Ian Stafford, in Conversation with...
Journalist Ian Stafford is interviewing a fantastic line-up of special guests for us. From leading sports stars to famous names from the world of entertainment, we’ll learn more about their lives, interests and ambitions.
“In particular I’m interested in the human being that makes a success out of what they do,” says Ian. “That is what makes these famous people so fascinating.”
Ian is a multi-award winning national and international sports journalist, who has covered most global sporting events and interviewed many of the world's top sports stars. An author of 16 books, he has a long list of TV and radio credits and is a sought-after speaker, interviewer and host for a diverse range of events.
28 August 2020
Talk about ups and downs… Top sports presenter Gabby began 2020 by receiving an MBE, before seeing all the highlights of her year fall away – including the Tokyo Olympics.
Gabby’s MBE recognises her work in raising the status of women in sport. During the late nineties, she was one of the first to break into mainstream sports broadcasting. She’s fronted all the flagship programmes like Match of the Day, BBC Sports Personality of the Year and the 2014 Commonwealth Games.
From escaping the Bradford City stadium fire to maintaining objectivity during the thrilling 2012 London Olympics, this podcast is packed with fascinating revelations. And as a fellow sports broadcaster, Ian Stafford asks all the right questions.
21 August 2020
Telling jokes to parked cars at a drive-in… hollow laughter echoing round half empty theatres… just some of the surreal challenges facing today’s socially distanced comedians. Irish stand up star Ed Byrne tries to see the funny side in this revealing podcast.
Dublin-born Ed has appeared on TV’s Mock the Week more than 60 times. He’s also starred in a series of wonderful travelogues with funny man friend Dara O’Briain. His immaculately crafted one-man shows, embracing everything from modern family life to the joys of trekking and camping, have been captured on three best-selling DVDs.
You’ll discover many different sides to Ed in this podcast, where once again Ian Stafford gets to the heart of the matter.
14 August 2020
Actor, singer, author, businesswoman… Floella has come a long way since presenting Play School in 1976. And with a seat in the House of Lords, she’s made it in the political arena too. Floella came to England from Trinidad in 1960 and began her entertainment career in the West End hits Hair and Jesus Christ Superstar. She’s appeared in a multitude of programmes, ranging from Dr Who and Bergerac to Within These Walls and Dixon of Dock Green.
Floella’s services to broadcasting garnered her an OBE in 2001, followed by a BAFTA Lifetime Achievement Award. And to complement her title of Baroness in 2010, she became a Dame in 2020 in recognition of her charitable work.
06 August 2020
Jean-Christophe came to England in 1983, where one of his first successes was running Keith Floyd’s Maltster’s Arms in Devon. He set up his first London restaurant, Maison Novelli, in 1996. Three more followed, along with a gastropub in Hertfordshire. More recently, the Rapido, Bistro ’61 and Terrané brands have cemented Jean-Christophe’s reputation, which has garnered five AA rosettes and numerous Michelin stars.
Jean-Christophe’s bestselling book, Simply Novelli, has made French cuisine accessible to a wider audience; while his world-famous Novelli Academy turns culinary enthusiasts into experts. In this podcast, you can find out more about the man dubbed ‘The nation’s favourite French chef’.
31 July 2020
Tracy is one of Britain’s most successful sailors. In 1985 she completed her first Whitbread Round the World Yacht Race aboard Atlantic Privateer. Four years later aboard Maiden, Tracy skippered the first all-female crew to enter this epic race, coming second and winning two of the individual legs. She subsequently became the first female Yachtsman of the Year and was honoured with an MBE.
But whether it’s the breaking of Maiden 2’s mast during her 1998 Jules Verne Trophy attempt, or the problems that followed the 2005 Oryx Quest, Tracy has had to navigate many stormy seas. Learn more about her incredible story in this podcast with Ian, and learn more about the Maiden Factor.
24 July 2020
She’s won 16 Paralympic medals, over 30 world records and the London Marathon six times. Her charitable achievements are too numerous to detail. No wonder she’s been awarded an OBE, an MBE, a DBE and the title of Baroness with a seat in the House of Lords.
The BBC has named Tanni Grey-Thompson one of the UK’s 100 powerful women and she’s also considered one of the Greatest People of the 20th Century. So here’s your chance to learn more about this sports superstar and cultural superwoman.
17 July 2020
We all remember Judy’s determined face as she watched her sons Andy and Jamie triumph at Wimbledon. After kick-starting the lessons that took her boys to the top, Judy has become one of the most influential coaches in British tennis.
In 2017 she was awarded an OBE for her services to sport and charity. How does it feel to see all her hard work pay off, and what does the future hold for the Murray dynasty?
10 July 2020
Viv Anderson was a pioneering footballer who rose to fame as part of Brian Clough’s celebrated Nottingham Forest team. They rose to the top of the First Division in 1977 and went on to win both the League and European Cups. He subsequently played for Arsenal and Manchester United.
In 1978, Viv capped his success by becoming the first black player to represent England. His trailblazing career was recognised in 2000 when he was awarded an MBE. Four years later he was inducted into the English Football Hall of Fame.
03 July 2020
Andrew enjoyed a stellar career as a cricketer for Middlesex and England, playing in 100 test matches and 127 One Day Internationals. He scored over 7,000 test runs, including 21 centuries, and featured in three Ashes-winning series – two as Captain.
After hanging up his bat, Andrew became Director of Cricket for the England and Wales Cricket Board and was a major influence in England winning the One Day World Cup last summer. In 2018 he lost his wife, Ruth, to a rare form of cancer and now spends much of his time running the Ruth Strauss Foundation.