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Wednesday, 6 July 2016

Show 53 - Hermione Elliott
This month Merlin's Diary Podcast hosts Barry Durdant-Hollamby and Neil del Strother have the pleasure of interviewing Hermione Elliott, a leading light in the world of death and dying who founded the charity 'Living Well, Dying Well' which is helping to re-educate people in how to manage the dying process in a fearless and totally loving way.

With a background in nursing, midwifery, counselling and palliative care, Hermione has worked internationally and lived in Japan for four years, where her book Gan No Serufu Hiringu, a self-help guide for people with cancer, was published. She is passionate about the care of the whole person – physical, emotional and spiritual – and about upholding dignity and self-determination at every stage of life.

In this interview she talks about how she was drawn into this work, explains how a greater understanding of the dying process can help us to live more complete lives and describes why death can be a beautiful process for some.

Sunday, 1 May 2016

Show 52 - Andy Thomas


This month Merlin's Diary Podcast hosts Barry Durdant-Hollamby and Neil del Strother have the pleasure of interviewing Andy Thomas, one of the UK’s best-known authors and lecturers on unexplained mysteries and global cover-ups. The author of the acclaimed books 'The Truth Agenda' and 'Conspiracies', Andy has carried out over 1500 lectures/seminars and is a brilliant speaker who in the best tradition of investigative enquiry, allows the reader/listener to make up their own mind based on the evidence he presents.

In the interview Andy talks about how he first got into the work he does today, the person that has most inspired him, the challenges faced by truth-seekers and whether he checks the brakes on his car every time he goes out!

A bit more about Andy Thomas
For twenty-five years, Andy has investigated many enduring enigmas, including crop circles, UFOs and other paranormal subjects, together with a multitude of classic conspiracy theories, always finding tantalising middle-ground to evoke animated discussion. He also speaks passionately on history, freedom and liberty issues. Andy has appeared on many popular radio and TV shows including major UK spots on The One Show, Richard and Judy, Esther, GMTV and Sky TV’s hit series Pineapple Dance Studios, and on US shows such as Caught on Camera, with appearances on The History Channel and National Geographic Channel. He also featured in the US cinema-released documentary Crop Circles: Quest For Truth.

Friday, 1 April 2016

Show 51 - Judy Piatkus


This month Merlin's Diary Podcast hosts Barry Durdant-Hollamby and Neil del Strother have the pleasure of interviewing the founder of Piatkus Books, Judy Piatkus, a woman once described by The Times as 'one of the world's leading thinkers' and listed in their top 50 list of 'movers and shakers who define how well we live'.
Judy started Piatkus Books from her bedroom in her 20s and built it into one of the UK's most successful publishing houses, making sure she was constantly ahead of trends. She was responsible for introducing many alternative and complementary health titles to the UK market and in the interview she talks to us about how publishing has changed and why publishers are still important.

Judy also talks to us about the intriguing circumstances that led to the sale of Piatkus Books in 2008, and her personal move into counselling, coaching and leadership mentoring. She also tells us about her initiative ConsciousCafe, a network of people who have been on a personal and spiritual development path for many years.

Monday, 29 February 2016

Show 50 - Jamie Catto


This month Merlin's Diary Podcast hosts Barry Durdant-Hollamby and Neil del Strother have the pleasure of interviewing Jamie Catto, a man described by Stephen Fry as ' kind, wise, open, boundlessly energetic, optimistic and passionate'. Jamie has been on our 'target list' for a while so we were delighted when he agreed to come on the show.

Jamie describes himself as a 'Creative catalyst, a musician, and a mischief maker'. We'd say he's all that and more...

A founding member of Faithless, Jamie was also the inspiration behind the double Grammy nominated '1 Giant Leap' music films (if you haven't seen them then do!) - a project in which he has found himself exploring life, philosophy and music with some of the worlds leading movers and shakers including Eckhardt Tolle, Noam Chomsky, Ram Dass, Michael Stipe, Dennis Hopper, Bono, Stephen Fry, Neale Donald Walsch, Marianne Williamson, Bob Geldof and many many more! 

In this fascinating interview Jamie shares his personal story, and talks about the difficult events and inspiring people that have helped him to become the man he is today.

Jamie runs regular workshops around the UK and you can find out all you need to know at

Monday, 1 February 2016

Show 49 - Janey Lee Grace


This month Merlin's Diary Podcast hosts Barry Durdant-Hollamby and Neil del Strother have the pleasure of interviewing Janey Lee Gracean expert in holistic health and wellbeing, author of five books including two number one Amazon best sellers and someone who is also passionate about helping people find their purpose and do the work they were born to do. Janey is also a regular part of the crew on the Steve Wright Radio 2 show. 

In this interview Janey shares her personal story, how and why she has become an advocate for wellbeing, where the idea came from for the 'Imperfectly Natural' brand and the health crisis that got her to radically change her approach to life.

Janey's latest book 'You are the Brand' gives tips and exercises for confidence charisma and how to attract your own PR opportunities - link to that is here: 

If you buy the book direct from Janey's site you get a free audio worth £97. Janey also often finds people in the healing professions need clarity on their USP and personal brand story so she offers a one to one coaching strategy call -

You can get Imperfectly Natural Woman and Look Great Naturally without ditching the lipstick on Amazon.

Tuesday, 8 December 2015



Over the past five years Barry Durdant-Hollamby and Neil del Strother have  interviewed some of the world's most interesting and inspiring 'spiritual' teachers including:
Archbishop Desmond Tutu, MarianneWilliamson, Mooji, Gabrielle Roth, ByronKatie, Matthew Fox, Satish Kumar, Lynne McTaggart, Leo Rutherford, Lynne Franks, Philip Carr-Gomm, Charles Eisenstein, Steve Biddulph, Kevin Billett,, Gangaji, Robert Holden, The Barefoot Doctor, Brandon Bays, Gordon Smith, Peter Owen-Jones, Kitana,Jo Berry, Dr Serge King, Dr Karambu Ringera, Melvyn Carlile, Jonathan Horwitz, Steve Nobel, Joel Young, Cate Mackenzie, Nick Williams and Amoda Maa Jeevan. 
Each of them answered the question 'What piece of advice would you give the 16 year old you?'. On this youtube video you will find their wonderful answers. We hope you enjoy these 22 minutes of inspiration. 

Sunday, 1 November 2015

Show 47 - Patrick Holford

This month Merlin's Diary Podcast hosts Barry Durdant-Hollamby and Neil del Strother have the pleasure of interviewing Patrick Holford, one of the most respected nutritional experts in the world. Patrick  gives Merlin's Diary a captivating interview on health and wellbeing, and the challenges he has faced from 'big pharma'. 

Patrick Holford is both a warrior and a pioneer in new approaches to health and nutrition and has spent his working life encouraging and challenging people to claim back perfect health. He is a leading spokesman on nutrition in the media, specialising in the field of mental health. He is the author of 36 books, translated into over 30 languages and selling millions of copies worldwide, including The Optimum Nutrition Bible, The Low GL-Diet Bible, Optimum Nutrition for the Mind and The 10 Secrets of 100% Healthy People, 10 Secrets of Healthy Ageing and Good Medicine. To find out more about Patrick click here

Wednesday, 30 September 2015

Show 46 - Lynne Franks

This month Merlin's Diary Podcast hosts Barry Durdant-Hollamby and Neil del Strother have the pleasure of interviewing legendary PR guru and global change-maker Lynne Franks

In this interview Lynne shares her personal story, how and why she has become an advocate for global women's work, the ideas that gave birth to her next book, 'The Pod Effect' and her hopes for our rapidly changing world.  

Some background on Lynne:
Lynne Franks, recognised as the UK’s leading Women’s Empowerment Guru, is a successful business women, author, broadcaster and speaker. An acclaimed international spokesperson and advisor on the changes in today’s and tomorrow’s world, Lynne has throughout her career created and promoted many new initiatives that have led the way in societal shifts.

Her consulting experience with both the public and private sectors, her global work with women’s enterprise, and her passion and commitment to the creation of a just and balanced world has given her considerable insight into the way forward for modern society.

She is the founder of SEED – Sustainable Enterprise and Empowerment Dynamics – a provider and community for women’s learning and coaching programmes on economic empowerment, sustainable business practices and creative leadership. SEED programmes have been taught across society, from women’s prisons to the corporate world and have changed women’s lives in many countries.

Saturday, 29 August 2015

Show 45 - Graham Hancock

Merlin's Diary Podcast hosts Barry Durdant-Hollamby and Neil del Strother have just had the honour of interviewing one of the World's leading truth-seekers and authors, Graham Hancock. The interview was very inspiring for us as we learnt more about Graham's personal story and how he became the agent for change that he is today. Please share freely. All our interviews are free to share.

Here's a little background on Graham, followed by some info about his stunning new book 'Magicians of the Gods'

As East Africa correspondent of The Economist in the early eighties Graham Hancock began to write a series of highly acclaimed books on economics, politics and foreign aid. His life took a whole new turn when he became fascinated by rumours that the Ark of the Covenant is real artefact, hidden somewhere in northern Africa. The story of his detective work, tracking it down to its supposed final resting place became the international bestseller The Sign and the Seal (now in production as a feature film.) More bestsellers in the field of 'alternative history' followed, including Fingerprints of the Gods, Keeper of Genesis (the latter co-authored with Robert Bauval) and Heaven's Mirror. In Supernatural he described his experiences journeying to experiment with hallucinogenic drugs amongst tribes people for whom they represent a gateway into supernatural realms. His ideas on exploring new dimensions in consciousness became the subject of his controversial TED talks.

Graham Hancock's books have been translated into twenty-seven languages and have sold over nine million copies worldwide. His public lectures and broadcasts, including two major TV series for Channel 4, Quest for the Lost Civilisation, and Flooded Kingdoms of the Ice Age, have further established his reputation as an unconventional thinker who raises controversial questions about humanity`s past.

Near the end of the last Ice Age 12,800 years ago, a giant comet that had entered the solar system from deep space thousands of years earlier, broke into multiple fragments. Some of these struck the Earth causing a global cataclysm on a scale unseen since the extinction of the dinosaurs. At least eight of the fragments hit the North American ice cap, while further fragments hit the northern European ice cap.

The impacts, from comet fragments a mile wide approaching at more than 60,000 miles an hour, generated huge amounts of heat which instantly liquidized millions of square kilometers of ice, destabilizing the Earth's crust and causing the global Deluge that is remembered in myths all around the world.

A second series of impacts, equally devastating, causing further cataclysmic flooding, occurred 11,600 years ago, the exact date that Plato gives for the destruction and submergence of Atlantis.

But there were survivors - known to later cultures by names such as 'the Sages', 'the Magicians', 'the Shining Ones', and 'the Mystery Teachers of Heaven'. They travelled the world in their great ships doing all in their power to keep the spark of civilization burning. They settled at key locations - Gobekli Tepe in Turkey, Baalbek in the Lebanon, Giza in Egypt, ancient Sumer, Mexico, Peru and across the Pacific where a huge pyramid has recently been discovered in Indonesia. Everywhere they went these 'Magicians of the Gods' brought with them the memory of a time when mankind had fallen out of harmony with the universe and paid a heavy price.

A memory and a warning to the future... For the comet that wrought such destruction between 12,800 and 11,600 years may not be done with us yet. Astronomers believe that a 20-mile wide 'dark' fragment of the original giant comet remains hidden within its debris stream and threatens the Earth. An astronomical message encoded at Gobekli Tepe, and in the Sphinx and the pyramids of Egypt,warns that the 'Great Return' will occur in our time...

Wednesday, 17 June 2015

Show 44 - Martin Prechtel

Martín Prechtel  was raised on a Pueblo Indian reservation in New Mexico, where he learned the Keres language. His mother was a Canadian Native American and his father a Swiss palaeontologist. In 1970 after his first marriage ended, he traveled south through Mexico to end up in Guatemala. After a year of traveling through Guatemala, he found his home in a small village near Lake Atitlan inhabited by the Tz'utujil (one of the numerous Maya sub-cultures). There he met Nicolas Chiviliu Tacaxoy, a respected shaman of the village who believed Prechtel to be the student he prayed for.

He learned the Tzutujil language, married a Tzutujil woman and raised two sons (a third son had died). Though not Tzutujil by birth, Prechtel became one of the most important village members both spiritually and politically. When Chiviliu died, Prechtel then became acting shaman to the approximately thirty thousand people of Santiago Atitlan. Prechtel joined the Scat Mulaj (the village political body) and even rose to the position of Nabey Mam (the first chief), and among other duties was responsible for the initiating of the village's young men into adulthood. During the Guatemalan civil war, Prechtel and his family were forced to flee for their lives and settled in the U.S. His wife returned later with their two sons to Guatemala, but the two boys then came back to their father.

Upon returning to the U.S. Prechtel was introduced to author Robert Bly and began contributing at Bly's Men's Movement workshops. Bly was instrumental in getting Prechtel's writing published. Prechtel once again resides in New Mexico, at the site of his school near the village of Ojo Caliente. He appears around the world at different educational conferences and leads workshops intended to assist in the reconnection to the sacredness in nature and everyday life, and in finding one's sense of purpose in the modern world. Colleagues include Robert Bly, Malidoma Somé, and Michael J Meade.

Among his writings are Secrets of the Talking Jaguar, an autobiographical account of his initiation as a Mayan Shaman; Long Life, Honey in the Heart, an account of his village life in Santiago Atitlán; Stealing Benefacio's Roses: A Mayan Epic (Formerly Titled The Toe Bone and The Tooth), an autobiographical account of how he relived an ancient Maya myth in his own life; and The Disobedience of the Daughter of the Sun, a Maya myth that includes Prechtel's observations of how the Maya relate to the story. His works also include various musical recordings, paintings and an audio recording of a lecture he gives called Grief and Praise. He orchestrates "gatherings" and workshops around the country as well as curating his own school called Bolad's Kitchen.

Wednesday, 1 April 2015

Show 43 - Jenny Cockell


In her best-selling book Yesterday's Children, Jenny Cockell discusses her extraordinary past life memories of life as Mary Sutton in early-20th century Ireland. The book chronicles Jenny's research into Sutton's life and her subsequent journey in which she ended up reuniting the entire Sutton family. This month we have had the pleasure of interviewing Jenny for the new Merlin's Diary podcast, and she tells us more about the experiences that have changed her life and how she integrates them into her life today.

Wednesday, 11 February 2015

Show 42 - Archbishop Desmond Tutu


Neil and I both had to pinch ourselves when we received confirmation of our latest Merlin's Diary podcast guest. Desmond Tutu is Emeritus Archbishop of Cape Town, he's a former Nobel Peace prize winner and an honorary member of the global council of elders. His courageous and tireless work to help the voice of blacks be heard during 80s Apartheid South Africa has helped him to stand alongside the world's foremost human rights activists such as Nelson Mandela, Mohandas Gandhi and Martin Luther King Jr. Today, in his 80s, he continues to work on helping to improve the wellbeing of people and the wellbeing of the planet.

We timed this interview's release with the 25th anniversary of Nelson Mandela's release from 27 years in jail. That release happened on the 11th February 1990.

We try to meet our guests fully in the now and they always seem genuinely inspired by our questions and the deepening that ensues. It was wonderful to hear later, from The Archbishop's personal assistant,  that he had been completely charmed by the whole interview experience. The audio track at the end is Mozart's 'Laudate Dominum' performed by Edith Mathis, Straatskapella Dresden, Bernhard Klee. Listen, enjoy and share.

Photos courtesy of (from top down) Elke Wetzig, Tutufoundation USA, TVCNews

Thursday, 1 January 2015

Show 41 - Gabrielle Roth (re-run)

We start 2015 with an interview that has been our most 'listened-to' interview to date, featuring Gabrielle Roth, who died just a few months after we spoke to her in 2012. 

The founder of 5Rhythms,  Gabrielle was an American dancer and musician in the world music and trance dance genres, with a special interest in shamanism. She created the 5Rhythms approach to movement in the 1960s and there are now hundreds of 5Rhythms teachers worldwide who use her approach in their work.

During this in-depth interview Gabrielle reveals her story of the 5Rhythms development. the challenges she faced and the people that inspired her. And much more besides. It makes for a truly inspiring listen.

Monday, 1 December 2014

Show 40 - Mooji (re-run)

Welcome to the  Merlin's Diary podcast. You can access the Merlin's Diary Search Engine in both theUK ( and the USA ( All event/presenter/venues listing is FREE so get adding your details and be seen on google, yahoo etc! Make sure you're subscribed to The Merlin's Diary newsletter and have made friends with us on facebook (Merlin's Diary) to get the latest updates.

This interview features a beautiful exchange with the smiling, laughing and graceful Mooji.It is a re-run of a programme we first aired a couple of years ago. The show is  co-hosted as ever by Merlin's Diary founder Barry Durdant-Hollamby and fellow author Neil del Strother

In this interview Mooji talks about his journey into awakeness; the challenge of remaining present to the moment; the quotes, book and people that have inspired him; and the role of a 'guru' in the lives of searchers.

Monday, 1 September 2014

Show 39 - Leo Rutherford

This month we interview Leo Rutherford, a renowned teacher and pioneer of shamanism in the West. He was one of the first people to bring the teachings of shamanism to the UK and founded the Eagle's Wing College of Contemporary Shamanism in 1987. Having worked in industry for 20 years, he was suffering from acute stress and depression by the age of 40 - and setting out find a path with more heart - he discovered the ancient wisdom of indigenous shamans.
He has published six books including 'The View through the Medicine Wheel' (O-Books 2008), 'Shamanic Path Workbook' (Arima Pubs, 2006) and 'Principles of shamanism' (Harper Collins 1996) and most recently 'Spirituality versus religion (CreateSpace 2011).

You can visit Leo's Eagle's Wing College of Contemporary Shamanism by clicking here.

Friday, 1 August 2014

Show 38 - Philip Carr-Gomm

Philip Carr-Gomm is a Psychotherapist, educationalist and author practising at the cutting edge of a whole new paradigm in the field of Ecopsychology. Since 1988 he's also been the  leader of OBOD, the Order of Bards, Ovates and Druids where he has overseen robust growth in the organisation thanks partly to the distance learning course he helped to create.

This month we had the pleasure of interviewing this very humble and down-to-earth man in the new podcast. We learnt a lot and found this a fascinating in-depth interview. So just click the link at the top of this entry to hear the show.. 

You can find out more about Philip by clicking his name above to visit his website. You can learn more about OBOD at

Monday, 2 June 2014

Show 37- Charles Eisenstein


Charles Eisenstein is an author and public speaker, and self-described "degrowth activist". He is the author of several books including The Ascent of Humanity (2007), Sacred Economics (2011), and The More Beautiful World Our Hearts Know Is Possible (2013). 

"Whether for myself or for the world, I share with dreamers, Utopians, and teenagers an unreasonable intuition of a magnificent potential, that life and the world can be more than we have made of them." Charles Eisenstein.

Hear Merlin's Diary founder Barry Durdant-Hollamby and podcast co-host Neil del Strother interview Charles in-depth in the new Merlin's Diary podcast interview. 

If you're a facebook user then please go and check out Charles's facebook page at 

Click Charles's name above or here to visit his personal website:

Thursday, 1 May 2014

Show 36 - Steve Biddulph


Steve Biddulph is one of the world’s best  known parenting authors and a very entertaining speaker. A psychologist for 25 years, he is now retired but continues to write and teach. His books, including The Secret of Happy Children, Raising Boys, The New Manhood and now Raising Girls, are in four million homes and 31 languages. They have influenced the way we look at childhood and especially the development of boys and men.  Hear Merlin's Diary founder Barry Durdant-Hollamby and podcast co-host Neil del Strother interview Steve in-depth in the new Merlin's Diary podcast interview. 

If you're a facebook user then please go and check out Steve's facebook pages at and

Click Steve's name above or here to visit his personal website:

Tuesday, 1 April 2014

Show 35 - Kevin Billett


Welcome to the 35th Merlin's Diary podcast - a fascinating in-depth interview with a man who knows all about going into the darkness and coming out smelling of roses...

In the early 1990s Kevin Billett hit major depression. Having achieved relative security in life, he'd discovered the truth that joy and inspiration weren't to be found in 'stuff'. In total despair, a conversation with a friend resulted in Kevin leaving the Welsh Valleys to visit London for a workshop that might help him...

Today, some 20 years later, Kevin finds himself as CEO of the hugely successful Journey Seminar group and married to the very woman who created the process that transformed his life, Brandon Bays. His story is inspirational and his wisdom profound.

Click the link above to hear this amazing journey...

Saturday, 1 February 2014

Show 34 - Byron Katie


Welcome to the 34th Merlin's Diary podcast and it's one of our best yet!

Byron Katie has helped changed the lives of hundreds of thousands of people worldwide with her process entitled 'The Work'. She has sold millions of books and is rated as one of the most influential change-makers on the planet (Watkins Books 2013). Hear Merlin's Diary founder Barry Durdant-Hollamby and podcast co-host Neil del Strother interview Katie in-depth and discover with them the extraordinary journey that led Katie into becoming the inspirational person she is today.

Byron Katie website:

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and the USA (

Wednesday, 1 January 2014

Show 33 - Matthew Fox


Welcome to the 32nd Merlin's Diary podcast.
You can access the Merlin's Diary search engine in both the UK(
and the USA (

Expelled from the church for calling God 'Mother'
In 1993, Dominican Priest Matthew Fox was expelled by future Pope Benedict XVI, for 'disobedience'. Among the issues Fox was asked to defend were that he was a feminist theologian; he called God "Mother"; he preferred the concept of Original Blessing over Original Sin; he worked too closely with Native American spiritual practices and he did not condemn homosexuality.

Matthew Fox is an internationally acclaimed theologian working in the creation spirituality tradition of Christianity. He is the best-selling author of 30 books, including most recently Occupy Spirituality which he has co-authored with young activist Adam Bucko and which Matthew describes as 'a call to action for a new era of spirituality- infused activism'. In this powerful interview, Matthew talks openly about the suppression of the feminine in the Church and what can be done to restore the feminine to her rightful place, he talks about the new Pope and his hopes for change, and how he has sought to explore the experiential side of religion.

Sunday, 1 December 2013

Show 32 - Tao Porchon-Lynch


Welcome to the 32nd Merlin's Diary podcast.
You can access the Merlin's Diary search engine in both the UK(
and the USA (

95 and still dancing!
This month on the Merlin's Diary podcast, hosts Barry and Neil have the pleasure of interviewing the remarkable 95 year old Tao Porchon-Lynch. She's marched with Gandhi, starred in Hollywood movies, spoken alongside the Dalai Lama at a conference in the USA last year (aged 94!), and, inspite of having 3 hip replacements, continues to teach yoga and win prizes for ballroom dancing!! In this amazing interview she reveals some of the secrets that have resulted in her extraordinary achievements. 

You can learn more about Tao, her latest book and ther classes she is currently offering by visiting her website at:

The song at the end of the show is called 'Groovy Tao' and was written and recorded by Valerie Romanoff - you can see more about Valerie at

Thursday, 31 October 2013

Show 31 - Colin Parry

Welcome to the 31st Merlin's Diary podcast.
You can access the Merlin's Diary search engine in both the UK(
and the USA (

On 20th March 1993 an IRA bomb in Warrington in North West England, took the lives of 12 year old Tim Parry and 3 year old Johnathan Ball. 56 other people were injured and many others will carry the mental scars with them for the rest of their lives.  Tim Parry’s parents, Colin and Wendy, set their hearts on building a unique Peace Centre as a lasting memorial to the boys. In this moving Merlin's Diary podcast, Colin shares the remarkable chain of events (involving the British Government and the White House) that led to the £3M finance needed for the centre. 

To mark the 20th anniversary of the bombing, and in this month where we don our poppies, we interviewed Colin to talk about how he and Wendy have channelled their energy  and built a safe space where ordinary people can learn about the causes and non-violent resolution of conflict. Colin tells us about that day back in 1993 and what his journey has looked like since. Visit Colin and Wendy's website by clicking the picture above or here.

The Mystery Bar interview is co-hosted as ever by Merlin's Diary founder, coach and author Barry Durdant-Hollamby and fellow author Neil del Strother.