Humanists UK concludes sixth season of ‘What I Believe’ podcast with guest Adam Kay

16 November, 2023

Season six of Humanists UK’s podcast What I Believe concludes with award-winning writer, comedian, and former doctor Adam Kay, who shares the beliefs that have shaped his life and career. From the original values of the NHS, to questions about its future, he lifts the lid on one of the UK’s most cherished institutions, founded by humanist Nye Bevan, and offers a glimpse into the challenges facing patients, healthcare workers, and the NHS as a service.

What I Believe asks humanists in the public eye what they believe, shining a light on their diverse worldviews and the values, convictions, and opinions they live by. It is presented by Humanists UK Chief Executive, Andrew Copson and has now been downloaded over 300,000 times in more than 100 countries.

This season has proved to be one of the most compelling yet, featuring guests that include entertainer Sandi Toksvig, broadcaster Samira Ahmed, chief architect of the same-sex marriage act Lynne Featherstone, and geneticist Adam Rutherford, each sharing their personal journeys, beliefs, and the values that guide their lives. Listeners tuning into the podcast’s extensive back catalogue can expect insights into guests’ lives and what matters to them most.

Adam Kay, an award-winning writer, comedian, and former doctor known for his witty and poignant reflections on life on the healthcare frontline, concludes the season with a candid conversation about the future of the NHS.

Speaking on the What I Believe podcast, Adam Kay said:

‘I think it [the NHS] is very much loved. But I think the real question we’ll come down to is, how much more money are we prepared to pay for it? I think there is, or should be, a big reckoning coming, which is a grown up conversation between us and the people who we pay our taxes to: asking the question, do we want the NHS to continue the way that it was set up for, with those [original] values that are 75 years old? If the answer is yes – and I hope the answer is yes – then unfortunately, it is going to be more expensive than it is at the moment, and we need to put our hands in our pockets. That’s when we find out how valued the NHS actually is: when it becomes rather than a notional sense of value, that we actually do something about it.’

‘For me, what it comes down to is that we are all equal. Everyone deserves the same and the same should be good. Treating everyone as your equal feels like such a good way to live your life. As old as I am – I’m not 75 – I’ve never known anything other than the NHS growing up… But I have since encountered other healthcare systems, and they’re very, very different. I think that you don’t know what you’ve got until it’s gone.’

Listeners are encouraged to tune in and ‘follow’ the podcast. What I Believe is available on all major podcast platforms. Other guests this season have included neurosurgeon and assisted dying campaigner Henry Marsh, SNP MP Tommy Sheppard, and science communicator Alom Shaha.

Chief Executive of Humanists UK and host of What I Believe, Andrew Copson, commented:

‘I’m delighted but also saddened to be concluding another wonderful season of What I Believe and to have the fabulous Adam Kay as our final guest. The podcast continues to celebrate the rich tapestry of humanist values and beliefs that shape our society.

‘I hope that this season has inspired even more people to engage with humanist ideas and help listeners foster a greater understanding of the human experience.’


For further comment or information, media should contact Humanists UK Director of Public Affairs and Policy Kathy Riddick at or phone 020 7324 3072 or 07534 248 596.

The podcast’s title is inspired by the What I Believe essays of two humanist greats, philosopher Bertrand Russell and the novelist E M Forster.

Humanists UK is the national charity working on behalf of non-religious people. Powered by 120,000 members and supporters, we advance free thinking and promote humanism to create a tolerant society where rational thinking and kindness prevail. We provide ceremonies, pastoral care, education, and support services benefitting over a million people every year and our campaigns advance humanist thinking on ethical issues, human rights, and equal treatment for all.