Hilarity ensues when Jessie Ware (singer-songwriter) invites her famous friends round for dinner on the podcast Table Manners with Jessie Ware. Her first guest in Season 1 is none other than the eminent pop-singer Sam Smith, and it really does set the tone for a star-studded podcast. This isn’t a fluffy show masquerading as a marketing gimmick, where you’re waiting for celebrities to talk about their next big project. You sense immediately that these are truly Jessie’s own friends and respected peers, so this is a unique opportunity to hear various music-industry professionals and legends at their most relaxed. Jessie is incredibly natural with her friends – there is nothing pretentious or about her, she is simply a Northern English girl with a gift for the gab, and an ease of laughter.
Regardless of it’s A-list roster, I think the absolute best participant on the show is Jessie Ware’s own mom, Lennie, who co-hosts the podcast. Jessie and her mom have a phenomenal, honest relationship and they will make you laugh with them throughout the show’s six seasons. Their witticisms and playfulness with each other really sets the tone for a familial sit down dinner, catering to different tastes, diets, and preferences. Usually it’s Lennie who cooks, too, and this balance is apparent in the dynamic of the show. Where Jessie is used to the music biz and glitzy personalities, playing the ever-charming and attentive host, Lennie comes across as the grounded counterweight, and every guest seems to instinctively be drawn to her maternal and, at times, cheeky personality.
Later on in the seasons, their roster grows beyond the music industry to include some of the biggest name celebrities from the screen, stage, and politics; the food industry, make-up artists, authors, even a former Miss America winner…the list goes on! A very diverse cast of characters with a wide range of backgrounds, experiences and, (ultimately the only thing we care about for this show) fantastic dinner table conversation.
Don’t be mistaken by the food-led framework of this show. This show is more about the conversations we have over meals, with a couple of food-related questions thrown in for good measure. Really, it’s about how much better we get to know each other over a meal; the laughter, the honesty, and the outrageousness of fun that a good dinner party brings out in all of us. Sometimes, in the case of Table Manners, it descends into full-blown chaos and madness (usually because of the wine), but the best part is, you’re laughing and smiling along.
For anyone who is a fan of a good old-fashioned dinner party, this is a show for you. I highly recommend cooking yourself something delicious, opening a bottle of red, and holding on for the one-hour ride. You’ll feel inspired to invite your own friends over to cook, drink, laugh and talk away into the small hours, though I doubt they’re as famous as Jessie’s…