… to putting the bins out

The more observant among you may have noticed there’s a new link on the navigation bar here at From The Sublime

It takes you to a new podcast experiment I’m trying out — something I’ve wanted to do for a while.

Room 404 is, as the name suggests, heavily influenced by the original, and best, incarnation of Room 101 – the Radio 5 version hosted by Nick Hancock in the early 1990s.

While the subsequent TV incarnation was undoubtedly fun, and the criminally underrated Hancock’s hosting retailed the right balance of acerbic and enthusiastic, shooting before a studio audience robbed the show of something.

That was something eroded over subsequent reboots and revamps, until the current frothy pre-watershed panel game show incarnation now being broadcast.

And at the risk of this being a typical ‘it was better on the radio’ rant about 90s comedy output, it was. 

There was an intimacy and an honesty to the show, as a host of brilliant guests pitched up to deliver their list of items they wanted condemned to Room 101, and Hancock backed them or bodied them accordingly.

So if talent borrows and genius steals, then I’m quite happy admitting to being the equivalent of the three lighters for a quid bloke down the Barras, no questions asked pal.

Room 404 is aiming to hit a similar tone to those great radio Room 101 episodes.

In keeping with most of the content on From The Sublime…, has its focus squarely on the world of pop and popular culture — from where, let’s be brutally honest, there are many moments of annoyance and idiocy to draw upon.

Oh! It’s one of those new-fangled audiogram things for people who need their audio to look like video…

The first two episodes are now online. 

In the first, bold podcaster Tilt Araiza – one half of Jaffa Cakes for Proust and The Sitcom Club – puts forward his shopping list of shame.

The second episode sees comics commentator Al Kennedy, of House To Astonish fame, putting his own unique targets firmly in the crosshairs.

I won’t spoil how successful either is in getting their items condemned to the pits of Carlton for all eternity, but what has been fun for me with both episodes is the angles both have taken and the arguments made as to why their choices should go in.

There will be a few more episodes for this series to come before the end of the year, and if there’s enough demand, further runs will follow in 2018.  Although that last part’s the catch — so if you listen and enjoy Room 404, do please spread the word, like and review it on iTunes or other podcast services.

Because while the tech commentators and internet experts may insist we’re in a new podcasting boom (which suggests the old one actually went away at some point), launching new podcasts without either a marketing budget, established fanbase or celebrity endorsement is getting as hard as finding someone who bought a Zoella calendar and figured it good value for money.

And if it’s not mine you rate, review or like, do please support someone else’s podcast.  Because if you don’t support your local podcaster, then eventually all we’ll have are the sort of soulless corporate ones increasingly filling up the slots on iTunes… and where will poor Blue Apron be forced to advertise then?

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