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Hello! This week Ed and Geoff are on location to chat with two big brains who have been part of two important commissions about the state of the UK economy. What are the deep roots of the economic crisis facing our country? And what's the solution? The UK is suffering from a 'toxic combination' of high inequality and stagnating growth. We look at s…
 
Hello! This week we're talking about disability activism: its past, present and future. Disabled people are routinely excluded from society, despite making up 15% of the population. How has disability activism shifted people's attitudes and perceptions? And how can we transform our society so it's fairer for everyone? To find out we speak to disabi…
 
Hello! Ed's just come back from COP27 where he was roving with his mic. He spoke to some experts on how we shift to zero carbon power and break our dependency on fossil fuels. We talk to Kingsmill Bond about why the transition to renewables makes economic sense. Tzeporah Berman tells us about the potential of the Fossil Fuel Non-Proliferation Treat…
 
Hello! This week as world leaders- and Ed -gather in Sharm El-Sheikh for COP27 we’re covering a tricky topic: what’s our role as individuals in tackling the climate crisis? When we feel like governments and businesses aren’t doing their bit to keep 1.5C alive, is it normal for us to feel disillusioned about the power that’s in our hands? Our guests…
 
Hello! A bonus Cheerful Book Club episode coming at you this week direct from Geoff’s loft. We’re talking to bestselling author Anand Giridharadas about his new book The Persuaders: Winning Hearts and Minds in a Divided Age. Progressive movements need to persuade, not simply preach, he says. But what does that look like if it is not ‘persuasion by …
 
Hello! This week we interrupt our regularly scheduled programming to throw you a bit of an RTBC curveball. Not only are Ed and Geoff venturing gingerly into the world of sport, but they're talking about the fastest-growing game in the US, which is now gaining popularity closer to home: pickleball! We talk to hall-of-famer Jennifer Lucore about the …
 
Hello! This week we're treating you to a new author episode: a fascinating conversation with Nicola Rollock, Professor of Race and Social Policy at King's College London. Nicola's new book The Racial Code: Tales of Resistance and Survival is all about the implicit rules of race and racism that govern our lives and strengthen the status quo. Geoff s…
 
Hello! The pranksters at RTBC have got a joke about trickle-down economics.…99% of people won't get it... This week as Liz Truss prepares to exit we’re talking about the economic philosophy that characterised her reign: supply-side or trickle-down economics—and its alternative: so-called middle-out economics.The latter is the idea that investing in…
 
Hello! After the Second World War, council housing was an important part of the government’s ambitious vision for the welfare state. Over the past 50 years, with a growing emphasis on home ownership, the amount of council housing and its condition has diminished. Where does that leave the state of social housing now? Geoff finds out with architect …
 
Following Labour’s announcement of a new national wealth fund to invest in green industries, we’re exploring what 'public wealth funds' are and how they offer a way to keep profits in the hands of the people. We talk to Professor Karin Thorburn about Norway’s Sovereign Wealth Fund which has guaranteed that future generations can benefit from its na…
 
Hello! Why is it that women live longer, but spend more of their lives in poor health? We explore why women’s pain is often dismissed and why it can take many years to receive a diagnosis with Dr Larisa Corda. We then delve deep into the history of medical misogyny with Dr Elinor Cleghorn and finally we find some reasons to be cheerful with the cre…
 
Hello! It's a big week at Reasons to be Cheerful HQ as we're back in Geoff's loft to record a very special 5th anniversary episode with a very special guest. We're talking to the brilliant and hilarious Guardian columnist Marina Hyde about her way with words, fielding the phones on the Sun's showbiz desk in the 90s and what she thinks about the alt…
 
Hello! This week Geoff's exploring how individuals have taken on the big dogs to seek justice. We talk to three guests who have faced up to their employers, multinational corporations and even governments to challenge unfair treatment and inspire change for the better. But can an eventual victory ever outweigh the personal toll? And how can we make…
 
Hello! Ed is absent due to the period of national mourning, so Geoff takes the reins with a conversation recorded before last week's news. We talk to three inspiring guests about the commons. But what are the commons, how do they reduce inequality and why can we be optimistic about them today? We speak to Guy Standing, Professorial Research Associa…
 
Hello! This week we’re back to school and learning all about character education. But what is it and why is it relevant beyond the classroom too? One of the leading authorities on the topic (the Jubilee Centre) defines character education as all explicit and implicit educational activities that help young people to develop positive personal strengt…
 
Hello! Normal service has resumed on Reasons to be Cheerful following our summer break, and this week we're talking all about the charity sector. But what the heck is it? Ed and Geoff try to find out by talking to Daniel King, Professor of Organisation Studies at Nottingham Trent University. We also talk to Mita Desai, CEO of the Young Trustees Mov…
 
Hello! For the final episode in our Existential Cheerful Summer series we’re talking to Oliver Burkeman: author, journalist and self-proclaimed ‘reformed productivity geek’ for the Guardian. We talk to him about his new book Four Thousand Weeks: Time and How to Use It which is all about why it’s empowering for us to confront our ‘finitude,’ i.e. th…
 
Hello! This week's summer episode is all about music and our powerful relationship to it. Ed is a latecomer to music's joys, but critic, journalist and interviewer Jude Rogers has been a life-long devotee. Jude's new memoir The Sound of Being Human: How Music Shapes Our Lives traces the pivotal moments of her life soundtracked by twelve songs. Alon…
 
Hello! In the second of our summer episodes we're talking to environmental activist, author and journalist George Monbiot. Farming is the most environmentally damaging industry in the whole world, and great swathes of the Earth's surface are given over to the production of our food, particularly through grazing and feeding livestock. In his new boo…
 
Hello! To kick off our season of Existential Cheerful Summer interviews we’re talking to Professor Brian Cox ahead of his UK tour ‘Horizons: A 21st Century Space Odyssey’. Ed and Geoff chat to Brian about the big questions: black holes, how we came to be here, what it means to be human, and what we can become. What does the climate crisis mean if w…
 
Hello! This week we're revisiting the issue of plastic pollution, something we explored for the first time in 2018. Plastic pollution affects everyone, but not equally. While progress is being made on the international stage with the recent agreement of a UN resolution to end plastic pollution, there's still a long way to go. We talk to Zaynab Sada…
 
Hello! For the first time in over two years, Ed and Geoff are back together for a live show! It's been a quiet few weeks in British politics, so we thought we'd take the chance to think nostalgically about what chaos with Ed Miliband might look like. To dissect the current political situation, what's next for the Conservatives and how progressives …
 
Hello! Come to escape the oppressive heat, stay for chaos with Ed! This weekend we're convening a cabinet of chaos live from King's Place in London. We'll be joined by David Runciman, Faiza Shaheen, David Gauke and Rosie Carter to make sense of the insanity of the last few weeks, and to ask how we got here, and how it all affects the future. We als…
 
Hello! This week we're talking about the Climate Change Committee's recent progress report on the UK government's Net Zero targets. While they say the UK is doing well at setting targets, what about delivery? Where do we need to improve? And why are workers' rights, delivering zero carbon jobs and public engagement so crucial in our work to reduce …
 
Hello! This week we're talking about museums and the role they have in shaping social and political issues. Many in the museum community agree that our museums are not neutral, but what does that mean when it comes to addressing issues such as climate change, colonialism and corporate influence? We talk to Doug Gurr, Director of the Natural History…
 
Hello! Fungi are everywhere, but most of us have never given them much of a second thought. From mushrooms to moulds, they may have the power to help with some of our trickiest problems. We talk to Merlin Sheldrake about why ignoring fungi is dangerous and what we can learn from them. Dr David Erritzoe from Imperial College discusses the potential …
 
Hello! This week we’re talking about women in prison. Women make up a tiny proportion of the prison population - less than 5% - and yet their imprisonment can wreak lasting and far-reaching damage. Addressing the needs of this minority could have a significant positive impact, say Kate Paradine, CEO of Women in Prison, Paula Harriott, Head of Priso…
 
Hello! This week we’re revisiting a topic we’ve examined before: the role of the ultra-wealthy in our society. The Patriotic Millionaires movement recently lobbied in Davos for governments around the world to tax them more. We talk to Gemma McGough from Patriotic Millionaires about why it’s important for the rich to speak up, to Stephanie Brobbey a…
 
Hello, as part of Cheerful Book Club we're welcoming our first ever Pulitzer Prize winner onto the show. Andrea Elliott talks about her new book Invisible Child: Poverty, Survival and Hope in New York City. Almost a decade in the making, the book follows a young girl, Dasani, as she grows up without a home in New York City. We talk to Andrea about …
 
Hello! This week we’re talking about the accessibility of public land and the Right to Roam campaign. Only 8% of land in England is accessible to the general public and one-third of land is still owned by the aristocracy. We talk to Nick Hayes about the history of this archaic system and the Right to Roam Campaign; Nadia Shaikh about barriers to ac…
 
Hello! This week we’re talking about health inequalities. The evidence has long been clear that your life circumstances determine how long and how healthy your life will be. Over the last decade, life expectancy has stalled and the pandemic has amplified existing inequalities. In the face of this bleak prognosis, we look for optimism with the leadi…
 
Hello! This week we’re talking about dyslexia—how we need to improve its recognition in our society and understand the contribution people with dyslexia can make. At least 1 in 10 people in the UK are estimated to have dyslexia and are still facing barriers to inclusion in the classroom, the workplace and society more broadly. We speak to Andy Cook…
 
Hello! This week we’re looking at the government's proposal to sell off broadcaster Channel 4. Started in the 80s with a remit to commission unique and original programming from independent production companies, Channel 4 has been informing and entertaining us for decades. To find out why the government would want to privatise Channel 4 now, and ho…
 
Hello! This week we’re looking at the huge cost of childcare, an often ignored part of the cost of living crisis. New research has found that almost two thirds of families are paying more, or the same, for their childcare as they do their rent or mortgage, with one in four parents saying they had to cut down on food, heat and clothing to afford chi…
 
Hello! America has seen a wave of recent union victories by Amazon and Starbucks workers, and this week we’re looking at why they’ve succeeded where many others have failed, and what UK unions can learn. We’re joined by Starbucks organiser Casey Moore, Director of CLASS, Ellie Mae O’Hagan and General Secretary of Prospect Union, Mike Clancy. Plus, …
 
Happy Easter! To celebrate, we have a special episode on the magic of the wildlife on our doorstep. 83% of us live in urban areas and are surrounded by myriad known and not-so-well known wildlife wonders including birds, insects, hedgehogs and yes, foxes and rats. But our furry and flying city-dwellers are vital to our ecosystems, and there are unt…
 
Hello! This week we’re celebrating the 50th anniversary of Newsround, and finding out how the way our children get their news has changed over the years. To celebrate the milestone, we’re joined by Newsround Editor Lewis James, and to hear more about other ways kids access current affairs, we’re joined by Anna Bassi, Editorial Director of The Week …
 
This week we’re going behind the headlines on the so-called Great Resignation - which has seen record numbers of job vacancies advertised as people leave and move roles. Has Covid really revolutionised the world of work? And who is benefiting from the changes? To find out, we’re joined by Joe Fuller from Harvard Business School, David Zentler-Munro…
 
This week we’re giving Ed another reason to talk about his swimming, and diving into our rivers. Rivers are such an important part of our landscape, ecosystems and communities. They provide two thirds of our water supplies and support a vast array of wildlife, but are in bad shape. Only 14% of our rivers pass the bar for ecological health, and farm…
 
Hello! This week Ed and Geoff are off to the pictures, as they find out how cinemas have survived covid, and why they’re still so important to our communities and culture. To usher them through the episode they’re joined by Phil Clapp, CEO of trade body the UK Cinema Association, Kevin Markwick, who runs 2 independent cinemas successfully, and star…
 
This week we’re looking at energy storage, and the technologies being developed to improve how we store and use renewable energy. Clean energy storage is vital to decarbonising the economy, so to get to grips with it we have Jillian Ambrose, energy correspondent at the Guardian, Simon Skillings from E3G, and Nina Skorupska from The Association for …
 
Hello! This week we’re joined by podcasting royalty, as David Runciman, host of Talking Politics, joins Ed and Geoff for his victory lap. After 6 years, David and co-host Helen Thompson are hanging up their headphones on one of the smartest political podcast of our time. Ed and Geoff find out why they’re stopping in the middle of arguably one of th…
 
Hello! This week we're looking at the legislation passing through parliament which would have British Sign Language recognised as an official language in the UK. Eighty-seven thousand people in the UK say BSL is their preferred language, but they are discriminated against in everyday life, from using essential services to speaking to doctors, their…
 
Hello! This week we’re talking about the crisis of fuel poverty as people are hit by rocketing energy bills. Torsten Bell from the Resolution Foundation sets the incoming energy bill rises in context, Adam Scorer from National Energy Action tells us how people are facing the crisis up and down the country, and Dr Elizabeth Blakelock shares some int…
 
Hello! This week we're discussing the impacts of the climate crisis on our mental health, and how we can support ourselves and each other in response. From the trauma of the effects of extreme weather events like floods and droughts, to worrying about climate change in our every day lives, there’s a growing body of evidence which shows more and mor…
 
Hello! This week we’re looking at the role of Magistrates in our justice system. Little is widely known about the volunteer system which presides over 90% of criminal cases, and as the government launches a campaign to get 4,000 new magistrates to apply, we find out how what more can be done to raise awareness and increase diversity. We’re joined b…
 
Hello! This week we're looking at the circular economy, a system that could transform our lives and contribute mightily towards reducing carbon emissions. In the UK, per person we produce the second highest amount of electronic waste by throwing away our unwanted phones and laptops. In a circular economy, we reduce usage of materials, reuse them an…
 
Hello! This week we’re joined by the wonderful Jon Ronson for a special episode. The acclaimed journalist, documentary maker and author, talks to Ed and Geoff about his new podcast series ‘Things Fell Apart’, which explores the extraordinary human stories behind the origins of what have become known as the culture wars. Ed gets into the kitchen, an…
 
Hello! This week we continue our foray into all things Web 3.0 by taking on NFTs, or Non-Fungible-Tokens. If you’re lost already then don’t worry, so were we, until we spoke to our enlightened guests Anthony Cuthbertson from the Independent, Holly Jean Buck from Buffalo University, and Andrea Baronchelli, from City University and the Turing Institu…
 
Hello! This week we head for the peatlands, get in the sea, and go in search of UK's lost rainforests to explore ecosystems beyond the trees. Could restoring these habitats play a significant part in achieving net-zero? And what else needs to be done to tackle the UK's nature crisis? Joining us are Kate Jennings (with a canine cameo), Guy Shrubsole…
 
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