I know, I know, it’s late.
It’s been a busy time of year, so April’s newsletter is actually hitting stores at the start of May.
But what a month it’s been! What’s been happening?
All four seasons, that’s what. I mean I know it’s clichéd to talk about the British weather, but it really is hog mad at the minute, no? I swear at one point it was 25 degrees and snowing, simultaneously.
In the news – Amber Rudd has been deported.
Matthew Wright has quit the Wright Stuff, demonstrating the danger of basing your TV format around a pun.
Sainsburys and ASDA are merging. Who will get custody of George?
And there’s a third royal baby! It’s a boy, it’s called Louis, and I, for one, welcome our new reptilian overlord.
Anyway, let’s get on with it.
Yes, that seems like an alarming title for this first section, but the original title was ‘New Blood’, so it’s actually not as bad as it could’ve been.
We have a new face at Maple Street! Here is that face…
James McCombe is our brand-new producer. He’ll be working in the studio, putting together adverts, podcasts, programmes – essentially anything that falls under the audio category.
What else do you need to know about James? Well, he’s from New Zealand (you know, from off of Lord of the Rings). He goes to the GYM BEFORE WORK like an athlete or a murderer. He’s been here for two weeks and is already annoyingly good at his job.
That’s James, if you see him in the street say hi!
Urgh, sorry, but it’s awards season again.
So, it means we have to do some very in-your-face boasting about the awards we’ve been nominated for. I know, I know, it’s uncomfortable. But you’ve got this far, no point stopping reading now. It’ll be over soon. Here we go…
The podcast arm of our department, Fresh Air, have been nominated for two (2) British Podcast Awards!
Fresh Air podcasts ‘Parliament Explained’ and ‘Irreplaceable: A History of England in 100 Places’ make up two of the five nominees in the Best Branded Content Podcast category.
The British Podcast Awards are, as you could probably guess, award for podcasts. From the big industry smashing, genre-defining ones, to the little, home studio gems you might never have heard of, the great and the good are all going to be there and now, courtesy of Fresh Air, so are we!
Chip Shop Awards
Now, after the earlier explanation of what the British Podcast Awards are, you could be forgiven for thinking ‘well, I know what this is all about’, but confusingly, the Chip Shop Awards are not a series of awards for chip shops.
They’re awards for creativity without limits – i.e. anything goes.
And we’ve been nominated for Best Social for our Gender Pay Gap piece from last summer. Who knew refusing to take your job seriously would pay off?
Who is the competition you ask? Well, one is a dating video for a man who drinks urine and practices Tai Chi – the other is a high budget 'It' spoof in which Father Christmas kills creatives, I think. So, a fairly normal category, is what I’m saying. See those two entries, and our own, here.
Google Yourself a Podcast
Everybody’s favourite tax avoiding Big Brother style surveillance operation, Google, are getting into podcasts!
Google have announced that they’re planning to double the number of podcast listeners in the next few years, which is simultaneously ambitious and vague – and that’s a style of planning I can get on board with.
They want to streamline the way Android users find their podcasts, in the same way that iTunes do for Apple users – and I say good luck to them. Currently, two thirds of all podcast listening is done through iTunes – and it’s about time a plucky up and comer like Google challenged them.
It could be very exciting! Equally we could be dead by then, so let’s not get ahead of ourselves.
Oh, Look…It’s Him! Ah, You Know…From That Thing. We Watched It. Turned Out He Was Having An Affair. Ah, What’s His Name?
We get people off the telly coming in here from time to time.
And the thing about celebrities is they’re just like us. And by that, I mean they all use the toilet.
Seriously, I’ve been keeping track. Literally every single one of them who has come here has used the toilet. Guy Garvey? Uses the toilet. Cuba Gooding Jr? Uses the toilet. Gabby Logan? You bet she uses the toilet.
I walked past Roger Daltrey in the toilets here once and was so startled I just whispered ‘sorry’ into his ear.
I say this only because Simon Bird, writer, actor and star of The Inbetweeners, came in this week, and I saw him in the toilet twice. He used the toilet at the start and at the end of his session with the lovely Pirate FM, and I was there both times, so I’m worried he thinks I’m just a guy they employ to stand in the toilet. And in many ways, I am.
Anyway, Simon was an absolute delight. As expected.
We also had the lovely team from Shooting Shark in a couple of times, to record the excellent ‘Blood on the Tracks’ for BBC Radio 2.
The show features Colin Murray chatting with four well-known music obsessives, meaning in the last month we’ve been lucky enough to host Jeremy Vine, Liz Kershaw, Kriss Akabusi, Steve Davies and Shaun Ryder, amongst others. And let me tell you – every single one of them went for a wee.
They’re just like us.
The Maple Street Basement -
Where Everyone Can Hear You Scream
Like all the best things (the Tube, sewers, dead people), our studios are underground. But they are also state of the art, comfortable, professionally run and available for you to hire.
We have two lovely studios here, and now an extra voice booth, perfect for self-operated voice sessions and podcasts. So, if you want to record a voiceover, do some broadcast PR, get a radio advert made or survive an apocalypse – we have the facilities in which you can do all those things!
Get your briefs out!
Send us through your most troublesome brief and we’ll help you make it into an audio masterpiece.
No obligation - just to show you what we can do.
Is it too visual for radio? Is it a rubbish product? Is it tricky?
Is it something you wish would just go away?
Whatever the reason, hand it over and let us make it shine. Send your tricky briefs through to us at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
And yes, there we go. That was April.
It is now May, so let’s look ahead to that.
What’s coming up in May? TWO! BANK! HOLIDAYS!
That’s all that matters. I mean, don’t let the other days pass you by, grab them by the scruff of the neck and kiss them passionately.