It was a sad day when Jon Snow retired from the Channel 4 news team. But now imagine him with even less restriction over what he is allowed to say. Snowcast is a new weekly podcast where, in his own words, Jon will be hosting ‘original thinkers, campaigners, creators, performers and the occasional provocateur.’
Guests so far include The Psychopath Test writer Jon Ronson, Cognitive Neuroscientist Professor Sophie Scott, British-Zimbabwean social media star Munya Chawawa, novelist Robert Harris, and impersonator extraordinaire Armando Iannucci.
From the man who took a 25% gender pay cut, reportedly yelled ‘Fuck the Tories’ at Glastonbury and apparently was tempted to shoot dictator Idi Amin himself, is there anyone else you would rather get your political and social commentary from? Jon kindly took time out from learning how to podcast and launching his new book, The State of Us, to answer a few of our questions.
How would you like listeners to react to the podcast?
I want people to learn something new but I also want them to enjoy themselves while listening. I want a podcast to be worth the investment, the time you’re going to give to it. I want it to be a joy to learn something that you never knew before.
Why podcasting? What is it about the format that appeals to you vs. television?
It’s just you. No director in your ear. When I was working in the news it was: “Three minutes Jon, that’s all you’ve got time for…Ten, nine, eight, seven…” I want to go on talking…and now you can! I didn’t know podcasting could be so much fun: no clutter, no grumbling. I just want to wallow in the conversation. We get it all and we enjoy it. It’s sensational. And you get to meet people you never thought you would.
Will you be freer to be even more vocal now that you have, in your own words, ‘fewer rules’? What will you be able to say that you perhaps couldn’t previously?
I’m off the leash! No more prying and querying what I’m doing. “Have you seen the lawyer yet? Have you run this by them?”
Before, I spoke to a lawyer every single day. They were always sweeties but there were always things that legally I couldn’t say. Not any more. The great thing about podcasting is that you can say what you like, within reason. And I’d hope that I’m permanently within reason.
Do you have a dream guest for the podcast?
I’d love to interview the King. I hope that, around the Coronation, he’ll do a few interviews. And I’d love to be one of them. That would be wonderful.
Expectations are high for this podcast. What’s that pressure like?
I felt the pressure of learning a new format that I never dreamed of doing before. But I’m really enjoying it.
Have you got any other projects in the pipeline?
My new book has just come out, The State Of Us. Snowcast and the book are keeping me busy right now.
Finally, just how many ties do you have exactly?
I may have over 100 but I’m past counting. And I must start whittling them down.