Just before we start … I’ve just published the second book in the Podcasting For series – Podcasting for Journalism Students – it on Amazon for Kindle and you can get links and more information here. Davy
Without wanting to sound like I’m singing Burt Bacharach … If you see me walking down the street and I start to laugh before we meet, I’m probably listening to the No Such Thing as a Fish podcast
Fish is more than a comedy podcast, though. It is witty and interesting and there is never an episode that you don’t come away from wanting to tell everyone about some weird fact or facts you’ve learned. Which is sort of the way it started.
And yes I am a fan.
As far as I can establish, it’s the first UK podcast that’s been commissioned as a TV series. No Such Thing as the News. The TV show and the podcast have more or less the same format – four people riffing on strange and obscure facts and laughing quite a lot.
They are QI Elves. Fish does not live alone in the media ecosystem. It is related to the TV series QI and the BBC Radio 4 series the Museum of Curiosity. And I’m a fan of those, too. You can trace Fish’s ancestors right back to Hitch Hiker’s Guide to the Galaxy and before.
I wanted to talk to some of the QI Elves about No Such Thing as a Fish, not only because I’m a fan, but because of the technical and production approach they take. No radio studios are used in the making of the show. I wanted to know how they do what they do.
Alex Bell is occasionally a member of the podcast panel. As well as researching he edits No Such Thing as the News. Freddy Soames was responsible for the very simple and very effective technical set up for the podcast. But inadvertently is responsible for one of the enduring images of both the podcast and TV programme; the microphones.
The podcast started in March 2014 – you can still hear the first episode on the website – and as I write this, the team have reached episode 148.
If you are starting out on your podcast unless you have a deep understanding of audio and audio recording, one of the most difficult things to work out is what microphones to use. It’s all well and good hiring a studio – supposing you can afford such a thing – but a studio might not help create the atmosphere you want for the show. One of the characteristics of No Such Thing as a Fish is that it is not studio bound. It has the atmosphere of something thrown together just for the fun. It sounds like a bunch of friends sitting around in an office.
The podcast is on the website and if you missed the two TV series, they are on YouTube.
Fill yer boots.
[What is the Podcasting For … Project? This will explain]
And if like me you are fascinated by the sig tune, here it is in full:
You can listen to the track in full here.