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Pick of the Podcasts: Exactly. With Florence Given, Stark Talk, The Cultural Coven

© Florence Given / InstagramFlorence Given
Florence Given

Most of us, by the time we reach our early-20s, are still trying to work out what we want to do with our lives.

Not so Florence Given, who has been a force of nature ever since her late-teens.

Originally training as an illustrator, a career she is already accomplished in, she is also making waves elsewhere. In 2019, she won Cosmopolitan’s UK Influencer of the Year award for her work on social media raising awareness of issues such as race, gender and sexuality.

In 2020, she released her first book, Women Don’t Owe You Pretty, which explored ideas in contemporary feminism and empowered readers to know their worth. It has gone on to be a bestseller, having sold 170,000 copies in the UK, with translated rights sold into 14 languages to date.

Her debut novel, Girl Crush, will be released in the summer.

All of this, despite only turning 23 recently. Now, to add to her impressive resume, is a new podcast, Exactly, which launches tomorrow.

On a mission to connect people by exploring different perspectives and philosophies on life, Given and her guests will take big topics – sex, relationships, social media, feminism and body image – and examine them through a feminist lens.

Guests include author Layla Saad, actor Jameela Jamil and comedian Sofie Hagen.

Given, the youngest author to be top five in The Sunday Times bestsellers chart for 12 consecutive weeks, said: “I’ve started this podcast because I want to have conversations that have the nuance and depth you can’t get from an Instagram caption.

“It’s always been so important for me to bring people together. I love human beings and I love learning. I want to connect us, I want to empower us, I want to educate us.”

Exactly. With Florence Given, Apple, Spotify, Acast


Stark Talk (BBC Sounds)

Experienced interviewer Edi Stark chats to a wide range of Scots involved across all areas of society, as well as looking back at interviews from the archives.

Most recently, insightful chats are had with actor Robert Carlyle, who talks about his childhood in Glasgow’s Maryhill, and the former Bishop of Edinburgh and Primus of the Scottish Episcopal Church, Richard Holloway, who chats about family life.

The Cultural Coven (Apple, Spotify, Google)

The great and the good of Scottish arts and culture join actress and podcast host Nicola Roy in this fortnightly series for informal chats about their journeys into music, theatre, TV and literature.

Roy has crossed paths with most of her guests via the industry, so there is a familiarity that entices good chat from the likes of Karen Dunbar, Maureen Beattie, Alan Cumming, Jackie Kay and Sanjeev Kohli.