It has already been a good year for audio. Since producing a Woman’s Hour item on the podcasts to look out for in 2016, I had the good fortune of chatting to Helen Zaltzman (of Answer Me This! and Allusionist fame) who told me about Podclub. It’s a bookclub for podcasts. Anyway, our first podclub session round my kitchen table was a triumph, and without it I would never have listened to Hilary Clinton on Another Round or have discovered the joy that is Starlee Kine – Starlee produces Mystery Show and I am now devoted: I order you to listen to Belt Buckle and Britney. My swanky new Xmas headphones are too big for my handbag and are so hyper sensitive that I can hear the impact of my feet hitting the pavement as I walk, plus podcasts are still stopping me reading books which I miss. However, on the plus side I now listen to loads of writers talk about their work. Zadie Smith and Miranda July are always interesting in interview I think.
I’m excited to finally publish The Chain and Women in One on my website. It’s been such a privilege to pitch these ideas to Woman’s Hour and then get to travel around the UK speaking to so many women. With Women in One I am constantly surprised at how open people are, even if they look nervous of the mic at first, it’s not long before we’re having a relaxed chat. Abergavenny Market was increcible for that, everyone offered me a stool and said ‘ask what you want’! A dream job if you grew up wanting to know what people were really thinking and were always told off for asking too many questions. It’s been fun watching Children Talking and listening to Denis Mitchell and Studs Terkel – it’s definitely time to expand the demographic and develop this further over the coming months. The recent Radio 4 documentary People Talking was fascinating and totally up my street, I recommend a listen.
The Chain has been great fun to do and it’s so exciting waiting to hear who will be nominated next. I had no idea starting out that Samantha Morton would lead to Annie Lennox, but it is an interesting series to produce as each guest has such a different background and profession. Watch this space for some more chains coming soon. I am also working on a podcast series with a friend, which is lovely as I was in need of some collaboration and someone to bounce off.