NEWS: Standard Issue Live Podcast | NARC. | Reliably Informed | Music and Creative Arts News for Newcastle and the North East

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Image: Mickey Noonan, Hannah Dunleavy and Jen Offord

Standard Issue, the magazine-style podcast founded by comedian Sarah Millican with the aim of championing women, will be recording a live cast on Sunday 12th January at Newcastle’s Stand Comedy Club. Jen Offord, one quarter of the team behind the show, explains what the audience can expect.

“The live show is built around a series of questions to our panel guests – in Newcastle it’s our boss Sarah Millican, along with Kate Fox and Lucy Beaumont – so the results are always as different as the guests. It’s basically a cracking chat with excellent women. Chats are organic, so you never really know where it’ll take you, which means we’ve had June Sarpong hula-hooping, Miranda Hart downward-dogging, and KT Tunstall busting out some tap dancing.”

It is evident from listening to the podzine that the presenters, Jen, Hannah and Mickey, all have a close relationship and the conversations are funny and familiar. “The live shows are unscripted – we never know what we’re going to get. When we record the podzines, however, we usually have some notes on our news sections to make sure we’re covering the stories accurately, but a lot of it is just mates chatting.”

Visibility is really important for under-represented groups, and we think anywhere society can normalise that visibility of women it should

Podcasts have been an amazing platform in producing content that may not otherwise be commissioned; I wanted to know whether Jen felt this will lead to progress in other fields and whether this is an important consideration. “Visibility is really important for under-represented groups, and we think anywhere society can normalise that visibility of women it should. That has been an important consideration for us in terms of who we put on our panels and what we cover in the podzines. We recognise that just because we’re not interested in a specific topic as an individual, that doesn’t mean there aren’t women out there who will be. Sport for example: we’re not all super interested in it, but we recognise how important it is to use the platform to promote women in male-dominated industries.”

Out of the countless of inspirational women the team have interviewed over the past two years, there are a handful who particularly stand out: “A. L. Kennedy, the writer and comedian, holds a bit of a special place in our hearts for making us giddy with laughter while also being so forthright and passionate about a number of issues we see as really important at the moment. Stella Creasy also did one of our most recent live shows and we were blown away by how much she’s doing and by the amount of nonsense she has to put up with as a woman in politics – and all while being eight months pregnant, as she was at the time.” And is there anyone they would love to have on the show? “If you could get Michelle Obama, Tina Fey or Beyoncé on the phone, we’d love a natter.”

Standard Issue Podcast – Live is at The Stand, Newcastle on Sunday 12th January with guests Sarah Millican, Lucy Beaumont and Kate Fox

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