Cressida Bonas

OneFinePlay collaborated with acclaimed author, actor and columnist Cressida Bonas to make a hit podcast about overcoming fear.

Background & first steps

Cressida Bonas is an actor, author, and columnist.

We first met Cressida Bonas in 2019. She wanted to record in our London based studio and was keen to learn more about the medium of podcasting. This began a 3 season collaboration, making her podcast Fear Itself.

Cressida wanted to make a personal and intimate exploration of fear with interesting and notable figures. She wanted it to be commercially viable, have mass appeal, and attract strong guests.

We agreed to assist Cressida in recording the show, ideate and develop the format of Fear Itself, and coach her in storytelling and marketing.


  • Niching: Although the concept was strong, this was still a massive subject. We have learned from creating content that the more you niche into a topic, the greater depth you can go into exploring it. So we helped Cressida niche further into the idea of ‘overcoming fear’. This would give Cressida more scope to explore the idea of overcoming fear rather than simply learning about fear itself. (Pardon the pun.)
  • Narrative: Cressida wanted to create a compelling format. By breaking episodes up into a three act narrative—childhood fear, adult fear, and overcoming that fear—we did just that. This made the podcast flow and had a sense of closure and realisation.
  • Coaching: Fear Itself had brilliant, media trained guests from the beginning in season 1 (Ellie Goulding, Dynamo, etc.). This meant Cressida could not sound like she had just started podcasting. We researched guests for Cressida, ensuring she was informed. We composed the questions and integrated them into the format for a sense of story. And we produced the recordings, giving feedback, support, and assistance throughout. This made Cressida more than a match for any guest.
  • Marketing: This was a new show. So spreading the news that it was out there, and committing to marketing, were paramount. We devised a slick marketing and PR plan. We spoke to publications and leveraged relationships. We created captivating social media clips that spread through social media and expanded the reach of the podcast. We also sequenced the episode release schedule so that every new season makes as big a splash as possible. The listenership figures illustrate how this worked.
  • Selling the Concept: For a project to have a long life expectancy, it needs to be commercially viable. This meant getting sponsors. The show had a strong concept that many people could relate to. But sponsors can find it difficult to buy into a podcast about fear. We crafted a sponsor deck with Cressida that communicated the show wasn’t about fear - but overcoming it. Emphasising this point meant sponsors and advertisers could connect with its vision instantly. We contacted sponsors with this deck and found brands ready to collaborate.

impact & achievements

We produced the entire series, comprising over 35 episodes.

The show would be a massive personal success for Cressida. Building her personal brand and broadening her skillset as a performer and broadcaster.

The show also achieved Cressida’s ambitions from the start. The podcast became monetised. It had excellent guests, and accrued over 100,000 downloads worldwide.

Now, Cressida is the host of a recognised podcast and an authority on overcoming fear.

  • Globally recognised celebrity guests including Richard Branson, Jamie Lang, Ellie Goulding.
  • Included in Apple’s coveted New and Noteworthy section.
  • Reviewed and mentioned in the Daily Mail, the Spectator, the Telegraph and many more.
  • Over 200,000 downloads worldwide
  • Multiple sponsorship deals secured.