Kat and Jen aren’t your average podcasters, this is a podcast with a cheeky twist! The pair encourage their guests to bare all by… well, baring all for The Naked Podcast. We caught up with the award-winning podcasters to talk about their podcast, their best moments and an incident with some cold pink slime…
Funny Women: Obviously we have to ask; what are you wearing right now?
Kat: I am wearing the uniform of the ‘work from homers’ – baggy shirt dress, leggings and bootie slippers with crisp crumbs down my bra. Despite recording the podcast in the buff, I don’t actually enjoy the breeze against my bare skin. I’d rather be wrapped up in a bear skin!
Jen: I am actually sitting up in bed pondering these questions and wearing only a jumper and a bra. I am commando waist down – so half naked. It’s only right, isn’t it?!
FW: What inspired you to start a naked podcast?
Kat: Why not?! It seemed like an entirely sensible idea after a few pints at the pub! Jenny and I have been friends for a long time and we wanted to find a way to capture the sort of conversations we have round a dinner table with mates, you know the sort of evening where everyone is on top form and stories bounce from the wild to the ridiculous to the moving to the sublime? We also realised that as woman and journalists in our early 30s we met so many brilliant, clever, funny, brave, gorgeous women who just did not see themselves that way. We wondered if there was anything we could do to get women (and men) celebrating themselves. We bounced a few ideas around for a while… and then I sent Jen a text.
Jen: When Kat messaged me to suggest we got our kit off to interview women I said yes immediately! I thought the idea was bold, I thought it was brave and I thought it was brilliant. I knew it would definitely push us out of our comfort zones and I’d never heard anything like it before, so I knew we would stand out in a crowded marketplace. Plus, if it all went wrong at least it would go wrong in style! We are proud to be representing Yorkshire and the north of England, as when we cooked up this hair-brained idea we felt like the podcast market was dominated by men with southern accents!
Kat: We get great joy from people who get cross about the idea of women taking their clothes off to record an audio-only podcast. My favourite comment was a tweet from a fella saying “This is as pointless as the time the BBC had a ventriloquist on the radio” which always makes me laugh when I think about it, because surely there cannot be a single benefit in LISTENING to women and what they have to say?!
FW: Do you think nudity really helps your guests ‘bare all’?
Jen: YES! 100% without a doubt. Even for Kat and me, the very first episode of the podcast is just the two of us, getting naked in my flat – after a couple of stiff drinks! Even though we’d been friends for years we’d never seen each other naked. It took guts to strip off, it was funny! Kat wouldn’t even turn round to look at me initially and within an hour we’d talked about things the other had no idea about. I talked about my issues around food and making myself sick as a teenager and Kat talked about her hopes and fears for her body with the threat of Huntington’s Disease looming large.
Kat: My mum was diagnosed with Huntington’s Disease when I was about 10, and gradually became more disabled until she died when I was 24 and she was 54. It wasn’t until starting to record the podcast that I spoke more openly about my own fears of inheriting this genetic condition. There’s a 50:50 chance I will have the gene that causes the disease and there is no cure. From recording that first episode I realised how important it was to encourage all of us to celebrate the bodies we have NOW, not wait till some mythical time in the future before feeling free and amazing in our own skin.
Our guests too have told us that they find being naked unexpectedly freeing. Guests will often share memories with us that they haven’t thought about in years. Without clothes, there is literally nowhere to hide. Plus, how often do we get the opportunity to sit down and reflect on our lives for an hour – and celebrate them in all their messy, complicated glory?
FW: What your most memorable podcast moments?
Jen: OOOOH, great question! There’ve been many! Recording at a naturist festival on a cold and wet bank holiday in Doncaster is certainly one of them. Some memories there I will certainly never forget! Chatting to ‘the vicar with no knickers’ Rev. Kate Bottley on my couch is another superb highlight. But one of the best moments for me was the time we spoke to an incredible woman called Kellyanne Sharman from Sheffield (who incidentally has now become our good friend).
Kellyanne was pregnant with twins at the time and she is possibly one of the most joyous humans to ever walk the earth. She made laugh and cry simultaneously – a very strange experience – when she opened up about an ectopic pregnancy she’d experienced which led to the removal of one of her fallopian tubes. You may understandably think: ‘How in the hell did you find something so upsetting in any way amusing?’. In response, all I can say is just listen to her podcast. Kellyanne should be available on prescription!
Kat: “Gunge in yer clunge!” From someone who was terrified to be naked around others and would even cover up whilst home alone, I have done a full 180! As well as stripping off with more than 50 women; we have run, screaming and naked as the day we were born into the North Sea with 700 skinny dippers at dawn on the autumn equinox in Northumberland; I have been the model for a life drawing class whilst doing live radio interviews and we also recorded a vulva casting workshop for the podcast where I had to squat over a peanut dish of cold pink slime!
I love that we are questioning all those things that society; magazines and social media tell us. You don’t need to look or act or be a certain way to find happiness in your body and life, and I am proud of the work we do to champion women from all walks of life. Personally too, it was the realisation that a lot of the negative messages I had about my body came from me. And that if I wanted to be a runner I could bloody well be a runner regardless of whether I was good at PE or not (I was most definitely not!). As soon as I realised that, I signed up for a half marathon. I’ve since done two half marathons and am still in training for the postponed London 2020 Marathon.
FW: What is the plan for series 4 of the Naked Podcast? Will you be getting naked remotely?!
Kat: Watch this space! COVID has presented a few challenges for all of us it’s fair to say – not least the banning of getting naked with two others, not from your household in your front room… However, we have some big plans for the coming year and we always love to hear from people who fancy de-robing for a natter. Just slide on into our DMs!
FW: Who are your favourite funny women?
Jen: Victoria Wood is my ultimate favourite of all time without question. I was lucky enough to see one of her stand up shows live when I was in my early teens and it remains one of the best performances I’ve ever witnessed. Currently, I adore Julia Davis and Vicki Pepperdine as Joan and Jericha. They’re hilarious and I love how, as well as being superhumanly funny, they also sound like they’re always trying to make each other laugh as well. What chemistry! There are so many funny women we’d love to feature on the podcast, Kathy Burke if you’re reading this, come find us on Twitter!
Kat: I have so many, but I have loved watching Aisling Bea’s career rise and rise. I first saw her at Edinburgh Fringe hosting Spank at the Underbelly in 2013 and just loved her warmth and wit and would always seek her gigs out, so I’m so glad to see her on panel shows; writing her own sitcom and appearing in big American TV shows. I think Fern Brady is brilliant and Rosie Jones is simply glorious!
You can download and subscribe to The Naked Podcast on your favourite podcast app. Find Kat and Jen on socials by searching for their bright pink logo @TheNakedPodcast and drop them a line if you fancy stripping off with them!