From this Thursday on, Politics Means Politics will be offering you some exclusive political podcasts in partnership with The Limehouse Podcast. Exclusive interviews with people who matter.

Introduction to The Limehouse Podcast... by its maker, William Porteous.

“The Limehouse Podcast was born out of two very basic obsessions. Podcasts and politics. I am struggling to think of something more obvious and cliché in this current climate of podcasting mayhem. Initially, it was inspired by ‘that’ referendum and has now evolved into broad reaching elements of political machinations.

My first guest had to be Neal Lawson as I saw him speak at the Leftfield stage, in Glastonbury. It was on the morning of the result, and as much as I was in shock, he spoke beautifully about the root cause and dissatisfaction with the first-past-the-post voting system that most likely played a huge roll in Brexit itself. My mind was going somewhere. I wanted to do something.

Since Neal, we’ve had a great list of guests from Amnesty international to actor and animal rights activist Peter Egan. From the world of politics, I have been out and about during the general election with the Lib Dems Vince Cable, Tim Farron, Simon Hughes and Sarah Olney. That was an interesting time, getting an idea of how desperate a political campaign really is to having meaningful conversations with members of the public and their very real concerns about the Tories and their Brexit ‘vision’ which is somewhat of a paradox in itself.

In the last few months, I have been working hard to get a high level of guests on the show but also a broader one. Over Christmas, I had a chat with Tim Bentinck who has played David Archer for 35 years. I am 36 myself, so I still find that quite something. I wanted to treat the audience, something different and sweet! Christmas spirit and all that. It really worked! I am still fascinated by people that aren’t in the full glare of the spotlight but still manage to be a part of the fabric of what keeps us, Brits, so in love with being British. The Archers!

But what put the show front and centre over the Christmas break 2017/18 was The Guardian featuring my chat with Michael Heseltine. He confessed (quite wonderfully for me) that a Labour government would be preferable to Brexit. The show made the headlines which sent us rocketing up the podcast charts and into what you might call relevance. A few weeks before, Ken Clarke had also mentioned his dislike of his own party’s position on Brexit (shock) and that too was featured. By the way, Heseltine was frosty, but at one stage welled up while he spoke about his childhood and his retelling of wartime Britain. It was really touching and surreal. He, of course, had no idea what the interview was for, his PA emailed us the next day asking when the piece was going to be published, as in writing. I didn’t know what to say.

To bring you up to speed, the latest episode features the one and only Gina Miller. Possibly the most magnetic person I have yet spoken with. First of all, her energy is mesmeric and her enthusiasm to be in a room talking with me was deeply enchanting. I have been enchanted before, you know, it was Nick Clegg (the second of two interviews).

I will end by stressing this is a podcast that never professes to be an all-knowing problem-solving highbrow mystical podcast. It is rough around the edges and is not BBC or NPR slick, but what I do hope I deliver on is some form of authenticity. I have no university education, and I don’t have any A-levels neither, so frankly, I’m really from a bit of different world, and I hope that sometimes this comes across in the show. I feel like the journey is only just getting started so do hop on, it’s a free ride!”🔷

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(Cover: Pixabay.)