Tuesday 25 July, 2017

This week, we will be joined by Dr Jenny Rouse, Associate Director At CLES, the Centre for Local Economic Strategies. She will be telling us about the 3-year research project in which she is involved, Jam & Justice. The project is funded by ESRC (Economic and Social Research Council)‘s Urban Transformation Programmes, which examines major changes taking place in cities across the globe.


We are also thrilled to be speaking to award-winning blogger and YouTuber Grace Victory. Hailed as the “Internet’s Big Sister”, Grace’s YouTube channel has over 23 million total views to date. Grace is a BBC documentary presenter and Summer 2016 saw her debut the hit documentary ‘Clean Eating’s Dirty Secrets’. Additionally she is a dedicated body image campaigner, has exclusively presented London Fashion Week and has worked with brands including L’Oreal, Clinique, ASOS and New Look, to name but a few. We will be talking to Grace about her new book, No Filter, which is published this week.


Also on this week’s show, we talk about Verve. Describing themselves as “an international collective of badass feminists”, Verve seeks to improve the lives of women and girls everywhere. We will be talking to founder Anna Quick-Palmer about Verve’s monthly Prosecco Think Tanks – and plans for taking it global.



Breast cancer is still the most common cancer in the UK. Nearly 700,000 people living in the UK have experienced a diagnosis and one in eight women will face it in their lifetime. This year alone, more than 50,000 women will be told they have the disease.

The UK still has one of the lowest breast cancer survival rates in Western Europe and this year alone around 11,500 women will lose their lives.

Breast Cancer Now is the UK’s largest breast cancer charity. Its ambition is that by 2050, everyone who develops breast cancer will live.

The charity supports nearly 450 of the world’s brightest researchers at 29 locations across the UK and Ireland. Together, they’re working to discover how to prevent breast cancer, how to detect it earlier and how to treat it effectively at every stage, to stop the disease taking lives.

Last week, it was announced that Dr Rob Clarke, director of the Manchester Breast Clinic, had been awarded a research grant by Breast Cancer Now of £185,000 to carry out further research in this area. Dr Clarke will be speaking to us about the research he intends to conduct.



Tuesday 18 July, 2017

We have another brilliant show lined up this week, with illustrator and graphic designer Jane Bowyer joining us to talk about her exhibition, Women in Print, which has now grown into a community interest project.

Jane recently collaborated with the charity Smart Works, which provides high-quality interview clothes, styling advice and interview training to women in need. The charity gives women the confidence, the self-belief and the practical tools they require to succeed at interview and start a new chapter of their life, and we will be hearing more about their work, and their Manchester HQ, from Fiona Gunnion.

The Greater Manchester Fringe Festival is running until the end of July, and this week, we will be joined by actress Liz Kearney, who is one of the starts of BoristheMusical, in which she plays Michael Gove and Theresa May. The satirical musical is showing at the Z Arts Theatre from 27-29 July, and you can book tickets here.

We are also delighted to be speaking to author Shari Lapena, whose new book, A Stranger in the House, is released on 27 July. Toronto resident Shari was a lawyer and an English teacher before becoming a bestselling author, and her previous novel, The Couple Next Door, was The Sunday Times No 1 Bestseller and the WH Smith Book of the Year when it was published in 2016.

Join us at 4pm on Salford City Radio

Tuesday 11 July, 2017

Ancoats is a much-loved part of Manchester, and the Grade II-listed, old Ardwick and Ancoats Dispensary is a well-recognised part of this area.

Formerly a centre for the medical treatment of the local community, the Dispensary was established in 1823, eventually moving to its current side in Ancoats, but the building was abandoned in 1989, and its demolition proposed in 2012. Just a year earlier, The Victorian Society has listed the building as one of 10 most at risk buildings in England and Wales. A group of concerned residents immediately set about creating the Ancoats Dispensary Trust, and has been active ever since.

We will be joined by Amy-Grace Whillans-Welldrake, a Director of the Ancoats Dispensary Trust. She will be telling us why it is so important to save this building, and what the proposals are going forward for using the building.

With the summer holidays approaching, annual leave can often be an opportunity to consider making changes – including career changes. This can be a scary prospect: what to do, how to go about making the change, and also, its financial and practical implications. Public sector change leader Claire Haigh will be on hand to offer practical advice. Since setting up on her own last year, Claire has not looked back, and she will be sharing her experiences with us.

Another returning guest is Llara Geddes. Llara joined us with some colleagues from Tech North to talk about women working in technology. We will be expanding on this theme this week, with Llara telling us about some of her specialist tech knowledge, including UX – user experience – which she heads up at online retailer Beauty Bay. There has clearly been a concerted effort to involve women not just in technology-related industries, but UX specifically, as Llara is also a member of Ladies That UX, an international group which started here in Greater Manchester!

The Greater Manchester Fringe Festival continues throughout July, and this week, we will be looking at The Marriage of Kim K, a rewriting of Mozart’s Marriage of Figaro.

We will be joined by the three leading actresses and characters in this production, Yasmin Mireille, Emily Burnett and Amelia Gabriel, and, with Mozart’s Marriage of Figaro and Kim Kardashian’s failed 2011 marriage to NBA star Kris Humphries at the centre of this piece, we will be asking them just what do Mozart and Kim Kardashian have in common? We will also be talking about contrasting forms of culture, and who determines what is “high” and “low” culture? IS there a difference… and does it matter?

Join us at 4pm on Salford City Radio.

Tuesday 4 July, 2017

July 4th: American Independence Day. To mark this day, we will be taking a look across the pond, and asking: what is life like for women in Trump’s America… and why should we be concerned on this side of the Atlantic?

Claire Ryder, who was one of the co-organisers of the Women’s March London, and spoke to us earlier this year, will be speaking to us from the USA, where she will be celebrating the holiday, and sharing some thoughts with us.

Carrying on the political theme, we had the opportunity to chat to Sally Carr, MBE, Women’s Equality Party parliamentary candidate for Manchester Withington at the recent General Election. Due to purdah and restrictions on reporting during the campaign, we were not able to broadcast the interview until after the election. On this week’s show, we will finally have an opportunity to hear what Sally had to say about the issues facing women in the UK today.

As the Manchester Fringe Festival approaches, we will be joined by playwright and performance Poet Alex Keelan and director Kayleigh Hawkins, whose play, The Loves of Others, is showing from 18-22 July. The play is a dark comedy about romance, pretence and love, all told through the lives of three thirty-something couples. Leanne hosts a dinner party and is keen to prove she has the perfect relationship with Max. Can a game of Mr and Mrs really prove who is the most in love or will it reveal the cracks in their relationships they all try to hide? The Loves of Others has been described as a modern, northern Abigail’s Party.

Join us at 4pm on Salford City Radio

Tuesday 27 June, 2017

This week, we are doing something a little bit different: we’re hosting a mini book/film club!

My guests this week are Naomi Newman and Gaina Williams.

Naomi runs the Paper Girls: Feminist Graphic Novel Book Club, and she joined us on the show a few months ago to tell us about it. Naomi is currently serving as the Lady Mayoress of Manchester, and will be telling us all about this experience and what the role involves. With her interest in feminist graphic novels, Naomi’s expertise will come in handy when discussing the recently-released Wonder Woman film.

Salford singer Gaina Williams will be talking to us about the book that changed her life, Anita Diamant’s The Red Tent.

And with Margaret Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale currently enjoying a high profile thanks to the series currently being screened on Channel 4, we will be talking about this book as well.

Join us at 4pm on Salford City Radio!

Tuesday 20 June, 2017

This week, we turn our attentions towards Airbnb. As we approach the summer holiday period, many people will be searching for cost-effective accommodation, and Airbnb is a great option. But what are the downsides to Airbnb? There has been much talk about its negative effects on local economies. How serious is the threat? Is Airbnb driving up costs in the private rental market?

We will be joined once again by Victoria Bettany, Senior Researcher at the Centre for Local Economic Strategies (CLES). Having carried out research in this area, Victoria will be on hand to discuss these issues with us.

We often feature local artists on Divas up North, and this week we will be hearing about a Wigan-based singing group – with a twist. The Wigan Warblers is a not-for-profit organisation, which brings together people with breathing difficulties and other long-term health problems, including heart issues. Run by Natasha Liddle and her mother, Carol, the group provides instruction in singing and breathing exercises. Natasha is a fully-qualified Singing for Breathing leader, and has been trained by the British Lung Foundation. We will be hearing more about her work with The Wigan Warblers.

If you wish to join a similar group, you can find details of a group near you on the British Lung Foundation’s website, here.

The Wigan Warblers meet on Tuesdays from 12-2pm, at Douglas Bank, Woodhouse Lane, Wigan, WN6 7NF. For more information you can contact Natasha by email or by calling 07814 205 865.

We often talk about gender equality in sport, but what do we mean when we talk about democracy in sport? We will be hearing from Beth Wiltshire of The Democratic Society about what democratic organised sport looks like. This is a really interesting topic that is not often widely debated, so definitely tune in to learn more.

Ever heard the expression “dance like nobody’s watching”? Our final guest this week has taken this expression one step further. Sue Hale runs Dancing in the Dark, a weekly casual free-form dance session – in the dark – for the pure joy of dancing! The idea is to dance as wildly or as tamely as you like in a friendly,  non-threatening, drug and alcohol-free atmosphere. Sue will be telling us where the inspiration came from for this group, and exactly what happens at one of the dancing sessions.

If you want to experience Dancing in the Dark for yourself, it takes place every Wednesday night from 7-8pm at the Chorlton Irish Club.




Tuesday 13 June, 2017

This week, Rose Marginson and Barbara Blaber of SIGBI Manchester make a return visit to Divas up North to share details of their upcoming fundraising event. We will learn about some of the fundraising projects the proceeds will enable.

We will also be talking to author Mahsuda Snaith, whose new book, The Things we Thought we Knew has just been published by Penguin.

Yoga queen Donna Noble will be telling us about her body-positive yoga company, Curve Some Yoga.

Fiona Holmes will be joining us to talk about her blog, Beautiful Mind, which charts her journey with post-natal depression. She will be sharing her experience, and we will also hear her tips for helping sufferers of post-natal depression.

4pm on Salford City Radio!