For our 50th episode of the podcast, we have ex-CIA operative John Sipher.In a powerful and damning interview he talks about the damage being done to the Intelligence Community by the current administration, the risks to America from a delayed transition and his anger at the current relationship with Russia.He talks about how the pandemic will change intelligence gathering, the complications those currently serving face doing their jobs and how dangerous the politicization of intelligence work can be.John also explains how his company Spycraft Entertainment bridges the intelligence services and Hollywood, which shows are the most realistic (very few of them!) and how much material there is to work with at the moment.He also talks about scotch and espionage, taking a Russian defector to Scottish distilleries and why he wants to share a Lagavulin with Winston Churchill.
We talk to documentary filmmaker Tom Stubberfield, founder of Bullitt Films.He talks about his projects with the Chilean mine rescue, the Thai cave rescue as well as Hurricane Katrina and the Kilauea eruption in Hawaii.Tom talks about why documentaries are enjoying a golden age, the emotion of filming rescues and dropping dynamite out of a helicopter.He tells about his travels around America, the power of human story telling and why he wants to share a Laphroaig with Martin Scorsese in his garden.
We talk to the multi-talented David Kwong about puzzling during lockdown, missing live audiences and his love of bringing magic to the big and small screens.David has leaned into the virtual world, hosting instagram live puzzles and now has a full set in his basement for the sold out 'Inside the Box' show.He tells us about compiling puzzles for the New York Times, his favorite magic history stories and working on movies like Now You See Me - where he had to literally tape a coin to Morgan Freeman's hand - and shows like Deception and Blindspot.We talk about the science of magic, taking advantage of faulty wiring in the brain and his TED talks about it.And he tells the amazing story of Chung Ling Soo.David drinks a Talisker 10 while I enjoy a Bunnahaibhain - which has the same Scrabble tile value as his name.
We talk to the Sage of Saratoga, leading horse handicapper Andy Serling.He tells us how horse racing has grown during the pandemic, what makes the sport so special and how legal sports betting is inevitable in America.He talks about falling in love with his home track of Saratoga, how race tracks without crowds are "sad" and how a horse's name impacts its odds.Andy describes how much research he does on each race why he backs his picks with money and his hopes for big crowds after Corona.And why he wants to share a Blanton's bourbon with Philip Roth at Saratoga.
We talk to actor Brad Beyer who pays tribute to his 42 co-star Chadwick Boseman.He talks about working with the Black Panther actor and his portrayal of Jackie Robinson, how the film handled race and his sadness at the loss of such an acting talent.Brad tells of getting an appreciation for whisky from his acting teacher, mentor and friend the legendary Wynn Handman, who sadly succumbed to Covid in April.Brad also talks about his acting career, the difficulties of the industry during the pandemic and what might happen next.
We talk to news and sports broadcaster Gavin Ramjaun.He tells us about reporting on sport during a pandemic, the importance of mental health for middle-aged men and buying the Saudi Arabian oil minister a Macallan.We also talk about race discrimination in broadcasting, why sports commentators need to get back to venues and why he set up a men's lifestyle channel.And why he wants to have a whisky with Donald Trump.
We talk to Beverly Hills lawyer Jeff B Cohen about writing books, how puberty ruined his child acting career and, of course, being Chunk from the Goonies.