A new dawn for the Collings & Herrin podcast: 157 has been recorded on a Tascam DR-100 portable digital recorder (pictured, tipping its black foam hat), which Richard bought online in the middle of the night while on tour and which came with a free 6’x3′ snooker table. Whether we should have had the new machine switched to UNI or OMNI is still a moot point, but hopefully not a mute point, eh, audiophiles? And we know the file size is too big – it was almost too big to send to Orange Mark, but we frankly time-poor, and had to get on with recording Podcast 159 for two weeks’ hence. (Someone called pkx166h is very cross with us for putting out a large file, as he or she found that it clogged up their iTunes while it downloaded. You can read his/her angry comments here.)

Let us know what you think of our new HD direction, which, this week, is mainly about catching up on the last three weeks – which is the longest we’ve ever been apart since March 2008, before which, of course, we were nearly always apart. So, it’s Richard’s conditioner nightmare, the Zion Baptist protests and Andrew’s Andrew Collins Twitter name tropical storm story, perhaps his finest since Lion Man. At one point, you can hear Andrew blowing his nose and then the rustle of the tissue as he disposes of it. Not sure if you needed to hear that, but audiophiles had better get a tissue ready for it.


The wrong trousers

From the tank where we put all our spare podcasts (it is not really a tank of any kind), we present Podcast 156, which we recorded two weeks ago and is thus built around questions posed on March 15 by people on Twitter, some of whom were so greedy and megalomaniacal they posted a number of questions. You’ll have to listen to it to find out which ones inspired us, and which ones didn’t, and whether being a retired headmaster is harder than being a nationally known standup comedian. As you will see from the picture, Richard had just come back from a run to put this one in the tank, and is wearing shorts. Andrew is wearing long trousers. (Richard is back, briefly, next Tuesday, so another “live” one will be recorded, plus a further spare for the tank. It is not a tank.)

Pen is

Bonus! In the latest of our free, Richard-is-on-tour, back-up, pre-recorded podcasts from the past for the future, we reach 155, a non-topical game of two halves. In the first half, we have a chin-stroking, Newsnight Review-style discussion of American comedy, from Larry Sanders and Zack Garofolo (as we call him, for convenience) to Fat Bastard and Kenny Powers. Then, in the second half, we take subjects from Twitter suggestions, and end up talking about cleaning anuses and watching slow motion footage of birds having practical, procreative sex. And for lovers of pens, here is a picture of all of the pens (and one IKEA pencil) from the small pocket in Andrew’s man bag.

Fly away home

Richard’s back! For one day only! So we present a brand new, topical podcast, Number 154 (numbered after the excellent 1979 album by the post-punk group Wire, one of Richard’s favourites). Rather than dwell on the horrible geological events in Japan, we turn instead to the last two weeks of Richard’s tour and go through his diary looking for interesting stories to tell. While he was away, battling Christians and Psychic Sally, Andrew had the quietest birthday ever and experienced the most emotionally draining week of his professional life, while accidentally keeping up with the money bid on his much more successful colleague on Twitrelief, a charity initiative misunderstood by some idiots. Also featuring: a guest star from the world of insects: this possibly radioactive ladybird, followed by its tiny son or daughter.

Quinlank’s Illustrated Directory of Film Comedy Stars

While Richard is away on tour, braving the threats and prayers of Christians who’ve seen his poster, we present a special, non-topical, “pre-recorded” Podcast 153, based upon the one-word themes suggested by the nerds of Twitter two weeks ago. The words that inspired and stumped us include:
















… to varying degrees of light entertainment. We also unveil Andrew’s First Theorum Of The Initial Letter B. Plus, for Fist Of Fun fans, we hold up the very book that gave Simon Quinlank his name.

Crew P.A.

Will Andrew get through the whole of Podcast 152, recorded the night after the Oscars, without finding out who won? He is attempting, Likely Lads style, to avoid the results all day so that he can watch the ceremony on Sky+ and fast-forward through the adverts and the rubbish bits in the studio in Isleworth about the dresses. This high level intrigue very much powers the podcast, which is otherwise dominated by Richard reading out his tour dates and trying to find something interesting to say about every town he’s visiting before we next get the chance to kick glasses of water over onto archived items of sentimental value in his post-apocalyptic attic. Colin Firth! Aaaaarrrrrrrghhhhhhh!

NOTE: Due to Richard’s MacBook – an apparent “Pro” – the last three minutes or so are cut off, right in the middle of a revealing passage about the film Croupier. Sorry about that. If we can recover the extra minutes, we will put them out.

Three per household

Richard is officially on tour of this land, ergo we enter a tricky period in the Collings & Herrin podcasting calendar, and will get together whenever we can. However, we will be recording two for every one, so that “spares” will be in the tank and ready to release in our dual absence. We’re really not sure you deserve it. Anyhow. In Podcast 151, fuelled in Richard’s case by a variety of different caffeine sources, we celebrate the Royal Engagement Gold Plated Photographic Coin, available for £39.99 +£3.99 postage and packaging but only three per household, the impression of a bloated spider being pulled off currently by Colonel Gadaffi, the suicide of Masterchef, the sexual allure of Russell Kane in a dress and its significance towards a utopian future in which all men and ladies have the same equipment, and we mark the sad passing of Brigadier Letherbridge Stewart off of Doctor Who (1969-1989). Also, do you, like Peet Clack, think Andrew looks like this Muppet?

Hi, my name is Larry

Richard’s back from Maldives International with some colour in his cheeks, a whiff of seafood curry about his pores and some exciting seabird knowledge, Andrew’s back from Braintree Freeport railway station with far too much information about David Cameron’s Big Society, two new 6 Music boyfriends and a Radio 4 casting-couch pass, and we’re back in the attic for Podcast 150, a good-natured catch-up after two weeks’ break from each other in which we discuss the malleable nature of xenophobia, the etiquette of squirting lagoon water out of your mouth while honeymoon couples are eating nearby and the sweetness of Larry the Downing Street cat. It goes a bit weird at one point, but we rise above it, despite jetlag. [WARNING: CONTAINS SONG!]

We love 2006

Bonus! Another one! Even though Richard is still in the Maldives, or an adjacent morgue, wearing a Sombrero or whatever people wear in the Maldives, here is another bonus podcast, this time with an historic and even archeological twist. Think back to the end of 2006, when podcasts were still a new-fangled invention, and Andrew had his own weekend show on 6 Music, on which Richard appeared each week as a guest, for half an hour. This is the “pretend podcast” version of one of those guest appearances, badly mixed in Richard’s favour, and full of bonhomie and reverence. We hope you enjoy this memento and that it makes you feel that you have turned back time. (Eagle-eyed nerds will spot that the accompanying pic is from early 2007, but it’s close enough.) You don’t deserve us.

Belt up

Bonus! Even though Richard is mainlining pina collada with an umbrella made of existential disappointment stuck in the top in the Maldives with his imaginary girlfriend, we bring you Podcast 149, which was recorded (contrary to what we say in the intro) on October 29, 2010, in Richard’s VW Golf on the Eastbound M4 from Bristol to London. We hope you enjoy it, and especially the names on the sides of lorries that Andrew feels the Rain Man-style need to read out. There’s a very exciting bit where Richard has to stop to fill up the car with petrol. Another bonus podcast next week, even though Richard will still be in the Maldives, drowning in pina and collada.