The Mid•Point with Gabby Logan
Extraordinary People: Ed and Lois Jackson
This month, Gabby presents a special mini-series focusing on extraordinary people with remarkable stories to share. The Oprah Winfrey Show was formative viewing for Gabby, and having rediscovered its early episodes, she was inspired to break away from the usual roster of celebrities and experts and instead spotlight ordinary people who have shown remarkable strength of character and overcome adversity. Over the course of the next three episodes you'll hear three very different stories, but all of them will leave you feeling inspired.
We’re kicking off the series with a power couple; Ed and Lois Jackson. Back in 2017, Ed was enjoying his career as a professional rugby player and he and Lois were looking forward to their upcoming nuptials, but a split-second misjudgement at a barbecue changed the trajectory of both of their lives forever. Ed suffered an almost catastrophic spinal cord injury and was lucky to survive the accident. They speak about what it was like being told that he would never walk again, and Ed’s extraordinary reaction to that news. We hear how they have navigated the highs and lows of the last six years, how Ed went from being paralysed in all four limbs to climbing Yr Wyddfa/ Snowdon in 12 months, and how reframing and gratitude helped them to find a greater purpose and form their charity Millimetres 2 Mountains.
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43. Amol Rajan01:12:28TW: The episode contains references to suicide and depression, so please take care whilst listening. If you are affected by anything you hear in this episode, you can reach out to The Samaritans for free on 116 123.Journalist, broadcaster, and new host of University Challenge, Amol Rajan, is Gabby’s guest this week. Amol speaks very openly about how he’s recalibrating his sense of self since turning 40 and learning how to live with grief since his beloved father died. He also chats about his upbringing; how being raised by immigrant parents informed his sense of ambition, and why he thinks we should reclaim that word. They also discuss balancing work and parenting, and how being a father to a new-born again means that Amol is having to adjust what he calls “the hobs of life” – listen to find out exactly what that means! Alongside Amol, we also hear from host of the Financial Times’ Money Clinic Podcast, Claer Barrett, because what retirement looks like for a lot of midpointers is changing, and Claer has some advice on how to prepare financially for this.
42. Anna Richardson52:04TW: There are references to pregnancy loss and infertility in this episode.Presenter, producer, and journalist, Anna Richardson, joins Gabby this week to talk about everything from returning to education in your 50’s, to the lonely road of infertility; from how difficult yet vital it is to speak truth to power, to what a memory palace is! Beauty guru Nadine Baggott is also back with lots of beauty tips for our midlife skin, including what neck cream you really need - the answer might surprise you! For more anecdotes and wisdom from Anna, check out her podcast It Can't Just Be Me.Here are some useful links to products Nadine recommends in this episode:Retinal Serum, Geek and GorgeousRetinal Intensive Cream, Avène (USA)The Crystal Retinal Family, Medik8
41. Kate Moyle on Sex41:23This week, we have an expert taking centre stage! Psychosexual and Relationship Therapist and Psycho-Sexologist, Kate Moyle, is here to talk sex and intimacy. It’s something many people still struggle to talk about, but midlife can radically change the landscape when it comes to sex; certainly, when we asked The Mid.Pointers for questions to put to Kate, you delivered! In this episode, Kate tries her best to answer those questions on everything from libido imbalance to fetishes, pelvic floor strength to sex after parenthood. If you want to explore this topic further, get a copy of Kate’s book The Science of Sex: Every Question About Your Sex Life Answered.
40. Angela Hartnett OBE52:21Gabby is joined by one of the most recognisable names in the British restaurant world: Michelin Star chef, restaurateur, and broadcaster, Angela Hartnett OBE. Angela shares her experience of going through the menopause in somewhere as hot and pressurised as a top kitchen; how she’s learned in midlife that sometimes you need to ask for help; where her love of food comes from and why food and family are so intertwined; as well as the things she’s doing to ensure that she’s thriving when she is 90 years of age! Medical Scientist and Public Health Nutritionist, Dr Federica Amati, also joins to discuss the science behind her new book: Recipes For A Better Menopause.
39. Dara Ó Briain55:03WARNING: This episode contains strong language.Comedian, presenter, and author, Dara Ó Briain, joins Gabby to talk about how midlife is treating him; how it has expanded his comedy and allowed him to become more of a storyteller; and what it’s like touring alongside being a dad and getting usurped in popularity by their new dog. Co-author of Ravenous, Henry Dimbleby, also joins to discuss the state of our national food system and why it needs to radically change to protect our future health and the environment. But fear not, despite the severity of the outlook, Dara reassures that we’ll never run out of things to laugh about!
38. Kate Bottley43:29This week’s guest has been compared with the Vicar of Dibley, and she doesn’t mind one bit! This week, the Reverend Kate Bottley brings all the warmth and humour that Dawn French’s character was famous for, and then some. Gabby and Kate discuss all the big topics in this episode: love, death, and skinny dipping! Professor Mike Tipton also joins them to talk about best practices for those who are new to wild swimming, and Kate shares why it’s the one hobby she has stuck with. Below are some links to studies Mike references in this episode:The Physiological Society - Cold water immersion: kill or cure?British Journal of Sports Medicine - Cold water therapies: minimising risksBMJ Case Reports - Open water swimming as a treatment for major depressive disorder
37. Sarah Beeny01:07:15Property expert and broadcaster, Sarah Beeny, chats with Gabby this week about the opportunities that you can unlock in midlife, the joy of being a groupie mum, and the breast cancer diagnosis which she refuses to let define her. Sarah’s new book, The Simple Life: How I Found Home, charts her life through the properties she’s restored, renovated, and loved, and they discuss the importance of making a house a home. They also discuss all things property finance and pensions with host of the Financial Times' Money Clinic podcast and author of What They Don’t Teach You About Money, Claer Barrett.
36. Kenny Logan - Rugby World Cup Challenge35:19Gabby and Kenny get together for a wee debrief after completing Kenny Logan’s Rugby World Cup Challenge, in memory of their great friend Doddie Weir and in aid of My Name’5 Doddie Foundation. They talk about the highs and lows of the weeklong cycle-walk challenge, carrying the Ireland v Scotland Rugby World Cup match ball from Edinburgh to the game in Paris, as well as what it meant to them to meet so many people affected by Motor Neuron Disease along the way. You can still donate to this great cause by clicking here.
35. Ed Balls58:30Few former politicians have had successful reincarnations as television presenters, but Ed Balls is one of them. He joins Gabby to talk about how he is loving the so-called midlife crisis because it’s only really at the midpoint that he’s been able to say yes to the many things he would like to try – including famously, dancing on Strictly! Ed also discusses what raising a young family within the world of politics was like, the new podcast he's cohosting Political Currency, and Gabby gets his thoughts on how middle-aged women in particular could have a huge say in the next General Election. They also speak to psychiatrist and author of How To Build A Healthy Brain and Unprocessed, Kimberley Wilson, about the significance of diet and exercise on brain health and what we need to be doing in midlife to give ourselves the best chance against Dementia.