Annie MacManus: ‘Why is it an anomaly for a woman to like herself?’

The former BBC Radio 1 DJ talks to The Women’s Podcast about being Irish in London, making big life changes and her new novel The Mess We’re In

Listen | 55:55

Breaking news: DJ, podcaster and author Annie MacManus likes herself. The fact that the London based Dubliner has a healthy amount of self-esteem has been remarked on in previous interviews  “Why is it an anomaly for a woman to like herself? What the f**k is wrong with this world that this is a remarkable thing?” she says on the latest episode of The Women’s Podcast.

The fact that she has healthy levels of confidence and self-esteem, she reckons, is in big part due to her parents - who had four children under five -  and gave their youngest child the space to grow and figure their place in the world.

“Even the most well-intentioned parents end up putting their s**t on their kids … I was left alone in a good way to figure out who I was, it was a noisy and chaotic and amazing family environment to grow up in …”.

MacManus spoke to podcast host Roisin Ingle about her new novel The Mess We’re In, which follows her critically acclaimed debut Mother, Mother. The book is a coming of age tale about a young Irish woman making her way in the music industry London where she works part-time in an Irish bar. The author was interested in exploring the experience of being Irish in England and the concept of home. She also spoke to Ingle about her own London-Irish experience and about turning down an honorary MBE, offered for “services to radio” last Summer:


“I don’t want to be a Member of the British Empire when you look at the historical context, so that’s what I said in my reply which was very polite,” she says.

MacManus, who lives in North London with her two young sons and husband, talks about her podcast Changes, the big changes she made in her own life two years ago when she left the BBC and the joy she has found in improving her work-life balance.

The Mess We’re In by Annie MacManus is out now. Listen back to this episode in the player above, or wherever you get your podcasts.