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Podcasts, series catch-up... and Kermode

Brett Spencer | 17:23 UK time, Wednesday, 7 October 2009

Kermode's Quiff

I've been answering some queries from listeners this week about the most popular thing we do on the web site - the Mark Kermode and Simon Mayo Film Review, and thought I'd take the opportunity to share the answers with you.

We're really pleased that the show will still be on 5 Live once Simon moves on to Radio 2 in the New Year. It remains the most successful podcast we offer, often over 100,000 downloads a week, and it's one of the most popular in the whole BBC. Your questions:

Why can't I download old podcasts? Why do they only last for seven days? From this Friday you can, as part of a trial. From now until Christmas we'll be leaving the previous week's podcast live when the new one goes up. Unfortunately, at the end of the trial we'll have to revert back to 7 days while the results are assessed, but it's a step in the right direction.

Why can't I listen on the iPlayer beyond 7 days? You can now do that as well, as part of another trial. Every show going back to the beginning of September is still available on the iPlayer, as part of something we're calling the 'series catch-up trial', and will be until Santa comes.

How can I find Mark's review of a particular film? Mark's reviews are now archived and available in this handy A-Z for your enjoyment.

While we don't know where else the show will be broadcasting from, the next live event is in Hull on October 23rd and tickets have now sold out. You will be able to watch the show live from Hull that afternoon on the front-page of the 5 live website, as you can every Friday.

Why is the show edited for the podcast? Why don't you provide the whole thing? Well, we do. We only take out news, travel and breaking news items. Everything else is podcast in its full glory.

Why do you offer lots of chat, banter, and conversation with all the reviews stuck at the end? Sorry, but that's what the show sounds like. you'll have to take it up with Dr K and Dr M.

But what else should we be doing? How else would like to watch/listen/enjoy Mark and Simon. Let us know, and if we like the idea and we use it, we'll include you in the 'hello' sequence for a week.

Brett Spencer is Interactive Editor at BBC Radio 5 live

Update. A bit of clarification: Kermode and Mayo isn't part of the series catch-up trial. Fighting Talk and Danny Baker are - although their podcasts remain limited to 7 days.


  • Comment number 1.

    Glad to hear the show will be staying, and on 5 Live too! I always download the podcast using the RSS feed, and have often wondered why previous episodes aren't available like they are with almost every other podcast elsewhere on the Internet, so it's nice to hear you are looking into this.
    The guys often seem pushed for time, so why not make the podcast and/or radio show a bit longer?

  • Comment number 2.

    It would be good if all podcasts were available for say, 14 days, instead of just seven. There have been times when I've not got round to downloading both Kermode and Mayo and Fighting Talk because I've been away on holiday, or just simply not had time.

  • Comment number 3.

    Great news about the prolonged dl period for the podcasts - I've often had to pester my friends in the past to download the podcast for me while I was away. I'm also happy to hear the live show will be streamed on the website, but I'm not sure I'll be able to watch it because I'm not in the UK. The old video stream used to work for me, but now that it's moved to the iPlayer, I get the dreaded "not available in your region" message. Is this something that will be changed in the future? (pleasepleaseohplease)

  • Comment number 4.

    Love the show - have been listening for years - and all this news is gladly welcomed. Especially the extended availability of the podcasts. Its annoying to go on holiday for a couple of weeks, and only be able to get the latest one. Think it should be longer though. With most podcasts you can still download the audio from 2 years ago!

    Also, DrK has to stop giving so much time to movies that demonstrate "the death of narrative cinema" while reviewing the "life changing" movie of the week in 20 seconds because they've run out of time. Let The Right One In ("Film Of The Year" so far) was discussed in less then a minute, while Transformers and Terminator Salivation were given 15 minutes each!

  • Comment number 5.

    I've felt for a while that the show really needs to be longer if it's to constantly give way to sports coverage, particularly when those very sports are already being covered on Radio 4, Sports Extra or BBC2. The low point was the Edinburgh broadcast where the film stuff was broken up by horse racing and we got ONE review. ONE. For what it's worth there were seven films out that week. In all honesty I don't know why the show needs to incoporate sports or political events - why do you think people tune in at that time if not for Dr Kermode's film reviews? It surely can't be for information that's readily available elsewhere! Personally I no longer bother to listen live due to the amount of extraneous waffle.

    As Dr Kermode frequently reminds us, there are about twelve new releases every week, and if we're lucky we'll get reviews of four of them. Presumably he's going to see the other eight but we're not hearing about them. This year alone has seen countless films going unreviewed and not even noted if they don't make the following week's Top Ten. Make it ninety minutes, two hours if need be. A new Woody Allen movie should surely get more than 30 seconds bunched up at the end of the show with the closing jungle playing over it!

    Oh, and some film reviews ARE dropped from the podcasts - Underworld: Rise Of The Lycans for one... Yes, it got mentioned in subsequent Top Tens but Dr K did indeed review it when it came out.

  • Comment number 6.

    Please, Oh please, why can't we have the option to download Mark & Simon's wittertainment more than 7 days after transmission? Loads of other BBC podcasts have the functionality to download for ages after transmission (Peter Day's World of Business to name one). When away on holiday I invariably miss a week. There is obviously demand as it is mentioned on blog sites throughout the BBC. Please listen to the many thousands of podcasters whose regular downloads keep Mark & Simon at the top end of the download charts week in week out!


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