July 23, 2024

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‘The Rest Is . . .’  taking over the world

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“It’s about all the fun things you can escape to,” said Marina Hyde, by way of announcing the latest chapter of The Rest Is . . . podcast brand. Part of former England footballer Gary Lineker’s Goalhanger Productions, this latest addition to the stable, The Rest Is Entertainment, has gone for a more tabloid approach, billing itself as an exploration of  “showbiz, gossip, music [and] celebrity scandal”, and sweeping up all the random popularist cultural markers that the other Rest Is’s don’t.   

It is presented by Hyde, better known as The Guardian columnist everyone else aspires to be, and Richard Osman, the very tall author who conceived the television game show Pointless and is something of a professional talking head. In their first outing they discussed all sorts of cultural trivia — from Nigel Farage’s appearance in the UK game show I’m a Celebrity, Get Me Out of Here to Jeff Bezos and Netflix’s Squid Game — in the same amiable conversational format that fans of The Rest Is . . .  have come to love.

Goalhanger produces a fleet of podcasts, from Empire to Battleground, but The Rest Is . . .  series is its flagship brand. The Rest Is History, co-hosted by historians Tom Holland and Dominic Sandbrook, was launched in 2020, and is now downloaded more than 6mn times a month. The Rest Is Politics, with former Conservative MP Rory Stewart and Labour’s former head of communications Alastair Campbell, has become the go-to primer for people who can’t be bothered to read anything in-depth. 

In an interview with the FT earlier this year, Lineker marvelled at the platform’s “staggering” successes: Goalhanger claims to be the UK’s largest independent podcast group, with 17.5mn downloads a month.

2023-12-01 17:00:39

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