S5, Ep8 How to Fail: Jess Phillips

S5, Ep8 How to Fail: Jess Phillips

By Elizabeth Day

How To Fail With Elizabeth Day

Wednesday, 14 August

Well, old friend, here we are again. The end of another season. Where does the time go?

I saved this guest for the finale because she's bloody spectacular. Jess Phillips is the Labour MP for Birmingham Yardley, a campaigner on women's rights, an outspoken critic of Brexit, anti-semitism and the politics of the hard-left, and the author of an acclaimed book, Everywoman: One Woman's Truth About Speaking The Truth.

She joins me to talk about coping with failure in politics, living with daily death threats and how she stays sane by prioritising her female friends. She talks about the failure in contraception (!) that resulted in her eldest son, her failure to get on the Home Office Fast Track scheme and, in an extremely moving admission, her self-perceived failure to fix her brother's drug addiction.

This makes it sound pretty heavy, but Jess is so naturally funny and such a self-deprecating force of nature, that I promise you this interview will leave you feeling energised and quite possibly punching the air.

That's it for season five (apart from one bonus live record COMING SOON. Make sure you're subscribed so you don't miss out). I'll be back in the autumn with eight brilliant new guests.



Thank you so much for subscribing and rating and reviewing and for all your lovely messages over this season and all the others. It really does mean the world to me. Truly. And if you don't like me / this podcast / actually took time out of your day to leave a one-star review / worry that my guests all went to Oxbridge (they didn't) / are too middle-class (they aren't) / think I'm too gushing (well...ok, maybe you have a point there, but I genuinely mean it when I say someone's amazing...) then please know that however angry or sad or lonely or un-heard you feel, I send you nothing but love in return. Bet that winds you up, doesn't it?

To the rest of you: I feel so blessed for your companionship on this crazy, beautiful journey. You have helped me make sense of things. You have met me in a place of vulnerability and made me feel so much stronger. You have shown me that love, compassion and kindness is strength. You have taught me what I always suspected: that failure does not have to be an end point, but can instead be a stepping stone on a journey towards greater understanding. Thank you.


Jess Phillips's new book, Truth to Power, is out in October and available to pre-order here.


I am thrilled to be taking How To Fail on tour around the UK in October, sharing my failure manifesto with the help of some very special guests. These events are not recorded as podcasts so the only way to be there is to book tickets via www.faneproductions.com/howtofail

The Sunday Times Top 5 bestselling book of the podcast, How To Fail: Everything I've Ever Learned From Things Going Wrong by Elizabeth Day, is out now and is available here.


How To Fail With Elizabeth Day is hosted by Elizabeth Day, produced by Chris Sharp and Naomi Mantin and sponsored by Teatulia. To contact us, email howtofailpod@gmail.com

Social Media:

Elizabeth Day @elizabday

Jess Phillips @jessphillips

Chris Sharp @chrissharpaudio

Naomi Mantin @naomimantin

Teatulia @TeatuliaUK





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