Very Loose Women is a regular Resonance FM show and an award-winning podcast about making private conversations public. Often with special guests; artists, academics, activists, comedians, journalists, and friends. Presented by Leonore Schick and Soila Apparicio.
The Sunday Tribune talked to Leonore Schick to find out more about making their popular show.
TST: Very Loose Women gets in the cracks and the places between public conversation but with public figures, private moments, whispers, laughter, breaking down that glass wall between friendship and foeship. What do you wanna say about what you get up to in the studio and outside?
VLW: The project started as a classic “friends chatting” radio show in 2006, but it has evolved out of that to combine interviews with the private chats. When it started, it helped get me out of loneliness a little bit. There are a lot of things about the way women and non binary people experience life which don’t get talked about, and the first aim of the show is always to make sure an aspect of that is being explored. In the studio, we like to make guests and presenters feel comfortable as this translates on air – we want the listeners to feel welcome too. Outside of the studio, we generally go to meet people doing interesting or powerful things – a recent one was speaking to Juliet Fitzpatrick, who campaigns for awareness around the choice to be flat chested after breast cancer. She spoke about how it wasn’t presented as the obvious choice for her. In the studio this week we had a casual, cosy studio chat about heartbreak, and I came out after the recording feeling lighter and a little euphoric.
The Heartbreak episode referred to in the question was produced by Soila Apparicio.
TST: Can you tell me a highlight and a lowlight of this year?
VLW: This year has been incredible for Very Loose Women because we have been getting more and more producers involved. This has meant a wider variety of experiences shared and new ways of sharing them. One of the new producers, Nicki, made a show on blushing, which is not something I’ve worried about before or thought to do a show on. A few people got in touch to give their experience of blushing and had it not been for the show I wouldn’t have known about how it’s quite a big thing for some people. Producer Anna Rose made a show about cryptography that was chilling, and one about the future of food which was extraordinary. A lowlight would definitely be when I went to Cambridge to interview a cuneiform expert, and recorded an amazing interview about how she used sheep guts to predict a no deal Brexit, only to find that some weird unidentified technical glitch means the show can only be listened to on headphones, which is a problem I have never encountered before. The show is up on Acast, and we put it out for headphone users but I am really annoyed that such a great episode can’t be heard on some mediums!
TST: What’s Resonance to Very Loose Women – you’re a podcast too so how does the Resonance home matter? Isn’t this a world of cut loose and fancy free podcasting? We’re all wheeling in the universe looking for audiences, what’s Resonance’s place in that for experimental, new-looking broadcasters?
VLW: We wouldn’t be making the show if it weren’t for Resonance. The space is integral to the conversations that take place. The schedule means we put out one show a week. We arrive at the studio around 7.30/8 for a broadcast at nine. The chats beforehand, and listening to the radio in the office, have an impact on how we make the show. And the half hour live slot means we put the effort into preparation so that what goes out on air has the effect we are trying to achieve. The support and the community has been huge for me ever since I first stepped into the studio in 2011.
Some episodes we put out on podcast only – these are out of the studio, and often political ones (Stansted 15 by producer Florri, Terry Reintke) that wouldn’t meet Ofcom regulations. We recently put out an episode in Mandarin that wouldn’t have been appropriate for a London Bridge broadcast. Our studio to podcast episodes are edited down, so a 30 minute live show will usually be a 23 minute podcast – we remove songs and any lags.
The Sunday Tribune was in conversation with Leonore Schick.
Follow the show on Instagram @vlwradio