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The Cricket and Doctor Who Podcast 2013–2018: A Secret History

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At least we had a sensible avatar

It is with a heavy heart that I announce the glorious end of the Cricket and Doctor Who podcast, perhaps the world’s most pointedly niche podcast.

We had a good run, but the latest podcast — our 26th — will be the last. Give it a listen!

We will return later in the year as a Doctor Who and no cricket whatsoever podcast, to the great disappointment of the swathes of people who like their portable listenings to be about two entirely unrelated topics.

There now follows a potted history of the podcast, as everything matters and everything deserves to be remembered.

1) July 2013: Genesis of the Podcast

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The idea came to us on a long walk along the river Lea in east London in the summer of 2013.

@Paul_Briant and I spent the whole walk discussing our twin obsessions: why not do a podcast about them both? After all, the Doctor played cricket once.

On our array of dated internet presences, we wrote:

We reckon we’re the first EVER podcast to cover the two most eccentric of English pastimes: watching frequently behatted men wander around a field for five days, and watching a frequently behatted man wander around a quarry for (what feels like) five days.

The first EVER, eh? I can’t possibly imagine why. And, my! Look at all those men.

From the start we knew that the kind of people who wanted to listen to a podcast about Doctor Who probably weren’t the kind of people who wanted to listen to a podcast about cricket, but we didn’t let that stop us. In fact, our hope was that the weirdness of the thing would be what singled us out.

Listening back to the very first episode, I can tell we’re pretty nervous. We’ve brought lots of facts and figures with us — prepared points of debate in case we couldn’t think of anything and ended up spending an hour gently sobbing into the ether. Digressions were common: at one point, we end up discussing the Italian voice actors who dub Arnold Schwarzenegger movies. I am also far, far too proud about getting a letter published in SFX magazine in 1996.

What do we talk about? Ian Bells late cut and whether Moffat’s storylines had become overly complicated. We also talk about who will replace Matt Smith as the Doctor, with the guy out of the Go Compare adverts, James Corden, and Tina out of S Club 7 the topical picks for who should not replace Matt Smith.

Also our hot take on whether Doctor Who could regenerate as a woman: “They wouldn’t dare do that!”

2) You don’t have to like Cricket *and* Doctor Who, it’s fine

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What we are trying to say is we like these things

“Oh man! I would *love* to listen to your podcast, as I’m a massive Doctor Who / cricket fan. Unfortunately I have no interest in cricket / Doctor Who so I’ve never bothered”

It’s fine, just listen to the Doctor Who / cricket bit

“So do you talk about instances of cricket in Doctor Who, and instances of Doctor Who in cricket?”

No

As you can see, we were asked certain questions quite often. It’s fair enough — it was a very confusing idea for a podcast. We did everything we could to make the thing accessible to half-believers, splitting the thing into two distinct segments and adding chapters so people could flit to the bit they were interested in.

By the Doctor Who 50th anniversary special, we’re happily talking about prelapsarian Galifrey, Paul McGann’s sexy cameo, and the ongoing disaster of England’s Ashes tour down under (sound familiar?).

3) Everything has its time and everything dies

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I think I’m ready now

Timing of the podcast became more sporadic. We tried very hard to pod centred around Test series and / of new Who seasons, but with the sporadic nature of both and the latter often falling foul of mysterious hiatuses, we would often “fill in” on the Doctor Who side by reviewing classic episodes like Timeflight.

Oh and here’s the Nazi alternative universe Sergeant Benton turning into a monster in Inferno, because why not:

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What on earth

4) Always try to be nice and never fail to be kind

I always found it easier to talk about Doctor Who than cricket, and for a while I suggested to Paul that maybe we just do a podcast about the former. He was having none of it, so we careed enjoyably on through time, space and several Ashes series.

We’ve decided, finally, to go full Who. We know there are a lot of Doctor Who podcasts out there, and we look forward to joining that family. We don’t know what to call it yet: if you’ve got any ideas, we’re all ears.

Thanks so much to Paul for doing this podcast with me. He does all the technical gubbins, he brings the enthusiasm. Often he brings some actual facts, which is always exciting. Doing the @CricketDrWho podcast over the past 4 1/2 years with one of the best people in the galaxy has been an absolute joy, and I can’t wait to do it all over again in a slightly less niche fashion.

It’s been emotional.

Written by

I like writing stories, singing songs, doing comedy, cycling to places, and being nerdy about my interests. Ex-Guardian community editor

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