Press Release | 06 Jul 2020

Vodafone teams up with Claudia Winkleman for new ‘Business Unusual’ podcast series

  • Vodafone Business launches ‘Business Unusual’, a podcast series to provide tips, advice and inspiration to the business community.
  • Strictly Come Dancing host and radio personality Claudia Winkleman will present the new podcast.
  • First episode goes live 7 July featuring an interview with Freddie Blackett, CEO of online gardening centre Patch.

Vodafone has today launched ‘Business Unusual’, a weekly podcast series aimed at the start-up and scale-up business community. The podcast will be presented by Strictly Come Dancing presenter and radio personality Claudia Winkleman and will initially run for eight episodes.

Business Unusual will look to inspire start-up and scale-up businesses as the UK navigates through the changes caused by the Covid-19 pandemic.

The podcast will feature interviews with challenger brands – start-ups and scale-ups who are shaking up their industry and challenging the status quo. Each half hour episode will see presenter Claudia Winkleman speak with a business owner to discuss their approach to dealing with changes and challenges, before and during the Covid-19 crisis.

In the first episode, to air on Tuesday 7 July, Claudia will speak to Freddie Blackett, CEO and Founder of Patch, an online plant shop, about his experience of the Covid outbreak. The company has seen a 500% increase in sales as people flocked online to purchase plants to brighten up their indoor spaces  and gardens during lockdown.

Anne Sheehan, Director, Vodafone Business UK, said: “Our Business Unusual podcast sets out to support, inspire and champion the small business community who are so vital to the UK economy. We want to highlight those small businesses who have been able to use and adapt their digital capabilities to navigate themselves through the Covid-19 pandemic.

“Now more than ever, our customers are looking to us for solutions so that they can continue to do business. We hope this podcast serves as a valuable resource for insight and tips to inspire others.”

Business Unusual podcast presenter Claudia Winkleman said: “I have always been really interested in new and emerging businesses. These are worrying times for small businesses across the UK, so the Vodafone Business Unusual podcast is the perfect place to learn how entrepreneurs successfully grow their ideas.

“I look forward to speaking to some of the most exciting and disruptive business owners operating in the UK today.”

Freddie Blackett, CEO, Patch, said: “When you’re starting a small business, it’s really helpful to hear from people who’ve been on the same journey you’re going through. When I started Patch, I listened to so many interviews to pick up tips on how to grow the business, and to feel reassured that everyone has their struggles.

“I was thrilled to be asked on to Business Unusual to tell the story of Patch. I hope it helps people in the way others helped me.”

Future guests include:

* Further details on each participating business can be found in the notes to editors section.

All Business Unusual episodes will be available to listen to and download via the following audio platforms: Acast, Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher, Deezer, Castbox, Pocket Cast, Podcast Addict, Alexa, Doggcatcher, Player FM, Overcast.




Notes to editors

The Business Unusual podcast is produced by audio production company Listen.

About Listen

Listen launched in 2019 as a leading producer of world-class content across all audio sectors. Formed by Wisebuddah’s award-winning content team, Listen are a key supplier of audio content to brands, agencies, broadcasters and digital platforms. Their high-profile and chart-topping podcasts include ‘The Gemma Collins Podcast’, ‘Frank Warren’s Heavyweight Podcast’, ‘Beyond Reasonable Doubt?’, ‘Couch to 5K’, ‘Little Chapters of Chill’, ‘Boot Room To Boardroom’ and ‘A Grown-Up Guide to Dinosaurs’.

About Patch

Patch helps you find the right plants for your space, delivers them to your door, and helps you look after them. We want to help more people reconnect with nature because we believe it’s fundamental to the sustainability of urban life.

About Little Moons

Little Moons is a family run gourmet dessert brand that produces a range of Mochi and Cookie Dough Ice Cream Bites from its factory in London.

About Our Parks

Our Parks is the biggest outdoor group exercise company in London, delivering FREE fitness sessions in local parks across London and the UK to more than 100,000+ Parkers (users). Founded by Born Barikor in 2014, Our Parks was created to give everyone access to FREE or affordable, high-quality group exercise, no matter where you live or your income.

About Growing Underground

Zero Carbon Food builds controlled-environment farms that grow a range of natural products, without any environmental impact. The farms are expertly formulated to be resilient to adverse weather and the increasing challenges of climate change. By utilising the latest sensor technology, the farms monitor and adapt the growing environment to sustainably increase yields, whilst also turning over more harvests per year than conventional farms. The products created by ZCF’s farms are of high quality: intense and flavourful produce with an increased nutritional profile. The farms are space efficient and located close to consumers in city spaces – allowing for a consistent (daily!) supply of hyper-local, fresh and sustainable produce: meaning fewer food miles and ultimately, less food going to waste.

About what3words

what3words is the simplest way to talk about location. They’ve divided the world into a grid of 3m x 3m squares, and assigned each one three words from the dictionary – a what3words address. It means you can talk about anywhere on the planet using just three words.

About Bouclème

Curl expert and Founder Michele Scott-Lynch launched Bouclème in October 2014. Firmly believing in the power of nature, all products are packed with high performance natural actives that restore moisture and life to dry lack-lustre hair. Ingredients used are ethically sourced and biodegradable, using fair trade ingredients wherever possible. All products are cruelty-free and made here in the UK. Bouclème works with a diverse panel of testers with different curl patterns and hair issues, testing on real curls, never on animals!

About Northern Monk

Northern Monk is an independent brewery focused on creating the best beer experiences in the world. From two people in a parent’s cellar in 2013, to 70 employees and exporting to 28 countries in 2020, Northern Monk is one of the North’s fastest growing drinks companies.

About OLIO

OLIO is a free app tackling the enormous problem of food waste – and waste more broadly – in the home. It does this by connecting people who have food or other household items that they don’t want or need, with their neighbours living nearby who would like them. In just over four years OLIO has grown from a local initiative in North London to a global movement with over two million users in 50+ countries, who have together shared over five million portions of food. At its heart OLIO is all about good people doing good things, and we believe that small actions x lots of people = massive change.

More Topics

About Vodafone UK

Vodafone UK is a technology communications company that connects people, businesses and devices to help our customers benefit from digital innovation. Our services span mobile, fixed-line connections, home and office broadband, and the Internet of Things (IoT).

We have a strong track record as a tech pioneer, making the UK’s first mobile phone call, sending the first text message, and making the UK’s first live holographic call using 5G in 2018. We were the first to start carrying live 5G traffic from a site in Salford, Greater Manchester and now have 5G in locations across Germany, Ireland, Italy, Spain as well as the UK. Meanwhile, our 4G network coverage currently reaches over 99% of the UK population.

Today, Vodafone serves more than 18 million mobile and fixed-line customers in the UK. Vodafone is the largest provider of full fibre in the UK – our superfast broadband services are now available to nearly 12 million homes across the UK.

Sustainability is also at the heart of what we do: as of 1 July 2021, 100% of the grid electricity we use in the UK is certified to be from renewable sources.

For more information about Vodafone UK, please visit:

Vodafone UK Media Relations

Telephone: +44 (0) 1635 693 693


Twitter: @VodafoneUKNews


Vodafone Limited

Registered Office: Vodafone House, The Connection, Newbury, Berkshire RG14 2FN

Registered in England No: 1471587