positive person. I was worried she'd be traumatised by visiting my house which is brimming with objects and knick-knacks, but she was very kind about it. She clearly suspects I have too many clothes - but I haven't let her look in my wardrobe yet!Spinning Plates is presented by Sophie Ellis-Bextor, produced by Claire Jones and post-production by Richard Jones Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.
09/10/231h 17m

Episode 109: Charlotte Hawkins

Charlotte Hawkins presents Good Morning Britain where she proudly helps set the news agenda for the day and quizzes the people in power on the TV viewer's behalf. She also has a lifelong love of music and presents a show on Classic FM.Charlotte talked about how she and her husband tried without success to have a baby and were just about to set off down the IVF route when Charlotte unexpectedly became pregnant. She also spoke about how she lost her beloved Dad to motor neurone disease, just a month before her daughter was born, but that her daughter still has a bond with Grandad Frank, who gives her a Christmas present each year, as Charlotte knows exactly what he would have chosen.Charlotte's daughter Ella Rose is now 8 and she also tried out the TV presenter role this summer when she interviewed her idol George Ezra. She did it so well that it made me want to see lots more children putting adults in the hot seat - especially politicians.Spinning Plates is presented by Sophie Ellis-Bextor, produced by Claire Jones and post-production by Richard Jones Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.
02/10/231h 8m

Episode 108: Alice Roberts

Professor Alice Roberts is a TV presenter and biological anthropologist - in her own words, she looks at old bones and tries to construct the person's history from their skeleton, and she loves the link betwwen the living and the dead.Her pink hair hints at her less traditional and more playful side, also illustrated by the amazing story that as a junior doctor she did some of her paediatric ward rounds on rollerblades, much to the children's joy! Alice was offered her first solo TV series just before she had her first baby. She presumed it was bad timing but to her surprise the executive producer suggested she take her her newborn baby with her on the filming, which she did successfully with the help of her husband who came along too.Alice has two children, now aged 10 and 13. She is vice president of Humanists UK. And she speaks out against faith schools, saying how children have a right not to have religion forced on them.Spinning Plates is presented by Sophie Ellis-Bextor, produced by Claire Jones and post-production by Richard Jones Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.
25/09/231h 21m

Episode 107: Laura Lee Dockrill

Laura Lee Dockrill is an author of both adult and children's books. She went to Brit School, she's married to the love of her life, musician Hugo White, and her best friend is Adele.After giving birth to her son Jet, Laura suffered severe postpartum depression which saw her waking up alone in a psychiatric ward on her first Mother's Day. One of her books based on her experience is called What Have I Done?She also has a new children's picture book out next year called Gray. It's about depression and illustrated by Lauren Child.Laura is positive and funny and lovable and it is such a joy to see her recovered and happy while still able to share her experiences, which I know will go on to help the 1 in 1,000 new mothers who also suffer from postpartum psychosis. Trigger warning for references to suicidal thoughtsSpinning Plates is presented by Sophie Ellis-Bextor, produced by Claire Jones and post-production by Richard Jones Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.
18/09/231h 10m

Episode 106: Helen Pankhurst

Helen Pankhurst is a writer and a scholar who works for women's rights.  Her grandmother Sylvia and her great grandmother Emmeline were both suffragette leaders, and Helen carries her family name with pride. We talked about how Helen kept her family name of Pankhurst when she married, and about how she and her husband shared both their surnames with their children, in a clever way theat I've not heard before.I first met Helen when we were involved in a podcast for Care International, where we were lucky enough to talk with women from all around the world, many in crisis, but still finding joy in each other's stories, and sharing many of the same worries and issues, despite living in vastly different circumstances from each other.We also discussed the parallels being drawn between the direct action of the suffragettes, and the current Just Stop Oil protestors.We agreed how important it is for every one of us to use our vote 'to keep your piece in the jigsaw' as Helen beautifully put it. She also talked about the current campaign to bring the voting age down in this country, to include 16-18 year olds.I absolutely love how Helen has brought her children up with her personal motto of 'fun and purpose', and I can really see how that has helped her achieve her goal of leading a decent, fun life with her family around her.And by the way, all accidentally recorded on Emmeline's birthday!Spinning Plates is presented by Sophie Ellis-Bextor, produced by Claire Jones and post-production by Richard Jones Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.
11/09/231h 2m

Episode 105: Suzi Ruffel

Suzi Ruffell is a writer and stand up at the top of her game, playing to packed audiences at her comedy gigs and with numerous TV appearances on panel shows. She also has two podcasts - 'Like Minded Friends' with Tom Allen and 'Out' showcasing gay success stories.  She uses her personal experiences of being ADHD, of having anxiety and of being the parent of a toddler, in her act. It's important for her to share the joys of family life, she says, because as a gay teenager she thought she might not get to be a mum, as she just didn't see other gay women with children, either in the media or in real life.Suzy told me about how she's changed the way she works since becoming a mum. We also agreed toddler tantrums are quite funny. And Suzi confessed her daughter often tells her she's not funny. I beg to differ!Spinning Plates is presented by Sophie Ellis-Bextor, produced by Claire Jones and post-production by Richard Jones Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.
04/09/231h 15m

Episode 104: Ruby Hammer MBE

Ruby Hammer MBE is a make up artist and entrepreneur. I first met Ruby when she made me up for a Christmas cover of Red magazine. I love her hardworking ethics as well as her helpful and gentle honesty.I spoke to Ruby earlier this year and she told me how her family moved to the UK from East Pakistan (now Bangladesh) during the civil war there. She talked honestly and movingly about her strong connection with her late mum, who had her at the age of 17. She also told me how she believes the layers and layers of love and discipline that you lay down as a parent, show up in your child as they grow up. She also shared how much she treasures her little grandson.Spinning Plates is presented by Sophie Ellis-Bextor, produced by Claire Jones and post-production by Richard Jones Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.
21/08/231h 12m

Episode 103: Rachel Riley

Rachel Riley is the co-host and face of maths on Countdown and a self-confessed 'proper maths geek'. I first met Rachel 10 years ago when we were both on Strictly together. When we chatted recently we touched on those rollercoaster competition weeks, and the mild PTSD which Rachel experienced afterwards. However she also said she got some good things out of it, namely a lovely husband and two children.Last month Rachel picked up her MBE for services to Holocaust Education. She also told me about the vitriolic trolling that she suffered during her campaign against antisemitism, which coinicided with the birth of her first daughter.She and her husband, Pasha, are bringing up their two little daughters to speak both English and Russian, with a little Ukranian added into the mix.Spinning Plates is presented by Sophie Ellis-Bextor, produced by Claire Jones and post-production by Richard Jones Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.
14/08/2356m 29s

Episode 102: Laura Whitmore

Laura Whitmore is a broadcaster and writer. Born in Bray in Ireland, she started out in live TV after winning an MTV competition in 2008 and moved to London in her early 20s where she remembers being suddenly sent to LA to interview Coldplay. She told me how she thrives on being flung into the deep end and loves multitasking, which comes in handy when you are presenting live TV.  In 2022 she appeared on the West End stage in 2:22 A Ghost Story. Her most recent TV project is a documentary series for ITVX called Laura Whitemore Investigates, in which she looks at subjects of rough sex, women haters and cyber stalking. As she said, she doesn't like to be typecast.Laura is married to comedian Iain Stirling and they have a little girl who was born in 2021. Laura's mum and Iain were instrumental in her being able to go back to work during covid while her baby was still little. Laura is particularly private about her family life which she suspects is influenced by the treatment of her friend Caroline Flack, who she witnessed being so open with the press. Laura told me it will take her years to process taking over presenting Love Island from Caroline following her death.I felt very honoured to be asked into Laura's home to sit and drink tea, and to meet Mick the dog, who you may hear snuffling around now and again during our chat.Spinning Plates is presented by Sophie Ellis-Bextor, produced by Claire Jones and post-production by Richard Jones Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.
07/08/231h 10m

Episode 101 : Sam Dabb

Sam Dabb has loved live music all her life and she has run the Le Pub music venue in Newport for decades. Le Pub is one of the 130 venues being supported by the National Lottery this summer, as part of the United By Music tour. I talked to Sam about her love of small gigs, about growing up in a pub herself, and about bringing her own daughter up in a pub and live music environment. We also talked about her frequent visits to the jungle in Calais, when her daughter was a teenager, to help the refugees living there. Spinning Plates is presented by Sophie Ellis-Bextor, produced by Claire Jones and post-production by Richard Jones Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.
31/07/2350m 57s

Episode 100: Julia Haart

Julia Haart is an American fashion designer, entrepreneur and author of her bestselling autobiography 'Brazen'. She was also the subject and executive director of the Netflix documentary series 'My Unorthodox Life', about her life as a working mother of 4, after she left her ultra-orthodox Jewish life.Julia updated me on her latest projects including a new type of shapewear that she has developed. She explained how her little daughter Miriam gave her the courage to leave her husband and their community, after she asked to play football as a child but was not allowed to because her knees would show.She also shared her three rules for being a good parent, and explained how work, for her, is freedom.  Julia is an inspiring speaker and I guarantee you will be inspired by her energy and passion!Trigger warning: references to mental health, wanting to commit suidcide, and eating disorder. Spinning Plates is presented by Sophie Ellis-Bextor, produced by Claire Jones and post-production by Richard Jones Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.
26/06/2353m 38s

Episode 99: Kate Ferdinand

Kate Ferdinand is a TV personality and author who is married to footballer Rio Ferdinand. Kate was best known on TV for appearing on Towie and now has a successful podcast called Blended. 1 in 4 families in Britain are now blended and Kate is stepmum to Rio's 3 older children Lorenz, Tate and Tia. She loves them as her own children. She and Rio also have a toddler called Cree and she is expecting a new baby next month. So soon she'll have five children, just like me!Kate talked to me about her two books. How to Build a Family, in which she shares tips about being a step parent. And a children's book called The Family Tree about a blended family but from a child's point of view.She talked to me very candidly about how she feels that she and Rio saved each other when they met. And having grown up in a blended family myself, I was genuinely moved by the love she so clearly has for their older children.Spinning Plates is presented by Sophie Ellis-Bextor, produced by Claire Jones and post-production by Richard Jones Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.
19/06/2352m 31s

Episode 98: Anne Fish

Anne Fish is a mum of two sons... and a pro gamer.  When her younger son Benjy won a Fortnite tournament aged 14, he also won thousands of dollars and it became clear it was a serious sport that he wanted to pursue. Anne made the decision to homeschool him fromt he age of 15, to make room for the late-night tournaments and the long hours of practice that Benjy had to put into gaming. She also got more involved in Fortnite herself. As a self-confessed workaholic she put hours of practice in, became a pro herself in 2019, and now makes a living from it.  It's a far cry from her situation when Benjy had just been born and her older son was just 7, when her husband died, and she'd lost their business and their home. At one point she was doing car boot sales to buy food for the following week.Anne advises getting more involved in whatever your kids are interested in - whether that's playing piano, playing a conventional sport or in this case gaming. She's the living emboiment of that - and it's brought her great and unexpected personal success. She now owns the house they'd once rented, on an island in the River Thames, where we met to chat. And if you listen out, Benjy can occasionally be heard gaming in the next room, during our conversation!Spinning Plates is presented by Sophie Ellis-Bextor, produced by Claire Jones and post-production by Richard Jones Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.
12/06/231h 22m

Episode 97: Gemma Bird

Gemma Bird @moneymumofficial is a hard working mum of two from Essex who after years of working multiple jobs at the same time, managed to pay off her mortgage, and is now a constant source of money-saving tips and ideas on instagram, and a regular on Lorraine's Saver Squad. She's a fast-talking, determined and positive person, who is also very open about her struggles with anxiety and depression, and I really valued her honesty when we met.I went to visit Gemma at her home in Essex earlier this year, and she told me how her mum had set her on the saving road from a very young age, often making £20 last the whole of half term by finding free things for the family to do.Gemma published her first book 'Money Mum Official: Save Yourself Happy' last year, and she shared with me her ideas of how issues around money and debt could be taught at school - even as young as primary age. Gemma and her husband Adam have two children, Brody and Bronte, who they adore. We talked about the pressures we feel as parents and how to say no to them sometimes. It transpired we were both being pressured into buying the overpriced fashionable drink 'Prime' at the time of our chat!But on a serious note, for anyone who would like to talk to someone about money problems or getting into debt, Gemma recommends 'Step Change' stepchange.org and the National Debt Helpline' nationaldebtline.orgSpinning Plates is presented by Sophie Ellis-Bextor, produced by Claire Jones and post-production by Richard Jones Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.
05/06/231h 9m

Episode 96: Emma Dabiri

Emma Dabiri is an Irish writer, academic and broadcaster - and an expert on race.  Born to a Nigerian dad and an Irish mum, Emma experienced extremely different environments growing up: first in a predominantly black area of America and then moving to Southern Ireland where she found herself in the opposite - a very white and racist society.  She remembered how a bookshop in Dublin was her sanctuary and saviour as a child. It turned out it was a radical bookshop - and we agreed that books can provide a quiet rebellion when you're growing up.Emma has two little boys and currently lives in Margate where she takes advantage of regular sea swimming.  She has written two books 'Don't Touch My Hair' and 'What White People Should Do Next', with her third book just about to be published when we chatted. Emma's writing looks at the concept of race and how the concept of black and white has been constructed in fairly recent history, plus she sometimes shares her own experiences of racism. We also talked about the Black Lives Matter campaign and assessed how much has changed since the death of George Floyd.Spinning Plates is presented by Sophie Ellis-Bextor, produced by Claire Jones and post-production by Richard Jones Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.
29/05/231h 21m

Episode: 95 Heidi Range

Heidi Range is best known as a former member of the girl groups Atomic Kitten and then Sugababes. It feels like she was destined to become part of pop history from an early age. A good start was being born in the very musical city of Liverpool! She was part of a children's road show from the age of 12, with her and her friends performing songs such as Copacabana at all the social clubs in the area. She successfully auditioned to be part of Atomic Kitten aged 15, and later replaced Siobhan Donahy in Sugababes aged 18!We both reminisced about appearing on live weekend show CDUK, agreed how exciting that was, and how lucky we were to have that live telly buzz as part of our early careers.Heidi has two little girls, Aurelia and Athena, and has been happy to put her career on hold since becoming a mum, after years of living out of a suitcase as a pop singer. Heidi also talked very openly about having two miscarriages between her two daughters, the first being due to a 'blighted ovum', which she went through during the first lockdown. She is however massively grateful for having her two daughters and hopes they will have as close a bond as she has with her sister Hayley, who she describes as her best friend.She feels she's now just emerging from what she describes as her 'Mummy bubble', and is getting to a new stage where she's ready to remember who she was a little bit more.Heidi told me how she's just been a panel judge for Eurovision and revealed how secretive her involvement had to be, and how strict the judging conditions were on the night to make sure the judges' decisions were impartial. As she approaches her 40th birthday, she says she's ready for new projects. She's not 100% sure what they might be...though she did admit to more than a passing interest in Strictly. You heard it here first!Spinning Plates is presented by Sophie Ellis-Bextor, produced by Claire Jones and post-production by Richard Jones Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.
22/05/2349m 30s

Episode 94: Hannah Fry

Hannah Fry is a mathematician, author, and radio and television presenter. She applies maths to pretty much everything in her life. She gave a TEDTalk in 2014 on the maths of dating, and in 2022 she made a documentary called ‘Making Sense of Cancer with Hannah Fry’ about her personal experience of cervical cancer, in which she unpacked the surprising statistics behind cancer diagnosis, treatment and success. It’s a fascinating watch which I have recommended to many friends.Hannah has two daughters and she shared a tip with me that she heard for when they are teenagers: that a parent should ‘be the sides of the swimming pool’, let them get on with swimming, and just be there when they want to come back to the side.Hannah lives by a decision-making tool which she calls regret minimisation which is where you assess a decision you have to make based on all the evidence you have before you at that time, very logically. This way, she says, you cannot beat yourself up for that decision further down the line. Hannah made me laugh when she described applying that decision-making tool to whether she should have children - and then admitted she is 100% geek! Spinning Plates is presented by Sophie Ellis-Bextor, produced by Claire Jones and post-production by Richard Jones Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.
15/05/231h 8m

Episode 93: Dr Sabrina Cohen-Hatton

Dr Sabrina Cohen-Hatton (or Sab) took my breath away when I met her. She has achieved, and continues to achieve, so much despite her early life being incredibly tough.Sab found herself homeless aged 16 after her beloved Dad died and her mum's mental health crumbled. She talked to me about how she has suffered from hyper-vigilance ever since, as the strategies she developed for keeping safe while sleeping rough, are still there. She eventually found a place to live and was determined to become a fire fighter, applying to over 30 places before being accepted aged 18. She is now Chief Fire Officer of the West Sussex Fire and Rescue Service. She met her husband Mike in her early days in the fire service. Following an incident in which she believed Mike had been seriously injured, Sab wrote a research paper on the mechanisms of decision-making under pressure. She has a First Class degree in Psychology, a Masters in International Fire Service Development and a PhD in Behavioural Neuroscince. Sab has been faced with a lot of gender bias while in the Fire Service (for example in social settings people will say, 'Oh you're so brave' to a male firefighter; but 'Aren't you afraid?' to female firefighters. She has frequently experienced 'the backlash effect' when people are uncomfortable with you because you are doing a job associated with the opposite gender. She recently published her book 'The Gender Bias' which looks at the everyday prejudices which women experience and also has some practical solutions to offer. In our chat she clearly illustrated this, describing two very striking studies of little children. One study (as it happens, involving a firefighter's pole!) showed how parents unconsciously treat sons and daughters differently when it comes to perceived risk; the other study showed how children also have gender biases from a very young age, but how this can be reversed easily when they're little.Sab and her husband Mike have a teenage daughter Gabby. Sab remembers how she started her PhD the day Gabby was born (yes, I don't blame you if you have to read that sentence twice!) and was promoted the day she went on maternity leave. She and Mike have been a tight parenting team, but interestingly Sab told me Mike experienced his own backlash when he took their daughter to baby classes, with mums of the other babies tending to gatekeep their maternal role and keep Mike at a slight distance.Now that Gabby is a teenager, Sab is having flashbacks to her own teenage years and remembering more vividly that she was sleeping rough in a shop doorway aged 15, with people walking past her as if she wasn't really there. She told me how important it is to smile, have eye contact and say hello to homeless people, even if you don't have any change. If anyone knows, Sab does. Spinning Plates is presented by Sophie Ellis-Bextor, produced by Claire Jones and post-production by Richard Jones Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.
08/05/231h 21m

Episode 92: Tess Daley

Tess Daly, known nationwide for her role fronting Strictly Come Dancing for the last two decades, is also mum to two teenage daughters, Phoebe andAmber.We spoke over zoom a couple of weeks ago (apologies for any little glitches caused by the technology) and we had a lovely chat.  We talked about Tess's beloved dad who, despite being ill, made sure he walked her down the aisle, but who died during Tess and Vernon's honeymoon. She said he taught her gratitude for life, and how she'd have loved her children to meet their grandad.Tess told me how she was pregnant during the first ever series of Strictly and that she returned to work for the second series, just 6 weeks after she had had her daughter. Pretty hard core stuff, which found her, as a new mum who was extremely sleep-starved, falling asleep in her dressing room once, just before the show. But she also said she loves live TV so much, because the adrenalin of it is like rocket fuel , plus you can't fake anything on live TV. I agreed - but I also told her it was the scariest thing I've ever done, performing on Strictly.Tess runs a swimwear company with her best friend Gayle, and has also just brought a wellness book out called '4 Steps: To a Happier, Healthier You'. She said she's been so busy with her book lately that it's been like having a third child. She shared some of her best tips from the book. One of her favourites is about slowing down the breathing, which I agree is really helpful in moments of anxiety.Spinning Plates is presented by Sophie Ellis-Bextor, produced by Claire Jones and post-production by Richard Jones Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.
01/05/2357m 36s

Episode 91: Katie Melua

Katie Melua had massive fame at the age of 19 with the release of her first album 'Call Off the Search', and then 2 years later with her hit 'Nine Million Bicycles'. She has brought out 8 albums since then, with her 9th album 'Love & Money' which she recorded last year while she was pregnant, just released last month.We met recently at her house when her gorgeous baby boy was just 3 months old. She talked about how her thoughts about parenthood have changed over the years from wondering whether parenthood would ever be part of her life; to realising following a nervous breakdown in 2010 that she did want to be a mum; meeting her partner Ollie in lockdown and freezing her eggs; but then having their treasured little boy naturally. Katie was very open about how she suffered a dramatic burnout, and she paid tribute to psychiatrist Dr Mike McPhillips who helped her make a full recovery. We agreed it shouldn't be taboo to talk about such experiences. Katie said as soon as he is big enough, she will be talking to her son about ways of dealing with anxiety or panic attacks, as she wants him to be equipped to deal with them, whether that's for himself or his friends.It was great to hear Katie say that her confidence as a woman went up when her son Sandro was born. This is not something I hear very often from new mums. But she deserves this happy time, and is looking forward to touring with her babe in tow, in May 2023. Yes - next month - and I'm going to see her!WARNING: Contains conversations around suicidal thoughts and mention of suicideSpinning Plates is presented by Sophie Ellis-Bextor, produced by Claire Jones and post-production by Richard Jones Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.
24/04/231h 10m

Episode 90: Hannah Chambers

Hannah Chambers has spent 25 years in the comedy management business looking after many famous comedians including Jimmy Carr, Sarah Millican, Joe Lycett and Aisling Bea. As she explains, she has given up her Monday to Friday fully for her job, and in fact it's not unusual for her to work 14 hour days, often spending evenings watching stand up shows or TV recordings that her clients are appearing in. She loves her job and says she's a bit like a Jewish mother to her clients: pushy, but wanting them to eat properly too! We met at The Garden Cinema near Holborn - which houses her offices but is also a newly-opened cinema, designed and built just before lockdown by her Dad.  We recorded our chat in Screen 1, with plush red velvet seats in front of us and a lovely heavy cinema curtain behind us.Hannah has been on my radar for a long time as my best friend Maria worked with her husband Jeremy, and I have always admired their decision for Hannah to carry on her more-than-full-time job when she became a mum, while Jeremy took on the role of primary carer.Hannah is always quick to tell people about this and is refreshingly unapologetic about it - as she is about everything!I loved Hannah’s sense of humour and her resilience - two things she wants to pass on to her daughters.She told me about a photo she keeps on her phone, of her doing a deal for Jimmy Carr, from her hospital bed, 30 minutes after her first daughter Rosie was born. That probably sums her up: incredibly hard-working but with a great self-deprecating sense of humour. Her daughters recently made her laugh, predicting her tombstone would read ‘Jimmy, I’ll call you back!’Spinning Plates is presented by Sophie Ellis-Bextor, produced by Claire Jones and post-production by Richard Jones Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.
13/03/231h 13m

Episode 89: Siobhán Donaghy

Siobhán Donaghy is a singer songwriter best known as one of the Sugababes. The Sugababes have now reformed in their original line-up and last year wowed Glastonbury to the extent they had to close the field they were performing to, because so many people wanted to get to see them - shows just how delighted people are to have the band back together. Siobhán signed her first record deal at the incredibly young age of 14, and told me how her mum and dad agreed to put their house on the line for her career. They had huge success as the Sugababes, but also some very turbulent times. Siobhán shared with me that she suffered absolutely crippling stage fright and panic attacks back then, and up until the point she became a mum. Having children has made her much less anxious on stage. To the extent that it was only half way through our chat that Siobhan casually mentioned they'd been performing at Wembley stadium the night before!Siobhán has a little boy aged 5 and a little girl born just after the first lockdown, aged 2. We talked about the pros and cons of taking your own children to your gigs when you are performing. Let's say she's had a better reaction from her little boy's first gig recently, than I have had over quite a few years with mine!We agreed that performing on stage now can feel way less stressful than being at home with the kids... and as if to test that theory out, the Sugababes will be performing at the O2 on 15th September 2023!Spinning Plates is presented by Sophie Ellis-Bextor, produced by Claire Jones and post-production by Richard Jones Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.
06/03/231h 5m

Episode 88: Jessie Ware

I met up with singer and broadcaster Jessie Ware at her home in South London, on the very day her new single 'Pearls' was released. She told me how she'd had to miss the school run that morning to record a TikTok of herself listening to the first play of the single, while dancing in her kitchen. What a strange job we have! We also talked about how funny it is when your two worlds of music and motherhood collide: like when one of Jessie's mum-friends did a double take when she saw her at a children's party, as she'd just seen a billboard of Jessie's face in Queens Road Peckham advertising the new single!Jessie and I have lots in common, one thing being that we both had three children in our 30s while making and releasing music. We compared notes on the times when motherhood didn't fit in with the music industry. We also confessed to some of the things we love about being on tour....watching box sets in the day; being offered cups of tea, and even the odd massage! Basically being completely looked after!We also talked about Jessie's incredibly popular podcast, Table Manners, which she makes with her mum Lennie, in which a celebrity guest pops round for a meal cooked for them by Lennie, and they eat together and chat. We talked about how I had fared as a guest, at a fairly raucous live version of the podcast last year. It was fun, energetic and quite cheeky - not a bad description of Jessie herself, as you will hear from our chat! Spinning Plates is presented by Sophie Ellis-Bextor, produced by Claire Jones and post-production by Richard Jones Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.
27/02/231h 1m

Episode 87: Claire Hodgson

Claire Hodgson is a theatre director who hates rules and who wants to make a difference to the world through the shows that she makes. I first met her last year at Camp Bestival, when she was coordinating the Guinness world record attempt for the largest number of simultaneous disco dancers!! 600 altogether - and they did it!!We talked about how Claire, her brother and her sister cleaned up on disco dancing medals as children and how she went on to found a company called Diverse City, and Extraordinary Bodies for circus artists. During lockdown she became a sea swimmer and last year she created a large-scale sea choreography he is just about to launch a theatre called SW!M in Swanage in Dorset. Her upcoming project is a musical called ‘Waldo’s Circus of Magic & Terror’ at the Bristol Old Vic. It is a new musical set in 1933 and is based based on true stories about how circuses smuggled people with disabilities out of Germany during WW2. Claire has a teenage daughter Scarlett who helped her coordinate the WhatsApp group for SW!M and who Claire feels very fortunate to have spent extra time with, because of lockdown.Spinning Plates is presented by Sophie Ellis-Bextor, produced by Claire Jones and post-production by Richard Jones Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.
20/02/231h 21m

Episode 86: Anna Haugh

Anna Haugh is an Irish chef at the top of her game, who runs her own restaurants in Chelsea and Dublin, and who you may know as one of the judges on Masterchef and as a regular on Saturday Kitchen. It was on Saturday Kitchen last year that I first met Anna, when her baby boy Oisin was just 8 weeks old. I was struck by her absolute joy in motherhood and when we spoke recently I learned how Oisin was a much longed for IVF baby.  Anna told me she is generally good at appreciating the here and now, and about the thrill that she gets to this day when she walks past her little boy’s blue coat hanging in the hallway, reminding her that she is now a mum.  Anna also told me how much she has always loved her stepson Henry, now 18, who she first met when he was 11, and how it was Henry who chose her little son's first and middle names.She also shared that she may be only 5ft 4, but she studied body language to learn how to give direction in kitchens where she’s often surrounded by men who are all physically much bigger than her, without confrontation. Her top tip is that you own the space where you stand, no matter how tall or short you are. And she really believes in kindness in the kitchen.I love Anna’s ability to see the positive side of life and the way her personality comes out in the atmosphere of her restaurant and on screen. I also love the sound of the cake-loving little Oisin!Spinning Plates is presented by Sophie Ellis-Bextor, produced by Claire Jones and post-production by Richard Jones Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.
13/02/231h 13m

Episode 85: Dr Maggie Aderin-Pocock

Dr Maggie Aderin-Pocock is a space scientist and science communicator and presenter of The Sky at Night and the BBC's GCSE Science Live! lectures. She also presented the series Out of this World, on CBBC during lockdown with her daughter, Lauren, now 11.Maggie had her daughter when she was 42 and carried on doing science talks around the world, often with her little girl on stage with her, for the first 4 years of Lauren's life. I particularly marvelled at the Royal Institute lecture I found on YouTube of Maggie tackling the subject of Careers in Science while Lauren sat happily in a sling on her hip, occasionally chewing a microphone cover or snuggling into her mum, while Maggie did the ultimate 'spinning plates' of continuing to deliver her science lecture.She has had a lifelong desire to get into space, something that has spurred her on through A levels, University and her career in space science, including working on the detection of landmines and on the James Webb telescope.  It was fascinating talking to Maggie about her childhood including coping with dyslexia and going to 13 different schools in 14 years during her parents turbulent divorce.  Spinning Plates is presented by Sophie Ellis-Bextor, produced by Claire Jones and post-production by Richard JonesWe had a lot of giggles, as well as touching on some incredibly mighty subjects...you know, life, the universe and everything! I loved hearing about the scale of the universe; what might be out there still to be discovered; and how Maggie is hoping the current 'Battle of the Billionaires' to get into space might help her and her daughter fulfill their dream of space travel at last.  Maggie's enthusiasm and glass-half-full attitude is catching! I came away thinking about aliens, white guys in togas, and wanting to eat a lot more toast! And, at last, I think I've met someone who talks as fast as me! Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.
06/02/231h 3m

Episode 84: Sara Davies

Sara Davies is the warm-hearted, fast-talking, hard-working entrepreneur you will know from Dragons Den. She still lives in the same village in County Durham where she grew up and is married to Simon who she started dating when she was 15. They have two boys: Oliver and Charlie.We met up at my house a couple of hours after her weekly QVC appearance and we talked about looking in the camera during zoom conversations, being 100% present with whatever you’re doing, her early struggles with breastfeeding, and her Dad’s questioning as to why she is still working so hard now she has a family.We also talked Strictly! About how she had to learn to let down her guard, and wiggle her bum; how she fitted in her dance training by starting it every day at 6am, much to Aljaz’s horror; and how ‘Uncle Aljaz ’ has become part of the family. We agreed it’s never good to ask people to when they’re planning to start a family. And I tried to flog her an idea she’d actually just come up with herself - and I have the proof here on tape, that she told me “I’m in”! Spinning Plates is presented by Sophie Ellis-Bextor, produced by Claire Jones and post-production by Richard Jones Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.
30/01/231h 15m

Episode 83: Philippa Perry

Philippa Perry is a psychotherapist, artist and writer who has a weekly agony aunt column in the Observer. She has written the only book on parenting that I feel speaks to me, and that I recommend to other people. It's called: 'The Book You Wish Your Parents Had Read (and Your Children Will be Glad That You Did)'. Her big messages are that talking to your children about feelings is key, and that all feelings are acceptable, so don't shut them down. I agreed with her when she said: how well you get on with people is more important than how well you do in your GCSEs.I met up with Philippa (and her mischievous cat Kevin) in mid December at the beautiful Georgian house she shares with her husband, the recently knighted artist, Sir Grayson Perry. We sat in their living room with the fire going, and part way through the conversation she pointed out that the fireplace is a stucco art piece about fertility, made by Philippa herself, when she was trying to get pregnant. 31 years on their daughter Flo, also an artist, has recently illustrated Philippa's graphic novel 'Couch Fiction', about the world of psychotherapy.Philippa shared how, as a child, her nanny had been her most signifiant other, but when she was sent to boarding school aged 4 she never saw her again, which deeply upset her. This experience impacted Philippa's style of parenting, and she didn't want any outside help, retraining as a psychotherapist when her daughter was 18 months old, and only working while her daughter was at school.Today she divides her time between writing and art. She talked about how exciting it is to have, as Virginia Woolf described, a room of one's own, dedicated to creating art. We talked about teaching children to communicate, and when we touched on the subject of sibling rivalry, Philippa got me to do some role-play with her. She showed me how getting the children to brainstorm, to solve a dispute, is so much better than a parent taking what they think is a short cut, and deciding how a quarrel should be resolved. I learned a lot. And at the end of our incredibly informative and helpful chat, I had a proposition for her: "How do you feel about moving into our house for a while...just for a few years...to observe and help us sort everything out...?! Kevin can come too!"Spinning Plates is presented by Sophie Ellis-Bextor, produced by Claire Jones and post-production by Richard Jones Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.
23/01/231h 14m

Episode 82: Cerys Matthews

Cerys Matthews is a Welsh singer, presenter and writer. I first became aware of her when I was starting out with my first band Theaudience. She was then with her band Catatonia, which was big - and part of the Cool Cymru trend. After Cerys left that band she went on a voyage of musical discovery while living in a cabin in the woods near Tennessee - an experience she draws on to this day when curating her radio shows. Her excellent 6Music show is a big part of our Sundays. We love it.I spoke to Cerys at the beginning of December when she had just launched her new children's book. It's a bite-size take on Dylan Thomas's 'Under Milkwood', which she wants to bring to a new audience, namely little children.Cerys's three children are teenagers now, and we talked about mothering in the teen years, compared to the full-on baby and toddler years, which led her to share her story of her worst ever parenting experience... on a long-haul flight.Cerys talked about coming back to the UK form America, to bring her children up. She said it took her 6 years in America to appreciate Britain, including the BBC.As it was early December, we mused on how we all try and create the perfect Christmas Day, based on family traditions started in Christmases past. We agreed we can't be all things to all people at all times - and Cerys said that next time she's coming back as a man...with a wife! Cerys also shared that she's not drawn to beach holidays but loves an adventure, and she told me about her life-changing trip to Everest base camp which she, her husband and her two youngest boys did 3 years ago, to celebrate her 50th birthday. Her enthusiasm for it was so infectious I'm going to look into it myself, especially as a) she said the children loved it - and b) it sounded like it involved lots of stops for chips!Spinning Plates is presented by Sophie Ellis-Bextor, produced by Claire Jones and post-production by Richard Jones Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.
16/01/231h 8m

Episode 81: Davina McCall

Davina McCall has been an energetic and enthusiatic presence on our TV screens for decades. As a teenager I loved watching her dating show Streetmate, and God's Gift which I adored. Then I was glued to the screen as she fronted Big Brother for 11 series between 2000 and 2010, and more recently she's presented ITV's emotional series Long Lost Family and of course the pure fun show The Masked Singer, which I did a couple of years ago and it is back again this month. Davina and I spoke in November when I was just back from Australia so I might have been a *little* woolly but hopefully not too bad. We talked about her difficult start in life when her mum left home, but she expalined how she had two wonderful female role models in her life - her grandmother, Pippy, and her stepmum, Gabby. She told me about the joy of having three older children, two of whom have left home, but explained you still have to be available at the drop of a hat, when they need you - something I found strangely comforting. We also spoke about her personal passion project - educating people about the menopause, which has seen her present two documentaries, and, along with Dr Naomi Potter, write a book called Menopausing, which has certainly helped take away any ignorance and fear I have about the subject. Finally we plotted to do something outrageous together one of these days... just to shock you, and our children! So, watch this space.Spinning Plates is presented by Sophie Ellis-Bextor, produced by Claire Jones and post-production by Richard Jones Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.
09/01/231h 12m

Episode 80: Sabrina Ghayour

Sabrina Ghayour is a British-Iranian chef who's written several books which adorn my kitchen shelves, about Persian and Middle Eastern food.  She came to the UK with her mum and grandmother in 1979 as a refugee. By the age of ten she was in charge of the family kitchen and after being made redundant from her marketing job aged 35, she stumbled into catering as a career, putting on cookery classes and supper clubs (where strangers pay to come and eat at your house) and she then realised that people (people like me!) wanted to know how to cook Persian food themselves.By her 40s, Sabrina had given up her childhood dream of getting married and having children and was enjoying her single life to the full. But just before Covid she got together with Steven, a divorced father of two boys, now aged 10 and 13. Sabrina and Steven got married a year ago and I loved talking to her about being a stepmother - a role which, let's face it, doesn't get the best press! Although Sabrina says there is no handbook for being a stepmother, I'm pretty sure she could write one. She makes it her top priority to let the boys have pride of place next to their dad on the sofa. She has a warm and teasing relationship with the boys but has also laid down some of her own groundrules, including that they all convene for dinner together, often with Sabrina's mum who also lives in their house.  After our chat Sabrina cooked some of her lovely food for us and I was left wishing that I had to convene for dinner with her too, on a very regular basis!Spinning Plates is presented by Sophie Ellis-Bextor, it is produced by Claire Jones and post-production is by Richard Jones Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.
07/11/221h 24m

Episode 79: Kimberley Walsh

I so loved meeting up with Kimberley Walsh this month. I was signed to the same label as girls aloud when I started my solo career, so we've known each other for over 20 years. It was great to compare notes on those days, our mutual love of singing around the house, of being mums of multiple boys, and so much more.We met at Kimberley's house, just two days after the Primrose Ball, held to celebrate the life of her band mate and great friend Sarah Harding who died of breast cancer just over a year ago. While Kimberley felt emotionally drained, she was proud that the event had raised enough money to cover Sarah's doctor's research project, which had been Sarah's wish. Kimberley was honest in saying that she is still in a very painful stage of grief. She shared how Sarah's diagnosis came at the same time that Kimberley found out she was pregnant with her third son, and how she couldn't bear to share that news with Sarah for quite a while, knowing that Sarah wouldn't have a chance to become a mum herself. We also talked about Kimberley's childhood in Bradford, how her mum was so hard-working when money was extremely tight and how Kimberley credits her mum with passing on a strong work ethic to her. Her love of performing started back then too and remains a driving force in her life - she has starred in many West End musicals, was on Strictly Come Dancing the year before I was, and is currently enjoying regularly presenting Morning Live from Manchester. I loved hearing about her three boys and her stepdaughter Chloe who she adores and who's just moved in with them while on an internship in London, much to the delight of the boys, dad Justin and Kimberley,Spinning Plates is presented by Sophie Ellis Bextor, it is produced by Claire Jones and post-production is by Richard Jones Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.
31/10/221h 5m

Episode 78: Dawn O'Porter

Dawn O'Porter is the writer and broadcaster with the sharp bob, vintage clothes and brilliantly witty turn of phrase. We’ve met lots of times over the years and she’s always the best company. She's married to comedian Chris O' Dowd who she met in LA, fifteen years ago. Since then they've shuttled between America and the UK, bringing up their two boys Art and Valentine. She told me how having babies has made her more productive - getting more writing done and having more ideas. And so it seems... Dawn has multiple projects underway: her new book Cat Lady has just been published; she has a new clothes collection out with @joanieclothing, and when we spoke, she'd recently helped put on Flackstock festival in memory of her great friend Caroline Flack who took her own life in 2020. Because her sons were so little at the time that Caroline died, just before the pandemic, Dawn explained she cried in cupboards for months so they wouldn't see her upset. She also talked about losing her mum, aged seven, and how that hit her recently when her own little boy turned seven.Dawn and I had a brilliant conversation where we moaned about some stuff, laughed about others and both concluded it’s good to acknowledge all the good things in life.. and it’s good to wear fabulous secondhand clothes no matter what you’re up to - even if it’s just the school run. Spinning Plates is presented by Sophie Ellis Bextor, it is produced by Claire Jones and post-production is by Richard Jones Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.
24/10/221h 7m

Episode 77: Mary Berry

Who doesn’t dream of sitting down to tea and cake with Mary Berry? Well luckily, that dream came true for me – and this week I’m asking you to join me. Tea with no sugar for me thanks, because we’ve also got a slice of salted caramel cake to get through too! I visited Mary a couple of weeks ago, at her home in Henley. Her kitchen was a hive of activity, with her Christmas recipes being tried out, from her new book and TV series, Cook and Share. Over tea and cake in the conservatory, Mary talked about growing up in the war years, with sugar and meat rations, and how her mum used to save up their sugar rations in order to make the odd pudding. She told me about her route into TV and the golden advice she was given about smiling and imagining she’s talking to just one person when presenting her shows. I was struck by Mary’s incredible work ethic and her overriding positive attitude to life. This is in spite of and alongside her personal experience of every parent’s living nightmare: losing a child. I was grateful to Mary for sharing her thoughts about what we can do if a friend experiences bereavement – or indeed if we do ourselves.At 87, Mary remains full of enthusiasm for life, work, cooking, teaching – and was even positive about my suggestion of a surname change – one of my zanier daydreams!Spinning Plates is presented by Sophie Ellis Bextor, it is produced by Claire Jones and post-production is by Richard Jones. Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.
17/10/2258m 20s

Episode 76: Marawa Ibrahim

I first saw Marawa perform as part of a circus show about 15 years ago. I was mesmerised by her hula hooping and roller skating simultaneously to disco music, and I've been following Marawa on Instagram for years now. Her posts are always fun and uplifting. They are usually of her rollerskating in the sunshine at her home in LA in high-heeled roller skates. She is also a hula hooper extraordinaire. As well as performing all over the world she has broken multiple skate and hoop world records - including spinning 200 hula hoops simultaneously - and is now in the Guinness World Record Hall of Fame. Marawa got pregnant at the beginning of lockdown and enjoyed the accidental privacy that gave her, only posting films of her roller skating with a bump, after her son was born. Now a toddler, her little boy is fascinated by Marawa's roller skates and she recently got his mini Timberland boots made into skates! Marawa has also written a book called The Girl Guide. It's aimed at pre-teen girls, to help them navigate body image, periods, spots and moods - it's kind of fun and serious all the same time - a mix that Marawa carries off beautifully.Spinning Plates is presented by Sophie Ellis Bextor, it is produced by Claire Jones and post-production is by Richard Jones. Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.
10/10/221h 10m

Episode 75: Sarah Beeny

TV presenter and entrepreneur Sarah Beeny feels like the calm, confident, sensible friend we all could turn to when we’re having a wobble. She'd be logical and straightforward and sort us out. Perhaps she feels like this because she’s been on TV for a couple of decades now, guiding people through property projects and helping them to avoid disasters, pulling no punches along the way. Sarah talked to me from her home in Somerset about life in the country with her husband and four boys, and about her philosophy of making decisions and then not regretting them. She also talked about losing her mum when she was ten, and the effect that had on her and her brother. Finally we talked about Sarah’s recent breast cancer diagnosis and how she got her sons to cut her hair when it started to fall out. She is very grateful that her personal prognosis is good, and describes this as a blip! You won’t be surprised to hear that Sarah has a lot of post-blip plans - including a festival at her home in Somerset next year - I've already asked her to book me! Spinning Plates is presented by Sophie Ellis Bextor, it is produced by Claire Jones and post-production is by Richard Jones Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.
03/10/221h 20m

Episode 74: Olga Fitzroy

Olga Fitzroy is a studio engineer who I really enjoyed working with in my own studio sessions.Since then she’s had a little boy called Lucas and our chat centred on what it’s like as a freelancer when you become pregnant, take maternity leave and then try to come back to work in an industry where women are few and far between, recording session hours are long, and people make assumptions about your working priorities having changed now that you’re a mum. Olga won Recording Engineer of the Year at the MPG Awards in 2016 which was such an accolade. She has also campaigned for shared parental leave for self-employed people, and is passionate about employment rights in a society that she observes still sees parenting as a problem for women to deal with. To find out more, go to www.parentalpayequality.org.ukSince our chat Olga has been elected a councillor in Lambeth so she is truly spinning plates now, being a councillor alongside her day job in music studios, alongside being a mum!Spinning Plates is presented by Sophie Ellis Bextor, it is produced by Claire Jones and post-production is by Richard Jones Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.

Episode 73: Angel Strawbridge

Angel Strawbridge is the glamorous businesswoman with the amazing red hair who fronts Escape to the Château, now in its 9th series! - which charts her and her husband buying, renovating and decorating a chateau - all while bringing up two little children. I spoke to her on zoom, which made me feel rather jealous, as she sat looking out at the view of their very own moat in the sunshine, while I sat through a thunderstorm in London! We talked about how she’s very dyslexic but loves a spreadsheet; how she works 20 hours a day to get the best of both her working life and her family life, and about how she persuaded her mum and dad to retire to France to live near them, when they first bought their chateau. She also introduced me to the concept of 'guilt presies'.As you will hear, Angel has an infectious enthusiasm for getting stuck into things.  Talking to her made me want to come up with a huge new project and just get stuck in, however outlandish it may be. Warning: she may have the same effect on you.Spinning Plates is presented by Sophie Ellis Bextor, it is produced by Claire Jones and post-production is by Richard Jones Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.
30/09/2258m 53s

Episode 72: Konnie Huq

Konnie Huq is a presenter and writer and a mum of two boys aged 8 and 10. She was also the longest serving female presenter of Blue Peter from 1997 to 2008. The Blue Peter link makes us feel like we are almost related. Like my mum, Konnie loved her time on Blue Peter and time flew because she found every day on the programme was so fun and different. We talked about how she and Charlie Brooker got married within 9 months of getting together, how different her two boys are from one another, and how she finds joy in simple things. Konnie and I talked about her children's books about a character called Cookie Haque (hmm, now who could that be based on?) which she writes in chunks on her phone. We also mused on the high expectations people have of parenting these days, when both of us remember long periods waiting in the car while our parents shopped or did errands. And how unthinkable that would be now, when it's all bathtime and bedtime and fitting around the children instead!Towards the end of our chat we got quite deep and philosophical about the influences in childhood which go on to make the adult. Konnie recognises the little things that her mum taught her as a child that are now very much part of her make up - not wasting food being an important principle which her parents brought with them when they moved to the UK from Bangladesh in the 60s.So, I hope your ears are feeling agile today because Konnie is lively and lovely and has a brain which will take you on some wonderful tangents! Enjoy!Spinning Plates is presented by Sophie Ellis Bextor, it is produced by Claire Jones and post-production is by Richard Jones. Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.
12/09/221h 21m

Episode 71: Frieda Gormley

Frieda Gormley - originally from Ireland and with a background working for Top Shop - set up the flamboyant interior design business 'House of Hackney' with her husband in 2011. They were doing up their house in East London at the time and wanted to get away from the plain white decor of the noughties. They set up what they themselves were looking for - a place to have a bit more fun with wallpaper and fabrics: think flamingos and palm trees and rich colours. I was an early customer, so when Frieda came to my home to record our chat, she saw quite a bit of her wallpaper on our walls - some of it with added grafitti from my youngest son, Mickey. Oops.Frieda talked about how inspirational her grandmother Peg was to the look an feel of House of Hackney. She remembers how starting their own business was extremely tough financially but meant that they could create their own rules, such as using UK-based manufacturers and more recently, giving their hard-working staff a 4-day week.Frieda and her husband Ravvy always loved their annual holiday in Cornwall, but 3 years ago they took the plunge with their two young children and moved there permanently. Frieda told me the intriguing story of the coincidences which led to them buying their new home. The word serendipity comes to mind! She recalls that the move from London to Cornwall was very unpopular with their children to begin with, and that as parents they had to re-examine their motives before pressing ahead. But it has since proved a total hit.Now, where's my calendar? I must book that playdate with her...Spinning Plates is presented by Sophie Ellis Bextor, it is produced by Claire Jones and post-production is by Richard Jones. Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.
06/09/221h 7m

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. Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more 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.  Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more 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.  Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more 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. Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more 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. Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more 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. Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more 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 Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more 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. Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more 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 Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more 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 Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more 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 Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more 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  Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more 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 Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more 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 Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more 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 Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more 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. Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more 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!  Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more 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. Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more 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! Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more 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.  Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more 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 Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more 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.  Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more 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. Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more 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.  Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more 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! 🥳 Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more 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. Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more 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! Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.

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! Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more 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. Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more 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.  Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more 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! Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more 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.  Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more 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.  Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more 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. Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more 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 Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more 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. Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more 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. Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more 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. Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more 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. Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more 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 😘❤️ Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more 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 Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more 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!" Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more 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! Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more 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! Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more 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. Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more 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.  Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more 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. Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more 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! Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more 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. Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more 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.  Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more 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!  Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more 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! Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more 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... Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more 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!  Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more 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. Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more 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.  Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more 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! Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more 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 Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more 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! Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more 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!  Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more 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. Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more 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. Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more 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.  Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more 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. Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more 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!  Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more 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. Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more 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. Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more 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. Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more 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. Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more 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. Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more 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. Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.
Heart UK