Mary Portas & Suzannah Clarke; Summer childcare; Eilidh Doyle; Mackenzy Beard; Prof Dame Caroline Dean

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The future of the High Street looked challenging before the pandemic but as shops have reopened it’s become evident how urgent the situation now is. Many brands or their outlets have gone bankrupt or moved online. More than a decade ago Mary Portas outlined this trend with a government review into the problem, but she is now urging people to rethink their whole relationship with shopping and consumerism and move towards a 'kindness economy' as we come out of the lockdown. She has now written a book about this called Rebuild. She joins Krupa Padhy to discuss, alongside Suzannah Clarke who has published research saying women are the key to the regeneration of the High Street economy. Women are responsible for 85% of spending there and she says they need to be taken into account in future planning if the downward trends are to be reversed. Eilidh Doyle is Scotland’s most decorated track and field athlete of all time. The Olympic, World and European medal holder had hoped to compete in the Olympics in Tokyo this month but instead announced – at the age of 34 - her retirement from competitive athletics. She talks to Krupa about knowing when to stop, and becoming involved in a new project with Abertay University, where elite athletes and sporting figures such as Judy Murray and Tanni-Grey Thompson share their experiences of unexpected setbacks and coping strategies with people who have been negatively impacted by Covid-19. School summer holidays are looming in England and Wales and in Scotland and Northern Ireland they have already begun. But what provision is there for the children of working parents who need local, affordable and well-run holiday childcare? There are rumours of patchy availability, often with a high cost. So what impact is this having on parents? Ahead of the results of their annual survey on this – Megan Jarvie, Head of Coram Family and Childcare joins Krupa along with Rebekah Jackson, Director of the Out of School Alliance. 14 year old Mackenzy Beard from Swansea has had a painting selected for exhibition at the Royal Academy, as part of their Young Artists' Summer Show. The work will be on display online and in London from 13th July. Mackenzy joins Krupa to talk about her inspiration for the piece. Do plants have a memory? Yes, according to the pioneering research of Professor Dame Caroline Dean, a plant biologist who has spent more than thirty years looking into how plants remember seasons, and what this can tell us. She’s just been awarded the prestigious Wolf Prize in Agriculture, which is considered by some to be the equivalent of a Nobel Prize in agriculture. Caroline joins Krupa to talk through her extraordinary work and career. Image: Mary Portas Credit: Josh Shinner

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