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It’s a Long Story

A podcast about the moments that made the people who shape our culture

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Hear the stories behind the big ideas of some of Sydney Opera House's most influential and acclaimed guests, such as Henry Rollins, Jad Abumrad, Fran Lebowitz, Lindy West, Lionel Shriver and Giulia Enders. Current edition hosted by Edwina Throsby. It’s a Long Story is produced at the Sydney Opera House as part of the Talks and Ideas program. Previous hosts include Emily Nicol, Marc Fennell, Fenella Kernebone, Ann Mossop and Hamish MacDonald.


Latest episodes

Adam Liaw

Tuesday 4 June 2019

Adam Liaw understands how Australian families eat. Emigrating to South Australia from Malaysia in the 1980s his childhood was a delicious mix of international cuisines. Adam’s precocious smarts fast-tracked his academic career, and landed him at law school well ahead of schedule. Moving to Japan in his twenties to work at Disney Asia, he was settling into Japanese culture. But everything changed when he applied on a whim for the second season of Masterchef Australia. Ten years, six books and one snow egg later, he now hosts award-winning SBS television series Destination Flavour. His columns and recipes provide a thoughtful culinary perspective and a solid knowledge of what you should put on the table tonight.

Liz Jackson

Tuesday 28 May 2019

When Liz Jackson woke up one morning back in 2012 unable to feel her legs, her life radically changed direction. Diagnosed with a neuromuscular disease, Liz left her successful career in television to become a designer and activist, devoted to improving design for disabled people across the world. Her blog, The Girl with the Purple Cane, and her organisation The Disabled List, brings the unique insights and skills of disabled people and designers into the broader design conversation. 

Yotam Ottolenghi

Tuesday 14 May 2019

It’s hard to remember what we used to cook before Yotam Ottolenghi burst into our culinary consciousness. His brand of colourful, vegetable-based food has transformed kitchens and tables the world over. Born in Jerusalem, Yotam was set to pursue an academic career after completing a master’s degree in comparative literature. However at age 30 he decided to move to London to become a chef, and his future was rewritten. His London restaurants have become cult destinations, his cookbooks are on everyone’s shelves, he’s a TV host, he’s one of the world’s most famous gay dads, and he’s one of the loveliest people you’re likely to meet.

Sarah Wilson

Tuesday 30 April 2019

As a hugely successful journalist and writer, and the founder of the international diet and lifestyle empire I Quit Sugar, Sarah Wilson might seem like the poster girl for perfect health. Yet anxiety and bipolar disorder have been with her throughout her life and career. Growing up in rural Australia in a big, poor family, she has always been driven to overachieve, editing national magazines, hosting the first season of Masterchef, writing a series of bestselling cookbooks, and amassing a small army of online followers. In her book First, We Make the Beast Beautiful, Sarah gives an unflinchingly honest account of her struggles with mental illness, and how anxiety doesn’t have to be a negative force in your life.

Jonathan Drori

Tuesday 23 April 2019

Walking through Kew Gardens in London with his family was formative for polymath, writer and tree-lover Jonathan Drori. With a career bridging engineering and broadcasting, he was part of the trailblazing team which created the very first iteration of BBC online, surfed the crest of the dotcom boom, and created a whole lot of very good BBC television programs. Yet the pull of the natural world held strong, and his book, Around the World in 80 Trees, explores the unique relationship of human beings with the trees that surround us, and the ways trees are tipping us off to the health of our societies and our planet.

Lisa Ann Gershwin

Tuesday 16 April 2019

Lisa-Ann Gershwin knows more about jellyfish than you could imagine, and no one gets quite as excited about gelatinous medusas as she does. Raised in California by hippie parents, her undiagnosed Asperger’s syndrome marked her an outsider during childhood. It wasn’t until she fell in love with marine biology that she started to find her way. Now an internationally recognised scientist, researcher and author, she has personally discovered 200 species of jellyfish and counting. And despite a life that hasn’t always been easy, Lisa-Ann remains one of the most infectiously joyful people you’re ever likely to hear.

Kevin McCloud

Tuesday 9 April 2019

Kevin McCloud had a childhood where everything was built from scratch, and his home was more like a workshop. So it’s no surprise that the built world eventually became the focus of his life and work. Yet in his earlier years Kevin wore many different hats, from working in an Italian vineyard, studying music, designing sets for the Cambridge theatre troupe the Footlights, owning a lighting design shop and designing the famous ceiling of the Harrods Food Hall in London. While this eclectic mix of experience may have been enough for some, Kevin’s best known as the host of the British Lifestyle program Grand Designs. A champion for social housing and sustainable development, he continues to explore ways that architecture can benefit our lives.