A group of retired BBC figures have launched a new weekly podcast, titled Movers and Shakers, giving insight on living with Parkison’s disease through candid conversations between six friends.
The host of the podcast is former BBC News technology correspondent Rory Cellan-Jones, who spent 40 years in the company before announcing his departure in August 2021.
Cellan-Jones is joined by five other co-hosts; presenter of BBC Radio 4’s The World This Weekend, Mark Mardell, former BBC consumer affairs correspondent Gillian Lacey-Solymar, BBC’s Vicar of Dibley co-writer Paul Mayhew-Archer, High Court judge Sir Nicholas Mostyn - who Cellan-Jones says was "the driving force" behind the podcast - and former BBC presenter Jeremy Paxman.
“It’s fascinating, the way we ‘Movers and Shakers’ respond to the illness, from Paul’s hysterically funny and brightly optimistic determination to regard our collective curse as a personal blessing, to Jeremy’s gloomy fury and trademark, incisive questioning of accepted wisdom,” said Mardell. “The podcast is of course for people with Parkinson’s and their friends but also for anybody interested in the human condition. We learn to cope. That pesky packaging? When your fingers fail, attack with scissors, a knife, determination – and hope.”
Throughout the series, the six friends gather to share a drink in a Notting Hill pub where they discuss their life experiences and also speak to their own specialists and international experts about different ways that they are affected by Parkinson’s disease. The first episode debuted on 18 March.
The podcast is produced by Podot, a corporate and editorial podcast production company co-founded and directed by former broadcast editor for the Spectator, Nick Hilton. The launch of Movers and Shakers quickly amassed positive online response after its debut, with Hilton posting on LinkedIn that it was ranked at number 3 in the UK podcast charts, just after entrepreneurial podcast Diary of A CEO.
“A really valuable reminder – if it were needed – that podcasts still have the power to make people feel heard, and that seemingly niche subjects always touch the lives of more people than you expect,” said Hilton on LinkedIn. “The response to Movers and Shakers has been extraordinary, and a real testament to the work of everyone involved on this project.”