'Podcast of the Week', Gillian Reynolds, Sunday Times 6/1/19 

Duvet Days is one of BBC Sounds' first podcast commissions, conceived, presented and produced by Abby Hollick, above, featuring frank under-the-cover chats with musicians, artists and activists.  A 2-minute 'teaser' episode is available here - bbc.co.uk/programmes/p06sdv33

Bryony KimmingsThe first full episode can be heard here - bbc.co.uk/programmes/p06sdwd7.  It features the performance artist and screenwriter Bryony Kimmings (right) climbing under the covers with Abby and getting frank about postnatal mental health, hitting rock bottom, and sticking stranger’s pubes to her face (really!). In a packed interview they chat about the year that inspired her latest solo show: ‘I’m a Phoenix, Bitch’. Bryony suffered from postnatal anxiety, became a single mother, and discovered that her baby was seriously ill, before bouncing back and making a show about survival.  She tells Abby about her teenage bedroom, growing up in Peterborough, and dancing naked to Bjork. Plus, she gives Abby the lowdown on ‘Last Christmas’, the film she co-wrote with Emma Thompson.

Zawe AshtonThe second episode is here - bbc.co.uk/programmes/p06t1g4jZawe Ashton (left) talks burnout, how women of colour are treated by the medical world, and making your voice heard as she joins Abby Hollick under the duvet. The actor behind the infamous Vod in Channel 4’s Fresh Meat gets frank about her own experience with having doors slammed in her face, and the impact that can have on mental health, especially when you’re the only person of colour in the room. She tells us about her teenage bedroom, her love of Blur and Will Smith and the times she spent wandering around with a duvet draped over her head!  

Plus, she explains what it’s like to be an child actor when you just want to fit in at school, and why writing her first book is her version of rebelling against a life spent acting.

Jordan StephensThird in the series is this episode - bbc.co.uk/programmes/p06tmm82.  Jordan Stephens (right) jumps back in to bed and opens up about the highs and lows of fame, learning to feel pain, and his ADHD (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder). The musician and mental health campaigner, best known for being one half of pop duo Rizzle Kicks reveals his love of unicorns, foxes and a hot pink headboard!  

Over a cup of tea in bed he tells Abby why he began thinking about toxic masculinity and why it was ruining his relationships.

Paris Lees picAnd for episode 4, which is here - https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p06vc6ll - stars Paris Lees, who has got lots to talk about, from her passion for silk pyjamas to the realities of being bullied and total social exclusion. The trans activist and writer discusses growing up in Nottingham, being repeatedly told she couldn't be a girl, and why escaping out of the window and into a world of clubbing changed her life.  She opens up about going to prison as a teenager, sex work, and why she believes people who have experienced childhood trauma need to be given more empathy and stop being shamed by society.

Plus, she gives her top tips for good sleep and shares some of her favourite things: Madonna’s business card, anyone?! 

Scarlett picIn the penultimate episode in this first series, Scarlett Curtiss, activist and author of Feminists Don’t Wear Pink (And Other Lies) joins Abby Hollick for a frank conversation about suffering from scoliosis as a teenager, how chronic pain affected her and knitting her own Prince William. She discusses her blog, Teen Granny, the humiliation of not being taken seriously by doctors, and how feminism helped to recover. She chats about insomnia, dismantling the patriarchy, and watching all the TV as she pulls a duvet day. 

Plus, she explains the impact of panic attacks and PTSD, recalls how chronic pain led her to drop out of school, and gives us interior tips from her amazing, and very pink, new flat.  Find episode 5 here.

 

Christine and the Queens is hiding under the covers as she joins Abby Hollick in her huge hotel bed to chat about performing on stage and recovering afterwards, being socially awkward and looking after her body. The musician and performer, real name Héloïse Letissier, is opening up about using art and humour to deal with childhood bullies, experiencing sexism at theatre school and refusing to be slut-shamed for owning her sexuality.

She chats about her love for Michael Jackson, being a loner, and realizing she will never be free from sexism. Join Chris and Abby as they block out the outdoors, get cosy, and settle in for a really good chat.  Last episode in the first series - find it here.


Presenter and Producer: Abby Hollick
Executive Producer: Mike Hally
Assistant Producer: Rosie Stopher
Composer: Ian Kellett

... with thanks also to Daniel Benoliel and Paul March