Posts Tagged ‘edinburgh fringe’

The one lesson I learned that The Nightly Show needs to understand

Monday, March 13th, 2017

After the first year of hosting my daily chat show at the Edinburgh Fringe (which is still running thirteen years later), Brian Luff gave me one of the best pieces of advice I have had in my broadcast career. It went something like this:

“I listened to the Fringe podcasts, but now I’ve met you I have to ask… why is the ‘you’ that I see in front of me not in the podcast? I want to spend time with that person.”

You can have the latest names, the greatest guests, and the biggest world-changing ideas, but these will only get people to engage with a show once. If they are going to engage a second time, or become regular viewers, they will only come back if there is something consistent that they want to spend time with. I took Brian’s advice, and came up with a rule that I have relied on ever since…

People come once for a guest, but they stay for the host.

Tonight, ITV will launch the third version of ’The Nightly Show’. The first version launched two weeks ago with David Walliams hosting. The second version launched next week with John Bishop. Tonight’s version belongs to Davina McCall. Next week will be the fourth version with Dermot O’Leary.

There is nothing consistent week to week. The second a viewer starts to get comfortable with a host’s style and decides that they’re happy to spend time with them late at night, the host changes. You can’t start building up a reputation for guests, for games, or for viral videos until the foundation is in place. Choose a host and give them a long run to build a relationship with the audience.

That’s why the US late-night shows are as powerful as they are. Every host has been given the time to settle in to find their own footing and their own audience. Stephen Colbert has taken close to a year to understand ’The Late Show’, Trevor Noah is slowly moving out from under the shadow of Jon Stewart on ‘The Daily Show’, James Cordon’s routine has evolved over time on ‘Late-Late‘…

I don’t buy the argument that ITV can’t do a daily chat show, but it needs to understand the unique demands of the format does not always line up with the ‘celebrity guest’ culture that has developed in the UK scene over the last two decades. Find a host, find a team, and let them work through the problems for at least a six-month run.

And if you need proof that a long-term commitment will slowly grow into a daily success story… look at ‘The One Show’.

Reviewing The Reviewers At The Fringe

Monday, August 31st, 2015

With its tounge slightly in cheek, FringePig has award its first “ham-fisted” award for “the Fringe reviewer who most misunderstood what they were looking at.” to The List’s Graeme Connelly for his review of Stuat Goldsmith’s show:

Graeme wins for his stunning use of bathos. In his review of ‘Stuart Goldsmith: An Hour‘ he worships at the feet of Goldsmith for several paragraphs, and then ends with three stars. It’s a simple formula, but a winning one. The funniest reviews are often the simplest. Connelly receives the staggering sum of £50 which, we are told, can buy a very brief sensation of three-star pleasure if you know where to look. Mr Goldsmith wins £200, which he hardly needs since he is, apparently, a glowing comedy adonis with the world at his three-star feet.

Here’s the ‘winning’ review for your pleasure. Now, who’s reviewing the podcasters?

Looking back on the Edinburgh Fringe 2013 Podcasts

Friday, August 30th, 2013

And that, as they say, was the Fringe. Everyone is going over their August performances, from the Fringe office to the Scottish Falsetto Sock Puppet Theatre. Let’s do the same with the Edinburgh Fringe podcast. This was the ninth year of the daily podcast from the Capital, with music, guests, and Fringe news, bringing as many different facets of the Fringe as possible to the show. Not just the comedy, or the theatre, but the whole smash.

In short, if you were at the Fringe, it was a backstage pass. If you weren’t, my goal was to make you as jealous as possible.

This year saw one of the biggest changes to the show since it launched. Working with Castle FM, the show was broadcast live on Castle FM’s live stream, before being rebroadcast across Edinburgh on 98.8 FM, and then available as the regular Edinburgh Fringe podcast from the usual sites and RSS feeds.

This meant a slight change in format. The guests remained, but I was able to bring in a lot more music from many of the acts performing at the Fringe, as well as committing to four interviews in each weekday podcast. And while some of the interviews were pre-recorded in town, the vast majority of them were done in the studio, live, with no safety net.

It needed a bit more organising, and of course the interviewees had to be in the studio, ready to go, when the faders came up on the microphone. For that effort, I think it added a lot of energy to the show. As to the audience reaction, the quickest check was through iTunes, and the podcast charts. The Fringe podcast reached #2 in the Performing Arts chart (beaten only by the Radio 4 Play For The Day, I finally overtook The Archers); #3 in the Arts chart; and peaked at number #51 in the overall chart. I’d call that a success.

The question is, what happens next?

Answer number one is Fringe 2014. It would be the tenth year of the podcast, and that’s a pretty important number for me (and for podcasting). But that’s not until August next year, which is eleven months away. I still think there’s a gap in the market for a podcast that brings good chat, great music, and brings the best of Edinburgh to listeners in the capital (and further afield) all year round…

There’s an idea.

The ‘Super Showcase Saturday’ from the Fringe

Saturday, August 24th, 2013

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The final weekend of the Fringe, just three nights left to see many of the shows (although some will finish tonight, so check the times at edfringe.com). As for the podcast, let’s have some extra interviews to kick off your Saturday. With David Quirk, Michael Che, Superbard, Bobby Mair, Ian Smith, and Ben Champion.

The Fringe podcast where we can’t mention the war

Monday, August 19th, 2013

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Into the last week of the Fringe, with eight full days and nights of performances to take in – and even at this late stage that’s more than Glastonbury. Twice. A delve inthe nature of the Fringe today with reluctant talk show hosts, returning retirees, reality show hopefuls, and trying to work out how to pronounce Reichstadt. With John Fleming, Ian Kendall, Suzy Bennett, and Frank Sanazi.

Doing the ‘Grid Walk’ down the Royal Mile for the Fringe podcast

Saturday, August 17th, 2013

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Forget Martin Brundle and a handful of cars, this the Fringe! It’s time for the annual walk down the Royal Mile. Who’s flying, which shows are promoting, and who’s lying down on the cobbles of Edinburgh?

All the variety of the Fringe, in an hour of podcasting

Tuesday, August 13th, 2013

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Today’s Fringe podcast was a mix of live interviews in the Castle FM studios, on-location interviews from over the weekend, and music submitted by many of the performers at this year’s Fringe. Hopefully it’s bringing a great feel of the variety on offer in Edinburgh during August to you! Guests today are Lee Camp (a US comic), Hedluv and Passman (Cornish rappers), Claire Cunningham and Gail Sneddon (co-directors of this year’s National Theatre Scotland show, Mènage à Trois), and Tamar Broadbent (from the musical stand up show, Almost Epic).

The Fringe podcast with the people who can’t get down to the studio

Saturday, August 10th, 2013

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Time for a Saturday special on the Fringe podcast. While we’re broadcasting live on Castle FM Monday through Friday, not every guest can make it down to the radio studio. That leaves a lot of stories around the Fringe that still need to be told, so this year we’ll be heading into Edinburgh with the podcast microphone to bring you Carey Marx, Death Ship 666!, Ben Moor, and Darts Wives.

What ‘P’ is an audio program coming from Edinburgh every day?

Friday, August 9th, 2013

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Today’s Edinburgh Fringe Podcast is live, with John Lloyd, Melmoth the Wandered, Patrick Monahan, and Tongue Fu.

Everyone on today’s Fringe podcast loves Peter Capaldi

Thursday, August 8th, 2013

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With Mitch Benn and the Distractions, Rob Lloyd, The Scottish Falsetto Sock Puppet Theatre, and The Henson Alternatives. Subscribe to the podcast in iTunes, follow along at the Edinburgh Fringe Podcast site, or listen on 98.8 Castle FM at 3pm every day if you’re in Edinburgh.

Wednesday is the ‘Disaster Show’ of this year’s Edinburgh Fringe Podcast

Wednesday, August 7th, 2013

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With That Pair, Pete Cain, Worbey and Farrell, and Champ.

‘There’s Been A Murder!’ on the Fringe podcast (and an Eric Sykes story)

Tuesday, August 6th, 2013

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With Arthur Smith (…sings Leonard Cohen vol. 2), Luisa Omielan (What Would Beyonce Do), Tom Cawte (Sandel), Gareth Morrison (Killers), and writer Glenn Chandler (Sandel, and Killers).

Subscribe to the podcast in iTunes, follow along at the Edinburgh Fringe Podcast site, or listen on 98.8 Castle FM at 3pm every day if you’re in Edinburgh.

Monday is here, and it’s the first regular edition of the Edinburgh Fringe Podcast

Monday, August 5th, 2013

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With Marcus Birdman (Happily Ever After), Ruaraudh Murray (Bath Time), Tom Dibden (All Edinburgh Theatre), and Micheline Van Hautem (Micheline Sings Brel).

Subscribe to the podcast in iTunes, follow along at the Edinburgh Fringe Podcast site, or listen on 98.8 Castle FM at 3pm every day if you’re in Edinburgh.

Here comes the Edinburgh Fringe Podcast (and the FM simulcast!) for 2013

Sunday, August 4th, 2013

Nine years ago I decided to try and cover the Edinburgh Fringe with the new medium of podcasting. It found an audience, and I’ve been bringing the Fringe out of Edinburgh every year since with a daily podcast during August of news, reviews, and interviews. But this year is slightly different.

The podcast is still going ahead, but the format has been changed very slightly, as the show is also going out on local radio. 98.8 Castle FM will be carrying the Fringe Podcast (or ‘Festival Talk’ to give the show its radio name), and you’ll be able to listen to the show live online during the recording, tune in if you’re in Edinburgh, or download the podcast from the Edinburgh Fringe Podcast homepage.

To recap, here’s where you’ll find the show this year.

Download the podcast, which is hosted at edinburghfringe.thepodcastcorner.com, or you can subscribe in iTunes.
You can listen live to the show being recorded at 12 noon (Monday to Friday) on Castle FM 2 – this is available as a live stream from www.castlefmscotland.com.
You can tune in on 98.8 FM if you are in Edinburgh to listen to the show being broadcast between 3pm and 4pm each day.
And you’ll also find us on your smartphone, in the iFringe application for iOS and Android.

The first show goes out tomorrow (Monday 5th) but to get you in the mood, there’s a little prologue show available now in the RSS feed, on the site, or embedded below!

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Opening the Fringe 2013 season, Ewan talks about the new additions to the podcast, with some music and thoughts about Edinburgh from singer-songwriter Daniel Cainer.

Some thoughts on podcasting and what engages me

Tuesday, June 25th, 2013

Last week I had the opportunity to experience podcasting from the other side, as a listener looking in to a world and being guided by experts on the other side of my headphones, and it remind me just how powerful podcasting can be when it finds the right environment.

The event was the 24 Heures du Mans, and my guides were the team at Radio Le Mans. In the build up to the event they previewed the four classes of cars that were racing, reported daily on the practices around the circuit, covered the scrutineering, the damp fizzle that was qualifying, and when it was time for the race they switched to live streaming for every minute of the event.

Yes, I can enjoy Le Mans without them, but having excited experts, fans, and reporters talking to me every day made for a much more engaged and exciting event. For me, this is where podcasting works. It’s social, it’s engaging, and it gets multiple expert voices (and switch on lay fans) in discussion.

It’s also given me a big checklist of things that I need to be careful of when the Edinburgh Fringe podcasts start coming out nearer the end of July and into the daily shows during August… making sure the introduction to the podcast is strong and acts as an index to what is coming up in the rest of the show; remembering the different levels of knowledge listeners will have; and that while all the guests and news will vary, the host is the constant that will keep people coming back for the next show.

And while the Eurovision Song Contest podcasts go on a much slower schedule now (two fifteen minute episodes per month for June through September, compared to a daily 30 minute show leading up to the Contest in May), the principles are the same.

When people ask me about the differences between audio podcasts and videos, the safe and quick answer is ‘time’ – video online needs to be much shorter, and audio can offer more time to get involved. But if you want to expand on that, an audio podcast offers a chance for more education, more entertainment, and more information. While there are moments when short podcasts are ideal, the podcasts that work well for me are the news magazine style of shows, rather than the breaking news bulletins.

Part of my #back2blog community series of blog posts.