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Can We Talk? Short stories about real encounters with remarkable people

Cole Moretons can we talk on Pod Bible


Can We Talk? Short stories about real encounters with remarkable people

Have You Heard? is where the Pod Bible team meet the people behind the podcasts you may not have heard of yet. Cole Moreton’s Can We Talk? is a short story podcast about encounters with remarkable people. We caught up with the host – the award-winning writer and broadcaster Cole Moreton – to find out more about his inspiration behind the show…
Who are you and what’s your elevator pitch for your podcast?

My name is Cole Moreton, I’m a writer and broadcaster for national and international titles and a former Interviewer of the Year at the Press Awards.

Can We Talk? is a series of intimate, crafted short stories about real encounters I’ve had with remarkable people – the famous, the infamous and those caught up in extraordinary times – and what we might learn from them about how to live. I’m exploring the human craving for connection: with each other, with ourselves, with nature and with the divine, if we believe in that.

I live by the sea in the south of England but travel the world when I can. I’m a person of open, questioning faith, born into a Christian culture but very much aware of the wisdom to be found in other traditions, paths and faiths. I’m trying to listen.

Like Desmond Tutu, the hero of the struggle against apartheid, who mistakenly thought I was trying to kill him (you can hear how that turned out in his episode) I believe in a version of “ubuntu”: that we function best as humans when we recognise we are all connected, we listen to each other and we learn together.

I also just hope you’ll agree that are some really good stories!

We’ve had a great response. For example, Anita Anand, a terrific broadcaster and best-selling author, says: “A brilliant, sensitive storyteller, Cole produces perfectly formed mini epics that are both thought-provoking and hugely entertaining.”

Cole Moreton

What was the first podcast you ever listened to?

Probably either Fortunately… with Fi Glover and Jane Garvey (I’m thrilled that Fi, who gets about five million listeners, has also said publicly that she loves Can We Talk?) or the hilarious musical riot that is The Horne Section Podcast.

You’re officially an award-winning interviewer – why did you want to veer away from interviews in your podcast? Well, it was a privilege to be recognised for my work, but I felt there was much more to say. These are fresh stories that look again at certain encounters, consider them in depth, think of the context and what it was like in the room and what can be learned from those people. But they’re also crafted short stories that should be compelling, moving, inspiring and take you somewhere in their own right. These are the kinds of things I have always wanted to write, in the way I’ve always wanted to write them.

Which podcasts do you take inspiration from?

One I do love, because of the first person intimacy and pacing, which I try to emulate, is Coastal Stories by Charlie Connelly. Fascinating tales from around the coast of Britain, told to the sound of waves. Then there is anything by David Sedaris, a master storyteller. I like to think I’ve learned things from him.

What’s the biggest lesson you’ve learnt so far as a podcaster?

Slow down. Talk to one person. This is intimate, it’s talking in someone’s ear. Let the story breath. Write and rewrite and craft and cut and polish but then let it sound spontaneous. And get a great producer, if you can. Emily Jeffery is mine, and with engineer Andy Partington I’m proud to say we’ve created something that is of the highest audio quality, good enough for the BBC or any broadcaster (I do a bit of work writing and presenting for Radio 4, sometimes).

Which episode would you say is the perfect introduction to your podcast?

Depends what you’re looking for. If you want to know what it’s like to (mistakenly) think you’re on a date with a Hollywood superstar, go for ‘Scarlett Johansson’. For a genuine global icon, consider The Queen. To understand that we are all the same and all equally worth of respect and having our stories heard, listen to the story on ‘Zahra’, who came across the Channel on an overloaded rubber boat one Christmas Day. And if you’re looking for a jaw dropping, heart breaking story about David Bowie that you’ve never heard before, have a listen to ‘Susan Sarandon’.

Where can the Pod Bible readers find out more about you?

Well, it’s very kind of you to ask. My website is or you can find me on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram as @colemoreton, because that’s my name. I’d love to hear from you, so do please get in touch.

Listen to Cole Moreton’s Can We Talk? now on Apple Podcasts, Spotify and popular podcast apps.

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