Have You Heard? is a series in which the team from Pod Bible meet the people behind the podcasts you may not have heard of yet. While the Oh. My. Pod. section in the magazine gives a quick shout out to shows of that ilk, Have You Heard aims to go deeper in an effort to spread awareness for shows that deserve more exposure! In this seventh edition we sat down with Charlie Webster to talk all things Undiscussable.
Who are you and what’s your podcast about?
I’m Charlie Webster, I’m a broadcaster and journalist on TV and radio. I’m also a campaigner against domestic and sexual abuse – and as part of that I sit on a victims panel where I advise the Ministy of Justice.
My podcast is called Undiscussable. The first series which I have just launched is a raw, deeply personal investigation and challenging rethinking of domestic abuse. It’s not what you think it will be, it will surprise, quite possibly outrage and most definitely inspire listeners. Undiscussable features women, men, child survivors, gay, black, asian, white, I want to show that abuse knows no boundaries and doesn’t discriminate. I want to help victims and survivors but also educate people about the true impact of domestic abuse and look at how we can break the incredibly damaging taboo that still sadly surrounds it. It also highlights the failures of the system and how it not only revictimises but enables domestic abuse to continue.
What was the first podcast you ever listened to?
I’d listened to bits of podcasts including Serial but the first one I actually followed from start to finish was In the Dark by APM Reports. My friend sent it to me and I couldn’t stop listening.
Why did you decide to start podcasting in the first place?
I think initially I was frustrated that I felt like victims never got heard so I was trying to think of a way to really give victims a platform but also expose the truth behind domestic abuse something that has impacted on my own life. I was already listening to podcasts and my friend said to me I should do an inspirational podcast but I wanted to try and do something that wasn’t the typical guest/host format. It clicked! I could use audio to be able to give victims a voice and address an issue that I have been advocating against for so long. Audio allowed me to take the listener on a really intimate journey that we would never normally here.
Which podcasts do you take inspiration from?
So many! I listened to a lot of documentary podcasts as I was recording my own. I tried to take what I liked and also what I didn’t like to help shape my own. I wanted to figure out how to talk what is seen as a really heavy topic and guide the listener through the journey in a raw and entirely genuine way. I listened to a lot of crime podcasts to see how they did that. I like podcasts that keep clips in that were just of the moment that you could never have produced or manufactured. Ear Hustle is one of those. My podcast has a lot of those in and that’s to me what storytelling is all about.
Who’s your dream guest for the podcast?
I think all the people that feature on my podcast are incredibly brave and courageous. I was speaking to some of them whilst their lives were in danger. So I’m going to have to say everyone on there already! Maybe somebody with incredible global influence like Oprah to help share these voices. Oh and also my mum is in Episode 5 and that was a dream having her. She has been through so much so hearing her confront domestic abuse and how its affected us was very powerful.
What’s the biggest lesson you’ve learnt so far as a podcaster?
To check the sound over and over again. That I need help, I did Undiscussable independently and pulled in favours left right and centre. But most importantly that I can create a documentary that people want to listen too and need to listen too to make change from scratch. I had a lot of tears during this process and at points felt like stopping but preserving with it was the best thing I did!
Which episode would you say is the perfect introduction to your podcast?
That is so hard. They all are! Episode One, I know that sounds obvious but my the end of it I think it leaves listeners wanting to know more but also straight away confronts that both women and men are victims of domestic abuse and the attitude from the authorities toward domestic abuse. I’d say also five because it reveals why this journey is so important to me but then maybe I’ve just spoilt it!
Where can the Pod Bible readers find out more about you?