Podcast of the Week: Looks Unfamiliar

❉ Tim Worthington hosts a podcast looking at the things you remember that nobody else does.

We’re big fans of podcasts here at We Are Cult, and we’re always looking for new shows to subscribe to. So if you’re looking for ear candy, we’re here to help!

This week: Tim Worthington tells us all about Looks Unfamiliar.

What’s your podcast about?

It’s a show for talking about the things that you remember that nobody else ever seems to. Each guest gets to choose six examples, which have ranged from the Hanna Barbera cartoon The Drak Pack and Sizzlin’ Bacon Flavour Monster Munch to Fiendish Feet Yoghurts and even a Morecambe And Wise board game. Yes, such a thing did exist. Part of the fun is in them trying to explain these bizarre yet incredibly clear memories to me, and my trying – and usually struggling – to put them into some sort of logical and coherent cultural context.

If you had to describe your show in 10 words or less, what would you say?

Nostalgia isn’t how everyone else remembers it used to be.

Which episode would you recommend for a first-time listener? Do you have a favourite episode?

The one with Mark Thompson has had over a thousand listens – and counting – so I’d guess that’s probably the best one to start with. I couldn’t pick a favourite really, although Ben Baker’s speculation on whether ‘Skeleton’ constituted an identifiable monster made me laugh so much that we had to pause the recording. I’m also very fond of the one with Stephen O’Brien, as we touched on quite a few subjects that had meant a lot to us as youngsters in the eighties that have since fallen off the radar completely.

What inspired you to create this podcast?

I’ve always been fond of old-fashioned TV nostalgia shows like Time Of Your Life and Looks Familiar (which I based the name on), which predated all of the irony and sneering and used raw facts and footage – not always upbeat – to evoke an era. I’ve also always been equally fond of the neglected, forgotten and just plain ignored in popular culture over and above the obvious reference points, so in a way I was aiming to combine the two. The original radio version of Room 101, which is one of my favourite radio shows ever, was a huge influence too. There were precedents in some previous podcasts I’ve been involved with, but basically the idea just occurred to me one day and was too good to, well, forget.

Which guests have you had on your podcast so far?

So far I’ve primarily had people like Phil Catterall and Stephen O’Brien who I’ve collaborated with on podcasts and fanzines and the like in the past, as I knew they would ‘get’ the whole concept and give the show a solid starting point. I’m starting to expand the guest selection a bit now, though, and have ended up with a couple of political pundits who I think enjoyed the opportunity to talk about anything but politics. Even though I still don’t have a sodding clue what Scoubidou actually was.

Who would be your dream guest?

In an ideal world, based on the reference points they use, Lauren Laverne and Derren Brown would both be absolutely brilliant. There’s a lot of less ‘famous’ people I’m very keen to get on, though, some of whom have expressed an interest. And then there’s several ‘name’ followers I have on Twitter who would be very welcome to get involved if they were so inclined. Hint hint.

Which equipment do you use for your podcast set-up?

It’s varied from show to show to be honest – I don’t want to exclude any suitable guests on the basis of them not having the right Super Best 100% Studio Quality Equipment set up and ready to use at a moment’s notice, so it’s ranged from editing together two independently recorded high-quality streams to literally holding a phone up while we talked. It is possible to fret a bit too much about the technical quality of something that most of the audience will listen to once.

What would you say is the best length of time for a podcast episode?

Given how much I loved The Collings And Herrin Podcast I should say one hour, six minutes and thirty six seconds, but I think it’s best to aim for about thirty minutes, give or take. That way you’re not asking too much of the listener, and also have no option but to cut the weaker bits and the waffle. Also as a listener I much prefer podcasts where they just get straight into it with no preamble about what you’ve had for tea or whatever. Above all else, if you’re just a regular everyday podcaster and you’re going on for three times as long as Just A Minute… something’s not right there.

Which podcasts (other than yours) would you recommend we listen to?

The main ones that I look forward to are RHLSTP and The Adam Buxton Podcast; I’m also a keen follower of the BBFC Podcast, SMERSH Pod, Toby Hadoke’s Who’s Round and Creamguide (Films) Commentaries. I’d also like to see the Miwk Publishing podcast make a comeback. My favourite podcast of all time though is New Chart Riot by Ben Baker and Phil Catterall, where they run down and comment on ludicrous and meaningless charts that have no reason to exist. The list of Top Halloween Costumes For Dogs is the funniest thing I have ever heard in a podcast.

Where is your podcast available to listen to?

timworthington.blogspot.co.uk and http://www.podnose.com/looks-unfamiliar/

What is the future of podcasting as a creative medium?

It depends on how creatively people use it, regardless of whether they are ‘names’ or not. That’s why it’s good to see something like SMERSH Pod making an impact in the face of unimpressive celebrity and corporate efforts; it indicates that listeners are going to favour quality over ubiquity, which can only be a good thing!

❉ Looks Unfamiliar can be found here: http://www.podnose.com/looks-unfamiliar/

❉ Follow on Twitter:  @looksunfamiliar

❉ Download past episodes or subscribe to future episodes of Looks Unfamiliar podcast for free on iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/gb/podcast/looks-unfamiliar/id1214698388?mt=2

❉ Have you got a podcast? Email wearecultcontent@gmail.com if you would like it to be featured.

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