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Meet the 90-year-old accidental podcaster with a worldwide audience


Mondays with Milly | Phill Cristofaro

Cerith Gardiner - published on 05/14/22

"Mondays with Milly" gives us a rich understanding of life over the last century.

Great-grandmother Doreen Connolly from Lancashire, England, has become a surprising hit around the world thanks to her inquisitive son-in-law, Phill Cristofaro.

During COVID, the nonagenarian began a project with Cristofaro, who lives on the other side of the world in Australia. He asked her various questions about her long life, which began not long before World War II, and recorded her responses.

“For many years she has been telling these wonderful stories — being one step removed and not a blood relative I was enraptured by what she said and I think the lockdown gave us time to do something,” Cristofaro explained to the BBC.

These recordings were meant to be shared among the family, but the podcasts, aptly named, “Mondays with Milly,” ended up becoming a regular feature and have notched up over 7,000 subscribers.

The podcaster is delighted with the response to her talks, but shared there was one little issue:

“It was only meant for my family, sometimes I think I have been a little indiscreet. Sometimes my family tell me ‘you are not allowed to say that’.”

However, she pointed out that there was a benefit to sharing her life experiences:

“It really has been very good for me and has triggered many memories. My two sons have said ‘Mum you never told me about some of these things.'”

And as Cristofaro explained, new technology has given her an opportunity to share her life-story:

“With her failing eyesight we will never get time to write a book, but these days you can do anything with a computer and a microphone. She has the sharpest memory and this gift for storytelling, but not everybody has that.”

The 90-year-old has shared stories of her life that included a time when her childhood home turned into a campaign base for a political party, her life during World War II, and beyond.

While Connolly has finished making new recordings, her podcasting career shows how important it is to learn from our seniors. She also proves that you’re never too old to start a new project or career!

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