This afternoon I was at the British Library to talk about podcasting at the Radio Festival. I was going to be interviewed by Miranda Sawyer, excitingly with Roman Mars joining us via Skype. He is a somewhat more successful podcaster than me, having raised millions of dollars via kickstarter and having a raft of podcasts. I was as interested to hear from him as anyone.
It was going to be a very short 25 minute session, but it was made shorter as we were following Katie Hopkins, being interviewed about her radio show, after doing what seemed like a lifetime of bad stand up about how the liberal audience needed to understand that the rest of the world were not like them and vegans knitting their own sandals. Her horrible bile and belief that she is a) somehow speaking for the majority and b) is somehow being censored by the powers that be made me slightly queazy. Not least because it fully feels like the world is embracing her wilful ignorance and deciding to run with it. I once turned down £10,000 to appear on her TV show and I am glad that I didn’t go for the easy money. The nice people who work in radio (she assumed they were all from the BBC, incorrectly, and delighted in the fact that she wanted them destroyed, in spite of finding fame via a BBC show) sat and took her insults with good humour. Had I been in the theatre I would have told her to fuck off. It was lucky I wasn’t. But doubles within 15 years she’ll stand for some political role and be voted in on a wave of populist stupidity.
Anyway her and a surprise and welcome entry into the radio academy for Jane Garvey cut our podcast chat time down to 20 minutes, which was a shame, but there was still time to get some inspiring words from Roman Mars, who I was gratified to see had a similar philosophy of owning his own creativity and not being bothered about profit as me (though he would later tweet me to tell me he thought I should be paying myself for my podcasts - I do get some ticket money and feel that the tour and DVD sales are partly my payment, but maybe he’s right). Miranda did a good job at whisking through what the point of podcasts was, why people should do them and if it’s possible to make them profitable. But it cemented the idea in my head that podcasts are the end in themselves and the main payment is in creating something good (and if you do that you will make money too). I think when we started we hoped the podcasts would lead to radio or TV work (which it did to some extent) but now - and hearing from Mars confirmed this- I know that podcasts are an end in themselves. It’s more or less what I am doing anyway (with a couple of exceptions), but maybe podcasts should be my full time concern. I don’t think I could (or would want to) give up stand up, but why be creating stuff for other people to spoil? When I can do it myself.
Anyway, as my own kickstarter trudges slowly towards its target. I have five days to make the remaining £5000, I felt proud of myself for what I’ve managed to achieve alone.
Back in the green room I managed to avoid the bile of Hopkins, but did bump into Dermot O Leary who surprisingly remembered me (I met him once on Big Brother’s Little Brother) and was charming and friendly (if mildly in interview mode). He’s an impressive and professional young (to me) man and deserves his success. It was nice to see him again. “How are things going?” I asked him, before remembering and saying, “Oh pretty well, aren’t they?” But what impresses me about him is that in spite of his TV millions he still does his radio show, because he clearly loves it. I forgot to ask him what he thought about the song about him in the Harry Hill musical. Probably a good thing.
I love radio and the people who work in it. Apart from Katy Hopkins. They are good people.
Thanks to wonderful hobbit web king Rob Sedgebeer, who despite being super busy has put together a page for my new tour. You can see all the confirmed dates here and here's the main page for it where reviews etc will appear.