Shaun Keaveny: Bringing radio flavour to podcasting

The breakfast stalwart talks Komodo dragons, drivetime and the perils of pedantry

The list of top BBC names who have left the broadcaster to pursue a career in podcasting seems to be growing longer every year, but Shaun Keaveny - a BBC radio grandee who hosted 6 Music's popular breakfast show for almost a decade and a half - is somewhat different. While he's been exploring podcasts for the last few years, via shows like Your Place Or Mine, The Line Up and Show and Tell, his new podcast with Global, Shaun Keaveny's Daily Grind takes a different approach, mimicking the format and cadence of a classic drive time radio show - just without the live broadcast.

But what is about this format that carries such enduring appeal, and how can podcasters translate some of these elements to a non-live format? PodPod host Rhianna Dhillon and editor Adam Shepherd sat down with Keaveny to discuss how his radio background has influenced the new show, the joys of the mundane, and why Terry Wogan would have made an excellent podcaster.

Key takeaways

Don’t be too prescriptive

“I think it's always good to get people on who loads of people have heard of and are very popular,” Keaveny said. “It's really good to get up and coming people, because I sort of got out of the loop with new comedy for a long time. We had our third little one about four years ago and then COVID and stuff, so, you know, I've been out of the loop of it all.” 

“So it's nice to get back into finding out who are these funny new comedians. But also, as time goes on, it won't just be comedians. It's just anybody that we fancy chatting to, so it's a nice open goal. I think the one thing vaguely we understand about doing something daily is, don't be too prescriptive about it.”

Terry Wogan would have been an excellent podcaster

“I would love it if Terry [Wogan] was still here. I would love to see what him and a really good producer could do. They could probably make a really interesting podcast actually. It's like when John Peel did his stuff at Home Truths on Radio 4, you know. He'd have been a great podcaster, I don't doubt it for a minute.”

“I mean, Steve Wright's got at least two or three. I think a lot of the time with great venerable BBC presenters, they're making a podcast of a radio show that already exists, you know?”

Embrace the silliness

“We've literally just recorded today's and for some reason, I don't know why, people have been sending us recordings of their pets, so we put a few of those in, and then we started talking about exotic pets.” 

“And for some reason I said something like, I've always wanted to see a Komodo dragon, so then we were like, well, that'd be nice, wouldn't it? We could go to Indonesia, maybe, and see if we can get our foot chewed off by a Komodo dragon. But I think that might be a little bit overly exotic, really, to be honest, now I’ve said it out loud.” 


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