Danny Baker’s All-Day Breakfast Show
Danny Baker, a long-time hero, looks like he may be the person who makes the breakthrough for podcasting with the first non-niche show I know of that’s independent of a traditional broadcaster but makes enough money to stand on its own feet. He tells the story of how it came about in these interviews here: Part One | Part Two
Fascinating stuff, and Dan remains as amiable as ever. I really enjoy the show, and will be happy to join the ranks of subscribers when they start to charge for it, real soon now. But I do have some issues with it. When the show began, in a series of pilot broadcasts, Danny definitely “got it”, perhaps because of his claimed ignorance of the whole online scene. He realised that nobody was listening as he broadcast, and that every listener would be listening in the future. He even made the concept sound a bit spooky. I think he thought it through, although probably didn’t take that train of thought to its conclusion, which was that some people would always join in from the beginning of the series, and that for any given show, people might be listening to it years, not just hours down the line. I’ve not heard a correspondent on the show yet who’s said: “Has anyone already mentioned this in the 15 shows between where I’ve got up to and today’s show that I’m speaking on (or my email’s being read out on)?”
When the show began, Danny was careful not to keep talking about times and dates, an approach which is central to keeping a podcast fresh. But he’s let this slip, and now it’s “Hi everyone, it’s Thursday lunchtime”, or “We’ll be back on Monday”. No it isn’t, and no you won’t, Dan. Well, not for us. As a listener, I don’t want to be reminded that I’m listening to a recording. I can – and will – make the programme seem live in my mind, as long as you don’t keep reminding me that I’m three weeks behind (which is what I am, currently, and guess what? It doesn’t matter). Similarly, while references to current events are unavoidable, there’s no point in drawing attention to them, or plugging them, and the show has done well on this point so far. But if one-off guests (like the great Peter Serafinowicz) ever start to become commonplace, the show needs to remember that plugging stuff which will be in the past for an ever-increasing number of listeners (think about it) is pointless, and indeed annoying.
What I’d like to hear are references to future events (e.g predictions) which many listeners will hear after the event. Now that would be entertaining.