The Big Travel Podcast
About This Show
The Big Travel Podcast: Exploring Life-Stories Through Travel.
Taking you on a journey of discovery, with a wonderfully diverse selection of characters, The Big Travel Podcast explores life-stories in travel; from childhoods with little money for much more than camping holidays to fabulous tales of exotic climes and incredible adventures.
Politicians, Paralympians, famous faces from TV, radio, music, stage and screen, SAS soldiers, adventurers and ordinary people taking extraordinary journeys tell their story of life through travel, and through this, The Big Travel Podcast finds out what it is about travel that inspires us, that makes us laugh, love, cry and sometimes cringe yet above all keep travelling.
The Big Travel Podcast is hosted by Lisa Francesca Nand, travel journalist, presenter, writer and filmmaker.
Most Recent Episode
13: Baylen Leonard; Tennessee Trailer Parks, Changing Times in New York and Spreading the Country Music Love Around the World
5 days ago
Not making it big on Broadway might have been frustrating for Baylen Leonard at the time but it was the UK’s gain as, despite having grown up in relative poverty in the Tennessee foothills, he’s now a well known radio presenter, DJ and broadcaster based in London, well known for having been an integral part of the popular Danny Baker’s team on BBC Radio London, and spreading the country music love around the world. He’s also on first name terms with Dolly Parton, now that to anyone is better than any Broadway part. On this episode we cover: His hybrid accent East Tennessee The great Smokey Mountains The Appalachian Mountains and the Blue Ridge Mountains Bristol Tennessee The town that lies between two states State Street Extreme wealth and poverty The coal industry Growing up in a trailer park Whether it is okay to use the term ‘hill billy’ Wearing the hill billy badge with pride Farming communities ‘the worst kind of American poverty’ Having a great childhood The trailer park community Moving away age 18 Standing out at school School bullies Not learning to swim Life lessons from poverty High school Virginia High Being at the ‘really poor rural high school’ How his life was changed by local community theatre Being accepted to theatre school in New York Working in a factory to save money Making drill bits on a production line The sisters who would drive from Tennessee to Vegas How they inspired him to leave Arriving in New York at the age of 18 The craziness of New York in the 90s Mayor Giuliani Stealing books from the library Bad guide book advice The unexpected noise of the city Not liking silence Loving sky scrapers Leaving New York for London Wondering why the hell he had moved Not becoming a Broadway star A fascination with the UK A lucky encounter with a radio producer at a party Voice overs at BBC Radio 1 Blagging his way into BBC Radio London Working with Danny Baker Becoming a big part of the Danny Baker show Amy Lamee Americans on the radio Giving back by helping other people out Class divide Badly paid work Danny Baker’s last show flouncing What it’s like living as an American in London George W Bush A surprise anti-American vibe Differences between Britain and America You say tomato, Baylen still stays tomato London v New York The Tube v the Subway London as a ‘big churning animal’ Cracking the London code Loving to travel Returning to Nashville Not having been to Australia or the Far East Amsterdam, Prague, love of Spain Plans to visit Mexico Meeting Dolly Parton Family vacations at Dollywood Not liking country music growing up Now focusing his career on country music The festival, Nashville Meets London The Long Road festival Being thankful for where he is from