I thought I knew Grant Stott fairly well. I was wrong.
We’ve worked together for the same company in the past and knew each other through that, mutual pals and a couple of things we’ve put together for fun, like a podcast last year
Obviously, everything I knew about Grant remains true, but what we found in this episode of The 1% Club Podcast was a lot more.
In Episode 3, as Neil makes final preparations to represent Great Britain once more, going for cycling Gold at the Paralympic Games in Tokyo, here on the podcast (recorded earlier in the Summer), and after one of the world’s foremost multi instrumentalists, we move onto someone who spends a large chunk of his life also playing music, but not his own, (and usually it’s on vinyl).
Grant Stott is a radio and television presenter, Panto turn and actor, which was actually his big dream all along.
He talks about the importance of knock-backs and refusing to accept them, working for the police before chasing his dream, and how, despite any real kind of planning, one job led to the next until finally he reached the acting world he’d wanted to be a part of all along.
Grant tells us about the people who’ve been the greatest influences upon him throughout his career, including his long time pal, Andy Gray, before his passing earlier this year.
And we talk about how, in the case of the Edinburgh Panto….the show must go on.
Remember, when the podcast is published on Monday, you’ll also be able to view it on YouTube, like the clip above. You can do that here
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OK, a couple of things you need to know about The 1% Club Podcast straight off the bat.
We’re not just chatting to people who were born in Aberdeenshire.
We’re not just speaking to people with disabilities.
I say that because following on from Episode 1 with Neil Fachie, Episode 2 welcomes our first guest proper, Dame Evelyn Glennie.
Someone, who, as I mention in our introduction has done everything from Ted Talks….
…..to appearing on Sesame Street!
Few, if any of the people we meet in Season 1 have been as game changing as Evelyn has in her own field of music.
I say that in the full and certain knowledge that before Evelyn became a solo percussionist, there weren’t any.
She literally created the idea of it in her mind and then gave it form, knowing if it existed in her head it could be made real.
You’ll hear how growing up on a farm near Methlick in a loving family with a stoic attitude, (which knew the meaning and value of hard work through every member), helped shape the person she’s become.
One of the things that’s so interesting about Evelyn is that as she was learning the nuts and bolts of what was going to become her life’s work, she was doing so as her hearing deteriorated and then eventually disappeared.
So when she went to secondary school, and wanted to advance along a musical path, she was met by barriers on a couple of levels. Firstly, that the academic system at that time was of the belief if you were deaf you were filtered off to a school for the deaf which did things in a certain way.
Second, after fighting for the right to be mainstream educated, Evelyn would have to learn to interpret sound on an entirely new level – something akin to understanding and then communicating fluently in a totally different language.
The fact she discusses these things almost matter-of factly is down to that stoic upbringing and because for Evelyn, it’s one of the things which ‘just is’.
You’ll hear about how she left school, and ultimately home at the age of 16, to study full time in London, where the only communication at the time (which was useful to her on any level) was good old-fashioned snail mail. Mobile phones and email were still to be invented. Love came in the occasional form of a warm letter and a rowie to-be-warmed slightly later.
Evelyn shares a fascinating story, speaking candidly about critics, explains her drive and purpose, as well as what’s in her toolbox for success.
Something else to note from this episode is that it was very early on in our series and we hadn’t yet decided on some of the finer points like what we would use for a musical theme, or should we even have one?
So of course we asked Evelyn, and ultimately a few minutes after recording decided upon a track called Emanate, written and performed by….who else but Dame Evelyn Glennie.
We thought it was very fitting.
The other thing to listen out for is towards the end of this episode. We thought it would be a nice little idea for that episode’s guest to leave a question for the following episode’s guest to answer, passing it on like a baton.
So in this episode, Evelyn answers a question posed by Neil in the previous show.
To me, it’s a must-listen moment. I hope you feel the same way.
Please listen and follow our show, and maybe rate and review us?
We’d love to know what you think.
If you like the show, please feel free to share it with friends.
We really appreciate all of that, so thank you, and enjoy listening from Monday, August 23rd, (in the week Neil races for Paralympic Gold on the cycling track in Tokyo) our chats with both him and Dame Evelyn Glennie.
When I was a kid, The Paralympics were not a big thing. There, I said it.
At most, we were probably aware of Tanni Grey-Thompson on a name recognition level, and that was about it.
I don’t think it’s anything really to be ashamed of on our part. It was mostly down to the coverage, or rather, a lack of it.
Over the years though, things slowly began to change, as did our perception of The Paralympic Games themselves.
No more were they simply a bolt-on to the main event of the Olympics.
Now, they were the arena of The Superhumans.
Just look at this trailer for the coverage of the Games this year on Channel 4.
Remarkable achievements by ordinary people who make you feel insufficient by comparison.
That’s kind of how I felt chatting to both of our first two guests on The 1% Club Podcast – by comparison – not enough. Inferior. A wasted potential.
Here they were, a visually impaired man who knows he’s headed for complete blindness, and a profoundly deaf woman who had the sheer audacity to turn the world of music completely on its head.
Talking to me with my stupid, simply basic, full composite of senses I was wasting every day of my life.
What you have to get your head around is really that their disabilities mean very little to them, and nor should they to you.
Neil Fachie and Evelyn Glennie would have excelled whether they were completely able bodied or not. The fact they aren’t has actually acted as a driver and further propelled them to greatness and achievement in their chosen fields, but make no mistake, they were always destined to reach the summit anyway.
This podcast came about in a year where the world had been topsy-turvy, and that’s understating things.
What the world experienced as one made a lot of us reconsider many aspects of our lives.
Speaking for myself, I was working very much like normal, recording voiceovers, radio broadcasting and podcasting – 95% of the time from home, and I was very much aware of the need to record something that inspired me, lifted me up and gave me strength at a time where I thought we could all use a little of that.
Purely by chance, when sharing some of my existing podcast work on LinkedIn, Neil Fachie commented on the clip, and we got to messaging each other about podcasts we enjoyed and the type of genre which most appealed. Neil mentioned he fancied having a go at podcasting.
And that really is where The 1% Club Podcast was born.
A shared love of podcasting. A combined interest in people.
Our aim was to chat with high achievers from various walks of life, ask them about their background, get them to share the ups and downs of their journey and what it was they thought about themselves which had helped them create the exceptional.
The object was having had these conversations to look back and search for similarities in the answers. Perhaps there were habits these people shared. Beliefs and practices which were common. Traits, or directions they’d all travelled.
If we could distill those down to make one list, we’d be able to pack the ultimate Toolbox For Success allowing us all to take away these things, implement them in our own lives and attempt to become elite performers in our own worlds.
And with that, came a secondary side order of nature versus nurture. In Neil’s case, he believed all of his success is simply down to hard work, but would our other guests share that opinion or would they, like me, entertain the possibility that perhaps even a tiny sliver of their success was down to pure dumb luck?
That they’d been in the right place at the right time?
That they, perhaps, were a supreme athlete because both their parents had been before them?
Maybe money, location, genes or opportunity had aided them, and not just the graft Neil spoke about.
So that’s what we wanted to achieve – a podcast which shone a light on high achievers from all walks of life to try and become better ourselves, which in so doing, asked if fate played any part in their success, and in its recording gave us and the world a lift when we needed it, and fulfilled Neil’s goal of making a podcast himself, all whilst he trained as one of the Superhumans for the 2020 (now 21, we know) Tokyo Paralympic Games.
In future episodes Neil will join me around my side of the desk to chat to our various guests, but in Episode 1, he takes the hot-seat himself. Well, what’s the point in having a high-achiever on the team and not using that to your advantage?!
A 14 x World Champion. A Paralympic Gold and Silver Medallist. A 4 x Commonwealth Games Gold Medallist. And, an Aberdeen FC supporter.
Which of the above is the only thing Neil and I have in common?
On Monday August 23rd, he’ll tell you about everything that’s gone into that, as well as his hopes for competing in the Tokyo Paralympics for Team GB at the end of that same week.
He discusses the highs, lows and highs again of his dual sporting career, his future in business, how his wife Lora has impacted his life, and ultimately what he believes are the crucial elements of his own character which have proven pivotal in his toolbox for success.
Every one of our guests in Season 1 has something to give, and lessons to be learned.
Every one is valuable on some level.
Prepare to be amazed, inspired, and humbled.
I have during the course of this season, laughed and cried multiple times, felt inferior on every occasion and, ultimately, uplifted.
I hope you feel the same.
From Monday, you can download all the podcasts we publish here.
You’ll be able to watch clips from all our guests on YouTube
And you can read more about them here on the blog.
The 1% Club Podcast – Approaching excellence, every conversation.
I think I posted on LinkedIn about one of my podcasts and Neil Fachie commented on it.
From there, we messaged back and fore a bit and realised we had similar interests and likes in terms of the podcasts we enjoyed listening to, and what we got out of them.
Somewhere along the line, we decided we would record a podcast together.
The idea was to chat to high achievers, and discover what they believed their success was attributable to.
If we could find commonalities, like specific habits these people had adopted, or traits they shared, similar practices or behaviours, perhaps we’d be able to assemble a composite toolbox we could ALL adopt and use in our own efforts to become world champions in our own lives.
That’s what we agreed upon. Here’s where we differed.
Neil thinks success on that scale is down to one thing – hard work.
A few other ingredients require to be tethered to that, like a stubborn refusal to give in, determination on a scale scarce in nature – BUT, at its core, effort.
I, on the other hand, think other factors may come into play.
For instance – your genes, your affluence, your location, your opportunities. I believe that maybe it’s possible to be born, destined to become a high achiever.
We settled on the one thing we could decide upon – that we’d meet with high achievers from all walks of life, and ask them what they thought, in their own case.
The result is the 1% Club Podcast.
In later episodes Neil joins me on my side of the desk to ask the questions, but in Episode 1, he has to answer them.
Well, what’s the point in having a 14 time World Champion Cyclist at your beck and call if you can’t ask him about high achievement?!
He’s even got a golden pillar box from the Paralympics in London 2012.
Oh, and one other thing. He recorded all of Season 1 whilst simultaneously running a business with his wife Lora, as the pair of them trained to take part in the Paralympic Games in Tokyo representing Team GB once more.
I can honestly say, the making of this podcast has been a real journey.
Mostly motivational, at times hilarious, occasionally tragic, hugely humbling, ultimately uplifting.
Now, we invite you to join us on it, perhaps as a backdrop to the Paralympics themselves.
As we get set to publish Episodes 1,2 and 3 simultaneously on Monday August 23rd, please listen and follow us on Apple or wherever you get your podcasts.
And, feel free to share, and tell us what you think of the show, via the contact page or directly.
At the end of that week, Neil races for Gold in Tokyo.
Between the 23rd and then, why not listen to our Episodes with Neil, Dame Evelyn Glennie and Grant Stott.
Here’s a little preview of each.
As the episodes are released you’ll be able to listen to them here, or if you prefer, watch them, here.
Either way, we look forward to you enjoying the journey with us.