The Podcast Hour for Saturday 1 June 2019
Blurring the lines between music, social commentary, poetry, journalism and fiction, George's show has just cleaned up at the British Podcast Awards, winning 5 golds including Podcast of The Year.
George The Poet is a 28-year-old Londoner of Ugandan heritage. He studied at Cambridge University and one of his spoken word poems introduced the BBC's coverage of the Royal Wedding last year.
Realising the long-form possibilities of the podcast, George crafted eight episodes of the show over months in the studio with his collaborator and co-producer Benbrick. And crafting is the right word. Have You Heard... weaves together specially composed music, multiple voices, time shifts, and immersive sound design.
You hardly even notice that George is writing everything in rhyming couplets.
The show takes on some meaty topics too – policing, institutional racism, teacher shortages, the role of music, and in one memorable episode, the Grenfell Tower fire.
You can listen to all eight episodes of Have You Heard George's Podcast? here.
'Backlisted' takes forgotten and neglected books that are chosen by a guest and talks about them; reading extracts, putting them into context and giving them new life for a modern reader. It's a bit like a clever book club where everyone does all the reading!
The show's hosted by Andy Miller- who chronicled his quest to read 50 great books in 'The Year of Reading Dangerously'- and by the publisher and author John Mitchinson, who spent lots of time here in New Zealand growing up.
We speak to John about how the podcast's getting people to read and buy more books, and play an extract from the episode about Angus Wilson's novel 'Hemlock and After' , featuring guest Dickon Edwards.
"A sissy", "nauseating", and "a flaming homo"; these are not even the worst online insults that people have directed at the actor and activist Dylan Marron.
In 'Conversations With People Who Hate Me' he speaks directly to the people making these kind of hateful remarks.
The conversations don't always go smoothly, there are plenty of awkward, uncomfortable moments that Dylan has to gently steer through, but most episodes end with a resolution of sorts (even if that's just an acknowledgement that each side understands the other better).
Four years ago Colleen tweeted "I'm not sure I hate any celebrity the way I hate Amanda Palmer". So Dylan engineers a conversation between Colleen and Amanda, a popular musician and writer who you might know from her band The Dresden Dolls.
'Words To That Effect' is a brainy show looking at how some big ideas enter the popular imagination through books and film.
Zombies, overpopulation, steampunk and imaginary countries are just some of the topics covered by the Irish writer and researcher Conor Reid.
I share an episode called 'Dinosaurs: Palaeontology To Pyjamas' that grabbed my attention recently. 'Words To That Effect' is produced and presented by Conor Reid.
The podcast poet: 'Have You Heard George's Podcast?' aims for social change. 'Backlisted' brings new life to old books. 'Conversations With People Who Hate Me' introduces online haters to their targets. Finally, 'Words To That Effect' looks at how big ideas enter the popular imagination through books and film.