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Six shows to listen out for at the London Podcast Festival

By Mike Curle

Everyone has something to say and a microphone to shout it into these days, but only the very best escape the stale air of the bedroom and are welcomed in front of a live audience. That’s the pedigree of the 30-plus shows at the London Podcast Festival, taking place this week at arts hub Kings Place. As you’d expect, the capital is well represented on the bill, so listen up as we talk you through five of the best homegrown efforts (plus one American one, just because).

1. My Dad Wrote a Porno

Fathers are generally skilled in embarrassing their offspring, but Jamie Morton’s dad has gone way beyond bad jokes and cringe dance moves, penning terrible erotic fiction under the pseudonym Rocky Flintstone. Yep, Rocky Flintstone. In ‘My Dad Wrote a Porno’, chapters from the sexy adventures of a saucepan saleswoman are read aloud by the (presumably) red-faced Morton, with pals James Cooper and Radio 1’s Alice Levine on sniggering duty. Wed Sep 21, 8pm. Thu Sep 22 and Fri Sep 23, 9.30pm.

2. No Such Thing as a Fish

Forever asking ‘Why?’ like an overgrown toddler? Then this is the podcast for you. An offshoot of BBC Two mainstay ‘QI’, NSTASF makes use of the same quirky facts and silliness as its TV sibling. Presented with nerdy brio by four QI researcher ‘elves’, including stand-ups Dan Schreiber and Andrew Hunter Murray, the show is chuckleworthy and always ‘Quite Interesting’ at the very, very least. Sun Sep 25, 9.30pm.

3. Do the Right Thing

If you find yourself lying awake at night wondering how on earth you would fare when faced with stampeding elephants, then ‘Do the Right Thing’ can help. The loosely instructional podcast has the feel of a boozy Sunday afternoon in the pub with your mates, only funnier because in this scenario your mates are pro comedians who are attempting to guide you through their most peculiar moral mazes. Sat Sep 24, 9.30pm.

4. Pappy's Flatshare Slamdown

The London comedy scene wouldn’t be the same without fabulously silly sketch trio Pappy’s, and this bonkers panel show means you can now soak up their peculiar magic in the comfort of your own home. Each episode of Flatshare is recorded in front of a live audience and focuses on a household chore that Ben and Tom (the tenants) are doing their best to avoid. Landlord (and host) Matthew makes them compete in various challenges to decide who gets stuck with the task, but really the premise is just an excuse for anarchic antics. Fri Sep 23, 9.30pm.

5. Little Atoms

Ideas and culture – in the shape of interviews with artists, scientists and other interesting types – fuel this cerebral podcast, also a longrunning show on London’s experimental radio station Resonance FM. For this live outing, host Neil Denny invites Guardian top gun Hadley Freeman to discuss her love of ’80s American movies like ‘Breakfast Club’, ‘Pretty in Pink’ and ‘Ghostbusters’. This being Little Atoms, you can expect more than the usual big hair and sax solo LOLs, with Freeman also exploring the changing face of feminism, masculinity and class in film. Sat Sep 24, 1.30pm.

6. US pick: Bullseye

Not just homegrown talent, the London Podcast Festival is also bringing a selection of exciting US shows to the capital. You can’t go wrong with ‘Spinal Tap’ and ‘Simpsons’ star Harry Shearer’s satire bonanza ‘Le Show’ (Sun Sep 25, 2pm). But for our money the pick of the bunch is ‘Bullseye’, home of podcast legend Jesse Thorn, whose easygoing yet in-depth chats with arts and culture luminaries has set the benchmark for interview podcasts everywhere. Confirmed guests for his London show are genius TV writer Armando Iannucci (who created ‘The Thick of It’ and ‘Veep’) and lovable stand-up Josie Long. Fri Sep 23, 7pm.

The inaugural London Podcast Festival runs from Thurs Sept 22 - Mon Sept 26 2016

Check out more great sounding things to do in London this autumn 

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