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The My Dad Wrote a Porno podcasters look again: ‘I wasn’t doing it towards Dad’s will. He thought it was hilarious’ | Podcasts

Interactive picture of My Dad Wrote a Porno crew exhibiting a 2005 picture which is duplicated in 2022
From left: producer James Cooper, director Jamie Morton and presenter Alice Levine in 2005 and 2022. Later {photograph}: Pål Hansen/The Guardian. Archive picture: Ali Dickinson. Styling: Andie Redman. Hair, make-up, grooming: Sadaf Ahmad.

TV and radio presenter Alice Levine, producer James Cooper and director Jamie Morton are the creators of My Dad Wrote a Porno, the blockbuster comedy podcast boasting greater than 300m downloads. Centred on readings of (and reactions to) Belinda Blinked – surreal erotic literature written and self-published by “Rocky Flintstone”, AKA Morton’s father – the present has amassed a cult following and celeb followers together with Elijah Wood. It is now in its sixth season and the trio are the visitor curators for The Podcast Show 2022 Live from 23 to 29 May, and are touring till June.

Alice

Jamie, James and I met on the University of Leeds. I’d say this was taken “on set” of our scholar tv studio, however that’s giving it an excessive amount of glamour. We had been based mostly within the caretaker’s workplace beneath the steps.

That type of pixie crop fits 5% of face shapes, so the hair was a rogue transfer for my first yr. Particularly while you’re primarily subsisting on jacket potatoes and tacky chips, I didn’t actually have the gamine bone construction to tug it off. I believe that’s Craig David we had been pointing at; one of many stalwarts of the time.

We grew to become mates whereas making episodes of LSTV (Leeds Student Television), {a magazine} present that James and I hosted, and Jamie filmed. The present went out on-line, in addition to broadcasting within the union and the communal hallway. Like any good present, we had been primarily taking part in on mute as folks walked from room to room. Nobody watched it, however we had been geeks who preferred making stuff. It felt like a bit secret society.

My first impression of James was he was humorous and appeared so mature. This remains to be true. Jamie appeared so expert and competent, and was making precise movies and TV. I used to be very impressed by them each. After uni we caught collectively: ridiculously, all of us managed to get the identical internship for a TV firm that made reveals like Wife Swap. We couldn’t afford to reside in London however my dad and mom knew a lady who had a home in Surrey, so we stayed there whereas she was away. There was one caveat: she had a sick cat and we needed to give it a tablet each morning. James would crowbar its mouth open and I’d therapeutic massage the tablet down its throat. I used to be like: we live the London dream! It’s similar to Sex and the City!

It was Christmastime in a comfortable pub in 2015 when Jamie first introduced the chapters of Belinda Blinked to learn to us. The extra he learn, the extra hysterical we received. By the top we had been so obnoxiously loud that we had cleared the pub. At one level he received a bit cross, saying: “You can’t keep interrupting or we’ll never get through it!” I really feel like that second fashioned the idea of the entire present.

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While our most well-liked foreign money is to make one another snort and to take the piss out of one another relentlessly, there’s a whole lot of love and help, too. We’ve lived by way of some enormous moments collectively – dangerous breakups and other people dying. Even although we’re operating a enterprise collectively and the stakes of our friendship have been raised, someway it nonetheless looks like we’re doing scholar TV; prefer it’s our personal secret little factor.

James

I’m guessing we had been doing one thing on indie music that day: it seems like with a purpose to get into the spirit I placed on a leather-based jacket and a jumper with 5 VW campervans on it. The hair is crap, too. It’s a glance.

That interval was very formative for me. I used to be in control of this leisure programme and wanted a feminine host. I’d met Alice on a bus and thought she was actually humorous, so requested her to do it. We clicked and have become this presenting double act. The tone we had been making an attempt was Simon and Miquita-era Popworld, however I believe we missed the mark. Then I met Jamie at a Halloween celebration – he was actually good and fairly acerbic. People had been in awe of him, so naturally I used to be jealous. But shortly we grew to become mates. The three of us would exit collectively most nights: I used to be consuming a whole lot of snakebite and black, and Jamie can be on two litres of this actually low cost cider known as White Ace.

Jamie and I lived collectively after I moved to London and that’s after I first correctly met Rocky. From the primary second Jamie learn his writing to me, it felt like nothing I’d ever skilled. There are occasions I’ve practically died laughing at Rocky’s phrases.

Early on we realised the podcast was getting an instantaneous viewers. It was a shock for Jamie, however we informed him we may cease at any time when he needed to. Even now, we solely do one yearly, as a result of he wants a breather the place his dad is simply his dad and never Rocky.

You see previous mates who’ve fashioned artistic endeavours however ultimately crumble. It’s smug, however I’m proud we’ve managed our relationship so maturely and respectfully. It’s what retains us collectively – our love and deep roots.

Jamie

That hair – it was mad. I reduce it off after I moved to London, scared I wouldn’t get a job with it wanting so studenty.

When Dad retired, he was nervous about being bored. I informed him he ought to do one thing to go the time. So he determined to put in writing a e book: nice in precept till I realised it was pornography. He’s a little bit of a wind-up service provider and despatched me the primary few chapters, most likely to shock me. I assumed it was horrific however the funniest factor I’d learn in my whole life.

When Porno first got here out, podcasts weren’t too in style so I wasn’t anticipating a lot. Then it went to No 1 within the charts and I began to fret folks would suppose I hated my dad or was doing it towards his will, though I knew he thought it was hilarious. I additionally discovered it robust making the transition from background to the entrance [Jamie narrates chapters of the book each episode]. I bear in mind being in tears, telling Alice and James that I couldn’t do it any extra. They had been so good and reassured me, saying: “This is just fun. But if you’re not comfortable, then we will stop.” That kindness was a part of our relationship.

Walking out on stage to a sold-out Royal Albert Hall was a complete spotlight of our friendship. Backstage, Emma Thompson knocked on the door to say: “Guys, I’m so excited, good luck!” But most of all I like it when the three of us are hanging out in considered one of our flats and Alice is cooking a tremendous dinner, and we’re chatting and listening to music. Those are the perfect moments.

When that photograph was taken we had been so inexperienced. It was the beginning of all the things and we had so many ambitions. Being the place we at the moment are, and never solely having achieved a lot however having achieved it collectively, is beautiful.

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