The Face presents, as a partner to new Sky original I Hate Suzie, a podcast series. My Public Me – A User’s Guide is a four-episode discussion of the issues raised in the already-critically-acclaimed show.
“This show is everything I need right now,” says journalist, commentator and host Chanté Joseph by way of her opening remarks in the first episode as she’s joined by writer Lucy Prebble and star Billie Piper.
As they embark on a thoughtful, informative, dissecting – and often very funny – three-way conversation, Piper talks about “the quest of the show” that she and Prebble co-created.
“We really wanted to pull apart what it means to be a woman, right now, in your late twenties, early thirties, which is a time nobody really dramatises.” This is a time in our lives, the actress notes, when we make “huge calls”: where have I been, where am I at, where am I going?
Explaining her creative spur, Prebble adds: “I really like to find heightened ways of representing stuff. So fame is a metaphor for being a woman where you feel like you’re publicly available in a slightly different way.”
Wolf whistles, “smile, love”, “who ate all the pies!” – according to Prebble, this is the verbal gauntlet women have to run daily, IRL, on the streets.
“And fame is a massive extension of that. So, everyone feels like they own Suzie. But nowadays,” the playwright adds, “I think that’s common to everybody – how much of yourself you give away on social media in order to be praised or liked.”
Over the course of a revealing conversation, Piper admits to the “exhaustion” of social media, Joseph flags the corrosive impacts of cancel culture, Prebble praises Michael Coel for her groundbreaking I May Destroy You, and the trio consider the key question: how many of us, really, could survive having the content of our phones fully scrutinised?
And, swinging the conversation back to what Prebble calls the “inciting incident” at the heart of I Hate Suzie, Piper talks of friends, male and female, who had revealing photographs revealed after a phone hack. The responses, she says, were polarising.
“The men really didn’t care. That could not be said about the women,” she observes wryly, and the difference was “shocking.”
As Piper says: “For the men, it was: ‘Go on, mate!’ For the women, it was: ‘Shame shame shame shame.’”
Tune in above.