Her chart-topping podcast, How To Fail With Elizabeth Day, is a celebration of all of the things that haven’t gone right. Every week, in a one-on-one interview, a guest discusses what they have learned from failure. Previous guests of How to Fail include Phoebe Waller-Bridge, Malcolm Gladwell, Stanley Tucci, Jamie Dornan, Gloria Steinem, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Andrew Scott, Adam Buxton and Bernadine Evaristo.
In 2019 it won the Rising Star Award at the British Podcast Awards. In 2020, Elizabeth was given a prestigious Harper’s Bazaar ‘Women of the Year’ award for ‘bringing solace to the nation with her sensitivity and wit.’ The podcast has been featured on multiple broadcast shows, including The Russell Howard Hour, The Zoe Ball Breakfast Show, The Sara Cox Show and The Chris Evans Breakfast Show. It was listed as one of BBC America’s Most Buzzworthy Podcasts of 2018. In print, it has been featured in Grazia, The Times, Harper’s Bazaar, the Independent, the Guardian.
The 2019/20 How To Fail Live nationwide tour played to multiple sell-out venues across the country, including dates at The London Palladium, The National Theatre and the Southbank Centre in London, and iconic venues such as The Lowry in Salford and The Mac in Belfast.
Elizabeth has written two books off the back of the podcast: How To Fail: Everything I’ve Ever Learned From Things Going Wrong, is part-memoir, part-manifesto. It is also a Sunday Times top 5 bestseller. Failosophy: A Handbook For When Things Go Wrong was described by Alain de Botton as ‘beautiful, timely and humane.’
In 2022, she launched a second podcast with her best friend, the psychotherapist Emma Reed-Turrell, called Best Friend Therapy. The duo chat about everyday mental health challenges and therapeutic topics in an accessible and reassuring way.
To date, Elizabeth has written five novels which collectively have gained her a Betty Trask Award, Observer Book of the Year, and a Richard and Judy Summer Book Club pick. Her fifth novel, Magpie, became an instant Sunday Times bestseller and was described as ‘the most gripping psychological thriller of the year’. Her work has been translated into several languages and she is a bestselling author in Holland and Italy.
Elizabeth is currently developing her first screenplay – a fictionalised adaptation of How To Fail. Two of her novels have also been optioned for screen.
Alongside her writing, Elizabeth Day is an adept broadcaster. She is one of the two main presenters for the Sky Arts Book Club Live, co host of BBC Radio 4’s Open Book and has presented shows on Classic FM.
Elizabeth grew up in Northern Ireland and her first job was for The Derry Journal. Since graduating from Cambridge University with a Double First in History, she has worked for The Evening Standard, The Sunday Telegraph and the Observer where she was a staff feature writer for eight years. She won a British Press Award in 2004 for Young Journalist of the Year and was Highly Commended as Feature Writer of the Year in 2013.
She has written for numerous publications since then, including The Times, the Guardian, New York Magazine, the Observer, Vogue, Grazia, Elle, The Pool and Vanity Fair. From 2018-2021 she had a weekly column for You Magazine on the Mail on Sunday. She is proud to be an ambassador for Samaritans.
Elizabeth Day is a sought-after public speaker and has delivered talks and workshops to numerous organisations including Google, Facebook, HSBC, JP Morgan, Netflix, Barclays, Mishcon de Reya and the Guardian Masterclass series.
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