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In this world of giant corporations and media empires that think of nothing but money it’s hard to imagine that a national radio station would ever record, produce and release content that wasn’t going to be attached to a barrage of adverts. It’s not as if they couldn’t do it, God knows that they have the resources but surely it would be better for the business to spend their time on creating shows that would bring in the dosh. To be honest, I’m not even sure why they release podcasts of the shows that go out live, rarely do they get extra sponsors for these podcasts and surely it cuts out a large percentage of the market that would be listening live otherwise. Luckily there must be some way a free podcast can be a good business strategy or maybe I’m just very wrong and stupidly missing the very obvious point of these releases(history points to the latter) because today’s podcast recommendation is proof of that.

Tom Craine’s Story Show


Not only is this podcast a free release from a major radio station but the station doesn’t even try to crowbar its name into the podcast’s title. Ok, I think I’m over the “free content” situation now, it just baffles me. The station is XFM from London and the host is Tom Craine, which makes sense considering his name is in the title. Tom Craine is a British comedian that has befriended XFM through his appearances on the former Josh Widdecombe Show on that very station but forget I mentioned that for now.

For now we are talking about Tom Craine’s Story Show which if you hadn’t worked it out from the title is a show with stories and is hosted by Tom Craine. Each week Tom rounds up three or four different comedians who each tell a story concerning that week’s topic. Probably the most surprising thing about this show is that the comedians are given the opportunity to tell their story without interruption, which for a comedian is a rare opportunity. After Tom introduces the guests, explains the theme of the show and maybe some pre-show banter the guests are given their chance to entertain the listeners of the show with the other guests only giggling in the background. This is a very unique podcast structure and one that I have never seen anywhere else but it works quite well.

Some of the guests include Josh Widdecombe(obviously), Tiff Stevenson, Adam Hills, Isy Suttie, Felicity Ward and Ed Gamble. Scattered in and around these more well-known comedians are a few lesser known comedians that prove that fame does not make a comedian funnier with their hilarious anecdotes. Stories like Suzi Ruffell’s wedding carriage troubled childhood, Katherine Ryan’s dead rabbit and James Acaster’s strange fable of the horse and the ass. Once everyone has told their tale, including Tom, it is time for the show to be wrapped up in Tom’s signature tortured metaphoric style.

Despite the show’s rather young age of about six months it has still managed to make quite a name for itself and you only have to type the letters “Tom Craine ”(there’s a space at the end there that is very important) into Google for “Tom Craine Podcast” to be third on the list of autocorrects and “Tom Craine Story Show” in fourth place. Alright so I’m being facetious but if you have learnt anything from my podcast recommendations you should know by now that popularity doesn’t necessarily mean quality. Also this is a British show and I used Australian Google so I’m sure it’s probably straight after the “T” in the UK. So to borrow a metaphor from Tom himself, listen to the Tom Craine Story Show before the top of the creme brulee finally hardens.

There are no clips from the show uploaded to Youtube and I can’t be bothered doing it myself so here’s a clip of Tom Craine’s stand up act for Russell Howard’s Good News(it’s kind of the same).