Its fair to say that David Tennant’s new podcast has become something of a hit. Since its first episode was released on 28th January 2019, a further 11 episodes have been released across weekly intervals. These episodes see Tennant having a chat with a multitude of famous personalities, not only actors, but politicians, television presenters, and musicians, among others.
What makes the podcast stand out from its contemporaries is the way Tennant approaches his interviewees. It isn’t a straight question-and-answer format that many others use, but a casual chat between two friends. I think that Tennant’s personality lends itself well to this different format.
So here are three reasons why you should be listening to David Tennant Does A Podcast With...
1. The Guests
Aside from Tennant, each episode has a different guest star; so far these have included Olivia Colman, Whoopie Goldberg, Jodie Whittaker, Ian McKellen, Jon Hamm, Gordon Brown, Jennifer Garner, Catherine Tate, Krysten Ritter, James Corden, Samantha Bee, and Tina Fey.
Each podcast is littered with interesting facts and insights into the lives of these celebs and is much more personal than a tabloid magazine or newspaper can get (or wants to get). Many of these stars will be spread across publications because they have said something online, taken someone to rehab, or run the country. More often than not, the tabloids want to tear them down for things that aren’t really their fault.
We all know about Jennifer Garner and her troubled relationship with Ben Affleck, but do we really know where she came from? Did we know how much she enjoys reading and writing? Did we know that Jodie Whittaker had a number of concerns about becoming the Thirteenth Doctor or that Whoopie Goldberg had once approached the BBC and asked that, if they brought the show back, could they consider her for the title role?
And in one of the more candid episodes, we learnt that Ian McKellen is more a LGBT icon than many knew. For me, this has been the most interesting episode so far. It is fascinating to see how far we have come and how far we still have to go.
It is these little titbits of information that make this podcast a much more interesting insight into their lives than the centre of Hello Magazine.
So far, each episode has shone a new light on some of these personalities and I can’t wait to hear and see who Tennant is talking to next.
2. David Tennant
As I stated above, Tennant is one of the biggest reasons to check this podcast out. Aside from playing possibly the most famous incarnation of the Doctor in our time, he has racked up a considerable acting pedigree through his years in the business both on stage, television, and the movies.
Listening to him here makes one wonder why he hasn’t been picked up to host his very own chat show, something in the same vein as James Corden’s in America and The Graham Norton Show over here. If this podcast has proved one thing, it is that he is perfectly capable of doing so.
His ease behind the microphone is apparent from the very first instalment, instantly setting the interviewee at ease. Olivia Colman comments that she has never been comfortable giving interviews. In response, Tennant reminds her that this isn’t an interview; just friends having a chat about where they came from and how their lives were affected when the acting bug took hold.
Indeed, Tennant has a way of letting us get a closer understanding of how some of these celebs work and live than magazines do. With his natural charm, he instantly begins with childhood memories, and highlights where the actors are now in their careers and lives in general. Some of them are clearly more comfortable disclosing private info than others but each one has been won over by Tennant’s personality.
I’ll be very interested to see how he tackles Gordon Brown and possibly someone like Ed Balls, who I believe was a confirmed guest, on how politics changed their lives and why they take a particular stance on certain things. In a slightly contradictory move, I must admit to not being interested in politics, but both these guys have few fans, with Brown being our Prime Minister as the recession hit back in 2008 and Ed Balls having played around with the education system a little too much. No doubt both will be very informative.
Tennant is just a nice guy, plain and simple, and as a result, this podcast has a bright future ahead of it.
3. Insightful, Respectful, and Informative
This podcast has to be one of the most informative interviews with these celebs. Magazines and newspapers are known for their cut-throat reporting and questionable techniques to glean any information or misquotes to make the next headline – there is a good reason why famous personalities have publicists.
But that doesn’t seem to be the case here. Talking to them about their histories shows Tennant has a genuine interest in them, but interviews also prove informative and inspirational for listeners. I never knew that Jon Hamm’s childhood was hit by the death of his mother. As someone who lost their father to a brain-tumour, I certainly understood where Hamm was coming from when he talks about the emotions he went through in dealing with his feelings to the event.
But it all handled very respectfully. When one of the guests describes a shocking event in their past, Tennant never glosses over the impact of their story. It is that sort of kindness and delicacy that you wouldn’t get from a tabloid interview.
Tennant and Whittaker also seem to understand each other well, as both have played the Doctor. The third episode is another informative instalment where we learn about how Jodie’s childhood informed the way she approached the role as well as how it has changed her life now, going from someone who wasn’t recognised at the supermarket, to someone who now regularly is.
Perhaps the most effective episode so far and certainly the best handled one is Ian McKellen. The deftness and gentleness that Tennant displays when talking about LGBT concerns both in McKellen’s childhood and how things are now deserves some sort of award. Tennant and McKellen are never heavy handed when they are talking about the subject and as such, it becomes a very respectful and insightful look at how life was like through McKellen’s youth.
With many people tuning in every week I think – and hope! – it is something that will be around for a long time yet and there is certainly no shortness of interviewees. Both David and Georgia have done a brilliant job here and hopefully they’ll know that.