Nicki Bannerman: VanillaPod, Radio, and Wellbeing

Please welcome radio host, presenter, producer and voice artist, Nicki Bannerman to our team at Vanilla, as she hosts our brand new and not-so-secret podcast: VanillaPod

If you listen to any local radio or podcasts, then you’ve definitely heard Nicki’s voice, especially on The Influential Women podcast which she hosts. The podcast is a celebration of women and delves into the ways in which authors, broadcasters, campaigners and influencers have survived, thrived and overcome adversity, all the challenges that come with being a successful businesswoman or with their health, wellbeing and personal lives.

Nicki Bannerman

Even before her podcast, local East Anglian Nicki, had a passion for radio, working extensively with BBC London and Suffolk. But it all began at her local radio station, where she found her love for sound.

“I’ve worked in publishing with both written and spoken word but right now there’s a renaissance for audio. I just developed a passion for radio and I thought, I really want to get into it. So about seven years ago, I volunteered at my local community radio station where I ended up doing the weekend breakfast show and I was a newsreader there for three years,” Nicki tells us.

Following her time at her local radio station, she began working with the BBC to produce a podcast interviewing women that work in broadcasting, and worked with other successful women in the radio industry like Jane Garvey from BBC Women’s Hour, Fi Glover and Kirsty Young from Desert Island Discs. It was at this time that she found her real passion for podcasts.

“I had gone to one of the BBC conferences in Manchester, and people were talking about podcasts and I was like: ‘what actually is that then?’ I became a bit curious and just started discovering more and more. I quickly realised podcasting was right at the infant stage and this was seven years ago. I started by focusing on women in broadcast and then women generally, before there were really any women’s podcasts around. I actually launched The Influential Women Podcast four years ago, so hopefully, I’ve been riding on the crest of the podcasting wave.”

Nicki has also been guest presenting BBC Radio Suffolk – featuring seven times during lockdown – on a ‘Thought Of The Day’ segment on the Jon Wright evening show. Along with features on the work of the NHS, she’s been inspiring and providing support for listeners as well as playing five pieces of music that relate to how they might be feeling.

And we, at Vanilla, are excited that one of her next projects for 2021 will be hosting and producing VanillaPod, a podcast created specially for our readers.

“This is such a great opportunity for this coming year. I’m thrilled to be representing the Vanilla brand and hosting this new platform. We’re planning to include interviews with inspiring and interesting male and female guests throughout the region. I’m excited about sharing those future stories and getting more Vanilla readers hooked on podcasts. So listen out for that everyone – I’m really looking forward to it!”

To tie in with our Manilla section, which you can find further in our online issue, VanillaPod will also have some focus on men’s mental health. Nicki has always had a particular interest in health and wellbeing, and has interviewed Ruby Wax and Frank Bruno about their own mental health in the past.

“Men have started really talking about what matters and that is amazing. I’ve walked past men in the park during lockdown and found myself listening to them discussing emotions and relationships, quite intensely. I realised I have never heard men talk in that way before, so I think that’s a really good thing. They are suffering too of course, and it’s important we support them, as everyone is struggling right now on some level. So I’m proud to be a part of something that is really topical and important.”

To listen to Nicki’s podcasts, download The Influential Women podcast on Spotify, Google Podcasts, Apple Podcasts and all other listening platforms to get your daily dose of inspiration. Or go to her website to satisfy all of your listening needs. Of course, also keep your ears open for any news of upcoming VanillaPod episodes coming soon.  

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