Matt Forde, impressionist and co-host of comedy podcast British Scandal, says he has a document listing “at least a hundred ideas” for subjects to cover on the podcast, including everything from David Icke to the Glasgow Ice Cream Wars.
The podcast is produced by Wondery, from the makers of Business Wars, American Scandal, and Even The Rich, and co-hosted by Alice Levine, presenter and former co-host of My Dad Wrote A Porno. The show dives into modern-day British scandals such as the Profumo affair, the disappearance of Lord Lucan and Liz Truss’s short-lived career as a Prime Minister.
While the team behind British Scandal uses a collaborative pitching process to come up with ideas for which “top-tier scandals” they’ll be covering, for the most part, the final decision will be made by the production team, and Forde told PodPod that, despite his enthusiasm, the team has yet to approve any of his ideas.
“We had a meeting at Christmas where we all got together in a room and we all had to pitch three ideas… and I pitched three and they were like, okay, let's move on,” said Forde. “There were just so many that I would like to do and so many different ones; I'm not sure if any of the ones that I pitched will ever get made.”
Forde added that his top picks on that list would be conspiracy theorist and former professional football player David Icke, more “gangster” related scandals like the 1963 Great Train Robbery and the Glasgow Ice Cream Wars, and one on Jeremy Corbyn to satisfy his political side - although Icke remains his top choice.
“Part of the joy of these sorts of things is you kind of feel guilty for enjoying this,” said Forde. “You do have to laugh at it, I mean, it's part of the human condition, isn't it? To laugh at how bad things almost got. When you almost fall over, it's like thank f*** that didn't happen.”
In addition to co-hosting British Scandal, Forde also hosts interview podcast The Political Party, in which he speaks to experts and renowned politicians such as Phillip Hammond, Kate Forbes, Angela Rayner, and more - all of whom have appeared live on stage during the podcast’s tour.
Forde, who was part of the Labour Party until Jeremy Corbyn’s election as leader, told PodPod that part of the reason so many of these public figures agree to come on his show is that his background working in politics means he’s able to create a “safe space” for guests without fear of judgement or attack.
“There are very few places where a politician can go and be interviewed [for] an hour in good humour and have someone that isn't gonna necessarily agree with them or the things that they say, and certainly is gonna ask them difficult questions, but is gonna do it in a way that puts them at ease,” said Forde.
“I think the danger is that a very vocal minority creates the impression that you can't talk to people who are a millimetre to the left or to the right of you, and I just think that's not real life - so I think these things are hugely cathartic for people.”