Episode 69: A conversation with Dave Chawner

Our guest this week, Dave Chawner, says of himself, “I’m under no illusion, I’m a nobody, and I’m absolutely cool with that.”

Well Dave, I beg to disagree!

Dave is a comedian, campaigner and reluctant author, who joined me in April for a talk through all things male eating disorders, mental health and coping. Put simply, he is one of the most self-deprecating yet upbeat and cheerful people I’ve spoken to. His energy in conversation was totally infectious.

Dave talks with candid honesty and a fresh perspective about his long time battle with anorexia, which he went through in his teens and 20s, and shares his unique thoughts on genuine, tangible coping mechanisms and recovery. We got into some big topics, from our screwed up attitude to weight, food and eating disorders in this country to the gifts that suffering from an eating disorder can bring in the long-term, and body positivity.

As you might expect from someone who works as a comedian, he is most up for having a laugh and keeping the tone light when it comes to serious subjects, and particularly mental health challenges, but this is clearly a superpower in sharing important messages in a powerful way, which he does regularly through his TV, radio and stand-up work.

We were able to dive deeper into:

  • The very fresh and recent experience of losing his Dad

  • Initial thoughts on his grief response

  • The social equaliser of comedy and its ability to shed light on dark topics

  • Becoming conscious to suffering with anorexia

  • Congratulating people on weight loss

  • The messy process of acceptance and recovery

  • The actionable coping mechanisms he’s found most valuable

  • Taking gifts from an eating disorder and the guilt that comes with that

  • The process and pain of writing a memoir

  • The pressure of being a comedian and sharing emotions socially when mental health isn’t good

  • Finding acceptance for emotions and feelings

  • An insight into being on Lorraine

Friends, you can listen and share through the links below, from this Friday at 8am BST. Be sure to check out Dave’s show notes too = gold dust!

Listen on Soundcloud


Apple Podcasts



Show notes

Dave’s TED-x talk

Dave’s website

Dave on Twitter

Weight Expectations: One Man’s Recovery from Anorexia (buy this, it’s so good!)

Jake Mills and the Hub of Hope


Everything I Know About Love: Dolly Alderton’s book

Hope Virgo


Yes Man, by Danny Wallace

The Power of Now

Emi Howe, BodEquality

Bird by Bird, by Anne Lamott

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