If you were to list your dream line up of dinner party guests, there’s a strong chance that Jessie & Lennie Ware have already welcomed them to their table. Pop stars, chefs, actors & mayors, the mother & daughter combo have hosted them all. From Issue #011 of the magazine, this is the Gospel According to… Table Manners.
Tell us about your show! What’s your podcast elevator pitch??
Jessie: Our podcast elevator pitch is a mother and daughter duo invite a guest round to their house for a ‘friday night dinner’. Friday night dinner was always a big thing in our house. I’d have friends over for dinner and mum would cook, but she couldn’t resist joining in the conversations we’d have and the podcast basically became a continuation of that. We’ve been lucky to have some really amazing and fascinating guests round to mums for dinner – it’s great fun – a great meal and a chat!
Why podcasting? What is it about the format that appeals to you?
Jessie: I don’t like to call it an interview as it’s a free-flowing conversation over the dinner table, but the longform lends itself to a much broader and interesting conversation. We always want the guest to feel comfortable so it’s very relaxing and natural. We always end up chatting about the most random of things and that’s what I love. we like to hope we get something different out of people.
What’s the secret to being a good podcast host?
Jessie: A good editor!! My producer/editor is magic and manages to cut out a fair few ‘f*cks’! She’s the one that makes me look good.
What do you think makes a good podcast guest?
Jessie: Someone who is up for it, open and says the magic words ‘I’ve never told anyone this before’. Someone who knows what they’re walking into & in our case, good table manners! We’ve had some amazing guests on the podcast; from all sorts of backgrounds and people who do all sorts of different jobs. We especially love it when we have a comedian on! We had Michael McIntrye on recently and we did not stop laughing from start to finish.
If you could go back to before you started out and give yourself one piece of advice, what would it be?
Jessie: Don’t interrupt people & don’t try to fill the pause after a question with another question. I wish I could say I’ve learnt my lesson!
What’s been your worst podcast moment so far?
Lennie: The podcast is really fun and there are no really bad moments, we always laugh a great deal. I remember setting myself on fire with a blow torch trying to outdo Jessie with crème brulee. A tricky time was when we had the lovely George Ezra. My other daughter Hannah opened the door to him and said “Hi I’m Jessie!” Don’t know why she said that but he was immediately confused. The short ribs we’d prepared were inedible and we had to order a takeaway!! We’ve also had a guest who ordered a takeaway in advance when we’d already cooked for them!!!
Which episode or episodes of your podcast mean the most to you?
Lennie: I have loved all the episodes. I was proud to have Sadiq Khan, the Mayor of London who broke his fast with us over Ramadan. It was very special to have Nigella Lawson who really is a goddess. I loved talking to George Aligiah – who wouldn’t with that voice. I think to have kept going during lock down and have some amazing guests has been wonderful. We couldn’t cook for them but we certainly talked about food with Nick Grimshaw, Mel and Sue, Munroe Bergdorf and John Legend. Florence Pugh and Dua Lipa both had their dinner while we were all on Zoom!
Which podcasts or podcast hosts inspire you?
Lennie: I think The Griefcast is really important and helps unite people who are grieving – it is definitely inspirational. I love Jane Garvey – a completely wonderful host. Dolly Alderton and Pandora Sykes too but my big favourites are Chris and Rosie Ramsey.
Finally, what are your current favourite podcasts?
Follow Table Manners, Jessie and Lennie on Twitter: @tablemannerspod // @jessieware // @thelionlennie.