S13, Ep3 How To Fail: Alan Cumming

*TW // brief mention of childhood abuse*

Alan Cumming is a highly acclaimed actor on both stage and screen. He's played everything from Hamlet to a James Bond villain - and, of course, the political spinmeister Eli Gold on seven seasons of The Good Wife. His latest memoir, Baggage, was published last year and was described as 'wonderful, witty and wise' by Nigella Lawson.

He joins me to talk about his self-stated failure to have children, his failure to see Kate Bush live and - bear with me - his failure to spit. Yes, you read that correctly.

This was such a deep and stimulating conversation. We cover so much, including Alan's abusive upbringing at the hands of his father and what that taught him about self-worth, vulnerability and sexuality. I am so grateful for Alan's curiosity about life and his refusal to shy away from the darker stuff. And also for teaching me why memory is like drained spaghetti... (Trust me: it's a good metaphor).


Alan Cumming's latest memoir, Baggage, is out now and available to buy here: https://canongate.co.uk/books/4160-baggage-tales-from-a-fully-packed-life/


How To Fail With Elizabeth Day is hosted by Elizabeth Day, produced by Naomi Mantin and Chris Sharp. To contact us, email howtofailpod@gmail.com


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