• Hello, and welcome to an episode of On the Edge with Andrew Gold with today’s guest, award-winning science author and TV presenter Dr. Stuart Farrimond, who’ll be talking about how to live the perfect day, from your sleep and your coffee in the morning, to your work habits and commutes, and your exercise and evening routine.

    Stuart Links

    Buy the Science of Living Book (UK): https://amzn.to/2XjVmRu

    Buy the Live Your Best Life Book (N America): https://amzn.to/3boCHMu

    Surviving Terminal Cancer by Ben Williams: https://www.survivingterminalcancer.com/

    Twitter: https://twitter.com/RealDoctorStu

    Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/realdoctorstu/?hl=en

    Andrew Links

    Support the show on patreon.com/andrewgold

    Follow me on Twitter.com/andrewgold_ok

    Follow me on Instagram.com/andrewgold_ok

    See podcast video clips on Youtube.com/andrewgold1

    Stuart is talking about the themes of his book, The Science of Living: 219 reasons to rethink your daily routine. In the US and probably Canada, it’s known as Live your Best Life – link in the show notes. It’s a gorgeous book, really beautifully designed, and would make for a wonderful present for someone. Each page has a question, such as Why is waking up so hard, why do I have bad breath when I wake up, will skipping breakfast make me fat, will wearing a coat indoors mean I’m colder when I go out and is my phone ruining my sex life. Each question and page is adorned with lovely images and graphs that are really accessible and easy, even for someone of my limited neural capacities.

    We have a fun and interesting chat. Things do get a little heavier in the final third of today’s episode, as Stuart talks about undergoing surgery for a brain tumour. He speaks emotionally but also informatively about the subject and provides some inspirational pearls of wisdom to end on.

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  • I’m delighted to welcome onto the show the pre-eminent human rights activist and ex-Muslim Yasmine Mohammed. She’s the creator of the #FreeFromHijab hashtag and the founder of the Free Hearts Free Minds organisation that helps ex-Muslims transition out of Islam, a little like what Episode 3’s guest Emily Green does for Orthodox Jews. Links to her website, as well as her book Unveiled: How Western Liberals Empower Radical Islam and her social media pages, in the show notes.

    Yasmine Links:

    Free Hearts Free Minds Organisation: www.freeheartsfreeminds.com

    Yas on Twitter: https://twitter.com/YasMohammedxx

    Unveiled: How Western Liberals Empower Radical Islam: https://www.waterstones.com/book/unveiled/yasmine-mohammed/9781999240530

    Andrew Links:

    Twitter: http://twitter.com/andrewgold_ok

    Patreon: http://patreon.com/andrewgold

    Insta: http://instagram.com/andrewgold_ok

    Website: http://andrewgoldpodcast.com

    As you’ll hear, I mention Hasidic Judaism and Catholicism a few times in the discussion, partly as a reminder that the podcast isn’t picking on Islam in particular. We’ve already done episodes with former members of the Hasidic Jews, Mormons, Jehovah’s Witnesses and the Westboro Baptist Church. And yet, Yasmine will point out a few places where Islam is unique, not only its own characteristics, but how it is perceived and, in her mind, given a free ride, by the liberal western media.

    Yasmine is a Canadian professor and member of the Center for Inquiry, who has also been interviewed by esteemed speakers Seth Andrews and Sam Harris, who we talk about a lot towards the end of the interview. She talks about how her personal story runs parallel to that of modern Islam, in that things were more secular, and then got a whole lot more religious and oppressive very suddenly. She was forced to marry an al-Qaeda operative, before fleeing with their daughter, something unimaginably awful for most of us.

    We talk about the situation of Australian ex-Muslim Zara Kay, who has been arrested in Tanzania. We’ll speak about why eminent writer Salman Rushdie got the Fatwah – which was a religious call to have him killed – and why he was singled out for that treatment. 

    Also, at the end, we have a funny chat about Hugh Grant and Fargo that didn’t quite fit with the rest of the conversation, but stay after the de de de de at the end, as I’ll play those couple of minutes as part of the outro.

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  • To start off 2021 on the On the Edge with Andrew Gold podcast, we’ve got scientist Dr. Andrew Steele to talk about living forever, and how we might cure ageing in the coming decades and centuries. What better way to start the year? Although, if it’s anything like 2020, you may not want to live forever. Anyway, Andrew’s new book Ageless has just come out – get it on andrewsteele.co.uk/ageless. It made for a fascinating read – I was up all night hoping to find the answers, because I’ve always loved the idea of staying young and living forever – many of us like that concept, while others don’t, and we’ll discuss why.

    What I would say…most of you listen to this on audio-only, but if you’re ever going to check out the YouTube page, this is the time to do it, because Andrew’s video is absolutely gorgeous, shot with a pair of top-of-the-range cameras. It makes such a difference editing something so lovely. So just Google YouTube On the Edge with Andrew Gold or type youtube.com/andrewgold1 to find it – do subscribe to the channel while you’re there. And subscribe to Andrew Steele’s page, youtube.com/drandrewsteele, where you’ll find incredible 4k beautifully shot science videos explaining things in a way that makes sense … even to idiots like me!

    In today’s episode, we talk about why people are so hostile to the idea of living forever – why it’s always portrayed as a negative, selfish and unattractive thing, while death seems to be a positive, heroic and noble thing. We look at tortoises, jellyfish and worms, gene therapy (not Levi’s), and how we might overcome such potential immortality issues as overpopulation and a poor/rich divide. We talk about whether it’s possible to die of a broken heart and whether women will be able to have babies at much older ages, and we discuss something called cell senescence, which is when cells in our body stop dividing (apparently they normally divide, but when they stop dividing, that’s a big part of what we’d call ageing). And we look at how we ourselves might extend our lives and live into the coming millennia.

    Next week’s episode is with Canadian ex-Muslim human rights activist Yasmine Mohammed.

    Andrew Steele Links:

    Buy Ageless: andrewsteele.co.uk/ageless

    Twitter: https://twitter.com/statto

    Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/DrAndrewSteele

    YouTube: youtube.com/drandrewsteele

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  • Stephen Knight is an atheist who has made a name for himself online and in the media as both a friend of comedian Ricky Gervais, and an outspoken critic of woke culture and critical race theory. The host of the Godless Spellchecker podcast, which goes by the Knight Tube on YouTube. Do check out his podcast, he’s had some really big names on it, including Douglas Murray and Sam Harris to Ricky Gervais and…well, me. The lucky so-and-so. I was on his podcast just a couple weeks ago, so do check it out.


    We talk about how Ricky – who is a hero of mine – first approached Stephen (link to his Twitter) to come on his podcasts, which makes for a really great story. We also go into the problems with religion, and we talk a lot about class, which is particularly funny and strange in the UK. Stephen is from a working class background in Manchester, and believes that if anything does make us unequal, it is class rather than race or gender. But even so, he wouldn’t want to play that card, as he prefers to judge people as individuals.


    I have to respect that my listeners come from a range of backgrounds and viewpoints. This discussion might put some of you off at first, but do stick with it – I don’t think we are that disrespectful to woke culture or religions, and maybe we’ll find some common ground. This podcast came at the opportune moment – just this week, prominent write Julie Burchill had her book about the problems with woke cancel culture…cancelled after she joked about Islam online. And a school in the US is being sued after trying to force white students to publicly recognize their innate racism and privilege, threatening them with failing grades, if they refused to comply. Where does this end, according to Stephen? Well, some pretty dark places.

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  • As we come to the end of a year most of us would be keen to forget, I thought it was time to have a look at…time. Today on the show, I’ve got physicist Julian Barbour, who has a new theory about the Big Bang and time, which he elucidates in his latest book, The Janus Point: A New Theory of Time.

    This one gets a little more complex than a typical episode of On the Edge with Andrew Gold, so I’m going to break down a few things I think I’ve learned. Firstly, Julian (official website) posits that the old Newtonian view of time is not entirely right, because it puts us inside a box. Thinking outside the box, Julian believes time is not necessarily a thing on a map like some of us thought…the only thing that time is, is a series of changing shapes of the universe. To differentiate between the past and the future, it’s just a case of seeing things like atoms and particles becoming less simple and structured, until complex things like us are able to exist. One of the most amazing parts of Julian’s theory however, is that time goes back to the Big Bang – and then goes the other way. So before the Big Bang is just another timeline going in the other direction. Bit weird, right?

    I always edit down the interviews a fair bit to make them quick and accessible, so I’ve lost some of Julian’s most intriguing – yet complex – material, so if you are interested in more, make sure to get hold of the Janus Point: A New Theory of Time on Amazon. There, you’ll get to the real thermodynamics and theories and historical stuff.

    Many of you are going to be fascinated, and I’m proud to have such a remarkable mind on the show. Others of you might find it difficult – I would suggest you stay with it, because we do go into other fun things like aliens, what happens at the end of time, whether it’d be good to live forever, and whether we have free will (or are things all decided for us) in the latter part.

    If you enjoy the show, please take a look at my Patreon website and consider signing up to a tier. It takes SO much time to get this ready each week, and I appreciate the support a lot. Lots of cool benefits too! Here's that link again, patreon.com/andrewgold

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  • I’m honoured to be joined today by one of the UK’s most impressive speakers and mental health advocates in the form of Jonny Benjamin MBE, who made headlines after sparking a national campaign called Find Mike – with the goal of tracking down the man who talked him down from a bridge. Jonny talks candidly about his own experience with schizoaffective disorder, which has led to him hearing a voice in his head that used to take on the form of an angel, before becoming the devil.

    He’s passionate about mental health and how we all need to talk more openly, and you can find the charity he founded, Beyond, on wearebeyond.org.uk. He’s also created a mental health festival for schools called Now and Beyond.

    Jonny also tells me how his relatively conservative Jewish upbringing made it harder to talk about his issues, while also feeling he had to keep his homosexuality secret. We also spoke about fellow schizophrenia sufferer Elyn Saks, whose Ted Talk you can find here.

    Follow me on Twitter and Instagram, both andrewgold_ok, and have a browse of the different perks you can get from a membership on patreon.com/andrewgold


    Episode sponsored by the wonderful Pink Moon Interiors, they really make some great stuff that I've personally visited. Check out and follow their instagram here: https://www.instagram.com/pinkmoon_interiors/

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  • So, we’ve tackled Judaism, Islam, Jehovah’s Witnesses and the Westboro Baptist Church so far on the On the Edge with Andrew Gold podcast. That can only mean one thing. It’s finally time for the Mormons. And I’ve got none other than Dan Beecher, one half of the famous Frank and Dan who host Thank God I’m Atheist. I actually appeared as a guest on their podcast to discuss my exorcism film, and I’ve no doubt that some of our listeners cross over. Theirs is absolutely huge though – straight out of Utah, they’re a couple of ex-Mormons who discuss all things atheism. Dan also has a massive podcast show called The How-To Heretic, so both touch on atheism, cults, religions and all that stuff that you and I can’t get enough of.

    We discuss everything from the late British atheist and thought leader Christopher Hitchens to haters and polyamory – as opposed to the polygamy Mormonism is famous for – we discuss that too, and get to the bottom of it.

    Like most of these podcast interviews, we dip in and out of serious themes and lighter moments that bring levity to proceedings. You don’t want to be sad for an hour, and neither do I. But it does get quite intense, as Dan describes certain aspects of his childhood, his mind conflicted as he searched for a sign from god that wouldn’t come. This exasperation and pressure left irreversible marks on his psyche, touching everything, including his sex life.

    Remember to subscribe to this podcast so you don’t forget about it, and support it on patreon.com/andrewgold

    Huge thanks to Podcorn for sponsoring this episode. Explore sponsorship opportunities and start monetizing your podcast by signing up here: https://podcorn.com/podcasters/

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  • Lucy Edwards is a 24-year-old British journalist who holds the distinction of being BBC Radio 1’s first ever blind presenter. She’s since worked across the channel, from BBC World News to BBC Radio 4, and has run a marathon and started up an extremely successful YouTube channel – Lucy Edwards - where here make-up tutorials and videos answering questions you were too polite or timid to ask have racked up millions of views.






    The Blind Beauty Guide eBook





    Podcast website

    We delve into brail, language learning, Robbie Williams, Jon Ronson and inspiration porn. We talk about the details behind how Lucy lost her sight, and how she learned to cope, along with helpful sidekick, Olga. Olga’s a dog by the way. We actually spoke a couple of months ago, but timed the episode to coincide with the International Day of Disabled Persons on December 3rd.

    Lucy talks in the episode about how the modern BBC studios she worked in were not equipped for blind people. A lot of media attention has rightly helped redress societal imbalances across different subsections of society. However, disabled people remain totally under the radar…and nobody seems to care. Well, we should do, and we can start by hearing Lucy out – not because she’s blind, but because she has so much to say and she’s a fantastic journalist.

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  • Links:

    The John Cedars YouTube Channel

    Lloyd Evans: The Reluctant Apostate

    Andrew Gold's brand new Patreon page - patreon.com/andrewgold

    Episode Summary

    Lloyd Evans is pretty much the world’s pre-eminent ex-Jehovah’s Witness and authority on the religion, its attractions and its snares. He tells some of the downright craziest and unbelievable stories of his childhood and his time in religion.

    So that Jehovah’s Witnesses know, I’m not just picking on them, as I’ve already done episodes on an ex-Muslim whose family are trying to kill her, an ex-Hasidic Jew who believes the community raped her and the son of the founder of the Westboro Baptist Church. You’ll find those in the backlog, by clicking the links above or by visiting my website, andrewgoldpodcast.com.

    This is also a special podcast because Ex-Jehovah Lloyd convinced me, as you’ll hear, of the merits of starting my own Patreon page, and he’s even started contributing himself, which is a really touching gesture from a fellow content maker. Bringing this podcast to you every week is a full-time job, it takes about 40 hours each week. Just go to patreon.com/andrewgold.

    Of course, if I’m going to be making money from this, I also have to up my game. I’ve been making an effort to ensure interviewees send me their audio files – so you’ll hear in this one, Lloyd’s voice is absolutely gorgeous. And I’m going to start publishing the video versions of the podcast on YouTube, with lots of flashy camera angles and high definition.

    Anyway, that was my announcement and I don’t want it to eat into any more Lloyd Evans ex-Jehovah’s Witness time. We’re going to be talking about everything from the community’s controversial views on blood transfusions to its purported inaction on child abuse. Lloyd talks eloquently about cognitive dissonance – the way our mind refuses to consider reasoning that runs counter to our engrained idea of how the world works. Lloyd really is an authority on the subject, and if you want to know more, I encourage you to get hold of his acclaimed book – The Reluctant Apostate – and to visit his popular YouTube page with over 70,000 subscriptions, the John Cedars channel.

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  • Ed Hudson worked as the narcotics and law enforcement officer in the Florida unit responsible for bringing down Freddie Crow. Freddie used to steal planes and fly under the radar with death-defying stunts to reach Belize, where he’d smuggle so much marijuana onto the plane that the pressure would bust open the doors. He wore camouflage and became known by the FBI only as Rambo, before they could identify him and his partner in crime Billy. His life was very much like that of Tom Cruise’s character in American Made, but it took a drastic change after he was caught and met today’s guest on On the Edge with Andrew Gold podcast: Ed Hudson.

    After serving time, an unlikely friendship developed between the two, before things took a tragic turn. I’ll leave it there for now. I came across Ed’s fantastic book, As The Crow Flies: The Redemption of an International Drug Smuggler, which you can find on Amazon and in selected stores. Look up his Facebook page Ed Hudson Author – there’ll be a link on my andrewgoldpodcast.com blog - for photos of him and Freddie, and Freddie’s family.

    Couple things to note. One, a huge part of the story is, to Ed, religious. I’m not a religious person – in fact, I’d describe myself as a proud and open atheist. But it’s impossible not to make a link between Freddie’s redemption and punishment tale and religious stories…which to me, are just that: stories. But to Ed, they’re something more, and it means he speaks with a genuine enthusiasm and passion that elevates the story both in this interview and in his book.

    Two, Ed has a quite marvellous way of talking. It’s a real traditional Deep South accent that we in the UK can only dream of encountering in real life, so if nothing else, I hope you enjoy listening to the musicality of his voice. As regular listeners will know, I always attempt an impression of the disparate accents on the show, so it didn’t escape notice that he says things like ‘that’s done been done’.

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  • On today’s show, I’m proud to say, I’ve got someone almost entirely unique. Rebecca Sharrock is one of 80 people in the world with HSAM, which is an ability to remember every moment of your life, stretching back as far as the womb. What would you do with such a power, or is it a curse? Rebecca will shed some light on the matter. She also has obsessive compulsive disorder and autism, but it’s her near-perfect memory that puts her in the rarest of rare groups, one that makes up just 0.000001 per cent of the world population.

    Given the cognitive nature of the episode, this seemed like a great idea as a follow up to last week’s podcast with cognitive scientist Dr. Lera Boroditsky, where we discussed the way languages shape thought, and how the mind works.

    Rebecca is a huge Harry Potter fan – something we both share, and were able to bond over. She was actually supposed to be going on a trip to the Harry Potter World at Universal Studios, but it was cancelled due to Covid. As you’ll hear, she knows the books off by heart and is able to finish any line from Harry Potter that I throw at her – you can find the video version of that clip on Twitter and Instagram on andrewgold_ok, while Rebecca is on r_sharrock on Twitter. The things she shows me are truly remarkable, and open up all sorts of questions about the human mind, memory, the subconscious and how it all links up. Also, her lovely mum Janet shows up halfway through to give some great insight about what it’s like living with somebody who remembers everything good and bad you do or say.

    A few warnings. One, I’m going to attempt my terrible, terrible accent. Rebecca’s not the first guest we’ve had from Queensland, Australia – I had the Coffin Confessor who reveals secrets at people’s funerals just a few episodes back. Another warning – something my girlfriend Julieta has picked up on and mocked me about – is that I’ve been mentioning a lot lately how many languages I speak. It comes up again here, so I’m going to make a concerted effort in future episodes…to keep doing it. At the end of the day, it took an extortionate amount of time and effort to learn to speak five languages – and it has very little practical use day to day – so I might as well gloat about it on this podcast. That’s what I told her anyway.

    I hope you enjoy this episode – if you haven’t already, make sure to subscribe – and please leave me some lovely new reviews on the Apple Podcast app – they’ve been drying up the last week or so – tell me where you’re listening to this, and any funny stories relating to the episode or your state of mind. I’ll read the latest ones out at the end. For now, I’m trying to impress Rebecca Sharrock with my best Australian accent.

    P.S. if you like this episode, you might also like my one with NME music journalist James McMahon, who discusses what it's like to live with crippling OCD.

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  • Today, I’ve got Lera Boroditsky, Professor of Cognitive Science at UCSD on the show. She’s a really big deal in the languages and cognitive science worlds, having taught at MIT and Stanford. and you can find her Ted Talk here. Her teaching and her research focus on the way we form thought, the way we think, and the way language affects how we think. If any of you have seen the movie Arrival (trailer), you’ll know what I mean – because it’s a great example of how learning the alien language allows you to think different. I won’t spoil it, but the film and it’s original short story by Ted Chiang just blew my mind.

    Scientists in the real world haven’t encountered anything quite so sci-fi-like – but Dr. Boroditsky has nailed down certain characteristics in the 7,000 languages around the world that make its native speakers think in different ways. For example, she engrained herself with one community where they use cardinal points, so south, west, east and north, instead of left and right. It means they have an internal map of compass points – something we never thought humans had the ability to do. Other examples she’ll talk about include the way we see colour, the way we count and use maths, and the way gender is influenced by language. For example, the French bridge Le Pont is masculine, and they therefore tend to describe it as imposing and strong, while Germans Die Brücke is feminine, so it’s seen as elegant and fragile. While these gender stereotypes might be a little outdated, they give us an insight into the way words can have an effect on meaning.

    As many of you know, language is one of my biggest passions. I speak five, although I cheat by including English – the others are Spanish, French, German and Portuguese. And one of the things that has fascinated me is how I find myself taking on a new personality with each language. When I’m in a group of French people I become this low-voiced suave, philosophical guy, while in Argentine Spanish, I take on an Italian inflection, and I’m a bit more risqué, I’m singing my words, and that has to change your personality – not only in how you’re perceived by others, but in how you think while communicating in these other languages. I really feel like I become another person, and you can see me using these languages in my work in my showreel.

    So that’s why I’ve been absolutely fascinated by Dr. Boroditsky’s work, and by a book a recently read by Guy Deutscher, called Through the Language Glass. Dr. Boroditsky talks to me all about those things, and also touches on things like enforced language change – such as gender-neutral pronouns and other social-justice changes – and talks a little about psychopaths that she might just be one. I think she was joking, but there’s some truth in the notion that high-performing people might just be some form of sociopath. If you’re into that, check out my earlier episodes with M.E. Thomas the female Mormon psychopath, and Mary Turner Thomson, whose husband was a psychopath and a bigamist.

    Please make sure to share this podcast, follow me on andrewgold_ok on Twitter and Instagram – I could do with more followers!

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  • British comedy-horror animator David Firth is known universally for his Salad Fingers series, and has been putting up short films on his website fat-pie.com for decades. He has worked with the BBC and the likes of David Mitchell among many others.

    I think Lynchean – in that David Lynch manner – is the most apt word to describe his subtle blend of the creepy, eerie, nightmarish qualities of his cartoons with a very dark sense of humour. Catch him on Twitter and get yourself a Salad Fingers toy for Halloween.

    Before I forget – this background music is by the late Clara Rockmore on the Theremin instrument, and it ran through David’s Spoilsbury Toast Boy film, which is creepy as hell. This is like a Desert Island Discs of his stuff, as I play a bunch of clips of his best stuff, while he talks about them - all these clips belong to David Firth and the full versions can be found on fat-pie.com.

    Thanks David for allowing me to play these clips, and I hope it gives newcomers to his work a sense of what we’re dealing with here! I’ll put links to the full episodes of each of the clips I show in my blog on andrewgoldpodcast.com. Also check out his ambient music on Locust Toybox on Spotify – I’ll be using one of his clips for the outro.

    But now it’s the podcast - we talk about a lot of stuff, including where David gets his ideas, his dreams, his nightmares and his process as well as things like cancel culture and Pete Townsend.

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  • Chris Hughes is a hypnotist from Oxfordshire who once hypnotised over a million people across 130 countries at once – online. Check out SocialTrance for that on YouTube for that and type his name – Chris Hughes followed by hypnotist into Google to find his wiki page, Twitter account and official website. Chris has also showcased his modern approach to hypnosis across several BBC channels and other prominent TV stations – and what Chris specialises in is hypnotherapy, which uses hypnosis to help people tweak their subconscious.

    That is, he’ll cure your phobia of spiders, he’ll help you quit smoking, he’ll help you lose weight. He’s a firm believer that talking is great for talking’s sake and can make you feel better, but hypnosis is the real gem that can cut to the source and sort you out. He has an office on the reputable medical district of Harley Street, and hypnotism is often listed as a potential treatment on the National Health Service website and other dependable sources, so why not?

    I was also interested in speaking to him to understand a little more about what I’d experienced with exorcism. I performed an exorcism for a BBC 3 documentary a couple years ago in Argentina, and I found that all the patients, if we can call them that, seemed to be cured of their issues. That said, many of them fell back into depression, anxiety and whatever else they were suffering from. I was keen to ask Chris about that, so sent him a link – which you can find on BBC iPlayer or YouTube, just type Andrew Gold exorcism, you’ll find it.

    We talk about how hypnotism works, how it can help people and the ethics around hypnotists using what they’ve learned on members of the opposite sex, or on their children to get them to do their chores. I also ask what pushed him to get into hypnotism, but inexplicably left that bit until the last question.


    Chris Hughes





    Andrew Gold





    Exorcism BBC Film


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  • Wrestler Rhia O’Reilly is known for her signature move the Rhia-djustment. We chat about broken bones, how wrestling works and Jaffa Cakes, as well as one of the most under-reported social movements: the Speaking Out movement. It’s a bit of a subset of #MeToo, but wrestling was left behind by the media a little, which likes to pick and choose what might be relevant.

    I didn’t know very much about wrestling, so Rhia helped to fill me in. We also discuss whether or not wrestling is a sport - which has long been a surprisingly controversial debate! Rhiannon Stephanie Docherty was born in 1985 and is from Northern Ireland. She’s been wrestling since 2010 and she also trains other wrestlers, and is a pretty big name in the industry nowadays.

    Find her on Twitter at https://twitter.com/rdpixie, she’s got a big following and is very active – she’s also big on charity and works at the Big Issue, which is a great British newspaper that helps homeless people to earn an income. For the dark side of Rhia, check out her videos on YouTube. I have far few followers, so if you feel sorry for me, find me on Twitter - https://twitter.com/AndrewGold_ok - or Instagram -https://instagram.com/AndrewGold_ok - or Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/ontheedgewithandrewgold - those accounts are where you'll find all the video teasers.

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  • This is a really fun one. I was fortunate enough to get an interview the illustrious TV historian and presenter, Dr Tessa Dunlop, who, as it happens shares an agent with me, who shall be referred to in this episode as Hilary, because that is her name.

    She has a passion for all things Romanian, including her husband, who she met when he was 12 – stick around for that story, if nothing else. She often appears on TV chat shows, and she also wrote the Century Girls about 100 year-old-women and the Bletchley Girls, about the women involved in the World War II Codebreakers at Bletchley Park of course. She’s totally risqué, naughty and flirty, but also one of the kindest and funniest people I know.

    She’s here to discuss her new show Who Is Romania – where she delves into a fascinating history in a really fun and accessible way - you’ll find links to this free show on her Twitter account, @tessadunlop – or Instagram tessa_dunlop (if you’re going on Twitter, give me a follow on andrewgold_ok - or Instagram also andrewgold_ok, I have far fewer followers than Tessa and need your love much more). You’ll also find her series all over her Tessa Dunlop Facebook page, where the videos are getting mad crazy numbers of views, and her YouTube page, funnily enough, also called Tessa Dunlop.

    Among other things, we bitch about the TV industry, talk inappropriately about woke culture and dive into the nuances of the Meghan versus the Royal Family debate. We also speak abut her time hunting for ghosts in Egypt with the late psychic TV personality Derek Acorah.

    Next week I’m talking with female Irish professional wrestler Rhia O’Reilly – about some pretty crazy stuff that’s been going on that has been wildly under-reported in the UK and the US. More on that at the end, when I’ll conclude and read out some reviews.

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  • James McMahon is a music journalist and former editor of Kerrang music magazine who also had several prominent roles at NME – which is also a very big music magazine. He’s very talented and does all sorts of things, from illustration and animal portraits to a paranormal email magazine called Spoook and interviews with the likes of Green Day, U2 and 50 Cent. He’s also written for Vice, The Guardian and the Big Issue among other prestigious titles.

    (Follow the podcast on twitter.com/andrewgold_ok or instagram.com/andrewgold_ok or facebook.com/ontheedgewithandrewgold)

    But today, we’re going to talk about his struggle with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. It’s something I struggled with myself as a teenager and haven’t really spoken about. I wouldn’t want to now say I have OCD any more than the average person; I’m sure all of you have some aspects of obsessive compulsion – but the disorder part is where James comes in.

    I came across his other project, the OCD Chronicles, in which he interviews all sorts of people with different kinds of OCD, which affects everybody slightly differently. His latest interview was with Mara Wilson, the child star you might know from Matilda or Mrs. Doubtfire. I put forward the theory to James that learning to be Matilda – a young girl who can control things with her mind – might have been a catalyst for her disorder. But I think both James and Mara can see that it’s a little more complicated than that.

    In any case, we talk about how it has affected James, and get on to parts you maybe didn’t expect from OCD, including intrusive thoughts – and there are some surprising and difficult ones that have plagued James for some time.

    If you think that you, or your loved ones might be suffering with this debilitating disorder, I’ve put links to OCD UK and OCD Action in the episode description, so do get in touch with them. Check out James’ OCD Chronicles on https://www.jamesjammcmahon.com or follow him on Twitter via @jamesjammcmahon.

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  • Have you ever wished to have the last word in an argument? Like actually the definitive last word, where nobody can ever come back at you. Well, a private investigator in Queensland Australia called William Edgar believes he has the answer. (Find video teasers on andrewgold_ok on Insta and Twitter)

    If you hire him, when you die – he’ll turn up at your funeral and give everyone a piece of your late mind. To lend his voice to the departed, he charges around $10,000 Australian dollars a pop for the service and makes sure to look into your claims, so that he’s not just spouting rubbish at a funeral. He’ll also rummage through your belongings after you pass, hiding anything you don’t want your loved ones to see. I don’t want to give too much away right now, but we’ll talk about a pensioner’s sex dungeon, a secretly gay biker and some pretty crazy funeral clashes.

    You’ll find him @thecoffinconfessor on Instagram and the same on Facebook. His website is thecoffinconfessor.com.au. Despite the gloomy topic, he’s actually a lot of fun, and I love talking to such colourful characters, it’s sort of the whole point of the podcast, so I hope you enjoy being transported now to his world. Warning to my father, and all of our fathers and mothers – I think about 30% of his words are of the swearing variety. It does get a little serious too – about halfway through, he brought up something I didn’t know about – his childhood abuse, which sounds horrific. Look up the Lost Boy of TSS to know more about that – but it’s interesting how that sparked his enthusiasm for his current career.

    At the end of the pod, I’ll be reading out a couple reviews and promoting the video of this pod for its most enthusiastic fans. But for now, we’re in Queensland Australia to speak to the Coffin Confessor Bill Edgar.

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  • This is probably my most ambitious and tricky podcast episode. I spoke with convict Bobby Caldwell in a Michigan prison. Catch trailers on andrewgold_ok on Twitter/Insta. I'd also like to thank Alan Burke - @burkewhy on Twitter - for suggesting I invite Bobby on - great shout, Alan!

    After suffering for years with crippling depression, Bobby made headlines around the world when he accidentally shot and killed his partner Monica Anderson, 28, in a botched and drunken suicide attempt. He says that because he didn’t want to put her family through more pain, he pleaded guilty to involuntary manslaughter and was sentenced to a maximum of 17 years, of which he’s served six. Monica left behind two children, one of whom is Bobby’s son. Friends remember her for her outgoing, vivacious nature and her baking abilities – she even competed in a cake festival and dreamed of opening her own cake business.

    Bobby came to my attention through his own podcast, Notes from the Pen, which he records via phone calls with his friend Freddie on the outside. It’s a fascinating and unique look behind the bars, giving us an insight into daily life, social hierarchies and Bobby’s evolving thoughts on life and what happened that fateful day.

    This episode was also complicated for journalistic reasons – when some people hear that the bullets from Bobby’s gun travelled up the stairs and hit Monica in the side of her back, they’re sceptical about whether it was an accident. We’ve all seen enough documentaries and films about that kind of thing. I racked my brain for days about whether or not to bring that up.

    The authorities who examined the case believe he was negligent – which he admits – but did not intend to shoot her. I’m not a judge, and even the slightest hint of an opinion from me about intent would be totally irresponsible on my part and extremely damaging to Bobby, who is paying an awful price for what, by all accounts, was a terrible accident.

    At the same time, I wouldn’t be doing my job as a journalist, if I didn’t at least broach the fact that some people might not believe him. You as a listener would be screaming at me from behind your screens about such a large elephant in the room. I think asking him about it also gave him a chance to explain and defend himself – it’s something that really bothers him, quite understandably.

    Despite this being such a serious topic, I wanted to start with a lighter note, so that we could get to know each other a little before delving into the worst night of his life, so we do talk now about privacy, defecation and masturbation in a state prison.

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  • Catch the video trailers on https://twitter.com/AndrewGold_ok or https://www.instagram.com/andrewgold_ok/.

    I’ve just had a very fun chat with Helen Lewis, the pre-eminent British journalist of The Guardian, The Atlantic, GQ and others - about Difficult Women. That’s the topic of the podcast, but it’s also the name of Helen’s eye-opening new book which you can get in all the normal places and here: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Difficult-Women-History-Feminism-Fights/dp/1787331288

    I wanted to have her on the show because she has a distinctively measured take on the battles women have faced over the last century or so. Her book covers obstacles women have had to overcome over the years, such as getting divorce legalised, getting the vote, changing the way we talk about sex and so on. But it does so without lecturing or reproaching men; while also adopting a warts and all approach to the women she writes about. They weren’t saints – and Helen writes about things like the jealousy and classist rivalries in the suffragette movement; and how some of these pioneering feminists were attracted to fascism and eugenics. I also wanted to have Helen on because I’ve recently had conservative Lord Daniel Finkelstein, and before that, anti-woke academics – and I don’t want this podcast to become some sort of hub of incels and misogynists and things – Helen shows how you can be an activist, you can fight for social justice without alienating everyone else or showing off your virtue.

    She has long been a famous name in British journalism due to her pre-eminence as a writer; she’s made radio documentaries for the BBC, including a recent one I enjoyed called the Roots of Woke Culture, where she interviewed anti-social justice scholars Helen Pluckrose and James Lindsay – who also came on this podcast. However, her name really took off online after her GQ interview on YouTube with famous Canadian psychiatrist Jordan Peterson. I don’t want you to leave this podcast, but I do recommend you check it out – it has 16 million views right now, so it’s likely you’ve already seen it.

    I thought she really held her own against one of the world’s most famous intellects. Concerned about woke culture and often extending an olive branch to men. We discuss that Jordan Peterson interview as well as trans rights, woke culture, sex and…we really do laugh quite a lot, I really enjoyed this one, and hope you do too.

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