Grace Dent on balancing a Gen X body image with eating for a living

Today’s guest and I have lived parallel-ish lives. Growing up “ordinary” her in the north, me in the south, Grace Dent and I both spent our childhood eating baked beans, angel delight and funny coloured school custard, we both “thought we were IT” apparently and we both got our first break on the weekly real life magazine, Chat and somehow wangled our way into glossy magazines. But there our paths diverged because Grace Dent went on to become “one of the nation’s best loved food writers” quote unquote and the woman who brought true potato love to Masterchef.

As well as being a Masterchef regular, she is the guardian’s restaurant critic, fortnum restaurant writer of the year, host of the Comfort Eating podcast and the author of two memoirs, the bestselling Hungry, and now Comfort Eating, about what we eat when no-one’s looking. It would be understating it to say I over-identified.

Grace joined me to talk about how the hell of secondary school never leaves you, deciding it was time to get sober, balancing her problematic gen x body image with eating for a living, why she moved home in her 40s to care for her mum and dad and The actual crime of being 50

If you enjoyed this episode you might also like my conversations with Kate Spicer and Marina Hyde. Find out more about Grace’s podcast, Comfort Eating with Grace Dent here.

* You can buy all the books mentioned in this podcast at The Shift bookshop on, including Comfort Eating by Grace Dent, and the book that inspired this podcast, The Shift: how I lost and found myself after 40 - and you can too, by me.

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