Sunday, 31 July 2011

A history of Neil in 100 objects - Object 3 - Oxford English Dictionary

Oxford English Dictionary

I am not quite sure when Dave and I decided that we might like to do a podcast, but I do remember when we spent an evening in November 2009 throwing ideas about. All sorts of formats for the podcast came up, from the Collings & Herring style 'turn the microphone on and see what happens', to something very structured with reoccurring features each episode.

I don't remember whose eyes were first drawn to the dictionary, but I do remember suggesting we could discuss the words on a random page, and then Dave suggested that we got a celebrity to choose that page. I thought it sounded a good idea but very unlikely, who would agree to open a page of a dictionary for 2 unknown people recording an unknown thing on the internet?

Well I was surprised, by Christmas Dave claimed to have one dictionary opener recorded and in the can, and 2 others lined up.

It turned out our first guest was Christoper Biggins, a great high profile guest, far more famous than I was expecting! Then Dave asked if I would like to meet the film critic Mark Kermode, and of course I did! I have been a big fan of his broadcasts since I first heard him back on the Mark Radcliffe show on Radio 1 many, many years ago.

Through this podcast I have also met comedians Jo Caulfield and Robin Ince, Speedway star Ivan Mauger and musician Rick Wakeman. This dictionary was centre stage in each of the meetings, and many of the people we meet are quite taken by handling a big dictionary, Rick Wakeman would hardly let go of it!

We (well Dave) entered the podcast for the Sony Radio Awards this year, and although we were not nominated we did get to go to the nomination ceremony and hang out with guys from the radio industry.

Words Fail Me at the Sony Nominations

Since moving away from Exeter it has been more difficult to get together and record, but this has made us creative with recording locations and we have done podcasts from the British Library, the V&A, the steps of Westminster Abbey, as well as various pubs.

The podcast fills the gap in my life that used to be taken up with doing various bits of radio work (more about that another time) is now filled by podcasting, and it is much more rewarding. You have total editorial control and I really enjoy the editing process.

If you have not listened before then please do, I hope it makes you smile once or twice. You can find episodes on the Words Fail Me blog.

words fail me

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