I’m on a mission to rethink ageing in a world in thrall to youth with my podcast The Big Middle. More of us are living healthy longer – we don’t reach for our slippers or keel over when we hit 55 – but the so-called developed world hasn’t made structural changes to reflect this reality. Midlifers are routinely marginalised as has-beens instead of appreciated for their resilience, skills and experience. Like so many, I felt the sharp end of ageism when my job disappeared in my 50s. Try as I might in all directions, I found I was being relegated to the reject pile by recruiters solely because of my age.
I’ve travelled the world as a television and radio journalist, managing news teams and presenting, reporting and producing TV programmes and documentaries for the CBC, BBC, SBC (Swiss), Reuters and Euronews.
I’ve also hosted and produced current affairs, lifestyle, music and talk radio shows in Switzerland and my native Canada. There have been hundreds of memorable interviews with exceptional folk who seldom have a media megaphone. And hundreds more with academics, politicians, authors, activists and entertainers. Big names include former Canadian PMs Pierre Trudeau, Brian Mulroney and John Turner, former Israeli PM Yitzhak Shamir, South African Archbishop Desmond Tutu and musical greats Ella Fitzgerald, Frank and Nancy Sinatra, Dizzy Gillespie, Ravi Shankar and Tony Bennett.
In recent years, from bases in London and Cape Town, I’ve run a busy communications consultancy, creating multimedia content and teaching media production and presentation skills to corporate clients, government agencies, NGOs and university students.