After more than 20 years on the radio together, there’s an enormous amount of stuff to dig into in Mark Kermode and Simon Mayo’s podcasting back catalogue now.
And, apart from that, the Wittertainment bubble is so completely full of in-jokes, well-trodden anecdotes and cosy back-and-forths that it feels like it delivers as satisfying a podcasting experiences as it’s possible to find.
And yet. There’s always room for more Kermode and Mayo, and they’ve both struck out to do their own thing on the podcasts, whether hosting or guesting. The broader Kermode-Mayo Podcasting Universe – the KMPU, if you will – is still expanding.
Perhaps understandably, given Mayo has his drivetime show to be getting on with, Kermode has the most outside podcast action going on. Here’s where to start with their extracurricular podcasting.
Simon Mayo’s Confessions: Eddie’s Meaty Mishap
Now revived on his Greatest Hits Radio show, the Confessions feature was a big part of Mayo’s days on Radio 2 and there are loads of compilation episodes to dig into from those days. The idea isn’t too dissimilar to Fern Brady and Alison Spittle’s Wheel of Misfortune – listeners email in with their tales of misfortune and shame, everyone has a laugh – but here, there’s no guarantee that anyone’s going to be forgiven for their sins. You could pick any at random and have a lovely time, but this one’s a doozy: a dad accidentally forces his child to eat all the gristle from an awful dinner he didn’t want, while someone else wants absolution for flooding their school. Listen now >>
Kermode on Film: debbie tucker green
Kermode’s podcast feels a bit like when someone from a band starts putting out solo records where they get to do the stuff they don’t get to in the day job band. Here he mostly does interviews, either one to one or recorded at his regular MK3D shows at the BFI in London. In part it’s a way of giving writers, directors and actors who are deeply respected in the industry but have so far remained slightly under the radar of your average multiplex-goer. A case in point is debbie tucker green, one of our most inquisitive and exploratory playwrights and directors, who gives a rare and engaging interview here. Listen now >>
Mayo doesn’t tend to do many guest slots on other people’s pods, but in 2018, he popped up on Saturday Live’s regular Inheritance Tracks feature to talk about The Nightmare Song from Iolanthe by Gilbert and Sullivan and Graceland by Paul Simon. He’s often forthcoming with opinions, but less so with more personal stuff. Here, though, he’s very open. Mayo often finds himself conducting along to The Nightmare Song in exactly the way his dad used to, he says: “So I’ve not only inherited the music, I’ve inherited the mannerisms too.” Listen now >>
Screenshot: Box Office Bombs
Hosted with film journalist Ellen E Jones, Kermode’s other podcast is a magazine-style show which takes a different cinematic phenomenon or genre as its subject each week. There have been episodes about trains on film, the screen presence of Elvis Presley, and indigenous peoples’ film traditions. But the best so far has been this one on box office bombs. There’s a ghoulish fascination with the sheer scale of failure which a truly massive flop can achieve, and the industry-bending gravitational waves the biggest can send rippling across cinema. Jones and Kermode dissect the biggest of them – Warren Beaty’s Ishtar – and draw up rules studios can follow to dodge a flop. Listen now >>
To learn more about Mayo and Kermode, their love of podcasts, and their new show, read our interview in Issue 22 of the Pod Bible Magazine now!