A Coventry City legend is set to feature on a podcast series celebrating some of the greatest talent the Midlands has produced.
FA Cup winning goalkeeper Steve Ogrizovic will be a guest on the Made in the Midlands podcast with the recording taking place at the Sky Blue Tavern, which will be broadcast in March.
With the support of the Coventry City of Culture Trust and the award-winning Loftus Media, the Made in the Midlands team has produced a series of episodes which will be released from early February 2022.
The likes of author Lee Child, musicians Pauline Black OBE and Tom Clarke, film directors Ken Loach and Debbie Isitt, and actor Nitin Ganatra OBE have already recorded podcasts with the team.
Ogrizovic holds the record for most appearances for Coventry City and played a key role in the club’s greatest ever moment – winning the FA Cup in 1987 and fans can book tickets to attend the recording at www.coventry2021.co.uk
There is also the chance to be in the audience as straight-talking Labour MP Jess Phillips faces the Made in the Midlands microphone at Drapers’ Hall in Coventry on February 11 at 8pm.
Made in the Midlands investigates the cultural foundations of the UK’s most populous region, the identity and character of which is widely misunderstood. The podcast promises to be a wide-ranging exploration of culture that defines the Midlands.
The podcast is described as a chance to set the record straight and to increase awareness of the talent the region has produced. In each episode, Brummie Adrian Goldberg interviews successful Midlanders and asks what part the region has played in their success.
Chenine Bhathena, creative director of the Coventry City of Culture Trust, said: “The Made in the Midlands podcast explores what it means to be from the Midlands and we have recorded and lined-up a range of amazing guests from diverse backgrounds to tell their story and that of the whole region.
“From the incredible Pauline Black OBE– through to Steve Ogrizovic, it’s a wonderfully diverse mix of people that really reflects the Midlands.
“We also hear from iconic film directors in Ken Loach and Debbie Isitt, from the actor Nitin Ganatra, another to be awarded the OBE recently, as well as The Enemy’s Tom Clarke and the best-selling author Lee Child, plus many more.
“It really does showcase the fact that the Midlands has given the UK – and the world – so many amazing people.
“We can’t wait to start sharing the podcast because we know it will begin some great conversations about the region and the great people who call it home.”
To listen, search for 'Made in the Midlands' on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, Google and all other good podcast providers.
The full list of episodes:
Lee Child (available from 09/02/22)
The prolific author of the Jack Reacher detective novels talks of two Birmingham libraries which gave him his love of books. He describes the smell of the dusty shelves and the voracious appetite he developed for reading, so much so his parents obtained extra library cards in the name of visiting relatives.
“Even our dog had a library card,” he says. “Without those two libraries as a little kid, I would have been a completely different person. So, when you ask ‘what did the Midlands mean, to me?’ I mean, everything. That's who I am.”
Pauline Black OBE (available from 16/02/2022)
A pioneer of 2-Tone, lead singer of ground-breaking ska band The Selecter tells the podcast she first came to the Midlands as a student. “I got off the train in Coventry and I felt immediately at home.” She studied, worked in Coventry hospitals and kickstarted her musical career playing folk gigs in Coventry pubs: “Nobody asked me to leave.”
Ken Loach (available 23/02/2022)
Recorded at an event in Coventry Cathedral, the award-winning film director becomes emotional as he recalls hearing the news from a neighbour that the building had been bombed during World WarII. “A neighbour came in and said they destroyed the cathedral. I remember the smell of the night air and the horror that people had. Of course, we knew so many killed.”
Nitin Ganatra OBE (available 02/03/2022)
The Eastenders’ actor was a shy and overweight immigrant boy with a stammer, and subjected to bullying and racial abuse while growing up in Coventry. Two teachers persuaded him to audition for a school play, helping him overcome his low confidence and gain a place at Bristol University to study drama.
“I opened my mouth, everything started to flow, no stammer, no insecurity, nothing. I just began to speak in character and I sang a solo and I got a standing ovation.”
Debbie Isitt (available 09/03/2022)
Film director Debbie Isitt played truant after making her mind up at an early age that she wanted to be involved in the arts. A slot on a children’s Saturday morning TV show sealed it. “I went on Tiswas as part of my dancing school, I just thought, what do I need school for? I'm on my way, I'm on the telly.”
Tom Clarke (available 16/03/2022)
The frontman of The Enemy was born in the heart of the West Midlands. “I grew up in Castle Bromwich, which is Solihull or Birmingham, depending on who you’re trying to impress.” He talks of his love of manufacturing, especially cars, and of family plus his determination to offer a leg up to other young Midlands artists.
Steve Ogrizovic (available 23/03/2022)
The Coventry City FC legend will be answering Made in the Midlands questions at a live event on Wednesday, February 9 at the Sky Blue Tavern. Few people have lived the modern history of the club as he has. He also represented Shropshire at cricket and has been the subject of a kidnap intrigue.
Jess Phillips (available 30/03/2022)
The straight-talking Labour MP will record an edition at a live event at the Drapers’ Hall in Coventry on February 11th at 8pm. She represents her home city of Birmingham in Parliament..
Ellie Simmonds (available 06/04/2022)
The former Paralympian gold medal swimmer was born in Walsall, swam for a club in Sutton Coldfield and studied at Loughborough University.