What I Wish I'd Known

  • 5. James Cleverly

    39:14
    In this episode, Alice Thomson and Rachel Sylvester speak to James Cleverly, Secretary of State for the Home Department, about his childhood as a young black man growing up in South East London and how the racism he encountered then is different to the situation now.Producer: Florence de Schlichting
  • 4. Rachel Reeves

    39:38
    In this episode, Rachel Reeves, Shadow Chancellor of the Exchequer, tells us about how her childhood and passion for chess have shaped her identity as a woman within male dominated environments. Producer: Florence de Schlichting
  • 3. Arlene Phillips

    32:35
    “And when I went into the church hall, every little girl, every single one, was in pink ballet shoes. And I walked in with my green ballet shoes, which were half price in the sale. And I did want to run back out through those great big double doors. But I knew if I did I would never get to dance.” In this episode we speak to Arlene Phillips, who tells us about her difficult childhood and her resilience in pursuing her passion for dance until today, most recently rewarded with the Laurence Olivier Award for Best Theatre Choreographer in Guys & Dolls.Producer: Florence de Schlichting
  • 2. Ashley John-Baptiste

    24:56
    In this episode we talk to BBC broadcaster and presenter Ashley John-Baptiste about his significant achievements, despite having suffered childhood trauma from his upbringing in foster care.Producer: Florence de Schlichting
  • 1. Sharon Stone

    30:44
    "People don't want you to be able to see anything, report anything, or say anything intelligent. You just have to be an object of beauty." In this episode, Hollywood legend Sharon Stone talks to us about her new career as a painter and how it helped her address childhood traumas. We also discuss her difficult relationship with Hollywood, and the abuse she encountered from men around her since becoming a sex symbol.WARNING: contains very strong languageProducer: Florence de Schlichting
  • 1. Series 8 - COMING SOON...

    01:28
    Times Journalists Rachel Sylvester and Alice Thomson return to talk to more extraordinary people about how their past has shaped their lives and how their childhoods have defined who they are today.In this series they are joined by the likes of Sharon Stone, Arlene Phillips, Rachel Reeves and many more.This podcast has been produced in association with Speakers for Schools: www.speakersforschools.orgSeries Producer: Florence de Schlichting
  • 12. David Blunkett

    59:29
    “Your life is built on the way you do things and the way people see you and the way you react”. The former Home Secretary, David Blunkett, says he is unsure whether he would choose the ability to see if he could. Born blind, David has come to know and embrace life without sight. But his start to life was fraught with pain; as a child he had to cope with the traumatic death of his father all whilst attending a strict school for the blind, where caning was a regular occurrence. “If you think about caning a child on their hand, when their hands are used for braille reading… it was like throwing salt in your eyes.”Series producer: Anya PearceProducer: Calum McCrae
  • 11. Steve Backshall

    52:11
    “I felt uncomfortable with my passions and with my life at school,” says Steve Backshall. The naturalist has wowed British children for years with shows such as Deadly 60, but his own childhood discomfort with his passion for nature is a lasting regret. He feels at home around animals in their natural habitat and despite coming face to face with the largest and deadliest creatures on the planet, Steve insists he is not driven by adrenaline seeking; “I certainly feel more intimidated and more at risk in the big city, than I ever do in the rainforest.”Series producer: Anya PearceProducer: Calum McCrae
  • 10. Ed Davey

    53:23
    The Liberal Democrat leader Ed Davey says on his parliamentary profile that he had a happy childhood with no financial hardships, but it was also one driven by such heartache that it’s hard to comprehend.  He was just four years old when his father John George died and after years of caring for his mother Nina, who was diagnosed with incurable cancer, she passed away too when he was only 15. Ed has remained a positive outlook on life, focused on his work, he’s adamant that he’s never felt sorry for himself. Yet when Ed’s son, John, was born with a rare neurological condition and he became a carer once again in adulthood, it's astonishing to comprehend the resilience that Ed has learned. “Throughout my life, I've always thought that people need to see things in proportion a bit, look at what's most important.” - Ed Davey . WARNING: contains discussion of sensitive topics.Series producer: Anya PearceProducer: Calum McCrae
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