Liz Jones's Diary Podcast

The Mail on Sunday

When I was first asked by the editor of You Magazine to record a weekly podcast -- all 129, 40-minute weekly episodes ago, just before the first lockdown -- I was sceptical. I’m a writer. I’m deaf, so I don’t listen to podcasts, as I can’t catch every word. I hate the sound of my own voice.

But, boy, was I wrong. To my surprise, a pod is like writing in 3D. My weekly podcast is a two-hander with my long-suffering assistant, Nicola, one of the few working-class voices in the media today. She is the Andy to my Miranda Priestly; sorry, you will have to listen to a few episodes to get that. We discuss issues of the day as well as my highly personal and popular You magazine column, while also revisiting an archive piece from my 40-year career; the ‘Me in Bruce Willis’s bath’ episode was a big hit. The response (just under a million downloads, with one episode hitting 17,000 listens; take that, Piers Morgan!) and the feedback have been phenomenal. Women listeners all over the world – we have a few stoic male followers: Hello, Ian! – tell me they feel as though they belong to an exclusive club. They also feel heard, as we tackle so many diverse subjects: cheating husbands, chin hair, Nic’s fatness, her lazy boyfriend, dogs (furry ones, not just her boyfriend), my penury, my growing number of Twitter trolls, my award-winning career (often, relentlessly), my ex-boyfriends, one of whom will go down in history as ‘White Pepper Guy’, whether we are ‘moist’ or not, who we want to ‘block’, and who is getting on my nerves for being ‘chippy’ (just about everyone). The closest analogy I can make for the podcast (we never have any famous guests; they are too scared to come on, as I won’t be doing the usual, ‘So, Harry, can I just tell you how brave you are to speak out about your mental health issues’ fawn fawn, lick lick) is that it is like a rowdy episode of Gogglebox, except as well as talking about TV (Sex and the City, Love Island, Married at First Sight; high-brow we are not), we discuss books, films, magazines, the Beatles (whom Nic has never heard of, claiming she is ‘too young’) and how hairy Liz is down below and how worryingly bald on top. The podcast is intimate, like being on a hen night. Woman’s Hour sans earnest wokeness. Listeners, I hope, felt less alone during lockdown. We have moments of gravitas and sobbing, such as when I talked about the loss of model Stella Tennant to suicide, and my little dog Hilda being put to sleep. But, mostly, we have tears of laughter. Because isn’t that just what we need right now? Less know-it-all pontificating. More raging at the ridiculousness of the world and giggling so much we wished we’d bought a Tena Lady.