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Best Of Belfast: Northern Ireland's #1 Interview Podcast

Matthew Thompson: storyteller from Belfast, Northern Ireland

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Best Of Belfast: Northern Ireland's #1 Interview Podcast

Best Of Belfast: Northern Ireland's #1 Interview Podcast

Matthew Thompson: storyteller from Belfast, Northern Ireland

3
Followers
2
Plays
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About Us

Best Of Belfast is a podcast that celebrates Northern Ireland and the incredible people in it. We publish unfiltered, hour-long conversations every Monday morning with someone interesting from this part of the world. With 80+ episodes featuring: Oscar-winning directors, 91-year-old park-runners, Silicon Valley CEOs, Michelin Star Chefs and bearded candle makers there’s plenty of episodes to listen and learn from. Find photos of guests, sign up to our newsletter and support the show: https://bestofbelfast.org/

Latest Episodes

#146 Jon Bradford: “The Godfather Of European Accelerators”

Jon Bradford is “doer of many things (badly)” — at least that’s what he sent through when we asked him for a short bio. However, a quick Google search will tell you that Jon is a highly experienced early-stage investor, MD of Techstars London, co-founder of Ormeau Baths, Ignite, FS6, tech.eu and has been described as “the godfather of European accelerators.” When I asked a few people close to Jon to describe him they said things like: "He is one of the smartest investors I know and has learned the art of asking the hard questions." "Jon is like a sneaky ninja working behind the scenes to make magic happen." And that "he’s a man of few words - who likes brevity and getting to the point." So with that said, let’s get straight to the point. Delighted to have Jon here in the studio with us, and am looking forward to finding out more including things like but not necessarily, Jon’s origin story, lessons he’s learned along the way, why he likes to run naked and his favourite quote from Yoda. Enjoy! // To see a 'treasure trove' of all things related to Jon (including a photo) please visit https://bestofbelfast.org/stories/jon-bradford-investor Best Of Belfast is Northern Ireland's #1 Interview Podcast. We've shared 100+ hour-long conversations with incredible people from Northern Ireland. To find out more, or join 'The Producers Club' please visit https://bestofbelfast.org/ Cheers! — Matt

71 MIN2 d ago
Comments
#146 Jon Bradford: “The Godfather Of European Accelerators”

#145 Hugh McGauran: The 75-Year-Old Wheatgrass Salesman

Hugh McGauran is a stroke-surviving, set-dancing, wheatgrass and ionized water salesman from Northern Ireland. He claims that homegrown wheatgrass and ionized water has allowed him to feel the healthiest he's been in over 20 years. (Which is impressive, considering at the time of recording he's 75!) In today's episode we talk about: What is was like growing up in Fermanagh in the '40s His early entrepreneurial endeavours How he and his wife got into set-dancing later in life Why having a stroke changed his life And the successes/failures he's experienced along the way Check it out! // You can contact Hugh via hughiemcgauran@aol.com // Website page for this episode https://bestofbelfast.org/stories/hugh-mcgauran-wheatgrass-salesman

55 MIN6 d ago
Comments
#145 Hugh McGauran: The 75-Year-Old Wheatgrass Salesman

#144 Janine Kane: The Publican Behind The Spaniard, Muriels, The Jeggy Nettle & More!

Janine Kane is the publican behind bars some of Belfast’s most beloved bars, including The Spaniard, Muriels, Pablos, Panama, The Jeggy Nettle and most recently, The Chester. After originally training and working a nurse, Janine later fell into hospitality as a bartender before working her way up through the ranks in the local bar scene. In today’s show, we talk about her transition into entrepreneurship, what it was like being mentored by Bill Wolsey and the origin story behind her hugely successful pubs. Check it out. https://bestofbelfast.org/stories/janine-kane-publican

66 MIN1 w ago
Comments
#144 Janine Kane: The Publican Behind The Spaniard, Muriels, The Jeggy Nettle & More!

#143 Terry Doherty: Post-Man, Music-Lover, Storyteller

Terry Doherty is a postal worker, music-lover and storyteller from Larne, Northern Ireland. In this easy-listening episode, he shares a treasure trove of stories he's been collecting across his life, career and hobbies. Some of these stories include: Witnessing armed robberies in the post office Hanging out with bands in rural Ireland Sneaking into Icelandic Museums And walking his daughter through Leukemia. With insights into how the post-industry has changed over the years, the importance of responsibility and what 'real success' looks like, this is a very special episode with plenty of gems to walk away with. I personally found this episode incredibly moving and have already listened back to it a second time — something that in 130+ episodes, I rarely do. Check it out. // To see a 'treasure trove' of all things related to Terry (including a photo) please visit https://bestofbelfast.org/stories/terry-doherty-post-man Best Of Belfast is Northern Ireland's #1 Interview Podcast. We've shared 100+ hour-long conversations with incredible people from Northern Ireland. To find out more, or join 'The Producers Club' please visit https://bestofbelfast.org/ Cheers! — Matt

78 MIN1 w ago
Comments
#143 Terry Doherty: Post-Man, Music-Lover, Storyteller

#142 The Power Of Creating Daily with Dillon Osborne

The King of Instagram Stories returns! (You can check out our first interview with Dillon here to get the backstory). In today's episode, we chat about: The power of creating something every day Creative burnout The future of online content And balancing business with play Check it out. https://bestofbelfast.org/stories/the-power-of-creating-daily

64 MIN2 w ago
Comments
#142 The Power Of Creating Daily with Dillon Osborne

#141 James McClurg: Sky's Startup Investment & Partnerships Team (VC)

Jame McClurgleads Sky’s Startup Investment and Partnerships team. Since joining the team when it started in 2013 he has been investing in and partnering with companies from the US, UK/Europe and Israel including Roku (Now TV) and the Drone Racing League. Previously,Jameswas an Investment Manager of a London-based venture capital fund and a Strategy and M&A consultant at Deloitte (London). Hegrew up in Belfast and returns regularly to see family and friends, now living in London with his wife and daughters. In today's episode we chat about: His early memories How he got into the world of VC What advice he would give to start-ups thinking about approaching big corporations How COVID-19 is/isn't affecting the world of VC And the highs/lows he's experienced along the way Please note: this episode was done in collaboration with Ormeau Baths as part of their "Founder Firesides Mini-Series" and is geared towards early-stage start-ups/entrepreneurs. Enjoy! // To see a 'treasure trove' of all things related to James (including a photo) please visit https://bestofbelfast.org/stories/james-mcclurg-sky-ventures Best Of Belfast is Northern Ireland's #1 Interview Podcast. We've shared 100+ hour-long conversations with incredible people from Northern Ireland. To find out more, or join 'The Producers Club' please visit https://bestofbelfast.org/ Cheers! — Matt

57 MIN2 w ago
Comments
#141 James McClurg: Sky's Startup Investment & Partnerships Team (VC)

#140 Aidan Larkin: The World’s First Bitcoin Auctioneer

Aidan Larkin is the former Asset Recovery Director at Wilsons Auctions. (In other words, he sells the stuff seized by the police from criminals). This position has led to earning the title of the World’s First Bitcoin Auctioneer and making an appearance on several TV documentaries about the auctioneering profession. Aidan also an Ex Criminal Tax Inspector, budding social entrepreneur, husband and father to two boys. In today’s episode, we talk about some of the weird and wonderful things Aidan has auctioned off, how a traditional family business can thrive in a disruptive economy and the path he’s walked to get to the success he’s experienced today. All this and more, coming up on today’s show. Photos, links and treasure trove for Aidan Larkin: https://bestofbelfast.org/stories/aidan-larkin-wilsons-auctions Join The Producer’s Club Today at: https://bestofbelfast.org/producers-club

72 MIN2 w ago
Comments
#140 Aidan Larkin: The World’s First Bitcoin Auctioneer

#139 Colin Davidson: Artist & Painter

Colin Davidson is an artist from Belfast, Northern Ireland. Since 2010, Colin's focus has been on painting scale portraits which have received widespread recognition and many international awards. His critically acclaimed exhibition ‘Silent Testimony’ reveals the stories of eighteen people connected by their individual experiences of loss through the Troubles and has been displayed in Belfast, Paris, Dublin and NYC. Some of his other portrait sitters include the likes of President Bill Clinton, HM The Queen, Ed Sheeran and many local legends like Gary Lightbody, Seamus Heaney, Oliver Jeffers, Dame Mary Peters and Liam Neeson. Colin was commissioned by TIME Magazine in 2015 to paint the German Chancellor, Angela Merkel, for the cover of its ‘Person of the Year’ issue. In today's episode we talk about: His first memories Teaching Brad Pitt how to paint Why he paints his subjects looking away from the viewer The business side of art And the greatest challenges/successes he's faced along the way This conversation also includes voice questions from The Producer's Club as well as people Colin has painted like Gary Lightbody, Mary Peters and Oliver Jeffers. Thanks so much to everyone who submitted ideas and insights to make this episode possible. I am so incredibly excited to share it with you today. // To see a 'treasure trove' of all things related to Colin (including a photo) please visit https://bestofbelfast.org/stories/colin-davidson-artist Best Of Belfast is Northern Ireland's #1 Interview Podcast. We've shared 100+ hour-long conversations with incredible people from Northern Ireland. To find out more, or join 'The Producers Club' please visit https://bestofbelfast.org/ Cheers! — Matt

55 MIN3 w ago
Comments
#139 Colin Davidson: Artist & Painter

#138 Jawbox Gerry Returns!

Joined today again by Belfast's favourite barman: the one and only Gerry White. Founder of Jawbox Gin, ex-manager of The John Hewitt and all-round Belfast legend, Gerry has stories coming out of his ears when it comes to the city we love and know so well. In today's episode, we chat about bars that are no longer around, the new Jawbox flavours and why the hospitality industry is so important to our communities. You can check out our full interview with Gerry here — which was three years and 130 episodes ago! Webpage for this episode: https://bestofbelfast.org/stories/jawbox-gerry

49 MIN3 w ago
Comments
#138 Jawbox Gerry Returns!

#137 Alison Clarke: ACA Models & Miss NI

Alison Clarke is the founder of ACA Models: Northern Ireland's longest-running modelling and promotion agency. After growing up on a farm in County Tyrone, Alison gave up her University offers to study Maths and instead took a job with Ulster Bank. Alongside working full-time at the Waring Street Bank (now The Merchant Hotel) she entered and won Miss Northern Ireland in 1982 and was a runner-up in the Miss UK competition. Ultimately, this experience was the catalyst that led to working in PR & Marketing for eight years before opening up her own agency in 1990. Alison has been her own boss ever since. In today's episode we talk about: Life in Strabane as a child What working in a bank was like before computers How it takes time to build a business Why Miss NI is important for Northern Ireland And the greatest challenges/successes she's experienced along the way Enjoy! // To see a 'treasure trove' of all things related to Alison (including a photo) please visit https://bestofbelfast.org/stories/alison-clarke-aca-models Best Of Belfast is Northern Ireland's #1 Interview Podcast. We've shared 100+ hour-long conversations with incredible people from Northern Ireland. To find out more, or join 'The Producers Club' please visit https://bestofbelfast.org/ Cheers! — Matt

71 MIN3 w ago
Comments
#137 Alison Clarke: ACA Models & Miss NI

Latest Episodes

#146 Jon Bradford: “The Godfather Of European Accelerators”

Jon Bradford is “doer of many things (badly)” — at least that’s what he sent through when we asked him for a short bio. However, a quick Google search will tell you that Jon is a highly experienced early-stage investor, MD of Techstars London, co-founder of Ormeau Baths, Ignite, FS6, tech.eu and has been described as “the godfather of European accelerators.” When I asked a few people close to Jon to describe him they said things like: "He is one of the smartest investors I know and has learned the art of asking the hard questions." "Jon is like a sneaky ninja working behind the scenes to make magic happen." And that "he’s a man of few words - who likes brevity and getting to the point." So with that said, let’s get straight to the point. Delighted to have Jon here in the studio with us, and am looking forward to finding out more including things like but not necessarily, Jon’s origin story, lessons he’s learned along the way, why he likes to run naked and his favourite quote from Yoda. Enjoy! // To see a 'treasure trove' of all things related to Jon (including a photo) please visit https://bestofbelfast.org/stories/jon-bradford-investor Best Of Belfast is Northern Ireland's #1 Interview Podcast. We've shared 100+ hour-long conversations with incredible people from Northern Ireland. To find out more, or join 'The Producers Club' please visit https://bestofbelfast.org/ Cheers! — Matt

71 MIN2 d ago
Comments
#146 Jon Bradford: “The Godfather Of European Accelerators”

#145 Hugh McGauran: The 75-Year-Old Wheatgrass Salesman

Hugh McGauran is a stroke-surviving, set-dancing, wheatgrass and ionized water salesman from Northern Ireland. He claims that homegrown wheatgrass and ionized water has allowed him to feel the healthiest he's been in over 20 years. (Which is impressive, considering at the time of recording he's 75!) In today's episode we talk about: What is was like growing up in Fermanagh in the '40s His early entrepreneurial endeavours How he and his wife got into set-dancing later in life Why having a stroke changed his life And the successes/failures he's experienced along the way Check it out! // You can contact Hugh via hughiemcgauran@aol.com // Website page for this episode https://bestofbelfast.org/stories/hugh-mcgauran-wheatgrass-salesman

55 MIN6 d ago
Comments
#145 Hugh McGauran: The 75-Year-Old Wheatgrass Salesman

#144 Janine Kane: The Publican Behind The Spaniard, Muriels, The Jeggy Nettle & More!

Janine Kane is the publican behind bars some of Belfast’s most beloved bars, including The Spaniard, Muriels, Pablos, Panama, The Jeggy Nettle and most recently, The Chester. After originally training and working a nurse, Janine later fell into hospitality as a bartender before working her way up through the ranks in the local bar scene. In today’s show, we talk about her transition into entrepreneurship, what it was like being mentored by Bill Wolsey and the origin story behind her hugely successful pubs. Check it out. https://bestofbelfast.org/stories/janine-kane-publican

66 MIN1 w ago
Comments
#144 Janine Kane: The Publican Behind The Spaniard, Muriels, The Jeggy Nettle & More!

#143 Terry Doherty: Post-Man, Music-Lover, Storyteller

Terry Doherty is a postal worker, music-lover and storyteller from Larne, Northern Ireland. In this easy-listening episode, he shares a treasure trove of stories he's been collecting across his life, career and hobbies. Some of these stories include: Witnessing armed robberies in the post office Hanging out with bands in rural Ireland Sneaking into Icelandic Museums And walking his daughter through Leukemia. With insights into how the post-industry has changed over the years, the importance of responsibility and what 'real success' looks like, this is a very special episode with plenty of gems to walk away with. I personally found this episode incredibly moving and have already listened back to it a second time — something that in 130+ episodes, I rarely do. Check it out. // To see a 'treasure trove' of all things related to Terry (including a photo) please visit https://bestofbelfast.org/stories/terry-doherty-post-man Best Of Belfast is Northern Ireland's #1 Interview Podcast. We've shared 100+ hour-long conversations with incredible people from Northern Ireland. To find out more, or join 'The Producers Club' please visit https://bestofbelfast.org/ Cheers! — Matt

78 MIN1 w ago
Comments
#143 Terry Doherty: Post-Man, Music-Lover, Storyteller

#142 The Power Of Creating Daily with Dillon Osborne

The King of Instagram Stories returns! (You can check out our first interview with Dillon here to get the backstory). In today's episode, we chat about: The power of creating something every day Creative burnout The future of online content And balancing business with play Check it out. https://bestofbelfast.org/stories/the-power-of-creating-daily

64 MIN2 w ago
Comments
#142 The Power Of Creating Daily with Dillon Osborne

#141 James McClurg: Sky's Startup Investment & Partnerships Team (VC)

Jame McClurgleads Sky’s Startup Investment and Partnerships team. Since joining the team when it started in 2013 he has been investing in and partnering with companies from the US, UK/Europe and Israel including Roku (Now TV) and the Drone Racing League. Previously,Jameswas an Investment Manager of a London-based venture capital fund and a Strategy and M&A consultant at Deloitte (London). Hegrew up in Belfast and returns regularly to see family and friends, now living in London with his wife and daughters. In today's episode we chat about: His early memories How he got into the world of VC What advice he would give to start-ups thinking about approaching big corporations How COVID-19 is/isn't affecting the world of VC And the highs/lows he's experienced along the way Please note: this episode was done in collaboration with Ormeau Baths as part of their "Founder Firesides Mini-Series" and is geared towards early-stage start-ups/entrepreneurs. Enjoy! // To see a 'treasure trove' of all things related to James (including a photo) please visit https://bestofbelfast.org/stories/james-mcclurg-sky-ventures Best Of Belfast is Northern Ireland's #1 Interview Podcast. We've shared 100+ hour-long conversations with incredible people from Northern Ireland. To find out more, or join 'The Producers Club' please visit https://bestofbelfast.org/ Cheers! — Matt

57 MIN2 w ago
Comments
#141 James McClurg: Sky's Startup Investment & Partnerships Team (VC)

#140 Aidan Larkin: The World’s First Bitcoin Auctioneer

Aidan Larkin is the former Asset Recovery Director at Wilsons Auctions. (In other words, he sells the stuff seized by the police from criminals). This position has led to earning the title of the World’s First Bitcoin Auctioneer and making an appearance on several TV documentaries about the auctioneering profession. Aidan also an Ex Criminal Tax Inspector, budding social entrepreneur, husband and father to two boys. In today’s episode, we talk about some of the weird and wonderful things Aidan has auctioned off, how a traditional family business can thrive in a disruptive economy and the path he’s walked to get to the success he’s experienced today. All this and more, coming up on today’s show. Photos, links and treasure trove for Aidan Larkin: https://bestofbelfast.org/stories/aidan-larkin-wilsons-auctions Join The Producer’s Club Today at: https://bestofbelfast.org/producers-club

72 MIN2 w ago
Comments
#140 Aidan Larkin: The World’s First Bitcoin Auctioneer

#139 Colin Davidson: Artist & Painter

Colin Davidson is an artist from Belfast, Northern Ireland. Since 2010, Colin's focus has been on painting scale portraits which have received widespread recognition and many international awards. His critically acclaimed exhibition ‘Silent Testimony’ reveals the stories of eighteen people connected by their individual experiences of loss through the Troubles and has been displayed in Belfast, Paris, Dublin and NYC. Some of his other portrait sitters include the likes of President Bill Clinton, HM The Queen, Ed Sheeran and many local legends like Gary Lightbody, Seamus Heaney, Oliver Jeffers, Dame Mary Peters and Liam Neeson. Colin was commissioned by TIME Magazine in 2015 to paint the German Chancellor, Angela Merkel, for the cover of its ‘Person of the Year’ issue. In today's episode we talk about: His first memories Teaching Brad Pitt how to paint Why he paints his subjects looking away from the viewer The business side of art And the greatest challenges/successes he's faced along the way This conversation also includes voice questions from The Producer's Club as well as people Colin has painted like Gary Lightbody, Mary Peters and Oliver Jeffers. Thanks so much to everyone who submitted ideas and insights to make this episode possible. I am so incredibly excited to share it with you today. // To see a 'treasure trove' of all things related to Colin (including a photo) please visit https://bestofbelfast.org/stories/colin-davidson-artist Best Of Belfast is Northern Ireland's #1 Interview Podcast. We've shared 100+ hour-long conversations with incredible people from Northern Ireland. To find out more, or join 'The Producers Club' please visit https://bestofbelfast.org/ Cheers! — Matt

55 MIN3 w ago
Comments
#139 Colin Davidson: Artist & Painter

#138 Jawbox Gerry Returns!

Joined today again by Belfast's favourite barman: the one and only Gerry White. Founder of Jawbox Gin, ex-manager of The John Hewitt and all-round Belfast legend, Gerry has stories coming out of his ears when it comes to the city we love and know so well. In today's episode, we chat about bars that are no longer around, the new Jawbox flavours and why the hospitality industry is so important to our communities. You can check out our full interview with Gerry here — which was three years and 130 episodes ago! Webpage for this episode: https://bestofbelfast.org/stories/jawbox-gerry

49 MIN3 w ago
Comments
#138 Jawbox Gerry Returns!

#137 Alison Clarke: ACA Models & Miss NI

Alison Clarke is the founder of ACA Models: Northern Ireland's longest-running modelling and promotion agency. After growing up on a farm in County Tyrone, Alison gave up her University offers to study Maths and instead took a job with Ulster Bank. Alongside working full-time at the Waring Street Bank (now The Merchant Hotel) she entered and won Miss Northern Ireland in 1982 and was a runner-up in the Miss UK competition. Ultimately, this experience was the catalyst that led to working in PR & Marketing for eight years before opening up her own agency in 1990. Alison has been her own boss ever since. In today's episode we talk about: Life in Strabane as a child What working in a bank was like before computers How it takes time to build a business Why Miss NI is important for Northern Ireland And the greatest challenges/successes she's experienced along the way Enjoy! // To see a 'treasure trove' of all things related to Alison (including a photo) please visit https://bestofbelfast.org/stories/alison-clarke-aca-models Best Of Belfast is Northern Ireland's #1 Interview Podcast. We've shared 100+ hour-long conversations with incredible people from Northern Ireland. To find out more, or join 'The Producers Club' please visit https://bestofbelfast.org/ Cheers! — Matt

71 MIN3 w ago
Comments
#137 Alison Clarke: ACA Models & Miss NI

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