New Rating System

Posted on March 18, 2017

We've switched up our rating system.

​Rather than being asked to rate a show out of 5 stars, you can now just Like or Dislike a show instead. We've also opened the rating system up to guests, so you don't even have to be logged in to vote. It's really important that we build an accurate database of the shows our listeners like and dislike, that way it's easier for new listeners to find the best shows.

So please remember to hit the like button if you enjoy any of the shows you hear on podrot.com

Note: We still use a 5 star rating to indicate how the likes/dislikes balance out.

Reporting Broken YouTube Videos

Posted on March 17, 2017

Today we introduced a button you can press to report any YouTube videos that have stopped working.

​Just press the red triangle (shown below) beneath a YouTube video to report it as broken, and we'll do our best to fix it as soon as possible.
Some of our Ricky Gervais content which we embedded from a fan made YouTube channel were taken offline some time ago, and we were only just recently made aware. Those videos have now been fixed, and hopefully with the introduction of this new button, we can fix any similar issues much faster next time.

Bye!

Matt Morgan's Final Ramble, #22

Posted on March 14, 2017

Originally published: March 13th 2007
Related show(s): Episode 52, Episode 21
Title: I don’t like to talk about it…

This Friday is Red Nose Day and this year Russell will be taking the helm for an hour to navigate between the all-star comedy antics and the harrowing documentaries- not an easy job. I’ve been working n the script and the main thing you realise is that Comic Relief requires smooth gear changes between the jovial and the serious, slip into the wrong gear at the wrong time and the wheels will fall off. Russell is more than capable of doing this perfectly.

I however would not trust myself. I seem to have a part of my mind that is against me. Perhaps its immaturity, but sometimes at the worst possible time my face will let me down and split into a grin and then before I know it I’m laughing and trying to make it look like I’m coughing, or laughing at something in the distance, or at a half-remembered joke, whilst shocked turn to shake their disappointment at me. Nervousness makes me laugh, the straight-faced hush of Churches makes me laugh, the time I went to a classical concert and an old man did a massive, involuntary burp in the Albert Hall made me laugh. Every time it went quiet I would have a laughing fit into my own programme as that evil part of my brain replayed the event to torture me. The people behind me must have thought I had a condition whereby I suffered spasms that were triggered by hushed auditoriums.

Once I was in a business meeting, when I was a kind of journalist for a website. We had to write reviews of shops and businesses in our area and we also had to try and sell advertising space to these businesses. Well, as we were paid mainly by commission, everyone in the meeting was intently listening to the boss describe the system which could supposedly make us rich. He wanted us to make preliminary telephone calls to said businesses as a ‘tester’ to see if they’d be interested in the website. The problem was he kept referring to these calls as ‘tester calls’, which of course sounds very much like ‘testicles’. Now, I can be mature and serious when I need to be but once something has amused me I cannot fight the smirk, if I try and put something funny out of my mind the part of my brain that hates me drags it up every four seconds. I have bitten my cheeks, driven my fingernails into my palm, thought about people I love dying, and even thought about that music from ‘The Littlest Hobo’- nothing works.

‘…so once you’ve put in one of your tester-calls’
‘…see how they respond to your tester-calls’
‘…a tester-call can really open doors for you’

The man talking to us was so serious. He had his mobile clipped to his belt, he was one of those men who say ‘basically’ all the time, his suit jacket didn’t fit him so he had one big shoulder and one small shoulder and, mainly, he didn’t know that he kept saying ‘testicles’. I was crying and doubled-over with laughter but no one else was laughing; I don’t know why. Had they not realised ‘tester-calls’ sounded like ‘testicles’ or perhaps been aware of it but too mature to be amused by it? I don’t know, but the fact that the room was so deadly serious made the funniness go up by a factor of ten. I left that job soon after, it was rubbish- the business plan was, it turned out, not much more than a load of old ‘tester-calls’.

Well anyway, please watch Comic Relief this Friday and give us much money as you can. There is a serious side to it, but you are encouraged to laugh out loud unashamedly. Perfect. 

The Ramblings of Matt Morgan, #21

Posted on March 14, 2017

Originally published: March 6th 2007
Related show(s): NA
Title: Everyone go nuts!

It feels like summer is coming! The sun is shining, I can hear the sound of a lawn being mown (not sure how, as there’s not much grass around here- maybe those ne’er-do-well hoodies have started using Flymos instead of knives? They’d be quite an effective mugging weapon actually, although somewhat limited to the length of the cable. If another hoodie carried a generator it might work. Yes that’s what they’d probably do. Actually, the noise of a lawnmower and one of those diesel-powered generators would be so intense this forward-thinking gang would no longer have stealth on their side and they’d give their position away to the Police) Anyway, I’ll start again…

Look outside, it’s all sunny. It’s March now and that means we’re in that period of ‘summer-foreplay’ they call ‘spring’. It’s not long now until everyone’s favourite season is here and everything will be alright. When its winter, if I try and imagine summer it seems like a madman’s dream. The idea of sleeping with the windows open- as insane as sleeping with the top of my head open, going out in flip-flops- as loony as going out with an orange on a lead and calling it a dog. No, when its winter, summer seems an alternative reality where gloves and scarves are woolly aliens hibernating in cupboards whilst sunglasses ride around on our faces all proud of themselves again, it seems so far-fetched. But then, at this time of year little summery clues start to appear, subtly at first, mere whiffs and hints on the breeze but they remind you that a great, hot, bright, freshly cut lawn-smelling, barbecue-tasting, aeroplane droning across a clear blue sky-sounding, friendly shimmering monster is awakening. Woohoo, ladies and gentlemen, put your hands together, throw off your winter clothes and make some noise for our old friend The Summer. Everyone go nuts!

Mind you… its bloody awful on the tube and you have to shower constantly because you feel so sweaty all the time…and the hay fever, and those bloody wasps, oh God, summer’s coming- close the windows.

The Ramblings of Matt Morgan, #20

Posted on March 13, 2017

Originally published: February 28th 2007
Related show(s): Episode 48, Episode 11, Episode 21, Episode 31
Title: Watch The Skies

I am aware that my recollections of an ‘educational farm holiday’ in the last show painted a picture of me as a weird child with ‘embryonic serial-killer’ written all over his grubby little face. However, I am a fully-grown man now and I still haven’t committed a single ‘moider’, let alone worn a suit made from my victims’ skin. So there! Also, the things I did were, in a way, scientific. I wanted to see how living chicks would react to seeing the little dried-out corpses of their unfortunate brethren and also I pondered who would win in a fight between a chicken and a pig, answer: pig.

Okay, I admit these weren’t the actions of someone who would flourish into a noble, Albert Einstein-type of scientist, more the feeble sort of hunch-backed assistant who is more than happy to do the sadistic bidding of evil doctors, hidden behind a clipboard, an ‘orders is orders’ shrug and the flicker of a grin. Oh, how things could have been different for me if that morbidly fascinated little twerp had continued his ‘experiments’.

But then I got to thinking, what had made me like this. Suddenly the memories came flooding out, most of them about death and more oddly, ALL involving birds. Here’s the top three (yes there are others!)…

1. The Monster in the Wall.

I was about 3 years old when I became convinced that there was a monster in my wall. The air-vent in the chimney breast would flick open and claws would emerge and a hellish, strangled sound would invade the darkness of my Superman-wallpapered bedroom. I cried, I shook, I knew the world was a bad place. My Mum was sympathetic the first couple of times I screamed for her but this soon evaporated. After two or three nights of this living nightmare, the creature finally emerged when my mother was actually in the room, turning her anger to lovely, lovely guilt. A trapped crow was dying in the chimney and a little boy felt the warm swell of vindication; vindication and permanent mental scarring.

2. The Margarine Tub.

I was about 4 and my sister and I found a dead blackbird in the garden. It looked beautiful. Muted pearlescent colours haunted its jet black feathers like the rainbow sheen on oil. Its orange beak was like a traffic cone on a brand new, black road. We prodded it with a stick, operating its not-yet-stiff wings and then eventually went and got our Mum. The corpse was put in a margarine tub and chucked into the big dustbin without ceremony and we carried on with our little lives. A few days later we suddenly remembered the blackbird and excitedly decided to open the margarine tub and see our funny old friend, oh what joy! I don’t know what we were expecting, a skeleton? No change? An empty tub? Who knows? Certainly what we weren’t expecting was the sight of a soggy, stinking, black swamp, alive with maggots. The horror left us shaking and burbling, and the worst thing was- we couldn’t tell anyone because we’d been forbidden to touch the margarine tub after it had gone in the bin. We hung on to that shared trauma like a couple of titchy Vietnam Vets.

3. Monkey Business.

This is perhaps the most disturbing of all these memories, prepare yourself. There was a pub a few miles from our house, in a village called Bean, in Kent. This pub was very ‘family-friendly’, it had a huge garden and wait for it… real live monkeys! Yep, in a huge cage in the garden, two cheeky little monkeys getting up to all sorts of capers for the amusement of children on sunny, English summer days of ‘coke and crisps’ in pub gardens whilst the grown-ups laugh too loud and don’t pay as much attention to you as normal. In fact on this occasion we children were plonked in front of the monkey cage and left to enjoy the antics of these chattering scamps like they were a living Punch and Judy show. So far so good; there was no danger- the cage had two layers of chicken-wire a Foot apart so no kid could get their curious digits into the cage, to collect God knows what exotic diseases these little clowns might be carrying.

What could go wrong? Well, I’ll tell you: a little sparrow got itself trapped somehow between the two layers of chicken-wire. It all happened so quickly, the bird was suddenly in there panicking. The monkeys went insane with excitement, I mean we were kids and we thought we knew how to get ourselves into a ‘hyper’ state, but this was something else. With their teeth bared, their eyes almost popping and their desperate hands grabbing for the bundle of squawking feathers currently crashing around like a pinball in a terrible game….To cut a long story short, they got that bird into their cage and they killed it, I’ll spare the details. Anyway, the weird thing is we all sat there and obediently watched this spectacle that would have made bloodthirsty Roman Emperors run out of their Amphitheatres and be sick into a bin. Well, when we eventually rejoined our Mums and Dads the report ‘the monkeys killed a bird’ just didn’t convey the horror of the bald and bloody sparrow’s demise.

It’s amazing that I didn’t develop a phobia of birds (or ‘Ornithophobia’ to give it its proper name, that I just googled) instead of a quizzical interest in chicken mortality . So there you have it, 3 reasons why I was a bit of a weird kid. Don’t have nightmares. (I’ve just realised that my sister shared two of the above horrors, I’d better give her a call. Don’t want her to repress all these memories only to have her, perhaps, freak out at an Owl Sanctuary one day and have to be Tazered. Nope, it’s best to remind her of all this stuff right away).

Bye.

The Ramblings of Matt Morgan, #19

Posted on March 12, 2017

Originally published: February 20th 2007
Related show(s): NA
Title: Being handed a helmet and leathers by The Crazy Frog

OK, I had my hair cut. I think it must have gone well because no one seems able to detect any change. The split ends are no more and it’s a lot less tangled though, so victory is mine. I didn’t embarrass myself either and apart from getting fooled into buying two primary-coloured dispensers of delicious-smelling gunk, no financial errors were made. Thanks for all your kind words, my social ineptitude is gradually eroding and I am become a part of your Earth society.

Right, the other day I was told to come to the offices of John Noel Management, of whom I am a client (as are Russell and Trevor) because there was a surprise there for me. I was a bit apprehensive as I thought this could be a trick, such things have happened in the past. ‘It’s in here’ said Nik, opening a door. For some reason I was expecting to see a new desk, a transparent attempt to get me to work in the office instead of at home, like buying a glittering potty to get a toddler to ditch their nappies. But no, instead of a desk there were… 10 brand new motorbikes. ‘One of them’s yours mate’ Nik beamed proudly. John Noel had holidayed around India on one of these Enfield Bullets and liked it so much he shipped a load of them over to dish out, what a generous fellow!

They’re brand new bikes but built to a 60 year old design so they look very cool, all matt black and chrome. They arrived in bits and they had to be put together,. Now, any fears I had about their construction being safe were allayed by the knowledge that they were bolted together by television’s Matthew Wright, from the Wright Stuff... Hang on, what? I wondered if I’d fallen through some wormhole into a waking dream, like I was about to be handed a helmet and leathers by The Crazy Frog and shoved off to ride over a rainbow straight into mental health care. No, this wasn’t the beginning of mania. Matthew Wright is also a client of John Noel and for some reason he got involved with the preparation of this fleet of iron horses, fair enough. So I wasn’t going mad but I was still a bit scared. I’ve only ever been a passenger on motorbikes, but now I realised, I’d have to learn to ride one.

The office bristled with macho danger- the stench of petrol and leather was dizzying. Now, faced with such a challenge you can go one of two ways: You can leap into the breach and take the bull by both handlebars or you can melt into a little wisp and just offer to be in charge of polishing the shiny bits and making the picnics, so I suppose I’ll have to step up to face the challenge. Now what’s surprising about all this is that when Russell found out there were shiny new motorbikes being doled out, he instinctively demanded one. He’d only been excluded because he doesn’t have a driving license and also HE IS RUSSELL. The idea of him on a motorbike is preposterous.

The only time I’ve seen him near one is perched camply on one for a photo-shoot for one of the glossies, and he probably counts that as one of the most dangerous stunts he’s ever done. Actually he did occasionally get on ‘taxi-bikes’ where you ride pillion to get delivered somewhere in a hurry, but he stopped taking these because of what the helmet did to his hair, not exactly a Hell’s Angel is he? I now mainly want to learn to ride just for the spectacle of Mr Brand in an Eval Knieval cape teetering round some cones’ and then storming off crying. It’s cycling proficiency all over again, I’ll keep you posted.


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