Interview with comedy podcast creator Phil Lindsey
Following the recent post celebrating my favourite funny podcasts, I am delighted to announce a new series of recent discovery Radio 7. As a big fan of the first batch of exquisitely-produced silly skits it's great news to have the chance to enjoy more of writer, performer and station manager Phil Lindsey's audio outpourings. Alongside guest appearances from Oprah Winfrey and Kevin McCloud, the first episode promises to take you on a comedic trip across the universe - from a quiet riverbank to the depths of outer space. I wanted to find out more about his process, the things that aid his creativity, and keep him laughing. So, to mark the release of the first episode of series 2, I invited Phil for a socially distanced catch-up.
TELL US A LITTLE ABOUT YOURSELF...HOW DID YOU GET STARTED IN COMEDY?
I used to write sketches at school and make everyone read them. I’d print off multiple copies and hand them out to people. It is an absolute miracle I had any friends. Eventually, I got my favourites together and put them in an envelope to send to Graham Linehan. I was a Big Train / Blue Jam fanboy and Chris Morris seemed unapproachable. At the last minute I bottled it and didn’t send them.
When I think back on what could have been, you know, if I’d only had the self-confidence back then…it makes me grateful I was a wimp.
WHY DID YOU DECIDE TO MAKE THE LEAP INTO AUDIO AND PODCASTING?
My friend Andy gave me a chance to write on his Radio 1 show, The Andy Field Experience (amazing show, hunt it down if you can), and along with the usual sketches I had a lot of ideas that seemed to be in a similar vein, mostly TV and radio parodies. Luckily for me, many of them got rejected for being too ridiculous, so I got to take them away for my own show.
WHAT'S THE BEST ADVICE (ARTISTIC OR OTHERWISE) THAT YOU'VE BEEN GIVEN?
THE EPISODES ARE CLEARLY MADE WITH A REAL CARE AND ATTENTION TO DETAIL. IS IT A ONE-PERSON PRODUCTION? HOW LONG DOES IT TAKE TO CRAFT AN EPISODE?
Thank you. It’s a one-man band, at least for now. I enjoy having complete creative control, and with it, complete creative freedom. A lot of the best things I’ve made have come from awful ideas which would have withered and died the moment I tried to explain them to someone else. Bottom line, my favourite thing to do is put an unreasonable amount of time and effort into a very small, very stupid idea. I’m not sure I can expect anyone else to follow me down that hole.At the moment it takes me about two weeks to make an episode. Sometimes I get a few sketches done in a day, other times I’ll spend a couple of days on one piece, often making several terrible versions of it before I finally come around to one I like.
HOW HAS COVID-19 AND THE LOCKDOWN AFFECTED YOU AND YOUR CREATIVE PROCESS?
It’s given me a bit of an insight into what it must be like to come from money. Or maybe even what it used to be like for new comedians on the dole back in the 80s.
I get to do my work worry free. All I need in order to make my stuff is time and my own space, and with furlough and the lockdown I’ve had exactly that. I can see how it’s been a nightmare for friends in the live comedy scene, but for me, it’s been a really productive time.
This comes with the caveat that I would trade it all in for a COVID-less world if I could, but it would be disingenuous to say that I haven’t benefited from the current situation. On the one hand I feel incredibly free, and on the other, incredibly guilty. It’s a strange mix.
WHAT DO YOU LOVE TO LISTEN TO?
Podcast-wise I’m a big fan of Mandatory Redistribution Party, RHLSTP, Unlocked World with Alistair Bridge, Tiredness Kills, Coexistence and The No Sleep Podcast.
Music-wise, this is the summer of garage.
WHO / WHAT ALWAYS TICKLES YOU?
Vines. We will not know their like again.
WHAT'S A TYPICAL DAY LIKE - DO YOU HAVE ANY REGULAR ROUTINES TO FUEL YOUR CREATIVITY?
I’m a firm believer in routine. If your day has a regular structure it frees your mind to think of other things. For me, right now, this is what works:
09:00 – 10:00 Breakfast
10:00 – 15:00 Work (leaning more towards the creative)
15:00 – 15:30 Exercise
15:30 – 16:00 Lunch
16:00 – 19:30 Work (leaning more towards the administrative), unless I don’t feel like it and I haven’t got a deadline to hit, in which case I’ll just dick around
19:30 – 00:00 Dinner and switch off
TIME FOR A PLUG...WHERE CAN PEOPLE FIND OUT MORE ABOUT RADIO 7?
They can find Radio 7 on all good podcast providers, or they can follow me on twitter @radio7official where they can tell me that, actually, their podcast provider is great, but Radio 7 isn’t on it.
Radio 7 is (hopefully) available on all good podcast platforms now. Find it on Apple Podcasts here