Ricky Gervais Podcast
I've been listening to the Ricky Gervais podcasts on my iPod, attracting some very strange looks as a result of laughing out loud while walking down the street. Apart from the fact that they are very, very funny, these podcasts made me think about a few things.
First, it's interesting that the Guardian is the publisher of what is now in the number one podcast on iTunes. It shows both the infancy of the podcast market and the way in which traditional media players do not always dominate new market sectors at the beginning. It also demonstrates the innovation that The Guardian has shown almost from day one of the internet.
Of course, the media giants are getting into the podcast game and this will increasingly become a tool for marketing and promotion of media content, but for now there are certainly opportunities for anyone with something interesting or funny to say. I predict that 2006 will see a huge increase in celebrity podcasts.
Second, it made me think about the thin line between performance and fame. In these podcasts, the star is not Ricky Gervais or Steve Merchant but the until-now unknown Karl Pilkington, with his naive, man-of-the-people views on life and monkeys. Will Karl step out of the shadows and become a celebrity in his own right, or does this podcast format simply lend itself to comic rants?
The Ricky Gervais podcasts is available from iTunes podcasts or from Guardian Unlimited. I particularly recommend Episode 4 in which Ricky, Steve and Karl discuss the suitability of goats as charitable donations; space, solitude and casual nudity in low Earth orbit; shrewd choices of super power; orientals of no fixed abode and, as ever, more monkey news.
Download the MP3 file here
Download the MP4 file here