Belfast Telegraph

Vatican City and Korea? My Dad Wrote A Porno podcast’s unlikely fan locations

The podcast is considered a ‘nice escape’ from politics and Brexit by fans, presenter James Cooper said.

My Dad Wrote A Porno presenters Alice Levine, Jamie Morton and James Cooper met at Leeds University (Dominic Lipinski/PA)
My Dad Wrote A Porno presenters Alice Levine, Jamie Morton and James Cooper met at Leeds University (Dominic Lipinski/PA)

By Lucy Mapstone, PA Deputy Entertainment Editor

The My Dad Wrote A Porno podcast has listeners in locations such as Korea, Saudi Arabia and Vatican City, one of its hosts has revealed.

The sexually explicit comedy podcast features Jamie Morton reading and deconstructing the bizarre amateur erotic fiction penned by his father, known by his pen name Rocky Flintstone, while joined by friends James Cooper and BBC Radio 1’s Alice Levine.

Now in its fifth series, the comedy podcast – based on Morton’s father’s self-published Belinda Blinked e-books about the exploits of Belinda Blumenthal, an international sales director at a UK-based pots and pans business – has earned a large global following and has had more than 180 million downloads.

There's some really graphic stuff in there, but it's softened by our British accents and everything else that's going on, because it's so absurd. You get over the fact that it's rude James Cooper

It was recently turned into an HBO TV special in the US and Morton, Cooper and Levine, who met at the University of Leeds, have toured the world and will do so again in 2020.

Cooper told of his surprise at some of the more unusual locations of their audience, and why the podcast is successful with British fans, particularly at a time when Brexit dominates the news agenda.

He told the PA news agency: “We’ve got listeners in Korea, and Saudi Arabia. I don’t know who is listening over there.

“We found out there’s a small but dedicated audience in the Vatican City, which is hilarious. There’s pockets of listeners all over the place. We keep getting word that South Africa has a listenership too.”

Referring to the nickname used by dedicated fans of the podcast, Cooper added: “The Vatican City is hilarious, I hope the Pope is an avid Belinker!”

Cooper said he was surprised about the podcast’s success in the US, because “podcasting is massive over there” and they have many podcast networks, so they “weren’t sure we’d ever break through in any significant way”.

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My Dad Wrote A Porno’s Alice Levine, Jamie Morton and James Cooper (My Dad Wrote A Porno)

On the sexually explicit theme of the podcast and its response Stateside, he said: “I think what’s landed there, as far as the prudish stuff, it’s because we’re reading it in British accents, that really helps.

“And sometimes, for me anyway, you kind of forget that it’s about sex because there’s so much else going on.

“There’s some really graphic stuff in there, but it’s softened by our accents and everything else that’s going on, because it’s so absurd. You get over the fact that it’s rude.”

Cooper said that fans consider the podcast to be a “nice escape” from the constant news agenda of politics and Brexit.

He said: “We do try and steer clear of that stuff deliberately. Not that it doesn’t interest us outside of that, but we just like the world of Belinda Blinked to be an escape, an oasis from everything that’s going on outside.

“It’s just 40 to 45 minutes a week where you don’t have to worry about anything else and you just listen to porn, finally!”

The My Dad Wrote A Porno World Tour kicks off at the Sydney Opera House on January 8 next year, and will continue in venues across Australia, New Zealand, America, Canada, the UK, Norway, Sweden, Ireland, Netherlands, Finland and Denmark until October.

They will play four dates in London at the London Palladium (May 13-16), at Birmingham’s Symphony Hall (September 27), the O2 Apollo in Manchester (October 3), the SEC Armadillo in Glasgow (October 16) and the Bristol Hippodrome (October 25).

PA

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