The week in audio: Sweet Bobby; King Frank and the Knights of the Eco-Quest; It was all just a dream | Podcasts
King Frank and the Knights of the Eco Quest
It was only a dream
Sweet Bobby, a new six-part podcast from Tortoise Media, is a compelling, intricate online cat fishing story. (There’s a line I wouldn’t have written ten years ago.) It’s about Kirat Assi, an outgoing and sweet young British woman. She is Sikh, with a large network of family and friends, full of cousins who know aunts who know united friends. Via Facebook, she becomes an online buddy of Bobby, a cardiologist who lives in Brighton. His brother used to go out with his first cousin.
I’m not going to give you big spoils, but the Bobby that Kirat talks to, the Bobby who gradually, over the months and years, seduces her into a toxic relationship, even though he’s sick and lives in New York … this Bobby is a catfish, someone using a fake online identity. The real Bobby does exist, however. Alexi Mostrous, our host, tracks him down and talks to him in episode three. Before that we hear Kirat, which has thousands of messages and voice notes. She shows Mostrous that the fake Bobby was chatting online with his parents, that he seemed to have friends chatting to him too. There is even a baby who, in the photos, appeared to be wearing clothes Kirat had sent as a gift.
It’s crazy this show, and I found myself screaming through the air on occasion, frustrated that Kirat hadn’t just cut all ties with this idiot online. But then I am an impatient and suspicious person. Kirat is, according to his friends, someone who always helps another person in need. Mostrous, who is excellent, talks to Dr Jane Monckton Smith, an expert in coercive control. Monckton Smith defines Fake Bobby’s approach as “high risk”. Despite my frustration Sweet Bobby is a show that I will definitely follow until the end. Fake Bobby attracted me too …
Cat fishing is a contemporary evil – just like, unfortunately, the ecological disaster we are experiencing. A naturally depressing subject. But Fun Kids, the digital radio station for the youngest, knows how to give a big meal of facts without a plate laden with desperation. And to coincide with Cop26, he’s brought together various resources under Fun Kids Climate Heroes. There is information on the rainforest, the greenhouse effect and Greta Thunberg, as well as a great school kit for teachers. There’s also a fun podcast: King Frank and the Knights of the Eco Quest. It is a 15 part “Dramatic-Radio-Epic-Ecological Poem” by Martin Kiszko, narrated by Toyah Willcox, with Andrew Dunn as King Frank. Frank sends three of his knights on a quest to solve his kingdom’s ecological problems (he’s drowning in trash and his plumbing is all over the store). It is a happy spectacle, ideal for primary school children.
More modern problems. TalkSport has a new three-part football academies series, It was only a dream. Made by the same production company that gave us the excellent Coming from the cold, on the history of black footballers in the United Kingdom, IWAAD is hosted by Troy Townsend. Townsend is a leader of the anti-racism campaign Kick It Out, father of Everton player Andros Townsend, and someone who played for academies when he was young. shattered, ”he said. . He chats with various pros and ex-pros (Jamie Carragher, Les Ferdinand, Ben White, Anita Asante, Trevor Sinclair), as well as coaches and parents. Some are sympathetic, others have a tougher attitude.
I have some editing concerns: Townsend talks about “the 1%” that makes him a pro (the first episode is even called “The 1%”), but in the program this statistic comes, confusingly, just after another speaker telling us that only 0.012% of gamers succeed. And on other occasions, the content is a bit disorganized, with questions asked but unanswered. Yet it is an in-depth and interesting program. The following episode covers the devastation of the young players who have built their lives around the hope of becoming a professional footballer and who, like Townsend, are “letting go”.
Some changes in the radio land. It was Rory cellan jones‘s last week as the BBC’s tech correspondent. A sad loss: his excellent report full of good humor will be missed. Craig Charles started his afternoon show on 6 Music and it’s a bit of “happy daddy / wedding DJ” to me, but it’s definitely a cheerful way to spend an afternoon. On Radio 5 Live, Colin Murray co-hosted the Breakfast Show with Rachel Burden for last week alone, one of the backups between Nicky Campbell (who will receive an extended phone call from 9 to 11 a.m. show) and the new boy Rick Edwards, both scheduled to start on November 8. Murray is always a hoot, and Burden seems to be enjoying his company. Edwards is less known to listeners, but has his own warm charm, and it’s good to see a younger man paired with an experienced woman. I couldn’t have written that sentence ten years ago either. At the time, the only presenter combination allowed was an older man with a younger woman. Remember?