I Invented Friends Reunited

Four years before Facebook, long before anyone knew what ‘social networking’ was, Julie Pankhurst had an idea...

What if, without trawling through message-boards or working your way through The Phone Book, you could reconnect with all your old school friends, via one simple database?

Friends Reunited rapidly became one of Britain’s biggest ever start-ups, attracting 23m users at its peak, and a reputation for reigniting old flames.

In her first ever podcast interview, Julie reveals to Olly how a family separation inspired her invention, why she’s spent the last twenty years shunning the limelight, and how rival bidders tried to woo her - before she and husband Steve sold, to ITV, for £120m.

Since being diagnosed with multiple sclerosis, Julie recommends the programme from Overcoming MS - https://overcomingms.org/


Meanwhile, in this month’s Zeitgeist, Ollie Peart explores Britain’s burgeoning love affair with e-bikes. Can bone conducting technology alleviate the tedium of his two-wheeled commute? Why does a premium pedal-assist bicycle cost the same as a car? And was it really wise to chuck out his lycra?

If YOU have a trend you’d like Ollie to test out on the show, just visit our website and fill out the feedback form.


Elsewhere, in this month’s Foxhole, Alix Fox advises a listener who fears his wife is addicted to sexting. What are the best ways to save their relationship? Should a text-only ‘affair’ be considered an act of betrayal? And, if you’re addicted to sexting, how can you give up?

For her research Alix discussed the nature of addiction with Dr Suzi Gage, whose book Say Why To Drugs is out now, and sex and relationships therapist Sarah Berry. 

If you have a question of sex you’d like Alix to answer on the show, fill in the Feedback form on our website - you can remain anonymous if you wish.


Our record of the month is the gorgeous ‘Roman Candles’ by Dizzy, freshly available to add to your Summer playlists NOW.

You can listen back to every tune we’ve ever played on the podcast in our special Spotify playlist - check it out now.


In these uncertain times, it is YOUR SUPPORT of this show that makes it possible for us to make you a fresh podcast each month - please donate if you can. Just click ‘Beer Money’ on our website.

Wanna be a Mannbassador? Buy us a beer, or leave us a review on Apple Podcasts - and then send us an email to tell us about yourself.


Stay safe, keep well, and we’ll see you with something new on August 1st!

Host: Olly Mann. Producer: Matt Hill. Contributors: Ollie Peart, Alix Fox, Julie Pankhurst, Dizzy. Theme Music: Django Django. Graphic Design: Jenny Mann Design. Copyright: Olly Mann / Rethink Audio 2020.

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