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Mothers and Daughters with Sophie Ellis-Bextor and Janet Ellis

Sophie Ellis-Bextor and her mother Janet Ellis join Jenni to discuss their relationship.

Jenni explores the nature of mother and daughter relationships. How do our mothers shape our understanding of what it means to be a woman? And how do our choices impact the lives of our daughters?

She will be joined in the studio by singer Sophie Ellis-Bextor and her mother the broadcaster and author Janet Ellis. They discuss how their bond has developed through the years and how Sophie becoming a mother of four has affected their relationship.

Alana Kirk's mother Pat suffered a devastating stroke just four days after the birth of Alana's third child. Unable to speak or walk, Pat became dependent on carers and her family at the very point that Alana was most needed by her own children. Alana found herself in what she describes as the "sandwich years"; having to make impossible decisions about whether to prioritise her mother or her daughters. She joins Jenni to discuss her memoir The Sandwich Years: How to survive when the people in your life need you most.

And what happens when you confound your mother's expectations? Campaigner Nimco Ali discusses her decision to speak out against FGM and how it has affected her relationship with her mother. She is joined by Jackie Briggs who, despite providing a liberal and understanding environment at home, was powerless in the face of her daughter's sexual confusion.

Presenter: Jenni Murray
Producer: Laura Northedge.

Available now

41 minutes


  • Janet Ellis and Sophie Ellis-Bextor

    Mother and daughter discuss how their relationship has developed over the years

    Duration: 10:51

  • Mothers and daughters

    A compilation of Woman's Hour guests on their relationships as mothers and daughters

    Duration: 07:12

  • Living up to expectations

    Jackie Briggs and Nimco Ali discuss confounding expectations as parents and children

    Duration: 12:27

  • The sandwich years

    Alana Kirk shares her impossible decision whether to prioritise her mother or daughters.

    Duration: 07:47


Role Contributor
Presenter Jenni Murray
Producer Laura Northedge
Interviewed Guest Sophie Ellis-Bextor
Interviewed Guest Janet Ellis
Interviewed Guest Nimco Ali
Interviewed Guest Jackie Briggs
Interviewed Guest Alana Kirk


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