Listeners, thank you so much for contributing your attention, questions and eartime to us this year. What a year it has been! Relisten to the highlights – and lowlights, including such annual delights as the Parade of Melancholy Calls and the blooper reel – in The Best of Answer Me This! 2014:
So many precious moments… Create more of them in 2015 by sending us your QUESTIONS: leave a message on the Question Line – call 0208 123 5877 or Skype ID answermethis – or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
By the way, if you have the AMT app on your iDevices, Android and Windows gadgets, you have access to all the previous AMT Best Ofs. For those of you who are app-less, you can obtain these joyous compilations from answermethisstore.com/best. Also at the AMT store, iTunes and Amazon, you can buy our albums and old episodes – the perfect festive gift for the AMT fan, ie you, and the perfect gift for us, ie money to continue making the show next year.
Another Christmas gift we would love is for you to tell a friend about the show! There are still a few billion people in the world who are yet to hear it, so do your bit to remedy this sad situation.
Discover all these answers, and many more surprises, by listening to the episode right now via one or all of the following methods:
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.
On the slate for AMT300 are such topics as:
our alternate realities if AMT had never existed evidence of our life of crime
mashed potato vs nutmeg
Peter Jackson vs Raymond Carver
hiding your rubber fetish gear
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.
✮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.
✮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.
✮ 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:
Apologies to Gina G for the theme in Answer Me This! Episode 289. YOU WERE ROBBED, GINA! The injustice smarts as much now as it did in 1996! Neva 4get!*
On today’s agenda:
Pret a Manger
ladies ‘freshening up’
wood-panelled station wagons
red Solo cups 60 Minute Makeover
the Mosquito Alarm vs turds
Olly’s schoolboy politics Marlene from Neighbours Four Weddings and a Funeral vs The Inbetweeners vs Trainspotting
Skype calls with your parents
Peter Andre’s career
Nigella Lawson’s handbag condiments.
Plus: abandoned milkshakes bring all the Olly Manns to the yard; Helen tries to become the Barbara Woodhouse of effusive emailers; and please excuse Martin the Sound Man, he’s just off for a ‘bio-break’.
We’re talking brown sludge in this week’s Bit of Crap on the App, albeit not the same kind of brown sludge as covering the lawns at the beginning of this episode, or being emitted by ladies under the cover of Euphemisms. The tide of not-effluent is available for iDevices, Android or Windows gadgets.
There’s also a shitload more bonus material here – the full-length interviews we did with podcasters including Marc Maron, Roman Mars, Night Vale, Keith and the Girl, Dan Savage and the Bugle for our Radio 4 documentary Podcasting: The First Ten Years. So head over there if you’re interested in hearing Helen talk shop with other podcasters; Olly’s interviews will be added to the playlist shortly.
Many thanks to Squarespace.com, who have not only funded today’s podcast, but also offer you 10% off their services for a whole year if you use the code Answer when making your website-building dreams become reality.
It is the 75th birthday of Maltesers, so in Answer Me This! Episode 209 we’re celebrating by berating their current advertising campaign for being sexist. Although we similarly spent Grandad’s 75th birthday party berating him for his unreconstructed chauvinism. Can’t trust these septuagenarians to say the right things.
On the agenda this week:
Stephen Fry’s cab
Christian barbecues Arne Jacobsen‘s arse
Plus: Olly lets yet another brilliant enterprise go to waste, but there’s nothing stopping any one of you future billionaires taking it onto Dragon’s Den; Helen finds the world’s best busker – catch him before he goes up in flames; and Martin the Sound Man may be a science whiz, but even he can’t get his macaro(o)ns to work.
It’s quite a literal Bit of Crap on the App (available for iDevices or Android) this week, as we address a question from Volker from Germany who likes to enjoy himself in the workplace lavvies after lights out. And if this, plus the final question of the episode about WCs, has ramped up your curiosity about matters lavatorial, our video masterwork upon the subject can be viewed at the bottom of this post.
We’re also moonlighting on episode 7 of Ian Collins Wants a Word , the new podcast by star of AMT149 Ian Collins. Click here to get a dose of it.
Next week will be our last episode before we go on a little holiday, so hurry to send in your QUESTIONS: leave voicemails on the Question Line (dial 0208 123 5877 or Skype answermethis) and email them to email@example.com. We’ve got a bit of a treat for you while we’re on our break, though, so be sure to join us for AMT210 to discover what that is. A packet of Maltesers each? NO. Not until those tasty little bastards start treating us all as EQUALS.
We, you, and everyone else in the world with functioning ears should be celebrating following the joyful news this week that the Black Eyed Peas are cancelling their subscription to What Sample? magazine, hanging up whatever contraption it is that makes their oeuvre so appealing to people who enjoy shit parties, and taking an indefinite leave of absence from generating that infernal racket.
But if, for some reason, you start to miss the sound of puerile nonsense, simply fire up Answer Me This! Episode 183:
No booms, pows or lumps, we promise; just conversation upon the following:
Christmas in July
BBC1’s Coast Shakespeare in Love
Queen Middleton’s off games excuse
Danny Baker’s Dozen.
Plus: had he not been thwarted by the onset of puberty, THIS could have been Olly; Helen gives Tesco some much-needed advice to raise their game or lose their festive glove market share; and Martin the Sound Man blackmails petrol stations with his bowel movements. Concede to his demands, or face the direst consequences on the forecourt.
This week’s Bonus Bit of Crap on the App (available on iPhone and iPad, or Android) is a question from Simon from Beddington, who has one problematic nipple. But which one? You have a 50% chance of guessing it correctly!
You have a 100% chance of sending us a QUESTION if you properly employ the usual means, which are leaving voicemails on the Question Line (dial 0208 123 5877 or find answermethis on Skype) or emailing to firstname.lastname@example.org. Our new intern Apl.de.Ap looks forward to sifting through them all.
In order of splashdown, the temples of hygiene we visited are:
• The Round Room at the Portobello Hotel, London. The tub in question is known as a ‘Victorian bathing machine’, which is appropriately sexy-sounding for a room with a circular bed in it. • Garderobe at Little Moreton Hall, Congleton, Cheshire. We can see why garderobes like this fell out of favour: 1) very drafty; 2) it’s not nice surrounding your home with a moat of shit; 3) danger of buttock-splinters. • The Ladies’ Room at the George Hotel, Stamford, Lincolnshire. Note to all of you: if you’re planning on filming yourself monologuing in a public convenience, make sure there’s nobody else in it first. • The sewers, Brighton. If you want to go on one of the regular sewer tours, book soon because they fill up months in advance. Especially Valentine’s Day. • Little Chef, Popham. If more than one person is using the talking lavatories at once, the combined effect is quite hectoring, so it’s not for the faint-hearted. • Castle Drogo, Devon, a 1920s folly with a very squirty bathtub and, downstairs, a fantastic collection of copper jelly-moulds. • Car-park loos at the Eden Project, Cornwall. Sure, other people go there for the indoor rainforest, the world’s largest greenhouse, Sir Robert McAlpine’s iconic domes; we just go for the bogs. • Bovine sewage-works at Rodda’s dairy farm, Cornwall. Watching a giant shit-stirrer is surprisingly relaxing – like a massive, stinky office toy. • Hotel Missoni, Edinburgh, where even the bathwater comes out stripy. • The Roman baths and the Thermae Bath Spa, Bath. It’s a big win for the city of Bath.
We’re also flushed with thanks to:
The nice gentlemen at the Hotel Missoni and Rodda’s, for patiently agreeing to our various ridiculous requests.
Rachel Bowers at the Thermae Bath Spa, for kindly filming us in our bathers – how did her eyes survive?
And the rubber duckie of gratitude goes to Tess Longfield and Rachel Aked of VisitBritain.