John Dredge has been tickling the UK's funny bones with his sui generis take on the world in the madcap podcast series 'John Dredge's Nothing To Do With Anything Show'. This kooky blend of weird skits, surreal spoofs and frighteningly fractured features has already been compared to the likes of The Mighty Boosh and Kenny Everett, featuring as Radio Times podcast of the week and praised by Chortle, Metro and erm, Comedy Chords.
With the second series of the show having sadly reached it's climax Mr. Dredge is hard at work in his grotto having already unleashed what he calls his 'bonkers audiobook for kids' and the rumour mill will have it that he's already slaving away with his trusty sidekicks preparing for round 3 of the series. I dared to delve into the mind behind our favourite absurd sense of humour.
The podcast is a homegrown affair. How complex an operation is involved to create such a professional sounding recording from your very own front room?
Our select podcast recording team of 20,000 only use the most up-to-date gramophone recording techniques. The words and phrases prevalent in the podcast are honed using a special Hone-o-graph, and any syllables leftover are placed in a cabinet near to the scene. Sound effects and music are mixed using a traditional Vulcan mind-melding system, and then the whole thing is placed in a pre-heated oven at gas mark four. Serve when audible.
I am currently recording a sitcom podcast with several colleagues and we are located at various points across the globe so it's a tough task but we're getting there. What about the rest of your cast? Do you meet up with them to record or do you work on the same principle as us and then edit it all together?
The cast are recorded separately using a Cast Separator. Here are some details about them, gleaned from a specialized information provider:
A nomad by trade, John is currently planning an Intergalactic Arm Wrestling Tournament subject to copyright infringement. Thin at birth, he is now partly involved in construction of shelving.
Actress, conjuror and self-proclaimed loom weaver and wool purist, Anna has been involved with the podcast since times gone by. A calming influence and sedative consultant, she specialises in the use of longform words and phrases such as 'Cagoule.'
Greg 'Sinden' Haiste
Robust actor/raconteur/Coldstream Guard, Greg has acted several times in quick succession. Able to leap from tree to tree in theatrical terms, he enjoys quadratic equations and testing cups and saucers for wear and tear.
A pensive brow masks sundry assorted acting components here. Born literally hundreds of miles from Wisconsin, he is currently Pick of the Day in Biscuit Monthly. Fear him, for he holds the key to another world, although he tells me he has misplaced it recently.
Friend of man, woman and ant, Richard wears many hats and several coats. He goes virtually unrecognised on the streets of San Francisco, but in Newtown UK he is lauded as each new day commences. A hybrid by nature, he has played over four different characters since the Spring. Canny, festive and exultant, his R2D2 impressions astound and amaze.
How easy is it working as a whole team and is it you who comes up with the different characters or is that also a team effort?
The whole shebang, if I may call it that, is graded and prepared by myself and Mr Cray over a period of decades and months. As winter merges into autumn, we can often be found buried 'neath the typewriters of London, quips on our fingers and bells on our toes. No wonder the neighbours complain.
Obviously there are some rather extravagant named characters? How on earth do you come up with these monikers?
Choosing worthy names is a tricky yet odourless task, and yet often as a star is about to be born, the original name is cast aside wantonly as new and hardier names are created from both imagination and braincell.
You've earned first rate support and praise from the likes of 6Music's Tom Robinson and even been chosen as podcast of the week in the Radio Times (see image below). Has this support helped you branch out any further?
We're very grateful for all the support we've received from the press and from the listeners, and it has been massively encouraging for us here in Frinton, or wherever we are.
Chortle described your podcast as what Kenny Everett would be doing if he was alive today. Were you a fan of Kenny back in the day and was it someone you were aspiring to when writing/recording the podcasts?
He's one of my main influences. I always thought he was incredibly inventive, funny and unique. I miss him.
Recently I discovered your bonkers audiobook 'The Silly Adventures of Twighead Larson!' Explain to us just why parents should be listening to this with their kids.
I wanted to write a really silly children's story and hopefully both children and parents will get some fun and laughs out of it. I'm a big kid myself, and the form seemed ideal for my daft sense of humour. It's great to be able to use your imagination in things like that - I'd love to be able to publish it as a book.
And what's in store for the Nothing To Do With Anything Team? A third series, a book, a TV show, a feature film, a theme-park......?
Purely and simply - a T-shirt.
I'd like to get the show onto radio. We did it on Resonance FM which was great, and I think it would work well on the BBC or on Absolute or somewhere they like imaginative stuff. I'm writing a TV pilot version as well and sending it round - look how many successful TV comedy shows started on radio. I'm also talking to BBC Radio Scotland about doing something for them, and we're hoping to open a Nothing To Do With Anything Show Aquarium as soon as we've found the right fish.
As long as people are willing to put in the effort then anyone can create their own podcasts. For those thinking of getting into this malarkey, what advice would you recommend and what tools do you think are essential for putting out a solid podcast?
First and foremost, make sure your podcast includes deer. So many people enjoy hearing about these magnificent animals in all their myriad hues and shapes. I mentioned them just the other day and was amazed by the feedback, although then I realised it was because the microphone was too loud. As for the tools needed to put out a podcast, I heartily recommend the Radiophonic Whittling Iron, and I also use specialised Audio Pruning Shears. Nah den, I must return to the Dredgecave once more, where fresh adventures await.....
All six episodes of the second series can be streamed and/or downloaded on the Comedy Chords SoundCloud page with the first series on the upload queue as you read this very article. Watch this space for more Frinton frolics.