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In a series of five short podcasts-with-pictures, political journalist Peter Geogheganlooks at the state of reconciliation and peace-building in Northern Ireland, finding some examples of great work at street level, often with former foes now working well together.  Yet they face major problems, much of it due to the failure of leading politicians to make the same efforts to work together and in particular the failure to implement much of the Good Friday / Belfast Agreement.  Much of the content of these reports will astonish people outside N Ireland, and maybe some who live there too - peace requires more than just an end to the bombs, beatings and assassinations.

Peace mural in West Belfast

The reports were financially supported by the N Ireland Community Relations Council, though the views expressed in them are not necessarily those of the CRC.  They are being hosted on various sites including:

Visualised podcasts, "Lessons from the Peace-lines", on YouTube:

episode 1;  episode 2episode 3episode 4episode 5

Audio-only podcasts, all 5, on Soundcloud:

Producer: Mike Hally

Duvet Days is one of BBC Sounds' first podcast commissions, conceived, presented and produced by Abby Hollick, above, featuring frank under-the-cover chats with musicians, artists and activists.  A 2-minute 'teaser' episode is available here - bbc.co.uk/programmes/p06sdv33

Bryony KimmingsThe first full episode can be heard here - bbc.co.uk/programmes/p06sdwd7.  It features the performance artist and screenwriter Bryony Kimmings (right) climbing under the covers with Abby and getting frank about postnatal mental health, hitting rock bottom, and sticking stranger’s pubes to her face (really!). In a packed interview they chat about the year that inspired her latest solo show: ‘I’m a Phoenix, Bitch’. Bryony suffered from postnatal anxiety, became a single mother, and discovered that her baby was seriously ill, before bouncing back and making a show about survival.  She tells Abby about her teenage bedroom, growing up in Peterborough, and dancing naked to Bjork. Plus, she gives Abby the lowdown on ‘Last Christmas’, the film she co-wrote with Emma Thompson.

Zawe AshtonThe second episode is here - bbc.co.uk/programmes/p06t1g4jZawe Ashton (left) talks burnout, how women of colour are treated by the medical world, and making your voice heard as she joins Abby Hollick under the duvet. The actor behind the infamous Vod in Channel 4’s Fresh Meat gets frank about her own experience with having doors slammed in her face, and the impact that can have on mental health, especially when you’re the only person of colour in the room. She tells us about her teenage bedroom, her love of Blur and Will Smith and the times she spent wandering around with a duvet draped over her head!  

Plus, she explains what it’s like to be an child actor when you just want to fit in at school, and why writing her first book is her version of rebelling against a life spent acting.

Jordan StephensThird in the series is this episode - bbc.co.uk/programmes/p06tmm82.  Jordan Stephens (right) jumps back in to bed and opens up about the highs and lows of fame, learning to feel pain, and his ADHD (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder). The musician and mental health campaigner, best known for being one half of pop duo Rizzle Kicks reveals his love of unicorns, foxes and a hot pink headboard!  

Over a cup of tea in bed he tells Abby why he began thinking about toxic masculinity and why it was ruining his relationships.

Paris Lees picAnd for episode 4, which is here - https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p06vc6ll - stars Paris Lees, who has got lots to talk about, from her passion for silk pyjamas to the realities of being bullied and total social exclusion. The trans activist and writer discusses growing up in Nottingham, being repeatedly told she couldn't be a girl, and why escaping out of the window and into a world of clubbing changed her life.  She opens up about going to prison as a teenager, sex work, and why she believes people who have experienced childhood trauma need to be given more empathy and stop being shamed by society.

Plus, she gives her top tips for good sleep and shares some of her favourite things: Madonna’s business card, anyone?! 

 


All episodes are created by:
Presenter and Producer: Abby Hollick
Executive Producer: Mike Hally
Assistant Producer: Rosie Stopher
Composer: Ian Kellett

... with thanks also to Daniel Benoliel and Paul March

 

 

current production: Duvet Days podcast on BBC Sounds

Duvet Days logoOur first podcast commission for BBC Sounds - highly talented freelance producer Abby Hollick came up with the idea for 'Duvet Days' in which she joins a celebrity guest for an intimate chat under the duvet!  First episode features performance artist Bryony Kimmings, with Abby hosting & producing and directing the mix.  Find it now on BBC Sounds - the sampler is here, and the first episode is here.  Better still subscribe to the series!

Big thanks also to Rosie Stopher, Abby's indispensable assistant producer, and Ian Kellet, who composed the lovely theme music, while our own Mike Hally mixes each epiisode.

Enthusiastically reviewed by Miranda Sawyer, the Observer, 9 December 2018 "Another nice newbie ... Hollick is great at her job.  Many [celebrity interview podcasts] could take questions and editing techniques from Duvet Days."

UPDATE: episode 4 features Paris Lees and is here
episode 3 features Jason Stephens - find it here
AND episode 2 features actress Zawe Ashton and is here

*** MORE details and pictures here - or click the menu link above