6/7 - The Confidence Trick

"Sometimes you have to be other people to become who you are."

Gavin Bain and Olly Mann

Best mates with Eminem, signed by Sony, and on the verge of international superstardom, Californian rap group Silibil 'n' Brains were the music industry's Next Big Thing. There was just one problem: they'd never been to California. They were from Dundee.

In this extraordinary interview with Olly, Gavin Bain - who, as Brains Mcloud, was one half of the hip hop duo - recalls how a heady mix of humiliation, desperation and sheer chutzpah lead him to fool the entire music industry - and brought him to the brink:


Gavin's book, California Schemin', is out now - and you can find plenty of Sylibil N' Brains music on Spotify

Peart takes a bath, in the name of research

Elsewhere this week, Ollie Peart considers Uber's bid to prevent 'automovom' in this week's Zeitgeist. Also on the agenda: death on social media, Stephen Fry's sleep stories, hand massaging and hot baths.

And, down the Foxhole, Alix Fox - fresh from enlightening delegates at the Digital Freedom Festival - reveals the art of 'muffing', and answers the query of Mann-fan Pip, who's repulsed by the smell, taste, and even thought of her boyfriend's semen.

As the Foxhole is brought to you by our friends at mycondom.com, you can nab a wonderful 15% OFF just for listening - all you need to do is use our code 'Foxhole' at Checkout. So, why not stock up on some sexy Christmas goodies from their Christmassy Stocking Fillers section?

Meanwhile, this week's Squarespace Lifehack features business journalist Emily Birt, of peoplemanagement.co.uk, providing her Top 3 tips to get a pay rise. (If you have advice of your own to share, start a blog with Squarespace.com - and if you use our code 'Mann' at Checkout, you get 10% off your first website or domain.)

Finally, our record of the week is 'Broken Record', by plucky upstart Van Morrison. It's the opening track from his 38th studio album, Versatile, out now:

Thanks again to all our beer money donors for supporting this series of our independent podcast. If you'd buy us a pint if you met us in real life, please put your money where your mouth is and buy us a virtual one too. Every penny you contribute goes towards making more Modern Mann... 

See You Next Tuesday!

Posted on December 5, 2017 and filed under Season Six.

6/6 - Suits You Sir

"You don’t buy a suit from me. You commission a sartorial image."

Andrew Ramroop OBE made his first pair of trousers whilst he was still in school shorts. At 17, he headed away from his home nation of Trinidad, gravitating towards London’s world-famous Savile Row.

In this interview with Olly, he recalls how the racism he faced as a young tailor fuelled his career progression, and how he went on to create suits for Tony Curtis, Samuel L Jackson and Princess Diana.

He also explains how, from a possible choice of 12,000 different fabric combinations, he could make YOU the perfect suit…


(Andrew is the owner of Maurice Sedwell Ltd. Find them at 19 Savile Row W1, or online at savilerowtailor.com.)

Meanwhile, in this week’s Zeitgeist, Ollie Peart wonders whether real-time photo editing software will forever alter our perceptions of our own faces, and posits that live-streamed gameshow apps are the future of television. And, he spills the beans on his trip to Birmingham’s Comic-Con - dressed as his favourite cartoon character

Elsewhere, in this week’s Foxhole, Alix Fox - fresh from checking out some supposedly ‘cursed’ object d’art - offers up (c)literary treats for the VERY broad-minded reader. Which erotic fiction is worth exploring, once you’ve decided Fifty Shades Of Grey isn't doing it for you anymore? And which audiobooks are available to spice up your commute? 

The Foxhole is, as ever, sponsored by our liberated friends at MyCondom.com. They have a bewilderingly delightful range of toys, lubes and contraceptives - and, just for being a Mann-Fan, you get an incredible 15% OFF by using our code ‘FOXHOLE’ at Checkout.

The Lifehack comes courtesy of Adventure.com’s UK Editor Meera Dattani, who offers up her Top 3 tips to pack lightly when heading off to see the world. The Lifehack is sponsored by Squarespace.com - do check out their award-winning templates next time you want to build yourself a website, and get 10% OFF your first purchase when you use our code ‘MANN’.

Finally, our record of the week is the new one from Be Good - it’s called ‘Nightbus’, and it’s out now on Communion Music:

Many thanks to the title sponsor of this week’s episode, ECHO.CO.UK. Their superb app, downloadable now for iOS and Android, provides a pain-free way to get your repeat prescriptions delivered direct to your door

Remember, if you have a suggestion for a future guest for the series, a question of sex for Alix, a challenge for Ollie… or anything at all you want to get in touch about, just use our Feedback form. And if you’d just like to subscribe to the show, or buy us a beer - we'd certainly appreciate that.

See You Next Tuesday!

Posted on November 28, 2017 and filed under Season Six.

6/5 - Into the Deep

"Freediving is 99% mental. And the rest is in your head"

Diving up to 700ft with no oxygen tank may seem like an extreme sport, but instructor Emma Farrell says freediving is more like a meditative state...

freediving 2.JPG

Training Olly to hold his breath like an underwater explorer, she explains why she's never more relaxed than when she's 'one breath away from potential death': 


Emma Farrell and Olly Mann

Ollie tries his hand at aerial pilates

Ollie tries his hand at aerial pilates

Meanwhile, Ollie Peart - fresh from testing out 'Carrotea' on an unsuspecting culinary professional - considers the benefits of crowdfunded wearable air conditioning in this week's Zeitgeist; and reflects on the curious case of nature photographer David Slater. He also reports back on his challenge to try out aerial pilates - could now be the moment to bring it to Dorchester?

Elsewhere, Alix Fox tries out binaural dinner dating and Liquid Silk lubricant in this week's Foxhole, and sets about myth-busting hymen-busting: is losing your virginity always painful? And, if both people in a couple are still virgins, is it necessary or relevant to get STI-tested before doing the deed? 

The Foxhole, as ever, is sponsored by our friends at MyCondom.com. Even if you are still a virgin, there's much to enjoy in their online emporium (it's always worth practicing at home before you take the plunge...). Just use our offer code 'FOXHOLE' to receive 15% off at Checkout.

For this week's Lifehack, Alan Mahon of Brewgooder and Social Bite divulges his Top 3 tips to raise money for good causes through business. The Lifehack is sponsored by Squarespace.com - if you want to build a beautiful website from one of their award-winning templates, use our offer code 'MANN' to get 10% off your first purchase of a website or domain.

Finally, our song of the week comes courtesy of new band Artificial Pleasure. It's called 'Wound Up Tight', and it's out now:

Massive thanks to Echo.co.uk, title sponsors of this week's episode. Their excellent app helps you manage your meds, notifies you when your prescription is running low, and re-orders it at the tap of a screen. And it’s all completely free!

If you'd like to sponsor a future edition of the show, or if you have a suggestion for a future guest - or if you have a question of sex for Alix, a trend challenge for Ollie, or you'd like to become a Mannbassador - just fill in our Feedback form. And, if you'd like to support our independent podcast, please do buy us a beer - every penny goes right back into making this show.

See You Next Tuesday!

Posted on November 21, 2017 and filed under Season Six.

6/4 - There's Something About Gavin

"I wasn’t doing it because I needed the money. I did it because I was a hedonist."

Gavin Hay was a high-flying TV exec with a string of hits under his belt when he and his partner sold their production company for millions of pounds. Still only 42, he could have taken up golf, or skydiving. Instead, Gavin tried his hand at becoming a porn star...

Gavin as Trojan Rock

In this exclusive interview with Olly, he explains how he became 'Trojan Rock', the 'Daddy' who starred in forty adult titles including Roid Rage, Hot And Sweaty: Men At Work, and Hairy Boyz 13.


In this week's Zeitgeist, Ollie Peart has the low-down on artifically intelligent celebrities, Uber's experiment with flying cars, and the next drinks trend - which he likes to call 'Carrotea'. God help us all...

Meanwhile, down The Foxhole, Alix Fox shares her passion for handmade ceramics, considers whether chakrubs are a thoughtful investment, and gets all hot and bothered about her new book

The Foxhole is proudly sponsored by our sexy friends at MyCondom.com. Visit their excellent site for a superb range of protection, toys and lube, and use our special code 'FOXHOLE' to receive 15% Off.

There's also good advice in this week's Squarespace Lifehack, as Chris from Green and Black Cross offers up his Top 3 tips on how to survive getting arrested. (If you do ever find yourself in that situation, there's more to learn at ldmg.org.uk.) The Lifehack comes courtesy of Squarespace - to create your own blog, personal portfolio or business website with their easy-to-use templates, visit Squarespace.com and, when you're ready to launch, use our offer code 'MANN' to save 10% off your first purchase of a website or domain.

Finally, this week's Record of the Week is Confidence by Dead Pretties, out now on Nice Swan Records:

Massive thanks to our title sponsor this week, Echo.co.uk, for making this episode possible. If you want a pain-free way to order repeat NHS prescriptions, just download their excellent app.

If you'd like to support the show too, just buy us a beer, or leave us a review on iTunes. And if you've got a challenge for Ollie, a question of sex for Alix, a guest suggestion for Olly, or anything else you want us to know about - just click Feedback.

See You Next Tuesday!

Posted on November 14, 2017 and filed under Season Six.

6/3 - Do Focus Groups Work?

"I don’t think people are necessarily experts on what they want"

The pollsters failed to predict Brexit, Trump and Theresa May's lost majority. But, in political circles, faith remains in one particular research technique: the focus group.

Edelman's James Morris was an advisor at the Number 10 strategy unit under Tony Blair, and has advised international businesses including Virgin Media and Starbucks on reputation management

In this insightful interview with Olly, he reveals how U-shaped rooms, open questions and gender dynamics all affect 'what we think we think' about political issues like climate change, leadership and immigration...


Elsewhere, Ollie Peart considers the return of the turtle-neck and the boom in onion jewellery in this week's Zeitgeist. Plus, as his quest to become a true trends insider continues, he reveals how he fared in an ethical audit of his consumer habits, thanks to Ethical Consumer's Tim Hunt.  (And if that's inspired you to get your own ethical audit done, check out ethicalconsumer.org).

Meanwhile, down The Foxhole, Alix Fox investigates the bizarre claim that toothpaste can function as an alternative to a traditional pregnancy test, and offers advice to a listener concerned that he's the only gay in the village. The Foxhole is, as ever, proudly sponsored by our friends at MyCondom.com. Shop their excellent range of condoms and toys online, and remember to use our code 'MANN' to get a super-sexy 15% off.

For this week's Squarespace Lifehack, Trullo's head honcho Tim Siadatan offers up his three top tips to make restaurant-quality pasta at home. If you'd like to see more of Tim's advice, check out his book, also called Trullo, which is out now. The Lifehack is brought to you thanks to our good friends at Squarespace. To create your own blog, personal portfolio or business website with their easy-to-use templates, visit Squarespace.com and, when you're ready to launch, use our offer code 'MANN' to save 10% off your first purchase of a website or domain.

Finally, this week's Song of the Week isn't from this week at all, really - it's Mike's Pop Song, an off-cut from Olly's all-time favourite album, R.E.M's Automatic For The People, reissued for its 25th anniversary:

If you'd like to suggest a challenge for Ollie Peart, a question of sex for Alix Fox, or you'd like to leave us a comment and nominate yourself as a Mannbassador, just click here. And if you'd like to buy us a beer to support the show, that would also be most welcome.

This episode was made possible thanks to the generous sponsorship of online eyewear store ArloWolf.com. Check out their stunning and good-value range of stylish frames, and get 10% off when you use our offer code 'MANN' at Arlowolf.com.

See You Next Tuesday!

Posted on November 7, 2017 and filed under Season Six.