Spit or Swallow podcast catches your eye as you scroll through your app. It’s been on Apple Podcasts’ New & Noteworthy, and guests include Sarah Millican, Christopher Biggins, Joe Lycett and Jimmy Carr. We wanted to know more about this new comedy podcast. We spoke to the hosts, comedians Sally-Anne Haywood and Lou Conran about mixing celebrity interviews with drinkiepoos…
Tell us about your show! What’s your elevator pitch??
SALLY-ANNE HAYWARD: Spit or Swallow is a podcast about your favourite drink. Lou and I (Sally) invite a celebrity guest to join us at the Spit or Swallow bar with a drink of their choice. We chat around it and the show culminates in whether the beverage of choice is a spit or a swallow. (Spoiler alert: it’s rarely a spit).
LOU CONRAN: Spit or Swallow is a great accompaniment to any beverage filled evening. It’s the tipple that keeps on giving. We drink with celebrity guests, their choice of what goes down the gullet, and after we’ve chatted over a relaxed glass or three, the guests make their final decision. It’s a great night out, in.
Why podcasting? What is it about the format that appeals to you?
SAH: We initially videoed ourselves but realised it was fairly horrific for us to look at, so how on earth could we ask anyone else to do so. But mainly because I love podcasts. I like the picture to be painted for me. If Lou is going to be sick from drinking too much wouldn’t it be better for the listener to imagine the colour and texture rather than see it?
LC: We decided that no one needed to see our faces after a bottle or two of plonk, and we’re both of an age where ‘Booze Rouge’ sets in quite early and we wanted to retain a little dignity of what we have left. We also love the fact that listening to a podcast is a little like listening in to a drunken conversation in a bar, and the freedom the podcast allows you is so refreshing.
What’s the secret to being a good podcast host?
SAH: We are in the early stages but I really try to make it about the guest, whilst determining that mine and Lou’s relationship comes through. We have been lucky so far in that we have had great guests with fantastic tales to tell. I’m used to doing stand up where, if somebody talks I’ve either got to stamp on it or celebrate it (if it’s funny). Either way I have to speak fairly soon after the audience member has spoken. Also I am used to doing call backs when I’m on stage (call backs are references to things that have happened/been said before). With podcasts I keep doing them but I have to be careful because if the conversation the call back is relating to is cut then what I say makes no sense!
I used to be a radio presenter and the first interview I was sent out to do was with Brian Connolly. He was really lovely to me and at the end of the interview gave me a bit of advice. He very nicely said, “let the guest speak.” It stuck with me. I was obviously so nervous about interviewing him that I just gabbled on and on. He was very gallant with me (is that the right phrase)?
LC: We get on. We have good chemistry. We also love wine, and a good chat, which helps.
What do you think makes a great podcast guest?
SAH: That’s a difficult question! So far we have only had great guests so I can’t compare to awkward guests. Yet. I think it’s great when they really get on board and enjoy the show for what it is. Every guest so far has been completely different but they have all been amazing. I think if we all find each other funny then we are off to a good start.
LC: We get on. We have good chemistry. They also love drinking and a good chat, which helps!
If you could go back to before you started out and give yourself one piece of advice, what would it be?
SAH: Slow down. But mainly, really enjoy everything. And let the guest finish their story – you don’t have to try and find the funny in everything.
LC: Don’t start drinking before the podcast because chances are you’ll start throwing the wine around someone else’s new baby’s nursey and dyeing their bare magnolia walls purple.
What’s been your worst podcast moment so far?
SAH: I haven’t seen Lou’s answers but I suspect it is when she was recording from her best mates house. Lou was already drunk before we started recording. She then threw the red wine we were drinking up her mate’s nursery wall. We were later told that they had to paint the stain off.
I, on the other hand, have done nothing wrong.
LC: See above…
And the best podcast moment?
SAH: So many. Recording one from Dubai. Yes, I wasn’t able to get my hands on Nick Helm’s choice of Jammy Red Roo. But I was getting a lovely golden tan whilst gigging abroad in the worst year on record (2020).
LC: We’ve chatted to so many different people, that that is impossible to answer. Although the Rully we tried with one guest was exceptional and made us feel well posh.
Which episode of your podcasts mean the most to you?
SAH: Sarah Millican was our first guest and she was wonderful. She brought loads of different things to trial with her choice of drink. We have recently recorded one with dream double act Trev and Simon, which could have gone on forever and ever – until our producer, Amanda, informed us that we had to stop as it was all so good and she didn’t want to cut any of it. Christopher Biggins showed us his M&S discount card. Joe Lycett showed us his art work. The visuals won’t be shared sadly but they were great moments for us! We have some fantastic episodes still to launch with great guests including Jimmy Carr, Yvette Fielding, Rustie Lee, Bernie Clifton…
LC: Hmmm, that’s so hard. I think the early ones where we were cutting our teeth are really important but I have literally enjoyed every single one because they have been so different.
Which podcast hosts inspire you most?
SAH: I enjoy the girls who host Even the Rich. They are funny whilst being very informative. They have a great chemistry. Louis Theroux is a great host as well. He gently coaxes information out of people. He’s very disarming.
LC: I absolutely love the ladies on Drunk Women Solving Crimes, I also love Jess Fostekew on the Hoovering Pod, and oh blimey… anyone that is relatable.
Finally, what are your current favourite podcasts?
LC: See above! And anything to do with drink and food is right up my straza. Although I do love Casefile, which is fascinating. I love a good murder.