Soon after I had created the Comedy 365 podcast feed as a showcase for various new performers, Georgina suggested that she and I should do a podcast of our own. “Why were we spending so much time and effort promoting the talents of other performers?” she asked. If our flat was going to look like a BBC outside broadcast unit, then wasn’t it time we used it for our own show?
I was skeptical at first, but agreed to think about it. Still not entirely understanding the nature of podcasting, or why her life was suddenly, exclusively, dedicated to it, Georgina went surfing around on Google, trying to source good examples of the genre. It wasn’t long before she stumbled upon Dawn and Drew.
Dawn and Drew were a young married couple from Wisconsin who did a regular podcast, and everyone on the internet seemed to be raving about their show. Georgina downloaded a couple of episodes and played them to me. When I first heard The Dawn and Drew Show I couldn’t believe my ears. I’d been brought up in broadcast television, so I was used to everything being slick and well-produced. Dawn and Drew were so laid back. There were no production values, there was no script, there was barely any content at all. They just chatted to each other, and listened to messages that people had sent them. “Oh, for fuck’s sake, we can do this!” I screamed at Georgina. “What are we waiting for?”
On the 20th July 2005, we set up two of Bennsy’s microphones on the dining table in the living room, and we recorded the first ever episode of our inaugural podcast, which we decided to call Sowerby and Luff’s Big Squeeze. It was fairly tightly scripted, but not very well rehearsed and featured the dull, rumbling accompaniment of a fleet of W7 buses pulling up at the bus stop outside our flat. We did an opening link, a couple of sketches and then, for added tension, we played Trivial Pursuit at the end. That was it.
We recorded ten 15 minute episodes of “Sowerby and Luff’s Big Squeeze” over the next few days, and we uploaded the first one to the Libsyn server on 25th July 2005. Georgina and I talked about anything and everything we could think of, and in one episode I can even remember Georgina waxing her legs. Those ten shows were the only podcasts we ever really planned to record.
So it would look like we worked for a real production company, we signed off every show by saying that The Big Squeeze was “produced by the British Podcasting Corporation for Comedy 365”. I even registered the name and I set up a web page which looked a little like our podcast was produced by the BBC.
About a week after the first Big Squeeze went onto the podcast feed at Libsyn I noticed that someone had left a comment on our Libsyn blog page. Excitedly, I clicked on the link.
“You’re shit,” it said. I quickly hit delete. I’m sure I blushed.
“What was that?” asked Georgina.
“Oh, nothing,” I said.