Listen … do you wanna know a secret?

Listen … do you wanna know a secret?

Let me whisper in your ear … I’d love it if you tuned in to the MUMBELIEVABLE podcast, because every little listen helps, and it got me thinking back to my earliest memories of storytelling. My darling mum wasn’t very good at bedtime stories as she got bored with the traditional tales and would wonder off into a fantasy story that was usually very scary or had something inappropriate at its core. I remember an incident with a junior school teacher (the one who cried when Mum marched in with the porridge that I hadn’t eaten that morning). We were supposed to write a short version of our favourite fairy tale. Mine was and always will be Cinderella. Somehow I identified with the lonely girl who was always trying to do good and could get animals to sew dresses and help with the washing up. It made the story even more personal when I was lucky enough to have my very own stepmother who wasn’t cruel and didn’t make me scrub floors. Yes, the kids used to tease me with “cruel stepmother” taunts, but I think I stepped on their toes or something a little bit painful, but not bad enough to get me into trouble. My short version of Cinderella was based on the version my mum had told me the night before and her version got muddled up with the original. My story went something like this. Cinderella did everything in the house. Her stepmother ordered her to wash the dishes and scrub the floor. Cinderella asked her Daddy why the stepmother had come and Cinderella’s dad said it was because Cinderella’s own mother didn’t like cuddles or having things put inside her, so the new mummy came who was very happy with “all of that stuff, thank you very much.” The teacher gasped when she read that bit and a few minutes later I was back in Mrs. Partridge’s office with a biscuit and a cup of orange. This snack would happen at least once a week and I was surprised when I found out that none of the other kids had the same treat.

I haven’t told that full story yet on MUMBELIEVABLE, but I will. I’m just waiting for the right guest who has an equally inappropriate mum story to share. I’m astounded and flattered that the guests so far are willing to share very intimate details of their maternal relationships. Not all the interviews are upbeat. Some are quite sad and go temporarily into a deeper place, but ultimately, we look at these events and try to re-frame them, with a good dose of laughter and new eyes.

I’m hearing that one of the great things about my particular podcast is that it’s good to listen to as you snuggle down to sleep. A bit like a bedtime story to get you thinking as you drift off the sleep (not that it’ll make you fall asleep I hope). One listener drifted off to sleep after hearing Su Pollard getting a little emotional about sharing her love for her mum Hilda and another listener loved the insight into Bobby Crush’s family which he had never spoken much about in public before.

So, please have a little listen if you fancy something different and maybe you’ll recognise your own mum in one of the episodes. And if your mum ever told you that Cinderella had to ride side saddle because her legs were quite sore, think of me as a five-year-old trying to work that one out. And spare a thought for my teacher who has probably been scarred for life by the fairy tales re-written by a mother with un-diagnosed ADHD and a penchant for turning most stories into a sexual fantasy.

And as for … promise not to tell … forget that! Tell everyone you know about the podcast if you like it, because one day it might get more listeners than “Dad wrote a porno”, but … oh, wait a minute. Maybe I’ll ask those guys if they fancy coming on and I can tell the Cinderella story in full.

Pod’s Honest Truth

Pod’s Honest Truth

The MUMBELIEVABLE podcast has properly launched on the world and I’m thrilled that some of our best-loved famous faces have come on to talk about their mumbelievable mums. I’m finding the sharing of my mum’s stories on a new platform to be incredibly cathartic and sometimes quite emotional. My gorgeous little mum who infuriated and inspired me in equal measure, would never have dreamed that she’d be the topic of conversation with some of the people she loved watching and listening to during her lifetime. She would have written their names on the spine of an old cassette tape when she recorded their radio shows or snippets off the telly and that would be that. Some of my guests have known or met Margaret Beldom and experienced her antics for themselves. Some haven’t met her, but they all say that they feel they’ve got to know her by hearing stories of her outrageous behaviour whilst revealing their own relationships with their mothers.

This podcast is proving to be a fascinating way into famous lives and more often than not, guests are loving the process of digging back into their mothers’ history, comparing notes and understanding more about how their own lives have been shaped by these mumbelievable women. Some in a good way, others more challenging.

So far we’ve featured the wonderful Su Pollard, who almost breaks down at the end of her episode talking about her lovely mum Hilda, Bobby Crush talking how his mum never let him do anything at home so he could concentrate on playing the piano and showbiz, Steve Nallon (aka Maggie thatcher on Spitting image) about the heartache of losing his mum at nine years old, Fuzz Townshend on his two mums; one tall and the other with achondroplasia, Shazia Mirza on how her mum is forever trying to marry her off and getting her to buy cheap jumpers from charity shops and the effervescent Kerry Howard (Russell Howard’s sister) on her fearless mum who’s suddenly got a career in TV and with whom she currently shares a house.

Tomorrow we’re releasing two more episodes; the wonderful comic actress and writer, Helen Lederer and the ex-That’s Life presenter and radio presenter Bill Buckley. Both episodes will have you laughing whilst reaching for the tissues. After these have landed we’ll be releasing new episodes fortnightly and the list of famous faces who’ve already signed up will amaze you. Actually, it amazes ME how people exclaim YES when I tentatively ask the question … “would you ever fancy coming on my MUMBELIEVABLE podcast to chat about your mum and hearing a few funny stories about mine?” Considering nobody gets paid, it’s a privilege to have such a positive response.

I hope you enjoy listening – all episodes are available on Spotify, Apple, Android and wherever you usually listen to podcasts. I’d massively appreciate it if you help this along by listening, sharing and recommending the podcast to everyone you know. Cheeky or what? I’ve never been one to demand or ask directly for favour-y things as through my life I’ve always been cross with people who’ve tried to blag tickets, autographs or charity celebrity appearances from me just because I’ve tended to work the well know faces. So, for once I’m asking you directly if you’d be up for helping. As you’ve signed up for new written blogs, perhaps you’d also sign up to the podcast which is an audio version of the blog with more laughs and a sprinkling of showbiz stardust. You can do this on whichever pod platform you fancy. If we hit 10,000 listens a month, we’ve “arrived” in pod land (a world I’m just getting to know) so I’m told.

For updates, there’s a MUMBELIEVABLE Podcast page on the website and while MUMBELIEVABLE is still a needy seedling, please throw water and fertiliser to help us grow. As Mum would have said, “Huggles darling, huggles.”

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