February 9, 2016
Valentine’s Day approaches! It’s never been a festival I celebrate (at least not for the romance aspect), but nonetheless, the love-related audio abounds:
Answer Me This has just gone on paternity leave for three months, but we leave you with the new AMT Love album, an hour of not-been-on-the-podcast material about dating, sex and forked urethras. It’s for sale on iTunes, Amazon and our own Answer Me This! Store, and you can read all about it at answermethispodcast.com/love and hear a trailer below.
I’ll be honest: it’s probably one of the most unromantic things you could possibly listen to.
Then! There’s a fun new Allusionist double bill about dating ads – the history of lonely hearts over the last 300 years, in WLTM part I; and in WLTM part II, how one woman conduced a grand linguistic experiment to game the online dating system and find her perfect match (I love this story!).
It reminded me of how my friend Clare met her husband James: he filtered the dating site’s results so it only showed him women who specified that they liked drinking and smoking. Only two women made it through the filters, and one was Clare. They’ve been married for nearly four years now.
December 24, 2015
After the runaway train mayhem of me trying to teach Jane Garvey how to sew on Woman’s Hour earlier this year, BBC Radio 4 saw fit to reunite the double act, so I went over to Jane’s house and we tried to make Christmas decorations out of dried fruit. Frankly I showed little aptitude for fruit sculpting, but I had Great Fun Trying. You can hear it here, if you want to throw together some fruity decorations in time for Christmas.
There’s one last episode of The Allusionist for 2015, in which I tackle some of the listeners’ requests for etymology and word advice: theallusionist.org/bonus2015
And I’ve just finished the biggest editing job of the year: the annual Best of Answer Me This compilation. Assembling the montage of drunk, plaintive and misbegotten voicemails is my favourite task every year. Here are a couple from years past:
October 9, 2015
Podcasters, it is a long time since last we met*, but there is now a date for our next London meetup: 25th November. There are full details over at the Facebook event. Come along!
*Because I’ve spent nearly all of this year in my flat, working. Here are the latest Allusionists:
They said you can’t have werewolves AND Step Up 4 in one podcast about linguistics. I said: try me. theallusionist.org/dance
Why do we talk to babies like we – and they – are idiots? We can’t help it! For REASONS. We’re wired that way. theallusionist.org/baby-talk
For the next month, I’ll be releasing new Allusionists every week. Argh! I’m excited but daunted by the amount of work, as Answer Me This will also continue apace. Let’s see if I make it to November with ears and eyes intact.
PS Allusionist T-shirts have just landed.
February 9, 2015
Sad times: I’m retiring from the Sound Women podcast. Here is my swansong episode, aptly about podcasting, in which I talk to Theresa Thorn of the very entertaining One Bad Mother, and my new Radiotopian overlord Roman Mars.
I admit, mixed messages ensue. We’re not lying when we say that podcasting is easy; it is not difficult to start podcasting, as the tech and financial outlay are both pretty manageable. (My beginners’ guide to podcasting is here, as proof.) The difficult thing is keeping a podcast going, and for me to be able to make The Allusionist and keep making Answer Me This, something had to give.
I met some fantastic people over the nearly two years of making Sound Women, whom you can hear on the episodes at soundcloud.com/soundwomen or on iTunes.
Recently I’ve really been enjoying meeting other podcasters, especially through the Support Group gatherings. I’m naturally quite a solitary, antisocial person, but podcasting can be such a lonely pursuit and it was so many years before I knew any other podcasters, that now I’m pathetically excited when I meet other podcasters: “Hey colleague! Let’s talk BUSINESS!!”
A few days ago I was tweeted by Australian podcaster and comedian Alice Fraser, who said she was in London for a few days. We sat in a cafe and chatted for her podcast Tea With Alice, and I’m very glad I hauled myself out of my editing-hole and went; she is a really fascinating person. I wish I’d been recording what she was talking about before she switched the mics on so you could hear it. Anyway, look/listen out for her.
Finally, here’s the latest Answer Me This, in which we learn about coconuts, Grumpy Cat’s finances and Femidoms:
October 16, 2014
I really can’t believe our little home-made podcast has made it this far, but today we published the 300th episode of Answer Me This!.
I don’t want to give away too much of what is in it (suffice to say a lot of people are asking whether it’ll be our last episode), so please just listen to it via the various different means at answermethispodcast.com/episode300, or you can play it right here:
AND there’s a bumper bonus track:
It was a LOT of work. Now please excuse me, I need a lie down.
February 3, 2014
The other day, the Telegraph ran a piece I wrote about getting a career in the radio industry – you can read it here, if you like. It made me reflect a bit about my work, and podcasting; things evolve so quickly online that my potted guide to podcasting from two years ago needs updating, but the essentials do remain the same:
Person talking —> podcast.
But enough reflecting upon podcasts, it is time for some actual podcasts!
Here’s this month’s Sound Women podcast, in which Isy Suttie and Caroline Raphael shed light upon the inner workings of radio comedy:
A couple of weeks ago, I talked about one of Britain’s most underwhelming military campaigns at Stand Up Tragedy. Thanks very much to Jay Foreman for providing impromptu backing music:
And there are new episodes of Answer Me This! of course, although half as many because the show is now fortnightly. But each episode is longer, so it’ll work out as roughly the same amount of AMT over the year. Now that I have to think about the show half as often, I feel more than twice as positive about it.