Six friends, all familiar faces, joined forces to shine a spotlight on Parkinson’s disease through an impactful podcast. Meeting at a cosy Notting Hill pub, they fearlessly explored the unfiltered truths of life with Parkinson’s.
Six remarkable individuals, including Cure Parkinson’s Patron and co-writer of Vicar of Dibley, Paul Mayhew-Archer, and the renowned BBC presenter Jeremy Paxman, have banded together with a common purpose. Living with Parkinson’s themselves, these friends have launched a groundbreaking podcast to ignite awareness about this condition. With the esteemed former BBC technology correspondent Rory Cellan-Jones, distinguished High Court Judge Sir Nicholas Mostyn experienced BBC political expert Mark Mardell, and the talented former ‘Working Lunch’ presenter, management consultant, and lecturer Gillian Lacey-Solymar, this formidable group aims to empower and educate others. Their collective voices harmonise, offering profound insights into the world of Parkinson’s and illuminating a path of hope for all who listen.
With minimal pre-release marketing but an undeniable impact, the show addressing the raw realities of Parkinson’s disease skyrocketed to number three on the UK podcast charts soon after its recent launch.
The newly launched podcast, ‘Movers & Shakers,’ delves into the rollercoaster of Parkinson’s with a blend of informative discussions, candid moments, and even lighthearted laughter. This dynamic group not only shares their personal experiences but also dives into research updates, conducts interviews with specialists, and engages international experts to explore various dimensions of the condition. Get ready for an enlightening and sometimes humorous journey through the challenges and triumphs of Parkinson’s.
Sir Nicholas MostynÖ, alongside his fellow co-hosts on Movers & Shakers, sheds light on their rationale for selecting podcasting as the most suitable medium for their program. “We’d met as a group about once a fortnight or once every three weeks, and we found our conversations extremely helpful and mutually supportive,” says Mostyn. “Although our symptoms were different, we realised they all had some underlying features in common and that talking about it was a great assistance.”
This realisation led to an intriguing idea: “Why not invite others to eavesdrop on our conversations through a podcast?”
Pub Tales: A Podcast Journey Begins in Notting Hill
Seeking authenticity beyond the microphone, this group chose a cosy pub in Notting Hill as their recording haven. With each session, a reserved room, a round of drinks, and a setup of “terrifying wires and boxes” by their producer create the perfect atmosphere.
Each member takes turns curating episode themes, exploring diverse aspects of life impacted by Parkinson’s, and engaging a wide range of guests. From an upcoming discussion with Mostyn’s trainer to compelling topics like young-onset Parkinson’s and diagnosis stories, they aim to maintain an unfiltered and natural atmosphere throughout their captivating dialogues.
“If I’ve learned anything from the enormous number of messages that have come in, most people feel very isolated.”
From Mostyn’s initial diagnosis, a seed was planted to create a support network alongside Movers & Shakers. Over time, their podcast evolved into a lifeline for listeners who personally experience Parkinson’s or have connections with those who do.
It was no surprise to Mostyn that the podcast gained rapid momentum, considering the group’s composition of high-profile journalists who already had a significant public presence and naturally generated immense interest. “I didn’t particularly feel deprived of the company of fellow sufferers because I just organised to meet them, but I dare say that most people do feel that because only a tiny minority go to these groups,” Mostyn says. “And if I’ve learned anything from the enormous number of messages that have come in, most people feel very isolated.”
However, the podcast’s audience extends beyond the group itself. Mostyn emphasises that one of the podcast’s goals is to attract more medical professionals to listen. He highlights that while healthcare providers may have delivered countless diagnoses of Parkinson’s disease, it is a singular and life-altering moment for patients. Mostyn encourages medical practitioners to approach these conversations with increased empathy, allowing patients time and space to process the news.
“The hope with “Movers & Shakers” is that we will be able to explore all the things that we think are worth exploring.”
While Mostyn may not be well-versed in podcasting, aside from being an “admirer” of shows like The Rest is Politics and History, he is starting to understand why a podcast was a perfect choice, even in these early stages.
“One thing I’ve realised about podcasting is that it’s a much more liberated medium. It’s much less formal, and there is much more scope for improvisation because people don’t seem to be up against the dreaded tyranny of time,” he reflects. “People seem to have much more time and freedom to say what they want.”
Embarking on this vulnerable journey in front of a microphone for the first time may seem terrifying, but Mostyn reassures that he has no worries about it. During a recording, Paxman asked him about his concerns regarding people’s opinions of him. Mostyn responded confidently, saying, “They’re going to think that anyway, so I don’t worry about it”.
Get ready for a captivating journey with the “Movers & Shakers.”
Uncover the fascinating story behind “Movers & Shakers” in this beautiful YouTube interview by the BBC Breakfast team with Naga Munchetty and Charlie Stayt. Be sure to watch it here:
And for a deeper dive into the world of Parkinson’s, listen to the episodes on Spotify or.
Join the conversation and be inspired!