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My Dad Wrote a Porno might just go out with a bang, according to host Jamie Morton

Alice Levine, Jamie Morton and James Cooper sat at a desk with a microphone and an open book
Photograph: Supplied

Jamie Morton once received an email from his dad containing one poorly written, not-sexy pornographic novel about a woman called Belinda rising to the top in the steamy world of the pots and pans industry. Instead of pushing that embarrassing reality deep down somewhere inside, Jamie and his friends, James Cooper and Alice Levine, started recording a weekly chapter reading – now 180 million of us tune in to listen to the cringeworthy world of Belinda Blinked

“Am I in some sort of parallel universe where he’s a great writer and the joke’s on us?,” says Morton. “When my mum first listened to the first episode, she said: ‘Well, at least I know he’s never had an affair because he clearly wouldn’t know what to do.’”

Morton’s dad – pen name Rocky Flintstone – is famously inept when it comes to writing about sex, or, for that matter, writing about anything at all. “I think he’s responsible for the drop in teenage pregnancy numbers,” says Morton. “STDs on the decrease.” But the big joke – the one we’re all in on, that Jamie’s dad is a bit crap at writing – is starting to take a turn. 

“To this day, [Rocky is], genuinely, like ‘This work is brilliant and I’m amazing. What’s annoying is that he’s right. The show’s gone on a weird journey of oh-let’s-all-laugh-at-Rocky to now, suddenly, oh-my-god-is-he-actually-really-good?”

If you laughed your way through series one, but forgot all about Belinda, Peter Rouse, Giselle, Tony and the one-and-only Duchess, don’t worry. “Welcome to Alice Levine’s world,” jokes Morton, who says his co-host can never recall what’s actually happened in the storyline, because we all know that’s really not where the fun comes in. 

“He’ll write ‘crying through their eye ducks’ with a k’ – I’m like dad, come on, pick up a book.”

But My Dad Wrote a Porno fans “go deep”, as Morton puts it. “Someone made a timeline, which is really impressive because obviously there isn’t a timeline, so they really worked hard to find some sort of method to the madness.

“The cosplay’s off the charts. These twins in New York, their mum made them these amazing blinking shirts. Someone came as the Horse and Jockey pub – very conceptual. Someone came dressed as Belinda handcuffed to the trellis in the maze. Her friend was the trellis.” 

Photograph: Supplied

Morton, Cooper and Levine took a ‘lost chapter’ of Belinda Blinked on tour in 2017, which is the last time they were in Australia. “Aussie fans are by far the most rowdy. I think we were in Perth and a guy ran up on stage and squirted us with blue silly string.”

Their next tour, which comes to Melbourne on January 15, 2020, will have the team (and the audience) dissecting Rocky’s wildest, most incomprehensible writing. “We’re going to navigate our way through all of this random shit and almost be like his editor. Let’s all get a drink and find a way to make sense of this world,” he says. 

One of Team Porno’s career highlights was taking world of Steele’s Pots and Pans to the Royal Albert Hall last year. “There were 5,500 people in this amazingly iconic venue, and we sold it out completely. All of our families were there. All of our friends were there. Dame Emma Thompson came and had Champagne with us before the show. She met my dad!” 

Not only is Emma Thompson a big fan, but she’s vying for the part of the Duchess if/when the movie version is ever cast. So is Star Wars actress Daisy Ridley. “It’s awkward. I mean, box office versus Oscars. I’m copping out by saying that maybe Daisy can play the young Duchess in the prequel or flashbacks.” 

Perhaps with a cameo from Hamilton’s Lin-Manuel Miranda: “Him outing himself as a pervert was pretty exciting.”

There’s no one more relieved than Rocky’s son that My Dad Wrote a Porno has been such a success. “To be semi-serious, I think if I haven’t done this, I think I’d be more fucked up. If I’d suppressed it and pretended that [my dad writing a porno] wasn’t a thing, and be weirdly ashamed of it, I think that would be more unhealthy. A problem shared is a problem halved, and if you have to share it with 180 million people then great. I’ll take it.”

Morton and co are gearing up for the launch of series five of the podcast, available from Monday September 9. But for those who’ve followed the story so far, could this be the end? 

“It would feel really sad to close, literally, the book and say we’re not doing that ever again,” says Morton. “Something happens in the start of Book Five that I would say is ill advised as an author. I can’t possibly say. Series Four ended with a bomb in the car park – all I’m going to say is that we were all like, ‘What the fuck have you done?’ Genuinely, what the fuck have you done?”

My Dad Wrote a Porno World Tour 2020 is coming to Sydney Opera House on Wednesday, January 8 and Palais Theatre Melbourne on Wednesday, January 15. Tickets are on sale now, from $79.90.

Binged on Belinda Blinked? Get stuck into a new filthy fiction; check out Melbourne's best bookshops for some inspiration. 

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