FelsTED Talks Podcasts

Welcome to the FelsTED Talks podcast series where we'll be talking to various members of the community. We're looking forward to finding out what have 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. 


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




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




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




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




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




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

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




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




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




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
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
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
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
27 min




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
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
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. 

9 April
41 min




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