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Read this: Media Masters - Miranda Sawyer

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Media Masters - Miranda Sawyer…



Media matters with Paul Blanchard

welcome to media Masters a series of one-to-one interviews with people at the top of the video game 80s smash Hits she's written for the Observer since the mid-90s and has been its audio critic for the last 13 years she also presents the Sound and Vision programme on BBC Radio 6 music and was one of the founder members of lobbying groups sound which heralded a shift in attitudes toward female presenters a regular art critic imprint on television and on radio Miranda is presented the BBC's culture shock and a writing has appeared in GQ vogue and the Guardian is currently writing her third book long-term the follow-up to a 2015 bestseller out of time Miranda thank you for joining me.

That's a lot of stuff that you doing that for that person is obviously incredibly accomplished journalist and writer Steve

I am the CEO of this important company in before that I was the CEO of something else.

It's not like that if you're free then unpacked some of that I mean smash Hits amazing without Barry much are many many years ago was very kind of him as I have no experience at all.

So what job did he give you an how did that girl so he gave me so what happened was I was at university studying law and I knew I don't want to be a lawyer because I didn't like anybody on my course and I was upset with smash it and I happened to see an advert remember in the media in the Guardian on Mondays Eastbury Media adverts is years and years and years ago before the act IV internet nothing and I was a little mean in mediately newsrooms tiny advert and it said rock and roll ain't noise pollution and pop writer was forced my sister who is literally the only magazine I read so I thought I lose my job like dream job and so

I wrote am I write a letter in the style of smash Hits and if anyone remembers that's what it says a lot of inverted commas and there's a lot of time of funny slang and so I write a letter rock the Moor roll, and sent it off and what I'm really surprised about now now.

I know what they offices like this.

Is there anybody read the letter at all, but they did and they got a Lamborghini what's an amateur babe could really easy of ended up in the bin.

Does me just randomly you don't know anyway, so somebody's conspiracies me when he's got something wrong on it.

So people on Twitter saying they deliberately can spiders that didn't just running around like headless chickens a couple of days work and a barrier member interviews me and the basically the job come up because Neil Tennant Academy fun to be a popstar and the permanent job was given to some.

You with more experience but they needed someone to China because at the time.

They were selling like a popstar minimum age is sausage and still going well, so there was no selling about 8 over 800000 copies an issue which came out every two weeks, so they needed kind of somebody to train at really and Barry and Hooves me and I remember he said in the interview Elton John is number one should be putting on the cover and I went no definitely not you should brother Beyond on the cover and he said was Nathan some of the the lead singer who was Nathan and and he says interesting we've just put them on the cover as a basically.

I think he what he recognising me was I was a smash Hits reader who might turn into a writer and the first time I went to the office.

I turned up too early as only have a cleaning job normal Jobs before that so I turned up at 9 which is normal time to turn it for a job because nobody worked up till 10.

I'd sit outside on the step lazy lazy music Jealous Guy

They put me in front of them and electric typewriter, which had never used in how to switch it on our own back.

He said he was the kind of news editor said right go through the last 2 weeks of tabloids find me all the parts store is so did that game Timmy divided into to get me 1/2 and said right mutterings which was the kind of got it a bit the back going to do that Rings so I think the main reason I got the job if that I did it so I just went out and I wrote it all longhand and then I switched on the typewriter and very carefully wrote it all out completely wrongly you know no spaces.

I wrote on both sides of the paper.

Cos I was a student handed it in and they when somebody's done the work to do and then went ok fine and then because I kept turning up and kept doing the work.

I think they got the job that way is not the secret the rotational job.

I think it's really interesting.

Sometimes that kind of lack of confidence can manifest itself and unreliability cos you just can't believe anybody would ever give you the job and I always say to people who want to be a journalist if you say listen to what they ask you to do.

I'm going do it like do that and then when you've done it say I've done it now.

Is there anything else you want me to do and so it's literally journalism, you know 90% of the job is handing it in on time until length.

That's you know really and then all the rest of you can learn to do you know if you've got as you're interested.

You'll learn how to ask questions and you how to write properly in all those kind of things you can learn but it's that and I think that when people are I'm confident and young they get really tied up in knots and they think they have to be the life and soul of the office and do this andu, that actually just have to do the job there to do for Management Consultants would say that you are outcome focused of God yea, or journalists are sulecki job done.

Just get it done.

I mean you say you know I'm not saying I don't suffer from angst about work cuz I do but essentially journalism is a very out.

Unfocused job is you know you know you turn up you do the job otherwise it's like you know creating a newspaper even that in these online days is like making a fool book everyday like there's a lot of work that goes into that if you're creating a world every every every day, so if somebody doesn't do that.

There's nobody got the time to say I'll call you you feeling bit rubbish.

They've got a hole because I've got to be filled.

It's got to happen in oh so I think it's yeah.

I'm incredibly outcome Focus I am there all about deadlines nothing happens in my life.

If you don't give me a deadline indulge me for a moment because I want to reminisce about some of the bands that your writing abilities as just forget the rest of the questions that was on the scene at the time was it like grass and I like her face and Kylie and Jason Eire and then coming up with kind of we still in the carry in the Kelly rid of it.

So yeah, so it was that kind of stock Aitken Waterman pop, it was really and then around chords.

Yeah of course and around that time so that was 88 when I joined then what was interesting was that music changes a house music was coming to a Manchester was coming to him cos I'm from a survey of Manchester house.

I became aware that the smash hits Manchester correspondent officially that Stone Roses and Happy Mondays I do them a map a member of South Manchester including this particular pub where you can go in that there was on a certain nights and nightclub Manchester vibes in the area or invita and put that on the map and like you know the whole country was crazy for Manchester this is crazy by Patsy think I'm not even more so really I mean did you not that point then that this was your calling there because clearly Gabbana new law degree.

Is it now in The Thick of it? Was it was it was it just head down get on with it.

This is going to be my life.

Assets at the ESA mean, it was weird.

It was it is very funny when you when you find your people.

I think you know that quite quickly so I walked into your officer smashes and I kept looking around for the boss.

Obviously Barry was the bus Barry mcelhenney, but he just seems that somebody who was like me, but a bit older where does I was used to work in in places where you know people shouted at you and they were proper grown up some more suits if they were the boss tuner and that was so to work in a place that where everyone is interested music everyone is interested in being funny everyone had the similar kind of outlook for life.

I send it on this.

Is it a fan? I have found my people and I was very lucky to find them at 21.

You know a lot of people are passed around for a career.

I suppose really in the normal way and then suddenly walk into a place of here.

I am I know this is a bit like the other times.

I've had it is I had it when I walked in to six music you just walk in you think it's alright everyone that I understand people here.

Will get each other week, it's really easy to understand without Jeff Smith City much are the nicest people you could mean I really enjoyed talking to him.

It's very easy.

You know you just think I was ok and can it be myself and people who understand? What was it like to meet your Heroes at a recent interview with The Beastie Boys new record hanging out with the band in the 90s when they were trying to play with drugs when they were applied with drugs in the night has offered to say hello in the 90s.

I was out a lot which I think is another important thing in journalism especially in in the media in general actually, I think if you're young and in the media in your 20s.

You shouldn't be saying it doesn't matter if you got any money nobody cares.

I had no money nobody has any money just go out and don't think it's networking cos that's just kind of boring.

It's just going out to see what there is out there.

What's happening?

Who do you meet what will happen in because I was success show up and just see what's out there.

Do you mean really get up show up your dress up show up and that's what I was doing to holiday 97a member having a can of telly presenter gig and it went out on a Thursday night in every morning on the Friday it was called broth soup and I'm every morning on the Friday I tell you we have a meeting about how the show went and I never saw the Show because I was not having ever watched it actually I think it's probably quite a good idea because if I did watch it.

I would be so self-conscious and every Cent again, but I think going out with very important and anyway.

I went out a lot and because I went out a lot I met my tea, and I can't I genuinely cannot remember how but I met him and a few times.

I went to New York and LA and they can have moved between those two places.

I went for lunch with him and the main thing I'm

He was quite vegan a doesn't use a vegan but began sq before anybody else interval before you like drinking.

He was just drinking twig tea.

It was like water with a twig in it and people having a bit of a long shot espresso on British was looking for sausage and chips or something really nice and so we went to very trendy place and had and had lunch and then back to his house and he smokes weed in her hands as sure lots of people know and he just had a really strong weed made to goes on a joint and I couldn't speak on use the phone to call for a taxi.

It's really embarrassing to drive me back to where I was staying hemblade.

He played some tracks from from the new.

Album and of course when I got back to select my exam stress working again, what did he play and I said or like a member had a flute in it and I tried to climb out of the window with the car because it was so good, but I can't tell you anything else, but that's gonzo journalism at its best and taking all my clothes off and watching QVC for about 6 hours.

We ought.

That's just a standard Saturday night like though in terms of that line between being friends with his been building up relationship.

Then having his music journalism is not it's not the traditional like political journalism where you're holding politicians to account you know when I when I read Empire Magazine or smashes.

I want my journalist to TN22 ready to empathize and sharing the joy of it as well as tell me what's going on here think it's interesting when you're the same ages of people writing about I think that's quite interesting so if you think about that time in the

Prima same age as blue or any of those bands that came around that time and was possibly doing similar fit and me we used to go to the same clubs and then obviously it changed because I become famous and then moving to a different kind of stratosphear suppose, but you you're essentially you have a lot in, because you're brought up at the same time.

You know there was the same politics around you when you grew up.

You're probably interest in the same thing so you have quite a lot in common.

So you might find it easier to understand those people or to build up a repore but what I would say is it always always always I always have the reader in mind actually more than the band so what I'm always trying to say if this is the band.

I think they're great because of this.

This is what we talked about but fundamentally.

I'm always thinking about the reader is not about me in the band Avenue great time.

That's not the point you know I mean despite how friendly you might be with them and they are not your friends in that they're not your proper proper friends that you call up in a crisis out there, it's and

That rapport really is because I like to get on with people anyway, but it's also actually because I'm trying to make everybody relax so that we can find more out about these people that you the reader care about you know that's the point and how does it work in terms of criticism then when you reporting what they doing ultimately you going to Diss descend into actual criticism like his their new album any good when I suppose you'll just have to be honest.

It is no point.

I think when you're young you can be quite Cruel by think people are incredibly somebody made a record that I didn't like to be honest and knowledge.

What people are trying to do creatively and say where did Mrs and won't doesn't that's all that's all that creativity is isn't it most people of got an idea of something they want to make and that never happened.

You know you never make this is the same with writing with anything else you never craft the perfect feature that you had in your head, but you you start off and you.

You get somewhere near it and then maybe you'll get something more interesting and it's the same with making music or art or anything like that.

You start you start a process where you think you're going along one way and it will it it'll change morph into something else and sometimes that work and sometimes that way and what I always think in the end.

Is you know as they get older I become more interested in the process around it almost in the product.

So when I was younger is only interested in the products and I am still at me know somebody brings out a brilliant single.

I am interested in that that's absolutely amazing but as I get older I'm more interested in how did you get there and what went wrong on the way that's I find that really much more just what you trying to do and then it all went wrong and you did something else and to acknowledge that even if the product is not what you wanted or you don't particularly like that process is really interesting anyway some more interesting that Lisa is the same with me at work in PR and whenever there's like a crisis on Opportunity my thoughts and never about whatever it is about it's always about well.

They've missed an opportunity to frame it this way.

Opportunity, what actually what were you trying to do quite often that you're trying to do something even if it's a terrible pie have to see somebody making a complete idiot and sales you know.

What would it actually trying to do you know when was there any value in that rather than the thing that came out you know we've all been too terrible theatre or films.

We had to walk out of our records that we you know literally throw across the room.

You know all your running to the radio to switch off.

Cos you hate it so much, but that's you know if the process that they got there is interesting as still is still got some merit.

I think but it is always going to be subject to visit in the smash it out for me since I was Richard Marx and back in the day in fact.

I still am now because it now because we're all old smash Hits give it a terrible review and it says a repeat offender you can say that again.

You don't like both albums wish it and I thought I buy into this any good listen to her that she quite like this album.

Nothing you can do about it also because quite often in those cases.

You're reviewing the person not the record.

Don't you? They're reviewing Richard Marx on at reviewing the record that was a clever Richard Marx references one of the attractive called there ain't nothin' do about but it also mean music journalism part of the joy of music journalism is a big fantastic slagging isn't it? I mean that's kind a partly the point within that genre.

You know I find a really well crafted major John mean spirits holiday job, isn't it? So it's a fantastic day and how did how did it be like threesome with your writing about someone that you do a very well-crafted, but x joyously mean-spirited Hatchet job on something.

How did they take it does it very interesting because I always think that you know whatever you say you have to know it's what you think don't lie you know if you like something.

So you like it if you don't don't and say why and you know obviously I've been confronted with p.

For by people who haven't liked what I've written.

She works looking a little say brother Beyond and then it said your review now.

I've been in a lift with the situation with a villa lead singer of a band who absolutely can't stand me you was shouted at me across.

You know various crowded bars in the past, but you know that's alright.

I'll leave you didn't like it.

It's ok.

I'm in at the time it felt quite tricky.

Where is now I think I just think fine and actually as you get older.

What's interesting is a people that you maybe had rivalries around or who didn't like what you wrote about when you were younger saying the 90s.

I mean there's a classic kind of I wrote an article about and Noel Gallagher in an in that article you can a slag Damon and Alex off from blue and said he wanted them to die of a dry and we actually thought we actually thought nothing of that.

We didn't know we just thought it was just being funny and then it was kind of funny.

Didn't but it went very big at the time and he got very upset about it.

No you reporting accurately what he said on the record yeah, and I understand why because he said it was quite funny it mean I didn't kind of girl you're a terrible person.

I just thought he was just being in an idiot got funny but anyway it wouldn't go very well, and it was not good for him.

I'm so for a while.

He was very quickly towards me but and I felt can similarly prickly around but now I reacted yeah, whatever you know but now I can't think where you know what we were all around in the 90s.

It was quite hectic in the 90s at that time.

It was really really hectic and fundamentally, what do I think about Noel Gallagher on Oasis fundamentally? I think they're a great bands and he is on the right side of things in life.

You know he is he's really funny.

He pays his taxes is like he is he works hard.

He's made some amazing record.

Fine really fantastic that is brilliant.

I have no problem with him and what you hope is as you get older you understand that you were all part of a kind of Mad scene and actually some people are alright and even though you got an itch another there's no fuel or putting it in the right direction and that's fine.

You know so even if there are people that don't like me from that time.

I think fundamentally we're actually on the right side.

We are on the same side and it was ok, but you are right that it is an ecosphere.

Isn't it? Supposed you know when I used to go to live gigs if I settle down and begin boring you know reading about the up and coming gigs in the reviews of the previous ones in his until was part of the excitement and then reading the reviews afterwards as I'm with you agreed with them and all of that was all part of the exciting reading any joy nothing also.

There's a kind of nice rivalry between different papers in a cm between Otley and EMI and Melody Maker but then smash Hits as well and there was another another magazine of smash it's called.

And that kind of rivalries actually quite important because it makes you want to do better and be better and I think that those things are really important and also I like anything any music in particular.

It comes out of a culture that represents something that's happening and that culture can be you know a classic culture would be a council estate culture, you know whatever that is where your from your representing your where you where you grew up.

That's a classic way of doing it, but there's also people who feel like they're outsiders for where they live so they move somewhere else and they form their little culture there and I think that what happens if something comes out of a coach with them people who were involved in similar culture will be attracted to it there right about it.

They all nowadays are treated better than make radio shows about it and that is really important because that will make that thing get bigger and have more significance and then it will go Nationwide or maybe worldwide an end people will understand it because it represents something it's really real.

You mention the TV show a few moments and how did that can of TV opportunities and other media than printers it work on about and did you kind of like that? Do you think well actually? I do want to be a television music jealous or do you want we do you want to be in print really haphazard emc2 feeling really good at making stuff came out of trying to think it's really what happened was I went on some weird show where it was like you had to have an opinion about something it was on the telly and I were like camouflage something off cos I can't remember.

I was up against a thing as youth programs and that's why I had to say a member being in a room and this researcher or producer catching me up to be really kind of tough.

And then having to go up against Michelle Collins oh, I think was working for the for the word that sounds Cindy from Eastenders yeah.

I just I just remember going quite hard on Michelle Connor to some reason anyway someone saw me to do that one as she left poor Ian Beale at the Old well.

It wasn't it wasn't actually about that about her presenting in his show anyway anyway.

I then I think somebody saw it and then they audition me for another program well and she caught the eye of the powers that be just a gob on a stick of the right age and so I did a program with Paul tonkinson who was an up-and-coming comedian at the time and it was a youth show as you can imagine it and it was it was a local London you show and it was saying Deptford it was called raw soup.

We had actually good bands on and really good comedians at the time.

They were just coming up and coming and I did my that was my first television.

Why did he want to pursue a career in tell you that body to get the Bogarde do you think Rea

This is going to go back to print or I'm gonna do all these things all at once it's funny.

No because there's something about telly that really messes with your head and I found that quite hard, so I got a couple of gigs after that and I really didn't like them too.

It.

Would it does is obviously it puffs up your eGo really big because there's a camera pointing at you, but it also smashes it into smithereens because you'll discover Ducati walk and talk and remember things at the same time and you are all full and what you doing cos you look if you look at yourself on the telly.

Obviously you hate yourself forever so I I actually turned down quite a lot of gigs because I just couldn't deal with it actually you know I had a column in a member of the Parliament I'm out and somebody approached me.

They wanted to make it a tele programme about it, which I can't think of you should probably should have taken the opportunity, but I was so that are fun whole thing so different to writing that I couldn't really cope with it and so when I if I think about generally about my career writing is the thing I've done all the way through and that's the thing that I make that.

How I pay my mortgage is writing definitely definitely definitely and then telly and radio broadcasting it just comes in and out because things like with radio you have to pick a lot and I've got the process is just a nightmare and the same as she was Telly so I very rarely pitch anything now.

It's somebody comes to me and says what about this and I think that's interesting then.

I'll do it but the pitching process is so tedious and I just I don't have the patience really the so many people involved in telly to stay builders as well at least you know some money.

What would someone if I can miss you to write something you can sit down in front of your electric typewriter in the Fifth Element of having to be there for teddy that can be quite difficult you know you have to be that you have to look nice.

You have to turn for the right time you have to do it within a certain time thing where I was with writing you as long as you fit same thing as long as you're failing to lengthen on time.

Nobody cares when he wrote it.

I don't care if you were here now before or 2 weeks before just handed in on time.

And you can say you can do it when you can fit it in if you say to me, but I do think that telly and radio does teach you something about interviewing a bit, so when told me anything this got £160 have done.

I'm sure it would it teaches you I think the special Italian radio as you think it's all about like really intelligent question so you got them and it's not it's absolutely about creating a nice atmosphere with somebody so that when the the the camera is rolling and they're actually might feel a bit awkward.

You've created such a nice atmosphere that they can talk to you.

I mean that is like 90% of the job.

Really putting people at ease cos there's an artificiality to being in a TV studio which affects the interview as you said to them or you can try and normalising so we'll forget the cameras there were just having a chat.

Love you.

So so so so so that's how you get the best out of them and sometimes it in television you and ridiculous situations like 30 people around you and there's somebody knocking on the window pulling faces and night you not only have to get it.

2 minutes between buses passing you not mean.

It's just really really difficult so nearly all of it.

I think as a presenter is make that everything within that as relaxed as you can for the person you're talking to explain explain what's going on.

Have a bit of a laugh and then when you do it that will be if the interviews fine and so are you have brought that which I've learnt quite a lot into my normal interviews mine everyday and he's old do for writing now so half the time you now just straight off questions and say that because I just think we're let's have a chat.

Let's see what you actually thinking about what talk about your work and then let's think about something.

That's what I'll be thinking about and I know discretion is the better part of Valour and all of that but you no spill the beans who was Ben even if you have got a good you don't end result from it.

Who who have you interview this you know at principal Diana Ross families not very nice with journalist in about not pleasant Sims

Who has been really good loads of people have been really good aim in the majority of people I interview I come out and I think that was great.

I met a really interesting person with a brilliant time.

I feel engaged.

I feel like I learnt something that was absolutely brilliant.

I'm out of those people for a long time actually was a lot of mancunians are really liked interviewing you all.

Bye.

It was recorded as Happy Mondays are all really interesting in brilliant, but I would also say Madonna and teach he was amazing and Grace Jones absolutely amazing.

She made me really yeah, I know so excited before or after so let you know those people just absolutely great then the people that are not good.

I find it sometimes interesting if people were a bit awkward.

It's nearly was blokes.

I think you and what you find if you have to question in their very first thing.

They say is no to everything you say they don't know and I go or what is it then and then get 100.

It's like this and I remember once into a director and we were on stage and he literally started.

I was pointed it out.

I said you're moving your chair away from me.

I can watch it.

You're moving it away you have to and I drag this chair towards me and those kind of things are quite funny.

Why why was he doing with you? Because he was was it something to do was just a little bit defensive like people can be you know haven't you people on stage and it's just gone terribly you know a minute so fully and Bret Easton Ellis and he was really hungover and it wasn't really interested in what way to talk about what she was the sequel to lessons the Red Bull culture questions ready to listen to people on stage latitude doing their service.

What is he said? I don't want to talk about the book I want to talk about the hills which is a program.

I've never watched and I was like well.

I can't talk about that.

So why don't you go ahead right? So I let me talk about the hills and therefore to bring back to the book and it was a classic everything.

I said what know and I could feel my there's a real funny thing with stage technique.

So you have to not let it show that you're worried.

So I've just get very sore, but I knew I was 10 because I could feel my buttocks receipt and sorrows up about like to 14 this year was really rude and then after I actually said look this isn't going very well.

Why don't we destroy open to the audience because there's no point if it's not good if we can't if it's not working then.

Did you refuse to answer the audience is quite good, but there was a point when can you stop flirting with that bloke because it was quite funny.

So there's actually quite a bit of tension there, isn't it? Yeah and also I think what I've learnt about being on say actually really enjoy being.

I'm safe now.

Obviously it takes the time to learn is it if you acknowledge? What's actually happening everybody is engaged in if you say this isn't going very well, let's get some SQA questions from the audience.

You don't seem to like these questions.

That's try something else.

It's fine.

You know because you'll meet your engaging a happening the everybody is engaged with in and that's ok.

If it's going wrong to say it's going wrong.

You know what I dropped off.

I remember the question.

It's fine.

You just have to be in the moment tell people because otherwise it looks like you're out of control and you're not in you know this is your big.

You're not you're the person staring the did you have to consider it and do you enjoy the fact that you've expanded your remit as it were that you write on the wider outseam other than merely music as you started in yeah definitely happen.

I can't remember.

I mean is partly cuz I was interested anyway.

I know what part of it was actually so again in the 90s if you think about what was the people.

Call the yba young British artists so they were around like Tracy is it obvious Wanderers Tracey Emin Damien Hirst you know Sam taylor-wood Chapman Brothers you know all those people were around you would see them out.

So you go to get in.

There will be there.

So you would see him to York Barbican Easter eggs and so when I interviewed them.

It was a similar kind of thing you know you just see him out of there before and over in some corner somewhere and they were friends are quite a lot of the band anyway, so those people felt very natural 20 because they will part of that seem really and then I was always quite interested in visual art so because of that that can be carried on really and artist really good if your interview notice.

They're really brilliant because it's been all that im thinking about suffering.

They're really honest.

They got no reason not to be honest because you know you know their work is not being sold to you and me their work is being sold to collectors or two institutions, so actually doesn't really matter what they say, where is

If you're a band I suppose it in your work is purchased democratically so units purchased by lots of lots of those little people so if you can have a rude about the Little People nobody's going to buy your work.

Where is actually that doesn't matter if you're not it's because you're appealing to people with on a different pay scale and they don't even care did this Cathy got the press and where is it on the killer push-pull thing in terms of which side of the conversation wants you to succeed markers for example.

You know if I'm trying to if I'm Rick Astley and I'm trying to build a name for myself.

Yes, she does as you just said head is the absence of slagging off his fans.

He wouldn't do that but on the other hand he wants to have a good interview some people like him and your frankly that the Minster that yeah, I don't know I mean that you interview if your interview somebody what I want anything is to be honest right so I try and give them very few opportunities to lie.

So your best bet without quite often is starting to talk.

Them about their childhood sweetheart 2hat.

Lie about your childhood you have you say what processes you have on the wall.

It's hard to fake that environment because you will cry for me.

Why would you lie? It's really hard to create a whole new kind of childhood for yourself.

Do you know to me and so I always try and create an environment where they they don't need to lie and then you get an honesty around around everything really because once you start to I don't know ask a question where the only diplomatic answer is a lie like the new Kylie single or something like that.

Do you mean you can't really be horrible about it because they were both stock Aitken Waterman so you know but why would you ask that question is Pointless but if you ask a question which is a classic smash.

It's question.

Have you ever been sick in your shoes? You're more likely to get out of a truthful one will have you ever been sick in your

No, I have not have you ever been sick in a cup yes, try and hide it in 160 miserable podcast That I've Done no interviewees ever tried to turn the tables.

What am I asking the questions about couple of weeks ago and are genuinely quite nervous and it made me nervous because she said will have spent decades asking other people questions and holding them to account and now you can ask me things.

I'm like you normally just not quite hard.

Isn't it that never ever happened do that thing on the stage movie? How do you divide your mention your freelancing? I mean they are supposed the year.

We call a portfolio career these days.

You have lots of different meat from string.

Ok, so I have regular gig so I have a regular audio column for the Observer wear a V reg and podcast that has to be found on Wednesday so I'm normally doing either on a Tuesday Wednesday that suggests akasan that has to happen and then other than that if I've got the so I have a six music show and that runs for kind of 4 weeks every time so that most of the work in that I have to say is getting people to do it because it is a very specific time some of these people have been very important stars.

It's quite a lot of it is pitching their go yes and then the American Pie was going now and then I've probably got something.

I forgot to write is a feature of gotta write up or an opinion piece or because of newspapers you might get phoned up and they say right we need something now or email them over so there's normally account account then I meant to be writing a book.

I am writing a book under sink as managing this is writing the book writing #amwriting.

So that is also time kind of ticking over but most of the structure of my life is provided by the structure of my children's life.

That's just

What happened so the problem with being a freelancer is it actually you don't really want to stretch out and you like to go to work in Australia as you can and then you have kids and the whole life is dominated by getting them to school in them picking them up from school and taking them like a taxi services my dad used to say about me and I the problem I have with it.

Is it makes time pass a really really really fast and I'm middle age and I would like to have to slow down because it could be you could see as enabling that it's a framework that you've got the kids to school you then got 3 hours without a wok.

Wishaw are you can get on with writing had kids there is a whole world of banks that just disappeared because you've got to find out of time to write a feature.

So you know when I stop talking to you.

I've got to finish off and I've got a right column and there is no question that has to be done by 4 there's an element that I do quite like it's just the repetitive push things.

I find quite hard sometimes and presumably to state the obvious kids getting their way in terms of

Going to endless gigs.

Have you loads of stuff? We have attempted to put them in an orphanage so you can focus completely on music and she is so she's been to festivals parties concerned.

There is literally one of the Cool Kids she's kind of person so she thinks that if I'm working and she's not going because right yeah, and you've got school this year, but I seen you do this one like it.

Why is it not like when we report Elliott and it's all fine, so as I was awesome precocious probably end up in a family that said last week.

We did at the two things one was I did them suede hooded documentary Out on Sky Arts it's a great documentary recommend it and what happened was it was a showing of The Documentary and then through the band on stage that weirdly she has met Brett Anderson because I interviewed on-stage port Eliot and she got on with his kid as far as he's concerned her and Beretta like this way mate.

So I said.

Why am I not going out because it's literally on at 9:30 at night.

No and then on the Wednesday won't see Christine and the Queens and she really like that and she was like why am I not going not related to you that can I become a vegan in Japan where it grown men can become adopted across? She's got a really she's got FOMO big Star Wars I'm older and I have do not have that anymore me.

Do you enjoy it? I mean we clearly I can see the passion and hear that you do enjoy but there any bits now that you are you chilling out you mentioned it, you got to leave at 4 with the actual process of knocking out or is it more about? I need to get get it done so I can make a cup of tea bit of writing.

I like so that's very lucky you like about it.

I suppose I'm sure Off enough to think that too.

Joy putting my opinion out there until the world doesn't you have to have a slightly show-off element.

I think to be a gymnast really enjoyed the show of Gino you don't have it and there's an element of a if you have that then you want it you want to say how find this thing it's brilliant.

How about this so, but then there's something about writing that I really like because it ordered my thoughts so I might be able to tell you what I think now, but the actual physical act of writing will make my opinions better and I enjoy that I can write.

I went alright write an optically great, but it's not something I enjoy which is why employ some writers in my business because they're better today.

You can see the enjoy it and ID rather give them the debrief because your creativity lies elsewhere, so this do you want to do is opposite Day certificate.

She didn't you know you said you have ideas you have creativity, but it's writing is that where you want to the not the way that you can express it.

So if I hear sometimes when I'm interviewing artists artists hate writing you know that emails a terrible mean the just rubbish.

There are the far too long stream of conscious or alive 3 word and that's because it's not their medium.

This is not what they do with their ideas.

Come out in a different way and it just so it just happens that writing is where I am able to order order my thoughts and to think things properly that's just kind of what I'm best at didn't we take popular cultures seriously not further Society I mean you don't you don't eat meat documentaries for Radio 5 interview don't leaves of musicians and artists for 6 Music and done BBC2 programmes.

Is it something that in the busyness of life now that everyone's working 14 hours a day at the factory and then they've got the kids and everything else that they don't make time for this kind of thing or is it just me? I think it's hard when you get older because you just have the sea have finite amount of time and it's hard to understand why you find Pop Culture I think when your older because the means of.

I changed a little bit hasn't it? So you can't pick up the enemy or whatever but I think that Pop Culture is incredibly important to most people actually because it frames their life and helps them understand it.

So you know so I mean I know plenty of people who younger younger than me who don't watch films but are really into computer games.

I don't like computer go to the cyst on my thing really but I understand because I know it's obvious that computer games are also creative Enterprises so if you were involved in that there is something that is creative about you being in that world and negotiating that world and understanding how you want to play it and all that you know it's in a very involving situation to be involved in and I in the absolutely defines people's life sometimes and that there's nothing wrong with it.

All.

They make friends that way and it's the same with music if you're really into a certain type of band even if you can't leave the house, you might be able to join the Fight Club online or whatever you know it's very important for human being.

In general to be able to express all the things I can't express it sometimes you need someone else to do it for you and music Will almost always do that for you, but film can do it or dance can do it or culture in general and whether it's Pop Culture or what people called highest is expressing stuff that can't be expressed in any of the way that we can't get out and so in all I think in order to live a fulfilled emotional and intellectual life you need the Arts in whatever form that is and I don't mind if it's computer games and I don't mind if it's opera you need something in your life to express the stuff you can't express.

Otherwise did you ever feeling all the programs? I've seen you on did you ever feel that you were the kind of token female panelist really cos you were clearly.

They're married but some of the things.

I remember seeing you on it.

Was you and loads of blokes and you don't you with Aaron married but why would I wasn't well? You don't need to buy some money because he's got more women as well.

You know what it's so interesting.

I just think you wouldn't notice.

A really really long time me I know this and other woman you would notice other weirdly not all the time because we were brought up in a patriarchal Society but I remember very there was a point where I was on the committee to do with organising a kind of radio conference in a big Radio 5 live with me and I remember they kept arranging the meeting for 5:30 and I did it was it was a nightmare for me not a family-friendly tide time my kids little it was real time and every time I could make it there be doing panels and literally all I do is put my hand and go there's no woman and it there's no women on it was the woman with a mini was just insane.

It was so boring and after that really soon after that actually about couple years after that.

There was a kind of lobby Group phone calls sound women and I was one of the founder members and it was because of that because we went to a can of Radio Awards show it's got the Sony's it was cold and it was a bit let you know the radio Oscars hosted by Chris Evans who you can understand why great house.

But every single woman that came on stage incredibly talented high achieving women with their two-hander gone out to a bloke it was just unbelievable it was appalling and talkSPORT one at that time station of the Year which I think is you know completely you could argue for that but at the time they had an advert where if you answered questions correctly a woman would strip for you.

Yeah, I would you get away with that now.

I can get away with that.

So you know you have to keep raising these issues because people just don't even notice otherwise.

I don't notice it seems to be the BBC in particular with your #bbc women and all that I really doing their best now to to make Shami we got Zoe Ball replacing Chris Evans we've got Sara Cox drivetime now.

There was a point.

I think where you know other than Vanessa Feltz he was an old male lineup on Radio 2 and it was like that for decades.

In my capacity as a kind of radio with you and I was saying this cannot this cannot I just like this for you know you cannot have a weekday schedule, which literally white middle-aged men from the time of Vanessa finishes, so she's what 7 in the morning 7:30 until 7 at night everyday.

It can't happen and he said at the time.

He said we haven't we've missed the boat.

We haven't trained up enough women to be good enough to replace them and I was like this is rubbish and then it's just rubbish so knows that what we going to do wait till somebody dies in the literally dies on hair before somebody gets replaced, but then that is really choose.

Where did I miss you when did but it's a good strong couple of factors that happened in the first one the first one was actually sound women so we created this lobby group and we brought things to their tension and actually be cut as a direct result of that Tony Hall who came in is a kind of the head of the BBC said right.

We need to change local radio show that there's an equal amount of women presenting on breakfast shows as men cuz there's actually one woman with a

Solar radio UK breakfast in about the number of women presenters on read in my shame and that was slightly there's an alteration and then what actually happened was two things one was the presenters pay was published and that was a big shocker for everybody Jo Whiley been worth half a Simon Mayo I'm in his mental and then the other one was that Ofcom can it took over the running of the BBC at the very very top and they said you have to legally now have to represent the diversity of the United Kingdom so the BBC went into a panic and then because of that in every kind of luckily he for the hen Chris Evans left.

And so therefore you know they had the people who is eminently qualified Zoe Ball Sara Cox Jo Whiley these people are I mean how much would they have to do to prove they're brilliant Radio 2 presenters.

They are amazing so all the people that line.

They were the people that were already there, but I also think there's a really interesting subtle point which is that Sara Cox Zoe Ball Jo Whiley they all came out of the 90s and all of them out that time called ladders girls women you can have a pint with and so what I find quite interesting is that those women are still seeing as people may never see the same as women and they are absolutely eminently qualified to do that job, but they all seem a slightly bloated.

So they are allowed into the blokes world.

Yeah, but you could contrast that with people like Lauren Laverne who doesn't seem to me to be a ladder like a bloke e-types.

No, she's not but she's she's she's also the same kind of a sheet she takes, slightly bloody boxers who knows everything she can about music.

She's incredibly well versed in there because she's amazing she's like.

Solutely the top of their game she's completely brilliant, but she will take slightly kind of and Nerdy boy things that people want you know you can imagine that she might be fun in a pub.

You know she would she would have a laugh with you as you can take a jokes.

You can make a joke.

She knows loads about music.

She's kind of chicken can of quite mailboxes so we're looking at women presenters leaving then even other women and they're in their doing the job when looking at them through a Mill Lane I thinks like very very slightly like I would be absolutely gobsmacked if an essay Feltz ever got a radio to give during the day because she is not like that yeah, and yet.

She's absolutely beautiful tastic broadcasting but yet she's older as well.

You know you can start to see the reasons why you know she's he doesn't fit that mold and that's the yep.

That's too big decision shame that she doesn't have a prime-time agree with you.

Let's talk about swingers parties.

Who is Patty's never go to one cos they're on Ilkley middle-aged people Suburbs Park and Ride that meant visiting golf club swingers party.

I was going to ask on the 1999 and it's about the Suburbs so where I grew up was a Suburb of Manchester is like footballers' wives, but I'm not sure because I would like teacher said it was it was very white stiletto.

You know show Ronnie made your money can a thing and what I had a feeling about which I think is slightly being born out with that that suburban kind of approach to life with taking over cities.

So what used to happen is that you as a person from the service or from outside the city would move to a city cos it was really granny and Glitzy and odd and there were funny spaces between the cracks where you could come.

And when I was young to go into town into Manchester was seen as a really reckless thing to do but what I could see was that the values and sofas with kind of coming into the city and taking over you know celebrity was coming come dat pedestrianised and can a nicer and occasionally almost more like it's like a modification is suburban fishing shopping mall even though it's actually a street and that means it's a burden people that go in so like Manchester loses the burden people going to Manchester now, when they didn't before because it was a bit scary before and now it's not so that's what kind of what I was writing about and within that it meant that I want to swing his party and I'll be that girl.

It's a bit like what you said.

He's just not really nice evening and I didn't fancy anyone and it was all a bit awkward and weird I did the classic tabloid and made my this is left.

There is a point that we just think I'll my god please.

No, I mean I'm not very happy that you are having a great time, but this is not for me.

Its look it's absolutely I mean I think it is it is all consent you there's no single males allowed.

It always has to be couples.

You know it's called there's quite a few kind of those particular rules around it.

I just didn't fancy anyone and also I was still ventuno really if you wanted to have a kind of quick illicit.

Shall I go to a nightclub? You know it's not that hard.

I've been putting off my midlife crisis phone for quite some time now and have managed to stave it off but you actually run a straight-talking handbook about tackling that idea.

How old are you? I'm 43.

Greatest is going to come for you.

I'm already feeling it anymore.

I genuinely had a midlife crisis, but it was a very small and slightly pathetic one, so I didn't want to leave my husband.

I didn't mean oh wonder.

Enough with the builder of teacup kind of like mad you know yoga somewhere.

I just felt this sense of living having lived over half my life and what was I going to do with the rest of my life and that was quite difficult for the trigger around it and the triggered can be things that your parents died in a divorce or in my case.

I had my second child very late, so I had my I said I had her when I saw T3 and so I was incredibly grateful.

She was a great and it's still a great kid and I just remember looking at your older insist on going to gigs easy, but I'm looking at in the kitchen and starting doing the Deathmatch so basically what you do.

Is you work out? How old do going to be when she leaves home go to university then also work at the fattest sheep only going to come back because you live in London and then once you've got rid of her.

How old do you're going to be another option then and how many years you have left before you die and the average age.

Do you know this is some terrible hardcore facts which?

Essentially if you were born when I was born which was the 67 then you are statistically likely as a woman to die 83 and if you're a bloke it's 80 note tekna maudling turn ok with a kind of you know following winding a few greens never keep jogging round apart.

Maybe I can push it to 86.

I'd rather not do the job in and diarrhoea, but still you was on Netflix now.

You know you over halfway right that is very difficult because if you have a metaphor in your head.

It's very very likely to be I'm at the top of the other hand it's downhill now.

That's it down hill into the death of my back is hurting now, but I genuinely put my back at about 4 weeks ago.

Just tie my shoelaces.

I mean what kind of a total Dumpty puts back.

I'm a lady.

That's my point something I was Indestructible and now I think I will destructible headspace.

I see if you write about music so because it's seen as a young person's game isn't exactly and also you know not to be funny about it.

I writing about music and I'm a journalist both those music and journalism.

We kind of a Dying industry right, so those things a bit we meet you really might as well be a minor you're not qualified to do anything else on what you're qualified and do it isn't is a Dying industry, and there is does a Shifter need to be done around your head so this shift.

Essentially is that if you're younger you think I've got loads of potential I can do this.

Is it and then when you're a middle aged you think actually there's a lot things I can't do I can't really basic dreams that people have a really long time that you know in extreme forms are I'm going to play for Man United I'm going to be Prime Minister that I dream all those kind of things and you have to know that those are not going to happen.

So they're not gonna happen.

What is going to happen but also and I've had this with my friends where things that live aspired to do like marriage and Mog he actually then tie them down.

So they get the kids and get the mortgage and then then.

Can you actually feel locked in by that yes exactly so you feel very tired so I mean by the potential so there's no sense that you can move around freely and fulfill whatever this brilliant person is within that it is much harder to do and you're anything at your lockdown, so what is isense when you give the answers for when I need to give you a little bit.

I would say that you know this Especially For Men actually men have to really watch it.

There's a big spike in suicides around their early 40s and that is because of those things they feel lockdown.

They feel like they've lost their potential is really really good, but they don't talk to anyone.

It's incredibly hard and so what tends to happen if they might act extremely whether that is something awful like suicide all equally something bad like spitting at their marriage and just throwing everything up because they don't like what they've become and they can't work out how to manoeuvre within that life at so lockdown.

How do you find the freedom to be who you are you know it's very very difficult.

I'm what I think you need to do is you need to can learn to accept the things you can't change which is quite hard to uni.

Can't change the fact that you're getting older but you don't look as good as you used to but you know you can't get an extending mortgage was actually a bit old but you never going to get her house of the garden.

Cos you live in London and it's completely impossible to afford one you know these things are not your fault.

Don't beat yourself up about it.

You know you may be chosen.

So then you can adjust things so what I find the thing that I find very difficult bumble age is a bit like what I'm talking about before that routine the fact everything is the same that you do the same thing over and over and then and then before you know it 10 years ago past so within that region you have to alter it up and the best way of making time stretchy again is to do something is completely absorbing so go to a gig you like gigs.

Go to a gig right if you like nightclubs even if you feel really embarrassing and I could not just go for 2 hours.

Go and enjoy it to put something in your life that will take you out of well.

It's cold out of time and it's

You need to be out of that boring routine take yourself out of that time and do something else could be reading could be writing some form of creativity doing some form of support that is similar to what you do when you're young.

She likes swimming cycling running those kind of bases maybe football if you like football those things bring you into your body and you feel like you're you can be seven you could be 70.

You could be any age at all because you're kind of doing something you did when you were young and now you're different age and so there are different things that you can do to try and take yourself out of this the middle age kind of bug really and I think it's quite important to do that you have to do even really basic things like if you always take the dog to the same park go round the same way just taken two different Park Walker different way to work.

Just really little things like that will change it and also the other thing I say to focus on.

How happy you are at the moment.

So you might think I have a really boring life.

This is all I do every day, but if you focus on.

The actually feeling in it.

Are you feeling happy to do in the park with the dog and it's like a nice day.

Are you actually feeling happy and if you are just enjoying that and then you'll find that you actually feel better about everything is this really really really common to have a midlife dip in happiness.

Generally it's a u-shaped dip.

So you happy when you're really young happy when you really old big dip in the middle right as a quarter life crisis now.

Yeah and Disability their studies.

They studied and big data coming through its orangutan zoo chimpanzees with this teddy bateson87 midlife dip as well that mean of the younger because I don't live as long but they have the same thing where they said anything on my god.

I'm not as good looking as I used to be in this afternoon on a daily basis very very kind of understand them that you want to keep it.

Also holds a shed a lot of stuff that doesn't matter just shed the stuff that you don't care about and keep the stuff that you like.

So, what can you change on? What can't you change a mostly what you can change as you really unique?

Circus has he got to go work or pay the mortgage is married to the same person actually all you can do is really change your attitude towards that I refused to change my personal growth.

You are a classic middle-age Miranda you a total Legend thank you very much a right angles podcast in association with big things Media


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