“A podcast? But there are so many of them!”
That’s what I said to the lovely Helen Roscoe when she urged me to create one. “You could just read stories!” she said. In fairness, a troop of people have been begging me to read bedtime stories & meditations for some time now. But I really wasn’t sure about the merits of adding unnecessary noise to an already noisy world…
As we know though, life sometimes has other plans. And just when I wasn’t looking, a rather magical thing happened. Needless to say, it revolved around my passion for human connection & a childhood dream…
Since writing daft notes to friends at school, messing about with tape recorders & acting in comedies in my youth, I’d always fancied collaborating with someone to create something to make people smile & what better time than when people really need something to smile about? (By the way, that fire was fuelled by a college lecturer who, being rather luvvie biased, had written me off. Until, that is, he saw me acting in a friend’s play for her finals, when he declared “My dear, I had no idea you had such comic timing!” “No,” I muttered, “that’s because you never gave me a chance…” (I’d like to insert a wink emoji here, but you’ll just have to see it in your mind’s eye).
Anyway, I was scrolling through social media in 2020 & I stumbled across a comedy writer. I took the time to view his showreel & it made me chuckle. So, I sent him a little message to let him know that I’d enjoyed it. He returned the compliment having listened to my reels & we messaged intermittently. The majority of my work is commercial, corporate & educational, but sometimes it’s lovely to play with characters. And, as usual, I released a daft character-based audio Christmas card in 2020 & this writer, Ben Ellis, rather liked it.
I’d also attended a webinar run by Promax on mental health & creativity & it inspired me to think about creative collaborations during lockdown, just for fun. We don’t do enough things ‘just for fun’. So, I asked my new writer friend if he fancied collaborating on something. He agreed & I shared my little idea with him…
Hooray, he liked it! Not only that, he went away & wrote, flinging a script to me within a matter of days. I loved it & literally ran into the booth to record it, hurling the audio file back to him the very same day. He loved it! And so, Life’s a Gas was born. Character based monologues with a topical twist. And as they were written under lockdown, that’s the common theme that runs through much of the first series.
The human guinea pigs who were kind enough to lend them an ear as they were made (thank you Debbie, Leon, Carole), insisted that we do something with them. Radio 4 & BBC Sounds were mentioned, but because of the backlog of commissions as a result of Covid, the topicality meant that they wouldn’t be able to release them quickly enough. So, a podcast was the obvious answer.
Ben is rather brilliant at design, so he created the artwork & found some brilliant music, whilst I did some research about podcasting platforms. The lovely Alice Lyons of Dark Coffee was incredibly helpful, & of course I’ve chatted to Leah & Nic since the very beginning of The Voiceover Social podcast, so that was great too. And yes, we agreed, spreading the word is actually far harder than creating the actual podcast!
Do you know what’s also mad? Ben & I have actually only spoken to each other twice throughout this whole process! And that was after the first few episodes had been written & recorded. I guess we just connected. And as I so often say, that is what I’m all about & that’s exactly what my work is all about, too. If you’d like to know more about Ben, I’ll be publishing a blog to enable you to get to know him a little better very soon.
In the meantime, we’d love you to listen & we’d love to know what you think, too! You can listen to all episodes here, or wherever you get your podcasts. We hope it keeps you smiling through lockdown & beyond, because that’s why we started this whole thing!
Listen, like, follow, subscribe & go on, leave us a little review, why not?! Thank you.