Journalist, podcaster, documentarian, TV presenter who speaks 5 languages. I’ve searched for UFOs, performed exorcisms and hung out with porn stars.

This is me ringing the bells as part of an exorcism for the BBC’s Exorcism: The Battle for Young Minds.

I love this photo. It’s the moment I realised it was inappropriate for me to doing an exorcism on a woman with schizophrenia. She should have sought medical care. They say the bells stave off the devil, but my film — which won festival awards and placed in the BBC’s Best of Year list — wasn’t really about demons. It was an exposé of a priest in Buenos Aires who exploited women with mental illnesses.

So, how did I…

I learned these need-to-know tips on how to improve my well-being and productivity with the science of living

Person sticking thumbs up outside of car window
Person sticking thumbs up outside of car window
Image credit: Anna Gorbacheva.

I was fortunate enough to have a chat with the brilliant scientist Dr Stuart Farrimond (Dr. Stu). He is known for his work on having the best day possible. And his book, “Live Your Best Life: 219 Science-based Reasons to Rethink Your Daily Routine,” delves into 219 ways you can improve your life in a day.

Since meeting him, I’ve started sleeping better and being more productive. For the first time in my life, I can concentrate and get my work done in advance. Here are four of my favorite tips from Dr. Stu:

1. I Take Shorter (Or Longer) Naps

The biggest change to my life…

Dr. James Fallon devoted his life to studying psychopaths, before realizing a scan of a brain that looked like a serial killer…was his own

Animated brain
Animated brain
Image credit: Jolygon.

‘So, your brain is telling you that you’re a serial killer…’ I begin, as neuroscientist (and psychopath) Dr. James Fallon fixes me with a glare icy enough to freeze a polar bear. Afraid, I stutter: ‘So why — as far as I know — are you not a serial killer?’

His face freezes into an irritated detachment, like a cat playing with a bird still clinging to life. For five seconds that imbue me with a lifetime of angst, not a muscle moves in his face, though shadows around his eyes darken.

His mouth utters from behind a muzzle of…

I wrote 5 articles for big publications, became a ‘top writer’ and made $100s from 12k+ views. But where’s the writing ambition?

Photo by Michelle Phillips on Unsplash

I’ve been working as a freelance journalist for more than ten years. But I only looked into Medium as a potential earner and place to hone my writing skills a few weeks ago.

Friends had been suggesting for years that I paddle in the Medium pond, but I figured that I’d be shouting into the wind, drowned out by a hurricane of articles from thousands better practised in the dark arts of marketing.

I was an assistant on an exorcism I didn’t believe in—and was amazed by the power of the mind

Padre Manuel exorcises 17-year-old Candela, while his assistant blindfolds her, in the BBC’s Exorcism: The Battle for Young Minds
Padre Manuel exorcises 17-year-old Candela, while his assistant blindfolds her, in the BBC’s Exorcism: The Battle for Young Minds
Padre Manuel exorcises 17-year-old Candela, while his assistant blindfolds her, in the BBC’s Exorcism: The Battle for Young Minds

Draped head to toe in a purple frock, Padre Manuel knelt down and spritzed water on the possessed teenage girl’s face. As he bellowed movie catchphrases at her in Spanish, Candela writhed in agony, contorting this way and that to the will of her robed conductor, her screams opening up the gates of hell in the local parish hall.

A swarm of ecclesiastical hands pinned down her arms and legs, and a cloth was held down over her nose and eyes. Lost in the darkness, she wriggled, and babbled in tongues, before taking on a demonic intonation: ‘She’s mine,’ she…

A priest in Buenos Aires nearly killed me after I learned about his sordid secret, while I was making a documentary for the BBC about his activities.

Image by SJSBoston on Unsplash

‘No, no. This is just a conversation with Andrew,’ said the exorcist. There was something menacing in his tone. He blocked off my director David and thrust me into a store room, where five of his ecclesiastical cronies lingered. Chests pumped, teeth bared. It was after midnight. You wouldn’t know it in this closet in the suburbs of Buenos Aires, but we had gathered here for a momentous occasion.

Next-door, the parish nave…

How consistency, a system, and Viggo Mortensen helped me go from one to five languages—after failing miserably at school

traveller looking out the window of an airport terminal
traveller looking out the window of an airport terminal
Image credit: YakobchukOlena

There I was, a clumsy, decaf-drinking 25-year-old British man in a swanky Buenos Aires radio station, being ridiculed by Viggo Mortensen. But even as he laid into me — his jokes later leading to my being heckled on the streets of Argentina — I couldn’t help but smile. The Hollywood actor may have been making fun of me, but he was doing so in Spanish. And I was responding in kind.

My Viggo tale is as long as it is ridiculous and will have to be left for another day. The crux of the story is that I held my…

And how every podcaster can use this strategy to increase their audience.

I got my podcast (bottom-left) onto Apple New & Noteworthy twice

It’s likely you are a podcaster, given there are more podcast episodes floating through the digital abyss than people in Greece, Portugal and Sweden combined. If you’re not a podcaster, you should be: more than half of all US consumers above the age of 12 listen to podcasts. That’s why this advice could boost your podcast to brave new heights.

This strategy isn’t anything ground-breaking, exciting or even that innovative. But I’d wager this is as close as it gets to an insider tip. …

Andrew Gold

Top Writer: BBC filmmaker, podcaster & writer on weird & controversial | Reel: | On the Edge Podcast:

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