Tuesday, 20 September 2011

Favourite Podcasts - 8 - Ricky Gervais

It could probably be argued that the idea of the 'podcast' was popularised in the UK by Ricky Gervais, many people did not know what a podcast was until he came along, and his was certainly one of the first few podcasts that I ever found.

Ricky Gervais and Stephen Merchant presented a radio show on the then trendy indie station XFM (not sure when it went out of fashion, but you hardly hear of the station anymore!), and XFM then edited the show down into a series of podcasts. Ricky is funny, and even when he is not funny he laughs at his own jokes in a way that is infectiously funny.

Stephen Merchant is always funny, and is a calming influence on Ricky's sometimes over exuberant style of broadcasting.

The genius of the XFM podcasts was the producer Karl Pilkington. I am sure I don't need to say anything about him, he has become a super celebrity in his own right, but in the early days of the podcast you were never sure if Karl was a character, a spoof, or quite to to make of him. This tension made his absurd comments even funnier.

The podcast then broke free of XFM, and eventually became a pay-to-download affair. The idea had become a bit tired by then and I gave up paying for it. But this podcast had a huge influence on the world of downloads, it inspired many comedians to create podcasts, and helped commercial radio to break into the podcast market as well.

I am not sure if the podcast is still going in any way, I know some of it was animated for television, but can't be sure if there are any new ones.

Find out more here.

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