NEW Audible show 'Tip The Scales'

I’ve written before about my yo-yoing waistline, and my coping techniques (in a nutshell: cutting carbs and processed food, and not fretting about portion size or exercise), but I’d never really looked into the science of weightloss. Until now.

In a new Audible Original six-part series ‘Tip The Scales’, I team up with Dr Giles Yeo (a geneticist from Cambridge University) to investigate fad diets, healthy eating, and the influence of our genes on dietary ‘choices’. I met truckloads of brilliant wellness and nutrition experts along the way, including Jack Monroe, Professor Sadaf Farooqi, and Dr David Katz.

It’s an entertaining, skeptical show about the world of weight-loss - and also my first crack at (co)hosting an American-style, semi-scripted documentary series, complete with music and archive clips.

Basically, if you’re a bit fat, and you enjoy my work, then you’ll probably like it! You can hear a free sample below.

The show is available exclusively on Audible here. It’s free to Audible members, or available to buy for £11.37.

The truth about 'guest-curating'

So back in January, the Cheltenham Science Festival asked me to be a 'guest curator'. 
I was flattered, so said yes; then realised I'd have to actually come up with some ideas for what I'd like to host sessions about.

"Don't worry," they said to me, on the phone. "Just tell us what you're interested in."
"Um, I'm a bit worried that technology might be really bad for us," I said. "And also, I do think maybe Donald Trump is a psychopath."

Five months later and here we are! They have turned my neuroses into actual events.

Tonight, I'll be hosting a session called 'Is Your Tech Bad For You?'. 
On Thursday, a live edition of 'The Week Unwrapped', with special guest Adam Rutherford.
And on Friday night - 'The Science of Donald Trump'.

The Male Room returns

My Radio 4 series The Male Room returns for a second series this week, Wed-Fri at 11:30pm.

Whereas in the first series male mental health, a little-discussed topic at the time, formed the backdrop to much of the conversation, it seems pretty unavoidable that this time our discussions will be framed by the sexual harassment scandals to have emerged in Hollywood, Westminster and elsewhere. Are all men, to some degree, potential Weinsteins?

The 14 Feb transmission date is a gift, too - let's be honest, if you're listening to the radio at 11:30pm on Valentine's Day, something's gone wrong in your life... - so we'll also be having a funny and frank conversation about the world of modern dating from a male perspective.

You can listen online (and catch-up with the original series) here.

Samira Ahmed has written a nice piece about it for the Radio Times:

Video series for National Geographic

To accompany new TV series Paradise Islands, I'm presenting a new video series, in association with Nat Geo WILD, about the plight of the world's wildlife.

In the first episode, I ask a panel of conservationists, explorers and wildlife photographers which place on Earth they'd most like to save from the twin perils of climate change and booming populations...

Wildlife experts nominate the unique, biodiverse places they love above all others.

Guesting on Quote, Unquote

Julian Mitchell, Charlotte Green, Joanna Scanlan, Nigel Rees, Kate Fox and me, backstage at the BBC Radio Theatre

It was lovely to be invited on to this Radio 4 panel game about the world of quotations, which has been running since about 1843. 

It seems at first glance a good fit for me: it’s a quiz about what famous people said and wrote (I studied literature), it’s gently amusing, rather than competitively comedic (I’m not a stand-up), and it’s resolutely aimed at middle England (I sound like the sort of guy you’d meet in a garden centre). But I'm really not the sort of guy who don’t retain quotes! So I thought I'd really struggle. In the end, I think I did... ok. But it was really great to meet my fellow panelists, especially two women I massively admire, Joanna Scanlan and newsreading legend Charlotte Green.

Anyway, I wrote a column all about it which you can read here, and, of course, you can listen to the show - it's on 9th and 30th October (they record two episodes at once!) at 3pm on BBC Radio 4.

Hosting the British Podcast Awards

What a pleasure it was to host the inaugural British Podcast Awards last night. The crowd were an eclectic mix - BBC executives, bedroom podcasters, corporate advertisers, indie producers, radio journalists - but all linked by one shared passion: podcasting.

I have long held that, whilst radio is the most incredibly intimate medium, podcasting goes one better, because you choose to listen to who you want, when you want; it's not just serendipity when you happen to flick a switch and hear someone you like. This relationship that podcasters can establish with their audiences over time was well represented by the enthusiasm and warmth in the room. The big winner of the night, deservedly, was Wolfgang's Fathers and Sons - an advertiser-backed show, note - and I was delighted to see the Podcast Champion award went to Adam Buxton, who, as a rather crucial part of Adam and Joe, was certainly one of the reasons I picked up a mic in 2007.

The Radio Times has done a nice write-up about it here.

Just what the world needs. Another weekly podcast presented by me.

New for 2017, I am the host of The Week Unwrapped, a weekly news and current affairs podcast in association with weekly news magazine The Week - a periodical to which I had long been a subscriber before they approached me! 

Each week myself and three very clever bods from The Week's digital team consider the three biggest stories of the week - not the news that's been generating the most headlines, but rather the hidden gems you might have missed from the mainstream media. We cover the same broad range of areas you'd find in The Week's magazine and website, from sport to food to theatre to personality interviews- and of course plenty of politics. I'm loving it. 

You can subscribe to the show on iTunes here, or listen on Soundcloud here.

AMT is 10!

Somewhat astonishingly, our little podcast that could, Answer Me This!, is ten years old.

When we began the show, Tony Blair was Prime Minister, iPhones didn't exist, and I had no detectable bald spot... I never could have predicted we'd still be here, with a bigger audience than ever, and podcasting would be cool again.

We got a lovely review from Miranda Sawyer in The Observer, who basically said that you should listen to us instead of Nigel Farage on LBC. Who am I to disagree?

To celebrate, we put out a bumper anniversary edition of the show featuring some genuinely heartwarming calls from listeners who have been enjoying the show for a decade:

'Tis The Season To Hear Olly, Fa La La La La La La

Christmas is always a particularly busy time for me - as it's when year-round radio hosts tend to take their holidays! Here's where you can see/hear me this festive season:

Wednesday 21st December, 7-10pm: sitting in for Mark Forrest across 40 BBC Local radio stations in England and the Channel Islands

27th-30th December, 9am-midday: BBC Three Counties Radio

28th December, 10:30pm and 11:30pm: paper preview on Sky News

31st December: 10am-1pm: Magic FM

santa olly.jpg

My new show for Radio 4

Literally the loveliest photo of me ever taken.

Literally the loveliest photo of me ever taken.

I'm doing a new show for Radio 4. It's called The Male Room, and it goes out at 11pm on Monday nights, and is, I guess, a kind of men's version of Late Night Woman's Hour. 

Basically, it's me chatting to interesting guests about what masculinity and manliness really mean in the modern world, whether you need to exhibit physical strength to be a 'real man', whether men are articulate or emotionally intelligent, and all that sort of gubbins.

The first episode is about inadequacy and you can listen here. We've had some nice responses, like this in The Sunday Times, and some people who really don't like it, like this man who called me a 'mangina', but then invited me for dinner.

Episode two is about anger and episode three is about heroism, and when they've gone out on the radio you should be able to listen here. Fingers crossed for a podcast - and a second series -in 2017.


Team Modern Mann at the ARIAs in Leeds. From Left to Right: Producer Matt Hill, Contributor Alix Fox, Record Company Liason Fuzz Chaudhrey, Me, and Contributor Ollie Peart

My podcast The Modern Mann returned for a new series in October, and it's been my favourite so far. I've interviewed a bullfighter, a bank-robber and a former Islamic extremist.

It's also been really satisfying to have some recognition for the show, not least winning the Silver award for Podcast of the Year at the 2016 Radio Academy Awards (ARIAs).

There's also been this lovely piece in the Financial Times

FACEBOOK VIDEO: Also, here I am talking to Absolute Radio about my ten years in podcasting, the difference between podcasting and radio, being mistaken for Robert Webb, and why doing a magazine show on the internet is *probably* a bad idea.

Podcasting at Edinburgh TV Festival

It's that time of year again - the Edinburgh International Television Festival, three days in August in which the great and the good of the telly industry converge on a conference centre to chat each other up and give each other awards...

And I've been a very busy boy at this year's event!

Not only did I host a session, all about a shit-hot Danish gameshow that's about to sell all over the world, but I also presented TWO podcasts from the event...

... Our annual Media Podcast Edinburgh Special, with guests Boyd Hilton, Tom Latchem, Maggie Brown and Jake Kanter...

... and a special edition of Chips With Everything looking at whether VR really is the future of television, with guests including CNN's Laurie Seagall and YouTube star Marcus Butler:

Drivetime, bigtime?


Whatever now happens in my radio career, I can say I've been a Drivetime presenter!

(Okay, so it's not the 'big job' of Breakfast, but it doesn't necessitate 3am starts, either...)

I've just spent three glorious weeks sitting in for Roberto Perrone on my fab local station BBC Three Counties.

It's a long show - 3-7pm each day - but the news chat is broken up by panel discussions, BBC journalism, and, of course, some classic 'choons.

I loved it and hope to return again soon. Here's a little sample of what it all sounded like:

I'm also doing a week covering Drive for BBC Northampton - you can tune in 5th-9th September.

I can teach your kids.

Most voiceover jobs are fairly pedestrian - corporate videos, 15 second ad spots, direct marketing, that kind of thing (not that I'm complaining! And OF COURSE I bring passion and dedication to every voiceover job I do, oh yes). But this is by far the coolest voiceover job I've ever had - an animation series for kids about NASA's missions to reach distant parts of our Solar System, beginning with this one about the Juno mission to Jupiter. More coming soon!

Leaving LBC... and popping up on Magic!

I’ve just done my last weekend show for LBC: there’s about to be a shake-up of the weekend schedule and, sadly for me, I’m not part of it. The last four years has taught me loads about live radio, and I’ve loved every moment (apart from going to bed at 6am when doing overnights!).

... But I'll be back on the wireless very soon, side-kicking alongside the lovely Mel Giedroyc for her first two shows on Magic FM. Tune in Saturday mornings from 1pm!

My new column for Reader's Digest

After five years of publishing my gadget column, the lovely people at Reader's Digest UK have decided to give me my very own lifestyle column, too. This means I now have the flexibility to write about all kinds of stuff, not just gadgets - my first one is all about my anxieties of being a soon-to-be Dad. It's called It's A Mann's World, and it's the first three pages you see as you open the mag each month, and it's very exciting and all that, but the best thing, really, is I now get to have myself preserved in illustrated form. Here's the first example. Phwoar!

My trade secrets revealed?

Steve Folland, host of the excellent podcast series 'Being Freelance', invited me on to his show this week to discuss my decade of, erm, being freelance. I'd never before thought of my experience as being particularly instructive for others, but it turns out I've got quite a lot to say about self-promotion, reputation building, collaboration, entering awards, experimentation, and much else besides! As well as being a great podcaster Steve is a brilliant listener - I think it might be my favourite interview of all I've ever given. Anyway, you can judge for yourselves here:

My new magazine show

The first season of my latest podcast project The Modern Mann has just wrapped: I wanted to test the water with an initial run of ten episodes, and I'm jolly pleased with how it's turned out! Over the course of the series, I met a man who has served time in America's toughest prison, I tasted some of the best burgers in the world, and I discussed with the UK's premier Father Christmas what life is like under that iconic red costume, being propositioned by Santa fetishists.

We've had 200,000 downloads and over 100 five-star reviews over the first ten weeks, which I'm thrilled with, and I'm looking forward to returning with season two in the Spring and building our audience further. You can find out more about the show at - and producer Matt Hill has written an excellent post about how we created the show here.

When I met Instagram's CTO Mike Krieger

Olly Mann and Mike Krieger at Instagram HQ, September 2015

Olly Mann and Mike Krieger at Instagram HQ, September 2015

It's Instagram's fifth birthday, and to celebrate The Guardian despatched me to California to meet Mike Krieger, its co-founder. Our 30 minute chat is available to download HERE. For a dotcom billionaire, he's incredibly modest, and full of sage advice, e.g. "You should be able to explain your startup to a stranger at a bar" and "People who live in Silicon Valley are living in a future that is never going to happen".  Too true!

Daytime TV: every time, a different pet.

Another ambition achieved today, when I appeared as the special guest on Channel 5's The Wright Stuff.

It really is the Thinking Man's daytime TV show, and it's the one I filled my mornings with as a student. I bloody loved it, and hope to be invited back soon.

Here I am holding some reptile or other brought in by my fellow guest, wildlife expert Nigel Marven.