The Words on…. by SJV
2018/05/17  |  By:   |  Features  |  

I’ve been lucky enough to have thousands of good days at work. Even luckier to have a fair few hundred great days at work. And yesterday I had perhaps one of the most awesome days at work in the history of work.

Let me explain why.

At the end of January this year, S&S (under the innovative editorial directorship of our brilliant Marketing Director Dawn Burnett and Digital & Social Media Manager Rich Vlietstra) launched The Words podcast, a topical series of interviews, insights, discussions and ideas, on the world of books, culture and society.

Each monthly episode of The Words presents a completely different theme with a varied panel of guests in conversation with our host, the award-winning arts journalist Rosie Goldsmith.

It garnered immediate support and endorsement from, amongst others, Grazia (who hailed the Sexism episode as the ‘Top of the Pods’) and The Guardian (who chose the Crime episode as their ‘pick of the week’ and called it ‘Topical and thought-provoking’).

We recently released episode 4, The Words on Mental Health – in which England cricketer Graeme Fowler joins Poorna Bell, Will Williams and Susan Elliot Wright for a frank and illuminating discussion about stress, depression and suicide with meditation guru Bob Roth reading an exclusive extract from his latest book, Strength in Stillness.

Episode 5 is The Words on Family, and here, finally, is where I’m getting to my point.

IMG_3177Yesterday, Dawn invited me (and when I say invited, I mean, I begged on my hands and knees to be allowed to attend!) to join her at the BBC Radio Studios in Old Broadcasting House to watch and listen to The Words on Family discussion session being recorded – with bestselling authors Santa Montefiore, Juliet Ashton and Catherine Isaac.  Me?  At the BBC?  In an actual radio studio?! I KNOW!

When I think of radio, I either think of Robin Williams screaming ‘Good Morning, Vietnam’,  Jeff Bridges in The Fisher King – despondent, depressed and drunk – or Frasier’s patronising tone ‘I’m listening…’ and each time I imagine millions of miles of multi-coloured wires snaking their way around the walls of a studio the size of a broom cupboard.

But listen, let me tell you, I’m wrong.

Upon arrival at Broadcasting House (via a quick G&T stop at the Palm Court in The Langham, cause, you know…) we were greeted by Davy Nougarede, Director of westendmedia and The Words podcast Producer, whisked up to a Green Room on the 5 floor and told that our studio for the afternoon was, apparently, where they record Front Row – 70A&B up on the 7th floor!

Already giddy with excitement, Santa, Juliet, Dawn and I waited momentarily for Catherine to record a reading of a moving essay she wrote that was the inspiration behind her novel, You Me Everything – featuring non other than celebrity voice over guest Stephen McGann! – before being ushered into The Studio.

IMG_3169 (3)I want to tell you EVERYTHING!  About the wall of wires (yes there really is one!), and the huge mixing desk, and the red Mic Live button.  I want to tell you about the revelations and the laughs and the tears.  I want to tell you how slick and professional it is.

But I can’t.  I’m under the very strictest of ‘zip-it Virtue’ rules.  But what I can tell you is this.  We go live with The Words on Family in a couple of weeks.  When you listen to it, picture me grinning like a loon behind a huge wall of glass, doing my very best thumbs up.




The Words Podcast can be found on iTunes, SoundCloud, Mixcloud, Acast, Podcast Republic, Podbean.com and Audioboom.com.

The website is www.thewordspodcast.com. Follow on: Twitter @TheWordsPodcast, Instagram @thewordspodcast and Facebook /thewordspodcast

The Words on Sexism – in which Laura Bates, Anne Helen Petersen and Sarah Vaughan discuss the challenges of sexism in society, politics, education and entertainment.

The Words on Crime – is jam packed with chat from our favourite crime writers including a panel discussion between Chris Carter, Lisa Cutts and Craig Robertson, an in depth interview with Louise Candlish on her novel Our House plus a wonderful essay written and read by Andrew Wilson on Agatha Christie and the golden age of crime writing.

The Words on Poetry – in which Benjamin Zephaniah, Ben Holden, Rupi Kaur and Rachel Spence explore the transformative power of poetry, topped off with an exclusive reading from Rupi Kaur from her latest book the sun and her flowers.





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