You may not have heard of Sherelyn but there are millions like her: good, hard-working people who have been forced to come to food banks for help in these difficult times.
In this episode Cole tells the story of a walk from the wealthy streets of Knightsbridge - where you can buy a bottle of water for the almost unbelievable price of £85 - up through fashionable Notting Hill and past the ruins of Grenfell Tower to north Kensington. It’s a short walk in which life expectancy falls by thirty years, the average wage plummets and the shocking inequalities of life in our major cities are revealed.
Along the way Cole meets a man who inherited millions but gave most of them away and a woman who sells hugely expensive homes to the super-rich. The story is told with style and compassion and everyone is a human met with love, equally worth hearing.
At the end of the walk is a food bank. A decade ago, they gave out 40,000 emergency parcels a year. Now that figure is 2.5 million. Cole meets a woman from the Philippines called Sherelyn who slowly shares the disturbing circumstances in which she came to this country, having been trafficked. But Sherelyn is also truly inspirational in her desire to rise above her troubles, survive and even thrive.
This story is as much about ways of seeing each other as it is about social issues. What does it really mean to love your neighbour? What if you don’t really see who they are? Do they see you? These and other questions are explored in another of Cole’s first-person, beautifully-told short stories reflecting on meetings with extraordinary humans and what we can learn from them about how to live.
Can We Talk? is based on the belief that we are better when we share our stories, so explores our human desire to connect with each other, with ourselves and with the divine, if we believe in that.
This is a series for all those with an interest in human connection, spirituality and better living, interviewing or storytelling. Or maybe you just want to be told a darn good tale that makes you laugh, feel and think a bit about life. Imagine David Sedaris meets Richard Rohr…
Acclaim for Can We Talk?
‘Cole proves in this series how we all need stories in our lives. Proper stories. Well told. In a world of clips and clicks ad shortening attention spans, this hits just the right spot’
Fi Glover, co-host of Fortunately … With Fi and Jane
‘A brilliant, sensitive storyteller, Coe Moreton produces perfectly formed mini epics that are both thought-provoking and hugely entertaining’
Bestselling author and broadcaster Anita Anand
Cole Moreton writes for national newspapers, makes programmes for BBC Radio 4 and is a regular contributor to Pause For Thought on Zoe Ball’s Radio 2 breakfast show. A former Interviewer of the Year at the Press Awards, he has won gold at the Arias, the radio industry Oscars.
As an author his debut Hungry for Home was shortlisted for the prestigious John Llewellyn Rhys Prize for a first book in any genre, alongside White Teeth by Zadie Smith.
Cole would love to hear from you so please do get in touch to tell him what you think of these stories and share your own encounters with remarkable people.
And you can pre-order Cole’s new book which accompanies the podcast, out in May 2023: bit.ly/ColeMoretonOffer
Produced by Emily Jeffery with sound magic by Andy Partington.
Thank you to Andy Lyon and all the team at Hodder Faith.
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