With recommendations pouring in from The Sunday Times, The i, The Guardian and more, comedian Margaret Cabourn-Smith’s podcast Crushed looks set for world domination after releasing just over twenty episodes. In this charming show, she quizzes the likes of Dolly Alderton, Sara Pascoe, Marcus Brigstocke and Shaparak Khorsandi about their early experiences of unrequited love and the bizarre things it drives us to do.
Personally speaking, I can’t believe that nobody has previously thought of this topic as the perfect one to explore through the confessional intimacy of podcasting. Our crushes are a guilty secret that we rarely discuss openly. Yet they are an important part of our personal growth, pushing us to be more curious, creative, ambitious and resilient. I mean … what could be better than achieving something that gets the attention of your crush? Momentarily you can exist in their world!
These unrequited fantasies can even help us to form a sense of who we might want to become ourselves, by making us consider what it is about the person, their values, beliefs and interests that is so attractive.
So we absolutely must celebrate our crushes rather than cringe over them, with Margaret Cabourn-Smith as a suitably fun and probing guide.
What inspired you to start a podcast about crushes?
I love podcasts as a form and I wanted to make something I would want to listen to. And I wanted to choose a subject that I was an expert in!
Have you learned anything from your guests?
I think I learn something from every interview I do. It’s so universal as a theme but also so individual. I find it genuinely therapeutic to learn that we all have this stuff churning inside. I’m also really nosey so just hearing the mad stories and fantasies are hugely enjoyable whatever.
Do you think a crush can be psychologically healthy? (As you know, I think they can be quite motivating 😂)
I think I’m coming to the conclusion that they’re ESSENTIAL psychologically. We have to admit that fantasy is necessary for us to accept and enjoy reality.
Is there anything else you have enjoyed listening to or reading on themes of unrequited love that has informed the podcast?
Oh God almost everything. My favourite unrequited love song is “We Get On” by Kate Nash, book is One Day by David Nicholls and film is Cyrano De Bergerac.
Have any stories surprised or shocked you?
The one people always talk about is Chris Neill, who persuaded his crush Paul that he needed to watch him rehearse the oboe for his homework. So funny, so heartbreaking. I laugh a lot at these stories but often find myself with tears in my eyes.
Do you have a dream guest that you haven’t had on yet?
Ooh a few – Jane Garvey, Monica Lewinsky, Adele, Alison Hammond. And um… Ryan Reynolds.
Have any of your guests, to your knowledge, heard from their old crushes as a result of being on the show? (I’m considering sending my episode to my first crush Kate 😂)
Do! Report back please!
What inspired you to use a fun numerology game at the end of the show to test compatibility of people’s names?
That was just a nod to my old teen self where we all did it all the time. That’s the most potent time for such mad nonsenses. And also, it’s SCIENCE.
What is next for Crushed? Any plans?
We’d definitely like to do live shows and make the whole thing more interactive as I love hearing people’s stories. Watch this space!