Reasons Revisited

Reasons Revisited

By Cheerful

An occasional series revisiting conversations and ideas from Reasons to be Cheerful (2017-2024), formerly hosted by ex-Labour Party leader Ed Miliband, and Sony Award-winning radio presenter Geoff Lloyd.

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LABOUR'S FIRST MOVES: Keir Starmer Gives Away Power

In its first King's Speech, the Labour government said that "greater devolution of decision making is at the heart of a modern dynamic economy and is a key driver of economic growth."Historically, why has the UK been so insistent on hoarding power centrally? And what's the potential in Westminster giving away power?With Tony Travers (LSE), Sarah Longlands (IPPR North) and Neil McInroy (The Centre for Local Economic Strategies) Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
22/07/2412m 52s

LABOUR'S FIRST MOVES: Rachel Reeves' National Wealth Fund

Ed has departed for government, and Geoff is left as custodian of the archive. As the Labour government makes its first raft of announcements and appointments, we delve into our back catalogue to find the ideas which might have influenced them. In this episode, we look at Rachel Reeves' announcement of the National Wealth Fund. What are public wealth funds? What different forms can they take? What are the potential benefits to our country?We revisit our episode Investment for the People from October 2022. First, we get the beginner's guide from UCL Associate Professor Josh Ryan-Collins. Then we hear from Professor Karin Thorburn about Norway’s Sovereign Wealth Fund, which (due to specific historical circumstances) is very different to the one proposed for the UK, but illustrates how a public wealth fund could transform the way we finance Government spending. More infoNorway’s Sovereign Wealth FundUCL IIPP Report on Public Wealth FundsGuestsJosh Ryan-Collins, Associate Professor in Economics and Finance, UCL Institute for Innovation and Public Purpose (@jryancollins) (@IIPP_UCL)Karin Thorburn, Professor of Finance, Norwegian School of Economics (@karinsthorburn) (@NHHnor) Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
12/07/2413m 48s


The day is upon us. Maybe. In the words of the late Teddy Kennedy (uncle of Robert F. Junior, and real-life inspiration for Kendall Roy):"For all those whose cares have been our concern, the work goes on, the cause endures, the hope still lives, and the dream shall never die."Thank you for keeping us cheerful.Email our sporadically monitored inbox: chat@cheerfulpodcast.comFull text of Ted Kennedy's 1980 Democratic National Concession address: Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
28/05/2436m 51s


We're giving you an extra 24 hours to don a black armband and stock up on Kleenex, as the Chatteroo approaches its final destination. Hosted on Acast. See for more information.

CHATTEROO #25 - Cicada Ardor

From Highland Park, Illinois, we're joined by our cicada correspondent, who's keeping watch for the first dual emergence in 221 years. Plus, we find out more about this phenomenon with entomologist Professor Dave Bilton.Bigger than the beetles - more about Dave: in the Chatteroo inbox: Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
19/05/2430m 9s

CHATTEROO #24 - with Lauren Child

Lauren Child (former Children's Laureate/creator of Charlie & Lola, Clarice Bean and Ruby Redfort) joins the Chatteroo.Buy Lauren's new Clarice Bean book, 'Smile': Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
13/05/2433m 44s

CHATTEROO #23 WILL HUTTON - This Time No Mistakes

Political economist and writer, Will Hutton joins the Chatteroo to talk about his new book, 'This Time No Mistakes: How to Remake Britain', and its parallels with his mid-90s bestseller, 'The State We're In'.Buy Will's book: us: Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
06/05/2427m 54s


Vegetarian escalope at the Paris Olympics, energy nerds, The Boring Phone, Mid TV and your correspondence.Join the Chatteroo! Email us with thoughts, questions and any fodder: Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
28/04/2434m 28s

CHATTEROO #21 England: Seven Myths That Changed a Country - And How To Set Them Straight

Just in time for St George's Day, former Mili-gang members Marc Stears & Tom Baldwin join the Chatteroo to talk about their excellent new book 'England: Seven Myths That Changed a Country - And How To Set Them Straight'Treat yourself to a copy - you deserve it! us: Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
22/04/2442m 12s


Climate litigation in the 26 Cantons, the sense of smell in a digital world, Ed turns quizmaster, and your email.Throw us a chatty bone! What would you like to hear in the Chatteroo? chat@cheerfulpodcast.comPENGUINS: A WILD ANIMAL MAKE YOUR HOUSE FEEL LIKE A HOME? Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
14/04/2427m 35s


We lament the passing of Curb Your Enthusiasm, and delve into the Chatteroo postbag.We'd love to hear from you - it's your Chatteroo, too: Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
07/04/2429m 21s

CHATTEROO #18 - Breaking The Habit(uation)

Neuroscientist and author Tali Sharot has joined the Chatteroo to talk about her excellent new book, 'Look Again - The Power of Noticing What Was Always There' (co-written with Cass R Sunstein.) It's the habituation sensation that's sweeping the nation.Email us! Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
31/03/2454m 10s


Includes a Presidential belch, life lessons from toddlers, the grace of a giraffe, and the Village People.We need your email to fuel the Chatteroo! Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
25/03/2425m 17s


The calm before the swarm, your email, and Ed shares his music lesson trauma.Email us! chat@cheerfulpodcast.com Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
18/03/2430m 41s


A flurry of email prompted by last week's episode, plus cheerful nuggets from John Kerry's New York Times exit interview, the age at which jeans become inappropriate, and an Oscars-themed quiz.Send us an email: chat@cheerfulpodcast.comJohn Kerry: Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
11/03/2435m 4s


Voicenotes, lessons from the New England Patriots, your email, and our best quiz yet.Chat makes the world go round! We need your email - send us facts about hedgehogs, stories of sticking to your guns, rules for voice-note etiquette, ideas for quizzes, articles... anything you'd like to hear Ed turn his big ol' brain to: Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
04/03/2433m 13s


Sad owl news, happy hedgehog news, and an encounter in the Portcullis House cafeteria queue. Plus, your email - send us more, please! chat@cheerfulpodcast.comLiebreich: Net Zero Will Be Harder Than You Think – And EasierPART 1: 2: Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
26/02/2426m 36s


Ed vs Mud, Geoff has the lung capacity of a slightly younger man, how to apologise, and a game of Know Your StationApologise Like You Mean It: Did Our Strange Use of 'Like' Come From? us! It makes Ed so happy... Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
19/02/2419m 52s


Tracy Chapman, the age of a Prime Minister, how Marx and Engels communicated, plus more aggressive birds.Seen anything you'd like us to talk about? Got a question? Someone you'd like to hear us talk to? Want to set us a quiz? Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
12/02/2422m 55s


Donald Trump vs Taylor Swift, Ed vs wildfowl and your email. Join the Chatteroo: Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
05/02/2430m 42s


Où est le chatteroo? Voici le chatteroo!Send us hamster facts, or anything else that's on your mind: Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
29/01/2425m 35s


Life is a Chatteroo, old chum! Come to the Chatteroo.Hello, and welcome to this week's catch-up, during which we discuss afternoon tea, including young voices in the climate conversation, a hat made of mushrooms, and workplace wellbeing and urban rewilding.Send us an email: Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
22/01/2424m 58s

CHATTEROO #7 with climate scientist Emily Shuckburgh

Brilliant climate scientist Emily Shuckburgh joins the Chatteroo to talk through the climate data for 2023. Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
15/01/2436m 16s


Ed's new TV obsession leads to a chatteroo about therapy, including a mention of this twenty year-old essay by Nicholas Spice:! Meet our famous new sidekick... Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
08/01/2427m 31s

... AND A CHATTEROO YEAR (with Ben Ansell)

Hap-py New Year! We welcome our first guest of the Chatteroo-era, and what a guest: This year's BBC Reith Lecturer, Professor Ben Ansell - political scientist and former teaching assistant to Ed Miliband (as Ed mentions 5,000 time during the conversation.)Listen to/read Ben's Reith Lectures: Ben's book, 'Why Politics Fails': Ben's website: Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
01/01/2454m 38s


A chatty accompaniment as your potatoes roast and your sprouts boil. We wish you a cheerful Christmas! Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
25/12/2330m 4s


Chatteroo, roo, roo! Push pineapple, shake the tree!More Cop reflections, plus encouragment for Ed's paleontology ambition Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
18/12/2339m 36s


Hey you, the Chatteroo crew!Show what you do, make a break, make a move.Ed's back from COP28 and is bursting to talk about a phasedown of unabated fossil fuels, paleontology, and Taylor Swift. Plus Geoff pitches a policy idea for the next Labour Party manifesto.Suggest things for us to chatteroo about: Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
11/12/2328m 12s


We're live from COP28. Well, Ed is - Geoff wasn't invited. He's asked for a souvenir from the COP shop.Dive in for Ed's news from Dubai, he's *very* excited about the ENAP Emissions Report.Plus, saying 'hi' to strangers, and a mysterious high energy particle is heading for Earth. Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
04/12/2326m 31s


In the Chatteroo stew this week: Ed reflects on the Autumn Statement and budgets he has known and (sometimes) loved, and Geoff gets the wrong end of the stick - or drumstick - about an American tradition. Email us: reasons@cheerfulpodcast.comMusic: Ed SeedArtwork: A child with a potato and some paint Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
27/11/2328m 39s


All aboard the Chatterooga Choo-Choo for:* The return of David Cameron* Fika and Swedish Work Culture:* The Book Club that took 28 years to read one novel:* Ezra Klein interviews Maryanne Wolf / Deep Reading:* Sleep in a record shop: us: reasons@cheerfulpodcast.comMusic: Ed SeedArtwork: A chimp with an iPad Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
20/11/2333m 44s

So long and thanks for all the cheerfulness: an end and a beginning...

For our last episode of Reasons to be Cheerful in its current form, Hannah Ritchie from Our World In Data tells us why things are more cheerful than we might think when it comes to the long-term trends and talks about her forthcoming book on what we do to make a sustainable world. Then Ed's podcast crush David Runciman reflects on our 6 years, what we have witnessed and how our political system can become fit for purpose. Plus tears, thank yous, Oscar-style tributes and emosh....but don't worry we'll be back in your feed next week with our cheerful chatteroo so we feel like it's not really properly goodbye.... Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
13/11/2352m 3s

More power to you: how we can all help to make a change

As this chapter of Reasons to be Cheerful almost draws to a close we wanted to leave you feeling motivated and inspired to take action on the things you care most about, from climate change to inequality. Feeling disempowered and frustrated with the state of the world? Our three guests are here to tell you why doing your bit can be joyful, fun and might just restore your faith in humanity a little bit! We hear from Froi Legaspi from Citizens UK who tells us about his journey into community organising, from Emily Bolton who's working with Grimsby Football Club to build a more optimistic future for the town, and to Dan McCallum, who back in 1998 started an energy co-op in Wales that's now the biggest rooftop solar co-op in the UK.Plus: Keep sending us your messages of what you've learnt from the pod since 2017! We'd love to hear from you at reasons@cheerfulpodcast.comGuestsFroi Legaspi, Senior Organiser, Citizens UK (@FroilanLegaspi / @CitizensUK)Emily Bolton, Founder, Our Future (@EmilyJBolton_ / @OurFutureGY)Dan McCallum, Co-Founder & Manager, Awel Aman Tawe (@AwelAmanTawe)More informationCheck out the work of Citizens UK including their local chaptersRead more about the work of Our Future and of Awel Aman TaweWant to set up your own project? Go to Community Energy England, Wales & ScotlandDan also mentioned Energy4AllLearn more about the work of We're Right Here, the campaign for a Community Power Act and of LocalityUCL's Policy Lab is undertaking a new project called Ordinary Hope, find out more here Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
06/11/2349m 0s

Turning the tide: how Poland defeated the populists

The last decade or so has witnessed the seemingly unstoppable rise of populism across Europe and the world. The ruling Law and Justice party in Poland were one example of the trend and there were no signs they were going anywhere. But a couple of weekends ago, Poland voted for a change. We explore the shock result, how we got here and what drove the record turnout with Piotr Buras and Anne Applebaum. Then we speak to young climate activist Dominika Lasota about her role mobilising women in the election. What can we learn from Poland and is there hope on the horizon?GuestsPiotr Buras, the Head of the European Council on Foreign Relations’ Warsaw Office (@PiotrBuras1 / @ecfr) Anne Applebaum, Staff Writer at The Atlantic and Pulitzer-prize winning historian (@anneapplebaum / @TheAtlantic)Dominika Lasota, climate activist and co-founder of the climate campaign group Wschód (@lasotellia / @wschod)More informationRead Anne's article in the Atlantic: 'Poland Shows that Autocracy is not Inevitable'Read analysis from the ECFR about Poland's future and its relationship with PolandFind out more about Wschód Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
30/10/2344m 56s

Taking the plunge: the open water swimming boom

Long-time listeners to the pod will know that Ed never ever talks about his swimming hobby, but the RTBC team have decided to indulge him - just this once, mind - and dedicate a *whole episode* to the boom in outdoor swimming. Whether you’re a seasoned wild swimmer, a winter dipper or a lido goer, there’s a huge number of reasons why you might like to step outside the indoor confines of your local swimming baths. We speak to Kate Rew and journalist - and former Hampstead Ponds lifeguard - Nell Frizzell about why they find outdoor swimming exhilarating, as well as how to avoid swimming in s**t. And Professor Mike Tipton is back to give us a health warning and plenty of advice on how to swim safely.Plus: How should Geoff navigate the annual rotting gourd display?GuestsKate Rew, Founder, Outdoor Swimming Society and author of the Outdoor Swimmers’ Handbook (@kate_rew)Professor Mike Tipton, Professor of Human and Applied Physiology, University of Portsmouth (@ProfMikeTipton)Nell Frizzell, Journalist and Author of The Panic Years, Square One and Holding the Baby (@NellFrizzell)More informationCheck out the work of the Outdoor Swimming Society, including articles on how to stay well swimming and the 3% access mythBuy a copy of the Outdoor Swimmers' HandbookWatch a video of Mike immersing Chris van Tulleken into 12 degree waterMike mentioned the Blue Tits swimming groupThe Acta Physiologica article 'Effects of cold water on stress, cardiovascular and psychological variables'Check out Nell's books and her essay about being a lifeguard at the Hampstead Ponds Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
22/10/2347m 18s

Reasons Revisited: The Four Day Week

Would you like to work less, feel happier and maybe even do something good for the planet, all with no loss in pay? It’s a dream that could soon become a reality for many, after the world's biggest four day week trial wrapped up last year. We explore the results and dig back through our audio archives to revisit the history of a shorter working week, why it could be a solution to Britain's flatlining productivity problem, and what comes next for the four day week campaign.GuestsAndrew Barnes, 4 Day Week - Global (@4dayweek_global)Kate Bell, TUC (@kategobell)Rachel Kay, Researcher and Will Stronge, co-founder of think-tank Autonomy (@w_stronge / @Autonomy_UK)More information Listen to RTBC 55 Living for the (three day) weekend (October 2018)Listen to RTBC 126 The Four Day Future: Building a movement for shorter working hours (Feb 2020)Read the report by think tank Autonomy The Results are In: The UK’s four-day week pilot (Feb 2023)Read more about the UK’s 4 Day Week CampaignRead more about the global movement for a four day week Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
20/10/2314m 59s

Going Infinite with Michael Lewis: the story of Sam Bankman-Fried

Story hound Michael Lewis is back with a new book that charts the rise and fall of Sam Bankman-Fried, once the world's youngest billionaire. A journalist once said that they would read a history of the stapler if Michael Lewis wrote it, and he delivers his most compelling story yet (office stationery absent). Well versed in the world of finance, the Moneyball and Big Short author was granted unparalleled access to SBF, the crypto tycoon who said he wanted to give away his money to good causes. Then - in November 2022 - his company collapsed. Michael tells us what it’s like to write a book where your protagonist is arrested halfway through, why he never wanted to write about cryptocurrency and what his time with Sam Bankman-Fried taught him—and should teach us.GuestMichael Lewis, Author and JournalistMore informationBuy a copy of Going Infinite: The Rise and Fall of a New Tycoon Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
15/10/2344m 8s

Reasons Revisited: Parental Leave

The winner of the Nobel Prize in Economics was announced earlier this week. Claudia Goldin’s research showed that at the point of having a child women's wages start to lag behind men's. But why is parenthood a penalty for mothers? Could a more generous parental leave offer - including a ‘use it or lose it’ policy for fathers - be the key to achieving gender equality? GuestsSam Smethers, former CEO, Fawcett SocietyKatrín Jakobsdóttir, Prime Minister of IcelandMolly Mayer, former senior research and policy officer, Fawcett SocietyListen to RTBC episode 64 Sharing and Caring: the case for paternity leave (December 2018)Listen to RTBC episode 194 Go Big #1: A big idea for gender equality (June 2021)Learn more about the charity Pregnant then Screwed and their research that shows boosting paternity leave has economic benefitsRead about Claudia Goldin’s work and winning the 2023 Nobel Prize in EconomicsWe'll be back on Monday with our next full episode of Reasons to be Cheerful! Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
13/10/2314m 15s

How to create meaningful change with Gina Martin and Ben Hurst

In 2019 Gina Martin - a self-confessed ‘political novice’ - led a successful campaign that resulted in a law change to make upskirting illegal. Since then her activism on gender equality has continued apace but changing legislation is no longer her aim. Why? We find out as we speak to her and activist Ben Hurst, head facilitator at Beyond Equality, who works with young men and boys to engage in conversations about what being a man means today. Plus: We’re gongoozling with the Queen of Dictionary Corner, Susie Dent.GuestsGina Martin, gender equality campaigner, speaker and writer (@ginamartin)Ben Hurst, activist and educator and Head of Facilitation at Beyond Equality (@therealbenhurst)Susie Dent, lexicographer (@susie_dent)  More informationBuy ‘No offence but…How to have difficult conversations for meaningful change’ by Gina Martin out nowBuy Roots of Happiness: 100 words for joy and hope by Susie Dent out nowWatch Ben’s Ted Talk: ‘boys won’t be boys. Boys will be what we teach them to be’Learn about the work of Beyond Equality Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
08/10/2348m 37s

Reasons Revisited: The Living Wage

The national living wage is going up to at least £11 an hour from next April. Although it's claimed the rise will help two million of the lowest paid workers, many campaigners are saying it's still not enough for a decent standard of living in the current economic climate. The Real Living Wage is one alternative. It's a voluntary commitment from employers to pay their workers enough to meet their everyday needs, and unlike the government's living wage it's calculated according to the actual cost of living. We spoke to Sheila Blackburn and Margaret Beckett MP in 2021 about the history of the fight for a government-set minimum wage. We also spoke to Lola McEvoy back in 2019 and Gavin Kelly about the Real Living Wage and why the campaign has been so successful to date.GuestsDr Sheila Blackburn, Historian, University of LiverpoolMargaret Beckett MP, Former Secretary of State for Trade and Industry (1995-1997)Gavin Kelly, Chair of the Living Wage Commission (@GavinJKelly1)Lola McEvoy, Formerly of the Living Wage Foundation (@Lola__McEvoy)More InformationListen to RTBC 78 Living wage against the machine (March 2019)Listen to RTBC 221 First they ignore you : Part four - the fight for a minimum wage (Dec 2021)Learn more about the Living Wage Foundation Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
06/10/2313m 48s

From school assembly to climate assembly: the children changing democracy

Is the climate crisis a children’s rights crisis? It’s a great injustice that children and young people are the most affected but least responsible for the climate and nature crises. Is there a way to give them more power to shape future decision making? Scotland and Ireland have tried to do just that, and we speak to Katie Reid and Diarmuid Torney, who have played a central role in leading children’s participation in two citizens’ assemblies. We also check in with young assembly members Mikey and Esther, and young assembly adviser Niamh, to hear how they found the process of being involved, and why children's assemblies could be the future of democracy.GuestsKatie Reid, Children’s rights and youth participation specialist (@katiereid19)Diarmuid Torney, Associate Professor in Politics at Dublin City University and Project Lead for the Children and Young People's Assembly on Biodiversity Loss Niamh, young adviser at the Assembly, and Esther and Mikey, members of the Children and Young People’s Assembly on Biodiversity LossMore informationFind out more about Scotland’s Children’s Parliament and Climate Assembly (October 2020-March 2021)Final Report from Ireland’s Children and Young People’s Assembly on Biodiversity Loss (October 2022) including the 58 Calls to ActionLearn more about the UN’s General Comment on Children's Rights and the Environment with a special focus on Climate Change Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
01/10/2339m 42s

Reasons Revisited: On the buses

All aboard! Last weekend, Greater Manchester made history as the first place outside London to bring its bus system into public control. Since 1986 - when buses were deregulated - fares have almost doubled, routes have been cut and fewer people are taking the bus. The Bee Network is Mayor Andy Burnham's answer to the problem. We spoke to him in 2021 about his commitment to make the region's buses better. We also talked to transport expert Nicole Badstuber about why London's buses never suffered the same fate as elsewhere in the country, and to Ian Taylor about visionary public transport systems in Europe and further afield. Will other parts of Britain soon see their buses back in public hands?See you on Monday for our next episode of Reasons to be Cheerful!GuestsNicole Badstuber, Transport Expert (@nicolebadstuber)Andy Burnham, Mayor of Greater Manchester (@AndyBurnhamGM)Ian Taylor, Transport for Quality of LifeMore informationListen to RTBC Episode 23: Ding, ding, next stop: sorting out the busesListen to RTBC Episode 192 Ticket to ride: buses, Burnham and public control Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
29/09/2314m 30s

6th anniversary special: Comfort Eating with Grace Dent

Happy 6th birthday to us! And just like a young child who hasn’t learned a sense of self-restraint we’re reaching for the Ferrero Rocher with restaurant critic Grace Dent. Join us for a conversation about comfort eating, the title of her podcast and new book. What do we eat when nobody else is watching? And why are some foods so steeped in nostalgia?PLUS: Geoff and Ed reminisce about the past 6 years and Ed has been checking out a new bandWe’ll be back with another episode next Monday, but keep your ideas and suggestions coming in. Get in touch with us via our website or on our social media. We love to hear from you!GuestGrace Dent, columnist, broadcaster and author (@gracedent)More informationPre-order a copy of Grace’s book Comfort Eating, published by Faber & Faber on October 5thRead Grace’s restaurant columns in the GuardianListen to Comfort Eating the podcast, new season starting on Tuesday 26th September! Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
24/09/2345m 4s

Reasons Revisited: Rent Control

How do we tackle the housing crisis? It’s a question we’ve looked at several times over the years, but it hasn’t become any less pressing. This week, new statistics showed that rents are rising at their fastest rate in almost a decade. We delve into some of the potential solutions, from rent control to long-term tenancy agreements. We hop into our RTBC time machine and go back to 2017, where we speak to Grace, a tenant in a rent-controlled flat and Greg Beales from housing charity Shelter. Last year we also talked to Maria Vassilakou, the former deputy mayor of Vienna, to ask whether we can learn anything from the city’s approach to social housing.See you on Monday for our next episode of Reasons to be Cheerful!Listen to RTBC Episode 4: Take back (rent) control: All power to the tenants! (2017)Listen to RTBC Episode 265: Home sweet (social) home (2022)Learn more about the work of Shelter and their recent research, including information on the Renters Reform Bill Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
22/09/2311m 54s

Apocalypse (not) now: is AI an existential threat?

Depending on who you speak to, AI is either going to plunge us into the abyss or improve every aspect of our lives immeasurably. The hype around AI can be disorientating, so let the RTBC team steer you away from the grim end-of-humanity inevitability, as we explore a more nuanced version of the AI story. Our guests Mustafa Suleyman, Dr Mhairi Aitken and Lauren M. E. Goodlad discuss whether the benefits of AI will ever outweigh the risks, why AI hype can serve as a distraction from some very pressing issues, and whether Geoff can ever replace Ed as a more obedient podcast host.Plus: Despite the technological advances of AI, why are Ed and Geoff still hung up on Ceefax?GuestsMustafa Suleyman, Co-founder of Inflection AI and author of The Coming Wave: Technology, Power, and the Twenty-first Century's Greatest Dilemma (@mustafasuleyman)Dr Mhairi Aitken, Ethics Fellow, Alan Turing Institute (@mhairi_aitken / @turinginst)Lauren M. E. Goodlad, Professor of English and Comparative Literature and Chair of the Critical AI Initiative at Rutgers University (@CriticalAI)More informationBuy a copy of Mustafa’s book hereLearn more about Inflection AI hereLearn more about the Alan Turing Institute and the work Mhairi is doing on children’s rights and AILearn more about Rutgers University’s Critical AI Initiative with the journal’s inaugural issue to follow in October 2023 Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
17/09/2350m 14s

Reasons Revisited: Beyond GDP

Stop the press! We're bringing you an extra dose of RTBC each week, as we dig back into our audio archives and brief you on a big idea that's having a moment. This week the UK's GDP estimates showed the economy shrunk in July, sparking fears of a recession. But what if there was a different way to measure a country's economic success? We spoke to Katherine Trebeck, Annie Quick and Kate Raworth about the alternatives, from doughnut economics to New Zealand's Wellbeing Budget. Can we move beyond our obsession with growth? And where do we go next?See you on Monday for our next episode of Reasons to be Cheerful!GuestsKatherine Trebeck, from the Wellbeing Economy Alliance (@ktrebeck)Annie Quick, formerly at the New Economics Foundation (@anniequick)Kate Raworth, founder of Doughnut Economics Action Lab (@KateRaworth)Listen to RTBC Episode 91: Who's Afraid of GDP (2019)Listen to RTBC Episode 195: A Big Idea to Rethink the Economy (2021)Let us know what you think about Reasons Revisited! Get in touch with us via our website or on social media (@cheerfulpodcast) Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
15/09/2313m 17s

It's fun to stay at the YHA: who gets to access the outdoors?

We’re back! Over the summer the Youth Hostel Association announced it was selling off some of its properties in a bid to stay afloat. It seems like a cruel irony at a time when many of us had reconnected with nature over the lockdowns. The charity has long been committed to opening up the outdoors to more people, especially children and young people, says Sally Nutland. But is there a way to save the YHA hostels? We talk about what the loss of these hostels means with Talia Randall and Haroon Mota, and why it's so important that everyone can access nature in rural and urban Britain.Plus: What made one listener throw up in their cornflakes??GuestsSally Nutland, Communications Manager, Youth Hostel Association (@YHAOfficial)Haroon Mota, Founder Muslim Hikers and the Active Inclusion Network (@Haroon_Mota / @Muslim_Hikers)Talia Randall, Writer, performer and podcaster (@TaliaRandall)More informationRead more about the sale of the 20 YHA properties in this John Harris column (Guardian)Support the YHA's No Child Left Behind Campaign for children who are unable to afford a school residentialVisit YHA Boggle HoleLearn more about and support Muslim HikersListen to Talia’s podcast 'Blossom Trees and Burnt Out Cars' on BBC SoundsLearn more about the Right To Roam campaign and listen to our episode on it Read more about the benefits of parks and green spaces and research by Natural England on engaging under-represented groups in nature Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
10/09/2344m 18s

Loss, love and a calling to nature: Ben Goldsmith

Ben Goldsmith’s daughter Iris was killed in a tragic accident when she was only 15 years old. Hopeless in grief and searching for answers, he turned to nature in his darkest moments to find a way through. Ben speaks movingly about his grief for Iris, how he sought connection to her in the year after her death, and why he's hopeful that nature restoration will not only be a central part of tackling the climate crisis, but for finding solace and healing for ourselves too.GuestBen Goldsmith, financier, environmentalist and author (@BenGoldsmith)More informationBen Goldsmith is the author of God Is An Octopus: Loss, Love and A Calling to Nature, published by Bloomsbury Wildlife. You can buy a copy here.Listen to his podcast series 'Rewilding the World with Ben Goldsmith' here. Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
03/09/2334m 0s

The hidden story of Chinese food: Fuchsia Dunlop

Crispy duck, chow mein, and sweet & sour pork. Many of us have a narrow understanding of Chinese food, its rich history, and the sophisticated culinary culture surrounding it. Chef and author Fuchsia Dunlop is on a quest to show us that there's so much more to Chinese food than our usual Friday night takeaway, and that there's immense joy (and health) to be drawn from it too. Fuchsia tells us about how her love of Chinese cookery began, her experience as the first westerner to train as a chef at the Sichuan Higher Institute of Cuisine and her recommendations for how to order in a restaurant. And can she really salvage Ed's doomed tofu cookery?GuestFuchsia Dunlop, Chef and Author (@fuchsiadunlop)More informationPre-order a copy of Invitation to a Banquet: The story of Chinese food here, published by Particular Books on 31st August Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
27/08/2332m 51s

How to fix the broken food system: Henry Dimbleby

The global food system is one of the most destructive industries on earth. Of course, we all need to eat. But is there a way of doing so that doesn’t come at a cost to our health and to our planet? If that's all sounding a bit heavy, then step forward: Henry Dimbleby. Formerly the government’s food tsar, he’s been exploring the secrets of the global food system for decades and he's hungry for change. Henry talks to Ed and Geoff about the secrets behind the ultra-processed egg sandwich, the glory of Japanese food culture and why Liz Truss once banned him from attending meetings. What's changed about the food we eat today, and what can we do about it?GuestHenry Dimbleby, author of Ravenous: How to Get Ourselves and Our Planet Into Shape (@HenryDimbleby)More informationBuy a copy of Henry's book, published by Profile BooksRead the National Food Strategy and the School Food Plan We love hearing from you. If you have views on this episode, or ideas for future shows you can contact us via our website, our social media (@cheerfulpodcast) or write us an email ( Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
20/08/2330m 5s

What about men?: Caitlin Moran

Is the patriarchy also screwing over men too? Caitlin Moran thinks so. Twelve years on from the publication of her hit book ‘How to Be a Woman,’ the journalist and author turns her attention to men, and why she thinks the lack of an equivalent movement to feminism has left many young men and boys struggling. Ed and Geoff dig deep on the topic of modern masculinity, whether it can be inclusive of cardigan wearers, and how to tackle issues that predominantly affect men, such as addiction and suicide.GuestCaitlin Moran (@caitlinmoran)More informationCaitlin’s book ‘What about men?’ Is out now and published by Ebury Press. Order a copy here. Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
13/08/2334m 39s

How to end our very British culture war: Sunder Katwala

If you need some optimism about the future of Britain, a place that currently feels like it’s riven with political polarisation, prejudice and the aftermath of Brexit, Sunder Katwala is here to remind us that there is a way out of this. His proposal is that patriotism - if done well - could be the answer to many of the problems associated with the culture wars. Can emphasising identity actually overcome division?GuestSunder Katwala, Director, British Future (@sundersays)More informationHow to Be a Patriot: Why love of country can end our very British culture war - Published by HarperNorth and out now.Buy a copy hereCheck out the work of British Future including their research on public attitudes to immigration, why events matter for social connection, reducing racial inequality and remembrance.We love hearing from you. You can get in touch through our website, social media (@cheerfulpodcast), or email us at Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
06/08/2331m 40s

Throwing shade: why you’ll never take trees for granted again

Hello! Join Ed and Geoff as they go down to the woods today. And boy, are they sure of a big surprise. It turns out Britain only has 2.5% of the ancient woodland it once had! These hubs of biodiversity are hugely important for tackling the nature and climate crisis, but they're not in a good way. Nick Phillips from The Woodland Trust talks to us about why it’s not too late to save them. Fancy some forest bathing? Suzanne Simmons tells us why urban trees do so much for us in our everyday lives. And finally, Rebecca Wrigley speaks to us about rewilding and how woodlands and forests can regenerate all by themselves, all with a healthy amount of Lord of the Rings chat. Plus: It’s our final episode before our summer break. Is it wise for Ed to head to Reading Festival? Get in touch!We'd love to hear from you over the summer with your ideas, feedback or experiences of forest bathing, get in touch via email ( or via the website!GuestsNick Phillips, Principal Forestry Policy Advocate, Woodland Trust (@treepolicy / @WoodlandTrust)Suzanne Simmons, Projects Director, Trees for Cities (@TreesforCities)Rebecca Wrigley, CEO, Rewilding Britain (@RewildingB)More information Learn more about the work of The Woodland Trust, Trees for Cities, and Rewilding BritainWoodland trust information on ancient woodlandVisit Fingle Woods Costa Rica restoring its forests (Guardian)How to start forest bathing Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
30/07/2344m 36s

Fields of Dreams: how music festivals moved from the margins to the mainstream

Hello! Last year, around six million people went to a music festival in the UK. Long gone are the days of hippies at Woodstock or even jumping the fence at Glastonbury: festivals are everywhere, and they're big business. The upside is there’s really something for everyone. Perhaps, like Ed, your twenties were also dominated by phone calls from Gordon Brown. We’re here to convince you it’s time to get down to a nearby field, no matter your age, music taste or enthusiasm for fancy dress! We talk festival mythology with Chris Anderton, to Kate Osler about what it’s like to stage an independent festival and finally to Chiara Badiali about how going to a festival could be good for the climate.Plus: A tale of woe - Geoff vs. Lime BikeGuestsKate Osler, Festival Director, El Dorado Festival (@eldoradofestival)Chris Anderton, Associate Professor in Cultural Economy, Solent University (@SolentUni)Chiara Badiali, Music Lead, Julie’s Bicycle (@JBgreenmusic / @JuliesBicycle)More informationCheck out the Association of Independent Festivals’ ‘First Festival Campaign’El Dorado festival 2024Learn more about Julie’s Bicycle including Music Declares Emergency and Vision 2025How the cost of living crisis is affecting music festivals (Article, MixMag)Glastonbury: Octopus energy builds wind turbine on-site (Article, Reasons to be Cheerful via our website, follow us on Twitter and Instagram. Let us know your episode ideas, your comments and feedback! Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
23/07/2342m 21s

Never stopped us dreaming: the rise of women’s football

Hello! This week the ninth Women’s World Cup is kicking off down under and there's hopes it could be the most popular ever. But it’s been far from a smooth ride for the women’s game in England, contending with deep-seated misogyny, a 50 year ban and a school system that has long excluded girls from playing football in PE lessons. We speak to ‘sports royalty’ Baroness Sue Campbell about her life-long mission to change the lives of women and girls through sport and to journalist Suzy Wrack about the history of the game. Finally, we go to Ceylon Hickman, who tells us about the incredible power of football to address social, educational and gender inequality and about the potential legacy of the Lionesses. Will they bring it home this summer?Plus: in a RTBC first, Ed troubles Geoff with some bawdy riddles…GuestsBaroness Sue Campbell, Director of Women’s Football, the FA (@theFA)Suzanne Wrack, Football writer for The Guardian and author of A Woman’s Game (@SuzyWrack)Ceylon Hickman, Head of Brand, Football Beyond Borders (@ceylonandi / @FBeyondBorders)More informationKaren Carney's review into the future of women's football (published last week)Read the FA's Women and Girls Football Strategy 2020-24Read more of Suzy's work at the Guardian and listen to Women's Football WeeklyBuy a copy of her book A Woman's Game: The Rise, Fall, and Rise Again of Women’s FootballOther great podcasts include the Athletic Women's Football podcast Find out more about Football Beyond Borders' work in schoolsDonate to their crowdfunder to ensure a generation of teenage girls aren't left behindGet a copy of the 'Inspiring a Generation' report by FBB Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
16/07/2358m 28s

Driven to distraction: can we resist the attention economy?

Hello! Do you ever glance at your phone to check an email then look up to discover that two hours have gone by? In a world where information is abundant, our attention is hot property. What exactly do we know about how our attention is drawn and held by the environment and technology around us? We talk to Professor Polly Dalton who researches the psychology of attentional capture and to tech ethicist James Williams about why the issue of the attention economy cuts deep. Does it have the potential to change the course of our lives and restrict our freedom? We try to break free from the shackles of Silicon Valley with Tom Hodgkinson, editor of The Idler, who tells us about his strategy to resist the demands on our attention and time without even having to resort to a brick phone.Plus: Ed’s in denial about his National Portrait Gallery debut…GuestsJames Williams, technology ethicist at the Oxford Internet Institute and the author of Stand Out of Our Light: Freedom and Resistance in the Attention Economy (@WilliamsJames_)Polly Dalton, professor of cognitive psychology, Royal Holloway, University of London (@PollyDalton)Tom Hodgkinson, editor of the Idler magazine and author of How to Be Idle (@idler)More informationBuy or read a copy of James’ book (open access) hereWatch a video of James talking about the attention economy (Youtube)Subscribe to the Idler or purchase Tom’s book How to be IdleIs modern life ruining our powers of concentration? (The Guardian, 2023)Ed mentions The Shallows by Nicholas Carr Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
09/07/2346m 40s

Freewheeling: how to embrace the bicycle boom

Hello! As you lounged peacefully by a pool or sipped a drink with a little umbrella in it, have you ever wondered what a more *adventurous* summer holiday might look like? Let Ed and Geoff inspire you for your next cycling tour with this episode - Lycra optional! But is it really that easy to jump on your bike and take a trip? We hear from someone who’s made a career of it with world-record holder Mark Beaumont. Recognising that most of us are not up for ultra endurance, we find out what some of the more realistic options are with Jill Warren from the European Cyclists’ Federation. Finally we hear from two self-proclaimed former cycling novices, Abi Melton and Lea Cooper, who tell us about the highs and lows of their first cycling tour, and why it’s never wise to bring a ukulele with you…Plus: Is Ed really the best-dressed politician? Let us know!GuestsMark Beaumont, long-distance cyclist and current world-record holder for the fastest cycle around the world (@MrMarkBeaumont)Jill Warren, CEO, European Cyclists’ Federation (@JillWarrenECF)Abi Melton and Lea Cooper, Authors of Gears for Queers (Insta: @gearsforqueers)More informationCheck out Mark's website, his Komoot and watch videos of some of his records: the North Coast 500 and cycling round the world in 80 days (GCN Channel, Youtube)A video of Mark on his penny farthingMark mentioned British Cycling's Breeze Initiative for womenGet some inspiration for your next holiday on the EuroVelo websiteA bikepacking / cycle touring kit list from Tom's Bike Trip and bike costs from the Gears for Queers blogAbi and Lea's website, including some pictures of their very first tourBuy a copy of Gears for QueersAbi and Lea mention the Warm Showers website Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
02/07/2352m 55s

Will there be a Hollywood ending? why the writers are on strike

Hello! This week’s topic has all the ingredients of a great blockbuster: a tale of the underdog standing up to powerful big business, people fighting for their livelihoods, and ensuring the robots don’t take over the world…but this isn’t fiction, it’s real life. The Hollywood writers’ strike has been going on for almost two months now, as the writers of some of our favourite shows have taken to the picket lines in the name of fair pay, better conditions and regulation on AI. We speak to Lisa Holdsworth about what the Writers Guild of America (WGA) is asking for, to WGA members and screenwriters Simon Beaufoy and Alice Nutter, and to Gavin Mueller about how AI could devalue the work of writers.Plus: It's sports day's Geoff going to navigate his parental duties this year?GuestsLisa Holdsworth, TV and Theatre Writer and Chair of the Writers’ Guild of Great Britain (@WorksWithWords / @TheWritersGuild)Simon Beaufoy and Alice Nutter, Screenwriters and Members of the Writers Guild of America (@alicenut1)Gavin Mueller, Assistant Professor of New Media and Digital Culture at The University of Amsterdam and author of Breaking Things at Work (@gavinmuellerphd)More informationLearn about the WGA's strike action and what they're asking for including how to support writersFind out about the Writers' Guild of Great Britain (WGGB)BBC News: The Full Monty's striking writers picket Sheffield premier of Disney+ rebootOrder Gavin's book Breaking Things at Work Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
25/06/2351m 53s

The People's Plan for Nature: how re-imagining our democracy could save nature

Hello! The nature crisis affects everyone, and so the British people should have a say in how we solve it. But is our current system ready for it? Step forward: the People’s Plan for Nature, a huge national conversation about the future of nature. Thousands of people got involved, which led to the UK's first citizens’ assembly on nature set up by the RSPB, WWF-UK and the National Trust. We talk to Helen Meech and Jon Alexander about how they made it happen, and to Graham Roberts about what it was like to take part. Plus: Inspired by his time at the RSC, is Ed ready for an immersive theatre experience?GuestsHelen Meech, Head of Movement Building, RSPB (@HelenMeech / @NaturesVoice)Jon Alexander, Co-Founder, New Citizenship Project (@jonjalex / @NewCitProj)Graham Roberts, Participant, People’s Assembly for NatureMore infoRead the final report of the People’s Plan for Nature including the 26 calls for actionWatch Wild Isles - David Attenborough's latest documentary for the BBCLearn more about the RAPID Democracy frameworkListen to RTBC's previous episode on Sortition and the Climate Citizens' AssemblyLearn more about the organisations leading the People's Plan For Nature: RSPB; WWF-UK and National TrustJon spoke about Canada's Mass Democratic Action FundsRead Jon's book Citizens: Why the key to fixing everything is all of usJon mentioned g0v (gov-zero), read about it here Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
18/06/2346m 52s

Live at the RSC Part 2: the return of the Doctor

Hello! Can you believe it? Six years on, and we’ve made it to our 300th episode. Today we're joined by someone who's also familiar with the funny tricks of time: David Tennant. The former AND current Doctor joins us, live at the RSC, to talk about reprising the role in the 60th anniversary of Doctor Who, his rituals prior to performing, and why he was lying in a foetal position before his first performance of Hamlet. Things also get a bit emosh - stay tuned!Plus: It’s all high jinx backstage, as someone forgets Ed and Geoff’s names…More informationCheck out the RSC and upcoming performancesFind out about David’s role in Doctor Who's 60th anniversary Macbeth at the Donmar WarehouseNew here? Check out our back catalogue - there’s 299 episodes!Contact Reasons to be Cheerful via our website, follow us on Twitter and Instagram. Let us know your episode ideas, your comments and feedback!  Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
11/06/2343m 46s

Live at the RSC Part 1: the fight for better climate education in our schools

Hello! This week we're coming at you from Stratford-upon-Avon with the first part of our conversation from the Live at the RSC Festival. We're talking about the current state of climate education and why there's a long way to go until we're hitting top marks. Thankfully, our three guests are here to keep us cheerful and tell us about the campaigning and work they've been doing to make a new climate curriculum a reality. We hear from Scarlett Westbrook who wrote a parliamentary bill while she was still at school, from Elena Lengthorn who's on a quest to make sure teachers are equipped to educate the next generation about the climate crisis, and from Mary Colwell, who recently won a decade-long battle to get a new Natural History GCSE in schools.Plus: Hit subscribe to be the first to hear our 300th episode conversation with David Tennant, out next Monday!This conversation was recorded at the Royal Shakespeare Theatre as part of the Live at the RSC Festival on June 3rd.GuestsScarlett Westbrook - Climate activist and writer of the Climate Education Bill (@ScarlettOWest)Elena Lengthorn - Senior Lecturer of Teacher Education, Worcester University (@ELengthorn)Mary Colwell - Writer, founder of Curlew Action and leader of the campaign for a Natural History GCSE (@curlewcalls)More informationLearn more about the work of the Royal Shakespeare CompanyLearn more about Teach the Future, the student-led organisation advocating for better climate educationRead about the Climate Education Bill and Scarlett's work on writing it, with MP Nadia WhittomeWatch Scarlett's TED TalkRead about Mary's journey to make the Natural History GCSE a realityThe correlation between nature connectedness and pro-environmental behaviour Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
04/06/2335m 4s

Business as (un)usual: can people and planet really come before profit?

Hello! Capitalism, eh? Despite its creative genius, some would say it's at the root of many of the problems we're facing these days, from planetary breakdown, to poor health and social inequality. How can it become the solution? We're revisiting the idea of purposeful business, a way of re-thinking our system so that companies are also putting the needs of people and the environment up there with profit. CEO of Graze Joanna Allen explains how the Better Business Act and B Corp movement will enable this in the UK. We're talking to Charles Conn about Patagonia's 'earth is now our only shareholder' ethos. Finally, we chat to Cemal Ezel, founder of Change Please, a social enterprise which tackles homelessness through the power of selling coffee. GuestsJoanna Allen, CEO, graze (@grazesnacks)Charles Conn, Board Chair, Patagonia (@patagonia)Cemal Ezel, Founder of Change Please (@CemalEzel / @ChangePlease)More informationLearn more about the Better Business Act and B-CorpsFind out about Patagonia's environmental commitmentsVisit one of Change Please's locationsLive show tickets Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
28/05/2354m 45s

Reasons to be Letchworth: what can we learn from the garden city movement?

Hello! This week we’re taking you back to the distant days of 1898 when social reformer and ‘practical idealist’ Ebenezer Howard set out his ideas about the Garden City, one of the most radical urban planning experiments in Britain’s history. Can we bring Howard’s utopian vision into the 21st century? We talk to Josh Tidy about the history of the Garden City Movement and how it's faring 125 years on. We find out from Nick Skinner whether Letchworth is actually full of sandal-wearing vegetarians (hey Geoff!) Finally, we chat to Katy Lock about how the garden city movement offers a practical path to a more hopeful future.Plus: Geoff's got a new business idea...will it make him millions?GuestsJosh Tidy, Heritage Manager, Letchworth Garden City Heritage Foundation and Curator, International Garden Cities Exhibition (@letchworthgardencity)Nick Skinner, Manager, The Settlement, Letchworth (@letchworthsettlement)Katy Lock, Director of Communities and FJ Osborn Fellow, The Town and Country Planning Association (@katy_lock / @theTCPA)More informationBuy tickets for our one-off live show in Stratford-upon-Avon on 3rd JuneA brief introduction to Garden CitiesLetchworth Garden City Heritage FoundationThe Settlement, Adult Education Centre, LetchworthLearn about the TCPA's Tomorrow125 project Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
21/05/2349m 1s

But what can I do?: a conversation with Alastair Campbell

Hello! When you’re in the business of optimism, it can be difficult to draw much hope from the mess that Britain is in. Making a change can feel overwhelming and getting involved unappealing. This week, former Labour strategist and now podcaster Alastair Campbell joins Ed and Geoff to talk about his new book about why UK politics has gone so wrong, and why you can - and should - help to fix it.Plus: Geoff’s turned 50 and took a podcast mini-break. So what's he been up to?GuestAlastair Campbell (@campbellclaret / @HutchHeinemann)More informationBuy a copy of But what can I do? Why politics has gone so wrong, and how you can help fix it (Published by @HutchHeinemann)Buy tickets to Reasons to be Cheerful Live in Stratford Upon Avon on 3rd JuneContact Reasons to be Cheerful via our website, follow us on Twitter and Instagram. Let us know your episode ideas, your comments and feedback! Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
14/05/2340m 48s

Thank you, next: breaking up with the job for life

Hello! Geoff’s off this week and friend of the pod and writer Melissa Benn is practicing what we preach in this episode by trialing a new vocation as podcast co-host. This week, sparked by the news of the resignation of Jacinda Ardern and Nicola Sturgeon - we’re talking all about what happens when you take a step back from a high-pressure job. What comes next? And why is the way we think about careers all wrong? We talk to four guests about navigating new career paths, having a mid-career gap year, and whether the dream job really exists. Plus: Ed’s gone down a new internet rabbit hole. What is it this time?GuestsDr Ali Budjanovcanin, Senior Lecturer in Work Psychology and Public Sector Management at King’s College London, and Career Coach (@AliBudj)Lucy Kellaway, Economics Teacher and Co-Founder of NowTeach (@lucykellaway / @NowTeachOrg)Katie White, taking a career break from her role at WWF (@KatieJWhite)Jaega Wise, Co-Founder and Head Brewer at Wild Card Brewery, London (@jaegawise)More infoFollow Melissa on Twitter (@Melissa_Benn)Interested in a career in teaching? Learn more about NowTeachAttend the 'Teaching Curious with Lord Blunkett' event, hosted by NowTeach (May 23rd)Check out Wild Card BreweryReady to quit your job? Here are 17 things to ask yourself first. (Opinion, Guardian, August 2021) Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
07/05/2357m 19s

How to build a fairer society: does this 20th century philosopher have the answer?

Hello! We all know our society is deeply unfair, but how can we fix it? We've been tackling that question for years on RTBC, but according to our guest this week, a twentieth-century philosopher might have already come up with the answer. Daniel Chandler has a new book seeking to excavate the work of John Rawls - the greatest political philosopher you've probably never even heard of - because he believes it can provide the blueprint for a fairer and more equal future. So what are the practicalities of Rawls’ ideas? Could he offer a vision for a 'realistic utopia'? From UBI to democracy vouchers, we find out what exactly political philosophy can do for us.Plus: Is Ed triathlon ready?GuestDaniel Chandler, Author of Free and Equal: What would a fair society look like? (@dan_chandler)More informationBuy a copy of the book nowGet tickets for our live show on 3rd June, Live at the RSC Festival, Stratford-upon-Avon.Did you have thoughts on today's episode? Maybe you've got a great idea for a future episode or just want to wish Geoff a happy birthday. You can contact the podcast via our website, Instagram or Twitter! Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
30/04/2345m 35s

A basic income for the arts: how Ireland is changing the game

Hello! This week we’re returning to one of our favourite topics covered in our very first episode when Geoff was closer to 40 than 50: universal basic income. Except this time it's not money for everyone - it's just for artists - and it raises some important questions about how we recognise the role that art plays in our economy, society and communities. Last year Ireland announced a three-year pilot in which 2,000 artists will receive 325€ a week. Is removing financial stress the key to unlocking creative freedom? Will it mean a wider group of people can access the arts? And what can we learn from our own history, including Mrs Thatcher’s Enterprise Allowance Scheme. These are all big questions that we put to our guests: Eliza Easton, Noel Kelly and Love Ssega - formerly of Clean Bandit - a musician working across artistic boundaries.Plus: It’s the big 5-0 for Geoff as he records a message to his future self...GuestsEliza Easton, Deputy Director, Creative Industries Policy and Evidence Centre (@ElizaEaston)Noel Kelly, CEO and Director, Visual Artists Ireland (@VisArtsIreland)Love Ssega, Musician and Artist in Residence, Philharmonia Orchestra at the Royal Festival Hall (@LoveSsega)More informationLearn more about the PEC, led by NestaLearn more about Visual Artists for Ireland, including more information about the Basic Income for the Arts SchemeSsega mentioned Ella Kissi-Debrah and her mother's fight to get air pollution on her death certificateWatch the film of Love Ssega's 'Where are we now?' performance at the National GalleryRead about Love Ssega and his residency at the Philharmonia Orchestra Come to the celebration at 6pm on 8th June at the Royal Festival Hall Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
23/04/2346m 33s

Back to nature: how can farming be sustainable?

Hello! This week we’re getting our wellies on as we dig deeper into the future of farming. Agriculture accounts for around 10% of the UK’s greenhouse gas emissions and has a role in biodiversity loss and pollution. So how can we change the way we farm and use our land in a way that helps ensure food security, restores nature and provides a livelihood for farmers, all while tackling the climate crisis? It's quite a task but we chew it all over with Lydia Collas from Green Alliance and Minette Batters from the National Farmers’ Union. We’re then heading to Dorset to talk to Jyoti Fernandes about the role of ‘agro-ecology’ to feed ourselves, restore nature, and cool the planet.Plus: Which unexpected (and highly relevant) radio show was Ed obsessed with as a child?GuestsLydia Collas, Policy Analyst, Green Alliance (@LydiaCollas / @GreenAllianceUK)Minette Batters, President, National Farmers' Union (@Minette_Batters / @NFUtweets)Jyoti Fernandes, Campaigns and Policy Coordinator, Landworkers’ Alliance & Agroecology Smallholder (@fernandes_jyoti / @LandworkersUK)More informationVisit the websites of Green Alliance, the NFU and LWARead Jyoti's open letter to George MonbiotElms: England greener farming payments detail unveiled (Article, BBC News, January 2023)What is agroecology? (Explainer, The Soil Association)Contact Reasons to be Cheerful via our website, follow us on Twitter and Instagram. Let us know your episode ideas, your comments and feedback! Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
16/04/2345m 44s

Not too late: why there’s still time to act on the climate crisis

Hello! As our Easter egg to you we’ve recorded a great conversation with two inspiring voices from the climate community. The mood around the climate crisis is mainly one of despair and doom, for understandable reasons, but neither Rebecca Solnit nor Thelma Young Lutunatabua think it needs to be that way. In their new book, they explore how it’s possible to change the climate narrative to one of hope, and why making that shift is more important than you'd think. We have the solutions, we know what we need to do, and most importantly: it’s not too late.GuestsRebecca Solnit, Author and Activist (@RebeccaSolnit)Thelma Young Lutunatabua, Digital Storyteller and Climate Activist (@Thelma_Lutun)More infoBuy a copy of Not Too Late: Changing the climate story from despair to possibility. Visit the Not Too Late website or Twitter to learn more about the project. Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
09/04/2331m 4s

Who’s afraid of the kleptocrats?: cleaning up corruption

Hello! You may not know it, but for decades Britain has enabled the dodgy dealings of the world's criminals, tax dodgers and kleptocrats, says journalist Oliver Bullough. He's been digging deep into Britain’s role as a 'butler to the world' for years, but very little has changed. Estimates suggest that the equivalent of three times the NHS budget is lost to the economy through corruption every year, so why isn’t the government acting? Oliver is joined by Labour MP Dame Margaret Hodge to discuss how and why Britain got into the business of dirty money, why we all should care about corruption, and what we can do to change it.Plus: Has Ed finally got his own back on Geoff following the vegan cheese making incident?GuestsOliver Bullough, Journalist and Author of Butler to the World and Moneyland (@OliverBullough)Dame Margaret Hodge, Labour MP for Barking and Chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group on Anti-Corruption and Responsible Tax (@margarethodge)More informationBuy a copy of Oliver’s book ‘Butler to the World: How Britain became the servant of tycoons, tax dodgers, kleptocrats and criminalsThe APPG on Anti-Corruption and Responsible TaxSupport and learn more about the work of Transparency International (@anticorruption), Global Witness (@Global_Witness), Spotlight on Corruption (@EndCorruptionUK) Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
02/04/2349m 4s

Reading Revival: why the bookshop is back

Hello! Have you ever dreamed of running your own bookshop? We are cheerful to report that the book industry is smashing it at the moment, with the number of indie bookshops at their highest level in six years, and book sales above pre-pandemic levels. Ed and Geoff speak to Sian Bayley, news editor at The Bookseller, who tells us about what’s driving this upward trend. We hear from co-founders Rosie May and Sarah Scales of Juno Books in Sheffield about how they made their lockdown dreams a reality. Finally, Aimée Felone, children’s publisher and co-director of Round Table Books in Brixton, tells us about her journey into publishing and what it means to run an inclusive bookshop.Plus: Buoyed up by his viral musical success, Ed's started learning an instrument...GuestsSian Bayley, News Editor, The Bookseller (@sleighbayley / @thebookseller)Rosie May and Sarah Scales, Co-Founders of Juno Books (@junobookssheff)Aimée Felone, Managing Director of children’s publisher Knights Of and Co-Director of Round Table Books (@aimeefelone / @roundtablebooks)More informationBookBar in Finsbury Park, LondonLearn more about the work of BookTrust and Lit in ColourVisit the Bookseller's website - the trade magazine for the publishing industryVisit Juno Books in Sheffield Visit Round Table Books in Brixton, LondonFind out about Knights Of, Aimée’s publishing companyCLPE Survey of Ethnic Representation in Children's Literature. Read the most recent report hereBooks Aimée recommends in the episodeKnights and Bikes by Gabrielle KentFor Every One by Jason ReynoldsSmall Worlds by Caleb Azumah Nelson Windward Family by Alexis KeirMind and Me by Sunita Chawdhary Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
26/03/2355m 15s

Bridging the divides: the world of modern diplomacy

Hello! Every day, remarkable acts of diplomacy are happening around the world to bring us one step closer to cooperation on our biggest conflicts and challenges. But how much do we really know about what goes on behind closed doors? And what are the ingredients of a successful negotiation? We speak to climate diplomacy legend and friend of the pod, Christiana Figueres, about her leadership on one of the most extraordinary diplomatic feats: the 2015 Paris Agreement. Gabrielle Rifkind, a specialist in conflict resolution, tells us about the importance of finding the ‘human face’ of conflict. Finally, the EU’s former top diplomat Catherine Ashton talks to us about the highs and lows of her time on the job, and why all of us are diplomats without even knowing it.Plus: We’ve talked sandwiches, we’ve talked toasters. Have a guess at which gadget has Ed bought for himself this week...GuestsChristiana Figueres, co-founder of Global Optimism and former Executive Secretary of the UNFCCC 2010-2016 (@CFigueres / @OutrageOptimism) Gabrielle Rifkind, Specialist in conflict resolution and Director of the Oxford Process (@OxfordProcess)Catherine Ashton, Former High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy and author of And then what? Inside stories of 21st century diplomacy More informationBuy a copy of Catherine's bookListen to Outrage and Optimism, Christiana and Tom Rivett-Carnac's podcastLearn more about the Oxford Process'We need to rethink how we do diplomacy,' Guardian Article, Catherine AshtonLearn more about the Paris Agreement, the legally binding treaty on climate change Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
20/03/2348m 40s

Gary Younge Interview: Mandela, Trump, Obama and Black Lives Matter

Hello! This week Ed and Geoff sat down with writer, journalist and now Professor of Sociology, Gary Younge. Gary talks about his new book ‘Dispatches from the Diaspora: From Nelson Mandela to Black Lives Matter’, and how his upbringing in a new town - Stevenage - led to a life telling stories from historic moments on both sides of the Atlantic, and what he can teach the next generation of journalists. Plus: Both Ed and Geoff both went viral fungal this week. Did you see?Pre-order a copy of Gary's book here. Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
13/03/2346m 45s

Bernie Sanders Interview: baseball, capitalism and mitten memes

Hello! While we generally aim for cheerfulness, it's also ok to be a little angry too. Senator Bernie Sanders is. After a long career of fighting for a more progressive politics, the self-proclaimed democratic socialist has had enough: capitalism isn't working for the average American (or Brit) anymore. Three billionaires own more wealth than the bottom half of American society combined, and healthcare, education, and childcare are unaffordable. The establishment has consistently written off his policies as ‘radical’ but Bernie is convinced that what he's fighting for is just common sense. Geoff and Ed sit down with the longest-serving independent politician in US history to talk about baseball, how his policies have influenced the Democrats, and whether Ed has finally met his political meme match.Plus: Which tangy snack has Ed rediscovered?Bernie Sanders (@SenSanders)Buy a copy of It's ok to be angry about capitalism by Bernie Sanders Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
06/03/2342m 8s

Full steam ahead: the resurgence of international train travel

Hello! As you wearily stood in a queue for a flight that was four hours delayed, having been hit with a hefty fee for a bag that you swore would fit under the seat, have you ever wondered if there was a better way to travel? Well, you’re not alone! 2022 was a bumper year for international train travel, as people took to the rails to see Europe and beyond. While long-distance train travel is better for the environment, it is often expensive and buying tickets can be fiddly. We speak to rail royalty Mark Smith, better known as the Man in Seat 61, who tells us why this is changing. Journalist and author Monisha Rajesh inspires us with tales of her travels around the world by train and finally we talk to Jody Bauer from Eurail, the company that sells Interrail passes, about its 50th anniversary and why it has revolutionised rail travel around Europe.Plus: Has Ed hired the assistance of a food stylist?GuestsMark Smith, founder of the Man in Seat 61 website (Twitter: @seatsixtyone / Instagram: @seatsixtyone)Monisha Rajesh, Journalist and Author (Twitter: @monisha_rajesh / Instagram: @monisha_rajesh)Jody Bauer, Research Analyst, Eurail (Instagram: @eurail / @interraileu)More informationTo plan an international train journey visit the Man in Seat Sixty-OneVisit Monisha's website and buy her books Around India in 80 Trains and Around the World in 80 TrainsVisit 33 countries with one pass. Buy an Interrail or Eurail pass and get inspiration for your next trip here Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
27/02/2354m 27s

Laying down the law: can litigation hold climate culprits to account?

Hello! Climate change litigation has come on a long way since the 2000 blockbuster film Erin Brockovich. There's been a huge rise globally in the number of cases being filed against negligent governments and corporations, but what does this mean for our efforts to tackle the climate crisis? We hear from Catherine Higham, policy fellow at LSE, and Laura Clarke from ClientEarth about the kinds of climate-related cases being thrashed out in court. We then cross the pond to Canada, where 15-year-old climate activist Sophia Mathur has been busy suing the Ontario government. We find out what inspired her to act, and what her hopes for the future are.Plus: Where did Ed go for a *bracing* open water swim this week?GuestsCatherine Higham, Policy Fellow, Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment, LSE (@CatherineHigha3, @GRI_LSE)Laura Clarke, CEO, ClientEarth (@LauraClarkeCE, @ClientEarth) Sophia Mathur, Climate Activist (@sophiamathur)More infoGlobal Trends in Climate Litigation 2022 (Report, Grantham Research Institute, LSE)Learn more about ClientEarth's workLearn more about Sophia's journey to becoming an activistWhy 2023 will be a watershed year for climate litigation (Article, The Guardian)Sign up to The Wave: the newsletter about climate litigation and justiceLinks to additional cases mentioned can be found on our website Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
20/02/2344m 49s

Beyond the nepo baby: the deep drivers of social mobility

Hello! Nepo-babies are a new-fangled term but the issue of social mobility goes much deeper…in this episode Ed and Geoff explore why the same kind of people often seem to make it to the top. Why does your starting point in life still strongly determine where you’ll end up? We find out why it matters and if there’s anything we can do to change it. We’re speaking to social mobility tsar Alan Milburn, social entrepreneur Joe Seddon who helps state school pupils get into top Universities and to comedian Josie Long about how to open up the creative industries to more people.Plus: Can Geoff persuade Ed to woo Justine with a ChatGPT Valentine's poem?GuestsAlan Milburn, Chair, Social Mobility Foundation (@alanmilburn1958 & @SocialMobilityF) Joe Seddon, Founder & CEO, Zero Gravity (@whatjoedid & @zerogravity)Josie Long, Comedian & Co-Founder, Arts Emergency (@JosieLong & @artsemergency)More infoRead the New York Magazine article on nepo babies in HollywoodRead Vice's article about why American nepo babies have nothing on the BritishLearn more about the Social Mobility Foundation and apply to their Aspiring Professionals Programme Sign up to Zero Gravity as a sixth form student to get mentoring, or as a university student to become a mentorRead Zero Gravity's Gap Zero Report on the network advantageLearn more about Arts Emergency, get support as a young person, donate or become a mentor Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
13/02/2351m 55s

‘It’s not weird or morbid’: how confronting death can give us hope

Hello! This week we're speaking to comedian, actor and author Cariad Lloyd who's on a crusade to help us become better at talking about death and grief. Although it might not seem like the most cheerful of topics, Cariad believes that there's a lot of hope and optimism in thinking and talking about death. We discuss why the five stages are a load of twaddle, how there is no 'right way' to deal with your grief and what to say (and what not to say!) to someone who's grieving.Plus: Geoff and Ed’s telepathy reaches new levels...for the first time in the pod’s history, they have the same reason to be cheerful!Follow Cariad on Twitter (@ladycariad)Buy a copy of Cariad's book out now You are not alone: A new way to grieveListen to all episodes of Griefcast including the episode with Dr Kathryn MannixCariad mentioned psychotherapist Julia Samuel Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
06/02/2341m 59s

Should you fight for your right to party?

Hello! This week on Reasons to be Cheerful Ed and Geoff are Going Out Out and talking about the night-time economy: generally everything that happens between 6pm and 6am. At the end of 2022, iconic Manchester venue ‘Night & Day’ was threatened with closure over a noise complaint. We talk about why this example represents a wider crisis in city nightlife and how it is possible to protect it, both for a good night’s sleep and for better workers’ rights. We chat to Dr Alessio Kolioulis about the history of the night-time economy, to Sacha Lord about why Manchester’s nightlife is the keystone of its cultural identity and to Clare Lynch, long-time resident of Soho, who tells us about the changes happening there and how to preserve the area’s character. And where does Bez from the Happy Mondays keep his bees?Plus: Find out which TV chef has given a professional review of Ed’s soup…GuestsDr Alessio Kolioulis, Lecturer teaching urban economic development at the Bartlett Development Planning Unit, UCL (@AleKolioulis)Sacha Lord, Night Time Economy Adviser for Greater Manchester (@Sacha_Lord)Clare Lynch, Audio producer and Soho Resident (@clarelynchred)More infoNight & Day: Manchester venue’s noise breach appeal hearing postponedBrussels famous nightclub Fuse allowed to reopenWorking Nights: Municipal strategies for nocturnal workersIt’s official - Germany declares its nightclubs are now cultural institutionsListen to Soho Radio Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
30/01/2349m 4s

Is this the future of humanity?

Hello! This week we’re talking about ChatGPT, the artificial intelligence language model that’s taken the world by storm. But is the hype justified? And what can it do beyond writing poems about your favourite podcast? We speak to Rory Cellan-Jones, whose dog is also an internet sensation, about what ChatGPT is and whether it’s been trained on a pro-Ed dataset, to Dr Kate Devlin about what it means for education and whether we can trust AI, and finally to Andrew Strait about some of the ethical concerns surrounding ChatGPT. Can AI really make society better and fairer?Plus: Where is Ed off to next on his culinary journey?GuestsRory Cellan-Jones, Former Technology Correspondent, BBC (@ruskin147 and check out the hashtag #SophiefromRomania to keep up to date with the latest doggie developments)Dr Kate Devlin, Reader in Artificial Intelligence and Society, Department of Digital Humanities at King’s College London (@drkatedevlin & @kingsdh)Andrew Strait, Associate Director, Ada Lovelace Institute (@agstrait & @AdaLovelaceInst)More infoTry out ChatGPT for yourselfSubscribe to Rory’s Substack on health and technologyDepartment of Digital Humanities, King’s College LondonVisit the Ada Lovelace Institute’s WebsiteUKRI Trustworthy Autonomous Systems Stephen Hawking warns artificial intelligence could end mankind by Rory Cellan-JonesOpenAI underpaid 200 Kenyans to perfect ChatGPT then sacked them Human-like programs abuse our empathy by Professor Emily BenderChatGPT used by mental health tech app in AI experiment Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
23/01/2344m 35s

How to talk to a climate denier

Hello! This week we’re talking about climate misinformation and how we tackle it. Mis- and disinformation about the climate crisis is not new: since the 1970s industry players and fossil fuel giants have been denying the reality of climate change in order to sow confusion and polarise public support for taking action. Delay is the new denial, according to Jennie King, who talks to us about some of the arguments used to delay action on climate change. Professor Sander van der Linden tells us about the psychology of misinformation spread and why social media has only turbocharged it. Finally, Sean Buchan talks to us about the grassroots campaign Stop Funding Heat which aims to make climate misinformation unprofitable.Plus: Geoff goes on a gastronomic journey with Ed's latest cooking attempt.GuestsJennie King, Head of Climate Research and Policy, Institute for Strategic Dialogue (@jkingy, @ISDglobal)Professor Sander van der Linden, Professor of Social Psychology, University of Cambridge (@Sander_vdLinden)Sean Buchan, Campaign Director, Stop Funding Heat (@seanforachange, @stopfundingheat)More infoWhat is climate mis-/disinformation?Deny, deceive, delay: documenting and responding to climate disinformation at COP26 and beyond Report from the ISDTaxonomy of climate contrarian claims Academic paper: Coan, Boussalis, Cook, NankoDiscourses of Climate Delay Comic by Céline KellerClimate Action Against Disinformation Pre-order a copy of Sander's book Foolproof: Why we fall for misinformation and how to build immunityStop Funding Heat CampaignOther resourcesDeSmog Journalism to clear the 'PR Pollution' clouding the science and solutions to climate changeSkeptical science Website set up by academic Jon Cook to examine the science and arguments of climate scepticismEd and Geoff mentioned:Three policies making life in Paris better for children Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
16/01/2354m 55s

How to fix our education system

Hello! New year, new term and this week Ed and Geoff are going back to school. Too little has changed about our education system since the Victorian times, and for too many young people it can seem an outdated and rigid system - geared simply towards passing exams - which is letting them down. We speak to three experts who tell us that it doesn't have to be this way: Dr James Mannion, clinical psychologist Dr Naomi Fisher and to Andy Sprakes, the co-founder of Doncaster's most oversubscribed school, about how they're already doing things differently and why it's beneficial for everyone involved.Plus: want a chance to live out your Geoffocracy dreams? We hear from Suzanne Heywood about a new prize looking for our listeners' policy ideas!GuestsDr James Mannion, Director of Rethinking Education, a teacher training organisation (Visit his website or follow him on Twitter @RethinkingJames)Dr Naomi Fisher, Clinical Psychologist (Follow her on Twitter @naomicfisher or subscribe to her Substack)Andy Sprakes, Chief Academic Officer and Co-founder, XP School in Doncaster (@SprakesA & @XPschool) Suzanne Heywood, Chair of the Heywood Foundation (@HeywoodFndation)More infoDo schools kill creativity? TED Talk, Sir Ken RobinsonThe crisis of the last six months has exposed five damaging myths in education Blog, Peter HymanRethinking Education James Mannion's teacher training organisationHow to Change the World James Mannion's TEDxtalk on 'vertical slice politics'Above all compassion, the story of XP School FilmLearn more about the Heywood Prize and enter here.Contact Reasons to be Cheerful via our website, follow us on Twitter and Instagram. Let us know your episode ideas, your comments and feedback!  Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
09/01/2356m 34s

Owning the future

Hello and happy 2023! Normal service will resume next Monday but in the meantime we’ve got a cracking interview with co-authors Adrienne Buller and Mathew Lawrence for you. Their new book ‘Owning the Future: Power and Property in an Age of Crisis’ is all about ownership. Basically, who owns what in our economy and society, and why it matters. They set out an alternative future for us that’s not dominated by profit making business models, but rather meets the needs of all citizens without destroying the planet. And as we look to the future, Ed reminisces about past mishaps with his coat...Buy Owning the Future: Power and Property in an Age of CrisisCommon Wealth Think TankGuestsAdrienne Buller, Director of Research, Common Wealth Think Tank (@adribuller)Mathew Lawrence, Founder and Director, Common Wealth Think Tank (@dantonshead) Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
02/01/2331m 27s

The Reasons to be Cheerful Top 10 of 2022

It’s been another calm year for politics: four chancellors, three prime ministers and a lettuce. Through the tumult, we’ve been providing you a steady stream of reasons to be cheerful. Having applied a (not very) rigorous methodology we’ve chosen our ten favourite moments from the year. What’s made it to the top spot?We’d love to hear from you over the holidays with your ideas, guest suggestions or emails. If you want to get in touch with the podcast you can email us at or through our website. Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
26/12/2249m 12s

2022 Christmas Crackers with Ed and Geoff

Hello! We’ve decked the loft with boughs of holly and after two years, Ed and Geoff are finally reunited for some Christmas fun and frolics. Traditional board game proceedings have been temporarily suspended, as we ask some friends of the pod to tell us their reasons to be cheerful. And boy, it’s a real bagamashings. We hear from Jon Ronson, Self Esteem, Davina McCall and Michael Douglas, Ayesha Hazarika, Tom Allen, and many more…Find out which celebs sent us a message from bed, who told Ed he had the weakest handshake in Western Europe, and what Dan the Lifeguard really sounds like.With thanks to all our cracker message senders and listeners in 2022!If you want to get in touch with the podcast you can email us at or through our website. Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
19/12/2247m 36s

Social workers for social justice

Hello! When we hear about social workers it's usually because something terrible has happened. Social work is rightly subject to scrutiny, but why do we never hear about any of the good stuff? Despite operating in an under-resourced and bureaucratic system, social workers are helping individuals and families facing some of the toughest life circumstances, in the hope of creating a fairer and more prosperous society. We talk to Ruth Allen about the profession, to Ryan Wise who's trying to remove day-to-day barriers that social workers might face, and to Lisa Hackett about why we need to shift public perceptions of social workers and the job they do.GuestsRuth Allen, CEO, British Association of Social Workers (@ruthallenonline) (@BASW_UK)Ryan Wise, Co-founder, Crescendo (@ryanwise18)Lisa Hackett, Chief Social Worker, Frontline (@FrontlineSW)More info Learn more about the British Association of Social Workers' 80:20 CampaignIf you're a social worker, take BASW's annual survey of social workersRead more about the 15% solutions approach that Ryan discussesUnderstand more about CrescendoFind out information about Frontline, England's largest social work charityThe campaign to get care experience designated a protected characteristic Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
12/12/2245m 50s

How do we fix our broken economy?

Hello! This week Ed and Geoff are on location to chat with two big brains who have been part of two important commissions about the state of the UK economy. What are the deep roots of the economic crisis facing our country? And what's the solution? The UK is suffering from a 'toxic combination' of high inequality and stagnating growth. We look at some of the long-term issues that mean the cost of living crisis is hitting Britain particularly hard, why we need a new economic strategy and what it would involve. And what does Geoff's hairdresser have to do with it all?GuestsCarys Roberts, Executive Director, IPPR (@carysroberts) (@IPPR)Torsten Bell, CEO, Resolution Foundation (@TorstenBell) (@resfoundation)More infoRead the final report (2018) from IPPR's Commission on Economic JusticeRead 'Stagnation Nation' (2022) the interim report from the Economy 2030 Inquiry Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
05/12/2243m 3s

Nothing about us without us

Hello! This week we're talking about disability activism: its past, present and future. Disabled people are routinely excluded from society, despite making up 15% of the population. How has disability activism shifted people's attitudes and perceptions? And how can we transform our society so it's fairer for everyone? To find out we speak to disability justice activist Anna Landre about why it's not possible to legislate prejudice out of existence, we also talk to Christoph Keller about his new memoir and to Ruth Malkin about the People's History Museum's new exhibition celebrating the history of disability activism.Transcripts of all the interviews are available on our website.GuestsAnna Landre, Disability Justice Activist and Research Fellow, UCL (@annalandre)Christoph Keller, Novelist, editor and playwright. Author of ‘Every Cripple a Superhero’ Ruth Malkin, Community Co-Curator, People's History Museum (@PHMMcr)More infoVisit Anna's websiteUCL's Global Disability Innovation HubThe Shaw Trust Disability Power 100 List 2022Buy Christoph's book 'Every Cripple A Superhero'Islam Alijaj's Twitter (Swiss politician)Visit the People's History Museum's Exhibition: Nothing About Us Without Us (until October 2023)Get online support and advice from Scope Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
28/11/2255m 59s

It’s cheaper to save the planet than destroy it

Hello! Ed's just come back from COP27 where he was roving with his mic. He spoke to some experts on how we shift to zero carbon power and break our dependency on fossil fuels. We talk to Kingsmill Bond about why the transition to renewables makes economic sense. Tzeporah Berman tells us about the potential of the Fossil Fuel Non-Proliferation Treaty to constrain supply. And Mohamed Adow tells us why the continent of Africa could lead the way in becoming a renewable energy superpower, and what that means for its development.GuestsKingsmill Bond, Energy Strategist, Rocky Mountain Institute (@KingsmillBond) (@RockyMtnInst)Tzeporah Berman, Chair of the Fossil Fuel Non-Proliferation Treaty (@tzeporah) (@fossiltreaty)Mohamed Adow, Director, Power Shift Africa (@mohadow) (@PowerShftAfrica)More infoRead about past and current peaks in fossil fuel demand (RMI)Visit Kingsmill Bond's website to read about the drivers of change for the transition to renewables and the myths of the incumbencyListen to Kingsmill on the Volts PodcastLearn more about the Fossil Fuel Non-Proliferation TreatyAccess the Global Registry of Fossil Fuels (Carbon Tracker; Global Energy Monitor)Watch Tzeporah's TED TalkVisit Power Shift Africa's Website Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
21/11/2247m 44s

What can I do?

Hello! This week as world leaders- and Ed -gather in Sharm El-Sheikh for COP27 we’re covering a tricky topic: what’s our role as individuals in tackling the climate crisis? When we feel like governments and businesses aren’t doing their bit to keep 1.5C alive, is it normal for us to feel disillusioned about the power that’s in our hands? Our guests say that action on climate isn't all on us, but that it won't happen without us either. We speak to Alyssa Gilbert from the Grantham Institute for Climate Change about the enabling role of government and why we need to shout about the actions we’re taking. We also talk to Mike Thompson from the Climate Change Committee and to Tom Bailey, who is recommending shifts he thinks we can take to make a difference. Plus: Geoff has a new look and reveals his Autumnal beverage of choice  More infoImperial's 9 things you can do about climate change  CCC's 2022 Report on Climate Offsetting CCC's 2020 Report on the Sixth Carbon BudgetSign up and Take the Jump for 1, 3 or 6 months Listen to 'Holding out for a Zero,' an RTBC episode from July  GuestsAlyssa Gilbert, Director of Policy and Translation at the Grantham Institute for Climate Change and the Environment, Imperial College London (@AlyssaRGilbert) (@Grantham_IC) Mike Thompson, Chief Economist and Director of Analysis, Climate Change Committee (@Mike_Thommo) (@theCCCuk) Tom Bailey, Co-founder, Take the Jump (@taketheJUMPnow) Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
14/11/2249m 58s

The art of persuasion with Anand Giridharadas

Hello! A bonus Cheerful Book Club episode coming at you this week direct from Geoff’s loft. We’re talking to bestselling author Anand Giridharadas about his new book The Persuaders: Winning Hearts and Minds in a Divided Age. Progressive movements need to persuade, not simply preach, he says. But what does that look like if it is not ‘persuasion by dilution’? We talk to Anand about what we can learn from the people who are changing minds and building big coalitions to make progressive movements around the world more successful.Buy Anand’s bookSign up for his newsletter The.Ink Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
10/11/2236m 55s

A whole new ball game

Hello! This week we interrupt our regularly scheduled programming to throw you a bit of an RTBC curveball. Not only are Ed and Geoff venturing gingerly into the world of sport, but they're talking about the fastest-growing game in the US, which is now gaining popularity closer to home: pickleball! We talk to hall-of-famer Jennifer Lucore about the history of the sport and to coach Louise Stephens about its future here in the UK. We also chat to players Jessie Danger and Sam Basford about their pickleball careers to date. But will Ed and Geoff agree to get on the court? And what the heck is 'dinking'? Plus: Find out what happened when I’m a Celebrity came calling for Ed...and a special preview of a bonus RTBC episode being released later this week.More infoFind out more information including where your local courts are on Pickleball EnglandLearn more about the sport in America at USA PickleballRead Jennifer's blogLearn the rules of pickleball GuestsJennifer Lucore, Professional Pickleball Player and Ambassador, Author of the book ‘History of Pickleball’ (Instagram: @jenniferlucore)Louise Stephens, Coach and Pickleball England Volunteer of the Year (Instagram: @englandpickleball)Jessie Danger, Top 8 Sponsored Player and Nationals Women’s Doubles Bronze Medallist (Instagram: @jessieedanger)Sam Basford, Regional Director for Pickleball England and Master Teaching Professional (Instagram: @sambasford.pb) Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
07/11/2252m 47s

Professor Nicola Rollock

Hello! This week we're treating you to a new author episode: a fascinating conversation with Nicola Rollock, Professor of Race and Social Policy at King's College London. Nicola's new book The Racial Code: Tales of Resistance and Survival is all about the implicit rules of race and racism that govern our lives and strengthen the status quo. Geoff sits down for a discussion with Nicola all about how she weaves fiction with academic writing, the illusion that racial injustice has been eliminated, and why we need to change our patterns of thinking about race if anything is going to change for the better. Buy The Racial Code: Tales of Resistance and Survival Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
31/10/2238m 48s

The middle-out moment

Hello! The pranksters at RTBC have got a joke about trickle-down economics.…99% of people won't get it...This week as Liz Truss prepares to exit we’re talking about the economic philosophy that characterised her reign: supply-side or trickle-down economics—and its alternative: so-called middle-out economics.The latter is the idea that investing in the broad middle to help people become more secure and prosperous can lead to more economic growth. But is it really that simple? We talk to Professor Sue Himmelweit about the origins of trickle-down, to Nick Hanauer, one of the inventors of the term middle-out, and to Juha Leppänen about Finland's model of economic success.Plus: Ed reflects on whether the frack got Liz the sack.Fancy sending in a new theme tune? Email us at reasons@cheerfulpodcast.comGuestsSue Himmelweit, emeritus professor, the Open University and member, Women's Budget Group (@suehimmelweit)(@womensbudgetgrp)Nick Hanauer, author, venture capitalist and founder of Civic Ventures (@NickHanauer)Juha Leppänen, CEO, Demos Helsinki (@juhaleppanen) (@demoshelsinki)More infoForget trickle down, what the UK needs is middle-out economics (The Guardian)A brief history of middle-out economics(Pitchfork Economics)Is middle-out Biden's new deal(Democracy)Listen to Nick's weekly podcast, Pitchfork EconomicsRead 100 Social Innovations from Finland, Ilkka Taipale Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
23/10/2249m 25s

Home sweet (social) home

Hello! After the Second World War, council housing was an important part of the government’s ambitious vision for the welfare state. Over the past 50 years, with a growing emphasis on home ownership, the amount of council housing and its condition has diminished. Where does that leave the state of social housing now? Geoff finds out with architect Peter Barber, who also explains some of the design principles underpinning his award-winning social housing project. We find some reasons to be cheerful with former deputy mayor of Vienna Maria Vassilakou, who tells us how the city has cracked the social housing code. Finally, Martyn Holmes discusses how collaborative or community-led housing could be one solution to the housing crisis.Plus: Ed has reached new heights of fame as one board game recognises his achievements. Can you guess what it is yet?GuestsPeter Barber, Director, Peter Barber Architects (@pPeterpeter) (@peterbarber12)Maria Vassilakou, Former Deputy Mayor of Vienna (Contact Maria through her website: Vienna Solutions)Martyn Holmes, Founding Member, Bunker Housing Co-operative (@BunkerCoop)More infoTake a look at some of Peter’s projects on his websiteLearn more about the award-winning housing project McGrath RoadRead about Vienna’s model of social housing Visit Bunker Housing Cooperative’s Website Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
16/10/2248m 48s

Investment for the people

Following Labour’s announcement of a new national wealth fund to invest in green industries, we’re exploring what 'public wealth funds' are and how they offer a way to keep profits in the hands of the people. We talk to Professor Karin Thorburn about Norway’s Sovereign Wealth Fund which has guaranteed that future generations can benefit from its natural resources, even as we transition towards a greener economy. UCL Associate Professor Josh Ryan-Collins makes the wider case for public wealth funds, and how they help governments invest for the future and make sure that returns go back to citizens. Finally, Rayhan Haque from the Community Wealth Fund Alliance tells us how the 40p in your old building society account could be invested in communities for big economic, social and environmental returns.Plus: Ed is ready to jump into ribbon-cutting action as Britain’s oldest lido is opening to the public! We speak to the team behind the restoration and re-opening of Cleveland Pools, Bath.Keep submitting your theme music to reasons@cheerfulpodcast.comMore infoNorway’s Sovereign Wealth FundUCL IIPP Report on Public Wealth FundsLearn more about the Community Wealth FundLocal Trust as a founding member of the Community Wealth Fund AllianceRead about the Dormant Assets Scheme Stay up to date with news on Cleveland Pools’ reopening on their website or sign up to their newsletterGuestsKarin Thorburn, Professor of Finance, Norwegian School of Economics (@karinsthorburn) (@NHHnor)Josh Ryan-Collins, Associate Professor in Economics and Finance, UCL Institute for Innovation and Public Purpose (@jryancollins) (@IIPP_UCL)Rayhan Haque, Campaigns Manager, Community Wealth Fund Alliance (@RayhanHaqueUK) (@CommWealthFund)Alice Le Page, Learning and Community Engagement Trustee, Cleveland Pools (@aslepage) (@Clevelandpools) Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
09/10/2254m 26s

Pain and prejudice

Hello! Why is it that women live longer, but spend more of their lives in poor health? We explore why women’s pain is often dismissed and why it can take many years to receive a diagnosis with Dr Larisa Corda. We then delve deep into the history of medical misogyny with Dr Elinor Cleghorn and finally we find some reasons to be cheerful with the creator of podcast series 28-ish days later, India Rakusen.Plus: We’re joined by TV royalty! Maracas at the ready- Dan McGrath, composer of the Strictly Come Dancing theme music, joins us to talk about how you can create a winning theme for the RTBC refresh.Submit your contributions here: reasons@cheerfulpodcast.comGuestsDr Larisa Corda, obstetrician and gynaecologist, fertility expert on This Morning and women’s health activist  (@drlarisacorda)Dr Elinor Cleghorn, feminist cultural historian and author of Unwell Women: A journey through medicine and myth in a man-made world (@elinorcleghorn)India Rakusen, journalist, documentary producer and presenter (@IndiaRakusen)Dan McGrath, music producer (@danthesoundman)More infoListen to our episode on health inequalities with Professor Sir Michael MarmotRead the Women’s Health StrategyOrder Elinor’s book Unwell WomenListen to India’s podcast 28-ish days later on BBC SoundsVisit Endometriosis UK for support. Their helpline can be reached on 0808 808 2227 Hosted on Acast. See for more information.

What just happened?! with Marina Hyde

Hello! It's a big week at Reasons to be Cheerful HQ as we're back in Geoff's loft to record a very special 5th anniversary episode with a very special guest. We're talking to the brilliant and hilarious Guardian columnist Marina Hyde about her way with words, fielding the phones on the Sun's showbiz desk in the 90s and what she thinks about the alternative world of chaos with Ed Miliband. In Marina's new book What Just Happened?! Dispatches from Turbulent Times you can relive the bin fire of the last six years with a collection of some of her finest columns. It's out on 6th October.Plus: Could you be the winner of the Reasons to be Cheerful Song Contest?Send us your submissions on reasons@cheerfulpodcast.comPre-order What Just Happened?!Follow Marina on Twitter Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
25/09/2244m 19s

David and Goliath

Hello! This week Geoff's exploring how individuals have taken on the big dogs to seek justice. We talk to three guests who have faced up to their employers, multinational corporations and even governments to challenge unfair treatment and inspire change for the better. But can an eventual victory ever outweigh the personal toll? And how can we make sure justice is accessible to all? We talk to Sophia Moreau, who challenged her employer over unequal pay and then led a campaign to end student maternity discrimination. We'll also speak to Jason Evans who is seeking justice for the victims and families of those affected by the contaminated blood scandal in the 1970s and 1980s. And finally we'll be hearing from a law firm that's taken collective action for over 200,000 victims in Brazil affected by the Mariana Dam collapse in 2015. Alicia Alinia will be with us to discuss what a recent legal ruling means for the future of corporate behaviour. GuestsSophia Moreau, Campaigner and Employment Tribunal Mentor, Pregnant then Screwed (@MsSMoreau) (@PregnantScrewed)Jason Evans, Founder, Factor 8 (@JasonEvansF8) (@Factor8Campaign) and 2021 runner-up Sheila McKechnie Foundation Campaigner AwardsAlicia Alinia, Partner and COO, Pogust Goodhead (@AliciaAlinia) Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
19/09/2240m 23s

On common ground

Hello! Ed is absent due to the period of national mourning, so Geoff takes the reins with a conversation recorded before last week's news. We talk to three inspiring guests about the commons. But what are the commons, how do they reduce inequality and why can we be optimistic about them today? We speak to Guy Standing, Professorial Research Associate at SOAS and author of the Blue Commons about how reviving the commons is a key component of progressive politics and could reduce social insecurity. We then look at the commons in action with Jenny Barlow, Estate Manger of the Tarras Valley Nature Reserve, who tells us about how a community buy-out in Scotland will lead to large-scale nature restoration and bring economic opportunities to the community. Finally, Abigail Woodman, Chair of the East London Waterworks Park talks to us about reviving former common land by creating free wild swimming pools for all, and why this has made her feel more hopeful for the future.GuestsGuy Standing, Professorial Research Associate, SOAS (@SOAS)Jenny Barlow, Estate Manager, Tarras Valley Nature Reserve (@TarrasValleyNR) (@LangholmOnline)Abi Woodman, Chair, East London Waterworks Park (@ELWaterworks)More infoBuy Guy Standing's book The Blue Commons: Rescuing the Economy of the SeaFind out more about the Langholm Moor Community Buy-outFind out more about the East London Waterworks ParkDonate to the ELWP Crowdfunder Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
11/09/2236m 13s

Character education, education, education

Hello! This week we’re back to school and learning all about character education. But what is it and why is it relevant beyond the classroom too? One of the leading authorities on the topic (the Jubilee Centre) defines character education as all explicit and implicit educational activities that help young people to develop positive personal strengths or ‘virtues’. We explore what ‘good character’ means, the impact of adverse life experiences, and whether character is the key to a fairer and more compassionate society.We speak to Bec Tigue, Head of School at the University of Birmingham School; Alex Hanratty, co-founder of ReconnectEd; and author and podcaster Bruce Daisley, who questions our typical understanding of resilience.Plus: Has Ed finally outfoxed the fox?Our guestsBec Tigue, Head of School, University of Birmingham School (@UoBSCharacter)(@JubileeCentre1)Alex Hanratty, Co-founder, ReconnectEd (@ReconnectEduc)Bruce Daisley, Author and podcaster (@brucedaisley)The Jubilee Centre for Character and VirtuesLearn more about the Jubilee Centre’s Framework for Character Education in SchoolsAlex’s social enterprise ReconnectEd, helping young people at risk of exclusionTimpson Review of School Exclusion (2019)Buy Bruce’s book Fortitude: Unlocking the Secrets of Inner Strength Find out more about Bruce’s work at his website Eat Sleep Work Repeat Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
04/09/2255m 5s

Getting clarity on charity

Hello! Normal service has resumed on Reasons to be Cheerful following our summer break, and this week we're talking all about the charity sector. But what the heck is it? Ed and Geoff try to find out by talking to Daniel King, Professor of Organisation Studies at Nottingham Trent University. We also talk to Mita Desai, CEO of the Young Trustees Movement about why the sector needs to be more diverse at board level, and to Sarah Woodcock, CEO and Founder of the Kids Network about her journey to set up a charity.Plus: Ed revives his Wordle obsession.Our guests:Professor Daniel KingMita DesaiSarah WoodcockLearn more about the Young Trustees MovementBecome a mentor volunteer at the Kids Network Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
28/08/2247m 51s

Four Thousand Weeks: Oliver Burkeman

Hello! For the final episode in our Existential Cheerful Summer series we’re talking to Oliver Burkeman: author, journalist and self-proclaimed ‘reformed productivity geek’ for the Guardian. We talk to him about his new book Four Thousand Weeks: Time and How to Use It which is all about why it’s empowering for us to confront our ‘finitude,’ i.e. the limited amount of time we are on this planet for. Why are we obsessed with getting everything done? Why is our modern ‘task-oriented’ relationship with time so unhelpful? And what can we learn from Rob Stewart’s love of model railways?Buy Four Thousand Weeks hereFollow Oliver on Twitter Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
21/08/2235m 33s

The Sound of Being Human: Jude Rogers

Hello! This week's summer episode is all about music and our powerful relationship to it. Ed is a latecomer to music's joys, but critic, journalist and interviewer Jude Rogers has been a life-long devotee. Jude's new memoir The Sound of Being Human: How Music Shapes Our Lives traces the pivotal moments of her life soundtracked by twelve songs. Along the way she asks psychologists, neuroscientists and sociologists why music has such an influence on our lives. Jude joined us to discuss why music activates memories, fuels self-expression and connects us to other people. Buy The Sound of Being HumanRead Jude's writing for the GuardianFollow Jude on Twitter Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
14/08/2236m 17s

The Future of Food: How to achieve radical change with George Monbiot

Hello! In the second of our summer episodes we're talking to environmental activist, author and journalist George Monbiot. Farming is the most environmentally damaging industry in the whole world, and great swathes of the Earth's surface are given over to the production of our food, particularly through grazing and feeding livestock. In his new book Regenesis: Feeding the world without devouring our planet George explores how we can develop healthier, cheaper and less damaging versions of familiar and accepted foods through the 'counter-agricultural revolution.' What is the secret to delivering radical change? And why might a pancake hold the solution to our problems?Buy Regenesis hereRead George's columns for the Guardian here Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
07/08/2240m 47s

Things Can Only Get Better: Professor Brian Cox

Hello! To kick off our season of Existential Cheerful Summer interviews we’re talking to Professor Brian Cox ahead of his UK tour ‘Horizons: A 21st Century Space Odyssey’. Ed and Geoff chat to Brian about the big questions: black holes, how we came to be here, what it means to be human, and what we can become. What does the climate crisis mean if we’re the only civilisation in a galaxy of 400 billion stars? To bring things down to earth, Brian tells us about his music career, car parks and his pivotal role in soundtracking 1997.Buy tickets to Brian's Tour: Horizons: A 21st Century Space Odyssey  Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
31/07/2239m 24s

Plastic Not Fantastic: global, national and local approaches to tackle plastic pollution

Hello! This week we're revisiting the issue of plastic pollution, something we explored for the first time in 2018. Plastic pollution affects everyone, but not equally. While progress is being made on the international stage with the recent agreement of a UN resolution to end plastic pollution, there's still a long way to go. We talk to Zaynab Sadan from WWF South Africa about how ambitious a future global treaty will be, to Jill Farrell from Zero Waste Scotland about their Deposit Return Scheme, and to Rachel Edwards from Surfers Against Sewage Port Talbot about how the issue is being tackled locally, and whether that's enough.Plus: We find out why Ed is moderately outraged after an encounter at a Sam Fender gig.WWF South AfricaLearn more about the UN's recent resolution to end plastic pollutionInformation on Scotland's Deposit Return SchemeSurfers against Sewage Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
24/07/2251m 40s

Cabinet of Chaos

Hello! For the first time in over two years, Ed and Geoff are back together for a live show! It's been a quiet few weeks in British politics, so we thought we'd take the chance to think nostalgically about what chaos with Ed Miliband might look like. To dissect the current political situation, what's next for the Conservatives and how progressives should respond, we spoke to Rosie Carter, David Gauke, David Runciman and Faiza Shaheen. Ed and Geoff are also joined by special guest, Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan. He discusses collective city action on climate change, buses and of course, Luna, his canine sidekick.  Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
17/07/221h 11m

HOLDING OUT FOR A ZERO: assessing the UK’s climate progress

Hello! This week we're talking about the Climate Change Committee's recent progress report on the UK government's Net Zero targets. While they say the UK is doing well at setting targets, what about delivery? Where do we need to improve? And why are workers' rights, delivering zero carbon jobs and public engagement so crucial in our work to reduce emissions? We talk to Mike Thompson, director of analysis and chief economist at the Climate Change Committee, Mika Minio-Paluello, policy officer for industry and climate at the TUC, and Jacob Ainscough, senior research associate at Lancaster University.Plus: Enjoy Ed and Geoff's speculation about Boris Johnson’s fate, 24 hours before (spoilers!) he resigns.Buy tickets for Ed Miliband's Cabinet of ChaosThe full 619 page CCC report  Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
10/07/2253m 22s

RTBC AT EPISODE 250: how museums shape our society

Hello! This week we're talking about museums and the role they have in shaping social and political issues. Many in the museum community agree that our museums are not neutral, but what does that mean when it comes to addressing issues such as climate change, colonialism and corporate influence? We talk to Doug Gurr, Director of the Natural History Museum, Professor Laura Van Broekhoven, Director of the Pitt Rivers Museum and Professor of Museum Studies, Ethics and Material Culture at the University of Oxford and Dr Chris Garrard, Co-Director of campaign group Culture Unstained.Plus: Geoff delves into the archives and quizzes Ed on 250 episodes of RTBC history. How well does he do?Show notes:Buy tickets to our live show hereNatural History MuseumBook a ticket to see DippyPitt Rivers MuseumCulture Unstained Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
03/07/2254m 21s

BREAKING THE MOULD: Ed and Geoff explore the hidden world of fungi

Hello! Fungi are everywhere, but most of us have never given them much of a second thought. From mushrooms to moulds, they may have the power to help with some of our trickiest problems. We talk to Merlin Sheldrake about why ignoring fungi is dangerous and what we can learn from them. Dr David Erritzoe from Imperial College discusses the potential therapeutic applications of psilocybin on depression and Fern Freud tells us about her passion for foraging for mushrooms on her doorstep. Plus: Life is too short to stuff a mushroom it seems, as Ed stuffs peppers instead.Buy tickets for our live show Merlin Sheldrake Merlin Sheldrake’s Entangled Life: How fungi make our worlds, change our minds and shape our futures Check out the work of Imperial’s Centre for Psychedelic Research Go on a foraging walk with Foraged by Fern Fern’s Tik Tok pageWhat's Ed's mystery fungus? Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
26/06/2251m 47s

PRISON BREAK: Alternatives for women in the justice system

Hello! This week we’re talking about women in prison. Women make up a tiny proportion of the prison population - less than 5% - and yet their imprisonment can wreak lasting and far-reaching damage. Addressing the needs of this minority could have a significant positive impact, say Kate Paradine, CEO of Women in Prison, Paula Harriott, Head of Prisoner Engagement at the Prison Reform Trust and Mel Evans from No Births Behind Bars. Plus: Ed’s gearing up for a festival special. Buy tickets for our live show here on 17th July here Women in Prison Prison Reform Trust Paula’s podcast the Secret Life of Prisons No Births Behind Bars, sign the petition  Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
19/06/2251m 38s

FROM PHILANTHROPY TO JUSTICE: what the wealthy can contribute to society

Hello! This week we’re revisiting a topic we’ve examined before: the role of the ultra-wealthy in our society. The Patriotic Millionaires movement recently lobbied in Davos for governments around the world to tax them more. We talk to Gemma McGough from Patriotic Millionaires about why it’s important for the rich to speak up, to Stephanie Brobbey about how wealthy people can become ‘good ancestors’, and to Derek Bardowell about taking funders and philanthropists on an educational journey to see the light about systemic change.Plus: Ed admits the real reason he likes cycling to work and Geoff’s personalised number plate secret is finally outed.Buy tickets for the live show on 17th July hereListen to our 2017 episode ‘Who wants to tax a millionaire’Listen to our 2019 episode ‘For richer, for super richer: taxing the ultra wealthy’Patriotic Millionaires UKThe Good Ancestor MovementTen Years’ TimeWhy Philanthropy Isn’t The Answer (with Anand Giridharadas), Pitchfork Economics Podcast Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
12/06/2254m 21s

Andrea Elliott: Invisible Child

Hello, as part of Cheerful Book Club we're welcoming our first ever Pulitzer Prize winner onto the show. Andrea Elliott talks about her new book Invisible Child: Poverty, Survival and Hope in New York City. Almost a decade in the making, the book follows a young girl, Dasani, as she grows up without a home in New York City. We talk to Andrea about what it's like to win a Pulitzer, the role of the journalist, Obama and her reasons for hope and optimism. Plus: Ed has crossed the pond and we hear about an improbable new sport for Geoff to turn his hand to. Buy tickets for our live show here: Andrea's book, Invisible Child: Poverty, Survival and Hope in New York City Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
05/06/2237m 29s

ALL ROADS LEAD TO ROAM: Making nature accessible to everyone

Hello! This week we’re talking about the accessibility of public land and the Right to Roam campaign. Only 8% of land in England is accessible to the general public and one-third of land is still owned by the aristocracy. We talk to Nick Hayes about the history of this archaic system and the Right to Roam Campaign; Nadia Shaikh about barriers to accessing nature and the countryside for people of colour; and Jon Moses about how we get to a future where more of our land is accessible to all. Plus: Ed and Geoff bring kleptomaniac seagulls and fugitive flamingos to justice and why the aubergine revolution is now in motion Right to Roam Campaign: in Colour: Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
29/05/2247m 2s

MIND THE (HEALTH) GAP: The postcode lottery of life

Hello! This week we’re talking about health inequalities. The evidence has long been clear that your life circumstances determine how long and how healthy your life will be. Over the last decade, life expectancy has stalled and the pandemic has amplified existing inequalities. In the face of this bleak prognosis, we look for optimism with the leading academic on the topic Professor. Sir Michael Marmot, who tells us about the social factors that determine health; Christina Gray, Member of the Association of Directors of Public Health (ADPH) and Director for Communities and Public Health for Bristol on the importance of community cohesion; and Chris Thomas, Principal Research Fellow at IPPR about the links between health and economic prosperity.Plus: Geoff talks Star Wars and Ed tells us about his run-in with the Chancellor.Show notes:Buy tickets for the live show on 17th July here: Ed's speech in the Commons: Society, Healthy Lives (The Marmot Review, 2010): Marmot Review 10 Years On (2020): Build Back Fairer: The COVID-19 Marmot Review (2021): Ambition Lawrence Weston: IPPR: Introducing the Commission on Health and Prosperity (2022): Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
22/05/2250m 50s

BRAIN POWER: Disentangling the narratives around dyslexia

Hello! This week we’re talking about dyslexia—how we need to improve its recognition in our society and understand the contribution people with dyslexia can make. At least 1 in 10 people in the UK are estimated to have dyslexia and are still facing barriers to inclusion in the classroom, the workplace and society more broadly. We speak to Andy Cook from the Helen Arkell Dyslexia Charity, Kate Griggs from Made by Dyslexia and Rob Jennings from the Dyscalculia Network about the power of dyslexic thinking, celebrating neurodiversity and how it’s not just about facing challenges with spelling.Plus: Ed has been interacting with rogue birdlife again and we hear about Geoff’s time moonlighting as an estate agent.Links from the episodeThe Helen Arkell Dyslexia Charity: Network: by Dyslexia:'s TEDx talk: The Creative Brilliance of Dyslexia | Kate Griggs | TEDxBrightonEmail your comments, questions and episode ideas to or at and follow us on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and LinkedIn Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
15/05/2248m 35s

DON'T CHANGE THE CHANNEL: the case against C4 privatisation

Hello! This week we’re looking at the government's proposal to sell off broadcaster Channel 4. Started in the 80s with a remit to commission unique and original programming from independent production companies, Channel 4 has been informing and entertaining us for decades. To find out why the government would want to privatise Channel 4 now, and how it will impact both audiences and production companies, we’re joined by Guardian Media Editor, Jim Waterson, Former Head of News and Current Affairs at Channel 4 and now President of Murray Edwards College, University of Cambridge, Dorothy Byrne, and founder of True Vision production company, Brian Woods. Plus, Geoff is home alone ...Email your comments, questions and episode ideas to or at and follow us on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and LinkedIn Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
08/05/2250m 46s

THE CHILDCARE CRUNCH - The Hidden Cost of Living Crisis

Hello! This week we’re looking at the huge cost of childcare, an often ignored part of the cost of living crisis. New research has found that almost two thirds of families are paying more, or the same, for their childcare as they do their rent or mortgage, with one in four parents saying they had to cut down on food, heat and clothing to afford childcare. To find out how this compares to other countries and discuss what can be done to help parents, we’re talking to friend of the pod and researcher Christine Berry, Dr Kate Hardy from the University of Leeds, and Joeli Brearly, who founded the charity Pregnant Then Screwed.Plus, Ed’s Make Your Own Sandwich shop gets a reinvention Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
01/05/2250m 10s

FIGHT FOR YOUR RIGHTS: Learning from the US campaigns to organise at Amazon and Starbucks

Hello! America has seen a wave of recent union victories by Amazon and Starbucks workers, and this week we’re looking at why they’ve succeeded where many others have failed, and what UK unions can learn. We’re joined by Starbucks organiser Casey Moore, Director of CLASS, Ellie Mae O’Hagan and General Secretary of Prospect Union, Mike Clancy.Plus, Geoff celebrates his birthday! Email your comments, questions and episode ideas to or at and follow us on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and LinkedIn Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
24/04/2252m 32s

WILD CITY: Uncovering urban wildlife with Florence Wilkinson and the Urban Birder David Lindo

Happy Easter! To celebrate, we have a special episode on the magic of the wildlife on our doorstep. 83% of us live in urban areas and are surrounded by myriad known and not-so-well known wildlife wonders including birds, insects, hedgehogs and yes, foxes and rats. But our furry and flying city-dwellers are vital to our ecosystems, and there are untold joys and benefits of paying more attention to them, so says author of Wild City, Florence Wilkinson and the one and only David Lindo, also known as the Urban Birder, who joined Ed and Geoff this week. Find out why foxes are causing Ed a headache and birds are staying away from Geoff’s garden. Email your comments, questions and episode ideas to or at and follow us on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and LinkedIn Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
17/04/2247m 27s

WATCH ALL ABOUT IT! News for children as Newsround turns 50

Hello! This week we’re celebrating the 50th anniversary of Newsround, and finding out how the way our children get their news has changed over the years. To celebrate the milestone, we’re joined by Newsround Editor Lewis James, and to hear more about other ways kids access current affairs, we’re joined by Anna Bassi, Editorial Director of The Week Junior, and founder of Picture News, Kate Harrison. PLUS we have a very special dispatch from our local correspondent, Gene (Geoff’s son).Email your comments, questions and episode ideas to or at and follow us on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and LinkedIn Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
10/04/2259m 18s

I QUIT? - The real story behind the ‘Great Resignation’

This week we’re going behind the headlines on the so-called Great Resignation - which has seen record numbers of job vacancies advertised as people leave and move roles. Has Covid really revolutionised the world of work? And who is benefiting from the changes?To find out, we’re joined by Joe Fuller from Harvard Business School, David Zentler-Munro from the University of Essex, and Abigail Adams-Prassl from the University of Oxford. Plus Geoff is back (sat down) at a gig.Email your comments, questions and episode ideas to or at and follow us on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and LinkedIn Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
03/04/2253m 31s

CRY ME A RIVER: How to save the UK’s rivers

This week we’re giving Ed another reason to talk about his swimming, and diving into our rivers. Rivers are such an important part of our landscape, ecosystems and communities. They provide two thirds of our water supplies and support a vast array of wildlife, but are in bad shape. Only 14% of our rivers pass the bar for ecological health, and farming, water industry and the climate crisis are all making things worse.To find out more and hear what’s being done to protect and preserve our rivers, we’re joined by Alastair Chisholm from the Chartered Institute of Water and Environmental Management, Christine Colvin from the Rivers Trust and Alec Taylor from WWF.Email your comments, questions and episode ideas to or at and follow us on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and LinkedIn Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
27/03/2247m 33s

BACK IN THE FRONT ROW: Cinema bounces back and Fiona Shaw talks Killing Eve spinoffs

Hello! This week Ed and Geoff are off to the pictures, as they find out how cinemas have survived covid, and why they’re still so important to our communities and culture. To usher them through the episode they’re joined by Phil Clapp, CEO of trade body the UK Cinema Association, Kevin Markwick, who runs 2 independent cinemas successfully, and star of stage and screen, Fiona Shaw.Plus Ed and Geoff share their earliest cinema memories. Email your comments, questions and episode ideas to or at and follow us on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and LinkedIn Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
21/03/2252m 32s

HERE COMES THE SUN: storing clean energy

This week we’re looking at energy storage, and the technologies being developed to improve how we store and use renewable energy. Clean energy storage is vital to decarbonising the economy, so to get to grips with it we have Jillian Ambrose, energy correspondent at the Guardian, Simon Skillings from E3G, and Nina Skorupska from The Association for Renewable Energy and Clean technologies.Plus, Ed’s been bothering people on public transport (again).Email your comments, questions and episode ideas to or at and follow us on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and LinkedIn Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
14/03/2249m 57s


Hello! This week we’re joined by podcasting royalty, as David Runciman, host of Talking Politics, joins Ed and Geoff for his victory lap. After 6 years, David and co-host Helen Thompson are hanging up their headphones on one of the smartest political podcast of our time. Ed and Geoff find out why they’re stopping in the middle of arguably one of the most important political moments of a generation, who David’s favourite interview was, and why his love for audio means this is far from the last we’ll hear from him. Plus, Geoff can’t get unstuck. Email your comments, questions and episode ideas to or at and follow us on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and LinkedIn Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
07/03/2247m 19s

ACT NOW: Recognising British Sign Language in the UK

Hello! This week we're looking at the legislation passing through parliament which would have British Sign Language recognised as an official language in the UK. Eighty-seven thousand people in the UK say BSL is their preferred language, but they are discriminated against in everyday life, from using essential services to speaking to doctors, their local council or at work. To find out how this Bill could help make the UK more accessible to BSL users, we're joined by David Buxton, Chair of the British Deaf Association, Ben Fletcher, who was the first deafblind candidate for MP, and Chloe Smith MP, Minister for Disabled People, Health and Work.Plus Ed reveals his missed opportunity is Silicon Valley. Email your comments, questions and episode ideas to or at and follow us on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and LinkedInA full transcript of this episode is available on our website, and the interviews will be uploaded to our YouTube channel this week.  Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
28/02/2248m 32s

WARM HOMES FOR ALL: Tackling Britain's fuel poverty crisis

Hello! This week we’re talking about the crisis of fuel poverty as people are hit by rocketing energy bills.Torsten Bell from the Resolution Foundation sets the incoming energy bill rises in context, Adam Scorer from National Energy Action tells us how people are facing the crisis up and down the country, and Dr Elizabeth Blakelock shares some interesting solutions which have been trialled to help those most in need. Plus Geoff drops a Wordle brag on Ed. And here's the link to Gabrielle Shammash's article about UK Politics as breifly mentioned in the episode your comments, questions and episode ideas to or at and follow us on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and LinkedIn Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
21/02/2255m 48s

ANXIETY AND AGENCY: How to respond to eco-anxiety in the face of climate change

Hello! This week we're discussing the impacts of the climate crisis on our mental health, and how we can support ourselves and each other in response. From the trauma of the effects of extreme weather events like floods and droughts, to worrying about climate change in our every day lives, there’s a growing body of evidence which shows more and more of us are struggling.To help us understand why we feel the way we do, and what we can do to help, we’re joined by Dr Emma Lawrence from Climate Cares, Imperial College London, who’s contributed toward research in this area, psychotherapist Steffi Bednarek, and Sacha Wright, from Force of Nature, who’s helping young people manage their wellbeing and create positive change.Email your comments, questions and episode ideas to or at and follow us on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and LinkedIn Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
14/02/2252m 48s

MAGISTRATES: the volunteers presiding over criminal courts

Hello! This week we’re looking at the role of Magistrates in our justice system. Little is widely known about the volunteer system which presides over 90% of criminal cases, and as the government launches a campaign to get 4,000 new magistrates to apply, we find out how what more can be done to raise awareness and increase diversity. We’re joined by chair of the Young Magistrates Network, Luke Rigg, criminal lawyer Raj Chada and Penelope Gibbs, founder of Transform Justice. Email your comments, questions and episode ideas to or at and follow us on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and LinkedIn Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
07/02/2255m 27s

MAGIC ROUNDABOUT: why we need the circular economy

Hello! This week we're looking at the circular economy, a system that could transform our lives and contribute mightily towards reducing carbon emissions. In the UK, per person we produce the second highest amount of electronic waste by throwing away our unwanted phones and laptops.In a circular economy, we reduce usage of materials, reuse them and recycle. To help us understand the circular economy we're joined by Patrick Shroeder from Chatham House, Susan Evans from the Green Alliance, and Malena Sell from Sitra, the innovation company helping Finland towards its goal of eliminating waste by 2050. Plus, Ed's got a new thermometer and Geoff's becoming a social butterfly. Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
31/01/2254m 32s

JON RONSON :The author, journalist and documentary maker talks to Ed and Geoff about his new series ‘Things Fell Apart’

Hello! This week we’re joined by the wonderful Jon Ronson for a special episode. The acclaimed journalist, documentary maker and author, talks to Ed and Geoff about his new podcast series ‘Things Fell Apart’, which explores the extraordinary human stories behind the origins of what have become known as the culture wars. Ed gets into the kitchen, and Geoff develops an unlikely crush. Email your comments, questions and episode ideas to or at and follow us on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and LinkedIn Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
24/01/2255m 47s

DOT THE “I”S AND CROSS THE NFTs: the Wild West of crypto or an opportunity for change

Hello! This week we continue our foray into all things Web 3.0 by taking on NFTs, or Non-Fungible-Tokens. If you’re lost already then don’t worry, so were we, until we spoke to our enlightened guests Anthony Cuthbertson from the Independent, Holly Jean Buck from Buffalo University, and Andrea Baronchelli, from City University and the Turing Institute. We uncover exactly what NFTs are, how they’re currently being used, and what potential they have for wider application across society. We discuss the environmental impact NFTs have, as well as what’s being done to mitigate this in the long run. Plus Geoff comes out of isolation and Ed needs a hobby - beyond cold water swimming of course.  Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
17/01/2249m 29s

BACK TO NATURE: tackling the biodiversity and climate crises

Hello! This week we head for the peatlands, get in the sea, and go in search of UK's lost rainforests to explore ecosystems beyond the trees. Could restoring these habitats play a significant part in achieving net-zero? And what else needs to be done to tackle the UK's nature crisis?Joining us are Kate Jennings (with a canine cameo), Guy Shrubsole and Richard Unsworth.  Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
10/01/2243m 36s

JACK FOR GOOD: Rewriting the script on disability with Jack Thorne

Happy New Year! To start 2022, Ed and Geoff talk to one of the UK’s most acclaimed and prolific scriptwriters, Jack Thorne (Help, Kiri, His Dark Materials, The End of History, This Is England.) Jack is a co-founder of Underlying Health Condition - a pressure group campaigning for proper inclusion and representation of disabled people in the entertainment industry. Jack talks about his own experience of disability, his career, his politics, and he gives Geoff a break from being Ed’s personal TV recommendation service. Read Underlying Health Condition’s report: Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
03/01/2247m 10s


Hello! Well, what a year 2021 has been... thank you for being with us throughout. Here are some of 2021's very best bits for your delectation. Best wishes from your friends at Reasons to be Cheerful HQ Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
27/12/2154m 32s

WE WISH YOU A-M-A* XMAS 2021 (*Ask Me Anything with Ed and Geoff)

As last year's Christmas AMA was such a huge success *there were no major repercussions*, we thought we'd do it again. Ed and Geoff answer (and avoid) your questions, from sandwiches of choice in the make-your-own-sandwich shop to which cabinet member Ed would prefer to take on in a royal rumble. (Guess which of those Ed answered, and which he avoided... ) Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
20/12/2151m 2s

FIRST THEY IGNORE YOU: Part Four - The fight for a minimum wage

In the fourth and final episode about how progressive victories were won, we're taking a look at the introduction of the national minimum wage. It feels unthinkable now that there shouldn't be a minimum rate that workers are paid, but it wasn't too long ago that hourly rates of £1 or £1.50 were commonplace. The road to a national minimum wage was long and winding but campaigning, persuasive leadership, new academic thinking all helped to create something that's become part of the fabric of working life in the UK.To help us understand the history of the labour market, what pre-minimum wage Britain was like, and who the key players were in the fight we're joined by historian Sheila Blackburn, Honorary Senior Fellow at the University of Liverpool. We're also honoured to be joined by Margaret Beckett MP who served as Secretary of State for Trade & Industry under Tony Blair from 1997 and also by Gavin Kelly, Chair of the Living Wage Commission who joins us to talk about where the minimum and living wage conversation goes from here.Plus, Geoff asks Ed for advice on some split loyalties between his wife, and the dry cleaner. Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
13/12/2158m 8s

FIRST THEY IGNORE YOU: Part Three - The Fight For Race Equality in the UK

In the latest episode of our series about progressive advances, we're taking a look at the history of the fight for race equality in the UK. It is one that goes back centuries but we want to explore what progress has really been made in modern times and what have been the drivers--the combination of activism, movements, law and cultural change both in the UK and abroad.This week's guests are historian and activist Patrick Vernon, Sunder Katwala director of the think tank British Future and Diane Abbott ---we hear her story of being the first black woman to be elected to Parliament. Plus, Ed and Geoff discuss hair salon etiquette. Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
06/12/2158m 14s

FIRST THEY IGNORE YOU: Part Two - Building Nordic gender equality

In the second of our episodes about how progressive victories were won, we're looking at gender equality and why the Nordic nations seem to be so far ahead of most of the world. What is it about the culture, society, and politics of the region? What role did women's movements play? And is there something in the water/snow, or can it inspire us to do better?To help us understand the history and policy of the region, we're joined by Mari Teigen - a research professor at the Institute for Social Research in Oslo. Kristín Ástgeirsdóttir, a former member of Parliament and member of the famous Red Stocking Movement joins us from Iceland, and we're joined by Dr Alison Parken lecturer at Cardiff University Business School and an independent research consultant to understand how the UK can learn from the Nordics—- and how Wales already is.Plus, Geoff quizzes Ed for some advice on a sensitive matter Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
29/11/2154m 0s

FIRST THEY IGNORE YOU: part one—- the creation of the NHS

We're doing a little shimmy, into the past. In the first part of our mini-history series on how progressive victories were won, we're looking at the NHS. How did this complex institution, that's beloved in the UK and revered around the world, manage to even get off the ground? Who were the key players? How did they win over opposition (and why was some of that from doctors)? And what role did the crisis of world war play in shifting hearts and minds?To help us unpick the past we're joined by historians and experts on policy Sally Sheard from the University of Liverpool and Nick Timmins, author of The Five Giants, A biography of the Welfare State, then to help understand where the NHS goes from here is Jennifer Dixon, Chief Executive of the Health Foundation.Plus, find out about Ed's latest sartorial swimming accessory as we welcome him back to earth from planet Cop and spare a thought for Geoff as he very publicly misjudges his choice of outfit. Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
22/11/2156m 44s

217. ONE STOP COP (26) SHOP: the verdict

Ed's been in Glasgow again this week as COP26 comes to a close. He digs in to get the verdict. He speaks to young Kenyan activist Elizabth Wathuti, then friends of the pod, Pete Betts, multi-hatted climate wonk, and Farhana Yamin, adviser to vulnerable countries, for their takes on the outcome. Plus the revelation that RTBC has hit the big time, featured on a real, mainstream TV quiz show, and how even Ed can have enough of being recognised in public places. Hosted on Acast. See for more information.

216. YOUR ONE-STOP COP(26): One week in

Ed’s spent the week in Glasgow at COP26. He brings you the voices of young activists demanding change, including Anna, a young Glasgow climate striker. Then he talks to Simon Stiel, Minister for Climate Resilience in Grenada and Pete Betts, former top UK civil servant on climate negotiations, now a leading voice on the state of the play. Plus Geoff pitches in with his impressions from the outside and Ed tells us what a ‘Jack and Jill’ bathroom is and who he shared one with this week. Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
08/11/2147m 30s

215. FOLLOW THE (CITY) LEADER: the power of local action on the climate crisis

Hello! As COP26 kicks off, we’re exploring how cities and towns are leading the way on tackling the climate crisis. Mark Watts from C40 Cities talks us through how some of the world’s largest cities — from Milan to Seoul — are taking urgent action to reduce emissions. Polly Billington from UK100 tells us what local leaders are up to in the UK. And deputy mayor of Paris Celia Blauel is back to tell us about the city’s ambitious climate plan. Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
31/10/2155m 4s

214. PALACES FOR THE PEOPLE: the future of public libraries

Hello! Libraries are about far more than borrowing books. We’re exploring how libraries around the world serve their communities and are adapting to changing needs. Sociologist Eric Klinenberg explains why libraries help build social solidarity and should be a priority for government investment. Marie Østergård tells us about libraries in the Danish city of Aarhus, home of the world-renowned Dokk1. And Isobel Hunter from Library Connected gives us reasons to be cheerful from the UK, despite more than a decade of cuts.Plus poet Henry Normal on his new tour, The Escape Plan. Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
24/10/2154m 54s

213. WOULDN’T IT BE NICE IF WE WERE OLDER: creating age-friendly communities

Hello! We know the UK’s population is getting older, but what should that mean for our towns, villages and cities? We’re talking about ‘age-friendly communities’ — places where people of all ages can live healthy and active lives. Natalie Turner from the Centre for Ageing Better explains the idea. Paul McGarry from Greater Manchester Ageing Hub tells us how the city region has lead the way on putting it into practice. And Anne Berit Rafoss gives us the view from Norway. Featuring special guest co-host, Sara Barron! Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
18/10/2157m 9s

212. WARMER HOMES AND LOWER BILLS: time to get retrofit

Hello! Millions of homes across Britain need retrofitting with insulation and low carbon heating to meet our climate goals. We chat to Josh Emden from IPPR about the many benefits of a national retrofit programme and how government can make it happen. Then Aneaka Kellay from Carbon Coop explains how they’re piloting a people-powered approach to retrofitting homes in Manchester.
AND we chat to writer and director Matt Woodhead about Who Cares — his fantastic play about young carers, currently on tour around the country.  Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
10/10/2148m 33s

211. WHO GETS ON IN MODERN BRITAIN: breaking the class ceiling

Hello! Sociologist Sam Friedman has spent years exploring how class shapes our society. He argues Britain faces a powerful ‘class ceiling’ that affects who can access certain jobs and then progress in them. We chat to Sam about why that is and what we can do about it. Then Isabel Farchy from the Creative Mentor Network tells us how her charity is working to widen access to careers in the creative industries.  Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
03/10/2159m 8s

210. HAVE I GOT TOOZE FOR YOU: Adam Tooze on Covid, climate & learning from history

Hello! We’re chatting to incredibly prolific historian Adam Tooze about his new book ‘Shutdown: How Covid Shook the World’s Economy’. We talk to Adam about the response to Covid around the world and what it means for everything from the rise of China to the future of the Green New Deal. PLUS Fiona McIntyre on her mission to open up the wonders of dolphin spotting on the coast of Aberdeen. Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
26/09/2154m 45s

209. THE RISE OF ROBO-BOSSES: reining in algorithmic management

Hello! Advances in technology are enabling new ways to monitor and manage people at work. How can we ensure workers don’t lose out from the rise of ‘algorithmic management’? Future of work expert Beth Gutelius tells us about a Californian law cracking down on issues in the warehouse industry. Then Anna Thomas from the Institute for the Future of Work and Mary Towers from the TUC talk us through the scale of the problem in the UK and what do to about it.AND we chat to Tim Burgess about the new book inspired by his wildly popular Twitter Listening Parties. Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
19/09/2153m 1s

208. THE FUTURE OF MONEY: from cryptocurrency to the decline of cash

Hello! This week we’re getting our heads around the mind-boggling world of digital currencies. The Guardian’s UK tech editor Alex Hern answers our questions about Bitcoin — from how it actually works to its extraordinarily high energy use. Josh Ryan-Collins from UCL tells us why the Bank of England is exploring introducing its own digital currency. And Rachel Statham from IPPR explains why the discussion about the future of money shouldn’t ignore the role of cash.AND we chat to Ray Hopkinson from environmental charity Hubbub about an exciting new bike library being trialled London. Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
12/09/2155m 27s


Hello! We’re celebrating the start of September with an episode on rewilding — the idea of restoring eco-systems so nature can take care of itself. Alastair Driver from Rewilding Britain talks us through what it is and how to make it happen. Steve Micklewright explains how Trees for Life is rewilding parts of the Scottish Highlands. And Jan Stannard from Heal Rewilding talks about their plans to make rewilding accessible to everyone. Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
05/09/2157m 59s

206. COUNTDOWN TO THE CLIMATE SUMMIT #4: What can we all do?

Hello! For the final part of our special series on this year’s COP 26 climate summit, we’re exploring how the climate movement is pushing world leaders to act. Ugandan climate activist Vanessa Nakate tells us about her journey into activism and what she is calling for now. Then Tommy Vickerstaff from explains how we can all get involved in campaigning around the COP. Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
29/08/2133m 0s

205. COUNTDOWN TO THE CLIMATE SUMMIT #3: What needs to happen?

Hello! For the latest stage of our journey through the world of COP 26, we’re exploring the politics of the climate summit. Experts Pete Betts, Farhana Yamin and Saleemul Huq are back to talk us through the outcomes we need from COP 26 and the challenges in making them happen. Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
22/08/2136m 33s

204. COUNTDOWN TO THE CLIMATE SUMMIT #2: What are the stakes?

Hello! In the second episode of our series on the COP 26 climate summit, we’re exploring what’s at stake in tackling the climate crisis. Scientist Emily Shuckburgh explains the need for urgent action. Then Saleemul Huq from the International Centre for Climate Change and Development in Bangladesh and former president of the Maldives Mohamed Nasheed talk about how the climate crisis is impacting countries around the world. Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
15/08/2134m 48s

203. COUNTDOWN TO THE CLIMATE SUMMIT #1: How did we get here?

Hello! For the next few weeks we’re treating you to some special episodes about COP 26, the crucial climate summit taking place in Glasgow this November. First, we're talking through the basics and asking how on earth we got to where we are today. Author Alice Bell gives a whistle-stop history of our understanding of the climate crisis and the political response to it. Then two COP veterans, climate lawyer Farhana Yamin and former negotiator Pete Betts, talk us through their reflections on previous summits. Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
08/08/2139m 38s

202. REASONS TO BE WELSH (Rhesymau i fod yn Gymreig)

Hello! We spend lots of time exploring great ideas around the world but this week we’re looking closer to home. It’s Reasons to be Welsh! First Minister of Wales Mark Drakeford tells us about where the Welsh Government is leading the way on innovative ideas from tackling the climate crisis to inequality, the importance of devolution in making it happen AND his love of cheese. Then we catch up with Future Generations Commissioner for Wales Sophie Howe about how she’s pushing for long-term thinking across Wales. And parkrun volunteer Sam Rose tells us about the return of parkrun events after more than a year apart.  Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
01/08/2156m 59s

201. SECRETS AND LIDOS: the people-powered pool movement

Hello! Lee-doh or ly-doh? We’re asking the big questions about the lido revival taking place across the UK. Many towns and cities saw their outdoor pools close during the twentieth century but lidos are back on the up. Journalist Chris Beanland talks us through the history here and around the world. Emma Pusill tells us about the amazing community groups taking lidos into their own hands. And we chat to Deborah Aydon about her campaign for a brilliant new “people’s pool” on Merseyside. Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
25/07/2154m 50s


Hello! It’s our 200th episode! We’re talking about the groundbreaking Environmental Justice Commission, which has just published an ambitious plan for putting fairness at the heart of tackling the climate crisis. Caroline Lucas and Hilary Benn, two of the co-chairs of the commission, talk us through some of the key ideas. Then Paul Nowak from the TUC explains why it is vital to put the interests and voice of workers at the centre of the transition.AND to celebrate reaching the big 200 we’re joined by voice of Reasons to be Cheerful, Gayle Lofthouse! Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
18/07/2155m 46s

199. STRAIGHT TO VOICEMAIL: the right to disconnect from work

Hello! How can we properly switch off from work in an era of phones, email and remote working? We’re exploring the ‘right to disconnect’ — the idea that people should have a right to disengage from messages and calls outside of their working hours. Professor Anna Cox explains the importance of work-life boundaries. Andrew Pakes from the Prospect Union tells us what a right to disconnect could look like. And Caroline Sauvajol-Rialland talks us through what we can learn from France.Plus writer and youth worker Ciaran Thapar on his new book, ‘Cut Short: Youth Violence, Loss and Hope in the City’. Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
11/07/2151m 3s

198. A DECENT LIFE FOR ALL: the case for a new social guarantee

Hello! How can we ensure everyone has access to the essentials for a decent life? A coalition of campaigners argue we need a new ‘Social Guarantee’ based on three pillars: living wage jobs, universal public services, and fixing our safety net with a living income. We talk  through the idea and how to make it happen with Social Guarantee expert Maeve Cohen who tells us about the thinking behind the concept, leader of Camden Council Georgia Gould who is piloting new universal services and the New Economics Foundation’s Sarah Arnold who talks through the idea of a living income.Plus Mary Portas tells us about the rise of the Kindness Economy and gives her expert opinion on Ed’s sandwich shop proposal. Ed’s book ‘Go Big’ is out now in hardback, ebook and audiobook: Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
04/07/2155m 17s

197. GO BIG #4: How We Can All Make Change Happen

Hello! For the final week of our Go Big podcast book tour, we’re talking to incredible people successfully campaigning for change around the world. Ali Abdi and Elbashir Idris talk about the campaign for the first Halal Nando’s in Cardiff and the amazing community activism fighting for social justice that it inspired. Fast food worker and union activist Adriana Alvarez tells us about the remarkable successes of the Fight for $15 in the US. Jane Thewlis talks us through her work in the UK on the global fossil fuel divestment movement. And writer Paul Engler explains why he believes political and social movements can help drive the change we need. ‘Go Big’ is out now in hardback, ebook and audiobook, narrated by Ed and with a bonus conversation between Ed and Geoff: Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
27/06/2153m 38s

196. GO BIG #3: A Big Idea to Repair Our Democracy

Hello! It’s the third episode of our podcast book tour, exploring ideas from Ed’s new book ‘Go Big’. We're revisiting citizens’ assemblies and the role they could play in repairing our democracy. Experts Graham Smith, Archon Fung and Becky Willis talk us through what citizens’ assemblies are, where they’re being used, and how they fit into the wider need for participation and deliberation in politics.Plus Mike Tipton answers all of Ed’s questions on cold water swimming!‘Go Big’ is out now in hardback, ebook and audiobook, narrated by Ed and with a bonus conversation between Ed and Geoff: Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
20/06/2157m 6s

195. GO BIG #2: A Big Idea to Rethink the Economy

Hello! From New Zealand to Finland, countries are experimenting with alternatives to using gross domestic product (GDP) as the primary measure of national success. For our second special episode on ideas from Ed’s book Go Big, we’re asking: could changing what we measure help to transform the economy? Katherine Trebeck from the Wellbeing Economy Alliance talks us through the recent developments. We catch up with economist Kate Raworth about how her idea of Doughnut Economics is taking the world by storm. And Mayor of Newham Rokhsana Fiaz tells us about using health and wellbeing as the measure of local success.Go Big is out now in hardback, ebook and audiobook, narrated by Ed and with a bonus conversation between Ed and Geoff: Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
13/06/2152m 12s

194. GO BIG #1: A Big Idea for Gender Equality

Hello! For the next few episodes we’re going big with some of the ideas from Ed’s new book, Go Big. This week: could better parental leave for dads help promote gender equality? Icelandic Prime Minister and friend of the pod Katrín Jakobsdóttir explains Iceland’s world-leading approach. Then Molly Mayer from the Fawcett Society and Jeremy Davies from the Fatherhood Institute talk us through where we’re going wrong — and what to do about it.Plus former senior advisor to President Obama Ben Rhodes on working in the White House, defending democracy and the power of podcasting.Go Big is out now in hardback, ebook and audiobook, narrated by Ed and with a bonus conversation between Ed and Geoff: Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
06/06/2157m 9s

BONUS: ED’S WRITTEN A BOOK! (exclusive audiobook extract)

It’s the big day! Ed’s book ‘Go Big: How to Fix Our World’ is out now. To celebrate, here’s an extract from the audiobook read by Ed.Buy the audiobook here: the book from your favourite bookshop or online: Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
02/06/2121m 0s

193. THE CASE FOR BIG CHANGE: and building the coalitions to make it happen

Hello! A big theme of the podcast has been the need for big change. We’re chatting to two people with really interesting perspectives on that. FT writer Martin Sandbu talks about why this is a moment that demands a transformation of our economy and what it could look like. Then Heather McGhee, one of the leading thinkers on the US left, talks about her new book on building coalitions for progressive change. Plus documentary maker Jerry Rothwell on his film The Reason I Jump.If you pre-order Ed’s book Go Big from before Wednesday (2nd June) and use the promo code ‘cheerful’ at the checkout you’ll get 30% off the full price.  Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
30/05/2151m 42s

192. TICKET TO RIDE: buses, Burnham and public control

Hello! We’re talking buses with King of the North AKA Mayor of Greater Manchester Andy Burnham. Back in March, Andy announced plans to bring the region’s buses under public control. We ask him what that will mean and what it shows about the power of devolution. Then Pascale Robinson from Better Buses for Greater Manchester talks about campaigning for the change. And transport expert Ian Taylor talks us through lessons from around the world on building a world-class bus system across the UK.If you pre-order Ed’s book Go Big from before 2nd June and use the promo code ‘cheerful’ at the checkout you’ll get 30% off the full price. Read the extract featured in the Guardian: Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
23/05/2155m 4s

191. PRESTONOMICS: taking back control of local economies

Hello! For the last few years, Preston has been pioneering a bold experiment in how to create a fairer local economy. What can we learn from their ‘community wealth building’ approach? Preston City Council leader Matthew Brown is back to tell us about how the Preston model is taking shape. Tony Greenham from South West Mutual explains how a new generation of regional banks can support the agenda. And Antonia Jennings from the Centre for Local Economic Strategies talks us through what’s going on across the country.Plus we chat to the wonderful Sue Peachey, star of new documentary ‘The People vs Climate Change’.If you pre-order Ed’s book from before 2nd June and use the promo code ‘cheerful’ at the checkout you’ll get 30% off the full price. Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
16/05/2154m 53s

190. THE PREMONITION: a conversation with Michael Lewis

Hello! We’re incredibly excited to be talking to one of our favourite authors, Michael Lewis, about his new book, The Premonition: A Pandemic Story. He explores what went wrong in the US response to coronavirus through the lives of a number of people at the heart of pandemic planning. We chat to Michael about what he discovered, his approach to writing, and how he finds such compelling characters for his books.Listen to our conversation with Michael from last year about The Fifth Risk: Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
09/05/2139m 50s

189. IT’S COMING HOME: could fan ownership save football?

Hello! We’re talking about football… but not just about football. Hot on the heels of the European Super League fiasco we’re exploring ideas to change where power lies in football - and asking what they mean for society more widely. Uli Hesse tells us about the ‘50+1’ rule in Germany. Thomas Hanna from The Democracy Collaborative and Vidhya Alakeson from Power to Change explain how to promote fan ownership in the UK. Then footballer turned academic Alex Culvin talks about how to put women’s football at the centre of the conversation. Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
02/05/2156m 13s

188. THE DREAM NOT JUST THE NIGHTMARE: a vision for tackling the environmental crisis

Hello! This week we're exploring a vision for how we can address the environmental crisis and build a better society in the process. Friends of the pod Mat Lawrence and Laurie Laybourn-Langton are back to chat about Planet on Fire - their 'manifesto for the age of environmental breakdown'. Then climate justice activist Dominique Palmer talks about building a movement to push for this kind of action.AND we chat to the world's best teacher, Andria Zafirakou!Head to for more info on all of our episodes Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
25/04/2156m 14s

187. RETHINKING INFRASTRUCTURE: the case for social investment

Hello! President Biden sparked a major debate when he described spending on social care and childcare as an investment in infrastructure. We’re exploring why the question of what counts as ‘infrastructure’ really matters. US policy expert Julie Kashen talks us through the US infrastructure debate then Professor Sue Himmelweit from the Women’s Budget Group explains why it could have far-reaching implications around the world.Plus author Eileen Jones tells us about her new book ‘How Parkrun Changed Our Lives’ and the unconventional way she launched it… Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
18/04/2153m 37s


Hello! Finland has just been named the world’s happiest country for the fourth year running. To celebrate, we’re going on a virtual Nordic trip to explore the secrets behind their success. We ask Finnish journalist Anu Partanen and authors of ‘Finntopia’ Danny Dorling and Annika Koljonen what we can learn from Finland about how to build a better society. Then we have our first ever president on the pod: former Finnish leader, President Tarja Halonen. Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
12/04/2155m 28s

185. WHAT'S THE GIG IDEA?: fair work in the platform economy

Hello! In February the Supreme Court ruled against Uber in a major case on the rights of its drivers. Could it prompt a shift in working conditions in the gig economy? Former Uber driver and co-claimant in the recent case James Farrar tells us about his legal victory, Kelle Howson from Fairwork talks about what it could mean more widely, then Martin Buttle from ShareAction talks us through the investor response to Deliveroo’s recent IPO. Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
04/04/2151m 14s

184. REASONS TO BE PLAYFUL: protecting children’s right to play

Hello! The ‘right to play’ is recognised by the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child. How can we make sure all children have the time and space to play? Aled Hanson tells us about his experience of working at Flintshire Playscheme. Marianne Mannello from Play Wales talks about the pioneering Welsh play legislation. Then writer and researcher Tim Gill talks about how ‘child-friendly cities’ around the world design public space to make it easier and safer for children to play. Plus volunteer Jenny Chigwende on how W12 Together in West London has supported the local community during the last 12 months. Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
28/03/2155m 16s

183 and a half. Michael Rosen on his recovery from Covid

Bonus episode: Our extended conversation with poet and children's author Michael Rosen about his new book 'Many Different Kinds of Love'. We talk about Michael's experience with Covid and why he decided to write about it. Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
26/03/2124m 45s

183. MEETING THE JOE-MENT: could the Biden presidency be transformational?

Hello! President Biden’s Covid relief package has been described as the most progressive piece of US legislation in the US for decades. Does it mark the start of a transformational presidency? We speak to Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro about the historic expansion of child tax credit and her 18 year campaign to make it happen. Lindsay Owens from the Groundwork Collaborate talks us through Biden’s wider economic agenda. And we ask Professor Stephen Skowronek whether this could be the beginning of a new era in US politics.Plus author and poet Michael Rosen on his experience with Covid-19. Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
22/03/2155m 36s

182. OFFICE POLITICS: the future of the workplace

Hello! Is remote working here to stay? How do we deal with the new inequalities that creates? Friend of the pod & home working guru Nick Bloom talks us through his research on the future of workplaces. Claire McCartney from the CIPD explains how employers can make hybrid working work for all. And Claire Carpenter from the Melting Pot in Edinburgh sets out her vision for ‘hyper local’ coworking spaces.You can preorder Ed’s book here: Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
15/03/2156m 42s

181. PARKS AND REC: green space for all

Hello! Parks and green spaces have been more important than ever over the last year but there are deep inequalities in who has access to them. We’re asking why that is and what we can do about it. Kate Ashbrook from the Open Spaces Society talks us through the history. Then Beth Collier from Wild in the City and Helen Griffiths from Fields in Trust discuss how we can ensure everyone can access to good quality green space.Plus radio host Stuart Maconie on ‘The Nanny State Made Me’. Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
08/03/2157m 50s

180. A NEW BEVERIDGE REPORT: remaking the welfare state

Hello! In 1942 William Beveridge published the report that shaped Britain’s welfare state. We’re asking what lessons it offers us nearly 80 years on. Journalist Nicholas Timmins talks us through the history of the original report then LSE’s Tania Burchardt explains how to fix the holes in our welfare safety net today.And for World Book Day we’re chatting to author, vet and children’s TV presenter, Jess French. Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
01/03/2156m 36s

179 and a half. OUT OF THE ORDINARY: Marc Stears on the politics of everyday life

Bonus episode here! It’s our full conversation with Marc Stears about his new book, ‘Out of Ordinary’. We chat about the 1945 government, the dilemmas of big change and how politics can reflect our everyday lives. Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
26/02/2130m 1s

179. GENERATION RENTIER: fixing a broken economic model

Hello! What happens when an economy rewards owning things rather than doing things? Author Brett Christophers argues it’s a recipe for soaring inequality and economic stagnation. We chat to Brett about Britain’s “rentier economy” and what to do about it. Then Pascale Robinson from We Own It explains how the problems play out in public sector outsourcing.AND here’s a taster of our chat with Ed’s former speechwriter Marc Stears about his new book “Out of the Ordinary”. Keep an eye out for the full interview later this week. Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
22/02/2154m 3s

178. YOU'RE NEVER TOO OLD: a lifelong learning revolution

Hello! What happened to the UK’s thriving tradition of adult education? How can we rebuild it for the 21st century? Union learning rep Sue Mann tells us about her experience and the importance of having opportunities to learn throughout life. Then friend of the pod Melissa Benn and adult education guru Sir Alan Tuckett talk us through their vision for adult education and how to make it a reality. Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
15/02/2154m 14s

177. PB OR NOT PB: participatory budgeting to give citizens control

Hello! We're talking about a BIG idea that's transforming how towns, cities and even schools are run across the world. It's called participatory budgeting (PB) and involves letting citizens decide how public money is spent. We ask Shari Davis what happened when Boston gave young people control of a $1 million budget. Brazilian political scientist Rebecca Abers explains how the city of Porto Alegre pioneered the idea back in 1989. And PB champion Jez Hall tells us why he's such a fan.PLUS legendary filmmaker Adam Curtis on his new series: ‘Can’t Get You Out of My Head’. Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
08/02/2157m 44s

176 and a half. BONUS EPISODE - THE MEN WHO STARE AT OATS: Encouraging middle-aged men to adopt a more climate-friendly, plant-based diet.

In partnership with Oatly, Geoff and guest co-host Matt Forde dig into how what we eat and drink impacts the environment. Toni Vernelli from Veganuary sets out the link between our diet and the climate crisis, nursery owner Claire Taylor tells the story of what happened when she transformed her business to plant-based, and social psychologist Melanie Joy (author of Why We Love Dogs, Eat Pigs and Wear Cows) explains what it takes to nudge people towards plant-based eating and drinking - especially men-of-a-certain age! (Oatly's research has found that older men are less likely to consider the environmental impact of what they eat and drink. Read more at ) Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
05/02/2156m 46s

176. WHO BUILDS WINDMILLS OFF THE SEA SHORE: lessons from Denmark on offshore wind

Hello! We lead the world on offshore wind power, but not on offshore wind jobs. How can we make sure the green transition delivers good quality work in the UK? Union organiser Hazel Nolan explains the risks of getting things wrong. Thomas Sylvest from Danish Shipping tells us about Denmark’s thriving offshore wind sector. And Chaitanya Kumar from the New Economics Foundation talks us through lessons for the UK.PLUS period poverty campaigner Amika George on her new handbook for activists. Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
01/02/2158m 27s

175. LIVE LONG AND PROSPER: learning from the world’s longevity hotspots

Hello! ‘Blue Zones’ are parts of the world where people live much longer and healthier than average. What’s their secret? We ask journalist Dan Buettner, who came up with the idea after researching longevity hotspots across the globe. Thea Parikos tells us about life in one of the original Blue Zones: the Greek island of Ikaria. And Mayor Betsy Price explains how Fort Worth in Texas has been trying to put the lessons from Blue Zones into practice.  Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
25/01/2157m 33s

174. ACCOUNT(ABILITY) SUSPENDED: who governs online speech?

Hello! With President Trump now banned from many of the world’s largest tech platforms, we’re exploring who should decide what is acceptable online speech. Do tech CEOs have too much power over the public conversation? Yaël Eisenstat explains how her time working at Facebook left her convinced that we need more accountability of Big Tech. Then Professor Lorna Woods talks us through her proposal to regulate tech platforms like public spaces.Plus comedian Tom Allen on his fab new memoir, ‘No Shame’.  Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
18/01/2158m 3s

173. TIME CONTROL: a flexible working future

Hello! In the last year we've seen huge, unplanned changes in how lots of people go about their jobs. We’re asking what it means for the future of flexible working. Jane Van Zyl from Working Families talks about how to give people more control over where, when and how much they work. Karen Mattison from Timewise explains why it makes sense for employers. Then Eero Vaara tells us what we can learn from Finland's flexible working culture.Plus chef Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall on cold water swimming, mindful eating and how to look after our guts.  Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
11/01/2158m 56s

172. BLOWIN’ IN THE WIND: Dale Vince on green energy, vegan football & sky diamonds

Happy New Year! This week we're talking to green energy supremo and founder of Ecotricity, Dale Vince. Dale chats about his extraordinary journey from a single wind turbine in Stroud to building the world’s first vegan football club. AND his next venture: producing diamonds from carbon the sky. BLOWIN’ IN THE WIND: Dale Vince on green energy, vegan football & sky diamondsHappy New Year! This week we're talking to green energy supremo and founder of Ecotricity, Dale Vince. Dale chats about his extraordinary journey from a single wind turbine in Stroud to building the world’s first vegan football club. AND his next venture: producing diamonds from carbon the sky.  Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
04/01/2133m 46s


Hello! It’s the end of December, which can only mean one thing: time to unveil our favourite episodes of the year. We’ve listened back, tallied up the scores and meticulously whittled it down to the top 10. What’s made it to the coveted Number 1 spot? All will be revealed... Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
28/12/2051m 33s

170. WE WISH YOU A-M-A* CHRISTMAS (*Ask Me Anything with Ed and Geoff)

Hello! We've got the mince pies out and put our Christmas jumpers on for our first ever AMA (Ask Me Anything). We answer your questions on everything from Christmas dinner to how we first met. And Geoff finally reveals the leisure centre story... Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
21/12/2052m 29s

169. WESTMINSTER DOESN’T KNOW BEST: time to give power away

Hello! We’re asking the big questions about where power lies in Britain. Why is government so centralised? Why are we so regionally unequal? Are the two linked? Local government guru Tony Travers talks us through the history. Then Sarah Longlands from IPPR North and Neil McInroy from the Centre for Local Economic Strategies chat about where we go from here.Before you go: next week we’re doing our first ever AMA! Anything you’ve always wanted to ask Ed and Geoff? Let us know at or email Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
14/12/2057m 31s

168. BEYOND THE LEAN MEAN GOVERNING MACHINE: reimagining the state

Hello! This week we’re talking about rethinking the role of the state. How can we shift power to both frontline workers and citizens? Sue Goss explains why we should ditch the machine metaphors and think about government as a gardener. East Ayrshire Council’s Katie Kelly talks about how they’ve reimagined their relationship with local residents. And Adam Lent from New Local chats about why he thinks ‘community power’ is the future of public services. Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
07/12/2057m 3s

167. YOU’VE BEEN FRAMED: shaping the political conversation

Hello! We all love a good story. This week we’re talking about ‘framing’ - how the stories and metaphors we use shape how people understand politics, the economy and our society. Framing experts Dora Meade and Nicky Hawkins discuss what it’s all about and what progressives can learn. Then California-based Ian Haney Lopez explains how the ‘Race Class Narrative’ can build a coalition for change. Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
30/11/2057m 43s

166. TO B(CORP) OR NOT TO B: a different way of doing business

Hello! A growing movement of businesses argues we need to rethink their role in society. At the forefront of this are BCorps - a new type of business putting purpose alongside profit. We chat to Paul Lindley, founder of Ella’s Kitchen, about why they became a BCorp and what he’s calling for next. Then academic Lenore Palladino explains how we could embed these principles more widely. PLUS QI elf Anne Miller on everything from cold sausages to Canadian airports... Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
23/11/2058m 10s

165. SHAKE IT LIKE A POLARISED PICTURE: bridging political divides

Hello! We hear a lot about political polarisation, but is it actually worse than the past? And what can we do about it? Journalist Monica Guzman talks about bridging divides in her own family and her work with Braver Angels in the US. Tim Dixon from More in Common explains fascinating research showing Britain isn’t as divided as we think. And former Danish MP Özlem Cekic makes the case for ‘dialogue coffee’.And best-selling author Ibram X Kendi on his new book, 'Be Antiracist’. Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
16/11/2055m 49s

164. DUMP DONALD, SAVE THE WORLD: the road to COP26

Hello! Biden’s victory is a huge moment for climate politics. But with just 12 months until COP26 in Glasgow next year, we’re asking how to ensure the vital climate summit is a success. We chat to architect of the Paris Agreement Christiana Figueres about what’s at stake next year. WWF’s Katie White talks about the role of the climate movement. Journalist Isabel Hilton explains why China’s net zero pledge is such a big deal. And Josh Tregale tells us about the ‘Mock COP’ conference organised by young activists.  Hosted on Acast. See for more information.

163. DATA, MINE: taking back control from Big Tech

Hello! We hear a lot about the problems of the data economy. How can we take back control? Philosopher Carissa Veliz explains why governments need to step in to protect our privacy. Then Jack Hardinges from the Open Data Institute talks about exciting new ideas to help steward data for the common good.AND broadcasting royalty David Dimbleby is here to discuss ‘The Fault Line’ - his new podcast about the run-up to the Iraq War. We chat to David about politics, podcasting and the art of good interviews. Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
02/11/2056m 36s


Hello! This year’s Black Lives Matter protests are thought to be the biggest in US history and across the world mass movements are on the rise. But how do these movements shift the national conversation? What works in driving political change? We chat to social movement experts Deva Woodly and Hahrie Han about language, organising and the strategies of success.Plus Twitter sensation Michael Spicer on being the ‘man in the room next door’ Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
26/10/2057m 43s

161. SWEET STREAMS AREN’T MADE OF THIS: what about the musicians?

Hello! Music streaming has made it easier than ever to listen to our favourite artists, but too many musicians earn next to nothing from it. We chat to Naomi Pohl from the Musicians’ Union and Tom Gray from the Broken Record campaign about fixing problems with the industry. But first, violinist Tasmin Little talks about why musicians need more support during the crisis.PLUS Blue Peter legend Konnie Huq on reimagining our favourite fairy tales. Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
18/10/2057m 0s

160. SQUAD SAVE AMERICA: from Ilhan Omar to the Sunrise Movement

Hello! This week we have two VERY inspiring conversations about US politics. Congresswoman Ilhan Omar - one of the ‘squad’ of young progressive Democrats -  talks about her life, her politics and how she approaches the crises facing America today. Then young activist Will Lawrence explains how the Sunrise Movement are shifting the conversation on climate and why a Green New Deal might be closer than we think. Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
11/10/2058m 18s

159. CTRL ALT-LABOUR: organising in the modern workplace

Hello! What’s the future of workplace organising? This week’s guests are full of ideas. Alex Marshall talks about organising couriers in the gig economy. Michelle Miller explains how Coworker is providing a platform for workers in the US. And New Zealand union supremo Richard Wagstaff talks us through their plan to rebalance power in low paid sectors.PLUS the super cheerful Bernadette Russell talks about hope, kindness and Ed’s karaoke. Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
04/10/2058m 59s

158. THE WINNER TAKES IT ALL: the dark side of meritocracy

Hello! We often hear about the idea of meritocracy. But philosopher Michael Sandel thinks it isn’t such a good thing. His new book ’The Tyranny of Merit’ argues the rhetoric of meritocracy is fuelling polarisation and the rise of far right populism. We have a really thought-provoking chat with Michael about his argument and what it means for our attitudes to education, work and our fellow citizens.  Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
27/09/2056m 20s

157. WHY DID IT TAKE A PANDEMIC?: valuing the everyday economy

Hello! How can we ensure essential workers are at the heart of policymaking? Here’s an idea that could change our way of doing things: it’s called the everyday or foundational economy. Care assistant Chika and GMB social care lead Kelly tell us what recent months have been like for those on the frontline. Prof Karel Williams explains what the 'foundational economy’ actually means. And Josh Miles from the FSB talks about the difference it’s making in Wales.  Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
20/09/2058m 54s

156. BOND BABY BOND: guaranteeing an inheritance for all

Hello! What if everyone was given a bit of wealth as they hit adulthood? That’s the idea behind Child Trust Funds - established back in the 2000s and coming to fruition for the first cohort of 18 year olds this month. Godfather of Child Trust Funds Gavin Kelly explains the story behind them and why we should resurrect something similar today. We ask Kerry McWalter what she plans to do with hers. And Naomi Zewde tells us why a similar proposal for ‘baby bonds’ could make a serious dent on the racial wealth gap in the US. Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
13/09/2049m 17s

155. WHO RUN THE WORLD: Julia Gillard on women in politics

Hello! We're back with a bang from our summer hols. Former Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard joins us from down under to chat about women in politics. She's co-written a fab new book looking at the experiences of women politicians from Jacinda Ardern to Theresa May. We speak about what they’ve found and how we can tackle barriers to equal representation. But first we ask Julia about THAT speech…Subscribe to the Cheerful newsletter: Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
06/09/2057m 41s

154. LIVING BETTER: a conversation with Alastair Campbell

Hello! In our latest extended chat we’re speaking to Alastair Campbell about his new book ‘Living Better’. Alastair talks about his experience of depression, the impact it has had on his life and work, and how he has learned to survive with it.In the UK and Ireland, Samaritans can be contacted on 116 123 or email International helplines can be found at offers a range of mental health information, support and advice at Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
30/08/2044m 4s

153. MY NAME IS WHY: a conversation with Lemn Sissay

Hello! Another summer conversation for you. It’s our extended chat with poet and writer Lemn Sissay about 'My Name is Why' - his powerful memoir about growing up in the care system. Lemn talks about his 30 year battle to access his records and why it was so important to write about his story.  Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
23/08/2027m 7s

152. ABOLISH SILICON VALLEY: a conversation with Wendy Liu

Hello! Here’s the second of our summer conversations. We speak to former tech insider turned critic Wendy Liu about her new book, Abolish Silicon Valley. Wendy chats about failing in love with tech as a teenager, her experience in the industry and the complex problems of Big Tech. Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
16/08/2033m 2s

151. SEX, POWER, MONEY: a conversation with Sara Pascoe

Hello! We’re doing something a bit different over the next few weeks and giving you extended conversations with some fab guests. This week: comedian and writer Sara Pascoe on her book Sex, Power, Money. Sara chats about the complexity around issues like sex work and porn, how her mind has changed, and why it’s so important to listen to people’s own experiences.PLUS the story of how she ended up working with Robbie Williams’ dad. Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
09/08/2034m 17s

150. 150 NOT OUT: so what have we learned?

Hello! We’ve done it! Reasons to be Cheerful has hit the big the 1-5-0. Reunited at a safe distance in Ed’s garden, we thought it was time for a bit of self-indulgence… We chat about what we’ve learned, pick out the memorable moments, and explore some themes that have come up again and again since that first episode nearly three years ago.PLUS a couple of birthday surprises! Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
02/08/201h 4m


Hello! In the last few months towns and cities around the world have experimented with closing roads, expanding pavements and pop-up cycle lanes. Does this offer a vision of a better way of using space on our streets? Greater Manchester walking and cycling supremo Chris Boardman talks us through what’s happened in the region and their plans for the future. And former New York transport commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan explains why this is an important moment to rethink our approach to getting around.Plus very cheerful comedian Josie Long on lockdown, Twitch & the future of live comedy. Read Farhad Manjoo's piece on the vision of a future without cars: Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
26/07/2055m 31s

148. CUTTING ZUCK’S BUCKS: can an ad boycott change Facebook?

Hello! It’s a story that brings together Mark Zuckerberg, Nick Clegg and the biggest civil rights groups in the US... This week we’re talking about the incredible success of the Stop Hate for Profit Facebook ad boycott. Jessica González, one of the leading figures in the campaign, explains how they’ve persuaded 1,000 advertisers to boycott Facebook over a lack of action on hate speech. Digital organiser Melissa Ryan talks about why social media has such a problem with extremist content. And the Centre for Countering Digital Hate’s Imran Ahmed tells us why mobilising advertisers works. Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
19/07/2058m 56s

147. CHILDCARE MATTERS: learning lessons from lockdown

Hello! In recent months, many working parents have had to juggle looking after kids at home with their usual jobs. Research shows this has had a disproportionate impact on working mothers. We talk to researcher Christine Berry and Lucie Stephens from the New Economics Foundation about our reliance on childcare, the crisis now facing the sector, and how to ensure it is truly valued in the coronavirus recovery. Then Mary-Ann Stephenson from the Women’s Budget group discusses the broader economic impact of the last few months on women.Plus singer-songwriter turned CBeebies star Nick Cope is here to talk about his Popcast! Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
12/07/2058m 14s

146. NO ONE SHOULD GO HUNGRY: tackling the scandal of food poverty

Hello! Even before lockdown began, millions of people in the UK regularly struggled to afford to eat and the current crisis has only made this worse. This week we're talking about Britain’s hunger problem. Food bank manager Jon Taylor explains the huge rise in food poverty that he’s seen. Kath Dalmeny from Sustain talks solutions, including the case for a new 'right to food'. And we ask Unni Kjærnes about the situation in Norway.Plus director, screenwriter and king of romcoms Richard Curtis chats about Make My Money Matter - his new campaign on how our pensions are invested.Sign up to the Cheerful newsletter: Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
05/07/2057m 36s

145. THE SHOW MUST GO ON: why we need to save the arts

Hello! With 70% British theatres on the brink of collapse and hundreds of thousands of arts jobs at risk, we’re talking about the need to save our arts and culture sector. Playwright James Graham sets out the threat to theatres and what government needs to do. Our FDR expert David Woolner is back to explain the huge art programmes in the New Deal. Then Berlin-based journalist Kate Brown talks about Germany’s ambitious culture bailout.Plus poet Lemn Sissay on lockdown, judging the Booker Prize, and his powerful memoir ‘My Name is Why’.Sign up to the Cheerful newsletter: Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
28/06/2053m 40s

144. WE ARE OUR HISTORY: time to understand our past

Hello! The recent Black Lives Matter protests have led to renewed calls to rethink our understanding of British history. We’re talking about how to address the widespread lack of knowledge of black British history, as well as how the legacies of slavery and Empire shape racism today. Lavinya Stennett talks about how the Black Curriculum is trying to transform how history is taught in schools. Dr Richard Benjamin from the International Slavery Museum explains how museums shape our understanding. And Michelle Gayle and Ruth Ibegbuna talk us through the World Reimagined - an art project opening up the conversation about Britain's past. Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
21/06/2056m 40s

143. NO WORKER LEFT BEHIND: planning a just transition

Hello! How can we support workers in high carbon sectors as we transition to a net zero economy? Phil Asquith tells us about the legendary Lucas Plan in the 1970s, when Phil and his colleagues came up with alternative ideas for production when their jobs were at risk. Spanish Deputy Prime Minister Teresa Ribera explains how their approach to the 'just transition’ is shaping Spain's recovery from coronavirus. And Tim Page from the TUC talks about what we need to do in the UK today. Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
14/06/2058m 30s


After George Floyd's murder, Black Lives Matter protests are again taking place around the world against police violence and systemic racism. We're asking what we can all do to make this a moment of real change. Barrister and former Deputy Mayor of London Matthew Ryder talks about the actions we can take on the specific issue of how black people are treated by the police. And we speak to Professor Kalwant Bhopal about her book, ‘White Privilege: The Myth of a Post-Racial Society’.  Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
07/06/2054m 2s

141 and a half. ORDER ORDER: in conversation with John Bercow

Bonus episode here! It’s a longer conversation with former Speaker of the House of Commons, John Bercow. We chat to John about life as Speaker, the evolution of his politics & what he’s planning to do next.  Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
04/06/2033m 11s

141. THE ZOOM WHERE IT HAPPENS: building a digital society for all

Hello! Over the last few months, we’ve been more reliant on the internet than ever to work, stay in touch with each other, and educate our kids. What impact will this have on the society we build coming out of the crisis? Anett Numa explains why Estonia was better prepared than most countries for living life online. Helen Milner from the Good Things Foundations talks about how lockdown has exposed new digital divides. And we ask Stanford economist Nick Bloom about why home working is here to stay.Plus John Bercow on life as Speaker of the House of Commons.AND buy previous guest Gavin Osborn's song raising money for the NHS - Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
31/05/2055m 53s

140. MOBILISING A ZERO CARBON ARMY: green jobs for young people

Hello! More than a million young people could be unemployed in the wake of the current crisis. How can we create opportunities for young people to find work and contribute to tackling the climate crisis? Historian David Woolner talks through lessons from the Civilian Conservation Corps - established in the US in response to the Great Depression. Youth Futures Foundation’s Anna Smee and the Resolution Foundation’s Kathleen Henehan discuss the problem of youth unemployment today. And Martin Moore explains his exciting idea for a Youth Environment Service. Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
24/05/2056m 23s

139. A MISSION FOR SORTITION: citizens’ assemblies & the climate crisis

Hello! This weekend was the final meeting of the UK’s Climate Assembly. As BIG fans of citizens’ assemblies, we explore how it went and what comes next. Assembly member Ibrahim talks about his experience. Climate expert Becky Willis explains how we can revolutionise democracy to tackle the climate crisis. And Shared Futures' Pete Bryant argues for local climate juries in towns and cities across the country.AND Big Issue founder John Bird on how we can support the magazine during lockdown.But before all that, we have a special guest... Find 'Talking Politics: History of Ideas' here to the Cheerful newsletter: Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
17/05/2055m 31s

138. PEOPLE ARE GOOD: a truly radical idea

Hello! What would society look like if we started from the assumption that people are fundamentally decent? We speak to historian Rutger Bregman about ‘Humankind’ - his new book arguing for a positive view of human nature. Then we talk to COVID mutual aid volunteer Sam Maher about how our instinct in crises is often to help others. And to constructive journalism campaigner Jodie Jackson about why the news should go beyond showing the worst of humanity. Subscribe to the Cheerful newsletter: Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
10/05/2058m 32s

137. TACKLING ROUGH SLEEPING: why does it take a pandemic?

Hello! Thousands of rough sleepers have been given a place to stay during the lockdown. If we can do it in a pandemic, why not the rest of the time? We talk to Matt Downie from Crisis and Maggie Brunjes from Homeless Network Scotland about how we can build on the last few weeks to end rough sleeping for good. Then Danny Dorling discusses what this shows about our ability to tackle injustice and why he thinks the world was slowing down even before the current crisis.Listen to episode 26 on Housing First: to the Cheerful newsletter: Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
03/05/2054m 27s

136. STRINGS ATTACHED: designing better bailouts

Hello! Some sectors are likely to need further support during this crisis. But should government attach conditions to corporate bailouts, or even seek an equity stake in bailed out companies? Danish MP Rune Lund explains why everyone’s talking about Denmark’s approach. Then Common Wealth’s Adrienne Buller and economist Mariana Mazzucato discuss the conditions they’d like to see over here.ANDFormer table tennis champion turned best-selling author Matthew Syed chats about his book on the importance of diverse thinking. Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
26/04/2051m 55s

135. THIS CHANGES EVERYTHING?: learning from crises of the past

Hello! What determines whether crises lead to major social change? We talk to two historians about lessons from the past. Walter Scheidel explains his argument that economic inequality has only ever been significantly reduced by catastrophes and war. Then Theda Skocpol discusses the impact that ideas and social movements can have.Plus ParkRun founder Paul Sinton-Hewitt on the story behind its phenomenal success. Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
19/04/2058m 9s

134. A GREEN RECOVERY: the case for a climate stimulus

Hello! We’re talking about the potential for a green stimulus to help power the economic recovery from coronavirus. Economist Michael Jacobs makes the case about why investment in green projects can boost the economy and drive the transition to net zero. Hannah Martin explains what Green New Deal UK are calling for as we emerge from the crisis. And LSE’s Nick Robins talks through lessons from green investment after the financial crisis. Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
12/04/2055m 39s

133. IN THIS TOGETHER: global cooperation on a global crisis

Hello! The current crisis has demonstrated how interconnected our world is. So why are countries so divided in their response? We’re talking about the need for global cooperation on tackling coronavirus. Science journalist Laura Spinney explains how the 1918 flu sparked an international approach to public health. Jeremy Farrar from the Wellcome Trust tells us why this is needed now more than ever. Then historian Adam Tooze discusses global coordination on the economic response.AND we chat to Gen Ashley - one of thousands of volunteers using their 3D printers to create face masks for the NHS. Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
05/04/2051m 48s

132. LOOKING OUT FOR OUR KIDS: steering children through difficult times

Hello! This week we're discussing how to support children and young people during the current crisis. We ask educational psychologist Dan O’Hare how to talk to children about Coronavirus and look out for their wellbeing. Headteacher Jayne Kennedy tells us about the amazing work schools are doing for pupils and their families. Then Becky Francis from the Education Endowment Foundation explains how we can minimise the impact on educational inequality.ANDAlex Smith and Amy Harvey from the Cares Family on how they’re continuing to tackle social isolation in these tough times. Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
29/03/2057m 18s


Extra episode here. We’re following up on this week's chat about the economic response to coronavirus by asking what more government needs to do. The Resolution Foundation's Torsten Bell and journalist Ellie Mae O’Hagan highlight the glaring omission of help for the self-employed and others, then discuss ideas for strengthening our social safety net. Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
25/03/2021m 29s

131. WHATEVER IT TAKES: economics in times of crisis

Hello! We're in different places but will keep bringing you episodes during these strange and challenging times. This week we’re exploring the economic response to coronavirus. Former Obama adviser Jason Furman discusses the scale of the current crisis and his plan for universal cash payments in the US. Economist Birthe Larsen explains why Denmark moved so fast on supporting wages. Then Lord Stewart Wood shares lessons from his time in Downing Street at the height of the 2008 financial crisis.AND podcasting legend Andrew Hunter Murray chats about QI, fish facts and writing his first novel.Subscribe to the Cheerful Book Club feed. Search ‘Cheerful Book Club’ or go to Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
23/03/2055m 45s

130. COME FARM WITH ME: a sustainable future for food and land

Hello! It’s our first live show of the year (and decade!), recorded last week at Kings Place’s Nature Unwrapped. We’re discussing food, sustainable farming and how changing the way we use land can help tackle the climate crisis. Featuring top guests Belinda Gordon from Green Alliance and Vicki Hird from Sustain. Then the wonderful Robin Ince pitches his ideas on stargazing, newspaper front pages, compulsory knitting and cutting down on our opinions.Subscribe to the Cheerful Book Club feed. Search ‘Cheerful Book Club’ or go to Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
16/03/2053m 1s

129. YOU SAY YOU WANT SOME DEVOLUTION: a radical plan for giving power away

Hello! Britain is one of the most centralised countries in the world. How can we ensure towns, cities and regions have real power over their areas? We talk to Bristol mayor Marvin Rees about what he could do with more powers. Sarah Longlands explains why IPPR North are calling for radical English devolution. Then Professor Sabine Kuhlmann discusses what we can learn from Germany (a champion of decentralisation). Plus a special visit from friend of the pod and top adviser to Iceland’s PM, Halla Gunnarsdóttir!Subscribe to the Cheerful Book Club feed. Search ‘Cheerful Book Club’ or go to Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
09/03/2055m 26s

128. WHY CAN’T I GET MY PHONE REPAIRED?: fighting the tech giants

Hello! Why do our phones slow down with each new update? Why could it be cheaper for Geoff to replace his broken vacuum than get it fixed? We speak to Janet Gunter from the Restart Project and Duncan McCann from the New Economics Foundation about planned obsolescence, our electronics consumption and why we need a ‘right to repair’. Then Adele Chasson explains how French laws are being used to challenge the worst offenders.AND Larry Sanders (Bernie’s big bro!) talks about the presidential primaries, his brother’s first election and why he thinks a democratic socialist could make it to the White House.Subscribe to the Cheerful Book Club feed. Search ‘Cheerful Book Club’ or go to tickets for our Kings Place show on Thursday 12th March Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
02/03/2057m 5s

127. MAN ENOUGH: promoting positive masculinity

Hello! What are society’s expectations of masculinity and how can we promote positive expressions of it? We chat to The Guardian’s Iman Amrani about her series on modern masculinity and Ben Hurst from the Good Lad Initiative about the workshops they run exploring these themes. Then Nathan Roberts explains the work his charity, A Band of Brothers, are doing with men involved in the criminal justice system.Subscribe to the Cheerful Book Club feed. Search ‘Cheerful Book Club’ or go to tickets for our Kings Place show on Thursday 12th March Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
24/02/2051m 35s

126. THE FOUR DAY FUTURE: building a movement for shorter working hours

Hello! We love the four day week so much that - in a Reasons to be Cheerful first - we’re revisiting the idea. What are the lessons from how it went down in the election? And how we build a movement to make the four day week happen? Friend of the pod Andrew Barnes tells us why he’s travelling the world to promote it. Then Rachel Kay and Will Stronge discuss where we go next in the UK.AND we’re treating you to a preview of this week’s Cheerful Book Club with the wonderful Rachel Maddow!Subscribe to the Cheerful Book Club feed. Search ‘Cheerful Book Club’ or go to Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
17/02/2055m 59s


Hello! We’ve wrapped up warm and headed outside for a good old stroll... because this week we’re diving into the wonders of walking! We speak to neuroscientist and walking champion Shane O’Mara about why it’s so good for our body and mind. Then Joe Irvin from Living Streets and transport planner Susan Claris talk about how we can redesign our public spaces around people rather than cars.AND we chat to Grace Campbell about podcasting, feminism and why she’d never go into politics. Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
10/02/2054m 7s

124. I'LL HAVE MY CHICKEN UNCHLORINATED PLEASE: a progressive vision for trade

Hello! Now we’ve left the EU, Britain will have an independent trade policy for the first time in decades. We ask Ruth Bergan from the Trade Justice Movement and Nicola Smith from the TUC what progressives should be calling for in future trade deals. Then Todd Tucker explains what we can learn from the trade debate amongst Democrats in the US.AND food writer and campaigner Jack Monroe chats about being vegan(ish)Subscribe to the Cheerful Book Club feed. Search ‘Cheerful Book Club’ or go to tickets for our Kings Place show on Thursday 12th March Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
03/02/2055m 57s

123. OIL SEE YOU IN COURT: suing the climate culprits

Hello! Can legal action help fight the climate crisis? In December, the Dutch Supreme Court became the first in the world to force a government to reduce carbon emissions - a major decision in a global wave of climate cases. We speak to Tessa Khan from the legal team behind the Dutch case and Tim Crosland, who’s brought similar action in the UK. Then Pat Parenteau explains how US cities are suing fossil fuel companies for their contribution to the crisis.AND linguist turned podcaster Anat Shenker-Osorio shares what she’s learned about the language behind progressive victories.Subscribe to the Cheerful Book Club feed. Search ‘Cheerful Book Club’ or go to tickets for our Kings Place show on Thursday 12th March  Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
27/01/2054m 57s

Introducing: Cheerful Book Club

We’re launching a new podcast! The first episode of Cheerful Book Club is released today, featuring Rana Foroohar on big tech.Subscribe wherever you get your podcasts. Search ‘Cheerful Book Club’ or go to Cheerful on TwitterLike Cheerful on FacebookLet us know what you think Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
23/01/201m 35s

122. SCHOOL OF ROCKING THE BOAT: training the activists of tomorrow

Hello! Ed got into a conversion with young campaigners on the tube and was so inspired that it’s sparked a whole episode. Turns out they were involved in Advocacy Academy, a training scheme for young activists in South London. We talk to Advocacy Academy graduates, Rochelle Meaden and Sima Mangal, plus founder Amelia Viney about how it works and the campaigns it’s motivated. Then we turn to Olivia Clarke and Katie Cosgrave at Reclaim, who do amazing work boosting the voices of working class young people in Greater Manchester. Subscribe to the new Cheerful Book Club feed!Get tickets for our Kings Place show on Thursday 12th March  Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
20/01/2054m 38s

121. THE SKY’S THE LIMIT: reining in the fat cat pay gap

Hello! The typical FTSE 100 CEO only had to work until 5pm last Monday (6th January) to earn as much as the average worker in the entire year. We chat to Deborah Hargreaves, director of the High Pay Centre, about rising executive pay and why she advocates including workers on company boards to tackle it. Then legal history whizz Ewan McGaughey explains what we can learn from the history of worker representation in the UK and around the world.AND Fabulous author Nina Stibbe is here to talk about her latest book, ‘Reasons to be Cheerful’ (nice title…!)Subscribe to the new Cheerful Book Club feed!Get tickets for our Kings Place show on Thursday 12th March  Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
13/01/2057m 53s

120. ON FIRE: in conversation with Naomi Klein

Hello! We’re kicking off the new year with this live recording of Ed in conversation with author and activist Naomi Klein. They talk about the global climate movement, building support for a Green New Deal and Naomi’s latest book ’On Fire’.Subscribe to the new Cheerful Book Club feed!Get tickets for our Kings Place show on Thursday 12th March  Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
06/01/2056m 59s


Happy New Year (nearly)! It’s that time of year again: we’re counting down our top ten episodes of 2019. What’s going up? What’s going down? And what’s a non-mover? With the traditional special guest introduction from Tony Blackburn!Listen to the full episodes:BACK TO THE FUTURE: representing the coming generationsTREEDISTRIBUTION: shrubtastic reasons to plantA SOCIAL HOME REVOLUTION: the history and future of council housingREASONS TO BE BESIDE THE SEASIDEI FOUGHT THE LAW AND... I WON: the art of successful campaignsLIVE AT ABBEY ROAD: fixing music educationWHO’S AFRAID OF GDP: shifting to a wellbeing economyTHE KIDS ARE ALL RIGHT: pupil climate strikes and the green new dealBORN TO (PARK) RUN: Geoff and Ed’s excellent adventureEMPIRE STATE OF MIND: overhauling the history we teach Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
30/12/1952m 38s


Hello! We all know the best way to spread Christmas cheer is playing your favourite podcast for all to hear… Ed and Geoff have each brought a friend along to this year’s Christmas party. Lord Stewart Wood and Paloma Faith join us for mince pies, crackers and a chat about their highlights of 2019. Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
23/12/1949m 27s


Hello! There aren’t many reasons to be cheerful this week, but we thought we’d talk about what the election result means for the big ideas we’ve been discussing over the last couple of years. Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
16/12/1930m 4s

116. YOU HAVE TO VOTE: the case for compulsory participation

Hello! Geoff’s hopped on a train up to Doncaster to visit Ed on the campaign trail. After their catch up, we explore the argument for compulsory voting in elections. Judith Brett tells us about how Australia got compulsory voting back in the 1920s and the impact it’s had on their politics. Then political scientist Sarah Birch argues that it’s time for the UK to follow suit.ANDComedian Glenn Moore returns to share his thoughts on the election news this week. Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
09/12/1953m 10s

115. GOING BACK TO MY GRASSROOTS: the return of the ground campaign

Hello! Away from the set piece speeches and TV interviews, British elections are fought by thousands of party activists going door-to-door to speak to voters. But what impact does this really have and why are political campaigns around the world increasingly looking to the ‘ground campaign’? Becky Bond tells us the story of how her team pioneered a new way of involving volunteers in the Bernie Sanders campaign. Then Vincent Pons and Simon Kruschinski explain why door-to-door canvassing has made a return to French and German elections in recent years.ANDComedian Rosie Jones comes back to talk to us about what's keeping her cheerful in the election news this week Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
02/12/1949m 54s

114. A VOTE FOR THE PLANET: making this the climate election

Hello! The climate crisis is higher on the political agenda than ever before, with more than half of people saying it will influence how they vote in the UK general election. We’re discussing how to ensure that this is the first ‘climate election’ with Alice Bell from climate campaign Possible and Fatima Ibrahim from Green New Deal UK. Then Catherine Abreu talks us through the role of climate policy in Canada’s recent election and what the rest of the world can learn from it.ANDComedian Jen Brister joins us to sift through the more hopefully stories in another week of general election campaigning Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
25/11/1958m 57s

113. WHY AM I SEEING THIS AD: regulating campaigns in the digital age

Hello! Why are political adverts banned on TV and radio but allowed all over websites like Facebook and Google? Is it time to update our campaign laws for the 21st century? Sam Jeffers explains how campaign group ‘Who Targets Me’ are opening up the black box of online ads in elections. Then digital campaigning expert Kate Dommett talks about why current electoral rules aren’t up to the job and what we need to do to fix them.ANDThe wonderful Sooz Kempner is here to chat through this week of the election campaign.  Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
18/11/1948m 17s

Cheerful Election Daily Preview - 27 DAYS TO GO - NHS distractions and speedier connections

Here's a preview of a new spin off we have with Owen Jones ahead of the general election. Head to or search for Cheerful Election Daily in your podcast app of choice and subscribe27 DAYS TO GO Episode 1 sees Owen looking over the country, how the surveys are looking and at the age of voters. Why are the Tories so keen to bring up immigration right now? What's Labour about to announce which could save every household a chunk of cash each month, bring us up to par with other countries around the world and allow people to live out of cities? Is playing into the contrast with Johnson going to be Corbyn's best tactic in the debates? Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
15/11/1930m 52s

112. THE ELECTION WILL BE TELEVISED: leaders’ debates and democracy

Hello! The UK was late to the party on holding TV election debates. What can we learn from other countries about how to do them well? Nick Anstead talks us through why we avoided debates for so long and where we’re still going wrong. US expert Diana Carlin explains the history of presidential debates and why she thinks they’ve been good for democracy. Then Graham Fox discusses Canada’s recent experience of overhauling how their debates are run.Donate to the Reread flood recovery fund here: to the South Yorkshire Flood Disaster Appeal here: Pierre Novellie returns to pick apart the first week of the General Election campaigning Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
11/11/1955m 57s

111. UNIVERSAL JOBS GUARANTEE: 21st century full employment

Hello! What if government promised a job to anyone who needed one at any time? That’s the principle behind an idea gaining traction in the US: the universal jobs guarantee. Economic historian Lord Robert Skidelsky explains how governments have approached full employment in the past and why a jobs guarantee is now the best way to achieve it. Then US expert Pavlina Tcherneva talks about how the policy could work in practice.ANDWe talk to period poverty activist Amika George. Amika tells us about setting up the Free Periods campaign, how they achieved a shift in government policy, and where it goes next. Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
04/11/1953m 44s

110. (F)AIR MILES: the case for a frequent flyer tax

Hello! With 15% population taking 70% flights in the UK, is a frequent flyer tax the fairest way to tackle the contribution of aviation to the climate crisis? We talk to Professor Alice Larkin about the problem of aviation emissions and why technology isn’t coming to the rescue any time soon. Then Leo Murray makes the argument for a frequent flyer tax and explains how it would work in practice.AND Filmmakers Ken Loach and Paul Laverty talk about their latest collaboration on ‘I’m Sorry We Missed You’. They discuss the problems of the gig economy, their approach to filmmaking and why they remain optimists despite the issues their films depict. Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
28/10/1956m 32s

109. FAKE IT ‘TIL YOU BREAK IT: challenging the spread of disinformation

Hello! From Russian bots to deep fakes, what threat does fake news actually pose and how can we stop it spreading? We hear from social psychologist Sander van der Linden about why we believe fake news and how “prebunking” can help us to spot it. Samantha Bradshaw explains how tech firm business models contribute to the problem. Then Vesa Häkkinen talks us through Finland’s anti-disinformation campaign, which includes using teddy bears to teach toddlers about the media.AND Tom Noble AKA Roger Gammon is here to talk about the book we’ve all been waiting for: ‘Chaos with Ed Miliband’. His account of Ed’s last few years is uncannily accurate… Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
20/10/1956m 37s

108. KEEP IT CIVIL (AND DISOBEDIENT): the power of non-violent direct action

Hello! Is mobilising 3.5% of the population all it takes to achieve political change? As Extinction Rebellion continue their latest action in London, we’re talking about the ideas behind non-violent civil disobedience. We hear from some of those involved in Extinction Rebellion, before spokesperson Zion Lights talks us through their theory of change. Historian Talat Ahmed explains Gandhi’s approach to civil disobedience and how this has inspired movements since. And Serbian activist Srdja Popovic tells us about the principles of effective non-violent strategy that he teaches to campaigners around the world. Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
13/10/1954m 53s


Hello! With around 10% of UK shops currently sitting empty, we’re talking about how communities can lead the revival of our high streets. Are Ed’s make-your-own sandwich shops part of the answer? Our experts aren’t convinced… Professor Cathy Parker tells us about the extent of current problems and why concern about high streets is nothing new. Vidhya Alakeson from Power to Change argues that the future of high streets lies in community businesses. Then ‘Mr Bishy Road’ Johnny Hayes explains the story of turning around Bishopthorpe Road in York. AND Hi-fi tycoon and all-round great guy Julian Richer talks about the lessons he’s learned from decades in business, handing Richer Sounds over to its employees & his vision for ethical capitalism. Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
06/10/1955m 7s

106. BACK TO THE FUTURE: representing the coming generations

Hello! When they go short-term, we go long-term… This week we’re talking about how to represent the needs of future generations in decision-making. Sophie Howe, Future Generations Commissioner for Wales, tells us about her job and what the rest of the world can learn from it. Then policy wonks Laurie Laybourn-Langton and Andrea Westall discuss the causes of short-termism in politics, its impact on key issues such as the environmental emergency and how to design new institutions to overcome it.ANDLegal eagle Lord Falconer is here to chat about what on earth happened in the Supreme Court last week and what the judgement says about Britain’s unwritten constitution. Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
29/09/1956m 38s

105. SWEET CHILD(CARE) OF MINE: investing in universal provision

Hello! Here’s an episode you’ve been asking us to do for a while: we’re talking about the case for universal childcare. Susanne Garvis explains what we can learn from the childcare utopia of Sweden, where she spends more on pre-school for her puppy than her daughter. Then childcare experts Claire Harding and Jerome de Henau discuss problems with the UK system & how we could achieve universal provision. With benefits from parental employment to child development, it’s a no-brainer…ANDWriter Stella Duffy is here to talk about Fun Palaces! First dreamt up in the 1960s, Stella and her team have made the vision of culture for all, and by all, a reality. Turns out it’s not too late to set up your own for the Fun Palaces weekend coming up in October. Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
22/09/1954m 40s

104. MISSING MILLIONS: time for automatic voter registration

Hello! With an election on the cards, we’re talking about voter registration. The Resolution Foundation’s Laura Gardiner explains the relatively recent phenomenon of low youth turnout and Mete Coban tells us about what his organisation, My Life My Say, is doing about it. Then Danielle Root, voting rights expert at the Centre for American Progress, talks us through the success of new ‘Motor Voter’ laws, which have brought automatic voter registration to a number of US states.ANDWe have a brand new section for you! Anna Taylor, co-founder of the UK Student Climate Network, is our first ever ‘cheerful person’. She chats about her journey into climate activism, plotting in Camberwell’s Costa and why we should all join the Global Climate Strike later this week. Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
15/09/1951m 10s

103. THE HOUSE ALWAYS WINS: addressing the gambling crisis

Hello! There are 430,000 problem gamblers in the UK, with a further 2 million at risk of developing gambling problems. What’s driving this ‘hidden epidemic’ and what do we do about it? Charles and Liz Ritchie from Gambling with Lives share the story of their son who took his life after problems with gambling and discuss their campaign for reform. Then Henrietta Bowden-Jones, director of the National Problem Gambling Clinic, and Jim Orford, Emeritus Professor of Clinical & Community Psychology at University of Birmingham, talk about the need to take a public health approach to gambling and what this should mean for government policy.In the UK and Ireland, Samaritans can be contacted on 116 123 or email International helplines can be found at Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
08/09/1956m 57s

102. EMPIRE STATE OF MIND: overhauling the history we teach

Hello! Has our failure to understand Britain’s history played a role in recent political events? This week, we discuss teaching about the British Empire in schools with Professor Gurminder Bhambra, expert in postcolonial studies, and Jason Todd, former history teacher and now lecturer in history education. They give us an overview of the British Empire, before explaining its current place in history lessons and how we could do much better.ANDComedian John Kearns wants MPs paid more, wants fines for people who don't vote, wants a couple of weeks in Portsmouth under witness protection and wants to know where the rich people live Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
01/09/1957m 29s

101. (NET) ZERO TO HERO: tackling the climate emergency

Hello! At this live show recorded at the Underbelly Festival in London we’re talking about the climate emergency, Extinction Rebellion and reaching net zero carbon emissions. What’s the scale of the crisis? How do we reach net zero? And what’s it got to do with Geoff’s favourite mangos? We’re joined by Emily Shuckburgh, a leading climate scientist; Chris Stark, chief executive of the Committee on Climate Change; and Farhana Yamin, environmental lawyer turned Extinction Rebellion activist.ANDRadio host and fellow podcaster, Emily Dean (and her dog Raymond!), bought us fines for probing questions about childlessness, dogs in every office and grief badges Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
25/08/1956m 58s

100. LIVE AT ABBEY ROAD: fixing music education

Hello! It's the 100th episode of Reasons to be Cheerful! In this very special show, recorded live at the world’s most famous recording studio, we talk to a fantastic bunch of guests about the power of music education. Deborah Annetts from the Incorporated Society of Musicians and music teacher Jimmy Rotherham discuss the crisis of music education in schools and how much better it could be. Then KT Tunstall, Giles Martin and Rebecca Lucy Taylor tell us about their experiences of education, working in the music industry and recording at Abbey Road Studios. Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
18/08/1958m 55s

99. WRITTEN IN THE STARS: the argument for a codified constitution

Hello! Summer’s here and the time is right for… the first of our episodes recorded live at the Underbelly Festival. Britain is one of the only countries in the world without a codified constitution. Is it finally time to do something about it? Professor Jeff King & Dr Hannah White discuss how our constitution works, its role in Bre**t and whether this could be an opportunity for reform. Jeff with a J talks us through his democratic argument for adopting a written constitution (spoiler: includes sortition!). ANDComedian Nish Kumar wants to ban the term "climate change" in favour of a term that sounds more urgent, an age based social media expiry, and a NO MORE politicians on comedy panel shows Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
11/08/191h 5m

98. SMELLS LIKE COMMUNITY SPIRIT: bridging the intergenerational divide

Hello! This week we talk to two inspiring organisations getting people involved in their communities to break down divides and tackle loneliness. We’re joined by Alex Smith from the Cares Family, a charity bringing young professionals together with older people, and Ivo Gormley from GoodGym, which encourages people to combine exercise with doing good. Then Emma and Joyce from Bristol tell us about the impact that GoodGym has had on them.ANDComedian Joe Bor want's to see a hairier Love Island, no drinking pressure, no more joke theft and financial incentives for getting fit Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
04/08/1957m 36s

97. TREEDISTRIBUTION: shrubtastic reasons to plant

Hello! Britain has amongst the lowest tree coverage of any country in Europe. This week we’re discussing why we should plant more trees for their many benefits including tackling the climate emergency and cooling our cities. Emi Murphy from Friends of the Earth talks about their campaign to double trees in Britain and tree expert Rob MacKenzie explains his ‘sci fi forest’ experiment in Birmingham. Then Felix Finkbeiner tells us the story of how he began advocating for tree planting at just 9 years old and the Trillion Tree Campaign that his organisation now runs.PLUS Actor Michael Sheen joins us and talks about the upcoming Homeless World Cup in Wales Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
28/07/1953m 38s

96. TIL DEBT DO US PART: the case for personal debt write-off

Hello! Households in the UK have a combined £1.6 trillion of personal debt and this is growing. What impact does this debt have and what we should we do about it? We talk to filmmaker Dan Edelstyn, creator of the ‘Bank Job’ - a film/art project to write off local community debt in Walthamstow. Laura Hanna explains the ‘Rolling Jubilee’ campaign in the US and what they’re now doing to mobilise those in debt. Then Johnna Montgomerie, author of ‘Should We Abolish Household Debt?’, discusses her ambitious proposal for government to cancel and write down billions of pounds of harmful debt. AND Comedian and Children's Author Olaf Falafel retrains annoying animals, demands free biscuits, feeds his neighbours and votes in a Child PM Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
21/07/1957m 13s

Cheerful Book Club: The Three Dimensions of Freedom by Billy Bragg

Hello! We’ve got another Cheerful Book Club pilot episode for you. We’re joined by Billy Bragg to chat about his new book, ‘The Three Dimensions of Freedom’. Billy talks about politics in the age of social media, the importance of accountability, and finding principles to guide the kind of society we want. Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
19/07/1932m 2s

95. SCHOOL’S OUT: time for LGBT-inclusive education

Hello! 45% of LGBT young people are bullied in school and 40% say they are never taught anything about LGBT issues. We talk to Stonewall chief executive Ruth Hunt about the importance of LGBT-inclusive education, how we can support trans young people, and the state of LGBT rights more broadly. Then co-founder of the Time for Inclusive Education campaign, Liam Stevenson, explains how they persuaded the Scottish government to adopt the most comprehensive approach in the world - with LGBT education embedded across the whole curriculum.ANDComedian Lou Sanders wants quiet sirens, quiet sheds, ball pools and monkeys. Can she convince Ed to become the face of her new merch?ALSOWe're going to Clapham, come with us! 28th July Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
14/07/1957m 37s

94. A QUESTION OF SPORT: the fight for gender equality

Hello! The Women’s World Cup may have captivated the nation, but we are a long way away from gender equality in sport. From media coverage to pay to participation, there is still a large gender gap.The US has just become the first country ever to win the World Cup four times. Does 'Title IX', a US law passed in the 1970s, offer lessons in how to address gender inequality in sport? We talk to Baroness Sue Campbell about her plans for the game in the UK, Kristine Newhall explains the impact of Title IX and then Katee Hui and Kate Nicholson discuss how to tackle the on-going barriers for women in sport.ANDComedian Robin Morgan advocates for better male relationships on TV, an Ed Miliband version of Hamilton, a way to put people off hosting and attending "gender reveal parties" and everyone to get a signed brexit jumperPLUSTickets for Clapham show on the 28th July Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
07/07/1955m 58s

93. ELECTRIC DREAMS: the end of the petrol and diesel vehicle

Hello! One of the biggest challenges of the climate emergency is that we have to take tens of millions of petrol and diesel cars off the road. How do we do it? We look to Norway where nearly 50% of new cars sold are fully electric - in the UK it’s around 1%. Christina Bu, Secretary General of the Norwegian Electric Vehicle Association, explains what we can learn from from their success. Then transport experts Chaitanya Kumar & Jillian Anable discuss how to overcome the obstacles to further electric vehicle ownership and why we also need to reduce car use overall.AND Comedian Sarah Keyworth brings us joy rooms, breaking up with friends, the ultimate period get out clause, and an age limit on micro scootersALSOTickets for the Clapham Live show on the 28th July - Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
30/06/1953m 27s

Cheerful Book Club: Why I’m No Longer Talking to White People About Race by Reni Eddo-Lodge

Hello! Here’s the second pilot of our new Cheerful Book Club series to see you through the end of the week. Geoff and Ed chat to Reni Eddo-Lodge about her best-selling book, ‘Why I’m No Longer Talking to White People About Race’. They discuss why the book was needed, the impact of structural racism in Britain and what Reni’s learnt since writing it. Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
27/06/1934m 33s

92. BRIDGE OVER TROUBLED WATER: the case for social ownership

Hello! England is the only country in the world to have a fully privatised water system. Is it time to bring water back into public hands? We talk to Celia Blauel, Deputy Mayor of Paris, about how the city returned its water system to municipal ownership. Then academic David Hall and Anna Birley from the Coop Party talk us through the problems of the water industry and what the alternative would look like.ANDComedian Stevie Martin has a plan for making wasps better, ends social media and shakes up dress codes Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
23/06/1959m 11s

91. WHO’S AFRAID OF GDP?: shifting to a wellbeing economy

Hello! Governments focus on maximising gross domestic product (GDP), but is that really the route to a happy and sustainable economy? This week we talk to New Zealand finance minister Grant Robertson about their new approach: the world’s first ‘wellbeing budget’. Academic Bronwyn Hayward and the New Economics Foundation’s Annie Quick analyse what it means and what the UK can learn. Then GOD himself, former Cabinet Secretary Gus O’Donnell, explains why his experience in government has made him an advocate for wellbeing economics. Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
16/06/1956m 25s

Cheerful Book Club: How to Fail by Elizabeth Day

Hello! We’re treating you to the first of our Cheerful Book Club episodes—-a pilot for our new series. Ed speaks to Elizabeth Day about her new book ‘How to Fail’. They talk about our attitudes to failure, how to break the failure taboo in our society and how tolearn to cope with it.  Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
12/06/1933m 42s


Hello! Half of land is owned by less than 1% of the population and the value of land in Britain has skyrocketed over the last two decades. This week we talk to Guardian journalist George Monbiot and academic Beth Stratford about Land for the Many - a major new report about how to spread the ownership and control of land.ANDComedian Harriet Braine edited the genetics to take away gender until you're 18, eradicating pollution, and banning Golf Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
09/06/1957m 9s

89. DOING RIGHT BY OLDER PEOPLE: free personal care for all

Hello! Is it time to extend the principles of the NHS to social care for the elderly? We discuss proposals for universal free personal care. Joyce Yendole tells us about her experience in Scotland, where personal and nursing care is already free for over 65s. Professor Pat Thane explains what the history of social care tells us about the problems we face today. Then Harry Quilter-Pinner talks us through IPPR’s recent report arguing for social care free at the point of need.AND Comedian Lulu Popplewell wants a VIP section for sober night bus users, a smoking ban, a free name change, and no more £__.99 Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
02/06/1957m 34s

88. THE DEVIL WEARS PRADA (ONCE): tackling fast fashion

Hello! Fast fashion means more clothing is being produced at lower prices, with huge environmental and social costs. What is driving this trend and what can we do about it? We talk to environmental journalist Lucy Siegle about changes in the industry and how the ‘slow fashion’ movement has responded. Orsola de Castro tells us about founding the Fashion Revolution campaign. Then Labour MP and chair of the Environmental Audit Committee Mary Creagh explains their recent inquiry into the fashion industry and what government should be doing to address the issues.ANDComedian and impressionist Josh Berry caps Russell Brand's media appearances, teaches philosophy to children, declares a national holiday in Andy Murray's name, and fact checks Jacob Rees Mogg Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
26/05/1955m 57s

87. ADMISSION IMPOSSIBLE: opening up our universities

Hello! Private school pupils are 7x as likely to get a place at Oxford or Cambridge as those from state comprehensives. But why does access to the UK’s top universities matter and what can we do to widen it? This week Vee Kativhu tells us her story of (finally) applying to Oxford’s Lady Margaret Hall on their new foundation year scheme. Then academics Vikki Boliver and Lee Elliot Major talk us through solutions to overhaul university admissions - from radical contextual offers to a lottery system to ‘comprehensive universities’.ANDComedian Steve N Allen joins us to advocate for status symbol taxes, banning handles on push doors, and tries to save science education before it gets taken Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
19/05/1956m 44s

86. I FOUGHT THE LAW AND... I WON: the art of successful campaigns

Hello! How can we all campaign on issues that we care about and make change happen? This week we hear from inspiring campaigners who have done just that. We talk to Gina Martin who successfully campaigned to make upskirting illegal and Matt Zarb-Cousin from ‘Stop the FOBTs’, who won a reduction in the maximum stake on fixed-odds betting terminals. Gina and Matt share the stories of how they got involved in their campaigns and lessons from their recent victories. Then executive director of Citizens UK Matthew Bolton explains the theory behind running successful campaigns, before persuading Ed and Geoff to try one of their key techniques.Don’t miss our live show at the Underbelly Festival in London this Sunday afternoon (19th May). Book tickets here: Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
12/05/1957m 45s

85. OPERATION BLACK VOTE: the fight for democratic equality

Hello! Unfortunately, Geoff can’t be here this week so Ed’s got a special guest international guest to help him on the intro... In the episode we’re talking about a gaping democratic deficit in British politics: there are still too few black and minority ethnic MPs and councillors, and huge disparities in voter registration. We hear from Simon Woolley, founder and director of Operation Black Vote, who has been campaigning on BME political representation for more than two decades. Simon talks to us about what has been achieved and the huge task still ahead. Then we speak to Mayor of Barking and Dagenham Sanchia Alasia about the barriers facing BME politicians and her experience with OBV.ANDComedian and podcaster Benjamin Partridge pitches a forfeit for Br*x*t delays, limiting hand-driers noise, free theatre, trouser washing research, delaying Christmas, discounted good from Gregs based on their temperature Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
05/05/1958m 33s


Hello! What if we told you there was something that could improve people's health, make our cities nicer places to live AND save the planet? This week’s guests argue that cycling can do just that. We discuss the benefits of cycling and what needs to be done to encourage it with transport expert Dr Rachel Aldred and The Guardian’s Peter Walker (author of Bike Nation: How Cycling Can Save the World). And we hear from Manuel Calvo - designer of Seville’s ambitious cycle network, which has revolutionised how people travel around the city.ANDComedian Laura Lexx calls for pedestrian tests, realistic eyebrows in castaway movies, policy tests when voting and realistic models for beauty products Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
28/04/1956m 7s

83. PREDISTRIBUTION: what the hell does it mean?

Hello! Ed’s been going on about it for years, but we’ve finally agreed to do an episode on his favourite topic: predistribution. It’s all about reducing inequality in the first place, rather than relying on tax and benefits later down the line. We talk to inventor of the term Professor Jacob Hacker to work out what it means. Brazilian academic and politician Roberto Unger argues for predistribution to tackle inequality in the knowledge economy. Then Madeleine Gabriel and Isaac Stanley from Nesta propose policies that we could adopt in the UK.ANDWe’re joined by comedian Carmen Lynch. Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
21/04/1954m 44s

82. FULL ENGLISH: forging a progressive identity

Hello! Why are people reluctant to talk about the nation of England? And does this really matter? This week we’re getting stuck into the debate around English identity. John Denham, director of the Centre for English Identity and Politics and former Labour cabinet minister, discusses the importance of embracing Englishness and proposals for new political institutions. Journalist Sunny Hundal explains how to forge a progressive national identity and reclaim the flag from the far right. Then Green MP Caroline Lucas talks about exploring the relationship between England and Brexit on her ‘Dear Leavers’ tour.AND We’re joined by comedian Rachel Wheeley. Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
14/04/1955m 59s

81. HOPE NOT HATE: changing attitudes to immigration

Hello! With all eyes on Br***t, a surprising and encouraging trend has slipped under the radar over the past few years: polls indicate that attitudes to immigration are getting significantly more positive. This week we’re joined by Sunder Katwala from British Future and Rosie Carter from Hope Not Hate to work out what’s been going on. Sunder and Rosie discuss their recent national conation on immigration and the directions it points to for our approach to policy and how we conduct the debate.AND Comedian Athena Kugblenu wants stupidity to be painful, de-colonisation of art collections, fines for door hanging and a new way to vote on party manifestos.  Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
07/04/1955m 56s


Hello! Oh I do like to be beside the seaside, Oh I do....BUT, 11 million people live in coastal communities across the UK but for too long they’ve been getting a bad deal. This week we’re exploring the New Economic Foundation’s plans for a major coastal industrial strategy: the ‘Blue New Deal’. We’re joined by Fernanda Balata from the NEF to explain the proposals. Then Nick Taylor from Scarborough and Sam Scriven from the Jurassic Coast talk about how investing in coastal economies and the natural environment can work in practice.ANDComedian and impressionist Jess Robinson brings us new rules for the Geoffocracy, all difficult topics are now sung, no more automated called, no more dill, no more seeds in raspberries, no more confusion about how many kisses during greetings Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
31/03/1955m 48s


Hello! Facebook, Amazon, Ed and Geoff… some empires are in the public interest, some not so much.... In this episode we explore an idea gaining traction in the US: using competition laws to break up the tech giants. From the Open Markets Institute, we’re joined by the ‘Captain America of anti-trust’ Barry Lynn and former anti-trust enforcer Sally Hubbard who explain the proposals. Then LSE law expert Niamh Dunne talks us through how it could all work in the UK.ANDComedian Fin Taylor drops by to plug his upcoming wedding, and asked the Geoffocracy to consider national Service to work to save the environment, takeaway breakfasts, ban on chain stores in towns, #hashtagtattoo and quiet carriages in pubs Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
25/03/1957m 14s


Hello! What can we do about the scandal of growing in-work poverty in the UK? This week we hear inspiring stories from campaigners both here and across the pond who have pushed employers to end low pay. Tyree Johnson from Fight for $15 talks about winning a $15 minimum wage in Illinois. The Living Wage Foundation’s Lola McEvoy tells us how we can get involved in the living wage campaign in our workplaces. And Ed’s ParkRun pal (and director of the Resolution Foundation) Torsten ‘Torstiekins’ Bell explains what government can do to tackle the problem.ANDComedian Pierre Novellie takes away free journalism, makes statistical lessons compulsory, mouth noises are now banned and cars are licensed like guns now  Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
18/03/1952m 58s


Hello! Do you know where your pension is being invested? The divestment movement has a simple idea: persuade pension funds and others to get out of fossil fuels to meet the climate emergency. Its grown from a student campus campaign to one involving trillions of dollars worth of assets. We discuss divestment and shareholder engagement with Adam Matthews, Director of Ethics Engagement for the Church of England Pensions Board, Yossi Cadan, Global Senior Divestment Campaigner at and Catherine Howarth, Chief Executive of ShareAction who explains how you can be part of this global movement.ANDBeatboxing comedian Beardyman wants to reset the Earth, change up democracy... and get Ed and Geoff beatboxing Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
11/03/1957m 15s


Hello! It's taken us 70+ episodes but we're diving into the question of drink--our country's (unhealthy) relationship with alcohol, which is costing billions of pounds a year and ruining lives. Angela McShane, alcohol historian at the Wellcome Trust, gives us a fascinating history lesson, then Jon Ashworth MP, Shadow Health Secretary, tells us his personal story of having an alcoholic parent (a problem that affects at least 200,000 children today) followed by Richard Piper CEO of Alcohol Change with the solutions--from minimum pricing to investing in alcohol services to the end of sober-shaming of non-drinkers by too many know who you are. Bottom line: it's not about preaching but about a massive change in culture and policy. Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
04/03/1955m 39s

75. REASONS TO BE ICELANDIC: gender equality, 6 hour days and 'hidden people'

Hello! Heigh ho, heigh ho, it’s off to Iceland they go. Geoff and Ed went for a weekend and came back with tales aplenty to be cheerful about. World-leading gender equality six-hour working day experiments, punk rockers turned politicians and stories of trolls, elves and the ‘hidden people’. Hear the lessons we should learn from the Icelandic Prime Minister, Katrin Jakobsdottir, and many others in this special episode.  Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
25/02/1955m 11s

74. THE KIDS ARE ALL RIGHT: pupil climate strikes and the green new deal

Hello! We got out of Geoff's loft and onto Parliament Square to join the many thousands of young people worldwide protesting about climate change and we also talk about what could be a big part of the answer: A Green New Deal (GND). We explain what it is and how it seeks to put economic and social justice at the heart of the fight against climate change with Ann Pettifor, one of the originators of the idea more than ten years ago and Zack Exley, US Co-Founder of Justice Democrats that supported Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez who has put the GND on the map in the US, ANDComedian Olga Koch is rebranding cooperation tax, applying the impartiality of football referees to combat fake news and incentivising voting with prizes. Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
18/02/1950m 16s

73. FOR RICHER, FOR SUPER RICHER: taxing the ultra-wealthy

Hello! What should we do about the gaping inequalities in our society and the top 1 percent? Can we get them to pay more tax and how? We hear from a member of the top .01% US entrepreneur Nick Hanauer who wants radical measures aimed at people like him and Rutger Bregman, author and historian, who went viral when he called out ‘Davos man’ a couple of weeks back.ANDComedian Rosie Jones wants everyone to have to experience 24 hours of being disabled, Segways for all and a roof on the country Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
11/02/1957m 28s

72. MORE IN COMMON: Overcoming political polarisation

Hello! This week we're looking into the chasm in our divided nation and wondering if there is a way to bridge the gap...if anyone can help it’s our guests. Jo Hiley who worked for Hope Not Hate helped bring together people from Brixton in London and Boston in Lincolnshire, divided by Brexit, but united by much else. Ciaran O'Connor & John Wood Jr from Better Angels in the United States tell us how they use methods from family therapy as their technique for getting political opponents to find common ground. Plus Marina Cantacuzino from The Forgiveness Project.ANDComedian Imran Yusef wants financial education, first aid taught in schools and a zero tolerance on public nuisances Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
04/02/1955m 37s


Hello! Around 7% of the population is educated in private schools but they are disproportionately represented at top universities and in society's most coveted professions. What is the impact of private schools on our overall education system and our society and what, if anything could or should be done about it? David Kynaston, author of new book "Engines of Privilege: Britain’s Private School Problem" and Melissa Benn, author of 'Life Lessons' join us. Plus we hear from renowned educationalist Pasi Sahlberg on how Finland dealt with its private school issues and succeeded in achieving both greater equality and educational excellence. Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
28/01/1955m 35s

70. 2019: A PUBLIC SPACE ODYSSEY: transforming communities

Hello! When Ed makes a promise, he makes a promise! It might take 6 years to deliver, but now we get to share the discussion with you. What does that all mean? Well, Ed met Architect Christophe Egret while on holiday and needed to finish the conversation they had about the transformative power of public space. He joins us, as does author and academic, Anna Minton, and CEO for the Project for Public Spaces in the US, Phil Myrick, to warn of the dangerous creep of pseudo-public space and what a really well thought out urban space can do to bring together a community.ANDComedian Heidi Regan rewards reading of tedious important governmental documents, unifying all accents to either Southern Belle or Scottish and monochrome tunics for all. Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
21/01/1956m 29s

69. A SOCIAL HOME REVOLUTION: the history and future of council housing

Hello! This week, with the release of the report from Shelter's cross-party commission (which included Ed) we're looking at the provision of social housing and the need for a transformation in how much we build and who it is for. Historian John Boughton, author of recent book Municipal Dreams, guides us from the past to the future, then we speak to members of the Commission, Baroness Sayeeda Warsi, former Conservative Chair, and Lord Jim O'Neill to tell us how the recommendations in the report can transform the fabric of the country. Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
14/01/1952m 42s

68. BORN TO (PARK) RUN: Geoff and Ed’s excellent adventure

Hello! We've made our New Year's resolutions, donned the trainers and tracksuits and joined the hundreds of thousands of people who do parkrun to find out what all the hype is about. Can we start our New Year as runners? The Finsbury Park parkrunners (Geoff's local) tell us what it's all about, and give us encouragement, then we're joined by Nick Pearson, Chief Executive of ParkRun who tells us about why the project is about more than running. Then Bella Mackie, author of new book Jog On shares her journey to better mental health through running. Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
07/01/1955m 57s


Hello! Greetings pod pickers! You’re in for a treat this week. It’s our "Top 10" countdown of our favourite episodes this year. If you haven’t listened to them all or even if you have, here’s a way of getting the best bits in bite sized form—-Cheerful McNuggets. With special guest introducing the whole shebang, the legend that is Tony Blackburn! How can you resist.... Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
31/12/181h 17m

66. CHRISTMAS CHEERFUL: Chatting 2018 and playing Class Struggle

Hello! We gathered around Geoff's kitchen table, joined by some IRL friends, a copy of the board game Class Struggle and some topics to find the cheerful from this year. Hear Josie Rourke, Artistic Director of the Donmar Warehouse and director of the new film, "Mary, Queen of Scots", Chris Addison, comedian, writer, actor and director and David Runciman, Professor of Politics at Cambridge and host of ‘Talking Politics’ podcast seek to provide a positive take on America, Democracy, Brexit, and Culture... and find out who wins the game. It will make you feel better...promise....maybe. Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
24/12/1852m 4s

65. COMPUTER SAYS YES: humanity and kindness in public services

Hello! Here at Cheerful towers we're talking about how we can enable the human touch to come to the fore in public services and policy and the barriers standing in the way of the people who work in them. Our guest Julia Unwin has been thinking about kindness in public policy, Professor Anthony Costello's new book The Social Edge is about the 'sympathy groups' that transform people's life chances & Dr Agnelo Fernandes talks about his amazing 'social prescribing' experiment in Croydon.ANDComedian Adam Riches wants more sharks, scientifically modified beard, Gerard Butler and... (BOO HISS)... no more podcasts  Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
17/12/1857m 29s

64. SHARING AND CARING: the case for paternity leave

Hello! This week we're talking Dads and the time off they have to look after their kids. Turns out more, properly paid paternity leave is better for kids, good for dads, and a very effective tool to close the gender pay gap. Unfortunately Britain lags behind.  We speak to Lars Arrhenius about how brilliant Sweden is and how it could be even better, Sam Smethers from the Fawcett Society about how Britain could do better and Sam White and Will McDonald, the UK’s most senior all-male job share (maybe...).ANDComedian Sindhu Vee brings us a handful of "Ted Miliband" university anecdotes as well as teenager truth day, a ban on the Br*xit word, punishment for people failing to pick up their dog's poop, celebratory school run drinks party, double pay and only sunlight working hours in January Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
10/12/1855m 56s

63. VALUING NEURODIVERSITY: how society needs to change

Hello! Today we speak to two autistic people about what the neurodiversity movement is and what it means to them. Penny Andrews and Georgia Harper join us to talk about their personal experience of living with autism, and how our society, employers and all of us can learn to value and benefit from neurodiversity.ANDComedian Jodie Mitchell would like to tech up the fight against men stealing women's ideas, old tinted glasses for those who believe the olden days were better and a ban on incense for anyone who's not using it for religious purposes Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
03/12/1852m 46s

62. LIFE OVER DEATH: the global campaign to end capital punishment

Hello! The death penalty still operates in many places around the world, although the good news is the number of countries using capital punishment is falling. Sevan Doraisamy, Executive Director of Human Rights Organisation SUARAM talks about the Malaysian government’s recent announcement that it intends to abolish capital punishment and Anna Yearley and Maya Foa from Reprieve talk to us about their campaigns to end the death penalty and how your voice can make a difference.AND Comedian Lauren Pattison fights for children to be banished to another train carriage, Taco Tuesdays and more politicians on reality TV Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
26/11/1855m 54s

61. YUVAL AIN’T SEEN NOTHING YET: a conversation on just about everything with Yuval Noah Harari

Hello! A special episode with author and all-around thinker extraordinaire and author of multi-million selling Homo Sapiens, Yuval Noah Harari. He popped by to talk to us about the ongoing war of technology vs humankind, fake news and more of the 21 lessons from the 21st Century —-his new book. This includes the virtues of 60-day uninterrupted meditation... But how would you do a weekly podcast? Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
19/11/1850m 13s

60. GEOFF, GEOFF, GEOFF...OUT OUT OUT: the power of protest

Hello! It’s 50 years since 1968, next year it will be 200 since the Peterloo massacre, so we are discussing the power of political protest, when they work and what it all means for today. French journalist Agnes Poirier chronicles ‘68 and after for us and Guardian columnist John Harris and American author Sarah Jaffe join us to talk about the past, present and future of political protest. Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
12/11/1859m 47s

59. QE OR NOT QE?: printing money for a purpose

Hello! There is occasional bad quality audio on today’s episode for which apologies (tech gremlins). We hope it doesn’t spoil your enjoyment of the finer points of Quantitative Easing! II’s a term thrown around which for many of us falls somewhere between the "Offside Rule" and "Quantum Mechanics". But it’s really important we understand it because it is having big effects. Fran Boait and Josh Ryan-Collins get us up to speed with the basics and explain why it matters, and how we could be putting QE to significantly better purposes. ANDComedian Eleanor Morton is taking parliament on the road, giving 18-year-olds an adult box, introducing freelancers discount cards and paying everyone the same no matter what job they do Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
05/11/1845m 57s


Hello! Aqua once sang "life in plastic, it's fantastic", sure... for Barbie Girl it may be but, for our natural world and ourselves, plastic is an enormous and increasingly understood problem. Catherine Conway, Founder of Unpackaged, and Julian Kirby, Campaigner at Friends of the Earth, join us to bring us hope and practical steps we can take to help put an end to all the waste and damage being doneANDComedian Rich Wilson challenges the Geoffocracy with his Richocracy full of electricity free days, big foam hands for pedestrian safety, hanging out with old people, and a novel (and very literal) way of dealing with nuisance everyday sexism  Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
29/10/1853m 31s


Hello! Do you feel ignored or unrewarded by your firm? How about transferring a proportion of shares in large companies to the workers, as advocated by Labour? Could it make the difference and how does it compare to other ideas of employee ownership? Mat Lawrence and Christine Berry join us to talk us through the issues and thinking behind it.ANDComedian Hayley Ellis brings us her manifesto - drama free soap opera days, a ban on politicians dancing, snoopers headphones. Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
21/10/1856m 22s

56. LAST EDITION? how to ensure quality journalism in the digital age

Hello! The internet is great, Geoff can be in Salford, Ed can be at home, our guests can be as far away as a hotel room in Finland, and we can STILL get a new episode to you... but... has the internet proved to be the catalyst for the end of local journalism and the collapse of the national printed press too? Alan Rusbridger, Emily Bell, Megan Lucero & Dan Hinds bring us their thoughts on the end of the traditional gatekeepers and how we can finance good quality journalism, national and local, when so many are expecting it for free. Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
14/10/1851m 21s


Hello! How often do you get back to work after the weekend feeling like it wasn't long enough? Well, a company in New Zealand have been trialling the 4-day working week and finding that their staff are achieving as much as in 4 days as they were in 5. Andrew Barnes, Founder of Perpetual Guadian, the company undertaking the trial, and Kate Bell from the TUC join us to talk about how realistic it is that a 4-day working week could possibly allow a company to continue paying a full wage.ANDComedian Matthew Crosby revolutionises present giving, encourages teaching children to swear, gets rid of those "seen"/"read" notices and gets in a bus with Ed and Geoff to stop people arguing. Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
07/10/1854m 38s

54. THE ABC OF AI: How can technology help humanity?

Hello! Artificial intelligence didn't write this description (yet), but it has begun to take over some tasks that humans were responsible for. Are the humans ready, are the computers safely still under our control, what happens when they're not? Max Tegmark, author of Life 3.0, and Duncan McCann from the New Economics Foundation joined us to talk about the AI revolution, when it is coming and whether it could be put to positive benefit for society.ANDComedian Amy Gledhill advocates for tax lessons, skill swap street gatherings and law enforced service station signage. Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
30/09/1855m 41s

53. PROSPERITY AND JUSTICE: Shaking up the economy for social change

Hello! When the IPPR commission on economic justice took on the economy, promising prosperity and justice, they did it properly. In this episode, we talk to Michael Jacobs, its director, and Sara Bryson, a commission member about the big ideas in the report, why they're so important, and how we make them work.ANDComedian Tania Edwards brings us her ideas, a referendum about whether we should have had a referendum in the first place, some tough talk about offence, maximum wealth, and prison for hot food eaters on public transport Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
23/09/1855m 2s


Hello! This week we’re looking into the sky, the sea and all around us for our energy and talking about the good news that we see in the revolution in costs and take up of renewables around the world. And we’’ll be asking our guests Jeremy Leggett from SolarCentury and Juliet Davenport from Good Energy what more we should be doing in the UK and globally.AND Comedian Sooz Kempner addresses dressage, compensatory crisps and dips for date rejections, start school term with the rest of the rest of the film you started watching at the end of term, parental rent paying fairness, free school dinners for EVERYONE, The Purge but for one day a year men can't tweet. Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
16/09/1855m 40s

51. FOOD FOR THOUGHT: Not for the bin

Hello! Ed and Geoff are back in the same room after their summer holidays / "lads tour". This week we hear from Saasha Celestial-One and Lindsay Boswell about the disgusting situation of food waste the country has gotten in to, despite so many below the breadline going hungry. We look at the Foodshare and Olio programmes and what they're doing to roll us back to the era of making the most of everything we have and hopefully reduce the UK throwing one-third of all food away.ANDComedian Phil Wang takes on groups of pedestrians, inconsistent bigots, Lemsip defaults, Whitewashing, eating at restaurants, Summer, saying "we" when speaking about your favourite sports team... and the School syllabus avoiding teaching about the British Empire Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
09/09/1858m 12s


Hello! The final of our "lads on tour" live shows. Here we talk to the Edinburgh Fringe audience about correcting the "recreational violence" cycle many young people get trapped in. Karyn McCluskey is our guest and has an extraordinary story of inspiration and success in tackling the issue.ANDComedian Luisa Omielan shares the heartbreaking story of her mothers sad death (donations welcome for Helena's Hospice foundation - and still manages to give us her ideas for how to make the world a better place. Support for early years, mandatory paternity leave, and giving free travel to everyone for a year when they leave school. Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
02/09/1858m 17s


Hello! Private companies are collecting a lot of information about each of us, but when it comes to our health and wellbeing, that might not be such a bad thing. Mass anonymous data may be the answer to curing many health issues, and provide insights to make sure the right support is on offer for local communities. Mhaari Aitken and Anna Schneider join us to talk us through their research and how it can be taken forward.ANDFriend of the show Ayesha Hazarika pops by to reveal more anecdotes about her time working for Ed and we throw to the audience for their ideas of how to make the world a better place Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
26/08/1845m 15s

48. PUBLIC SERVICE ANNOUNCEMENT: remaking our welfare state

Hello! This week we ventured to Lunar festival and spoke to Hilary Cottam about the welfare state. Her new book Radical Help looks at a how the whole system could be re-designed to better support everyone in society.ANDComedian Bethany Black asks the Geoffocracy for a Pokestop, no more drinking on public transport and for men to require at least two women as chaperones if they're out past 9pm. Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
19/08/1847m 21s

47. IDEAS FOR THE ANTHROPOCENE: humankind respecting the Earth

Hello! We took a trip to Latitude festival. While there Professor Simon Lewis joined us on stage to talk about the book he's co-authored called The Human Planet: How We Created the Anthropocene. The Anthropocene is the new planetary age we're in which sees Earth being fundamentally altered by human activity. He tells us what we need to do now.ANDComedian Jen Brister joins us to pitch ending period poverty and introducing emoting classes for boys and we hear ideas from our audience. Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
12/08/1851m 30s

46. WON’T YOU TAKE ME TO FUNKY TOWN: power and prosperity in towns

Hello! We took a trip to Hebden Bridge, awarded 5th best place to live in the world, to find out how towns and villages can thrive. Lisa Nandy MP and Beth Paramor both know a thing or two about what powers places to success, and what can be done to help those which aren't.ANDComedian Debs Gatenby is all about the empathy. She pitches national service in retail, catering or concessions, enforced work playtime and OAP run call centre's. Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
05/08/1853m 3s

45. BLOCKCHAIN PARTY: Can it be a force for good?

Hello! We're getting technical in this episode, we're finding out why many are claiming blockchain to be the technology which could free us from monopolies and grant us better democracy. Samer Hassan, researcher at Harvard University and UCM in Madrid, and Alice Casey, Head of New Operating Models, Nesta, join us and get us up to speed with what blockchain is all about and whether the hype is trueANDComedian Vikki Stone groups the noisy neighbours together, shares ownership of tools and other household stuff, and suggests a way to overcome procrastination Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
29/07/1853m 53s

44. THE ONLY WAY IS ETHICS: Businesses with a social purpose

Hello! This week we're talking Social Enterprise, the companies whose primary reason for existing is not profit but social or environmental purpose. Karen Lynch, CEO of Belu (formerly of Barclays) and Peter Holbrook, CEO of Social Enterprise UK, join us to tell us why social enterprise works for business and society and how we can have more of them in the Geoffocracy.ANDComedian and Author Jo Burke advocates for smiley passports, fancy dress, and enforced speakerphone for anyone choosing to make calls on public transport Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
22/07/1849m 56s

43. LEARNING FOR LIFE: what should a national education service do?

This week we’re talking education and what the big vision should be at our live show at The Politics Festival. We’re joined by Melissa Benn, author of forthcoming book Life Lessons: The Case For A National Education Service and Holly Rigby, a teacher in inner London, who make the case for a broad, lifelong education.Plus comedian Aisling Bea on what we can learn from Love Island, why we need to go into group therapy with strangers and why we all need a social media ‘minder’. Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
15/07/1858m 0s


Hello! This week we're back to technology, but looking at how it can benefit humanity. Through open platforms and open data, handing the power back to the population can allow some very positive outcomes. We speak to Greta Byrum, Francesca Bria and Adam Greenfield to find out how it's working around the world and what we could try here.ANDComedian Cariad Lloyd brings us her (and her husband's) ideas of providing some empathy to those not backing ending period poverty, traffic lights of percentages of fact and opinion in journalism and fines for bad public transport usage.  Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
08/07/1858m 5s

41. SMOOTH CO-OPERATORS: the power of co-ops to transform society

Hello! This episode, like the companies we're talking about, is owned by everyone who works for it. Cooperative ownership allows the workers to own a stake in the businesses they're working for, allowing them more autonomy and reward for its successes and the understanding and responsibility to help when it's failing. Our guests Joe Guinan from the Democracy Collaborative and Ander Etxeberria from Mondragon Corporation share examples of where this has worked, for the workers, the community and everyone the businesses serve.ANDComedy duo Helen & Ellie from the Scummy Mummies podcast bring us maternity/paternity service, micro-chipped dog shit, relationship MOTs, public transport badges/badgers & political funding transparency Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
01/07/1856m 44s

40. SILICON VALLEY SERFS: protecting kids from tech overload

Hello! This week we've looked up from our phones to look down at the generation of children addicted to theirs. In the wild west of the internet, children aren't as safe as you may hope and it's not just from adult content. Our guests this week Baroness Beeban Kidron, founder of 5Rights Foundation, and Dr Richard Graham, a Consultant Adolescent Psychiatrist, explain why treating children as adults on their technology is such a worry and what we can do about it.ANDComedian John Robins is banning online comments, issuing chip licenses, alcohol pricing and funding to cure minor ailments  Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
24/06/1859m 27s

39. ENDING JOBS FOR THE BOYS: overcoming the workplace gender divide

Hello! This week we discuss the issue of "boys jobs" and "girls jobs" and how men being under-represented in care roles and women being under-represented in the sciences is a self-fulfilling prophecy taught from an early age. We're joined by scientist Nia John, Carole Easton of the Young Women’s Trust and Australian gender equality supremo Libby Lyons to discuss the proactive ways we can achieve workplace equality and stop the "leaky pipe" of lost talent.AND Broadcaster Lauren Laverne gets has a gym alternative that would help us keep clean, wants more glitter, access to nature and DOGS. Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
17/06/1854m 55s

38. UNIVERSAL BASIC SERVICES: Shaping the 21st century welfare state

Hello! Could providing more services free at the point of access (like the NHS and education) relieve need and tackle inequality? Our guests Henrietta Moore and Jonathan Portes think so and we hear from academic Oded Cats on how one idea — free local transport — has worked elsewhere.  AND Comedian Stuart Goldsmith wants to paint the town pink, artist salaries, Japanese plane boarding and mental health lessons in school  Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
10/06/1856m 46s

37. RETHINKING ECONOMIC SUCCESS: beyond the growth obsession

Hello. We started our Festival tour at ‘How The Light Gets In’ at Hay-on-Wye, joined by Doughnut Economics author Kate Raworth. Listen to a fascinating discussion about how we think about economic success, going beyond economic growth to the environment, care, fairness and everything else that matters!ANDComedian Rachel Parris wants legislation for women's toilets, some Internet downtime, jigsaws, and a buddy system for grown-ups. Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
03/06/1855m 36s

36. THE GENERATION GAME: Turning round the fortunes of young people

Hello! This week we went on an outing to speak to Lord David Willetts about the Resolution Foundation's new report into how to tackle the crisis in wealth, housing and life chances facing the younger generation and how to build political support for these ideas.ANDComedian sisters Flo & Joan recommend a service industry national service, school band for everyone and deanonymising social media. Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
27/05/1854m 3s

35. LAW AND DISORDER: fixing the justice crisis

Hello. There is a quiet crisis in our justice system: barristers striking, courts creaking, defendants being denied a fair hearing and victims being callously disregarded. It's high time to talk about what has caused it and what we do to fix it? We have best-selling (anonymous) author, The Secret Barrister, and Penelope Gibbs from Transform Justice to give answers.ANDComedian Alfie Brown joins us, advocating for Philosopy and slower motorways Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
20/05/1856m 28s

34. WHAT SHOULD WE DO ABOUT MEAT: Reasons to be Vegan?

Hello. This week we are talking about over-consumption of meat which is bad for climate change, animal welfare and our health. Our guests Clare Oxborrow and Sam Calvert tell us what needs to change plus pioneering farmer Illtud Dunsford on whether lab-grown meat is an answer.ANDComedian Steve Bugeja brings his ideas including normal life politicians, BA in Crime and quantitative easing for the people Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
13/05/1855m 34s

33. UNIVERSITIES CHALLENGED: Reversing market tyranny in higher education

Hello. We’re on the road again—this time in Sheffield at the Festival of Debate. We’re asking what’s to be done about our universities? Our guests Jo Grady, Joshua Forstenzer and Mark Leach want to rescue the public purpose of Universities from the tyranny of the market’s high fees, casualised staff, distorted assessments of research and teaching, and frustrated students. Plus we're joined by comedian Rob Rouse, and our announcer - voice of Reasons to be Cheerful, Gayle Lofthouse. Hosted on Acast. See for more information.

Episode 32. ENDING THE BLAME GAME: The case for no-fault divorce

Hello! Sometimes a relationship doesn't work (no, this isn't about Ed and Geoff) and divorce is the only option, but current rules mean that blame has to be thrown around to make it happen, even if that is the last thing the couple (or their children) need. Ayesha Vardag, Nigel Shepherd and Chris Sherwood join us to discuss the case for "no-fault" divorceANDComedian Catherine Bohart wants some clarification on the word "partner", free toilets and nationalised dogs Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
29/04/1855m 26s