Former Labour leader Ed Miliband and award-winning broadcaster Geoff Lloyd have teamed up to bring us ‘Reasons to be Cheerful’, a ‘podcast about ideas’. To be exact, the referenced ‘ideas’ relate to alternative concepts that could improve aspects of our society. The duo take on a diverse range of issues, such as dealing with fast fashion, tackling homelessness and exploring reasons to why you should be vegan. Whilst exploring all avenues on each topic, Ed and Geoff never fail to draw out glimmers of positivity and hope.
The pair strike up a well-suited partnership, their relationship defined by a natural chemistry and an underlying zany sense of humour. Topics are approached with fluidity and genuine open-mindedness, which is something that we often lack when discussing societal issues. The podcast frequently welcomes expert guests that give a real substance to the ideas in discussion. The podcast has welcomed university professors, policy makers as well as many individuals that work and live in the heart of our communities. Just as its namesake suggests, there are reasons to be cheerful within a world that can seem quite scary. This sentiment is often echoed by guests that feature on this podcast, which leaves listeners with a positive motivation to give back to the world.
Ed and Geoff have not confined themselves to a studio and have performed a number of shows live across the UK, with the next of which being held at the world-famous Abbey Road studio in London. I had the pleasure of attending the recording of their podcast in Liverpool last year. Upon launching my very own radio career, I thought I’d best check out the competition as they rolled through town and I was pleasantly surprised with the outcome. I had been familiar with listening to Geoff Lloyd on Virgin Radio late at night when I struggled to sleep. However, Ed was a revelation. Long gone were the images of the awkward bacon sandwich, instead he was cool and relaxed. It was great to see him in an environment where his obvious intellect and wit could really be felt.
The podcast stands out as a rarity with a positive and inclusive conversation about politics and society – amidst the circus of Brexit and the Conservative party leadership elections. Sure the podcast is fundamentally liberal, but it encourages thought on actual ideas, free of tribalism. You hear many people say that they’re sick of politics and understandably so, but it is still important that we stay engaged and strive for a better society.
Listen to this podcast to get the ideas without the bulls***.