Writer/broadcaster. Currently hosting Free Speech on BBC3 (new series starts next Tuesday 9th so, you know, watch it). Involved with the #swingthevote campaign.


(the ravenous goon stuffing Doritos in his face just over my shoulder is Brendan, our series producer. Loves crisps)

Comments: 129 • Responses: 38  • Date: 

Fatally_Flawed11 karma

I once had a dream about you in which you were a ghost and you asked me out and then stood me up.

How do you explain this sort of behaviour?

rickedwards13 karma

A ghost never explains.

miss_wendal7 karma

Hi Rick,

I just watched your TedX talk today. I found it really interesting, particularly the notion of a 'none of the above' vote being an option. I'm at uni as a mature student (mature in the sense of being 25, I still behave like a teen) and I find it a struggle to get people in my classes, mostly of 18 and 19, to discuss politics let alone see a reason to vote. I shall be recommending your video for sure. So questions.. 1) In the video you called on politicians to prove you wrong if they were doing everything to engage with young voters. Has an MP contacted you regarding this? 2) Do you think there is a chance that politics will wake up and use your suggested methods to get young people to vote? 3) Favourite moment of MIC and cast member?

rickedwards4 karma

  1. yes, several have. Which is really encouraging.
  2. I'm hoping to leverage the support of the MPs mentioned above to push these methods to the front of the agenda.
  3. Proudlock is a cutie.

RaulRaulRaul5 karma

What do you think about Russell Brands opinion on voting?? (He says that it doesn't work so he doesn't vote)

rickedwards22 karma

I think what Russell is saying is extremely dangerous because he has such an influence over young people in particular. I don't doubt that he is a smart, caring, sensitive guy, but he is offering no alternative to democracy. His message boils down to "wouldn't it be better if things were better?". Well, yes. But how?

pentag04 karma

Why would any young person want to have anything with politics?

rickedwards7 karma

Politics affects our lives in so many ways, every day. If young people don't have their say, whether through voting or campaigning or whatever, then people - politicians - will continue make decisions that will impact them without any form of consultation.

pentag03 karma

My impression is that politicians make same decisions no matter who and what people are voting for.

Can you tell me 3 exact differences between major politicians in US?

I honestly believe that young people should be encouraged to go in Icelandic revolution direction rather than vasting their lives by trying to understand bullshit government and their financiers (who are actually a government) serving them on a daily basis.

Politics is poison for young mind.

rickedwards3 karma

I certainly agree that the crowdsourcing of the new Icelandic constitution is fascinating (if that's what you're talking about). We could learn from it.

My US politics isn't that hot, to be honest.

emmyinthesky4 karma

My SO demands to know what you do to your hair to get it like that. Monkey placenta?

rickedwards3 karma

I've trained it over many years to do exactly what I want.

When I'm on TV, I slather it in placenta (unknown provenance)

hershadow4 karma

Why are the candidates for local council elections in my area so RUBBISH about putting information online about what they stand for? Why do they think I want a leaflet that tells me that they have a dog and like hockey?

Not that I'm bitter about it.

rickedwards2 karma

I think access to clear, trustworthy information is a huge problem, not just on a local level. I am in favour of Voter Advice Applications, which could be specifically tailored and rolled out for General Elections and Local Elections.


hershadow3 karma

What are your favourite crisps? What are Brendan's favourite crisps?

rickedwards3 karma

I go nuts for Tyrells, because I am pure class.

Brendan will eat literally anything.

richardwrinkle3 karma

If you could drink a beer with Steven Gerrard or Queen Elizabeth, who would you choose?

rickedwards3 karma

Is both out of the question?

hershadow3 karma

Who is your favourite MP based entirely on dress sense and why?

hershadow3 karma

Is the best part of being super tall being able to get things from high shelves in the supermarket?

rickedwards8 karma

No, the best thing is going to Japan and dressing up as Godzilla.

ScoobertDoobyRogers3 karma

I remember on Tool Academy you once said "I can throw you 110cm. But how far can I trust you?", and it was hilarious. Was that scripted?

PS. How are you so handsome? No homo.

Also I really respect your passion for politics. Im glad a big public figure for the younger generation such as yourself is so involved.

rickedwards9 karma




I feel like someone has to be passionate about these issues. And it might as well be the geezer off of Tool Academy.

Blomfield202 karma

Do you think politics or at least, for want of a better phrase "how things work" should be a compulsory subject in schools? It has always puzzled me as to why there isn't "Life lessons" in school teaching people how living in a country works, this is the idea behind this, this is the idea behind that etc.

If nothing else they should start teaching to get rid of people saying they studied at the school of life.

rickedwards6 karma


I've spoken to kids in schools whose sum political knowledge has been an awareness of the different colours of the parties. Schools are, obviously, the ideal place to teach a basic level of politics - how our democracy works, the historical positions of the major parties, how decisions at a government level affect people's lives on the day-to-day etc.

bkjmiller1 karma

It seems the answer to everything is 'we should teach it in schools' - obesity, personal finance, sexism, ... Is there enough time for everything?

rickedwards10 karma

There is enough time for you to eat Pringles.

mirwhs2 karma

What has been your favourite TV show you've worked on so far?

rickedwards2 karma

I am sitting in the Free Speech offices. With my Free Speech colleagues. So - Free Speech.

(but actually - the Paralympics)

vanmundygar2 karma

American Libertarian here who knows little about the UK political process. I do get most of my world/US news from the BBC. Question is: What is the best way you have found to get teens/young adults to understand the importance of politics?

rickedwards5 karma


So, online-voting. VAAs. Bringing politics to where young people are living their lives. Encouraging the people in power to have a meaningful online presence and get involved with dialogues, rather than simply broadcasting information (obviously there is a practical time limitation on this sort of interaction).

almosthere03272 karma

  1. Which US president will you be voting for in 2016 and why?

  2. Have you seen Jim Jeffries new stand up on Netflix and do you find his portrayal of Oscar Pistorius accurate?

rickedwards1 karma

  1. Nixon?
  2. No, I haven't. Will check it out.

ThatRedditerGuy2 karma

Do you miss T4?

rickedwards3 karma

Do I miss what?

SvalbardBear2 karma

Hi Rick. I was at a taping of Free Speech in Swansea where we discussed whether sexy clothes on a lady encourages rapists or not. One of the audience members said something along the lines of "if the food smells good, you want to taste it." I was wondering what the most shocking thing an audience member has ever said and how you would mitigate that during a live broadcast?

rickedwards4 karma

I remember that! Horrific.

Weirdly, you have to let people express their opinions, whether you agree with them or not. That only ceases to apply with hate speech, I think.

When people say outrageous things, you can usually rely upon another audience member or panellist to confront them.

laurenwwe1 karma

Hi! I met you at The Hollyoaks Music Show...it was a good day. Who has been you favourite celebrity to interview? And the worst?

rickedwards5 karma

I have tried to forget that The Hollyoaks Music Show existed. Thanks for the reminder.

I like Hugh Jackman.

Snazzee1 karma

Hello, I was going to ask a childish question like have you ever unwittingly eaten peanut butter off the stomach of a big man, or smelt a really old salmon? (But I won't. I will just say I really like your swing the vote campaign. I had to write about it at a job interview a few months back.)

rickedwards2 karma

Of course I've eaten peanut butter off a big fella. Hasn't everyone?

Glad you like #swingthevote. Campaign film is launching next Thursday 11th September.

Leeroydalvin1 karma

You had me at the peanut butter, you lost me at the salmon, you had me again at Sing the Vote. You're such a tease. All these emotions.

rickedwards1 karma


I think I've just won you again.

(#singthevote is a good new idea)

tess2561 karma

Hi Rick,

Well done for being funny on twitter. Would you call yourself a feminist? If so, why/ why not?

rickedwards6 karma

Thanks mate.

I am a feminist. Absolutely. I think it's a shame that more men don't identify as such.

catjellycat1 karma

Do you think the rise of UKIP and other more 'nationalist' parties would be helped or hindered by younger voters? Or does it matter not in democracy?

rickedwards3 karma

Honestly, I don't know. The received wisdom tends to be that younger voters lean left, but I'm not entirely convinced of that. I think the split between the Tories, Labour and Lib Dems at the last election (amongst young voters) was roughly equal.

I try to remain publically neutral - all I want is to encourage people to vote, not point them towards who to vote for.

catjellycat1 karma

It's something I wonder about. Certainly, it is my experience working with young people that they can see some issues as very black and white (immigration = wholly bad) for example.

Then I remember the chemistry PhD on my Facebook who posts all kinds of ill-informed shit and realise that if you're going to have democracy, you got to allow for all kinds of chumps, of all ages.

rickedwards2 karma

That is the price of democracy. But I would never entertain the notion of restricting voting (looking for 'well-informed' voters is dangerous territory).

Lofabred1 karma

As you see it, what are some young people's issues that are going under-recognized or un-addressed all together?

rickedwards3 karma

I think it's both.

There appears to be a vicious cycle: young people aren't voting, so their issues don't get addressed; that disengages young people even more; they vote even less; and so on.

We have to break that cycle, and quickly.

Bigassbird1 karma

How on earth can Super Mario be a replacement for Suarez?

And when you and George Lamb are out on the town do you intimidate others as you're both very tall? Not freakshow tall, but tall enough to be a curiosity.

rickedwards6 karma

Both good questions. I'll deal with each in turn:

  1. he can't.
  2. yes, I think so. Especially when I ride around on his shoulders singing 'THE BOYS ARE BACK IN TOWN'.

zoop_zoop1 karma

Hi Rick, if you haven't heard of it already one of my friends has designed a website that uses your views to match you with the political parties that share your views.


Now for my question : do you prefer Liverpool's team how it was 4 months ago or now? I'm crossing my fingers for Liverpool not to follow Tottenham's path after replacing Bale.

EDIT: just realised there is a MIC novelty vote as well!

rickedwards1 karma

I have seen it. Great stuff. There are a few around.

My fingers are similarly crossed re: LFC's team. I'm hoping that Sterling will continue to terrorise defences.

Tonyf1ow1 karma

What do you think is the biggest barrier to online voting? Surely it can't be security / fraud when everyone banks online now?

Is it that politicans are scared of what might happen if huge numbers of new people started voting?

rickedwards2 karma

I think there is a paralysing resistance to ANY change.

And older people (like politicians) tend to have less trust in the internet than the younger generation. That doesn't help.

As for the huge spike in voter numbers that online voting would undoubtedly bring - yes, I'm sure that terrifies politicians.

Chiquita4eyes1 karma

Do you think I am too old to watch Hollyoaks? My husband thinks I am.. But 28 really isn't that old, is it?

rickedwards1 karma

You're too old to be on Reddit, Chiquita.

katherinedevir1 karma

Salute Rick, I think you're a very talented man, silly question, are you a ticklish guy? If yes, where? Kiss from France!

rickedwards2 karma

It's embarrassing, but I have a very ticklish anus.

Kiss from England!

Deflatermice1 karma

Is The Thick of It an adequate representation of British politics?

Follow-up: is Peter Capaldi going to be the best Doctor?

rickedwards1 karma

It's an ob-doc, isn't it?

And no, Capaldi will be inferior to Sylvester McCoy.

abercromby31 karma

Do you think a direct democracy, where people use the internet to vote for policies, rather than for candidates (who potentially can't be trusted), would be better than the current UK system?

It seems to me that requiring a candidate to speak for you is something that was only necessary before mass communications; now, they only get in the way.

rickedwards1 karma

That's very interesting.

I think there are limitations on direct democracy - for example, I suspect that if you ask the electorate to vote on lowering taxes, they would vote in favour. If you then asked if they wanted to increase public spending on services, they would again vote in favour. And so you get into difficulties through contradictions.

nb2061 karma


rickedwards2 karma

Not voting gets ignored.

Spoilt ballots have to be counted, but I guess feel rebellious.

I'd love to see a None Of The Above option. A legitimate, sanctioned way of the electorate expressing dissatisfaction with the parties.

rickedwards1 karma



Thanks for your questions (most of them).

RavenxWaves1 karma

What's your most memorable Free Speech moment? Best and worst

rickedwards0 karma

All a blur.

hershadow0 karma

What is the most disheartening part of the whole trying to get young people engaged with politics thing?

rickedwards2 karma

Actually, it isn't disheartening. Young people care about issues and causes, undeniably. The challenge is ensuring that they make the link between those causes and politics. There is a disconnect. It would be much harder if young people didn't care.

lukeyrads0 karma

Can you buy me a beer next time i'm in London? I am tall and think we would see eye to eye on subjects.

rickedwards2 karma

Yes. Do you drink Weissbier? I've got one going spare right now*.

*it is RANK