With the difficult times we are facing at the moment, it is the perfect time to try something new whilst you are forced to stay indoors and over the next couple of weeks we are interviewing acts that are putting on everything from projects to lessons. Today, we speak to John Dredge, whose podcast The John Dredge Nothing To Do With Anything Show returned to the British Comedy Guide last week. I caught up with the comedian to find out all about it.
Hello John! Can you tell us a little bit about yourself and three unknown facts?
I’m a comedy writer/performer/musician/other (delete as applicable). If I told you three unknown facts they wouldn’t be unknown would they?
Oh all right then, here they are:
I have never been married to Queen Victoria
My shoes squeak
I met Eric Morecambe once for about a minute and he was really funny.
What is the show all about?
Essentially it’s a cross between a surreal sketch show and a spoof magazine show, beamed in from a strange parallel universe. It’s carefully produced and full of weird ideas, characters and concepts. And in that order.
How did the podcast come about?
I met ace sound expert and audio producer Richard Cray at a comedy night called Sketch Club way back in the early 1900s. We realised we had a similar sense of the ridiculous and we liked the same sort of comedy so started experimenting with podcasting. We produced the odd little show here and there, slowly it developed into a great big series and here we are, wherever that is.
You are returning for a fifth season! What do you have in store for your listeners?
Lots of bizarre ideas and funny things. Silly characters, daft goings on, peculiar soundscapes and strange situations. Fun and laffs galore!
For those who have not listened to the past four seasons, what have they missed?
Four seasons. To be more specific, four seasons of comedy lunacy, off-the-wall interviews with insane ‘guests,’ adventure serials, spoofs, sketches, nutty commercials, recurring features and bonkersness of ludicrous proportions.
If they want to catch up on the old episodes, where can they find them?
All the shows are available on the splendid and vast font of knowledge and funniness that is British Comedy
How do you decide what each of the episodes are about?
A lot of it comes directly from my weird imagination. I might develop a character or write another of our recurring features such as Dear Dredge (a bizarre fictional postbag of correspondence from bizarre and fictional listeners) or Where Are We Meant To Be Now (a lunatic parody of Down Your Way).
Tell us about the sketches that are in the podcast?
They are all extremely silly.
Where do you get the inspiration for your sketches?
From the Co-op. In fact it’s difficult to say where inspiration comes from. A lot of it comes from watching TV and from the media in all its lunacy. It can also come from memories of great comedy shows of the past, the rhythms of which have imprinted themselves onto my brain. I might get an idea chatting to ace producer Richard, or simply from combining two separate concepts. The most obvious one of those was when we did a Radio One-style roadshow for Radio Three. We had a classical music scholar talking to the crowd in the manner of an inane disc jockey. That was a bit odd.
What are your aims for your podcast in 2020?
To boldly go where no podcast has gone before. Cheam.
We would like to reach new listeners and also provide lots of fresh content for our loyal regular ones. We want to pour our loony audio nonsense into the ears of as many people as possible!
How do you decide who to have as a guest on each show?
If anyone has wronged us, we force them to take part.
What makes you different to other podcasts out there?
I would say the detail of production and the uniqueness of our bonkers comedy vision. But then I would.
Who would be your dream guest to appear and why?
Norrington Ponk, leader of the Get Dressed Quickly Society. Unfortunately he is in bed. Also Winona Ryder and Stephen Fry, though not necessarily in that order.
What other podcasts are you a fan of and why?
There’s a fascinating podcast called XUM FOR SAM. The concept is that this podcaster chap (called Xum) takes a pop single by Samantha Fox and then talks about how it relates to his life. It sounds like total fluff but it’s actually extremely moving and poignant. They’re ten minutes each and Samantha Fox is actually on it. That’s my recommendation to you, free of charge. Further recommendations will cost you four pounds.
Are there any plans or have there been any live versions of your show?
This show might be a bit complicated to perform live but I have done a live version of a podcast I do with my double act partner, Andy Harland. We call ourselves DredgeLand and we talk nonsense for hours at a time. Somehow we were able to convert this podcast into a live show, which we did at the Brighton and Camden Fringes, and a silly time was had by all. You can find it here :
What advice would you give for people thinking about starting a podcast?
Start a podcast.
I think everyone should have a podcast – the more the merrier. It’s a great way to express yourself and it’s a lot of fun. Except in my case.
If people want to find out more about you where can they find you on social media?
I’m always on Twitter so @johndredge is the best place to find me.
Finally, in three words why should people listen to your show?
It is good.