Planet Normal
Planet Normal
The Telegraph
The podcast that speaks your language. News and views from beyond the bubble with Telegraph columnists, Allison Pearson and Liam Halligan, every Thursday.
The Five Days of Christmas
Broadcaster Richard Madeley dons the spare spacesuit for this week's trip to Planet Normal. Richard tells Allison Pearson and Liam Halligan why he won't be blindly "following the science" but interrogating it, reveals why he feels let down by his profession when it comes to corona, and explains how his whole life was changed by the twist of a Rubix cube. Also on the podcast: Allison is fed up of being told that 'Christmas is saved', Liam breaks down the recent spending review and worries the economy could also suffer from 'long covid' and one of our presenters treats listeners to a festive musical interlude! Read more from Allison: https://www.telegraph.co.uk/authors/allison-pearson/ | Read more from Liam: https://www.telegraph.co.uk/authors/liam-halligan/ | Do you need help subscribing or reviewing? Read more about podcasts here: https://www.telegraph.co.uk/radio/podcasts/podcast-can-find-best-ones-listen/ | Get 30 days’ free access to The Telegraph: https://www.telegraph.co.uk/normal | Email: planetnormal@telegraph.co.uk |
Nov 25
59 min
A maze of madness
Conservative MP, Steve Baker makes his debut Planet Normal voyage in this turbulent week in politics. As the deputy chair of the Covid Recovery Group, a group of Tory MPs against lockdowns, he tells Allison Pearson and Liam Halligan why a third lockdown could lead to an "enormous rebellion" in Parliament, why the PM must challenge SAGE more stringently and why he believes that Dominic Cummings leaving Downing Street won't impact upon Brexit.  Also on the podcast: Allison queries whether now is the right time for the Government's green agenda, and Liam brings a 'Deal or No Deal' Brexit update and has a stark warning for the PM if he neglects the Red Wall voters that won him the last election. Read more from Allison: https://www.telegraph.co.uk/authors/allison-pearson/ | Read more from Liam: https://www.telegraph.co.uk/authors/liam-halligan/ | Do you need help subscribing or reviewing? Read more about podcasts here: https://www.telegraph.co.uk/radio/podcasts/podcast-can-find-best-ones-listen/ | Get 30 days’ free access to The Telegraph: https://www.telegraph.co.uk/normal | Email: planetnormal@telegraph.co.uk |
Nov 18
58 min
The National Covid Service
An extra special passenger in the Planet Normal rocket this week, as Telegraph columnists, Allison Pearson and Liam Halligan are joined by anonymous NHS GP and Planet Normal listener, 'Clare'. She explains how she feels the NHS is more the National Covid Service these days, how lockdown measures have tragically left some of her patients as "suicides waiting to happen", and why she thinks Matt Hancock could do with spending a day in her shoes. Also on the podcast: Allison and Liam rejoice at news a vaccine is on the horizon, gawp over the amount of money growing on the government's 'Magic Money Tree' and Allison laments her hometown of Wales cancelling 2021 school exams and warns England not to follow suit. Read more from Allison: https://www.telegraph.co.uk/authors/allison-pearson/ | Read more from Liam: https://www.telegraph.co.uk/authors/liam-halligan/ | Do you need help subscribing or reviewing? Read more about podcasts here: https://www.telegraph.co.uk/radio/podcasts/podcast-can-find-best-ones-listen/ | Get 30 days’ free access to The Telegraph: https://www.telegraph.co.uk/normal | Email: planetnormal@telegraph.co.uk |
Nov 11
56 min
A news tsunami
Allison Pearson and Liam Halligan don their pilot gloves and make the voyage to Planet Normal, where they give their verdict on a bumpy week on both sides of the Atlantic. Lockdown returns in England, the US election keeps everyone guessing and Allison shares a positive update following last week's interview with Planet Normal listener, Robert, who had been separated from his wife, Josephine for months because of care home lockdown rules. Taking the passenger seat in our rocket of sanity this week is former Telegraph editor and author, Charles Moore. Fresh from the paperback publication of the third instalment of his biography of Margaret Thatcher, Charles reveals what Mrs Thatcher would have thought of Brexit and the lockdown. Plus, he admits he thinks the biggest problem in the fight against covid-19 is the NHS itself, and weighs in on the new BBC Director General, following speculation he was Number 10's top choice to become Chairman. Read more from Allison: https://www.telegraph.co.uk/authors/allison-pearson/ | Read more from Liam: https://www.telegraph.co.uk/authors/liam-halligan/ | Read the ONS Covid statistics - as mentioned in the podcast: https://www.ons.gov.uk/peoplepopulationandcommunity/healthandsocialcare/conditionsanddiseases  | Do you need help subscribing or reviewing? Read more about podcasts here: https://www.telegraph.co.uk/radio/podcasts/podcast-can-find-best-ones-listen/ | Get 30 days’ free access to The Telegraph: https://www.telegraph.co.uk/normal | Email: planetnormal@telegraph.co.uk |
Nov 4
56 min
Do you Care Minister?
Every now and then, Planet Normal goes back to its roots and speaks to... a normal person. So joining Telegraph columnists Allison Pearson and Liam Halligan in the rocket this week is listener Robert, whom regulars will know as the man whose letter brought us all to tears. He wrote to Planet Normal about not being able to visit his beloved wife, Josephine in her care home due to lockdown rules. He tells Allison that while he and Jo have recently celebrated their diamond wedding anniversary, their relationship almost ended after a snowball fight many years ago, and why he's now calling for ministers to start thinking more about older citizens when considering restrictions.  So Allison and Liam join Robert in asking "Do you Care Minister?" of Care Minister Helen Whately, and demand answers for the thousands of Roberts and Josephines kept apart. Plus, Liam calls for some schools to stay open during the holidays and Allison supports the naked shoppers in South Wales! Read more from Allison: https://www.telegraph.co.uk/authors/allison-pearson/ | Read more from Liam: https://www.telegraph.co.uk/authors/liam-halligan/ | Listen to The Trump Card: https://www.playpodca.st/trump | Do you need help subscribing or reviewing? Read more about podcasts here: https://www.telegraph.co.uk/radio/podcasts/podcast-can-find-best-ones-listen/ | Get 30 days’ free access to The Telegraph: https://www.telegraph.co.uk/normal | Email: planetnormal@telegraph.co.uk |
Oct 28
59 min
The billion pound Covid drop
Buckle your seatbelts, Planet Normal is set to blast off for another week with it's esteemed pilots, Telegraph columnists Allison Pearson and Liam Halligan. This week we discuss how some Northern leaders are raring to tell the PM to sod off if he imposes more restrictions in their areas, Allison gives her reaction to the latest lockdown in her hometown (she's not happy folks!) and Liam thinks coronavirus could have a surprising positive impact on Brexit trade talks. Joining the voyage this week is chairman of JCB, Lord Anthony Bamford. The businessman joins us to talk about the 75th anniversary of the firm, the exciting green future of the humble digger, and his verdict on how Boris Johnson is handling the pandemic. Read more from Allison: https://www.telegraph.co.uk/authors/allison-pearson/ | Read more from Liam: https://www.telegraph.co.uk/authors/liam-halligan/ | Listen to The Trump Card: https://www.playpodca.st/trump | Do you need help subscribing or reviewing? Read more about podcasts here: https://www.telegraph.co.uk/radio/podcasts/podcast-can-find-best-ones-listen/ | Get 30 days’ free access to The Telegraph: https://www.telegraph.co.uk/normal | Email: planetnormal@telegraph.co.uk |
Oct 21
55 min
It'll all end in tiers
Hold onto your helmets, it's another explosive week for Planet Normal, where Telegraph columnists Allison Pearson and Liam Halligan discuss their fears for tiers, shed light on some underreported positive coronavirus survival stats and how Liam almost abandoned us for Number 10.  And filling the passenger seat this week is former BBC star and broadcasting legend Sue Cook. The former Crimewatch and Nationwide presenter airs her disappointment at the BBC’s pandemic coverage, why she now struggles to defend the license fee and shows off her stellar Welsh accent to Planet Normal’s resident Welshwoman. Read more from Allison: https://www.telegraph.co.uk/authors/allison-pearson/ | Read more from Liam: https://www.telegraph.co.uk/authors/liam-halligan/ | Listen to The Trump Card: https://www.playpodca.st/trump | Do you need help subscribing or reviewing? Read more about podcasts here: https://www.telegraph.co.uk/radio/podcasts/podcast-can-find-best-ones-listen/ | Get 30 days’ free access to The Telegraph: https://www.telegraph.co.uk/normal | Email: planetnormal@telegraph.co.uk |
Oct 14
58 min
Why the woke need to wake up
Sit tight, it's another bumpy journey to Planet Normal. This week, Telegraph columnists Allison Pearson and Liam Halligan call out the government for failing to excel (see what we did there?) with Test, Track and Trace, interrogate how to cancel the cancel-culture invading UK universities, and debate whether BoJo's mojo has returned. Plus, Allison argues her case to be both Velma and Daphne, thank you very much.  Buckling into the passenger seat this week is writer Helen Pluckrose. Helen is the co-author of a new book, Cynical Theories, which looks at how wokeness is ruining academia and seeping out into the wider world. She discusses how she fears this agenda will hurt those it claims to protect, and why it's more important than ever to acknowledge that Britain isn't systemically racist. Read more from Allison: https://www.telegraph.co.uk/authors/allison-pearson/ | Read more from Liam: https://www.telegraph.co.uk/authors/liam-halligan/ | Listen to The Trump Card: https://www.playpodca.st/trump | Do you need help subscribing or reviewing? Read more about podcasts here: https://www.telegraph.co.uk/radio/podcasts/podcast-can-find-best-ones-listen/ | Get 30 days’ free access to The Telegraph: https://www.telegraph.co.uk/normal | Email: planetnormal@telegraph.co.uk |
Oct 7
57 min
A case of Covid-mania
Buckle in, it’s been a news-laden week. On today’s podcast: Telegraph columnists Allison Pearson and Liam Halligan commiserate the lads and lassies of Newcastle for having to stay at home, bemoan fat-cat University Chancellors, and struggle to read one heartbreaking listener email.  Plus you asked, we listened - this week's guest is lockdown-sceptic and listener favourite Ivor Cummins. He accuses world leaders of "walking away from the science", muses about imaginary tigers (yes, really) and tells us why we ought to sit up and listen to him - even though he's not an epidemiologist.  Read more from Allison: https://www.telegraph.co.uk/authors/allison-pearson/ | Read more from Liam: https://www.telegraph.co.uk/authors/liam-halligan/ | Listen to The Trump Card: https://www.playpodca.st/trump | Do you need help subscribing or reviewing? Read more about podcasts here: https://www.telegraph.co.uk/radio/podcasts/podcast-can-find-best-ones-listen/ | Get 30 days’ free access to The Telegraph: https://www.telegraph.co.uk/normal | Email: planetnormal@telegraph.co.uk |
Sep 30
57 min
Science vs Spin
What a week! Time to grab your space helmets and head to Planet Normal, and joining you in the rocket today is Oxford University epidemiologist, Professor Sunetra Gupta. Fresh from a meeting with the PM, she tells Telegraph columnists Allison Pearson and Liam Halligan why the government was wrong to base the lockdown on worst-case scenario modelling, why this is only a "third division" pandemic and why she wonders if her views would win her less flak were she a white man... Plus Allison tells Liam why she's rejoicing at the news that her son has the virus, and the pair debate whether Keir Starmer can really win back the Red Wall after a powerful speech at this week's Labour Conference. Read more from Allison: https://www.telegraph.co.uk/authors/allison-pearson/ | Read more from Liam: https://www.telegraph.co.uk/authors/liam-halligan/ | Do you need help subscribing or reviewing? Read more about podcasts here: https://www.telegraph.co.uk/radio/podcasts/podcast-can-find-best-ones-listen/ | Get 30 days’ free access to The Telegraph: https://www.telegraph.co.uk/normal | Email: planetnormal@telegraph.co.uk |
Sep 23
59 min
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