FelsTED Talks Podcasts

Welcome to the FelsTED Talks podcast series where we are talking to various members of the Felsted community. With each new episode we find out a bit about our guests, including what thave been the biggest impacts in their development as characters and how each has made a difference to the world around them.

We hope these talks will be inspirational for our pupils and to all who listen. 

OF Alexander Guslisty discusses his company's vision to end Polymer Waste with Chris Townsend.

Alexander Guslisty is an Old Felstedian, Chemical Engineer and Founder & CEO of Big Atom, a clean-tech recycling company with a vision to end polymer waste. 

After Felsted, Alexander graduated from Imperial College London with a Masters in Chemical and Nuclear Engineering, before starting a career in investment banking at Goldman Sachs. Shortly after leaving GS, Alexander got drawn back to his engineering routes and started Big Atom in 2017.

The overall aim for Big Atom is to bring an end to polymer waste entirely and in March 2021 Big Atom recycled their one millionth tyre. 

19 May 2022
40 min

 

 

World Exclusive: Professor Toby Walsh discusses New Book on Artificial Intelligence with Chris Townsend.

Toby Walsh is an Old Felstedian and a leading researcher in Artificial Intelligence. Toby is a Laureate Fellow and Scientia Professor of Artificial Intelligence in the School of Computer Science and Engineering at UNSW Sydney, and he also leads the Algorithmic Decision Theory group at CSIRO Data61.

Toby was named by the Australian newspaper as a "rock star" of Australia's digital revolution and regularly appears in the media talking about the impact of AI and robotics on society. He has been a leading voice in the discussion about lethal autonomous weapons (aka killer robots) speaking at the UN in New York and Geneva on the topic.  Toby’s twitter account has been voted one of the top ten to follow to keep abreast of developments in Artificial Intelligence. Toby’s latest book Machines Behaving Badly is due to be published in May 2022 and we look forward to hearing more about that today.

06 April 2022
40 min

 

 

Sharon Wauchob, Felsted Parent and Fashion Designer, talks to Simon James.

In this episode, Head of Felsted Prep, Simon James talks to Felsted parent and fashion designer Sharon Wauchob.  In 1999 Sharon launched her own eponymous label in Paris, which has since succeeded in becoming a highly acclaimed prêt-à-porter label. 

Graduating with first class honours from Central Saint Martins’ School in 1993, Sharon was an in-house designer at Louis Vuitton between 1997 and 2001, where her skills of inventiveness and experimentation were cultivated. Sharon brings an unpredictable, unconventional edge to the world of contemporary luxury, and develops a constantly evolving vision of femininity – an attribute which consistently draws a loyal and growing following. 

She has been showing on the official Paris Fashion Week calendar since 2003 and is one of the few British or Irish designers to have achieved such an accolade. 

24 March 2022
29 min

 

 

Alecky Blythe, OF and Playwright, talks to Chris Townsend.

In this episode Felsted Head Chris Townsend talks to Old Felstedian, Playwright and Screenwriter, Alecky Blythe.

Alecky is best known for her pioneering work in verbatim theatre, a form of documented theatre in which plays are constructed from the precise words spoken by people interviewed about a particular event or topic. She has written several plays, including the acclaimed 2011 musical London Road and her first play ‘Come Out Eli' won a Time Out Award. Alecky’s most recent work ‘Our Generation’ is described as ‘An epic coming-of-age drama that's too extraordinary to be fiction​.’ and is currently on at the National Theatre until April 2022.

16 March 2022
35 min

 

 

Alex, Esma and Kit, Felsted Heads of School, talk to Chris Townsend.

In this episode Felsted Head Chris Townsend talks to the three Heads of School for the 2021-22 Academic Year;  Alex, Esma and Kit. 

Alex is an Academic Scholar and first team netball player studying Maths, Chemistry, Biology and French at A Level. She is planning on reading Psychology at university next year. Kit is a boarder in Windsor's House and All Round Academic and Sports Scholar studying Latin, TEP, History and Psychology at A Level. He is a very keen sportsman, particularly cricket and hockey and will be reading history at university next year. Esma is Felsted's first ever Head of School from Bosnia. An HMC scholar studying the IB Diploma, Esma is looking at reading economics at university.

21 February 2022
29 min

 

 

Sarah Macdiarmid, President of the Old Felstedian Society talks to Chris Townsend.

Sarah Macdiarmid is the first female president of the Old Felstedian Society, taking over from Brian Lott in 2020. Sarah attended Felsted Sixth Form between 1985 and 1987 and then went on to study Pure and Applied Biology at Keble College, Oxford. Following a graduate job with First Leisure Corporation, she worked across the entertainment industry, helping to hire and train staff and was also employed by a fashion business in London before coming into contact with Montessori education and studying for her International Montessori diploma at night school.

In April 1999, she opened the doors of Absolute Angels to children and established Soaring High Primary School in 2008, offering Montessori education to children up to the age of 11. She was Chair of the Montessori Schools Association (MSA) for the primary sector and a member of the Montessori Evaluation and Accreditation Board (MEAB) and also runs a training business for adults who wish to become Montessori teachers in both the early years and primary sector.

10 February 2022
25 min

 

 

Hannah Tulloch, CEO of Ascension Community Trust talks to Chris Townsend.

Hannah Tulloch is the CEO of Ascension Community Trust. She grew up in the small town of Towcester, Northamptonshire, but has been part of the life and work at Ascension Church since 2008 in various roles. Hannah has many interests including music, baking and social enterprise and is currently undertaking a masters in Voluntary Sector Management at Bayes Business School, with a diploma in Charity Accounting.

The Ascension Community Trust works with the local community providing youth activities, promoting fitness and social interaction. Felsted’s link with the ACT can be traced back to the mid-19th century when the extreme poverty of this particular part of London’s docklands was brought to the attention of the then Headmaster and this partnership has continued to grow and develop in recent years.

3 February 2022
23 min

 

 

 

Rakesh Pathak, Head of History and Politics at Felsted talks to Simon James.

Rakesh Pathak is Head of History and Politics at Felsted School. After graduating from Oxford, Rakesh taught at Forest School in London before joining the Felsted family in 2006. Rakesh is the founder, editor and chief of the school’s annual Cromwellian magazine and in recent years has become chair of the pupil lead equality and diversity committee. Rakesh is also a keen sportsman, particularly enjoying cricket and has a passion for music as well. .

22 December
20min

 

 


 

Chris Townsend talks to Rebecca Purdy, Assistant Head at Felsted

Rebecca Purdy is Assistant Head at Felsted School. Rebecca joined Felsted in 2007 as an English teacher and leads the co-curricular programme for the Senior School. Rebecca is also the former Director of the Model United Nations at Felsted and in recent years, has played an active role in promoting equality, diversity and inclusion at Felsted and across the education sector as a whole, encouraging as all to develop our character and make a difference.

3 December 2021
20 min

 

 


 

Chris Townsend talks to Victor Chandler, a Felsted parent and former chairman of the company BetVictor

Victor Chandler, a Felsted parent, is a British businessman, and former chairman of the company BetVictor. Victor has spent most of his life at the forefront of the bookmaking business as well as being involved with many high profile sports brands including Liverpool FC and Nottingham Forest FC.

The Victor Chandler bookmaker brand became well-known as a bespoke bookmaker, often willing to take bets too big for other bookmakers.

Aside from bookmaking Victor is a keen rider himself and likes to start each day with a ride in the country.

19 November 2021
20 min

 

 


 

Simon James talks to Carla Rudd, Head of Girls' Cricket at Felsted & Professional Cricketer

Carla Rudd, Head of Girls’ Cricket at Felsted, is a professional cricketer who currently plays for Sussex, Southern Vipers and Southern Brave. Carla has also previously played for Middlesex and Berkshire. In 2021 Carla was part of the Southern Brave 100 team, reaching the grand final at Lord’s.

Described by The Hundred as a ‘dependable keeper who chips in with useful runs late in an innings’, Carla has a bright future and we look forward to her inspiring women in cricket for generations to come.

18 October 2021
20 min

 

 


 

Chris Townsend talks to Sir Marcus Setchell

Sir Marcus Setchell, Knight Commander of the Victorian Order, is a leading obstetrician and gynaecologist and the former Surgeon-Gynaecologist to HM The Queen & Royal Household. He attended Lady Louise Windsor at Frimley Park Hospital, the first royal child to be delivered at an NHS hospital.

In July 2013, he led the team at the birth of Prince George of Cambridge at the Lindo Wing of St. Mary's Hospital in Paddington. Since retiring Sir Marcus has been an important advocate for women's health charities and the restoration of the Great Hall at St Barts Hospital. He was Guest of Honour at Felsted's 450th Anniversary Speech Day and is also former President of the Old Felstedian Society.

30 September 2021
30 min

 

 


 

Chris Townsend talks to Arata Otake

Arata is a former Felsted pupil and currently working as an Associate Field Officer in Uganda with UNHCR (the Refugee Agency) and previously worked in the DR Congo and Sudan. She also worked in Morocco with another UN organization and JICA (Japanese International Cooperation Agency) as a volunteer. Prior to joining the UN, she worked with an NGO called Peace Boat where she visited over 50 countries around the world while working as an International Coordinator and volunteer interpreter. Arata continues to make a difference around the world working with the UN Refugee Agency. 

16 September 2021
36 min

 

 


 

Chris Townsend talks to Howard Dean

Howard Dean is an American physician, author and politician who served as Governor of Vermont from 1991 to 2003 and Chair of the Democratic National Committee from 2005 to 2009. He was a candidate for the Democratic nomination in the 2004 presidential election.

Howard was an ESU (English Speaking Union) Scholar for one year at Felsted before moving on to study Political Science at Yale University. After finishing university, he worked in finance on Wall Street before deciding to head back to medical school where he graduated as a medic from the Albert Einstein College of Medicine. Howard’s political career started within local community politics and quickly progressed when he became the 79th Governor of Vermont in 1991.

23 September 2021
35 min

 

 


 

Simon James talks to Sarah Brook - The Sparkle Foundation

Sarah Brook is an impressive woman who has dedicated her life to helping improve the lives of others. Sarah's journey with The Sparkle Foundation started when she visited Malawi at aged 18, to do some volunteer work after she left Felsted. Whilst she was there, she became gravely ill and required a life saving operation. The following year she returned to Malawi and promised to support ophans in building a school.

Sarah has overcome many difficulties, both in her private life having suffered a brain injury, and in trying to build The Sparkle Foundation. Now, Sparkle Malawi has reached over 17 communities and has plans in expand internationally. Sarah was awarded Middle East Humanitarian of the Year 2017 and was shortlisted for CEO of the Year 2020 by the TSE Awards.

10 September 2021
30min


The Sparkle Foundation 

 


 

Chris Townsend and Simon James review the Summer Term

We’re ending the summer term by turning the tables and asking Headmaster Chris Townsend and Prep Headmaster Simon James to be guests on this episode. 

We ask them what the last twelve months have been like, what they’ve enjoyed about having a school podcast and also what they plan to do in the summer holidays. 

One of them might even have managed to escape the school grounds already...

7 July 2021
37 min

 

 


 

Dr Chris Smith, 'The Naked Scientist', talks to Chris Townsend

In this episode Chris Townsend talks to Dr Chris Smith, a former Felstedian who is best known as the Naked Scientist, and has been particularly high profile with his coverage of the pandemic on the BBC as an expert virologist. Chris is a medical consultant specialising in clinical microbiology and virology at Cambridge University and Addenbrooke's hospital. Chris laid the foundations for his Naked Scientist radio show, podcast and website back in 1999 and presents on many radio shows around the world.

As one of the first and longest lasting podcast series, it has hit in excess of 40 million downloads around the world, with The Daily Telegraph placing it in their best ever Top 10 podcasts (although that was before the FelsTed Talks!)

Chris has also created podcasts for the Royal Society of Chemistry, presented the first 100 episodes of Nature Podcast for the Nature journal and launched 'The eLife Podcast'. He is an author of 4 science books, published around the world, Dad to two children and husband to a local GP.

16 June 2021
37min

 

 


 

Chris Townsend talks to Sophie Dorothe Lieke

In this episode Chris Townsend talks to Sophie Dorothe Lieke, former Felstedian and Environmentalist. After studying the IB Diploma as an international boarder from Tanzania, Sophie gained a 1st class degree in Biology and Geography at St. Andrew's University. She then secured a scholarship to undertake a nine-month research project, showcasing action against plastic pollution, called Plastic Unwrapped.

Travelling across 6 continents she shared the impact of plastic on our planet, and showcased those who are striving to create solutions to plastic pollution. Due to the pandemic this project is unfortunately on hold but she is currently studying for Masters in Environmental Management at Lancaster University  and is working on a dissertation  around Pro-Environmental behavior and how it is being managed in the hospitality sector.

She plans to further her studies with a PHD in Sustainable Food Systems in Germany from September and aims to continue with 'Plastic Unwrapped' alongside as they complement each other really well.

Learn more about Plastic Unwrapped 

9 June 2021
32min

 

 


 

Simon James talks to Patricia Wardell

In this episode Patricia Wardell, who is currently Deputy Head of an Alternative Provision - Newham Prus working with students that present Social Emotional Mental Health (SEMH) needs, SEND, vulnerability and disadvantaged young people. She is responsible for designing the curriculum offer and leading formative assessment across the school.

Throughout her career Patricia has worked in a number of mainstream state schools in east London in a variety of roles: from being a PE teacher through to being a Head of House then into Senior Leadership, leading on Student leadership, Enrichment and Careers Advice and Guidance, a role in which she co-authored a book of activities to help young people deal with choices and decisions.

Patricia was also a member of the East London Building Alliance (ELBA), working in partnership with a number of businesses at Canary Wharf to offer transitional work experience for disadvantaged young people.  Not only this, but Patricia is an ex-international athlete who competed for England in javelin from 1987 to 1992 and has worked with the London Youth Games in various, roles over the past 30 years.

Patricia is a member of the Felsted Governance Committee and is a Mum to former Felstedian, Alex Wardell, for whom she has shared her love of education and sport.

2 June 2021
35 min

 

 


 

Chris Townsend talks to Jojo Moyes

In this episode Chris Townsend talks to Jojo Moyes, current parent, award winning journalist and best-selling author - she has sold 38 million books worldwide! They discuss what it's like seeing something you've written turn into a Hollywood production, how to get back into reading if you've taken a break and even what we can expect to see on the big screen in the near future that's been written by Jojo Moyes too. She also tells us how she is making a difference in her support of the Quick Reads Scheme, to encourage more people to read.

25 May 2021
34 min

 

 


 

Chris Townsend talks to Dara Akomolafe

In this episode Chris Townsend talks to former Felstedian, Dara Akomolafe, about current events surrounding the Black Lives Matter movement and the impact students from schools like Felsted can have in making a positive change in the world.

19 May 2021
26 min

 

 


 

Chris Townsend talks to Dr Olivia Chapple

Chris Townsend talks to Dr Olivia Chapple, a former Felstedian and co-founder of Horatio's Garden. She tells us about how this wonderful charity began with her very own moving story and how it's growing to help more and more people with spinal injuries.

She also talks about the importance of kindness. Something that's more important now than ever before and her fond memories of Felsted.

12 May 2021
27 min


horatiosgarden.org.uk

 


 

Chris Townsend talks to Max Malins

Chris Townsend talks to Max Malins, England rugby player and former Felstedian. In this episode we discover how it feels to represent your country, as well as how to cope with the moments when things don't go so well.

We also discover some of the people who helped Max on his journey through school.

05 May 2021
22 min

 


 

Chris Townsend talks to Bella Collins

In our 2nd episode Chris Townsend talks to Bella Collins, former Felstedian, who is rowing from San Francisco to Hawaii in May 2021 in the Great Pacific Ocean Race. We find out about building character, about the need for us all to reduce plastic and the importance of being in the moment. We also discover her best memories of her time at Felsted. Find out more about Bella and how to follow her in the Race below.

28 April 2021
21 min

 


 

Chris Townsend talks to Eddie Hearn

In our first episode, Chris Townsend asks Eddie Hearn to talk about life as a sports promoter, a podcast host himself on BBC Radio 5 live and what life is like as a Felsted parent.

Eddie is best known as the Managing Director of Matchroom Boxing. Since its debut in 1987, Matchroom Boxing has gone from strength to strength and now represents some of the most famous boxers in the world such as Anthony Joshua and Katie Taylor. Eddie also has his own very successful Podcast series called 'No Passion, No Point', where he goes behind the scenes with some of the biggest names in sport, entertainment and politics. 

09 April 2021
41 min