Series Five of the Radio Times Podcast launches Tuesday 31st of October, and after a short hiatus, we're back with more interviews with our star guests from the world of entertainment.


Every Tuesday, Radio Times Podcast host and our Podcast Editor Kelly-Anne Taylor sits down with a celebrity guest to talk all about their lives through the prism of TV.

Coming up, Kelly-Anne speaks to the hilarious TV chef Big Zuu, the wonderful comedian Jo Brand, Romesh Ranganathan and everyone's favourite explorer Bear Grylls!

Make sure to follow our Radio Times Podcasts channel, wherever you listen to your podcasts, to never miss an episode. You can catch up on our past series too, Series Four, Series Three, Series Two and Series One.

Browse our available episodes here!

Episode One: Big Zuu on learning Latin with Boris Johnson, the Strictly-curse and being angry at the BAFTAs (Live 31 October).

Episode One with Big Zuu - Live 31 October

To launch Series Five of the Radio Times Podcast, host Kelly-Anne Taylor is joined by the double-Bafta-winning TV chef Big Zuu!

Born Zuhair Hassan to a mother from Sierra Leone and a dad from Lebanon, he grew up on the Mozart Estate in West London. He started cooking at age nine to, as he says, ‘help around the house’ when his mother fell pregnant with his younger brother. It was whilst he was studying to become a social worker at University, that he decided to drop out in pursuit of a full-time music career. After making a name for himself as a Grime MC/Rapper, he turned the heads of TV commissioners when he started posting videos of himself on social media cooking. That landed him his Dave show Big Zuu, Big Eats. In this episode, Big Zuu talks about his love of Strictly, why his mum thought he was possessed by the devil and learning Latin with Boris Johnson.

Episode Two: Jo Brand on Bake Off, her days as a psychiatric nurse and handling hecklers (Live 7 November)


Our guest on this episode of The Radio Times Podcast is the comedian, Jo Brand!

Raised in Kent, she was a student at Tunbridge Wells Girls Grammar School and on a sure-fire path to Oxbridge. However, when her parents attempted to uproot her and move to Hastings, she revolted and left home as a teenager. She got her life back on track after accidentally setting the bed-sit she was living in on fire and trained as a psychiatric nurse – a career she pursued until she made a name for herself in the alternative comedy scene of the 1980s. The rest is history – she’s a BAFTA award-winning actress and a national treasure.

In this episode, she sits down with Kelly-Anne Taylor to discuss how her nursing days primed her for a career in comedy, how she never had a life plan and why she never watches herself on panel shows.

Episode Three: Shirley Ballas on Strictly, self-confidence and the toxic side of the dance industry (Live 14 November)


On this episode of the Radio Times Podcast is the dancer and head judge on BBC1’s Strictly Come Dancing, it is Shirley Ballas!

Born and raised in Merseyside, she grew up with her mother and brother on a council estate – and found dance at the age of 7 when a tune caught her ear. She worked her way to the top of the dancing world – and has plenty of stories to tell of her journey. In this episode she talks to Kelly-Anne Taylor about everything from the phone call that changed her life but ended her engagement to Nigel Tiffany to how she was almost bullied out of the dance industry – but instead, landed the Strictly gig.

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Episode Four: Romesh Ranganathan on private school, women in comedy and living in a B&B (Live 21 November)


Our guest this week on The Radio Times Podcast is Romesh Ranganathan!

Born and raised in Crawley, in West Sussex – Romesh’s childhood was a tale of two halves. Life started in a two-up, two-down house and he attended private school – but after his father was imprisoned, life as he knew it was upended. Years later, he left his job as a Maths Teacher to pursue comedy full-time – and although, he doesn’t shy away from how tough it was at first to make ends meet – what has ensued is a glittering career which has established him as one of Britain’s leading comics. In this episode, he talks to Kelly-Anne Taylor about diversity in comedy and what he thinks of people who brand women ‘un-funny’. Plus, they talk about why he wouldn’t send his kids to private school, how his three young boys keep him humble and why, if his career ended tomorrow, you’d still find him with a mic hooked up to a lamppost in the park.

Episode Five: Bear Grylls on island life, exploring Eton's sewers and embracing failure (Live 28 November)


Our guest next week is the British adventurer, Bear Grylls!

Born in Northern Ireland, and raised on the Isle of Wight, Bear – a nickname he was gifted by his older sister – developed a taste for adventure whilst on excursions with his father. He started at Eton at age 8 – and found solace in a regimented world by making rafts, climbing buildings and exploring the sewers at night by torch. Later, he was accepted as part of the SAS. A horrific parachuting accident which left him with a broken back turned Bear’s life upside down. While lying in a hospital bed, with a poster in front of him of Everest, he vowed to get better and one day climb that mountain – which he did, becoming the youngest Briton at the time to do so. Since then, he’s brought a number of successful television shows to our screens – and cemented himself as Briton’s favourite adventurer.

In this episode, he talks to Kelly-Anne Taylor about the invaluable life lessons his parents instilled in him, the joys of watching telly in bed and what one soldier said to him in the SAS recruitment process.

Episode Six: James O'Brien on selling suits to John Major, being a 'not very good' journalist and the impossibility of impartiality (Live 5 December)


This week’s guest is the LBC radio host, James O’Brien.

James grew up in Kidderminster in the 70s and 80s with his adoptive parents Joan and Jim O’Brien. He attended Ampleforth College, the famous Catholic public school in Yorkshire. He describes his school years as rebellious – but reflects that the ‘weird burning sense of injustice’ he felt was ‘pretty well placed’. Following in his father’s footsteps – James pursued a career in journalism – and got his foot in the door thanks to a chance encounter with John Major. Although he started out in print, he later segued into broadcast – starting his LBC show in 2004.

In this episode he discusses with host Kelly-Anne Taylor the impossibility of impartiality, receiving hate on social media, imposter syndrome, his new book 'How They Broke Britain' and what he gets up to on Christmas Day.

Episode Seven: The Hairy Bikers on good grub, celebrating life and having ideas above your station (Live 12 December)


In this week’s episode, host Kelly-Anne Taylor is joined by TV chefs, Si King and Dave Myers – aka The Hairy Bikers.

Dave was born and raised in Barrow-in-Furness, and Si in Kibblesworth County Durham and both brought up in working-class families. They met on the TV set on Catherine Cookson’s The Gambling Man – Si was the second assistant director and Dave, head of make-up. It was their united love of motorbikes and good grub that helped launch The Hairy Bikers – but it’s not always been an easy ride.

In this episode, they discuss low ratings and the Christmas special that was supposed to be their swan song, Dave’s ongoing battle with cancer and why Christmas means so much to them this year.

Episode Seven: Mae Martin (Live 19 December)


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