My life! My choice!

In Podcast 135, recorded live before a dedicated audience of over 200 nerds at London’s Bloomsbury Theatre, we began the show with an almost empty front row, which, after the interval, filled out a little bit, giving us some purchase on the audience, who were remarkably sweet, only booed Andrew twice, Tweeted heckles about our physical appearance, allowed us into their worlds of unemployment, deferred marriage and fisting, made “some noise”, and only one of them seemed to be concealing a weapon in a rustly carrier bag. Subjects ranged from Nazi helmets on sale in Turkey, Jeremy Clarkson’s practical pump advice, Ed Milliband’s look of constant surprise, the difference between a vague thought about the M40 and a theory about the M40, a certain advert for breast augmentation that’s on Smooth FM, Richard’s radical job interviewing technique for youth workers and the prospect of romance in a Chilean mine. Clearly, those who made the effort and paid 15 pounds had hours of exclusive content, but you at home get an extra five minutes in the dressing room, and some verite when we walk up towards the backstage area like Spinal Tap. Thanks to all who came, and to the always pleasant staff of the Bloomsbury. [It won’t be up yet, but this is where it will be up when it is up.]


Don’t forget your toothbrush

As if a week has passed, which it hasn’t, since Podcast 133, here’s another one, Podcast 134, mostly devoted to Michael McInytre, but not in the way you think. In fact, in order to save up all the Opik-stuyle funnies for Monday, when we take the podcast to the Bloomsbury Theatre in London – BOOK NOW, LONDON, AND PREVENT US FROM SPLITTING UP AGAIN! – we make today’s a serious discussion about fame, recognition and the comedy industry, at the top of which sits the blameless and actually very nice and funny Michael McIntyre. Fuelled only by half a lasagne the size of a Kindle box, we also build a promising entente cordiale between Richard and his face-sake Dom Joly, make a token joke about Vince Cable, ask whether it’s in good taste for the Daily Mirror to photoshop lettuce onto Myra Hindley’s face and consider the veracity of the breast-feeding/non-stoat teeth theory. Yes, that is a Radio 4 hoodie. Confusing, isn’t it?

Herring & Collins

The only disadvantage of Richard’s new, fountain-of-youth 1990s hairstyle is that he looks less like Charley Boorman, but more like the shorter-haired and more 1990s Dom Joly, who, it appears, is not dead. (I met and interviewed him on Tuesday for 6 Music, and couldn’t resist the pic.)

Bloody bear

In Collings & Herrin Podcast 133, recorded in a professional BBC studio at 6 Music, but not on it, after our Saturday morning show, is a curious affair, moving inexorably between the Pope, Kenneth Kendall, The Inbetweeners, Dolly the sheep, breast feeding, stoat teeth, Jamie Oliver’s new baby, a partially drawn Jack Black, Richard’s new look, the fact that we are both falling apart, hessian vests, the etiquette of meeting your old tuturs, the etiquette of asking a complete stranger to take your trunks off in the changing rooms and the worrying sight of a red light coming in in the studio partway through the podcast, suggesting perhaps that our words actually went out to the nation. [We’ve sprung this one on Orange Mark, at the weekend, so bear with him.]

Annual assessment by marriage guidance counsellor?

Two across (8, 3, 6): refreshed after a two-week break, we reconvene, reunite, reconfigure, restore, restart … sorry, we have become obsessed with the Times cryptic crossword, and everything now feels like a clue … back in Richard’s attic for Podcast 132, an anagram of 123, and despite his decision to wear a suit for the occasion, a relaxed, chat-show vibe permeates our low-key reunion, rematch, revival, reupholstering … sorry. There is Wayne Rooney’s poor choice of prostitute to discuss, plus his poor grasp of cigarette prices; the ethics of sharing a hotel room with your advisor, or Billy Bragg; and Tony Blair’s sex life, which the former prime minister and animal lover can date precisely. We also wonder about the whereabouts and wellbeing of Pete Firmin’s daughter Emily, last seen on Bagpuss. Most of the podcast is actually us trying to unravel the cryptic clues to Crossword Number 2 in The Times Crossword Book 13 [pictured]. Don’t write in with the answers. And if the sound quality is compromised up until about minute 43, we’re pretty sure Christopher Johnson was probably recording it from inside Richard’s cupboard, so we’ll have a replacement out within three weeks.

You can rebuild us

The Collins & Herring 6 Music showdun, dun! – appears to be still on, even though we went away for a month, allowing the professional Richard Bacon and his entourage to take over and show how a professional, planned, scripted radio show might sound. We had a fun first show back yesterday morning, which you can iPlayer here, and of which a podcast will soon be made available (I hope the bit about cheese in Northampton makes it in). Because of my erratic holiday arrangements, we will not be on next Saturday, but will be on the week after that, and then not on the week after that, but BACK, full-time, or until Adam and Joe come back, from Saturday October 2. On this date, we will officially relaunch the show. Which is where you come in. We want ideas for regular features, and we want new jingles.

The shopping list so far, as we begin this consultation period, includes:

  • New generic Collins & Herring jingles, including our names. Be as creative as you like – you have the “dun, dun!” one to beat – but don’t make them too long.
  • New Text The Station ident – and you literally have Rose’s to beat here
  • New Nerd Army ident – something to mobilise the Army for its weekly photographic/visual task
  • New feature: The History Of Collins & Herring In 100 Objects – based upon the Radio 4 series of the same name. Use your imagination

That’s it for now. Expect further instructions in two weeks. We could get professional BBC jinglists to make our jingles and idents, but it feels in the spirit of our ramshackle programme that they should continue to be provided by you.

The pic above was taken in February, when we never imagined we’d still be doing a weekly-ish 6 Music show in April, let alone October. It’s like Jim’ll Fix It.