The Factory Next Door

a podcast about pursuing perfection

This show is for the dreamers and the optimists.

Go behind the doors of Britain’s workshops and factories to meet the makers creating new icons or reimagining traditional ones.


In their pursuit of perfection, the makers offer plenty of lessons – not just in how to create something beautiful, but lessons in the power of optimism, the importance of failure, and our search for that most prized possession, happiness.

From the mills hidden in plain sight, to the manufacturers sitting at the heart of our communities, we go through the factory gates to ask what personal lessons are welded, woven, and boiled into British-made products.

Series One is streaming now on Apple, Spotify, Google and others.


Award-winning economics journalist Steven Duke spent a decade at BBC News working on its flagship programmes, including R4’s Today programme, Five Live, the Six and Ten o’clock news, as well as the World Service. More recently he has been working with some of the world’s biggest companies to help share their stories.

Steven Duke
“When I got my first full-time job, I applied for a credit card with one intention – to buy a bespoke suit from the tailor whose shop I regularly walked past in Leeds.
Navy blue with chalk stripes. Cut slim. I asked the tailor, Keith, to make sure the jacket was fitted tight at the waist. I was the sharpest looking call centre worker this side of the M62.
That was more than 20 years ago. My love for those who are crafting iconic British products has never dimmed.”

Streaming now on Apple, Spotify, Amazon, Google and others.