A podcast series from Alpha CRC

Co-hosted by Paul Mangell, Yuliya Stancheva and Balnur Zhexeni

Do you ever contemplate on a specific word and ask yourself: Where does it come from and what does it mean? What is my relationship with it? How does it impact my thinking and behaviour? How is it imprinted in our culture and society? Then you are not alone! Just like you, we love words, their complex and diverse meanings, and their power to inspire, nurture and guide us.

About the Podcast

We admit, we are fascinated by words and “Just say the word” is homage to our relationship with them and their transformative power. This podcast aims to educate, entertain, and inspire.

In every episode we invite a special guest- a celebrity, a radical thinker, a creative mind, a change-maker, a high-achiever, and ask them what is the word that defines their successes and achievements; that one special word that relates to their values, beliefs, and life experiences. We then take the conversation a step further; we dig into the semantic background of that word and search for exciting cultural connotations- from music, movies, and books, to travel, food, culture and politics- we cover many grounds in search for exciting cross-references with the chosen word.

Join us every other week on a journey across borders, times and cultures with our guests and their one special word as we investigate its origin, meaning and power to create our world.

S1E6–Vlad Illich: Menopause

Show Notes

In Episode 06, we hear the award-winning Stand-Up Comedy artist Vlad Illich talk about the word “menopause”. During their hilarious conversation, Vlad, Paul and Yuliya embark on an intriguing journey around that word, taking unexpected turns at topics such as communism, Balkan parenthood, invisible male menopause and empty nest syndrome. As a bonus, Vlad treats us to some of the iconic sketches that won him fame during his BBC Three’s ‘Stand up for Live Comedy’.


Later in the podcast, Balnur investigates the etymological roots of the word “menopause” and Yuliya highlights films, documentaries, musicals, books and real-life stories-all inspired by the word “menopause” and seasoned with humour.

Podcast List

About our hosts

Yuliya Stancheva Yuliya Stancheva

Yuliya is a professional voice actor, podcast host and storyteller with 20 years of experience as a radio presenter and producer, who is not a stranger to giving voice to words and playing with them while creating captivating stories.

Paul Mangell Paul Mangell

Paul is a Director at Alpha CRC who has been managing all things localization for more than 20 years. With master’s degree in English and Philosophy and a background in theatre directing and music, he can delve effortlessly in all discussions with finesse and sophistication.

Balnur Zhexeni Balnur Zhexeni

Balnur is a divisional Marketing Manager at Alpha CRC, and a passionate linguist who finds pleasure in etymology research and in spreading the language craze for both professional and leisure use.