Unfiltered with James O'Brien

Unfiltered with James O'Brien

www.joe.co.uk/unfiltered
Welcome to Unfiltered: The inimitable James O’Bri…
Unfiltered: The best bits you might have missed
Jul 15 • 50 min
James is away finishing his new book, so we’re doing things a little differently this week. Yes, it’s a ‘Best Of’, but it’s the best of the guests that might have slipped under your radar. They may not be household names, but they have rich and…
39 - Danny Wallace: the strange and wonderful adventures of an inquisitive man
Jul 8 • 59 min
What happens when you just say ‘yes’ to everything? What happens when you ask random people to join you, when you’ve no idea what you’re asking them to join? Danny Wallace asks these kind of questions, and boy, does he get answers. Danny joins James…
38 - Vicky Beeching: the secret life of the poster girl for the Evangelical church
Jul 1 • 57 min
In the world of Christian music, Vicky Beeching was one of its biggest stars, but she had a secret, something she’d hidden away for over 20 years: she was gay. In this inspiring interview, Vicky takes James O’Brien through her journey, discovering a…
37 - Caitlin Moran: bad sex, good advice and how to be famous
Jun 24 • 59 min
Caitlin Moran has a lot to say. Some of it is rib-crackingly funny. Some of it is eye-opening and jaw-dropping. Not all of it is related to the human anatomy, but every word is worth your time. James O’Brien is certainly kept on his toes in this whipcrack…
36 - Howard Jacobson on Jewish comedy, identity, and the dismal state of the world
Jun 17 • 57 min
Novelist, journalist and top-notch conversationalist Howard Jacobson joins James O’Brien for a gloriously sprawling interview, exploring everything from Howard’s birth during a WWII bombing raid, his disdain for “the will of the people”, everyday…
35 - Dave Haslam on Madchester, ecstasy, the Haçienda and the art of DJing
Jun 10 • 58 min
In the late 1980s, something was happening in Manchester. A melting pot of music, art and culture was bubbling away, ready to explode, and Dave Haslam was right there in the middle of it. In this fascinating interview, the DJ and writer talks to James…
34 - Simon Thomas: grief, faith, and perseverance in the face of devastating loss
Jun 3 • 58 min
You may know Simon Thomas from his work on Sky Sports and Blue Peter, but the devastating loss of Simon’s wife Gemma brought him to a prominence that no one could ever wish for. In this emotional and inspiring interview with James O’Brien, Simon shares…
33 - Ronan Farrow on bringing down Harvey Weinstein, Trump’s America, and the power of the pen
May 27 • 56 min
Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Ronan Farrow normally asks the questions, but this time he’s in the hot seat. In this sharp and incisive interview with James O’Brien, Ronan takes us through his prodigious childhood, working in the Obama administration…
32 - Akala: race and class in the ruins of empire
May 20 • 57 min
Rapper, poet and scholar Akala joins James O’Brien for a scintillating interview, in which they discuss two issues that run to the heart of modern Britain: race and class. In a breakneck hour of conversation, Akala picks apart many of the modern myths…
31 - Michelle Lyons: 278 executions, and life watching death row prisoners’ final minutes
May 13 • 57 min
In her time working with and for the Texas Department of Criminal Justice, Michelle Lyons was witness to nearly 300 executions, and though she watched hundreds of inmates be put to death, she’s one of the most cheerful people you could ever meet. In this…
30 - Jamie Oliver: The Naked Chef’s crusade to change the world
May 6 • 58 min
More than almost any other Unfiltered guest so far, you know exactly who Jamie Oliver is. Except, you don’t. In a revealing and impassioned interview with James O’Brien, Jamie takes us back to being a young boy in Essex working in his parents’ pub, not…
29 - Plan B on rap, soul and our degraded moral system
Apr 29 • 57 min
Before he was Plan B, a young man called Ben Drew was growing up in London’s Forest Gate. With a guitar and the music of Smokey Robinson to work with, Ben set about becoming what he is today: a chronicler of our times. In this enthralling interview with…
28 - Shappi Khorsandi: Revolution, assassination plots, and stand-up comedy
Apr 23 • 58 min
You know comedian Shappi Khorsandi from Live at the Apollo and her legendary shows at the Edinburgh Fringe, but Shappi was learning how to make people laugh well before she picked up the mic. In this funny, fascinating, and at times emotional interview…
27 - Nigel Owens: struggles with sexuality and the road to self-acceptance
Apr 15 • 59 min
Arguably the best rugby union referee in the world, known for his witty one-liners and no-nonsense attitude, Nigel Owen’s career highs came with some unimaginable lows. In this vulnerable and moving interview with James O’Brien, Nigel shares his struggle…
26 - Russell Kane: robbed by birth, funny by nature
Apr 8 • 58 min
In one of the funniest Unfiltered interviews to date, James O’Brien meets the whirlwind that is comedian Russell Kane who, as you’re about to discover, has a lot to say. The pair cover everything, from Russell’s relationship with his rough ’n’ tough…
25 - Irvine Welsh: Trainspotting, heroin and pilates
Apr 1 • 59 min
Most authors never have a bestseller. Even fewer come to define an entire decade. Trainspotting, both the book and the film that followed it, was a cultural phenomenon in the 1990s, catapulting writer Irvine Welsh into literary infamy. In this unflinching…
24 - Mark Hamill on Star Wars, life as Luke Skywalker, and Carrie Fisher
Mar 25 • 48 min
He’s best known as Luke Skywalker, but who was Mark Hamill before he picked up the lightsaber? The Star Wars legend joins James O’Brien for a very special interview, exploring his early love for show business, being cast by George Lucas in the first Star…
23 - Lord Alf Dubs: escaping the Nazis and fighting for refugees
Mar 19 • 64 min
As the Nazis closed in on Prague, a six-year-old Alf Dubs was carried away from his native Czechoslovakia on the Kindertransport rescue operation that saved 669 predominantly Jewish children. In a remarkable interview with James O’Brien, Lord Dubs talks…
22 - Richard Herring on the anarchy of comedy, Stewart Lee, and testing the limits
Mar 12 • 66 min
In a laugh-filled look behind the curtain of comedy, stand-up legend Richard Herring takes James O’Brien through his partnership with Stewart Lee, climbing the greasy pole of comedy, the various disputes and fallings out that come with collaboration, and…
21 - David Lammy MP: the never-ending fight for justice and equality
Mar 5 • 64 min
The first sitting MP to appear on Unfiltered, David Lammy has represented the people of Tottenham for the best part of two decades. In that time, he has been privy to some of the most extraordinary moments and developments in British politics. In this…
20 - Scroobius Pip: rap, poetry, podcasts, and the stutter that started it all
Feb 26 • 68 min
After almost drowning at the age of four, Scroobius Pip developed a stutter. Not only did it not stop him from becoming a successful rapper, spoken word poet, actor and fellow podcaster, he believes it was directly responsible for all of it. He joins…
19 - Jack Monroe: poverty, politics and life on the margins
Feb 19 • 66 min
In 2012, at the end of their tether, Jack Monroe wrote a blog detailing the depths of the bitter poverty they had fallen into. After going viral, the post catapulted Jack from the brink of despair and into the spotlight. In a raw and exploratory…
18 - John Amaechi talks race, breaking the NBA, and homosexuality in sport
Feb 12 • 62 min
Few British psychologists can also boast a successful career in the NBA, but John Amaechi can. In this enthralling and thoughtful interview with James O’Brien, John recounts his struggles growing up black, nerdy and exceptionally tall in 1980s Stockport,…
17 - Sir Nick Clegg: live by the sword, die by the sword
Feb 5 • 63 min
Politics is a brutal game, and few politicians know this as well as Nick Clegg. The former Deputy Prime Minister and ex-Liberal Democrats leader gives James O’Brien an in-depth and revealing interview, covering his years in coalition with the…
16 - Gary Lineker: humanity, free speech, and the dark side of the beautiful game
Jan 29 • 59 min
If there’s one thing Gary Lineker is not going to do, it’s ‘just stick to football’. The broadcaster joins James O’Brien for a boundless interview, from his time at the top-flight of football to dealing with the corruption rotting its core, to facing the…
15 - Nimco Ali: the fight to end female genital mutilation
Jan 22 • 73 min
Nimco was seven when she was taken to Djibouti to be cut. In an unflinching interview, activist Nimco Ali takes James O’Brien on her incredible personal story, from fleeing her native Somaliland as a child refugee escaping civil war to finding her place…
14 - Paris Lees’ inspiring journey to become the first trans woman in Vogue
Jan 15 • 64 min
Even as a young child, Paris Lees knew that she didn’t feel right in her body. In a bold and revealing interview, Paris takes James O’Brien on a journey from experimenting with tights and make-up, a reckless adolescence selling sex and spending time in…
13 - Iain Lee talks failure and success, battling depression, and the trials of I’m A Celebrity
Jan 8 • 70 min
When Iain Lee went on I’m a Celebrity, he never expected to come out and be ambushed by 190 selfie-demanding school kids. The broadcaster and presenter joins James O’Brien for a frank and funny interview, discussing the ups and downs of his career, his…
12 - David Baddiel on anguish, laughter, the antics of his parents, & tactics to tackle antisemitism
Dec 18, 2017 • 69 min
David Baddiel’s mother had an impressively open 20-year-long affair with a golf memorabilia collector, and his father’s rare form of dementia removed his sexual inhibitions and causes him to swear incessantly. The comedian and writer joins James O’Brien…
11 - Jon Ronson: shame, psychopaths and how internet porn changed the world
Dec 11, 2017 • 67 min
Writer and now fellow podcaster Jon Ronson joins James for a remarkable interview that dives into some of the dark worlds his work inhabits, from public shaming to psychopaths, right up to internet porn revolution and the twisted journeys it took Jon on.…
10 - Matt Lucas on Little Britain, TV controversy and his relationship with David Walliams
Dec 4, 2017 • 77 min
Comedy legend Matt Lucas joins James O’Brien in a frank and candid interview to talk about the staggering success of Little Britain and the controversies it provokes today, the pain and pitfalls of his coming out, and how David Walliams helped him to…
9 - Eric Cantona: Inside the mind of an enigma
Nov 27, 2017 • 52 min
The one and only Eric Cantona joins James for a very special career-spanning interview in which we explore the life and mind of an icon. No stone is left unturned as King Eric takes us through his early life and career, his thoughts on the state of the…
8 - Krishnan Guru-Murthy talks Brexit, the media and showdowns with Corbyn, Downey Jr & Tarantino
Nov 20, 2017 • 67 min
Krishnan Guru-Murthy sits down with James O’Brien for an enlightening interview that discusses his life, the role of the media in modern Britain, how a lack of access to politicians could be sewing the seeds of a democratic crisis, and why he would be…
7 - How Bill Browder became Vladimir Putin’s No. 1 enemy
Nov 13, 2017 • 65 min
Bill Browder is Vladimir Putin’s No. 1 enemy. Armed with a true life story cut straight from a bestselling thriller, listen as Bill grippingly recounts his tale from Red Notice in an extraordinary interview, which sees him placed on Interpol’s most-wanted…
6 - June Sarpong talks diversity and the British class system
Nov 6, 2017 • 64 min
James sits down for an interview with writer and presenter June Sarpong to talk about the real meaning of diversity, beating the British class system, otherness, and how growing up on a predominantly white council estate helped bring her closer to people.
5 - Lily Allen on tabloids, phone hacking, sexuality and Grenfell Tower
Oct 30, 2017 • 60 min
In our most ‘unfiltered’ interview so far, Lily Allen talks to James about the right-wing tabloids, phone hacking, women’s sexuality, Grenfell, and the Harvey Weinstein allegations, as well as her life growing up and making it in the music business. New…
4 - Armando Iannucci’s great voyage from Alan Partridge to Veep to The Death of Stalin
Oct 23, 2017 • 59 min
James meets Armando Iannucci, the man behind The Day Today, I’m Alan Partridge, The Thick of It and Veep. In this career-spanning interview, Armando offers his astute observations of American and British politics through the lenses of Trump and Brexit,…
3 - Robert Webb dissects masculinity, grief, career and his complicated relationships
Oct 16, 2017 • 66 min
Robert Webb talks to James O’Brien about the problems with masculinity, losing loved ones, meeting David Mitchell, finding success with Peep Show and That Mitchell and Webb Look, and how his difficult relationship with his dad affected him as a parent.…
2 - Alastair Campbell: Depression, alcoholism and Roy Keane
Oct 9, 2017 • 63 min
In a startlingly frank interview, Alastair Campbell talks to James O’Brien about his battle with depression and alcoholism, his breakdown, suicidal thoughts and his admiration for Roy Keane (and how all these things are related). Watch a video of this…
1 - Russell Brand on recovery, addiction, life, love and fatherhood
Oct 2, 2017 • 46 min
In the first episode of our new longform interview series host James O’Brien is joined by Russell Brand for an under the skin discussion about life, love, addiction, recovery, and how becoming a dad has changed him. Watch a video of this interview on our…