Posts Tagged ‘language’

EPISODE 352: towel animals

July 6, 2017

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Had any good celeb-spots lately? However good yours are, there’s no way they’re as good as the celeb-spot hat trick Olly scored last week. “Who who WHO?” you wail! Find out in Answer Me This! Episode 352, along with problems regarding:

two laptops
two red barstools
two subtitle generators
sofabeds < sofas < beds
breakfast bars
Dothraki grammar
Better Late Than Never
Naked Attraction (NOT to be confused with Naked and Afraid) – NB both links are NSFW
hotel turndowns
electoral returning officers
Answering Wankers’ Problems CorrespondCunts Points of View
and
Indian cress.

For today's Bonus Bit of Crap on the App – available for iPadPhones, Android and Windows devices – Olly takes a crap at a place of artistic significance. Perhaps his crap could be interpreted as HIGH ART. One day. Not this day, though; it’s just a crap.

Want to hear more from us? There’s the retro AMT episode we throw into your feed mid-month; to get it, subscribe to AMT on your podcatcher of choice. All of our back catalogue is available from answermethisstore.com, along with our special albums including the AMT Sports Day.

If you were into the conlang chat in this episode, check out this episode of Helen’s podcast The Allusionist about the minimalist invented language Toki Pona. Also! Hear Olly’s The Week Unwrapped and The Modern Mann, and Martin’s Song By Song. And get tickets for the Song By Song and Allusionist live shows at the London Podcast Festival this September.

Thanks to our sponsor Squarespace.com you can build yourself a very spruce website. Play around during the two-week free trial, then get 10% off Squarespace’s website-hosting and -designing services for a whole year with the discount code ‘answer‘.

Send us your QUESTIONS: call the Question Line on 0208 123 5877 or Skype ID answermethis, and email answermethispodcast@googlemail.com. Be our interfriend at twitter.com/HelenAndOlly and facebook.com/answermethis.

We’ll be back with AMT353 on 3 August 2017, and with a Retro AMT on 20 July.

Helen & Olly

••• AMT352 Child-Friendly Rating: 41%. Quite a few category A swears, and a bit of bawdyish talk. •••

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EPISODE 341: sensational sausage

October 6, 2016

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In Answer Me This! Episode 341, Olly has some big news. Is it about his cat? Is it about an amazing bargain he bought at Costco?? Is it about a fake tan spray that never fades??? Is it even better than any of those things????

We also deal with questions concerning:

frogs’ legs
frogs’ bodies
Jamie Oliver’s jollies
McDonald’s fries
Dirty Diana Ross vs Dirty Diana, Princess of Wales
Whoppers vs Big Macs
Disneyland Paris
ham-places
delicious Polish food in Birmingham
and
giant potatoes.

Plus: there is a third in Olly’s relationship, and it is an app for tracking ships; Helen refuses to be bore-shamed; and Martin the Sound Man done a joke, so adopt the brace position.

Today’s bumper Bonus Bit of Crap on the App is more of Olly’s Big News, so join the festivities on your iPadPhones, Android and Windows devices.

We’re open for business at answermethisstore.com if you want to buy our first 200 episodes or our albums. You can also give us money without having to give us any of your own money if you get yourself a FREE AUDIOBOOK for you at answermethispodcast.com/audible.

To send us questions for future episodes, call the Question Line on 0208 123 5877 or Skype ID answermethis, and email answermethispodcast@googlemail.com. Be our interfriend at twitter.com/helenandolly and facebook.com/answermethis.

We’ll be back on 22 October with AMT342,

Helen & Olly

••• AMT341 Child-Friendly Rating: 57%. Not deeply obscene but generally a bit vulgar. •••

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EPISODE 321: Who can tell what a fly is thinking?

August 20, 2015

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Answer Me This! Episode 321‘s questioneers are concerned about networking, Taylor Swift’s ‘Bad Blood‘, and what they’ve found on their parents’ hard drives, as well as:

Mars 2112
confirmation names
butchers’ curtains
business cards
hiding XXX photos
the perils of Windows 10
the Mann school of networking vs the Zaltzman school of networking
the ‘Bad Blood’ galaxy of stars
flies
Picabo Street
Andre Rieu
Polari
and
adult colouring books.

Plus: Olly needs to spend more private time with the Victoria’s Secret catalogue; rather than giving Helen your business card, just put it straight into the recycling bin; and Martin the Sound Man wants you to preserve your parents’ sexual memories, and does NOT want any froyo.

There’s additional Bad Blood Chat in today’s Bonus Bit of Crap on the App. When Olly went for an MRI recently, did he wear a white rubber bikini like Taylor Swift does in the video? To find out, fire up the app on your iThings, Android and Windows devices.

If, like Martin, you’re about to build a new website, do it using Squarespace.com, who sponsor today’s episode. Use the code ANSWER to get 10% off their website-building and -hosting services for a year, which include a URL, loads of storage and 24/7 support.

We have a 24/7 yearning for your questions. Leave voicemails on the Question Line – call 0208 123 5877 or Skype ID answermethis – and send emails to answermethispodcast@googlemail.com. Pal up at facebook.com/answermethis and twitter.com/HelenAndOlly.

We’ll return on 3rd September 2015 with AMT322. Until then, colour within the lines.

Helen & Olly

••• AMT321 Child-Friendly Rating: 47%. A couple of strong swears, and we don’t know which will be more appalling to your children: the conversation about parents’ saucy photos, or the conversation about networking. •••

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EPISODE 317: hot pack of Manns

June 25, 2015

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In Answer Me This! Episode 317, one questioneer is risking the beauty of his bottom for a bet; one appears to be too close to his sister; and another has an inferiority complex over his local multiplex (an inferiority multicomplex?). We also deal with:

Cornwall vs Greggs
Milton Keynes vs Merseyside
the Mercedes logo vs the peace symbol
Victoria, British Columbia
John Lahr’s remote working practices
dinner party gifts for the booze-free
unwanted text messages
D-BOX seats, not to be confused with these d-box seats (link NSFW)
movie premiere attendees
Leningrad
bridegrooms
and
Matthew McConaughey’s norge.

There’s a double bill of childhood nostalgia-themed Bonus Bits of Crap on the App (available for iStuff, Android and Windows devices): Olly reminisces about another junior marketing exercise, and Helen about the Tunbridge Wells cinema now apparently known as a ‘grot spot’.

If you want more AMT, you can a) buy our old episodes; b) send us questions for future episodes: leave voicemails on the Question Line by calling 0208 123 5877 or Skyping answermethis, and send emails to answermethispodcast@googlemail.com. Stay in touch between episodes at twitter.com/HelenAndOlly and facebook.com/answermethis; furthermore, you can vent your Ollyman(n)ia at facebook.com/ollymann. Hey, if we’re plugging our extracurriculars, you can listen to and like Helen’s podcast The Allusionist via theallusionist.org, and hear Martin’s music here.

AMT318 will appear on 9th July 2015. Stay cool.

Helen & Olly

••• AMT317 Child-Friendly Rating: 62%. To be honest, we can’t remember the swear-situation in this episode, so we’ll be cautious and assume there are some. No bawdy-talk, though. •••

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Thursday Listening Party

January 15, 2015

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On the Thursdays we don’t release a new AMT, we crank up the spoken word audio and have a Thursday Listening Party.
Click here to attend all previous gatherings.

Friends! I am very excited to tell you that my new Radiotopia show about language and etymology, The Allusionistwhich some of you generously Kickstarted last autumn – has landed. It’s at theallusionist.org and available via iTunes, SoundCloud, RSS and various other podcast-wranglers.

It kicks off with a double bill: the first episode is about puns, and features my punfortunate brother Andy (familiar to you Bugle fans), as well as AMT200 star Zack Zaltzman. The second episode is all about bras and pants. Together, the episodes = punderwear…?


On an etymological tip, I listened to this episode of Slate Working interviewing a lexicographer about her job, and it really made me quite relieved that in 2003 the OED rejected me for my dream job as a lexicographer so I had to become a podcaster instead. Seems like a lot of admin.

Also, if you are fans of The Conspiracy Theories of Olly Mann, you may well enjoy this episode of Reply All about One Direction conspiracy theorists. That’s a next level hobby…

Remember to update your Media Podcast feeds tomorrow, for Olly will be back hosting a fresh new episode.

By the way, I’ll be on Absolute Radio this evening with the very excellent duo Geoff Lloyd and Annabel Port. Tune in 19.10-19.30, or get the podcast afterwards.

Tune in to our usual gigs:

Catch up on AMT305, in which we contemplate a questioneer’s unusual lITerature-inspired tattoo, argue about olive-theft, and reflect upon our lack of audiobook-reading jobs.
AMT episodes 1-170 and the special AMT albums are all available at answermethisstore.com, and if you buy any of them you’re bankrolling the podcast, for which we are extremely grateful.
Olly’s on LBC every weekday 1am-4am. Chug that caffeine to join him.
I host the monthly Sound Women podcast.
Martin the Sound Man makes numerous other podcasts, including Brain Train about clever things, The Global Lab about cities and stuff, and The Sound of the Ladies music podcast.

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Radiotopian ideals

October 27, 2014

Radiotopia backer

CLICK HERE TO CATCH UP ON AMT300

Gather around, friends, for I have exciting news:

In January, I’ll start making a new podcast with Radiotopia, home of such audible excellence as Love+Radio, Strangers, Theory of Everything, and, of course, AMTpal Roman Mars‘s 99% Invisible.

My new show will be all about those precious moments of AMT that we know as “Why is [a thing] called [a thing]?” ie odd phrases and etymology and all sorts of linguistic fun. I’ve been wanting to make it for years, and now is my chance, if…

IF


Radiotopia manages to raise $400,000 in its current Kickstarter campaign.

For my show – along with The Heart and the brilliant Criminal – is what is known as a ‘stretch goal’. They’ve already reached their target to keep the current Radiotopians afloat for another year, but need to raise more in order to greenlight further projects: because making podcasts costs, and to read me wanging on about that particular matter, click here.

So, if you like podcasts and you want to support independent audio creators so they can keep making them, please do chip in. Even $1 (£0.62) is good! $5 (£3.10) is even more good. I could go on.

(And if you spaffed money donating to that that bloody potato salad Kickstarter, you have no excuse not to give a little to something that will result in a year’s worth of top-notch audio entertainment, rather than a forkful of a prosaic foodstuff that goes rancid after two days.)

Click here to donate to Radiotopia’s Kickstarter and support independent podcasters so they can independently podcast!

NOTE 1: This show is not instead of AMT; I’ll be making both! But I’ll be able to be a FULL-TIME PODCASTER, after eight years of trying to fit it around enough paid work to survive. Joe Richman of Radiotopia’s Radio Diaries puts it: “Most people work to get paid, we get paid to work.”

NOTE 2: If you donate, you’ll be funding me making a new show; you’re not funding Answer Me This!. If you feel particularly stirred to contribute to the AMT coffers, then buy some of our albums and classic episodes from answermethisstore.com, or pay a pal through PayPal.

As a stereotypical Brit, I find directly addressing money matters to be excruciating; therefore I will now wrap up the cashchat so I can curl up into a ball and rock back and forth in a dark room.

– HZ

PS Here’s an interview I did with Roman earlier this year, shortly after he launched Radiotopia, in which he talks about the ethos of the enterprise and why podcasting is so super:

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AMT300!!!!!!!!!1!!

October 16, 2014

AMT300

THE DAY HAS ARRIVED! Answer Me This! Episode 300 is here, in all its tricentennial glory!

You’ve deluged us with questions about AMT300, for example:
“Will it be your last episode?”
“Is it going to feature Gerard Butler and be directed by Zack Snyder?”
“Did you guys ever…you know…?”
“Is it possible to polish a turd?”
“Yeah but seriously guys, is it going to be your last episode?”

Discover all these answers, and many more surprises, by listening to the episode right now via one or all of the following methods:

Subscribe to AMT! on iTunes listen to the MP3 through your computer soundcloud-icon our podcast feed on Libsyn Share with Facebook

Don’t read below this point if you don’t want spoilers! Listen to the episode first, then come back here and revise its contents.

Alright??

On the slate for AMT300 are such topics as:

our alternate realities if AMT had never existed
evidence of our life of crime
long-term relationships
bumhole problems
mashed potato vs nutmeg
Peter Jackson vs Raymond Carver
bases
nasal honking
hiding your rubber fetish gear
and
garnish.

And the wonderful special guest answerers bending their wisdom to your questions are:

Adam Buxton, the man who made us want to do this podcast. He doles out excellent advice on giving your children The Talk, ridding your kitchen of mouse turds, and changing your whole life to avoid minor annoyances. Enjoy more of Adam’s work on YouTube, on Twitter, and at live shows including BUG.

Sarah Millican, who even manages to make questions about anal fissures sound charming and wholesome. It’s a gift! Her new DVD Home Bird is available for pre-order; she’s writing for the new online magazine Standard Issue, and she dispenses Sarahmillicandour at twitter.com/SarahMillican75.

Jesse and Theresa Thorn, the first couple of podcasting, the power behind the Maximum Fun throne (at MaxFun, they record everything sitting on thrones). Tackling questions upon Americana and parental embarrassment, it’s a rare treat to hear them on a podcast together – but it’s a regular treat to hear them on their own podcasts, which include One Bad Mother, Bullseye, Jordan, Jesse, Go!, Judge John Hodgman… Yeah, it took us nearly eight years to churn out 300 podcasts; they probably do more than that a month. And just in case you needed even more podcast-related excitement on top of this, it’s MaxFunWeek right now, so you can have maximum fun with other podcast aficionados around the world.

Josie Long, who delighted you in AMT84 and returns to do the same, on such matters as losing your virginity, beating procrastination and Lord of the Rings – the latter with the help of her boyfriend Simon of the Picturehouse Podcast. We hope this important matter doesn’t come between them… As well as seeing Josie on stage, you can hear her on her Lost Treasures of the Black Heart podcast, and the new series of Radio 4’s Short Cuts.

Tony Blackburn. TONY. BLACKBURN! Answering YOUR questions and sounding off about wandering eyes, Hobbits and nutmeg! He was the first voice on Radio 1 in 1967, and he currently has shows on Radio 2, BBC Berkshire, BBC London, BBC Three Counties, KMFM, Magic…phew! Switch on a radio, and Blackburn will probably be talking on it. You can also read him at twitter.com/tonyblackburn.

AMT sibling Andy Zaltzman and his Bugle cohort John Oliver, offering advice on christenings, garlic and hanging onto a long term relationship. You can see Andy on tour with his show Satirist for Hire, and you can see John presenting Last Week Tonight on HBO and/or approximately fifteen times a day in your Facebook feed.

Today’s new email jingle is by the Hackney Colliery Band – because there are few things more stirring than a brass band. To see them live and listen to their records, including their new EP Common Decency, visit hackneycollieryband.co.uk.

Our special guest answerers supplied such a lot of marvellous material, there’s a bumper tricentennial Bit of Crap on the App today – extra questions about tattoos, pineapples, balloon animals, taramasalata, adventures, wedgies, and there’s even a cameo from AMT190 superstar Jon Ronson. The app is available for your iDevices, Android or Windows playthings, but since it’s an ‘appy day, you appless can also stream or download it via SoundCloud. Or just play it here:

We could not have done these 300 episodes without you, listeners: without your attention; without your support, financial and emotional; and particularly without your questions. Please keep sending those in: call the Question Line on 0208 123 5877 or Skype ID answermethis, or email answermethispodcast@googlemail.com. And do celebrate with us at facebook.com/answermethis or twitter.com/HelenAndOlly.

Thanks so much for joining us today! We’ll be back with business-as-usual non-landmark AMT301 on 30th October 2014.

Helen & Olly

••• AMT300 Child-Friendly Rating: 1%. No way. •••

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EPISODE 298 – White Bread World

September 18, 2014

Happy Scottish Referendum Day, everyone! To commemorate, in Answer Me This! Episode 298 we decipher what Scotland’s finest non-whisky exports the Proclaimers were going on about. Vote YES to listening:

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We also contemplate:

actors’ posthumous endorsements
Jacob Frank
godparenting
James Brown’s bridge vs Robbie Williams’s bridge
Henry Hoover
tubby Ryan Gosling vs Peter Jackson
tubby Jared Leto vs gout
tubby Christian Bale vs emaciated Christian Bale vs tubby Christian Bale vs emaciated Christian Bale
being shot in the shoulder vs being shot in the ball
and
‘Uptown Girl’.

Plus: Olly’s pet Roomba hates not hiding under the sofa; Helen hates disco; and Martin the Sound Man hates the ethics of the contracts for Baywatch, which is bad news for anybody hoping of a revival of that show starring Martin. Him running in slowmo down a beach, haversack full of microphones swaying seductively, will have to remain only in your imagination.

Ahem.

In today’s Bit of Crap on the App, which is available for iDevices old and new, Android or Windows playthings, we continue Cathy’s question about godparenting, and whether you’re obliged to buy a silver spoon for a baby. Because what says ‘Welcome to the world!’ as much as a spoon that tastes weird? Maybe we should start putting around the rumour that the traditional christening gift for godchildren is one of our albums or vintage episodes from answermethisstore.com. They’ll probably grow into it.

We cannot grow without your QUESTIONS, so call the Question Line on 0208 123 5877 or Skype ID answermethis, or email answermethispodcast@googlemail.com. And be our online friend at facebook.com/answermethis and twitter.com/HelenAndOlly.

Thanks very much to Squarespace.com, for sponsoring this episode, for allowing people to build and host websites easily and beautifully, and for offering you 10% off their services for a whole year if you use the code Answer.

And joy of all joys, Martin the Sound Man has a delightful new album out, available now HERE. Make an old Sound Man happy by downloading those sounds.

We will return with AMT299 (TWO HUNDRED AND NINETY FRICKING NINE!!!!) on 2nd October, and we hope you do too.

Yours haveringly,

Helen & Olly

••• AMT298 Child-Friendly Rating: 52%. A few medium-ranking swears and an F-level swear. Discussion of dick-shaped vacuum cleaners and Barry Manilow’s penis, which latter may prove traumatic for all ages. •••


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small French lunch

September 2, 2014

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CLICK HERE TO CATCH UP ON AMT296

Here’s un petit question from Amy:

We are having a debate in the office – how do French people say they’re having a small lunch, if that expression is already bagsied?

As in petit dejeuner, literally small lunch but meaning breakfast? Usually the adjective follows the noun in French, so would that make small lunch ‘un dejeuner petit’? Readers with working knowledge of French, am I right? Help me out in the comments, because I haven’t spoken French since 1994 and my memory is mauvais.

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EPISODE 287 – a very expensive potty

April 10, 2014

Hello! You still have one day to catch the first half of our Radio 4 documentary to celebrate the tenth anniversary of the word ‘podcast’. The second episode airs 11am tomorrow, Friday 11th April, and features money-making from Roman Mars, baby-making from Theresa Thorn, and something absolutely puke-making from Keith and the Girl. UPDATE: here’s Part 2.

So please do listen to that, and also to Answer Me This! Episode 287:

Subscribe to AMT! on iTunes listen to the MP3 through your computer soundcloud-icon our podcast feed on Libsyn Share with Facebook

Today we contemplate such topics as:

the Man from Del Monte
Tony Benn’s chair
catnip
human statues
snooze buttons
kissing gates
Miffy vs Hello Kitty
Telford vs Jamaica
CTRL+V vs CTRL+C
pedantry with partners
Artbox
netiquette
The Pageant of the Masters
and
listener Jessy’s missing colon, part II

Plus: Olly details the specifications for choosing his new alarm clock, so set your own alarm clock to jolt you back into consciousness afterwards; Helen comes up with a Doctor Who reboot for Matt Smith and an amazing sit- for a sitcom, so TV commissioners, prepare a bucket of cash and call her in for a meeting; and Martin the Sound Man won’t let you through a gate until you give him a little somethin-somethin. APPROACH WITH CAUTION.

Today’s Bit of Crap on the App, Helen gets doorbell envy. To hear all about that grievous condition, push the button on your iDevices, Android or Windows gadgets.

No need to envy other people’s nice websites – now you can build your own through Squarespace.com, who not only kindly funded today’s show, but are also offering you a 10% discount off their services for a whole year if you use the code answer. We used Squarespace to build answermethisstore.com and it was even easier to set up shop than it is to set up this shop.

Keep us in business by sending in your questions: call the Question Line (call 0208 123 5877 or Skype ID answermethis) or email answermethispodcast@googlemail.com.

Back in a fortnight,

Helen & Olly

PS Get well soon, Dave from Smethwick!

AMT287 Child-Friendly Rating: 95%.
No unsuitable content, aside from the demystification of Hello Kitty. An F-bomb is detonated during the discussion of keyboard shortcuts, but thanks to the subject matter, there’s no way your kids will be paying attention.

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alright?

November 14, 2013

CLICK HERE FOR AMT277

Here’s a question of vernacular from Alex:

I’m from Sweden but I’ve lived in the UK for 10 years – which is is about a third of my life.

I have adjusted well and feel like I understand the British sense of humour, culture and got to grips with you poor dental care and MRSA-ridden hospitals, your crazy ass parliament (a bunch of posh old men shouting at each other?!), binge drinking, TOWIE etc.

One thing I still haven’t got to grips with is this:

When someone greets me by saying “alright?”

Do they mean “Hi!” or do they mean “How are you?”
I never know how to respond; do I say, “I’m good thanks, how are you?” do I say “hi” back, or do I say “alright”?

Also, my boss always says “you ok?” to me, rather than saying “hi” or even “alright?”. Does this mean the same thing i.e. a greeting, or is he genuinely concerned about my wellbeing?

So, in conclusion, how do I respond to “alright?” or “you ok?”

You’re right to suspect, Alex, that these people aren’t really too interested in your health. Think of these as greetings which are slightly more elaborate than “Hi”, in that they’re inviting you to respond, even if you’re responding in kind with meaningless small talk. “Fine thanks, how are you?” is always an appropriate response, regardless of whether you’re actually fine and interested in how the other person is.

The next step in the dance is more difficult to predict. Ideally, you’ll either move on to actual conversation rather than filler, or part company, but sometimes you can be trapped in a small talk volley for several minutes or even hours. So always have an exit strategy, because you don’t want to die from a ruptured bladder after being too polite to end a week-long exchange of casual greetings.

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EPISODE 275 – no one wants a furry Meryl Streep

October 17, 2013

The evil Kennedy family portrait

The evil Kennedy family portrait


Hello listeners,

In writing this post, we’ve learnt that the paintings of Helen Daniels are SO dreadful, even Google Images refuses to index many of them. There’s not even an ironic Tumblr collection! The image above was the only shot we could find of the Kennedy klan’s portrait, but it remains as powerfully repellant as ever.

Why have we waved this horrifying visual in front of your eyes? Listen to Answer Me This! Episode 275 to discover:

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On today’s slate:

the British Museum
loans for kids
Colosseum 4 Kids
pet heirs
Sir Hans Sloane
covered bridges
melting marshmallows
and
crayon-eating.

Plus: Olly is waiting for the long overdue system update for wooden furniture; Helen’s swerving from pumpkin-spiced lattes; and Martin the Sound Man has identified the point at which he left childhood for adulthood: when he started fancy-talking about his excrement.

In this week’s Bit of Crap on the App (available for iDevices, Android and Windows) Helen readies herself for the inevitable call asking her to join Gladiators if they ever rereboot it. She may not be match fit, but she’s got her name all picked out.

Until that happens, we will continue to do battle with your QUESTIONS: leave voicemails on the Question Line (call 0208 123 5877 or Skype ID answermethis) and send emails to answermethispodcast@googlemail.com.

This episode was brought to you by the largesse of squarespace.com, who are also offering you a 10% discount off their service if you use the code Answer10 after you’ve used up your two weeks’ free website-building experimental phase.

See you next Thursday,

Helen & Olly

AMT275 Child-Friendly Rating: 98%. Educational content; clean language apart from the word ‘shat’. Not bad going, eh?

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