I’ve worked for some years as an actor and playwright. I have also presented for That’s Oxfordshire TV. Moving to Oxford from London in 2008, I became a tour guide and worked with UnderConstruction Theatre Company, researching for site-specific performances focusing on the rich history of this wonderful city and its limitless array of prominent figures. On my TV show, Current Affairs, I interviewed guests as diverse as Peggy Seeger, Bob Price and Larry Sanders, piquing my interest further. However, it was whilst listening to a number of oral histories at Oxfordshire History Centre for a play highlighting the home front lives of Oxford citizens during World War One (While They’re Away), I discovered a range of outside BBC radio broadcasts from the ‘70s in which locals were interviewed about their experiences and memories. Wouldn’t it be great if something like this existed now, I thought? Ordinary people talking about extraordinary lives. This coincided with a growing interest in podcasts- particularly the long form interview as demonstrated by Scroobius Pip’s Distraction Pieces, Adam Buxton and Book Shambles with Robin and Josie. No ad breaks, no time constraints, no sound byte answers and guests not necessarily there to plug a product or serve the ego of the interviewer (the complete antithesis of the Graham Norton/Jonathan Ross model). A vision grew: to create a weekly podcast in which I interview a diverse range of people living in and around the Oxford area- some well known, some less so- discussing their lives, work and experiences as a bona fide Oxonian. It would be a platform through which Oxford could talk to itself about itself. I’ve often found this city quite a fractured place, in terms of geography, class and income- why not break down some of those barriers through the medium of the spoken word? I’ve also been influenced in terms of show format by other classic radio one-to-ones, such as Robert Elms’s Listed Londoner, Gary Crowley’s My London and Desert Island Discs.
So why not join us on our weekly journey and listen to some truly fascinating people, talking about their remarkable lives; people that might just live next door to you?