Esme was seven when she made her first garment at school, a hand-sewn red gathered skirt, and she's had an extraordinary career in sewing and fashion design ever since. In this episode Esme joins me to talk about her career highlights - from launching Swanky Modes in the early 80's which was beloved by celebrities such as Cher and Julie Christie, to creating iconic costumes for films such as The Beach and Bridget Jone's Diary. We talk about how she felt moving into a TV career in her sixties and what's it like to work alongside the hilarious Joe Lycett and TNMA favourite Patrick Grant on The Great British Sewing Bee.
Producer and audio engineer: Linda Ara-Tebaldi
Host: Alyson Walsh
Guest: Esme Young
Music: David Schweitzer
Artwork: Ayumi Takahashi
Digital technician: Tom Hole at Stirtingale
Coordinator: Helen Johnson
D'autres épisodes de "That's Not My Age"
That’s Not My Age Podcast: MP and women's rights campaigner Stella Creasy
57:00Concerned about social justice from an early age, Stella Creasy rallied friends to protest about animal cruelty in her teens. Before making her way to Westminster via Walthamstow Council, London (where she's lived since 1998), Stella was employed as a youth and a charity worker. 'Politics seemed like a productive place to make change happen,' the 46-year-old tells me, 'In my head I'm still that 15 year-old burnished with injustice at the world and excitement about what can be achieved.' Highlighting the importance of 'bloody hard work', being in the room, and not giving up even when you feel unheard, her energy and determination is impressive. After 13 years in opposition, Brexit, the Covid pandemic and a fair amount of political mayhem, she is still incredibly focused and driven.In this special episode, Stella joins me to talk about the realities of getting things done as a woman in politics and imagines a future where things might be different. (Please make this happen, Stella!) She shares details of the issues she's currently tackling, both in her London constituency and Westminster, including: maternity discrimination and affordable childcare, regulating the Buy Now Pay Later industry, the safeguarding of child refugees and making misogyny part of the hate crime framework. She quite obviously loves living in Walthamstow, and is incredibly proud of her local community. Talking to Stella Creasy made me realise that I need to get involved. She is passionate about equality and human rights, and her enthusiasm for fairness and change is contagious. As it says in her social media bio ' Sitting on the sidelines is for Statler and Waldorf.'We hope you enjoy this special episode. Such an inspiring conversation with an incredible woman.PODCAST CREDITSProducer and audio engineer: Linda Ara-TebaldiHost: Alyson WalshGuest: MP Stella CreasyMusic: David SchweitzerArtwork: Ayumi TakahashiCoordinator: Helen Johnson
Senior Curator at the V&A, Dr Christine Checinska
53:31If you’re a fan of BBC2’s Secrets of the Museum, the series filmed behind the scenes at the V&A, then you will recognise my latest podcast guest. Dr Christine Checinska is the Senior Curator of Africa and Diaspora: Textiles and Fashion, and Lead Curator of the Africa Fashion exhibition, currently showing at the museum. ‘ We had to do the show now because the contemporary fashion scene on the continent is so inspirational, so innovative – we couldn’t wait,’ she says, ‘African creatives and African diaspora creatives are pushing boundaries and changing the shape of fashion. Now is the time to engage.’Having started her career as a fashion designer, working for high street and designer brands, including Margaret Howell, Christine returned to study a PhD at Goldsmith’s University, in 2009. Colonizin’ in Reverse! examined ‘the impact of the creolised aesthetic of the Windrush Generation on English male dress’, and was very much inspired by her nattily dressed father. On completion, she moved into the art world and academia (as an associate lecturer), while continuing to act as a design consultant – eventually taking the job at the V&A in 2020.‘I’ve spent over three decades exploring the relationship between cloth, culture and race,’ Christine says of her work, PhD studies and on-going research, ‘ the cultural exchanges that occur as a result of movement and migration, expressed by the clothes we wear, the objects we collect, the art we make and the stories we tell… But when it comes down to it, I embrace creativity for the sheer joy of it!’I really enjoyed chatting to Christine about her career, we’re a similar age and have both worked in the fashion industry for decades. She admitted that in her mid-50s and quite comfortable with her freelance portfolio, she initially dithered about the V&A position, until a good friend persuaded her to take the leap. The Africa Fashion exhibition is stunning, if you haven’t seen it already it’s on until 16 April 2023 (and if you’re unable to visit the V&A read more about Africa Fashion HERE). PODCAST CREDITSProducer and audio engineer: Linda Ara-TebaldiHost: Alyson WalshGuest: Dr Christine ChecinskaMusic: David SchweitzerArtwork: Ayumi TakahashiCoordinator: Helen Johnson
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Author, screenwriter and presenter, Emma Kennedy
52:20Emma Kennedy is quite possibly the most multi-talented podcast guest I've interviewed. The 55-year-old is an accomplished author, producer, playwright, TV scriptwriter, she wrote The Kennedys, a 2015 BBC comedy based on her memoir of family holidays in the 1970s, The Tent, The Bucket and Me, and has contributed to numerous other shows including Miranda and Jonathon Creek. She has acted in sitcoms, worked with Mel & Sue, holds a Guinness Record and is a Celebrity Masterchef winner (2012). And, no doubt, you will recognise her voice from the radio because she does that, too.Emma began performing at Oxford University, becoming President of The Oxford Revue and a regular fixture at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. On graduating, she trained as a solicitor and for three years practised law in London, including a stint working with Sir Keir Starmer. But in 1995, much to her mum's dismay, she left the legal world to focus on writing and the creative arts. Publishing her first novel, How To Bring Up Your Parents, in 2007, she has since released eleven books, including the Wilma Tenderfoot series of children’s books. Her latest publication, Letters From Brenda, is her most personal to date. Simultaneously hilarious and heartbreaking - I was in tears by page four - it is an incredibly moving tribute to her late mum, Brenda; who suffered from an undiagnosed mental illness throughout her life. Three years after her mum's death, Emma's father sold the family home and the new owner uncovered a pile of lost letters (written by Brenda) hidden in two suitcases in the loft. Eventually, Emma read through the letters (published unedited ' apart from the bits that are so libellous, no sensible editor would allow them') and used writing the book to work out what was wrong with her complex, charismatic, unpredictable mother. The woman she adored. ' My mother and I had a complicated relationship: she was difficult and volatile, but I knew that wasn't the whole story. In fact, I realised, I didn't really know her story at all.'Anyone who grew up in the 1970s, an era when families simply didn't talk about the important stuff, when serious issues like mental health were brushed under the Axminster, will relate to this.In this episode, she talks candidly about her complex relationship with Brenda and how writing the book helped her to overcome the guilt she felt about not addressing her mum's illness. Along the way we discuss her successful career in TV, radio and comedy, together with her newfound love of health and fitness. And of course, we cover the usual TNMA topics such as ageing and menopause.I thoroughly enjoyed chatting to Emma; she is charming, friendly, witty and wise. PODCAST CREDITSProducer and audio engineer: Linda Ara-TebaldiHost: Alyson WalshGuest: Emma KennedyMusic: David SchweitzerArtwork: Ayumi TakahashiCoordinator: Helen Johnson
Breast surgeon, author and public speaker Dr Liz O'Riordan
43:54*Trigger Warning - discussion around breast cancer diagnosis, treatment and recovery*My latest podcast guest is an extraordinary woman. A consultant Oncoplastic Breast Surgeon, Liz O'Riordans world turned upside down in 2015 when she was diagnosed with Stage 3 breast cancer, the very illness that she'd spent years treating as a surgeon. She chronicled her treatment and experience as a doctor-turned-patient in a series of honest blog posts, detailing everything from the bewildering side effects she experienced during chemotherapy and how she coped with the physical and emotional burden. Her blog has since become an invaluable resource for others going through similar experiences. O'Riordan returned to work following surgery, chemotherapy and radiotherapy but in 2018 she had a locoregional recurrence on her chest wall. Side effects of treatment meant that she was forced to retire from her job as a surgeon. Having been robbed of the profession she had dedicated her life to, Liz was not only left recovering physically and mentally from her treatment, but also with the challenge of rebuilding her career. She is now on a mission to change the conversation around cancer care and educate health care professionals about what life is really like after a cancer diagnosis.In 2018 O'Riordan co-wrote The Complete Guide to Breast Cancer with Professor Trisha Greenhalgh, which brings together all the knowledge they have gathered both as patients and as doctors, into a comprehensive guidebook of tips on how to cope with surgery, radiotherapy, chemotherapy and beyond. She has also launched a podcast called Don’t Ignore The Elephant where she talks about the things noone else really shares, including topics like sex, death and exercise. Her latest project is cancerfit.me - a website providing a range of resources regarding exercise for people living with cancer. In this episode Liz joins me to talk about what it was like to be on the other side of the operating table, and how she overcame the challenges of a cancer diagnosis. She details how by talking, writing and sharing her experience she hopes to help others find the information and support they need. She shares some of the best places to get information and support for cancer care, talks about her book and tells me about her plans for the future. Producer and audio engineer: Linda Ara-TebaldiHost: Alyson WalshGuest: Liz O'RiordanMusic: David SchweitzerArtwork: Ayumi TakahashiDigital technician: Tom Hole at StirtingaleCoordinator: Helen Johnson
Costume Designer Edward K. Gibbon
37:54For my latest podcast episode I'm delighted to introduce a very special guest; esteemed costume designer, and dear friend, Edward K Gibbon.As a costume designer, he's managed the wardrobe department on everything from historical dramas to Hollywood movies: including War & Peace, The Honourable Woman, Black Mirror and Oscar-nominated The Lost Daughter.In this episode, Edward joins me to talk about filming The Lost Daughter as we came out of the first lockdown, the role costume plays in storytelling, the creative process and where he sources custom pieces. Along the way, he shares some of the highlights of his career (mostly collaborating with Maggie Gyllenhaal!), impostor syndrome and what it's like to work away from home for extended periods. And of course, we cover the usual topics of age and styleProducer and audio engineer: Linda Ara-TebaldiHost: Alyson WalshGuest: Edward K GibbonMusic: David SchweitzerArtwork: Ayumi TakahashiDigital technician: Tom Hole at StirtingaleCoordinator: Helen Johnson
Former Olympic athlete turned life coach, Michelle Griffith Robinson OLY
41:18It is my absolute pleasure to introduce you to 50-year-old Olympian-turned-personal trainer and lifestyle coach, Michelle Griffith Robinson. The very first Olympic athlete to be featured on That's Not My Age. Whoop! As a triple jumper, Michelle represented Team GB at the 1996 Olympic Games and was the first woman to jump over 14-metres at the Commonwealth games.Here, Michelle talks about her incredible career, both on and off the track, and shares how she found the determination, focus and strength to succeed. She is evangelical about the benefits of exercise, as a way to cultivate a positive mindset and healthy, balanced lifestyle, at every age. And so, of course, I asked for some tactics on how to motivate yourself in mid-winter...When not training and inspiring her clients, Michelle is an expert panellist for Women's Health magazine and is committed to helping others through her charity work. We talk about age and she describes how the peri-menopause led her to becoming an ambassador for The Menopause Charity in order to help inform and empower other women of colour.Michelle is an absolute star, a go-getter with boundless energy and enthusiasm. I hope you enjoy this episode as much as I enjoyed recording it.
Georgie Newbery from Common Farm Flowers
1:01:24For this episode, I'm delighted to introduce a woman who I've been following online for ages - mainly because she exudes positive energy and is excellent fun - flower farmer, florist and author Georgie Newbery of Common Farm Flowers.Turns out Georgie is much more glamorous than I first realised....she spent her twenties working in Paris for American Vogue and John Galliano, returning to London in her thirties to continue working as a writer. It was only when she turned 40 that Georgie 'woke up and reached for a garden fork'. After moving to Somerset, she began growing cut flowers for pleasure on a quarter-acre vegetable patch and selling bunches of sweet peas at the garden gate. Within several years, a business idea had blossomed and in 2010 Common Farm Flowers was born. Selling good quality, 'grown, not flown' organically produced British flowers.Georgie was the perfect podcast guest and I loved recording this episode and chatting to her. It's a little bit echoey - but I hope you enjoy listening. PODCAST LINKSListen to the podcast on Spotify HEREListen to Apple Podcasts HEREPlease, please rate, review and subscribe, to help more listeners to find the podcast.We’re also on Stitcher, Podtail, Poddtoppen, and Google Podcasts. PODCAST CREDITSProducer and audio engineer: Linda Ara-TebaldiHost: Alyson WalshGuest: Georgie Newbery from Common Farm FlowersMusic: David SchweitzerArtwork: Ayumi TakahashiCoordinator: Helen Johnson*Due to the pandemic the That’s Not My Age podcast is now recorded using a web-based application on my computer. It is odd not being in a room with someone, not seeing a person’s facial expression or knowing if they’re about to continue talking…But it also means we can go global!
54:00Esme was seven when she made her first garment at school, a hand-sewn red gathered skirt, and she's had an extraordinary career in sewing and fashion design ever since. In this episode Esme joins me to talk about her career highlights - from launching Swanky Modes in the early 80's which was beloved by celebrities such as Cher and Julie Christie, to creating iconic costumes for films such as The Beach and Bridget Jone's Diary. We talk about how she felt moving into a TV career in her sixties and what's it like to work alongside the hilarious Joe Lycett and TNMA favourite Patrick Grant on The Great British Sewing Bee.Producer and audio engineer: Linda Ara-TebaldiHost: Alyson WalshGuest: Esme YoungMusic: David SchweitzerArtwork: Ayumi TakahashiDigital technician: Tom Hole at StirtingaleCoordinator: Helen Johnson
59:08Imagine my surprise when I switched over to Sky Art’s Portrait Artist of the Year (2020) and there was friend-of-a-friend, Curtis Holder. With only one male guest so far on the That’s Not My Age podcast roster, I instantly knew who had to be next. And it was no surprise to see Curtis sketching away on TV, consistently wowing the judges and charming his sitters – he’s a lovely, warm, incredibly talented man. And of course, he went on to win the competition (loud screech of approval from TNMA Mansions) with his stunningly original pencil drawings. Part of the prize included a commission from Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery to create a portrait of the 47-year-old ballet dancer and director of the Birmingham Royal Ballet, Carlos Acosta. Having grown up on a housing estate in Leicester, to Curtis this felt like the opportunity of a lifetime.After many years working in education as a primary school teacher, the 52-year-old has recently reduced his days in order to devote more time to becoming a professional artist. We talk about his creative journey, from early childhood scribbles to latest commissions, race, diversity and the challenges of breaking into the art world. Of course, I wanted to know all about Curtis’ experience on Portrait Artist of The Year, get a male perspective on changing career in your 50s and find out what it was like to meet Carlos Acosta and share a precious, self-affirming moment together.Producer and audio engineer: Linda Ara-TebaldiHost: Alyson WalshGuest: Curtis HolderMusic: David SchweitzerArtwork: Ayumi TakahashiDigital technician: Tom Hole at StirtingaleCoordinator: Helen Johnson
Orsola De Castro
1:04:16Orsola de Castro is the global creative director of Fashion Revolution a not-for-profit organisation formed in response to the Rana Plaza factory disaster in 2013. We first met at London Fashion Week a year earlier, when Orsola was managing Esthetica the showcase for sustainable designers - and I (very superficially) stopped to ask her about the fabulous gold trousers she was wearing. A leading pioneer in the sustainable fashion world, 54-year-old Orsola created the label From Somewhere in the late 1990s, making upcycled clothes and items from off-cuts and end-of-roll fabric from factories in Italy. Now, a fully fledged fashion revolutionary, together with Carrie Somers, she leads a global movement calling for change in the fashion industry. Orsola de Castro is a leading speaker on sustainability and an author. Her first book Loved Clothes Last (How the Joy of Rewearing and Repairing Your Clothes Can Be a Revolutionary Act) has just been published by Penguin. Full of practical tips on how to lengthen the lifespan of your clothing and reveal your inner craftivist, it also contains staggering facts and figures on the impact fast fashion has on the workforce and the planet.Producer and audio engineer: Linda Ara-TebaldiHost: Alyson WalshGuest: Orsola De CastroMusic: David SchweitzerArtwork: Ayumi TakahashiDigital technician: Tom Hole at StirtingaleCoordinator: Helen Johnson