I was looking forward to this weeks Two Shot Podcast. An interview with the actor Paddy Considine, an actor who is never less than compelling, but who I don’t know a great deal about.
But yesterday there was a brief podcast announcing that the Considine interview, which was a live show, recorded in Northwich, will not be broadcast. Along with a request that anybody that videoed any of it, doesn’t share it. This raises two much debated topics.
There is often discussion about the intimacy of podcasts. That one on one nature that means that guests will often talk about things and reveal things they are less likely to in a regular situation. That means without being confined to a radio studio with several other people watching through glass, while the PR or press agent paces back and forth. I suspect in front of an intimate audience, away from those radio conventions, the interview went to unexpected places, and the decision not to broadcast came from that. One attendee wrote that Considine ‘wore his heart on his sleeve’.
There’s also the issue of whether live shows from podcasts work at all, This was hotly debated on twitter a few weeks ago with several feeling that while live shows often monetize the venture as a whole, more often than not they are inferior versions of the podcast. I think some shows have managed this very well, but others not so much. The Unorthodox podcast, which includes some fascinating intimate personal conversations sometimes, swaps this out for live shows that are often rather raucous. Just because the podcast is doing a live show, it doesn’t means it has to be broadcast later at all.
The Two Shot Podcast was another of the big winners at the British Podcast Awards (for transparency I was on the jury)
Hosted by Craig Parkinson, best known for his role in Line of Duty, Two Shot Pod features an actor, talking to other actors, about acting. Your heart sinks at the thought of it. Drama school luvvies. But you would be wrong; it’s anything but that.
Parkinson is a charming presence, a million miles from his best known on screen persona. And the tales he gets from his guests are extraordinary. It’s also a chance to get to know some of the people you recognize (you know, him, from that thing) but are not necessarily the most famous. Sure, there are names you know, Shaun Dooley, Tamzin Outhwaite, Matt Berry, but the standouts tend to be elsewhere. Recently these have included Greg McHugh (The A Word, Fresh Meat) talking about the injury that put him out of action for months, and Hannah Britland, who was as delightfully down to earth as actors come. Have a listen to the remarkable episode with Michael Balogun talking about his time in prison on day release to RADA.
Every so often the show apologises for the noise and calls out for sponsors that might enable them to record in a proper studio. But actually I think this is much of the charm of the show. Listen to the Hannah Britland episode, where the background chatter, clinking glasses and plates at Maison Bertaux lend the show a sound design you rarely hear anymore. Why does every show need to be recorded in a hermetically sealed soundproof room? Also is the relaxed restaurant nature perhaps lending itself more to that intimacy you get from a podcast? There’s often nothing more unsettling than silence.
Like Griefcast, the Two Shot Pod, is not about famous names, but about the conversations and stories within it. It could have been called You Don’t Have to Be An Actor. Line of Duty’s Ted Hastings is next, the great Adrian Dunbar. I was once mistaken for him in Edinburgh. But that’s another story.