Advertisement - Content continues below
News

Lord John Bird stars with actor Jason Flemyng on brand-new recovery podcast

The Hollywood star is presenting the More Than My Past podcast to tackle the stigma against ex-offenders and addiction. The Big Issue founder shares his story

Lord John Bird is joining other ex-offenders and people who are in recovery from addiction in telling their powerful stories on a new podcast aiming to smash the stigma that prevents people moving on from their past.

Hollywood actor Jason Flemyng is hosting More Than My Past’s podcast which builds on the online campaign to celebrate stories of people who have overcome the barriers which prevent people with difficult pasts from finding and work and reaching their full potential.

The Forward Trust’s More Than My Past campaign launched last year, featuring legendary Arsenal footballer Tony Adams and ex-Big Issue vendor-turned-London’s happiest bus driver Patrick Lawson as poster boys.

Big Issue founder Lord Bird’s fascinating life story features on the next step of the campaign as he tells Flemyng his journey “from lockup to the Lord”, charting his spells in homelessness as a youngster and his stints in prison before he turned it all around to form a successful career in the print industry. From there, he, of course, teamed up with co-founder Gordon Roddick to launch The Big Issue and is now bringing his political views on rehabilitation into the House of Lords.

Lord Bird tells Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels star Flemyng on the podcast: “I think I’m the highest placed ex-offender in the country. We have to promote the healthy growth of people while they’re banged up – and not just treat it as ’you are a naughty boy or girl, we are now going to punish you.’”

Advertisement - Content continues below
Advertisement - Content continues below

As well as Lord Bird, Flemyng hears from Squeeze lead songwriter and ex-alcoholic Chris Difford and inspirational ex-addict and ex-offender turned drug and alcohol treatment centre manager Kirsty Day in the first batch of episodes.

The cause one that speaks to Flemyng’s passion for helping prisoners – he has worked in prisons near his South London home for twenty years, including training listeners for the Samaritans and helping run a prisoners’ radio station at Wandsworth. He said: “I’ve got interested in these people’s stories as they come out and struggle to make something of their new lives outside of incarceration. We’re going to bring you some amazing guests who you would not believe have gone through that system.”

Mike Trace, CEO of The Forward Trust, is interviewed in the podcast’s introductory episode and explains the intent behind the podcast. “The cliché of evil criminals who have just decided to live that life doesn’t hold – a lot of people in prison, with drug and alcohol problems or homeless are struggling to turn their lives around. We have lots of events within Forward Trust where our community gets together and celebrates those who have done well. We’re just trying to replicate that online and take it to a wider audience.”

The More Than My Past podcast is available now on all major podcast platforms.

Image: More Than My Past

Advertisement - Content continues below

Support us today

Over the last 30 years, your contributions have been vital in providing opportunities for those facing poverty by giving them a hand up, not a hand out. Support us to help thousands more. Buy a copy from your local vendor, donate or subscribe online today.

Recommended for you

Read All
Government announces £65m fund to support struggling renters
Housing

Government announces £65m fund to support struggling renters

Charities call for multifaceted approach to help ex-offenders into work
Employment

Charities call for multifaceted approach to help ex-offenders into work

Private renters fear landlords won’t claim grant to upgrade boilers and cut energy costs
Environment

Private renters fear landlords won’t claim grant to upgrade boilers and cut energy costs

COP26: When is the Glasgow climate change conference and what is it for?
Environment

COP26: When is the Glasgow climate change conference and what is it for?

Most Popular

Read All
'What kidnappers do' - DWP forcing universal credit claimants to pose for photo with daily paper
1.

'What kidnappers do' - DWP forcing universal credit claimants to pose for photo with daily paper

The problems with BT's £50m 888 app to protect women on their way home
2.

The problems with BT's £50m 888 app to protect women on their way home

Why England's rivers are so polluted and will be for years to come
3.

Why England's rivers are so polluted and will be for years to come

Universal credit: What is it and why does the £20 cut matter?
4.

Universal credit: What is it and why does the £20 cut matter?