After a short intermission - we're back with a bang! Introducing - Down The Badger Hole!
Guys - welcome! Tell us a bit about yourself!
The most important thing to know is that we're two failed radio presenters from Lancashire. We've been friends for a long time now and have a common interest in rock music and annoying each other.
We started working together when Joe asked Mark if he wanted to co-host a radio show after a few beers. Mark doesn't remember this conversation, and woke up to a text asking if he was still interested. Feeling unable to get out if it, we started a weekly rock show on a local radio station before migrating to podcasting. We wanted the freedom to create content without barriers and being tied down to specific hours, as it was getting difficult to fit around our lives.
We're a nice mixture of having many similarities (e.g. failed radio presenters with nothing better to do) yet having contradicting views on the important things in life (e.g. Mark having a meal deal strategy to save the most money).
The podcast is just us two sitting in a room and talking about current news items and personal stories. We're totally unscripted and unorganised, and just try to have a light-hearted conversation.
Who/what inspired you to start doing it? What would you say you enjoy most about it?
We began as presenters on a radio station. I suppose our main inspiration to start podcasting came from our old manager, who told us we had a great natural chemistry, but then told us to talk less and play more music. We really enjoy annoying each other, so felt the best next step was to lock ourselves in a small room with no one telling us what to do. It also gives us an excuse to hangout and be creative.
In regards to podcast inspiration, it has to be the Ricky Gervais show. By far the best podcast out there, and their unorganised rambling is defiantly something we've unknowingly replicated.
'Down the Badger Hole' is a pretty unique brand. How did you come up with it?
On our radio show we interviewed rock bands. Our last question was to ask them 'who do you think could throw a badger the furthest' (for those wondering, Mark won).
When trying to decide a name for the podcast we wanted to incorporate that into the name somehow. After minutes of debate we got bored and just went with the least crap idea. The name makes no sense and is factually incorrect (we're aware badgers live in dens), so we though it matched our content perfectly.
We also hope it's odd enough to stick out.
Room for a personal dig? Who has the worst irritating habits in the studio? What are they?
The whole show and chemistry is based on our enjoyment of annoying each other, but 100% Mark. Mainly because he doesn’t need to edit the recording, so is blissfully unaware of his long pauses and poor volume control. He also enjoys asking pointless questions and trying to derail monologues for no other reason than to be annoying.
Mark (left) doesn't seem to have a clue... At least Joe (right) does!
If it came down to it, which do you prefer more - radio or podcasting?
We love them both, but podcasting has to be the winner. We have full creative control, we aren’t censored with the topics we talk about, and we’re not tied to a specific time and day to record. It also means our listeners can download at any time and have a back catalogue to pick from. One main advantage though is we can actually see how many people have downloaded each episode, and get a thrill when we know people in other countries are listening frequently. We have listeners in most of the continents so far, but yet to break Antarctica and Africa.
What about goals - what would you like to achieve from it all? Either as part of the brand or IRL?
Our goals are simple - world domination and a breakthrough in our research to perfect creme brulee.
Truthfully (although a perfect creme brulee is important), we'd love to get our ramblings to as many people as possible. The show is something we do for fun and we generally just like talking nonsense to each other; if others like listening then great.
We don't have an ultimate plan to make a living from it, the reward is finding new ways to annoy each other. Knowing there is an audience out there for it though makes it a little (lot) more worthwhile. We have quite a lot of listeners from other countries giving us positive feedback, which is both incredible and incredibly strange for us.
How do you go about marketing your podcasts? Obviously you will have some followers come over from the radio show, but how do you reach a new audience?
It’s a hard market to break, so we started by asking our friends to share it and promote on social media. We also use soundbites of the show on social media to give people an idea of what to expect. We try and make ourselves as accessible as possible, by being on all the main podcast directories, Spotify and iTunes.
In the future we plan to use the Amazon model, by buying out all our competitors to achieve world domination. This is a long term vision though, as Mark hates spending money and Joe refuses to get another paper round to fund the plan.
Podcasting aside, what do you guys like to do for fun? How do you relax?
We have a feature each episode where we buy each other the worst charity shop gift we can find. It's always fun getting confused and disgusted looks from staff when you're buying a naked fertility doll and used foot-brush. On an individual level:
Mark - I have numerous hobbies, such as listening to audiobooks whilst acting out scenes from ''Ghost' with my cat. Rock climbing with friends, pretending I have friends, and pretending to know what a rock is - as I say, numerous hobbies.
Joe- I don't believe in such things. Fun is for children and David Attenborough.
Classic desert island scenario - you can only take three items. What do you take?
Between us? Okay, we'll pick one each then flip a coin for the 3rd.
Mark would take Ray Mears (or if that's not allowed, his book '
Essential Bushcraft by Ray Mears').
Joe - I've thought about this before and I'm never happy with my answer. Going with my gut feeling, I would take as much toilet paper as I'm allowed.
Mark won the coin toss, so he's taking his painting of a hybrid Jesus/Russel Brand. This was a gift Joe gave during our Charity Shop gift game, which could become the new 'Wilson'.
Wilsonnnnnnnnnnnn! Ok - rapid fire time! Don't think, just answer! What is your all time favourite movie:
Joe: Blues Brothers
Mark: The Lion King
Both: Flight of the Conchords
Joe: Warhammer 30k
Mark - Lemmings
Joe: The Hobbit
Mark: Mr Tickle
Are you part of any teams or networks you'd like to give a shout out to?
No one will have us sadly. We're lone wolves/badgers.
We do really enjoy @EyeballPaulHD (mainly for this accent when he gets angry), and your ventures into gaming, beer and mental health. It's something that needs to be talked about more and takes a lot of courage to do so (mental health that is, not beer)
Thanks guys - that really means a lot! Where can the readers find 'Down the Badger Hole?'
We publish a new episode every other Tuesday. You can listen here: