The Trouble With Tall Buildings (Season 6, Ep 8)

Wind speeds, planning restrictions, financial crisis... a lot can go wrong when designing a super-tall building.

Yet, each year, more skyscrapers are springing up around us.

Architect Fred Pilbrow, of Pilbrow and Partners, has designed a number of them, including London's third-tallest building, the Heron Tower.

In this insightful interview with Olly, he explains how technology is solving problems of vertical transportation (that's 'lifts' to you and me), how Winter gardens offer an alternative to green space - and illustrates the journey of a poo as it makes its way down from the 65th floor... 

Elsewhere, in this week's Zeitgeist, Ollie Peart considers why this year's 'must-have' Christmas toy is, in effect, a slippery slope into gambling. He explains why dressing up as Batman might make you more productive at work. And he previews some big Christmas telly, including the season finale of Peaky Blinders and the return of Vic n' Bob.

Meanwhile, down The Foxhole, Alix Fox advises a listener with a seemingly unusual problem - every time she becomes aroused, she sneezes. Along the way, Alix discovers 'Honeymoon rhinitis', how to get barred from Facebook, and Gould and Pyle's 'Anomalies and Curiosities of Medicine'.

(The Foxhole is, as ever, sponsored by our friends at Be sure to visit their Stocking Fillers section right now if you feel like being a ho ho ho this holiday season - and use Alix's delicious discount code, FOXHOLE, to secure 15% OFF.)

Our Lifehack this week features The Spectator's literary editor Sam Leith, offering up his Top 3 tips on 'how to write good': cater to your audience, prioritise your verbs, and don't be inspired by Rudyard Kipling. If you fancy consuming more Leithian insights, look no further than Sam's new tome, 'Write to the Point: How to be Clear, Correct and Persuasive on the Page' - it's out now. 

(The Lifehack is sponsored by our friends at Squarespace, who can help you design a stunning and simple website in moments. Take a free trial at, and get 10% OFF your first website or domain when you use our code MANN.)

Finally, our Record of the Week comes courtesy of brand new band Shrimp Eyes.

It’s their debut - called 'Katata Fish' - and it’s available to stream now on Soundcloud.

Now, we'd usually be enthusiastically plugging our title sponsorat this point - but there isn't one this week! If you'd like to sponsor a future episode, let us know via the Feedback form on our website,


... Or, if you'd like to support our efforts in a more humble way, please do buy us a beer, review us on iTunes or request to become a Mannbassador. All links on our site.

See You Next Tuesday!

Presenter: Olly Mann. Contributors: Ollie Peart, Alix Fox, Fred Pilbrow, Sam Leith, Shrimp Eyes. Producer: Matt Hill. Theme Music: 'Skies Over Cairo' by Django Django. Graphic Design: Jenny Mann Design. Copyright: Olly Mann / Rethink Audio 2017.


See for privacy and opt-out information.