Skip to main content
Claret & Conversation: Voices from the Creative Industry

Claret & Conversation: Voices from the Creative Industry

By Claret Press
This podcast is a heartwarming and insightful conversation with professionals in the creative industry. We find out what inspired them to risk their livelihoods to join the creative industry. Each guest brings a work of art that inspired them, and a work that they have, in turn, created. Join these fun, thoughtful and inspiring conversations: Claret & Conversation: Voices from the Creative Industry is sponsored by Claret Press and Clapham Publishing Services. Join us every Wednesday for a new podcast.
Where to listen
Apple Podcasts Logo

Apple Podcasts

Castbox Logo


Google Podcasts Logo

Google Podcasts

Overcast Logo


PodBean Logo


RadioPublic Logo


Spotify Logo


Currently playing episode

Episode 6: Adam Saunders by Claret & Conversation

Claret & Conversation: Voices from the Creative Industry

Eugene Skeef
Eugene Skeef is a South African musician, composer, poet and activist, exiled from South Africa for his work with Steve Biko during the Apartheid regime. He has since become a workshop leader, renowned for the work that he did in post-genocide Bosnia.  Join us as he introduces a range of drums to Katie Isbester, and tells the story of his extraordinary life. 
July 21, 2020
Episode 9: Bill Hope by Claret & Conversation
Bill Hope is a Clapham-based actor who has worked in theatre and movies. His break-through role was in Aliens directed by James Cameron. He has also acted with Johnny Depp, starred on Spooks, and voiced over cartoons. Born in Canada, he has made London his home. Two ex-pat Canadians talk about his career. Join the conversation.
May 18, 2020
Episode 8: Phil Wolff by Claret & Conversation
Listen to actor, director and screenwriter Phil Wolff discuss creative craft, film and separating the art from the artists in this weeks episode.
March 18, 2020
Episode 7: Ray Foulk by Claret & Conversation
Jack-of-all-trades Ray Foulk discusses his extraordinary life as the Isle of Wight festival creator, city events planner, art deco gallery curator and author.  Ray grew up on the Isle of Wight. When the island needed funding to build a new swimming pool, he and his brother decided to set up a festival. Now an internationally renowned event with headliners such as Lionel Ritchie and Lewis Capaldi, Ray credits its early success with prosperity the support of Bob Dylan. Catapulted into success, Ray and his brother were brought into the Milton Keynes city planning project. Asked to develop the town’s leisure space, Ray once again went the extra mile and brought Buckminster Fuller, the celebrated architect, on board. In his late twenties, Ray ‘retired’ to run an antique shop in London. Here, again, Ray quickly became successful, acquiring famous pieces of art deco furniture and curating exhibitions. Ray’s interest in this area spurred him to learn more. He received a degree from the Open University before being offered a place at Cambridge to study architecture. Later in life, Ray worked in schools to raise environmental awareness, which he credits as being his greatest creative contribution. In this podcast, Katie and Ray discuss the importance of thinking big in the creative industry, and how this ambitious drive can be harnessed for success. They also discuss Ray’s new book, Picasso’s Revenge, and the world of Picasso and 1920s Paris. Buy Picasso’s Revenge here: Learn more about Claret Press: Follow us on Facebook: Follow us on Twitter:
March 11, 2020
Episode 6: Adam Saunders by Claret & Conversation
Listen to the British composer and music leader discuss his role as a creative catalyst and the importance of collaboration. Adam Saunders’ musical ability was clear from a young age. Growing up near Portsmouth, Adam attended a small school where few people played instruments. From the age of seven, he found himself accompanying the school choir and music groups and was, in his own words, ‘thrown in at the deep end’. Preferring to play by ear rather than from sheet music, Adam continued to enjoy working in a communal environment and has fond memories of playing obscure Edwardian requests for punters in Portsmouth pubs. At Trinity Laban, Adam discovered his desire to work in community-based projects through his friendship with Pete Churchill. Marrying the professional with the pedagogical, Adam began involving himself in group projects, focusing on bringing music to those with no formal training or musical background. It was in this role as a creative catalyst that Adam came to Clapham Community Choir, working with an eclectic group of people with mixed abilities to create a fun and dynamic society. In this episode, Katie and Adam discuss the role of ‘creative catalysts’, those in the creative industry who enable others to create through training and guidance. They also consider the role of collaboration in creativity, and how often it is through working together that we can show our strengths and minimise our weaknesses. Find out more about Adam: Learn more about Claret Press: Follow us on Facebook: Follow us on Twitter:
February 25, 2020
Episode 5: Tor Bridges by Claret & Conversation
Listen to the award-winning director and filmmaker Tor Bridges discuss using creativity as a force for positive change and social justice, and how this ethos has impacted her work. Tor Bridges studied documentary film making in the States before moving back to the UK and joining the BBC as a researcher. She quickly became disenfranchised with the hierarchical, male and mercantile environment and left the organisation to pursue her career as a director. Joining forces with her husband, they set out to make documentaries which brought people’s attention to hard-hitting international issues. More recently, Tor was the executive producer for ‘Anna: the woman who went to fight ISIS’. The documentary is about Tor’s niece, Anna, who went to fight with the Kurds against ISIS and was sadly killed by a Turkish airstrike in the town of Afrin in northern Syria. Tor believes passionately in the ability of documentaries as a force to inform and change people’s opinions. Her films contextualise the bigger picture by bringing in personal stories, as she believes it is the individual which will intrigue her audience. In this podcast, Katie and Tor discuss the role of documentary makers in shaping and respecting the narrative of their subjects. They also explore how creativity can be a force for change and the need for more female voices in the filmmaking industry. Watch ‘Anna: the woman who went to fight ISIS’: Learn more about Claret Press: Follow us on Facebook: Follow us on Twitter:
February 18, 2020
Episode 4: Simon Altmann by Claret & Conversation
'Creativity is Curiosity.' Mathematics professor at Oxford, art historian, poet, philosopher, superb aphorist - is there anything Simon Altmann can't do? Listen as he discusses how creativity and curiosity have shaped his life. Simon Altmann was born in Argentina and grew up in the shadow of WWII. After receiving British Council funding to study in London for two years, Simon returned to Argentina. He soon realised he would have to leave, not only because there was little opportunity to earn a living as a mathematics professor, but also because of the political situation under Juan Peron. After refusing to join the political party, Simon left to work in Oxford and has only returned to Argentina once ever since. As a professor of mathematics, Simon made many breakthroughs. He wrote code for the Manchester computer and developed new uses and understanding of rotational algebra. After retiring in the 1990s, Simon turned his attention to writing, publishing a book on mathematics and then philosophy. He continues to write poetry and has recently published a paper on art history. In this podcast, Katie and Simon discuss the role of curiosity in creativity. They examine how being curious allows one to learn more and deepen understanding and how this in turn permits you to be more creative. They also talk about the need to go back to the source, reading not just the expert opinion, but the opinion which informs the expert opinion. Read more from Simon in the Madras Courier: Learn more about Claret Press: Follow us on Facebook: Follow us on Twitter:
February 11, 2020
Episode 3: Tim Luscombe by Claret & Conversation
Listen to acclaimed playwright and author of Learning German (badly) Tim Luscombe, as he discusses European identity, Brexit and Eurovision. Tim Luscombe grew up in the Surrey suburbs near Epsom. He left to study Geography at Oxford and quickly realised that he could get by without doing any work until third year. Consequently, he spent most of his degree directing plays before finally getting round to some studying in the last three months. After leaving university, Tim took part in the Old Vic directing attachment. He credits this as being a formative experience in which he learnt to reach out to everyone around you in order to fulfil your creative endeavours. Since then he has gone on to write and direct many successful productions and co-founded a gay theatre company which has worked with many famous actors, including Jude Law. Identity is central to Tim’s work, whether national, gay or European. In particular the idea of common identity. Do these groups have a common identity? And if so, what is this common identity and how does it bring people together? Much of Tim’s work on this has been examined through the lens of Eurovision, which Tim loves for its campness, European-ness and politics. More recently, Brexit has become the leitmotif of Tim’s work. His book, Learning German (badly) (Claret Press; 2019), humorously examines the interactions of a group of people from across the world as they attempt to pass their German citizenship exams. In this podcast, Katie and Tim discuss Europe in the wake of the Brexit referendum. They debate what it means to be European and whether it is an economic or social institution. They also talk about the role of failure in the creative process and how to develop the resilience needed to succeed in this industry. Tim's website: Learn more about Claret Press: Follow us on Facebook: Follow us on Twitter:
January 28, 2020
Episode 2: Wendy Yates by Claret & Conversation
Sweeten your January by listening to Clapham entrepreneur Wendy Yates discuss compotes, marmalades and ketchups and managing her own micro-business. Wendy Yates started her career in a very different industry: speech and language therapy. After spending five years studying, she entered the profession and slowly began to realise that it was not for her. She was faced with the decision of whether to maintain her stable job or strike out to find happiness in another area. Wendy credits the supportiveness of her partner with allowing her to make the jump to compote maker, and we are very glad she did! Growing up in the countryside on the border with Wales, Wendy was always surrounded by fresh produce and her mother's inspirational cooking. These influences helped to shape the values and ethos of Wendy’s company, Fruition Preserves. Wendy’s compotes are made using fresh ingredients, old-fashioned techniques and low sugar. Her products are so delicious that they have even won awards, with her Seville orange marmalade taking the bronze Marmalade Award. In this podcast, Katie and Wendy discuss the practicalities of being a sole-business owner. Together they examine the decision making behind growing a business, the trials and tribulations of marketing, and the power of good logo. They also discuss the importance of collaboration within the creative process and how feedback and inspiration are integral parts of creativity. Find Wendy's website here: Learn more about Claret Press: Follow us on Facebook: Follow us on Twitter:
January 21, 2020
Episode 1: Tansy Spinks by Claret & Conversation
Sound artist Tansy Spinks talks about how to listen. Thoughtful and informed, this experimental artist makes a fascinating podcast. Tansy Spinks always knew she wanted to be an artist. Growing up in a family of female painters, her decision when she left school was not whether to be creative, but which creative path to follow: art or music. Choosing to attend Leeds University and study photography, Tansy relished the opportunity to experiment. Now a senior lecturer at Middlesex University, Tansy works with students, evaluating their work by examining the students’ curiosity and their commitment to their course and their research. Tansy has had a varied career as an artist. During her forties, she returned to university to study for her phD, and here she began to combine her interest in sound with her art process. Fascinated by what our ears bring to the experience, Tansy enjoys performing live. She visits places and performs using objects that are readily available or have a special relevance to the historical or current environment. She’s performed live at various locations, from Brixton Market to an old WWII sea fort in Kent. In this podcast, Katie and Tansy discuss Tansy’s life and work. Working through the writings of Marx, Morris and Ruskin, they discuss the relevance of creativity in the human world, how we are inherently creative beings, and the need for schools and society to recognise and value this reality. They also listen to an extract of Tansy’s sound art, a 45-minute recording of re-enacted Leeds United football and discuss the narrative value of sound. Visit Tansy's website and listen to more of her sound art: Find out more about Claret Press: Follow us on twitter: Like us on facebook:
January 17, 2020
Episode 8: Pascaline Lambert by Claret & Conversation
At what point does the craft of sewing meet art? Does teaching and parenting affect your creative professionalism? Find all the answers in this episode. Available now on all major platforms.
December 04, 2019
Episode 7: Aliki Braine by Claret and Conversation
Aliki Braine, artist, photographer, educator and activist took on the National Gallery in the name of justice and won! She's a committed artist who talks frankly about the demands of producing art while also being a mother and an educator. Listen to the conversation. Available now on all major platforms.
November 20, 2019
Episode 6: Richard Lloyd-Morgan by Claret & Conversation
Richard Lloyd-Morgan finds striking similarities as an opera singer and a vicar. "Just get out of the way and let Strauss/God do the work," he says. Listen to this beautiful man with his beautiful voice tell us about getting out of the way.
November 12, 2019
Episode 5: Barry Stevens by Claret & Conversation
You think you've got an extended family? Think again! Award winning Canadian filmmaker, Barry Stevens, has 600 siblings. Listen to his fascinating life.  
November 05, 2019
Episode 4: Hannah Duffy by Claret & Conversation
Hannah Duffy is the multi-talented young actor who not only set up her own theatre company but also has a passion and talent for writing, shown through her involvement in the Writers Lab Programme at Soho Theatre.
October 23, 2019
Episode 3: Tim Frances by Claret & Conversation
Is it a podcast or a masterclass in acting? Join Tim Frances, West End actor, for stories and insights into the enchanting world of the stage. 
October 16, 2019
Episode 2: Declan Hill by Claret & Conversation
Uncertain who to support in the upcoming Canadian elections? The world leading expert in match-fixing, Declan Hill, has boxed with Justin Trudeau, had dinner with the Russian Mafia and spills all on Claret and Conversation season two.  Declan Hill: 
October 08, 2019
Episode 1: Julie Anderson by Claret & Conversation
Author, illustrator and organiser of Clapham Book Festival sits down with Katie to kick of the second season of Claret and Conversation with a bang. Learn about the fascinating panels in the upcoming Clapham Book Festival and the hidden truths about the area of Clapham that so many writers love.  Clapham Book Festival:
September 30, 2019
Podcast 10: Michael Coolwood by Claret & Conversation
Michael Coolwood is a feminist science  fiction and fantasy writer. Growing up with shows like Asterix and Futurama, Michael has always enjoyed letting his imagination run wild. After getting back into reading a few years ago, he was absorbed by the works of Ian M. Banks and other stories involving sentient trains, spurring him to start writing his own novels...except with a different stance to traditional sci-fi. In this episode of Claret & Conversation, Michael opens up about his depression and his process of writing. So join us as we trip over our metaphors and discuss the future of the female protagonist. 
July 05, 2019
Podcast 9: Tricia Ninian by Claret & Conversation
Tricia Ninian is living her child hood dream as a soprano, having embraced her musical talent at an early age by learning to play the piano and singing in a choir in Westminster Abbey. Now, Tricia has starred as the likes of Liu in Turandot and Donna Elvira in Don Giovanni and her passion has provoked her to set up her own opera company: St Paul’s Opera, here in Clapham. In this episode of Claret & Conversation we discuss the highs and lows of realising your dreams and, in the true style of opera, how love made her what she is today.
July 01, 2019
Podcast 8: Sam Clark by Claret & Conversation
Born and raised in Clapham, Sam is an expert traveler and the co-founder of Experience Travel Group. His travel company tailors the trip to the ‘holiday makers’ needs and helps them to explore and appreciate the locations natural form, setting Experience Travel Group apart from the rest. In this episode of Claret & Conversation, we debate the definition of what it means to be creative and whether it’s a bad thing to have too many ideas all at once.
June 19, 2019
Podcast 7: Catherine O'Brien by Claret & Conversation
Catherine O’Brien is a voice artist and the founder of Essential Audiobooks based in New York, where she lives with her husband after having moved there from London in 2008.  As the daughter of a speech and drama teacher, Catherine has grown up performing In this episode of Claret & Conversation, we’ll consider the current state of the publishing industry and how giants such as Amazon are affecting the market for audiobooks. On a lighter note, we’ll see what it takes to be a long-form narrator and hear about some of the kookier genres of literature you probably never knew existed.
June 12, 2019
Podcast 6: Sam MacDonald by Claret & Conversation
Sam is a gardener and founder of the Cottage Gardener company in Clapham. Sam first began to appreciate the outdoors as a child and was inspired by the nature and colours of the Norfolk countryside where he spent a lot of time growing up. Sam has a new book coming out, entitled Down the Garden Path: Snippets from the Cottage Gardener, which draws on his own experiences as a horticulturalist. In this episode of Claret & Conversation, we evaluate the human need and natural gift for knowledge, as well as how technology is influencing methods of landscape design.
June 05, 2019
Podcast 5: Kees't Hooft by Claret & Conversation
Kees’t grew up in a small town in Holland to liberal parents who encouraged him to embrace his creative side. In this episode of Claret & Conversation, we’ll discuss how Kees’t transitioned from a cameraman director, working with the likes of David Lee; to adventure photography, climbing Mount Everest with Brian Blessed and exploring Antarctica with Stephen Venables; to inventing machinery to turn waste cooking oil into bio-diesel, which is his current venture. We’ll consider the questionable relationship between art and machinery and how to embrace ones fear of not knowing what to do.
May 29, 2019
Podcast 4: Sarah Gray by Claret & Conversation
Sarah is an author living with Motor Neurons Disease. Published by Claret Press, Sarah writes supernatural stories, saying she loves the uncertainty and the fact that anything could happen.  Half Life has been adopted by the NHS to help teach palliative care staff and indeed we will discuss how Sarah has come to terms with her illness in this episode.  Hopefully she will have enlighten us all as to how we should pay thanks to all the positives in the world by the end of the podcast.
May 22, 2019
Podcast 3: Alex "Reads" Holmes by Claret & Conversation
Alex Reads is a professional journalist and podcast host of Mostly Lit and What Matters, who loves to create. Inspired by David Sedaris, Alex has natural gift for storytelling and plays the piano to exorcise his demons.  In this episode of Claret & Conversation, we’ll discuss how the ever-modest Alex doesn’t let stereotypes define him.
May 15, 2019
Podcast 2: Sue Carpenter by Claret & Conversation
Sue Carpenter is a documentary  filmmaker, writer and photographer, whose wanderlust has resulted in her making a feature documentary about an uneducated girl in Nepal, Belmaya, who she met 12 years ago. Sue’s  film follows Belmaya as she herself trains in filmmaking and makes her own short documentary, which has been selected for six international film festivals and won the UK Asian Film Festival Short Film Competition 2019. In this edition of Claret & Conversation, we delve into Sue’s travels and discuss how her journalism single-handedly saved a crumbling city in India.  Visit Sue’s website : I am Belmaya to find out more about her incredible new film. 
May 10, 2019
Podcast 1: Nicky Barranger by Claret & Conversation
Nicky Barranger is an ex-BBC radio producer and World Service presenter who tried to interview a sleeping Arthur Miller, eye-locked with Hugh Jackman and spilled wine on Sir Peter Halls. Refering to herself as ‘professionally nosey’, Nicky’s curiosity has lead her through many doors, yet her love for audio and radio has never faded. In this edition of Claret & Conversation, we’ll see how the sound of laser guns and Hitch Hikers Guide to the Galaxy inspired her career choice and the weird obsessions she’s developed during her time working in media.
May 07, 2019