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 week’s edition we sat down with Jamie Anderson and Richard James to discuss their podcast, The Gerry Anderson Podcast.
POD BIBLE: Who are you and what’s your podcast about?
JAMIE ANDERSON: I’m Jamie Anderson, co-host of The Gerry Anderson Podcast, and son of the late great Gerry Anderson – creator of Thunderbirds, Space:1999, Captain Scarlet and loads more cult TV shows…
RICHARD JAMES: …and I’m Richard James, the other co-host. The podcast is a weekly opportunity to celebrate Gerry’s amazing legacy, talk about the shows, interact with other fans and look forward to future productions!
PB: What’s the first podcast you ever listened to?
JA: I have a feeling mine was No Such Thing As A Fish, or possibly The Infinite Monkey Cage, as recommended by my good friend Martin. I like learning stuff from podcasts, so they were a perfect fit for me.
RJ: I tend to cherry-pick between the Great Lives and The Infinite Monkey Cage podcasts from the BBC, and the Benji and Nick Show which talks about cult tv. They often touch on shows from my childhood – and I love a bit of nostalgia. It really kept me company on a recent – and very long – theatre tour!
PB: Why did you decide to start podcasting in the first place?
JA: It’s something I’d wanted to do for a while. Richard and I had been doing a monthly live video series for a bit, and he’s such a great co-host – it got me thinking about how we could present a podcast. I’m really keen on taking content to people where they are – making it as frictionless as possible. A podcast felt like a great way to do that.
RJ: Because Jamie asked me! Seriously, we were aware of a growing army of Gerry Anderson fans who were longing for a sense of belonging to a wider community beyond the usual conventions and so on. The podcast also started at an exciting time – a time where we could not only talk about the ‘legacy’ shows, but brand new productions were in the pipeline across all media. It’s an exciting time to be a Gerry Anderson fan!
PB: Which podcasts do you take inspiration from?
JA: NSTAAF for its chatty, comedic style and fact-dropping approach, and the Big Finish Podcast was a big inspiration for us in terms of structure.
RJ: I think the best podcasts engender a sense of family, talking ‘to’ the listener rather than ‘at’ the listener. I appreciate a podcast that makes me think, makes me smile and makes me feel part of a wider community.
PB: Who’s your dream guest for the podcast?
JA: That’s really tough. We’ve already had some amazing guests. But I’d really love to chat to Peter Jackson, James Cameron, Christopher Nolan or Edgar Wright. They’re all fantastic directors who we know have taken inspiration from Gerry Anderson shows. I think they’d be fantastic to chat to!
RJ: Well, I suppose the absolute dream would also be an impossibility for very obvious reasons; Gerry Anderson himself. However, we do have Jamie who brings his wealth of memories, personal experiences and knowledge to the podcast. I think people really appreciate having that personal connection with Gerry. One of our most popular – and candid – interviews was with Jamie’s mum, Mary Anderson, who was obviously beside Gerry through much of his career. I think listeners really appreciated hearing her side of the story.
PB: What’s the biggest lesson you’ve learnt so far as a podcaster?
JA: It’s like a marriage, and I don’t just mean to Richard. It’s a long term commitment to a relationship with your audience. I never really expected us to still be going two years on, but here we are about to hit Pod 100! But like any meaningful relationship – it needs work, but it’s so rewarding!
RJ: It’s easy to dismiss any podcast as a bit of fluff or as being somehow inconsequential, but I have learned to appreciate how important it is in some people’s lives – particularly at the moment. We offer a safe place where no one is judged for the thing they love, in fact, they’re encouraged to share it! Love cosplaying your favourite Anderson character? Obsessed over the finer details of Tracy Island? We want to hear from you!
PB: Which episode would you say is the perfect introduction to your podcast?
JA: I’m going to go out on a limb and say Pod 100! We have messages from our listeners (the Podsterons), a special feature on the genesis of Thunderbirds with exclusive audio of Dad talking about the story of the show’s creation, and a mashup of the best interviews from our first 100 episodes!
RJ: So much – but by no means all – of the appeal of Gerry’s shows comes from a feeling of nostalgia, so I would choose Pod 15 (all our episodes are called pods, of course!) It features a lovely, intimate interview with Shane Rimmer, who voiced Thunderbirds‘ Scott Tracy, at his home. We’re lucky enough to have so many guest interviews with celebrity fans such as Chris Packham, Jon Culshaw and Sophia Myles, but it’s always a treat to hear from those who actually worked with Gerry.
PB: Where can the Pod Bible readers find out more about you?
JA: For the podcast: gerryanderson.co.uk/podcast is a good place to start. And we’re @GerryAndersonTV on Twitter, Instagram etc. But everything is linked from our website: www.gerryanderson.co.uk
For me personally – @ImJamieAnderson on Twitter – that’s where I normally hang out!
RJ: You can follow me on Twitter @RichardNJames or learn more about my career (including playing a regular role in Gerry Anderson’s last live action series) at my website www.richardjamesonline.com