Lennie and Jessie Ware’s recipe for podcast success

How do musician Jessie Ware and her mother Lennie get everyone from popstars to politicians to tell all on their podcast? They cook them lunch

If the British media are still looking for the new Jeremy Paxman, she’s been hiding in plain sight under our noses for four years now: a Jewish grandma with sciatica who won’t retire from her social work job, who won’t let hairdressers touch her hair “because they don’t make it big enough”, and who every single week has a celebrity round to her house, gets them drunk and then they tell all about their life, and she records it for the world to hear. Yes, it’s Lennie Ware, the 70-year-old star of Table Manners, the food podcast she co-hosts with her daughter, Jessie Ware. Although she hates saying her age out loud, “because it’s so horrendous. I was never going to have a 70th birthday party. I wanted to have a soixante-neuf party, which sounded much more exciting. But now I’m soixante-dix.”

I’m talking to them both over Zoom, but I have also spent time with them in person, and they’re exactly as they seem on the much-loved show. Bickering, shrewd, droll, over-involved in each other’s lives, barging in and out, utterly alive. Jessie’s third child, born this year, is asleep in a sling around her neck while we talk, and another, a couple of years older, is pottering around. The firstborn is at school.

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