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June 6, 2017 | by  | in Podcasts | [ssba]

Elis James and John Robins on Radio X

Elis James and John Robins on Radio X is a superb podcast. Elis and John are two stand-up comedians who present a show every Saturday on the UK indie station Radio X. Guided by the mysterious Producer Vin, the show features lots of fun regular segments and text-ins, such as Humblebrag of the Week, where the hosts despair over boasts disguised as moans on social media, and the Keep it Session Sessions, where they recommend their favourite music. However, the essence of the show is the wonderful dynamic between Elis and John.

The success of a podcast lives and dies in the chemistry of the hosts; shows like No Such Thing As A Fish and Babysitting Trevor are great examples of this. Elis James and John Robins on Radio X particularly stands out in this regard. They became friends over ten years ago when they were both starting out as comedians, so they have lots of funny stories about each other to draw on. Like the best comedy duos, they bounce off each others’ differences to maximum effect. Elis likes football, history, and Adidas, and is generally cheery; John likes Queen, snooker, and poetry, and is often plagued by a melancholic yearning for the past. It’s a laugh, I promise!

Although the crux of the show is the friendship between Elis and John, the community they have created among their listeners is also important. Listeners are encouraged to email, and three years of broadcasting have created an extensive lexicon of silly words and catchphrases that make listening in feel like you’re part of a special club.

The show also discusses issues in their listeners lives, particularly mental health, or “the darkness.” Although the ability of popular culture to discuss mental health issues is improving, often it can be heavily signposted. It is a reflection of the reality of mental health for many that it is a theme that slips in and out of the show as it comes up, as a common issue.

As we approach exam season, do yourself a favour and tune in to Elis James and John Robins on Radio X. It’s warm, intelligent, moving, and, above all, very funny.

 

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