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Under The Skin with Russell Brand
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Under The Skin with Russell Brand

Author: Russell Brand

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My new podcast 'Under The Skin' asks: what's beneath the surface - of people we admire, of the ideas that define our time, of the history we are told. Speaking with guests from the world of academia, popular culture and the arts, they'll help us to see the ulterior truth behind our constructed reality. And have a laugh. This show is now on Luminary! For more, go to

129 Episodes
This week’s podcast is an energetic, wordy and occasionally heated (in a good way!) with the incredible musician and artist Tim Minchin. Tim is an Australian comedian, actor, writer, musician, and songwriter. He is best known for his musical comedy! His new album ‘Apart Together’ will be released on Friday 20 November. We discuss everything from creativity and politics to whether or not your view on the origin of consciousness can determine whether we can change the world for the better. Tim is a rationalist and atheist, he explains his world view and how he finds beauty and comfort in a meaningless universe. On the other hand, I argue that spirituality and meaning is needed to supersede the current capitalist and materialist society that is no longer serving and nurturing our needs. Let us know what you think of the discussion on social media! Tim’s debut studio album, Apart Together, is available now:  Twitter: @timminchin Instagram: @timminchin #ApartTogetherAlbum Website:
This week’s guest is Gabrielle Bernstein! Gabrielle is an American motivational speaker, life coach and New York Times best-selling author of The Universe Has Your Back: Transform Fear to Faith and Super Attractor: Methods for Manifesting a Life Beyond Your Wildest Dreams. She teaches primarily from the text “A Course In Miracles” on the practical application of self-love, forgiveness and how to have a holistic approach to spirituality. We had a great conversation about how we are looking after ourselves during the challenges 2020 has presented. How should we be implementing our own spiritual practices in order to grow from very particular and peculiar challenges? Gabrielle explains some excellent therapy techniques, particularly the Internal Family Systems practice, a therapy that has helped her considerably. We also discuss the notion of “spiritual bypassing”, something that we all may fall prey to, where we try and use our spirituality or meditation to bypass difficult feelings and situations, rather than incorporating those challenges into our practices. It is a very connected and grounding podcast that we hope you get something from! MORE INFO On January 1st, Gabby will be leading a 21 day manifesting challenge. A step-by-step how to feel good while you turn what you want into the life you live using the manifesting methods Gabby uses everyday. You’ll discover how to act in alignment with the energy of the Universe, allowing good things to flow to you easily and naturally.  Link to waitlist: Twitter: @gabbybernstein Instagram: @gabbybernstein
This week is the return of survivalist Ed Stafford! Ed is a survivor in every sense. This is great podcast on how to cope in an extreme world! We discussed everything from the effect the pandemic has had on us mentally, some solutions Ed has found it terms of honing our bushcraft skills and interacting with the natural world in order to feel connected. Ed reveals what life in the military was like and we open up on how crippling loneliness can be, not just during these Covid-times, but in our lives in general. What is it we really need, to live meaningfully and happily? More Info: Ed’s podcast, “Dangerous Minds with Ed Stafford” is available wherever you get your podcasts and his online bushcraft courses can be found at Twitter: @Ed_Stafford  Instagram: @ed_stafford
This week’s podcast is with theoretical physicist Carlo Rovelli. Carlo works mainly in the field of quantum gravity and is a founder of loop quantum gravity theory. Carlo’s books ‘Seven Brief Lessons on Physics’, ‘Reality Is Not What It Seems’, and ‘The Order of Time’ are international bestsellers which have been translated into 43 languages. His new book, “There are Places in the World Where Rules are Less Important than Kindness” is published next month and features his reflections on everything, from Newton’s alchemy to Einstein’s mistakes, to the consciousness of an octopus, hallucinogens and the meaning of atheism. In this podcast we discuss the history of science and religion, how our knowledge of quantum theory and mechanics can effect our sense of morality and reality and we explore the nature of consciousness from Carlo’s perspective of theoretical physicist. Enjoy! If you’d like to take part in the Ask Me Anything episode - ask your question here: More Info: Carlo’s latest book: Twitter: @carlorovelli Website:
This week’s guest on Under The Skin is the rather incredible meta modern journalist and political analyst Seth Ambramson! Seth is an American professor, attorney, author, and political columnist. His teaching areas include digital journalism, post-internet cultural theory, post-internet writing, and legal advocacy. He has written several books including Proof of Corruption: Bribery, Impeachment, and Pandemic in the Age of Trump (2020) and Proof of Conspiracy: How Trump's International Collusion Is Threatening American Democracy (2019).  We we drill down into why the political landscape is the way it is, if Donald Trump is the problem or actually just a symptom and how postmodernism created a culture of hopelessness! Seth proposes the benefits of the metamodernist approach and explains how the most rebellious amongst us aren’t those reliving the punk attitudes of the 70s but the people who are putting themselves out there, seemingly uncool and and being mocked for their efforts to create change. Enjoy! MORE INFO Seth’s new book Proof of Corruption is available now: Proof of Corruption concludes a series that includes 2018's Proof of Collusion and 2019's Proof of Conspiracy. Listen to Seth’s podcast, Proof: A Pre-Election Special, here: Twitter: @SethAbramson Instagram: @seth.abramson
This week’s guest on Under The Skin is Prof. Tom Oliver! Tom is a Professor in Ecology at the University of Reading, a socio-ecological systems expert and senior fellow with the UK government informing environmental policy. He is the author of The Self Delusion which explores how people, animals, plants and the planet we live on are all intimately connected – and why that matters. We had an incredible conversation about the science of the self, how we are all interconnected at a level that’s beyond our own senses, and if science can make us feel more connected one another? More Info on Tom: THE SELF DELUSION by Tom Oliver is published by Weidenfeld & Nicolson in hardback, audio and ebook, and the paperback edition will be published on 21 January 2021.  TWITTER FACEBOOK INSTAGRAM
This week I spoke with Kate Nelson (AKA Plastic Free Mermaid)! Kate is an avid waterwoman, science communicator, plastics consultant, and author of “I Quit Plastics: And You Can Too”.  We discuss how imminent the need to change the way we consume is, whether we have any power to change production and challenge big corporations, and why the culture of environmentalism, recycling and farmer’s markets has bourgeois connotations. What will make the majority of people change the way they behave?  Activism Kate’s conservation work is currently centred in supporting two plastic activism causes:  1. Plastic Free Byron: a local initiative to help her hometown phase out single-use plastics. She is fundraising this through "Products with Purpose" that can be purchased on her website and she is documenting the process as a case study for others to implement in their towns. 2. Plastic Health Summit: an international summit on the emerging science on plastic's impact on humans and the environment. She is helping to report on and amplify this breaking research this month. Follow her on Instagram for entertaining educational solutions and tips to quit plastics PLUS updates on her current plastics activism campaigns. She translates science for top international plastics researchers through fascinating and fun interviews on her Youtube channel and Instagram channel. She prioritises this work due to the incredibly negative health implications caused by our daily overexposure to plastics--from synthetic carpets to plastic packaging to fast fashion. When she learned plastic doesn't biodegrade, she quit using plastics. When she learned our contact with plastic causes obesity, developmental disorders, cancer, heart disease, and infertility--she dedicated her career to helping translate this important science. The science which competes with the convenience plastic offers. Youtube: Her book ‘I QUIT PLASTICS’ is available now: She offers in person Mermaid Retreats as well as an online Mermaid Retreat to adventure into one's higher purpose, deepen one's nature connection, meet like-minded mermaids, and quit plastics.  Online Mermaid Retreat:
This week’s guest on Under The Skin is my friend Biet Simkin! Biet is a very popular meditation and breath work teacher. She has new book out called, “Don’t Just Sit There: 44 Insights to Get Your Meditation Practice Off the Cushion and Into the Real World” ( ). In this podcast talk about some of the 4th Way techniques that she employs in he work, we do a breath work demonstration and discuss how to inspire people to live a spiritual life without adding to the “woo woo” and skepticism that people often feel when presented with these ideas. Biet was raised by a Shaman in New York City and signed to Sony Records at the age of 19 as a singer/songwriter. She became a high-profile DJ in the fashion and art scene in Manhattan. Following a string of life changing events she turned to her lifetime study of meditation and launched the ‘Guided By Biet’ event series. Instagram: @guidedbybiet Website:
Hello! This week’s guest on Under The Skin is the incredible activist Satish Kumar! Satish been a Jain monk, a nuclear disarmament advocate, pacifist and he is the current editor of Resurgence & Ecologist magazine of which he is very proud! Satish is next level. He is an advanced elder and he speaks with wisdom, authority, compassion and insight. He has met other incredible activists, including Martin Luther King and Bertrand Russell. He is well known for his 8,000 mile Peace Walk where he walked around the world with a friend with no money in protest of nuclear weapons. We spoke about the importance of localisaton, decentralisation and how we can create change and revolution now. We also discussed the need for the Social Justice Movement to be rooted in Environmental Justice in order for it to be holistic and powerful. Questions were raised as to whether icons of activism such as Gandhi and MLK should be scrutinised for their flaws? And how can we unify the people from all backgrounds to fight for change that will ultimately effect us all More info on Satish and his work:  Satish is the editor emeritus of The Resurgence Trust, an environmental educational charity which publishes Resurgence & Ecologist magazine, runs The Ecologist website and organises educational events The charity’s annual Festival of Wellbeing is taking place on 31 October featuring lots of well-known speakers. More details can be found at And an online auction to raise funds for the charity will run from 12 November until 3 December at Twitter: @Resurgence_mag
This week’s guest on Under The Skin is Adam Alter! Adam is an Associate Professor of Marketing at New York University’s Stern School of Business and author of Irresistible: The Rise of Addictive Technology and the Business of Keeping Us Hooked - which considers why so many people today are addicted to so many behaviours, from incessant smart phone and internet use to playing video games and online shopping.  In this episode we discuss nature of tech addiction, how social media and tech are designed to turn us in addicts and what the moral and ethical questions are surrounding that premise. Is it our fault that we are addicts? Should we just have more self-control? Or should the producers of these technologies be more responsible when designing these products? Could there be a hypocritical oath for tech giants, in order to protect us from becoming chained to our devices? Let us know what you thought of it on social media! Adam’s book “Irresistible” is available now. US link:  UK link: Twitter: @adamleealter
This week we have a returning guest to Under The Skin, and one of our favourites, Yanis Varoufakis! Yanis is a Greek economist, academic, philosopher and politician. A former member of Syriza, he served as Minister of Finance from January to July 2015. He is co-founder of the international grassroots movement, DiEM25, and in 2019 he won election as one of its representatives in the Greek Parliament. He is currently Professor of Economics at the University of Athens. These are just some of the topics we discussed; the current political climate, the failure of The Left, the difference between internationalism and globalisation, what a scalable socialist institution should and could look like, and the relationship between the working class and left-wing political parties. Yanis has an incredible insight into how all these institutions work, you’re bound to learn from this episode. If you enjoyed this episode, go back and listen to our first Under The Skin podcast together a few years ago! His new book, Another Now: Dispatches from an Alternative Present is released this month in hardback, ebook and audiobook. + Vintage Books Twitter + Vintage Books Instagram + Yanis Varoufakis Twitter
Jay and Kestrel Oakwood are specialists in Shamanism.  They run The Bridget Healing Centre which is a centre for shamanic studies and spiritual empowerment and Glastonbury's most established healing centre. They are a non-profit company that has been a pillar of the local community for over 25 years. In addition to offering one on one healing sessions and group retreats, they run an internationally recognised year-long training course called ‘Call of the Shaman.’ We discussed what the work of a Shaman actually entails, the history of this kind of wisdom, the role animals and omens play in understanding symbols and their aims as healers.  You can find more information at and their Facebook Jay is on Instagram @jayoakwood and Facebook
This week I spoke to one of most iconic sing-songwriters Yusuf Cat Stevens! In this podcast we delve into what it’s like striving for fame and affirmation to then denounce it all in favour of living a spiritual life.  Info Yusuf / Cat Stevens is a British singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist. His musical style consists of folk, pop, rock, and, in his later career, Islamic music. He was one of the most successful and beloved artists of the 1960s and 1970s but left his musical career behind to devote himself to educational and philanthropic causes in the Muslim community. He has been awarded two honorary doctorates and the Man of Peace Award for his humanitarian work. He was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2014. This year is the 50th anniversary of his iconic album, Tea for the Tillerman, and Yusuf / Cat Stevens is set to release the re-recorded and reimagined ‘Tea for the Tillerman²’ on 18th September. Instagram / FB / Twitter Handle: @yusufcatstevens Youtube link T4TT2:
This is an incredible podcast with the fantastic comedian Bill Burr. We discuss the role and skill of the comedian, what it’s like becoming famous and the best advice Bill was given by Seinfeld. It also got a little deep, touching on grief and why God created psychopaths! This podcast will make you laugh and might even make you cry. Enjoy! Bill’s latest stand-up special, Paper Tiger, is streaming now on Netflix and the fourth season of his animated Netflix series, F Is For Family, has just been released.  He co-founded the ‘All Things Comedy’ network and has hosted ‘The Monday Morning Podcast’ twice weekly since 2007. He can currently be seen in Judd Apatow and Pete Davidson’s heartfelt comedy, The King of Staten Island. The movie is available to own on Digital now and will released on Blu-ray & DVD – featuring over two hours of bonus content and alternate endings - on August 25th in the US and September 14th in the UK.
This week’s guest on Under The Skin is the incredible spiritual teacher Mooji. I practice a lot of Mooji’s meditations, which you can find on YouTube for free, and I’ve found them a really valuable asset to my daily spiritual practices. In this podcast Mooji answers a lot of my questions about meditation, identity and awareness, he also leads me in a guided meditation. I hope you will find this episode enlightening and educational. We have been looking forward to having him as a guest on Under The Skin for a long time! More info: Mooji is a renowned spiritual teacher, who, for over 20 years, has been guiding countless seekers worldwide in search of true happiness, peace and freedom.  Mooji’s way of teaching is direct and compassionate, encouraging that Self-discovery need not be difficult. He teaches that the true nature of human beings is not a personal self or ego but pure, formless awareness.  Mooji claims that when this is fully grasped, delusion and suffering come to an end and is replaced by a lasting peace and pure love. His talks, called Satsang, bring seekers into the experiential recognition of their true Self—and all with his characteristic humour, wisdom and love.  His teachings are widely available online, and more info can be found at Twitter: @moojiji Instagram: @mooji.official
This week I spoke with Dr. John Hagelin! John is a quantum physicist, public policy expert, President of the David Lynch Foundation and Chair of the Center for Leadership Performance. For the past 25 years he has been leading a scientific investigation into the foundations of human consciousness and is one of the world’s pre-eminent researchers on the effects of meditation on brain development, and the use of meditation to address critical problems in the field of education, rehabilitation, crime, social violence, and post-traumatic stress. Dr Hagelin teaches the doctoral program in physics at the Maharishi International University. This is a very in depth conversation that marries the scientific world view with the spiritual. A fascinating, if sometimes challenging, but rewarding listen!
This week’s guest is the incredible storyteller Michael Meade! Michael is an American storyteller, author, and scholar of mythology, anthropology, and psychology.  This is an enthralling podcast as Michael shares some the most fascinating mythological tales that help us in understanding what is going on in the world right now, from feeling lost in ourselves to why we appoint certain world leaders. He also teaches us about the role of initiation and the power and importance of our wounds.  He is founder and Director of Mosaic Multicultural Foundation, a non-profit network of artists, activists, and community builders that encourages greater understanding between diverse peoples. Michael is the creator of the Living Myth podcast and his new online series, The Soul of Genius, begins on August 14th at @MichaelMeadeMosaic (Facebook) @michaelmeade_mosaicvoices (Instagram) @MMeade_Myth (Twitter)
This week’s guest on Under The Skin is Brittany Kaiser. Brittany is the former business development director of Cambridge Analytica and you may recognise her from the Netflix Original documentary The Great Hack. She has incredible insight into the world of big data, political campaign management and strategy and how our every online move and word is being track, mined and sold for money and power. She co-founded the Digital Asset Trade Association (DATA), a non-profit lobbying firm advancing legislative reform for individuals to control their own digital assets. She also co-founded the Own Your Data Foundation, to promote digital literacy education. We discuss how our data is being collected and sold to corporations, governments and campaigns in order to manipulate our spending and even our voting choices. Should our data be seen and legally protected in the same way as property is? Is it wrong to target people based on their political leanings? Is it cheating? What laws are in place to protect us or is it fair game? Listen this week to find out from a person who has seen it all! Brittany’s book ‘Targeted: The Cambridge Analytica Whistleblower's Inside Story of How Big Data, Trump and Facebook Broke Democracy’ Is available now: Own Your Data Foundation: @ownyourdatanow (Twitter) (Instagram) (Facebook) (Linkedin)
This week I spoke with theoretical astro-physicist and cosmologist Dr. Katie Mack!  Katie has studied dark matter, the early universe, galaxy formation, black holes, cosmic strings, and the ultimate fate of the cosmos. We discuss all things known, unknown and speculative in this week’s podcast. We question how we can relate all of that to our everyday understanding of the world and societal beliefs. She is currently Assistant Professor of Physics at North Carolina State University and is regular columnist in Cosmos magazine and contributor to publications such as Scientific American, Slate, and Time. Katie’s new book “The End of Everything (Astrophysically Speaking)” is out in August.  Twitter: @AstroKatie Instagram: @astrokatiemack
This week’s guest is one my own close spiritual teachers - is Holiness Radhanath Swami. Radhanath Swami is one of today’s most beloved and respected spiritual teachers. He spent his youth wandering through disparate countries and cultures yearning for an experience of truth; after finally meeting his spiritual teacher in India he has spent the last 50 years internalising that spiritual practice and sharing it with others. He is not only a guide, but a community builder, activist, and a New York Times best-selling author. Radhanath Swami’s message is as profound as it is simple: by cultivating a rich inner life of self-awareness and a genuine practice of service, we can become instruments of compassion and agents of sustainable change in the world.
Comments (380)

luke wilson


Nov 11th

Alice Lavendar

I like a lot of what this guy is saying, but he is making such innaccurate claims about causes of suicide. I work in suicide prevention and research and can confidently say middle aged men are not the highest risk group because of essentially a midlife crisis, as he is claiming. What a dangerous thing to imply, that if men lower their expectations they might not be so disappointed and kill themselves at middle aged. Much more serious factors like relationship breakdown and unemployment are key contributors. Suicide shouldn't be discussed on a show if it's going to be simplified and not based in evidence.

Nov 8th

Aura Sheet Metal


Oct 4th

Ben Chambers

jen is unbearable. so affected in the way she speaks, especially in a show which tries to find an authentic self

Sep 20th

Wendy Algeo-Todd

Wow! Just made me say fuck it. As a white woman I can do nothing. He never touched on how Africa needs to be reformed first because otherwise you'll have richer politicans and poorer poor. Relieves me of all responsibly to do anything.

Sep 14th

Thomas Blake

Would have been nice to have heard Adam Curtis talk.

Aug 24th

Donna Hoy

Amazing interview, so many nuggets of wisdom. Thank you, thank you, thank you 🙏🙏

Jun 27th

Rich Maya

Oh dear. Russell seems so keen to have his revolution, that he doesn't seem to care who takes him there.

Jun 20th

Gary Barber

loved the reality check, thank you Adam Curtis, thank you Russel.

Jun 14th

Denis Gomez

meditation is about not thinking. how is that beneficial?

Jun 8th
Reply (3)

Alex Barber


May 25th


I love how open minded Duncan is, you can tell in his voice he’s excited to be on the podcast - cool guy!

May 16th

Dara Pat

love Wim and doing his breathing exercises and cold showers a few years now they work wonders 👍

Apr 26th

Dara Pat

Al Gore the snake oil sales man who operates a carbon credits company that trades in carbon credits from company to company so they can pollute on the same level they always have by buying credits from other smaller companies who don't use them and oul Al buys some himself to make himself carbon neutral and he even plays broker, cha ching!!!! and the cash come rolling in, all this of course after he sells his movie of inconvenient lies, nice work if you can get it, he is a lying, cheating, thieving tramp of man, the rising sea levels conman owns beach property too

Apr 26th

Talulah Raffa Sapphire

I'm very scared.. I'm a runner not a fighter.. I relate to everything in this episode but the future looks grim.. not from terror-ists but from w whomever is really running this world.

Apr 26th

Sophie Cooper

So enjoyed this chat and have shared it with so many friends! I could listen to Russell talk all day long, particularly when he's conversing with Ricky Gervais :) Thank you xxx

Apr 25th

danny piercy

Where has my comment gone??

Apr 23rd

Harry Gompertz

When we, the largely Christian west, were going through redressing the obvious atrocities being committed in the name of propriety, decency, God, it was we, the people, the oppressed who, one by one and thus collectively, stood up and fought for our freedoms. now that our Muslim brothers and sisters, who are admittedly behind the curve in a lot of these areas, are going through the same we're obsessed with interfering and imposing top down pseudo-democracy on these states and, oh, by the way, while we're doing it we're gonna simultaneously cripple you and rob you blind. Stop interventionist policies in the Arab countries and pretending we're the moral arbitrators and enforcers of the globe because we're not. had anyone tried to meddle in our development we would have told them to piss off.

Apr 22nd

danny piercy

Well Russell. I think your a bit of a hypocrite. Cashing in on your podcast while preaching about globalization and have not's . I don't have. Therefore I won't be able to listen to your now shaded podcast. Doesn't seem honest anymore. Thanks

Apr 21st

Mark Dean

great episode with information we can all use to be healthier and strengthen our immune system. Russell, what about Kilamanjaro? I was shouting in my car, come on Russell!

Apr 15th
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