John Walker's Electronic House

Rum Doings Episode 9

by on Dec.02, 2009, under Rum Doings, The Rest

In Episode 9 of Rum Doings the topic not under discussion is whether it’s time we stopped funding the NHS. The topic under discussion is Neighbours. And that’s almost it.

No, come back! A Neighbours edition of Rum Doings was inevitable from the moment Nick first said, “Let’s record a podcast because I want to see how difficult it is to be good.” Neighbours – the Australian soap opera – has been something that has fascinated both of us since we’ve known each other – around fourteen years. Although neither of us have watched it for about six or seven. (You may well notice we talk about characters who are currently in it, who we had absolutely no idea were still around.)

There’s brief earlier discussion of Nick’s vestigial reproductive organs, our rule-breaking deviation from rum to a magical flavour-changing elixir, and the grammatical confusion of me/I that introduces our dominating topic.

Despite how rehearsed Nick’s opening to the discussion may seem, it’s all as spontaneous as ever. However, we did secretly decide we’d finally get around to talking about it this time. And we don’t apologise at all: this is our discussing why we found this programme so special for so many years. Although things do deviate in the last fifteen minutes, slightly.

To get this episode directly, right click and save here. To subscribe to Rum Doings click here, or you can find it in iTunes here.

And another thing. We love that so many people are listening to Rum Doings. It pleases us greatly. So we need you to do something for us. We want none of your money, nor even your blood. We just want you to take the trouble to promote the podcast for us. Just a tweet. Or a Facebook post. Maybe comment on your blog, write a review on iTunes, or refer to it on a forum. Most easily of all, just retweet the link that perhaps alerted you to this post. It’s surprising, and pretty annoying, how few people have taken the time to do this – so come along, give us a link.

If you want to send us an email, it’s Or leave a comment below. We’ll read out emails regarding John’s new botty-friend and baby Judith’s poetic greetings in episode 10.


17 Comments for this entry

  • Masked Dave

    I’ll tweet you if you tweet me ;)

    The Inappropriate Behaviour Podcast, two guys from England talk nonsense for an hour and try to be funny. I think you’d relate!


  • Nick's colleague, Johnathon

    I can fix RPS if you pay for a 3 or 4 server cluster, with 18 or 20 CPU cores ;-) :P

  • ScalyWg

    crikey – i haven’t even finished my poem for lil judith yet…

  • Blackberries

    I’m happy to retweet the podcast announcements – and I do; Rum Doings is pretty much my favourite podcast at the moment – but seeing as I mainly use twitter to follow people, I only have two followers of my own. I fear I am adding on slightly to exposure. Still, I’ll stick it on Facebook as well – half a dozen or so more may see it there.

    Postscript: I hope Judith is doing well, Nick!

  • EthZee

    I fear I may be one of those few fans of The Now Show that you mentioned. I really don’t mind you ripping the piss out of it, though, it’s quite funny when you do it. I do know that The Now Show is fairly trite and repetitive. But yes, I am just short of 20, and I have terrible taste (also, Marcus Brigstocke’s rants, when he’s on, are the highlight).
    I did enjoy Armando Ianucci’s shows when they were on the Friday slot a few years ago, and hope he does more. I wouldn’t be sad if he replaced TNS, really.

    What better regular humour-based radio shows or podcast would you folks recommend?

    Also, Neighbours is indeed fantastic. I spent most of secondary school, watching Neighbours in the evening before dinner. I never knew the older shows, sadly.

    Anyway, great stuff again!

  • Dan

    You missed out Jim Robinson. He has also gone on to ‘greater’ things post Neighbours heart-attack; Lost, 24, Indiana Jones etc. Even now, my immediate thought is of Neighbours whenever I see him in something affecting a burly American accent.

    And on the subject of language misuse ‘would of’ instead of ‘would have’ may need a campaign. And ‘volumptuous’ in place of ‘voluptuous’, although for some reason I find that quite pleasing.

    Anyhow, enough Feedback from me, keep up the good work chaps!

  • vagabond

    I was hoping you’d a least do a stint of Rum cocktails before straying to other spirits. :)

    IIRC Home and Away swapped the blonde actress that played the foster mother with a brunette with no explanation. (I could be wrong, I detested both it and Neighbours, but my sister watched them so it was often on while we ate)

  • Dan Milburn

    Carnivale season 1 was excellent, season 2 was utterly dire. The show was indeed intended to go on for 6 seasons, but I don’t think it was compressed at all (the way HBO do things, the decision not to renew it wouldn’t have been made until long after they finished shooting). Frankly cancelling it was a mercy.

    Funnily enough, all the reasons Nick listed for not liking Mitch Benn are reasons why I find him funny.

    I have finally stopped listening to the Now Show though, not that I was ever particularly bothered about it but the bits without Punt & Dennis were occasionally funny.

  • Bodnotbod

    Yay! Another great show.

    I think both or either of you could be professional broadcasters; you never run out of things to say, so you would make excellent talk radio hosts. I would listen.

    On Saturdays I tend to be rather bored and tetchy, but Rum Doings is good. You do what great broadcasters do, you sort of lever off the feeling of being alone and make me feel like I’m in good and interesting company.

    Well done.

  • NM

    Thanks Bodnotbod. That levering off the feeling of being alone, and of providing a dollop of conviviality is just what we are trying to do, having had such use of it from old LBC programmes which no longer exist.

  • John Walker

    Thanks Graeme. That’s much appreciated. As Nick says, Nick and I are both driven by our memory of LBC evenings when we were teenagers, where that feeling was offered to us (before we knew each other) in spades.

  • vagabond

    I seem to recall a Simpsons DVD commentary where they bemoan the fact that over the life of the show the length of commercial breaks has increased. The cynical me would suggest that you aren’t getting any more TV show than you used to as a result of shortened credit/title sequences, it’s merely what the creators had to do to retain the same amount of story telling time as they used to have.

  • Mike Arthur

    Another good one lads. I particularly liked the Neighbours segment, I watched it for years only to stop when I left university. Sadly I think I was too young (or lacking culture) to get the references that you pointed out but it’s further improved my memory of the show.

    In regards to Chris Morris’ satire, I think he’s been trying to release a fairly hard-hitting satire for a pretty long time but no-one would show it. It started filming in May. More information here:

  • Not Peter Kay

    Loved the Neighbours chat, without irony. I’m surprised at how much you got wrong though! Des and Daphne didn’t move out, Daphne died! It was a huge deal at the time. And Lou and Harold—they weren’t friends until long into the show’s run; they were at odds over Madge for years. And Kylie was always Charlene! And … and … OK, you get the point.

    That said, you nicely summed up the way I felt about the show. I didn’t miss an episode until I stopped watching. I remember being oh-so-smug too, at spotting the allusions and references; “getting” that Scott and Charlene’s illicit romance amidst their warring families, the Robinsons and Ramseys, was ripped straight from Romeo and Juliet. Until everyone else did too, and I didn’t feel quite so smart. Still, they were always the most boring part of the show in the early days, so screw it.

    I’m glad that you acknowledge the usefulness of the British soaps and serials too, in acting as a sort of apprenticeship for writers and actors who go on to do better things. Although you’re right about Eastenders’ unremitting sense of impending doom, what you saw in Neighbours I saw in that too (for a while, at least); I used to watch it because amidst the dross was an occasional nugget of good writing and acting. It’s strange that you reference Harold’s monologue about faith in Neighbours as proof of the same; I tend to reference a similarly well-executed monologue by Dot Cotton in which she rails against God for a good part of an episode. Maybe I’m just a sucker for that kind of thing (Mr Sorkin, I’m looking at you).

    With both shows, these moments gradually became more infrequent, until they crossed an invisible line that made me not want to sit through hours of shrill melodrama and embarrassing comedy on the off chance I’d see something by a good writer trying to make a mark. A shame.

    Oh, and it’s weird that John (very briefly) sings to the Coronation Street theme; I remember that was a gag of “Stand Up Chameleon” Phil Cool’s, referenced in a previous Rum Doings of course. It may even
    have been in the same episode as he did the Neil Kinnock Finger of Fudge bit (I was doing both routines for weeks after that aired).

    Graeme’s exactly right about how these make the listener feel—included in the conversation. A badly-done podcast can seem otherwise, like being out with two best friends who don’t bother to explain private jokes and references. Keep up the good work.

  • Quercus

    I’m curious to know how you define satire after your somewhat arrogant assertion that Brass Eye was the last satirical show on British television.

    The SOED defines satire as a work “which (usually humorously) exposes prevailing vices or follies or ridicules an (esp. prominent) individual; a lampoon; a performance or broadcast of a similar nature.”

    Topical comedy in itself isn’t satirical but it often contains satirical elements or material within it, often in the form of brief skits or vignettes to highlight ridiculous situations or viewpoints.
    The Now Show (and many others) would certainly appear to fall into that category, so even if it isn’t itself satirical, it would appear to contain satirical elements.

    If your assertion is that Satire only applies to material delivered in a completely deadpan fashion, that doesn’t seem to match the dictionary definition which includes “the use of sarcasm, irony or ridicule to expose vice or folly or to lampoon an individual”.
    I would also say that John Bird and John Fortune mostly perform satire as well.

  • John Walker

    So you’re saying we were wrong for saying there’s no satire, because the Now Show, which you say “isn’t satirical”… So yeah.

  • NM

    Quercus: satire is like pornography – you know it when you see it because of the effect it has on you.