While we were discussing ‘Nowhere Fast’, which aired in 2017, her background in radio arose. She shared that she got started while in Ballyfermot College, sharing “I probably wouldn’t see myself as a creative person, if it wasn’t for going to college and doing radio.” However, while she saw her start in radio, and still holds a lot of love for the medium, it isn’t something she sees herself returning to. “What I loved about radio is that it’s very intimate with the audience, you’re kind of talking directly to them, but with my podcast now I wouldn’t want to go back...I don’t think it can offer me the kind of things I thought it could.”
To hear her talk about it, her podcast ‘The Alison Spittle Show’, is clearly one of her great loves. In fact, podcast listeners are some of her favourite fans to meet, as it’s easier to have a proper chat about it. It’s an interview show, that reached its current medium through a natural progression of trial and error. It’s hosted names like Sharon Horgan, Neil Delamere, Bláithín de Burca and Rhea Butcher. “I started a few years ago because me and a couple of mates were like ‘Ah, we’ll do a chat show’” and over time bits and pieces were filed off until it reached its current, incredibly entertaining format.
It’s clear that Spittle loves podcasting as a medium, “I’m delighted that there’s lots of podcasts, everyone kind of has their own little niches, and I’m always searching myself for a podcast to listen to.” She feels that Irish people in particular are so into podcasts because of our cultural attachment to the radio, and now its natural digital progression, the podcast. “I really like the new boom and I’m really excited for the future.” She feels podcasts “Have to be super, super niche. Like my podcast is not super, super niche, it was at some point, but everyone’s doing interview podcasts now. You either have to be super niche or put your own spin on it.” She also commended her producer, Sarah Garvey, who is the “driving force” behind ‘The Alison Spittle Show’.
As for her own listening, she’s “really into ‘Cocaine and Rhinestones’, a 20th century country music media podcast, I’m not even into country music that much, but it’s just a really well done podcast.” Also, she suggests ‘You Must Remember This’, a history podcast about Hollywood. As for Irish grown pods, she listens to “‘Up to 90’ with Julie and Emma, which is two Irish comedians talking about the 90’s. “They’re just both hilarious, and they’re getting a real audience together now.” She also listens to ‘Comedians, Comedians’ a lot, another interview podcast which focuses on comedians and comedy.
Spittle has a lot of art to share, and a lot of ways in which she shares it, none of which are to be taken lightly. Even after wrapping up a stint at one of the most draining comedy festivals in the world, she remains an absolute joy to talk to. If you’re looking for a comedian who is as funny as she is lovely, and doesn’t shy away from going for the joke, Alison Spittle is the woman for you. She will be at Cork Podcast Festival and Gallagher Redline in October. Check out her podcast on headstuff.org/the-alison-spittle-show, and keep an eye on her website, alisonspittle.com, for any upcoming gigs.