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A Georgia hi, David, I know how much you love drinking things with my face on is disgusting. Well, Lo, we got married.
Oh, David does a podcast with has got and a sentence. I never thought I'd say. Yeah.
Would you like a reusable bamboo fiber travel mug. Yes, please. A metal water bottle.
And that's a rather stylish cuts down all those plastic bottles and paper cups doesn't it. Very good.
And also, like I said, a lovely mug with my face on what we need in our house is more things with your face, more things, more match, less Narz. You can get your hands on it to go to store dot tenent podcast, dot com store, dot tenent podcast, dot com. Get hold of one of these. No oh Georgia match march.
I've fallen down in nearly every and I'm very bad at balance. I fell down in the cherry orchard and Ronay pick up had to drag me off.
David Tennant does a podcast with Jim Stacey Abrams, George Takei, Judi Dench and Levy.
Christian Hemin, Brian Cox, Elisabeth Moss, Neil Gaiman, Billy Piper. Oh, hello, lovely listeners. Hello and welcome. Welcome, welcome. Welcome to this very special episode of David Tennant.
Does a podcast with this is, if you like, the Season two finale.
It's a season finale, but without any cliffhangers or deaths of major characters.
Hopefully it's a season finale filled with all the bits we didn't have time for.
In the interviews that you've heard so far, little extra bits, little little juicy nuggets that you weren't perhaps expecting. You've already heard from Judi Dench talking about falling over glorious and much more of that sort of stuff to come.
But of course, making season two was a different experience to be in season one because we were all locked in our house. The great global pandemic of 2020 meant that we had to do everything remotely.
And recording through a global pandemic has its own set of technical and logistical challenges, as you can imagine, as Brian Cox in his woodland shed can attest to.
Can you hear me? I'm not sure if you can. Can you? You can hear me? Yes. Hello. There we go.
We've got there. Yeah, yeah. I mean, so many mikes and so many things. If you looked around this room, I could start a sound studio, which I can sell from.
Yes. Various guests have struggled with the technology in various different ways. I've certainly struggled with it myself. But we get there in the end eventually, you know, we pull out wires and plug in different ones. And sometimes people enlist family members to help them along the way.
Yeah, it looks like it's recording. OK, so I'm a go get George, George, George.
Good morning. Can you hear us? I can indeed. Good morning. How wonderful. Yes. Thank you to Brad. They're the other half of George Takei for making that recording a possibility. And and if you've been listening carefully over the weeks, you may have scenes of daily life creeping into these ever so professional productions, pets, some children, Judi Dench, his neighbours don't stop for a second because somebody mowing the lawn.
Yes, there is a bit of something when you hear it. Yes. But I don't think that's it comes again, Sammy, for us. But yes, we have conquered these many challenges.
We've had a few false starts, but we've got there in the end.
We have brought you conversations with amazing people from wherever they are around the world. Thanks to the interweb. We did it and indeed, we managed to get some extra bits that you haven't heard yet. So here we go. Here's the wonderful Donlevy with a delicious tale. Can I say that Donlevy has a delicious tale? Don't know. I've said it.
It must have been very all consuming over the past six years for you.
But you have you have managed to squeeze in some other things I noticed, like presenting the Canadian version of the Great British Bake Off. We thought because you were a fan of the British show. Absolutely right. Absolutely.
In fact, I didn't even know they were doing a Canadian show. I was watching the great British baking show and tweeted that if it ever came to Canada, I would love to throw my hat in the ring to host. And then within ten minutes, they bet your hand got a response saying not only is it coming to Canada, but would you actually be interested in hosting it?
I am. But you're not a baker. Oh, God, no, no, no, no. I'm a professional eater of baked goods. Sure.
But when you're recording that show day after day, is there not do you not reach a point where you go, I cannot put another piece of fucking sponge in my mouth?
Never. Never. But I have a. Uncanny ability to just consume food without any stop, OK, is a skill is a wild skill set. Yeah, I hear everything.
Did you much more than you had to go above and beyond to the point where I had to, like, go to the gym when I left set just to work off of the stuff I had been eating. But it was a dream.
Donlevy They are talking about being the host of the Canadian version of the Great British Bake Off. Who knew? I didn't.
We also heard from Jim Parsons, the brilliant Jim Parsons, who told me about life before he was everyone's favorite comedy geek on The Big Bang Theory.
I spent a lot of time on unemployment and I was working another job as like a front of there was this fabric store called Happel Construction down in Soho and or within Nilita.
I can't tell it apart anyway.
And I was working there a few times a week and that was the. I guess that was the only job I took once I graduated from grad school. That was not acting.
Were you good at it? No, no, no.
Well, I wasn't that hard to be decent at it because they didn't ask that much of me. And I was nice to people, which I guess was the main part of the job.
But no, my finest moments were when there was nobody in the shop and I could rehearse an audition on the floor of the store, you know, but you because you chosen to move to New York to become an actor rather than Los Angeles, because I'd never done any camera work.
I said it all. I mean, my logic at the time and I also remember we're making this decision literally right after 9/11.
So but even then, I was like, well, it's New York, but this is 2001. And I was like, I just don't understand the logic of throwing myself into a city that's all camerawork based for the most part, when all I've done is theater and all I've trained for is theater. And it's not that I don't want to do it, but I feel like I should go to the theater town and see where that leads. OK, Ryan.
Of course, Sheldon Cooper from The Big Bang Theory, as played by Jim Parsons, would have been terribly excited to find out that George Takei was on the podcast because George Takei, of course, was Mr. Sulu in Star Trek, globally famous for decades, now recognized all over the world.
But turns out that that kind of global anonymity, rather, crept up on him 10 years later and be said, obviously successful motion picture.
Were you aware? This this enormous fandom was kind of bubbling up while the show was on air, or did it all happen after the event? Did you start becoming famous after you were no longer on television?
It was after the event. Yeah, we were canceled in 69 and it was in 70 that I got a telephone call, a sweet young voice. She said, we are getting together to have coffee and tea at the Hilton Hotel in downtown Los Angeles. We'd like to have you come join us and talk to us about your experience on Star Trek. And I told her, you do know that the show is canceled.
And she said, yes, yes, we do know and we love the show and we'd love to have a small group chat with you about it. You know, they were so sweet people who love the show. And so I said, all right, when are you gathering? And I drove downtown and met with them. And it was a small group, about a dozen at most and mostly female. I think there were two guys there and the others are all girls.
And I had tea and cookies. Biscuits had a nice conversation. And I thought, you know, it's going to peter out eventually. And then I was your first Star Trek convention. That was the first Star Trek convention. Yeah.
And a few months after that, I got a phone call from a woman in New York, and she was a very fast talking, pushy New York woman. She said, we're holding a big convention. I thought, oh, my Toccata Convention. I visualize that first gathering of about a dozen people. She's we're having a convention at one of the biggest hotels in New York. And we'd like to have you fly over to New York. I said, well, you know, air tickets are expensive from Los Angeles to New York.
Oh, yeah. Yeah, we'll take care of it. Don't worry about that. And we'll put you up at the hotel for the weekend. And I thought, this woman is mad. I pay for air flight and put us up in a first class hotel and have a convention because I was visualizing what I saw, what I experienced in Los Angeles. And she said, well, just to give you some comfort, we'll send you the ticket.
I said, Oh, really? I had doubts about that. But I kind of played along. And sure enough, the tickets came. It was first class. I said, these people are mad. They're going to lose their shirts. This is crazy.
But she sent them a plane ticket. So I flew and Gene Roddenberry flew there, too.
They had about, oh, four or five of us, including Gene Roddenberry. And I arrived at night and there was somebody at the airport to meet me. One of the volunteers they hustle got to the hotel and it was the night before. So not not too many people there. And I went straight up and they said, we'll come and escort you through the kitchen. I sit through the kitchen. Why can't we go in through the banquet hall?
And they said, oh, no, no, it's too many people. I thought to myself, these New Yorkers always are such exaggerators talking so big.
But nevertheless, that young man was there in the morning and took me through that smelly hotel kitchen of the Commodore Hotel. And then we went through the kitchen and I heard the roar coming from the banquet hall. And I thought, Oh, good Lord, what is this?
And then we got to the backstage area and it was a lot of people that I heard and they introduced me. I stepped onto the stage and it was a thunderous roar that greeted me. And there were people on the balcony just hanging over the balcony. I mean, it was that crammed and that's when I knew. Yeah, yeah. Extraordinary phenomenon was happening.
Couche Jumbo comes from Lewisham in London, quite a long way from Hollywood and Broadway, where she ended up, but turned out there was a bit more show biz in her family than she first realized.
I love the idea of you as this. A little girl writing in your diaries about all the drama that you were enjoying in life, that your name was going to be up in lights one day and that it would all be fine if that were the idea of becoming a performer. I mean, did you have precedence in your life? Did you know any actors or dancers or.
Right? No, David, that's what I'm saying. Yeah, that used to say Fred and Ginger left me on the doorstep in a hamper. OK, but they don't know where it came from thinking about it. I don't know my extended family on either side, really. So I like to think that somewhere deep into Lincolnshire and somewhere deep into Nigeria, this is definitely in my family.
Didn't you say there is a Nigerian acting connection? Well, yes.
I found out recently that I have an aunt. Well, she you know, she's my dad's half sister, OK, through his dad, who, you know, he hasn't seen in years and I've never met. She's a massive Nollywood actress. If anyone does know what Nollywood is, it's like the Nigerian Bollywood is bigger. Actually, it's the biggest thing after Bollywood, before Bollywood, millions of followers on every platform. And yeah, she's an actress, producer, writer.
And your dad had never mentioned this? Oh, no.
That's my dad all the way, right. Oh, yes, Dad. Who's this? Okay, Jumbo, I'm just finding people are saying are we related it.
Let me see. Oh yes. As my sister. What, as my sister. Oh yes. She's very famous. Nollywood.
I'm like, what did you think this would be passing interest at? Like an important thing to I've been saying to you my how to where does this come from.
There's no one else remotely in the family does any anything near what I do and definitely isn't like a maker of things. Like I'm a maker of things. And as women. Fair enough. We've never met to have a relationship with her. She wouldn't know who I was from, Adam, but I did think that was a bit like bonkers. Yeah. For it never to have occurred to him to bring it up does seem quite unlikely.
That's just my dad. It's just, you know, Tottenham Hotspur, a newborn babies. I say, right, that's it. You've got you've got to meet her, surely.
And I kept thinking I should do a documentary or something. Where do you like, you know, Hollywood to Nollywood. Yeah. Went to Hollywood. And like, I go out because they have a whole different process of filming things and rehearsing things and writing things. It's all very melodramatic and almost like theatre from the Victorian era or something.
And I kept thinking, oh God, you should go out there and shadow her and find out what it's like to be I thought, you know, but then you're going to have, like, someone annoying showing up on your doorstep, like going, oh, on your personal in be thrilled.
At least it's a great episode of Who do you think you are with. I mean it would be even slam the door in my face. It would be, yeah. Television in itself. Yeah.
Because she's rejection. Yeah. Yeah. So, so yeah.
Yeah it is in my family but yeah. The rest of it I don't know. Of Map Gates was back in the 90s. I'm Akoto Frata. I am Tracy Clayton. We're celebrating our favorite boy bands, Army groups, the golden era of hip hop and Devah hits with a new podcast. My 90's playlist in each episode will celebrate one of our favorite songs, the lyrics, the music, how each song came to be, and the effect that each song had on the world.
Subscribe to my 90's playlist wherever you get your podcasts. The multitalented Tim Minchin can sing, write songs, make blockbuster musicals, act performance seems to run through his veins, but as a kid, turns out, he had other passions that may have sent him on a very different path.
We were hockey playing family. This is the weird thing. I was more into hockey than music up until my 20s, right? A lot of my teenage years. I played hockey five times a week. Oh, seriously? We'd be training three times and playing twice.
And I loved it. And I was good. I was fine. I was like everything well, better than I had. Yeah, I had a bit of flair, you know.
And then I realized I could run a bit of distance, a bit of a bit of a fifteen hundred like second division in the school thing.
But we were like sporty actually rather a sporty family. That's the weird thing. But ah, there was plenty of music and my uncle was a musician, we'd go see him play, but he was the black sheep of the family, so it was rare.
And what kind of stuff was he playing? Our bluegrass and blues.
He's amazing. Okay, there's footage of me on the Sydney Opera House steps. I get him up to play one of his songs that he wrote in the year I was born. Oh, wow. It's an amazing moment. He's an incredible, beautiful musician. Right. As is his son. And I've got musicians all over the family now. Right.
A hell of a lot of it's down to my big brother because my big brother really loved music and learnt guitar and just really wanted me to learn the songs he was learning so he could play them together. Right. And then my sisters, we'd all sing harmonies and my brother had such a profound influence on us just because he was he was a good boy.
He was quite high achiever, which probably speaks a bit to why I'm so needy in terms of proving myself. Yeah, sure. If you're into Freudian.
But but mostly we all just wanted to do what he did. So we all did an arts degree at University of South Australia. We all played hockey. We all did drama. We all to be like your big brother.
Yeah, I don't know. We're just lucky. We just all liked the same stuff and. Yeah. Wanted to wear that.
Looks fun. Handmaid's Tale, Mad Man, The West Wing, basically modern day television, has Elisabeth Moss to thank for existing, but she told me that the decision to pursue acting might not have happened.
So you look very focused on the ballet in the dancing, but then not just what the acting just tipped the scales or how did how did the dancing go away?
Yeah, so when I was 15, that's kind of a really formative time as a dancer. And that's when you start auditioning for companies and you start pursuing a professional path. Right. Which is so crazy to think about because it's so young, but it's the truth. So that's the time that you kind of have to go. Which way am I going to go? Am I going to go? And I'm going to I'm going to pursue this professionally and get into a company or might not.
And I realized that I couldn't do both. And I remember having a very long talk with my mom about it. I remember sitting on my bed in my bedroom and talking to her. And now looking back, I know I'm like can't believe we had such an incredibly mature conversation about this, but I decided that. I could see a life without ballet, but I couldn't see a life without acting right, and it wasn't just acting. I loved going to set.
I loved getting to know the crew. I loved the familial atmosphere. I loved the traveling of it. And I I love the whole thing. And so I knew that I couldn't do both. And I also thought and I can't believe I thought this at 15, I'm sure my mom helped, but. That as a dancer, your career is over very early, sure. And even if you're successful and you don't get injured, all of those things, you know, it would be around now that I would be.
Kind of thinking about what I was going to do next. The lovely Billy Piper also made a transition from choreography. I mean, to be fair, she can still cut a few shapes on the dance floor when she chooses to. But she used to do it professionally. She was a pop star, like an actual proper pop star. And she moved from that to acting, which was all about that and about how her career has changed of late.
How comfortable are you with all the promotional?
Who are were the sort of the promotional stuff I've become less comfortable with? I've actually found doing things on Zoome and not being live in a studio or not being not having to show up and attend in that sort of shiny way. I find that massively relaxing. Well, that's good. Yeah. So I've, I've actually quite in joyed that experience and I think there's no pressure to sort of look great and I don't know, probably just that simply just.
Yeah. You know, all the stuff that you have to do to go on those shows actually become quite stressful. As a woman, I don't know if it's the same man look great on, be funny and have good anecdotes. And, you know, there's a sort of padding around this experience that I prefer. So that stuff was fine. And then the things that people say, you know, unfortunately, that's going quite well. So all around.
It's interesting you said that you prefer doing all those shows remotely, but I find the difficult bit about that is when you go into the studio to do a talk show or whatever, you've got the bit in the car to transform from harried parent to sort of show showbiz personality.
And that I find that quite tricky, that you're literally going have you eat your beans and then suddenly you're on air because you're all in the house together. That's very tricky, don't you?
Yeah, yeah. That is tricky, that it's tricky, but I sort of feel like that in the car on the way to the studio because, you know, someone's calling with, unsurprisingly, some stressful bit of information and all. You're getting ready and the kids are on the phone asking, when are you going to be. It is always that is always my experience.
That balancing act between the private and professional life is really tricky, but can sometimes be the unexpected engineer of a brand new wonderful chapter, which would seem to be the case for Khoshjamal.
So now you're back home. You've left that behind you. Are you back home? Is this now do you live in London? No.
Yes, it's a permanent move. Was that always something that was going to happen? Or when you have kids, I mean. Right, having a kid changes things, right. Like, you know, it just there are things you begin to think about. You didn't have to before. And I'm not I don't I'm not going to insinuate or suggest that it's any easier for a male actor because you're a male. But when you're the mom and the actor as well, it's like this.
Balancing guilt thing of you really are trying to leave them in some stability because of how much you have to disappear and their mom isn't going to be there. And that sounds silly because, like I said, I have my dad the other way around. So it should just work either way and be equal. But it's really hard, especially when they're small. You know, they're months weeks old, months old, and you're leaving them and they're sick, whatever.
But I think it became apparent that, OK, here's the things are never going to change. I'm always going to have to travel. I'm always going to jump around and get to the point where dragging him around isn't going to be an option and not fair. So how are we going to make that work? Well, in New York, we have no extended family and we don't really have a network that we can rely on in that kind of way.
Someone can't just come and watch Max for the weekend or, you know, relieve Sean if he's been on with them all week or unless, you know, you decide that you want an army of staff to pay. But he's not quite the same thing. And obviously, I've got all these brothers and sisters, they're all having kids, my closest friends who are not actors and live here or having kids. And I want Max to grow up knowing who he is and who we're close to and have that, like, support network and identity.
And and honestly, I think I think I can say I wanted him to. Have a. Sense of his British culture, which is totally different from raising a kid in New York. It's not better or worse, it's just different. And I felt that he needed to understand his Sean and I were by growing here being a seedling of this, you know. Yeah. This place. So I'm so I'm really happy to be back and. I'm really happy I didn't think I'd be close to this happy.
I'm kind of ecstatic other than the pandemic thing. Sure. There's that stat that will presumably pass. Yeah, we hope. Yeah.
Yeah. Like Khush, the politician, activist and All-Round Wise Person from Atlanta, Georgia, Stacey Abrams also came from a big family and here she is telling me all about it.
I mean, I'm an introvert. So growing up in a house that was not designed for eight people, certainly not six children, was you know, it required that I carve out my own space. Sometimes I would go and sit in a closet so I could read and just not have to talk to any people. But it also meant I never had to have friends because I had them at home. I did have friends, but we had this very like my parents told us.
Your job is to take care of each other. And we are all still very close. We have a monthly book club, right? We believe in one another. And so I could not imagine not having them as siblings. I mean, look, I was like to say I was about 15 before I realized a Snickers really could satisfy because I didn't have to divide it up with everybody. And like, having a whole candy bar to yourself was revelatory moment.
But yeah, it was. I am I am truly, truly grateful for having the siblings that I have. One of the things we often talk about on the podcast is how people go about finding out who they are, what their voice is, particularly creatively. So here's Neil Gaiman and then Tim Minchin on some important moments of clarity that they've had in their life in the Ed..
I've got you in the introduction. You talk about some of the early issues. When you look back at them, know that you described them as awkward and ungainly.
Is that was it taking a while to find your voice? That sort of. I mean, what is it that's awkward and ungainly? What is it you see? You know, the other story.
I didn't know what I was doing, which was a good thing, actually, it really was a good thing because if you don't know what you're doing, then you don't know what the rules are. And you're actually you find yourself, you know, there's a door marked no exit, but you actually discover that you can walk through it and nothing actually is going to stop you. It's just nobody's ever walked through it before. So I was allowed to do things like that.
And I was also trying to find out for myself what this thing I was writing was. So I can point at the first, particularly the first eight episodes of Sandman and go, OK, well, the first one is me trying to do M.R. James and Dennis Wheatley and all of this sort of classic English horror stuff. The second one is me doing particularly E C comics and that kind of horror Hofstee thing and much more comic book. The third one is me trying to do a sort of a Ramsey Campbell, Clive Barker, contemporary 80s horror using John Constantine.
The fourth one is me doing people like Heinlein, who we don't think of as fantasy writers, were writing a lot of fantasy in the 1940s for John Campbell edited magazine called Unknown Worlds. I think it was called The Unknown. And there was just something really interesting about what people were doing at that time. And I thought, OK, I can write one of those and that's my trip to hell. And then having gone through all that Sandman eight, the sound of her wings felt like I was finding out who I was.
It's just a story of, you know, he meets his sister. He's feeling very sorry for himself. And they go for a walk through New York and he checks up. But somewhere in there, it was like, oh.
I think this is who I am, I think this is what I sound like, right? You know, it was the equivalent of the Malcolm Gladwell 10000 hours or whatever. There was just that point where I was starting to discover me, I think was Chuck Jones, who did Bugs Bunny and Roadrunner, who said that you have a million terrible drawings inside your pencil and you need to get them out so the good ones can come. And I feel that way about everything I wrote before that story.
There are actually some good things, but anything good that I wrote before then is me sounding like somebody else. It's me going, Oh, I love this thing that, you know, this writer, an obscure writer named John Collier did.
And I can write a John Collier story or a writer Ari Lafferty story, or I'll write something that feels like a Gothic. I could do things. And then one day. I sort of discovered what Neil Gaiman story sounded like, and that was a completely new process for me. The weird thing about comedy is I had never done stand up, I don't identify as a comedian, but it seems to be the case that when I'm on stage, I have some sense of the rhythm of how to make people laugh.
Yeah, I'm incredibly comfortable on stage with plentiful exceptions. And I guess being back on tour again has made me have a bit more respect for how lucky I am that I can do that. And I guess I'm so. Desperate to go back and tick all those boxes of things I wanted to do to be taken seriously as an actor, to be taken seriously as a composer lyricist, to just be taken seriously as a communicator.
And I've been so obsessed by that, not obsessed, but that's just been what's driving me and much more noble things like wanting to be a better father and not to as much and all that, that I've forgotten how incredibly lucky I am that I find getting up on stage and making people laugh, which is the most wonderful thing to be able to give people. That I find that quite easy is something I guess I took for granted.
I'm not going to take that for granted anymore. I love about Shakespeare, and we've had a few guests on the podcast who share my passion for it and who are masters of the art, one of the all time great Shakespearean actors.
He knows how to play with those words is Brian Cox.
I mean, I love Shakespeare. I just adore Shakespeare, you know? I mean, you can't get round them as a writer. You just simply can't.
You went from not thought. Not long after you were doing Titus Andronicus, you went back to the National to play King Lear.
I was quite a young man. Relatively poor. Yeah. Did you feel ready to play that age?
Did you need the energy for us? Right. Right. You do need the energy. I mean, you haven't got the the wisdom. I mean, and I would take it I would do it differently. It's a great play, but it's a it's a difficult play. It it's a hard place because it's not everybody thinks it's Lear, but it's not. It's it's the the Edmond subplot is incredibly important and it also dominates the second half and all the Gloucester stuff.
So it has to be a kind of ensemble that's as much an ensemble as anything else.
And it's not easy because, you know, after after the whole scene, he's only got three or four scenes. The scene with Gloucester is there's only two more scenes in the movie and in the play, you know, so that was difficult. But I enjoyed it and I loved doing it. But a lot of it was you know, we invented Titus. We invented it because it was like we didn't have costumes, we didn't have anything. We invented it from the rehearsal for art.
And I realized that that's the best way to do Shakespeare, is that you you reinvent it. You don't come with any. The conception is to do with the group and to do with, you know, like there's a bunch of ladies in the rehearsal room and guys grab their ladders. And they sat me on the ladder and they looked at me up. And that was that was that's how it happened. You know, it happened organically.
And that presumably that's a bit easier to do. And it's not one of those because King Lear is one of those Olympic events, isn't it, that there is. And I suppose that's an inducement and also a discouragement in a way.
Yeah, it's a it's a double edged sword. Yeah, it's in that way. Yeah.
Because everybody's done it and everyone's got their favourite and all that.
And of course, if we're talking about all things Shakespeare, then we've got to hear from Judi Dench. Here she is talking about one of her very earliest experiences in one of the barge plays in A Midsummer Night's Dream.
You called him only by your surname. You called Miss Dench. I see. Just in rehearsals. Just at the tiebreak. Oh, yes. By Michael Venturer. Yes. And when we did, I paid the first fairy about my first or second season in the dream. First season, I think. Fifty seven, fifty eight maybe, or the next four other families. They went to the Royal Ballet School and they had these exquisite creatures. Exquisite.
And I was playing the first fairy and Michael Bentall, we had notes one day he said to me, you said, Mr Entsch, I don't see you coming in, barging in to all those girls. He said, with your hands like to it's easy. But they were. They were. They were. I mean, there was nothing of me then, but there was absolutely nothing. Right. They were it was exquisite. There were and there was a being the first fairy crashing into them.
But Shakespeare wasn't the only love affair we had about.
Here's Dan Levy again. I love London so much. I had the best time. It was everything I wanted it to be. And I hope to return there at some point, you know, in the near future.
Have you not been back since? I've been back a few times, but I haven't been I haven't lived there since. And I have always wanted to kind of spend a chunk of time there. Would we be very happy to have you? I go in a lot of dates in London. You do? Yes. A long way to come for a day. Don't know why that is. Because I don't I don't go on a lot of dates in America, so I don't it's part of the reason why I'd like to go back, to be honest.
Interesting. But there must be some reason you must. Do you feel particularly liberated in London? Does it? I don't know whether it's just like because I'm Canadian, there's kind of a sensibility. There's a similar sensibility to the to the exotic. That's what it is. British culture. I have very generous friends that like to set me up with people when I go there. I don't know. It's been very lucky for me. And I just love I love the city.
I love the feel of it. I love the social aspects of it. It's been you know, it's been very kind to me.
Well, you'll be welcome here any time. I can assure you. I speak for all of London there.
I can't wait to get back.
So now here's Neil Gaiman, tantalizing his legions of fans with a little bit about what's coming next for him next.
New book that's coming out is called Pirate Stew, and it's a poem illustrated by Chris Ridell about some kids who wind up getting babysat by pirates and what happens. And everybody's making pirate stew and then donuts come into it mysteriously and it's glorious and silly. And this big book for kids, and it's nothing like any of my other books for kids, and it's nothing like any of my other books for adults. And I like the fact that there is a.
If anything unites the Neil Gaiman brand. It's the idea that the voice will probably be mine and the point of view will definitely be mine. But. You don't know what that's going to be, some of them are funny, some of them are scary, some of them are serious, some of them, you know, coralline is stardust isn't American gods isn't good omens, isn't it, Sandman? But it's the best coralline it could be. And the Graveyard Book is the best graveyard book.
It could be. But the Graveyard Book also isn't Coralline, too, despite the fact that everybody wants Coralline to and everybody wants more. Coralline and I've never gone back to Coralline because I've never come up with a coralline story that's better than Coralline one, right? I'm writing a new Neverwhere novel right now, starting with me getting fascinated and saddened and involved with refugee issues and and realizing basically how incredibly fragile the worlds we live in can be, how easily broken going out to.
Refugee camps in Jordan and talking to Syrian refugees and realizing, you know, three years ago these people were us, they were car salesmen, they were bound corner shops, they sold insurance, they were dentists. They were living a normal life in a normal place. And now everything has gone away. And, you know, you drive a tank through a village. And one of the things about driving a tank, which is incredibly heavy through a village, is it crushes all the water mains under the village.
So now nobody has any water and they're getting their water from the nearby swamp and letting it sit overnight so the tank will settle and then they're boiling it, but they're still getting kind of sick. And the farmers aren't going into the fields anymore because people were shooting at them and putting landmines. So now there's no food and they've eaten all the dogs and the cats because that was what they had and they're really hungry. So they decided to walk across Syria to try and get out, even though they knew they might get killed because the prospect of staying was worse.
And every single person who is a refugee has a story. Like that, that is an absolute personal nightmare, and all I'm hearing over and over is just how fragile civilization, which we think is so incredibly sturdy, is.
And I thought, I want to talk about that. I want to tell a story about some of this. I want to tell people about this stuff. I wish I had a a way of talking about issues like this. Already and I realized that what I did, I had Neverwhere, which I sort of the idea of London below was a way of talking about homelessness without talking about homelessness. It was a way of talking about surviving in an urban collapse without actually talking about that.
And I thought, well, I've already made that as a machine and realized as I started to write it, there was a Neverwhere story that I never told and had always planned to tell, which was called the Seven Sisters. So I'm rather nervously going back to it.
And finally, here's the lovely Billie Piper again, giving the most enigmatic, tantalizing tease as to what could be around the corner for her, and I'm still none the wiser.
OK, so professional ambitions for me currently, I'm thinking about something really out there that I do not feel comfortable discussing.
OK, OK, I'll come back to that another because I want to maybe go away and learn how to do it and fail. And I want to do I want to have that experience privately. I'd rather not talk about it. And then if it if it sticks then yeah.
Great. Well we'll talk about it.
And if not just there, I went and did three years. It was really quite weird. And zazen it. No.
Oh I'll tell you when we're not there yet. Oh God sent me a text. I was all right.
And that dear listener is that thank you so much to all my amazing guests for being part of this season of David Tennant as a podcast with. And thank you most particularly to you for listening. I hope you've enjoyed it even a little bit. As much as I've enjoyed making it and talking to these brilliant people. And if you've enjoyed this music, by the way, the composer got in touch to see how thrilled he was that we were using his music.
Listener William Benkert, I'm thrilled that you wrote this piece. I love it. It's called Take Flight William Benkert. You can catch him on Spotify and hear more of his fantastic tunes. And it lovely. So that's it.
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The sound engineer was Josh Gibbs. The executive producer is Christina.