Following the release of her Sunday Times bestselling debut novel, Mother Mother and her recent departure from BBC Radio 1 after 17 years, Annie Macmanus returns with the fourth series of her critically acclaimed podcast Changes. Extraordinary figures appear across the series including film director Steve McQueen, comedian Jimmy Carr, model Emily Ratajkowski and more.

The podcast features candid conversations about how we as a species, cope with and adapt to change, and how we can affect change. These are conversations to inspire and incite action, to evoke tears of empathy and frustration and to learn from. The fourth series of Changes with Annie Macmanus runs through to 29 November with new episodes released weekly on all podcast providers.

Award-winning comedian Jimmy Carr is the next guest on Changes with Annie Macmanus, out today. It’s a thought provoking chat in which the comedian explores everything from his aspirations as a child, how he’s perceived as a comedian and falling out of love with religion.

The series follows the release of her Sunday Times bestselling debut, Mother Mother, a powerful coming of age novel. Daily Mirror called it an “an incredible debut”British Vogue described it “a page-turning exploration of grief, addiction, young motherhood and unbreakable family ties” whilst The Mail on Sunday defined it as “melancholy, beautifully unadorned prose”.

Mother Mother by Annie Macmanus is out now (Headline, £16.99) and available to purchase [HERE].

On his education:
“So I grew up in Slough and I went to a school on the Brickwell Estate in Slough called Burnham Grammar, which was a pretty good school. And I was very badly behaved and I messed around and I did kind of, okay. I couldn’t really read until I was about maybe 10, couldn’t read or right. I was quite dyslexic, but I did alright at school.”
“I got tested for dyslexia when I was at Cambridge and they went, oh yeah, you’re massively dyslexic. But by then you’ve got the coping mechanisms to kind of go, well, look, I can get past it.”
On wishful thinking:
“Knowing what you want seems to me to be the absolute key to life. That seems to, that’s the thing, that’s the whole show. What do you want? That’s the question?… Cause then making it happen becomes where you can just kind of figure out what the steps are.”
On his aspirations at school:
“I wanted to be the bright kid. I found that very aspirational, maybe that was a hangup from my early childhood, you know, being in the special ed class and not being able to read. You wanted to kind of re define yourself and go, no, no, I’m bright.”
On attending Cambridge university:
“Looking back, it was kind of a misstep. Everyone else was taking ecstasy and I was at, you know, a cheese and wine party, sipping port. It’s like, it’s a weird place to go because it’s you take all of the kids that were, you know, the brightest kids at their school and you throw them together and you just let the insecurity happen.”
On his mother and the power of making people laugh:
“My mother had a very strange laugh. So my mother had narcolepsy, which is a sleep disorder, but she also had cataplexy, which often goes alongside it, which means that she made no noise when she laughed. So I was really motivated to make her laugh cause it was really fun sort of thing.”
“She had a real ability to kind of, you know, control a room, you know, you walk in and you kind of notice the difference.”
On turning 25 and losing his faith: 
“Really the most fundamental moment was losing my faith. Because if you think about the trigger points, if you think about like what religion is, certainly to me, you do whatever you want to do, but for me, religion was it’s the ultimate in procrastination. It’s never live for this life it’s live for the next life. And I think suddenly losing that… there’s a rebalancing and then you’re thinking, right, what are we going to do now? This is it.”
“And then suddenly, I, I don’t see atheism as a cold intellectual, you know, boring finger wagging thing.I see it as a rush of blood to the head. I see it as the most kind of exciting, empowering move that you could make. And it really feels like that belief change is the seed of all the other changes.”
On how losing his faith changed him as a person:
“I focused all my attention on getting on with life and living rather than just kind of doing the right thing, doing the logical. Next thing is I became much more interested in what I wanted and thinking about what I want.”
On working as a marketing executive for an oil company: 
“Yep. I had some jumps in advertising first and then yeah, it was marketing in a large oil company. If Greta Thunberg is listening, I had no idea at the time, it was a different time. We thought fossil fuels were alright!”
“I wasn’t really happy, I got very frustrated post university. You’re trying to hang on to that life that you had at university, which was largely drinking based. Um, but a lot of fun.”
“I never felt older than when I was 25, working in a job that I didn’t really like, didn’t really mean anything to me.”
On travelling to Israel and religion: 
“I didn’t really know much about Israel at the time. I mean, I love it now. I go a lot but I kind of went here and thought oh this is bullshit, I mean, I love Jerusalem as place, I would recommend that anyone go, that’s great, but go there for the food, go there for the people. Don’t go there for the religious artefacts, it’s nonsense.”
On his time as a comedian: 
“There’s something about show people, comics in particular where we’re out for ourselves but in it together.”
“When I walk on stage I’m perceived in a certain way and you might as well lean into that..there’s an honesty to it. I didn’t really know what my sense of humour was, you find out more about yourself.”
“I like when I go to see comics like Billie Connelly and John Bishop where they tell really long stories that build up but that’s not me, it’s not my bag…I’m very much binary jokes…but I’m now trying to change my style again and become a better comic, it’s fun.”
On cancel culture:
“The thing with being cancelled is, it’s not the real x, my really issue with cancel culture is that there’s no metric for forgiveness. There’s a lovely phrase, we cannot forgive what we cannot punish and I think it’s really apposite for now. If someone makes a mistake now then what can they do…we haven’t quite got that right yet. I understand sometimes you need to go and stand in the stocks and then other times, not so much.”
About Annie Macmanus
Annie Macmanus is an internationally renowned DJ, broadcaster, Sunday Times bestselling writer, events curator and more. Annie is a key music industry figure championing female and LGBTQ+ artists and advocating for positive, inclusive change. She presented the most influential show on BBC Radio 1 for 17 years, runs the festival Lost & Found in Malta, and can be seen on the biggest stages of music festivals around the UK and the world, and in the DJ booths of the world’s best clubs. A pioneer, the map she has drawn is uncharted, which makes the scope for reaching new heights all the more exciting and landmark. Across multiple projects, including her events brand AMP, her Changes with Annie Macmanus podcast and her Sunday Times bestselling debut novel, Mother Mother she has created a far-reaching presence rooted in quality, integrity, and the authentic connections that unite us all as loyal fans.
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