Jane Postlethwaite is a multi-comedy award finalist, comedian and writer who moved back to Cumbria last year after 13 years living away in Brighton. Since moving back to Cumbria she has been working on various comedy projects including a new Brighton Fringe show earlier in the year, stand up material and radio plays. After working mostly alone she’s wanted to do a couple of podcast ideas for a while including a character one. She realised no one else seemed to be doing anything Cumbria related.
“I wanted to do something that was fun and would make me appreciate living in Cumbria again. My family goes back centuries in this area so I feel local but also feel like I want to connect with everything Cumbria has to offer. I like a challenge so I decided I wanted to create Cumbria’s first and funniest comedy podcast.”
The title ‘Miraculous Cumbria’ came from her looking at online news reports of Cumbria where the word is often used in newspaper headlines saying, ‘Miraculous rescue on Cumbria mountain’ or ‘It’s Miraculous he survived’. She loved the use of the word and liked the sound of it for the podcast.
Jane met Steph Bradshaw while running a comedy workshop in Carlisle. Steph has been writing stand up since Uni but hasn’t tried it out at live gigs yet. Since moving back to Keswick after uni she has been involved in various local theatre productions. Jane and steph hit it off immediately and kept in touch. After hearing Steph wanted to do more comedy projects they decided to work together on the comedy podcast.
Jane says, “I absolutely love podcasts and listen to loads of comedy ones like ‘with special guest Lauren Lapkus’ and the Adam Buxton show. My current podcast of choice is with ‘My favourite murder’ the popular comedy podcast about true crimes. I’m a bit obsessed with comedy, true crime, murders, ghosts and other weird subjects.
On TV there are always men doing travel programmes or talking about Cumbria on shows. There’s a gap where a woman’s perspective should be. There are so many young people in Cumbria who don’t often get chance to have their voice heard.
Having our own podcast means we’ve an excuse to visit weird and wonderful places in Cumbria. We get to really enjoy a day out and then sit down and talk about it. We take the equipment with us so we can record wherever and we’ve full control of the content. We also talk as if we would in real life and if we don’t like something then we say we don’t like it. We’re not scripted or controlling what we have to say. We’re not trying to sugarcoat anything there’s definitely northern bluntness. There’s adult themes and swearing so we don’t recommend you listen to the podcast around children unless you’re wearing headphones.
We would also like to point out that we’re fully aware we’re not experts on Cumbria – far from it, but part of the reason to do the podcast is to become better Cumbrians even though we can sometimes sound like terrible people.”
The first episode is the couple sitting in Jane’s garden discussing what they want to achieve with the podcast and what they want to cover in series one.
“I sometimes feel bad as i don’t know all the lake district areas and I haven’t even ever been kayaking – which everyone assumes you have if you grew up or live in Cumbria. The podcast is trying to rectify that.
The other episodes are focused on destinations. We’re getting so much better with each episode. We have such a great day out and we laugh a lot. We both want the podcast to become our full time job!”
People are already loving listening to the podcast and they have received great feedback. They’ve had some 5 star reviews on iTunes. They’ve already had over a 1000 listens and people are tuning in from all over the world as well as Cumbria.
“People like that we’re actually going out to the places we talk about the same day as recording and giving a fresh honest perspective. One of the funniest pieces of feedback we got was Steph’s gran asking us if we could post the podcast to her.”
They team have already been to Derwent House which was were Jane set her 2017 Edinburgh Fringe comedy show ‘The House’. They’ve also done a two part episode at muncaster castle.
“It’s really noticable how the staff at all of these local places love their jobs and are so excited to share what they know.”
Next on the podcast list is Beatrix Potter’s house and the museum. They’re also going to cover some more Cumbria strange stories, murders and ghosts. The podcast also does bonus episodes where audience questions that are sent in through facebook and instagram are answered. They also talk about their own experiences of growing up in Cumbria.
“The podcast will reach the people who enjoy it and we’ll find our audience over time. We know it won’t be to everyone’s taste but that’s OK – if you don’t like it then don’t listen to it.
As long as we are having fun doing it we will continue with it. We’ve got so many ideas for the podcast and can see it growing from strength to strength. We already know that we’re going to continue to a series 2. We also think the series would do well on TV!”
The podcast is looking to work with local business and get some sponsorship for podcast episodes.
“At the moment we have funded it all ourselves. We want to bring awareness to the area and what it has to offer and this includes small local businesses. Anyone who wants to sponsor us can get in touch. We accept cash along with food, tea, clothing, accommodation and fleeces!”
You can listen to Miraculous Cumbria on iTunes, Audioboom and Spotify.
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