Podcast fan? Sheffield is producing its very own thanks to a group of people down at Cornucopia Radio. We spoke to producer Samuel Hutchinson about what improv-based, comedy podcast A Little Bit Racey is all about and what him and the team have planned for the show in 2017.
For those who didn’t read the feature in Issue 95, could you sum up what A Little Bit Racey is all about?
“Racey” is an improv-based, panel show podcast. Four panellists are each assigned a different object, companion, mode of transport and starting point, and take it in turns to improvise their way across the globe to a given destination in order to complete an objective. However, they must manage this within a three-minute time limit, and all while another panellist improvises obstacles in an attempt to stop them. Of course, like with any comedy panel show, the competitive element is simply a hook to hang the format on, it’s really all about how inventive and funny you can be on the spot and the absurdity of the images you can generate in the mind of the listener.
How has the show developed in the last 12 months?
The show has come a long way since it began life on student radio, but 2016 has been our best year by far. We kicked-off our 3rd series with a New Year Special on January 1st, in which panellists race to find Hillary Clinton, who goes missing after Obama’s NYE party at the White House: Think “The Hangover”, but with American politicians. We built upon this to deliver our strongest series of the show yet. Then in June, we became Finalists for Best UK Podcast at the New Media Europe Awards, 2016.
What can listeners expect from the new series?
I suppose I can’t really answer that. Not being coy, I just really don’t know! That’s one of the great things about improv. Don’t get me wrong, the spine of the show is written with great care and we can spend hours coming up with all the random objects, companions, modes of transport and starting points (these are particularly fun sessions), but the majority of the content is totally improvised by the panellists so no one has any idea what to expect.
What will be the major changes for you in producing a live show?
Despite priding ourselves on absurdity, we still endeavour to maintain a tight, structured, thirty minute episode. When the content is so ludicrous, this becomes even more important. It will be a challenge for the performers to sustain that sense of structure in the presence of a live audience. However, the panellists lined up for that night are fantastic – James and Tom will be joined by Pip Mason – an excellent local stand-up, David Alnwick – a versatile talent who tears up Edinburgh Fringe every year, and Chella Quint – an eloquent comedian who has featured on both BBC Radio 4’s A Bleeding Shame and Woman’s Hour. They’re all Sheffield-based too – amazing to have such great comedy here. We even have terrific Sheffield improv groups opening, including Faffing About, The Shrimps and The Antics.
Have you got any guest comedians lined up?
Aside from the live show, we also have some wonderful people lined up for the rest of the series – Jenny Collier won the Laughing Horse New Act Competition in 2014 and also performed on BBC Radio 4 Extra as part of the New Comedy Award. Jo D’arcy made it to the finals of Leicester Square New Comedian Award, the Hobgoblin Comedy Awards and the Breaking Talent Award at Birmingham Comedy Festival. And I also want to mention our other regular series writers and performers, David Wylie, David Ruddock and Chris Cosentino. Cracking team.
When will series four be available for people to listen to?
The new series will kick-off with the release of the LIVE episode on 21st Feb! The series will continue on a monthly basis thereafter, with another eight episodes. Anyone can listen for free via our website – http://www.cornucopia-radio.co.uk/a-little-bit-racey/ – you can also find us on iTunes, Stitcher and the Sheffield Podcasters Directory.
Any final words?
Did I mention the live show is completely FREE? And that it’s on 8th Feb at DINA Venue? Doors at 7.30pm? I didn’t? God, I’m bad at this…