It was so popular last year that we decided to do it again! Join us this holiday season as we introduce you to twelve of our favourite podcasts in the 12 Days of Podmas.
Politics is a difficult subject, both for a podcast, and for an inclusive site like this. As the world has got more polarised, human beings have become ever less tolerant of different opinions, and there are subjects that are simply toxic when an attempt is made to discuss them reasonably. Quite apart from this, it can be a dour subject, represented by podcasts that are extraordinarily dry, and featuring guests that are there to say as little as possible, concede as little ground as they are able, and to bore us all to death.
The Political Party is Nottingham-born comedian Matt Forde‘s attempt to remedy all of this. Although of a political background himself, having worked for the Labour Party in the early-2000s, he felt compelled around 2013 to see if there was a way to disagree more agreeably, present guests in a way that shows their real personalities, and to make it enjoyable.
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So, the show is recorded live in a London theatre (mainly: Covid saw some remote shows recorded, and there is still the occasional ‘at-home’ edition). The first twenty-minutes are usually stand-up from Matt. He is also an impressionist, providing voices for the most recent incarnation of Spitting Image (though he must have been relieved when Liz Truss lasted only days, as that voice definitely was not in his repertoire).
The second half of the show is an interview – more a relaxed chat – with a prominent figure from literally anyone across the political spectrum. That has included Tony Blair, Gordon Brown, George Osborne, Michael Heseltine, Ken Clarke, Ed Miliband, Alan Johnson – almost anyone who was anyone in the last 30 years. He has even had Farage on there (though we skipped that one – listening to those with whom you disagree is to be recommended, but we have our limits).
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There is usually alcohol flowing, the compere is a comedian, and the audience is often made up of regulars who know they can contribute, but also know where the limits are. Matt is the perfect mix of respectful yet playful, and his strength is the ability to build a rapport with everyone. He will ask tough questions, but that is not the main reason he is there. The Political Party is comedic entertainment first and succeeds superbly at this.
The Political Party is available on various platforms.