In each issue of the magazine, we ask a Podcast Disciple five questions about their love of podcasts and podcasting. From Issue #001 of the magazine, we were joined by Craig Parkinson from the Two Shot podcast…
Why do you love podcasts?
To be honest there’s not a lot I DON’T love about podcasts. I suppose one of the main things is the freedom that people have. They can talk about anything. Also, one minute it can be daft and silly and the next really heavy and heartfelt and that goes for long form interview type shows or true crime or some sort of magazine or quiz show. For example, the other day I was listening to Blood On The Tracks (Colin Murray’s ace music quiz show) it’s quite light hearted but has people on with great passion for music. It took a handbrake turn when Benjamin Zephaniah recalled the racism he suffered as a young child and it just floored me. That’s a wonderful example. Podcasts can take you anywhere.
What was the first podcast you ever listened to?
That’s a tricky one. I suppose the first one I dipped my toe in was Ricky Gervais but it wasn’t a regular thing. Answer Me This with Helen Zaltzman & Olly Mann was a very early one for me and one that I would be pretty religious about listening to. Marc Maron too. When I discovered WTF I went back through his back catalogue and devoured as much as I could….there’s a lot of episodes and because Marc is so personal it was really interesting to see how he changed, not only as a podcaster but in his personal life too. I also loved how and why he started his own podcast. I thought that was pretty inspirational. I remember when the BBC released the entire back catalogue of Desert Island Discs. I’ve always been I big fan, even when I probably shouldn’t have been, and again, absolutely fascinating to hear, not just the people on the show but the different presenters style and how they changed over the years. It was only on listening back that it was blatantly obvious what a cold and sometimes quite harsh interviewer Sue Lawley was. As I say this I’m starting to see a pattern of where my influences are in creating The Two Shot Podcast!
Which podcaster makes you laugh the most?
Funniest podcaster? Well that’s pretty hard to pin down and I suppose it’s because there’s such a broad spectrum of different styles of podcast out there. Which is incredible. Also, what makes me laugh may make someone else cry….actually that sounds awful doesn’t it? I suppose what I mean is there’s something out there for everyone’s taste. For example, I’m not a fan of the Radio 4 style of comedy shows. I’ve always found that style like a very exclusive club that I was never invited to become a member of, you know? But look, that’s just me and it seems pretty popular right? But that’s fine isn’t it? If we all laughed at the same thing what a dull and depressing world we’d live in. What’s made me laugh recently…. Well not so long ago the comedian Bob Einstein died. That’s not what made me laugh by the way. I was remembering when Bob was on Gilbert Gottfried’s podcast so I went back and listened to it and I cried laughing. It was outrageous and Bob was on fire, Gilbert Gottfried barely got a word in. There’s no way they could have had that conversation and told those stories in any other medium than on a podcast. A fine way to remember a great comic.
Which podcast has educated you the most?
I learn from podcasts all the time. I mean that. It can be anything and everything. You get educated on new music, history that you thought you knew (turns out you were wrong). If you’re open to listening to someone else’s opinion then you’re a sponge soaking it all up. I sometimes disagree with certain things but again, that’s healthy because you’re connecting with what your listening to. Before I started my own podcast, when it was the germ of idea, I would listen to very specific “interview style” long & short form conversation podcasts. It didn’t matter about quality, in fact I learnt most from some pretty awful ones. Some pretty bad podcasts were just as educational for me as the ones I looked up to and respected.
Can you recommend a podcast our listeners may not have heard of?
Last year I really enjoyed How to Fail with Elizabeth Day. It’s a medium/short form interview style podcast talking about failure and pitfalls in life. Failing is such an inevitable part of everyone’s life so it’s a good box ticker for most of us. The episode that really swung it for me was when the interviewer became the interviewee. Elizabeth thought she should get someone in to interview her as she thought everyone else had been so honest and thought it only right that she should do it. Now, I was a little sceptical when I heard this as when this happens it can fall into self serving narcissism. Quite the opposite happened. It was brutally honest and brave without a sniff of self congratulatory behaviour. I think she’s an ace human.