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Daring to be different...
Sam Grierson interviews....

Welcome to the Sam Grierson interviews series, where I talk to change makers who have Dared to Be different and stand up and speak out. We discuss social change that has occurred over the last 30 years, how language has evolved and is evolving and how we still have more work to do. I am interested to look at the role that the Arts play, to both inspire, provoke, educate and support social change. Actors, Singers, Members of Parliament, Artists, Authors, Activists, and Entrepreneurs who all dare…


Episode 1 - Tess Eagle Swan, Author of the new book “Incredible Kratu”. She is an Autism advocate, animal welfare & rescue dog ambassador and campaigner. Tess also supports the All-Party Parliamentary Dog Advisory Welfare Group.

Episode 2 - Linda Riley, a journalist and LGBT+ rights advocate. She is the publisher of the Diva magazine and founder of the very successful Lesbian Visibility Week. She was joint publisher of the magazines g3 and Out in the City, founded the Global Diversity List, European Diversity Awards, and the Pride Power List, and a former board director of GLAAD.

Episode 3 - Leng Montgomery, Diversity and Inclusion leader, Trans specialist, Tedx Speaker and Masterchef contestant. 

Episode 4 - Victoria Broom an actor who has starred in ITVs Marcella and Cheaters for the BBC. Victoria won the Diversity in Media award for 'Rising star 2017' for her role in the LGBTQ series Different for Girls seasons 1 & 2. Victoria has performed on Stage in London for many years including Shakespeares Globe theatre.

Episode 5 - Claire Summerskill, a writer, comedian, a singer-song-writer and an academic. She performs one-woman comedy shows and tours internationally. Currently she is on tour with her latest show, ‘I’ve Been Clare Summerskill' She’s termed ’The Lesbian Victoria Wood’ by Radio 4 Woman’s Hour. Patron of several LGBTQ organisations including Kenric, London Gay Symphony Orchestra, The East London Out Project, MindOut, and Educate & Celebrate.

Episdoe 6 - Sally Nilsson, Psychotherapist, Hypnotherapist, Neurodiversity Advocate, Podcaster and Author of “The Man who sank Titanic. The Troubled Life Of Quartermaster Robert Hichens”.

Episode 7 - Hannah Bardell, a Scottish politician who served as a Member of Parliament for Livingston since  2015. She is a member of the Scottish National Party and was the spokesperson for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport. In addition to all of this Hannah is one of at least 45 out LGBT+ MPs in the House of Commons… identifying on Instagram as a Lesbian / Feminist

Episode 8 - Rosie Wilby, an award-winning comedian, author and podcaster who has appeared many times on BBC Radio 4 programmes including Woman's Hour, Saturday Live and Four Thought. Her first book Is Monogamy Dead? was longlisted for the Polari First Book Prize and followed a trilogy of solo shows investigating the psychology of love and relationships. Her new book The Breakup Monologues is based on her acclaimed podcast of the same name and is published globally by Bloomsbury.

Episode 9 - Sharon Morgan, an actor from the stage and screen, she has received three BAFTA Cymru awards, appearing in Casualty, Coronation Street, Hollyoaks and Torchwood and in the feature film Apostle. She translated the play Vagina Monologues into welsh and is a welsh language campaigner.

Episode 10 - Merryn Johns, Editor in Chief of Queer Forty Online Magazine, Journalist, Broadcaster, previously held roles as Editor in Chief at Curve Magazine, Group Editor of OUT Voices and Editor at News Corp & Bound Magazine.

Episode 11 - Giuliana Wheater, an author & multi award winning therapist working with autism, SEN and mental health. She is the founder of Therapies For Special Needs and Rainbow Kids Touch Therapy . She is the Wellbeing Ambassador for the international Autism charity Anna Kennedy Online. Her work has been recognised by the Children’s University as a Learning Destination. Her proudest achievement is being Mum to 4 neurodiverse children.

Episode12 - Steven Smith, Celebrity Hairdresser, Author of “It shouldn’t happen to a hairdresser”, Chat show host, Journalist, Radio presenter and Diversity Role model.

We talk about coming out in the 1970’s, his experiences of being a young gay man, gay social history, Kenny Everett, tales of styling the stars and charity work for Anna Kennedy Online a charity which raises awareness of Autism.

Episode 13 - “Learning from Autistic teachers - How to Be a Neurodiversity-Inclusive School ” I chat with two of the authors Madge Woollard a music teacher and Autistic Advocate and Susanna Matthan is a Freelance specialist teacher, full time student and Positive Autistic Advocate.

Episode 14 - Susannah Laing actor, writer, singer/songwriter, poet, athlete and ADHD advocate. She gave a Tedx Talk in 2020 on “what bulimia taught me”. She has represented Scotland in both Hockey and Golf, playing professional golf in the US and is currently learning aerials and dance trapeze, paintings of which are featured in Greer Ralstons “Into the Light” exhibition in Perth.

Episode 15 - Clare Shaw, poet is a keen advocate for writing as a tool of social and personal change.  As the Project Lead for the Royal Literary Fund, they were responsible for setting up writing projects in workplaces across the UK. Clare was the resident poet for Lancashire Wildlife Trust in 2021 and they continue to use poetry to engage communities with wildlife and ecology. In collaboration with the novelist Winnie M Li, Clare was the recipient of a Royal Society of Literature Literature Matters Award in 2019, creating workshops and a free online resource for survivors of trauma.



Episode 1 - Jane Asher, President of the National Autistic Society, Actor, Author and Entrepreneur

*We discuss terminology around Autism and how our understanding has changed over the last 30 years. As we revisit this journey, we reflect on how much work we all still have to do.

Episode 2 - Em Stroud, Creator, Clown, Podcaster, MC, Author and Entrepreneur. We discuss coming out, clowning, living life to the full, the importance of music and we meet Orange the clown who shows us why we all need to play...

Episode 3 - Horse, a Singer and Songwriter. She has released 9 albums since 1990. She is the patron of Switchboard an LGBT+ helpline, An Ambassador for the Clutha Trust an arts and music charity and an Ambassador for Nordoff Robbins which provides music therapy.

Episode 4 - Polly Shute a multi award winning Inclusion Specialist working with Pride Sports, Women in Sport, Co Founder of Out and About LGBTQIA and was a former Board member of Pride in London.

Episode 5 - Greer Ralston an artist who has won many awards across her distinguished career, including the Greenshields International Scholarship for figurative art and She has exhibited in the National Portrait Gallery.

Episode 6 - Megan Black a Singer and Song Writer, she was a BBC Scotlands 2019 Singer/Songwriter Award nominee and is a self proclaimed “hippy-dippy drag queen” She is due to release her new eight-track album “Deadly is the woman” on 1st April.

Episode 7 - Claire Littley a Singer, Song Writer and Producer, she previously sang the lead vocal on “Fly Me to The Moon”, for the anime series “Neon Genesis Evangelion”, which amassed hundreds of millions of views on Social media.

Episode 8 - Ginny Lunn Entrepreneur and Co Founder of Walking Women and Anne Scholefield, a retired teacher, world traveller and all round adventurer.

Episode 9 - Trudy Howson LGBT Poet Laureate.

Disclaimer: This podcast is for private non-commercial use and the guests and their views do not necessarily reflect any agency or organisation or company that they work for and by no means represent absolute facts. Opinions expressed by the host and guests can change at any time. Listeners acknowledge that they are not being provided professional advice from this podcast or the guests.

Trigger Warning: This podcast episode may, at times, cover sensitive topics including but not limited to Autism Diagnosis, treatment, Neurodivergent terminology, historical treatment for autism, mental health issue, LGBT+ Coming out, LGBT+ themes, Hate Crime, Homophobias. You are advised to refrain from listening if you are likely to be offended or adversely impacted by any of these topics.

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