Archive for 2014

Festive Listening Party

December 20, 2014


If/when you’re sick of all the jingling bells and falalalalaaaas, and you’ve already finished your annual listening party of the AMT Christmas album, don’t worry! You can depend upon us to keep your ears full.IMAG0346

For a steaming hot gravyboat full of Olly Mann, listen to the latest Media Podcast, then tune in to LBC because over Christmas he’s on at some uncharacteristically civilised hours, to whit:

Sunday 21 Dec – Tuesday 23rd Dec: 2200-0100
Christmas Day: 1300-1600
Saturday 27 Dec: 1800-2200
Sunday 28 Dec: 1800-2100
Monday 29 – Tuesday 30 Dec: 1900-2200
New Year’s Day: 1300-1600

Then back to his usual nocturnal timeslot of 0100-0400 from 5th January.

As for me: I pop up to talk about the current state of podcasts on the 200th episode of Wired; and here are a bunch of miscellaneous podcasts I’ve been on recently. I’ll also chat about raking in Kickstarter money to AMTpal (and my new boss, I guess) Roman Mars on BBC 5 Live’s Radio Review of the Year, which will be aired at various times over Christmas and available on the 5 Live website shortly after. It’ll be worth your attention simply because Jane Garvey and Stephanie Hirst are hosting.

We’ll be back with the first AMT of the new year on Thursday 8th January. Until then, catch up on the Best of 2014, all those luvverly episodes we’ve put out recently, our albums and our classic episodes. You could also peruse previous listening parties and this list to find some new shows to listen to.

Or you could just watch National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation again.


Best of AMT 2014

December 18, 2014

AMT three
Listeners, thank you so much for contributing your attention, questions and eartime to us this year. What a year it has been! Relisten to the highlights – and lowlights, including such annual delights as the Parade of Melancholy Calls and the blooper reel – in The Best of Answer Me This! 2014:


This classic episode is available to BUY NOW for just £1.99 at the Answer Me This! Store, through a secure server, without DRM restriction. CLICK HERE to find out more and support our podcast. (This helps keep our most recent episodes free)

So many precious moments… Create more of them in 2015 by sending us your QUESTIONS: leave a message on the Question Line – call 0208 123 5877 or Skype ID answermethis – or send an email to

By the way, if you have the AMT app on your iDevices, Android and Windows gadgets, you have access to all the previous AMT Best Ofs. For those of you who are app-less, you can obtain these joyous compilations from Also at the AMT store, iTunes and Amazon, you can buy our albums and old episodes – the perfect festive gift for the AMT fan, ie you, and the perfect gift for us, ie money to continue making the show next year.

Another Christmas gift we would love is for you to tell a friend about the show! There are still a few billion people in the world who are yet to hear it, so do your bit to remedy this sad situation.

We’ll be back on Thursday 8th January 2015 with AMT305; in the meantime, behave yourselves, and keep in touch at and


Helen & Olly

••• Best of AMT2014 Child-Friendly Rating: 50%. Patchily suitable for all ears. The risk is yours. •••


Christmas excuses

December 15, 2014



Voice your opinion in the comments if you can think of a way to salve questioneer Peter‘s festive pain:

How can I get out of spending Christmas with my in-laws? My horrible, small-minded, racist, bigoted, climate change denying, Daily Mail-reading, UKIP-voting in-laws.

Or should I just suck it up, try and remain polite and go along?

I and my wife both are Guardian- (and Independent- and BoingBoing-) reading lefty libertarians. I really am not looking forward to three days of my in-laws banging on about immigrants being to blame for everything, as well as the EU, and their trotting out the Daily Mail and Express as evidence that renewable energy doesn’t work and is all just a big con (I work designing wind farms and marine energy installations), even though it reduced Britain’s energy bills by 10% compared to gas last winter! How the recession was really caused by the Germans (not the British bankers) as a ruse to take over Europe again (because, you know, The War).

I’ve had ten of this shit! I despise them. I despise their circular thinking nonsensical irrational arguments, and I regret every moment I waste in their miserly company.

So should I break a leg? Emigrate to Germany or France? Crash the car into a tree so we cannot drive there?
Or should I just suck it up, try and remain polite and go along?
Or something else?

Peter, you’re acting like this torment is all negative, but it does fuel bitchery for you and your wife for a whole year. Perhaps you could intensify this by turning it into a satirical game: your challenge is to access your inner Chris Morris and see just how ridiculous a point of view you can get them to agree with. Brush up on Brass Eye for ideas.

Or take the easy way out and just piss off abroad till January.

(If you can’t afford to go abroad, just tell them you’ve gone abroad and don’t answer the phone or doorbell.)


Christmas sounds

December 15, 2014


Digging through the AMT archives the other day, I turned up this gem of a Christmas song by Martin the Sound Man from 2007:

Martin’s proper music, including several albums, can be found at,,, and Spotify. The perfect Christmas gift! (If you think it is alright to give people digital files, which you obtained for free.)

Also, reluctant as I am to badger you, HAVE YOU LISTENED TO THE AMT XMAS ALBUM YET?

If not, redress before the festive season has expired: go to, whence you can follow links to buy it from the AMT store, iTunes and Amazon. It’s the perfect track with which to drown out the sound of the family row about the best way to achieve the crispiest roast potatoes.


EPISODE 304: millions of Geoffrey, all under one roof

December 11, 2014

“Take two podcasts into the shower? Not me! I just use Answer Me This! Episode 304!”

Subscribe to AMT! on iTunes listen to the MP3 through your computer soundcloud-icon our podcast feed on Libsyn Share with Facebook

Today’s roster includes such topics as:

Wash & Go
roller derby rivalry
texting your ex
baby models
Geoffrey of Toys R Us
Facebook etiquette
advent calendar etiquette
Rod Stewart vs Barry Manilow
Rod Stewart’s train set
the Boston Bean
The Frog Chorus
Whip It IRL
the Swiss Cheese Pervert.

Plus: for Olly, giving is better than receiving (when it comes to picture messages); Helen does not belong on wheels; and Martin the Sound Man searches for logic in cartoon characters off adverts, which is really the wrong place to look.

In today’s Bonus Bit of Crap on the App (available for your iDevices, Android and Windows gadgets) as we learn about reindeers and their antlers. For a whole further hour of festive fun, do listen to the Answer Me This! Christmas, available at as well as iTunes and Amazon.

All we want for Christmas are your QUESTIONS, so shove them into our stockings, by which we mean leave a message on the Question Line – call 0208 123 5877 or Skype ID answermethis – or send an email to Also, forge the bounds of internet friendship at and Not LinkedIn, NEVER LinkedIn.

Thanks very much to for supporting this episode, and for giving you 10% off their website-building and -hosting services for a year if you use the code ‘answer’. That’s got to be better than anything you win in a cracker. (Except for the set of tiny screwdrivers or a bottle-opener shaped like an animal; both of these come in surprisingly useful. But, you know, the miniature pack of cards or tiny plastic comb or annoying puzzle made out of metal rings.)

The Best of AMT 2014 will be out next Thursday, 18th December. Return then!

Helen & Olly

••• AMT304 Child-Friendly Rating: 74%. Opens with further discussion of AMT303‘s cheese handjobs, but once the first couple of minutes are over, the rest of the episode’s topics are clean aside from two or three strong swears. •••


sexy Skeletor

December 10, 2014


Meredith from San Francisco confides:

I recently confided to my husband that when I was younger I had a dream of a sexual nature. He was all for details until I got to the part where the leading man in my dream was Skeletor from Masters of the Universe. He was deeply disturbed and assured me that this was not normal.

So Helen and Olly, answer me this…

Are dreams of liaisons with animated characters a normal part of growing up, or am I a complete freak of nature?

Who cares about ‘normal’, eh? Is anyone really normal? And who ISN’T feeling a little hotter under the collar at the sight of this bulging specimen?

Skeletor's O face

Skeletor’s O face

OK, most people apart from Meredith. But it’s pretty mainstream to have crushes on conventionally attractive cartoon hotties like Jessica Rabbit, Marge Simpson and Wilma Flintstone. Is Skeletor really so deviant in comparison, just because his face has fallen off?

Readers, hop into the comments and admit your own cartoon crushes. I bet plenty of you dream of getting into Spongebob’s squarepants.


help a questioneer out

December 10, 2014


Although AMT is usually all about fun and frivolity, occasionally we are compelled to share something serious with you, such as this email from long-term listener and questioneer Jessii:

It’s Jessii from St Helens with the piercings. Do you remember me?

Of course, Jessii! How could we forget this and these?

Although I haven’t been in touch in a long time, I do still listen to you guys. In fact, I must thank you as your hilarious conversations and familiar voices have kept a smile on my face through a really tough time recently.

My 27-year-old sister Claire passed away unexpectedly in August from a brain haemorrhage caused by Polycystic Kidney Disease. It has devastated our family, especially since she has a 3-year-old daughter.

Since her death, I have taken to fundraising for PKD to raise money and awareness as a lot of my family have it and Claire’s daughter has a 50% chance of developing it.

Me and my fundraising group have raised money and awareness at our old school’s open evening and had a very successful show night! So far, with gift aid included we’ve raised a total of £1658.75. I have a signed Paul Gascoigne picture on Ebay at the minute with all proceeds going to the charity. My JustGiving page is and has more information about my sister and her condition.

Raising money won’t bring Claire back, of course, but it will help find a cure for other sufferers. So, me this: what are some interesting and effective fundraising ideas??

My ability to raise funds is second only to my athleticism, so readers, I appeal to you to the comments and help Jessii out.

And, of course, do bid on the Gazza picture – an ideal Christmas gift for fans of football and/or troubled people.


creationist trainer

December 9, 2014



Sarah from Washington DC writes:

My personal trainer casually mentioned to me yesterday that he doesn’t believe in evolution. He just threw it in while we were discussing the fact that there are several states in the US that don’t require you to wear motorcycle helmets while riding motorcycles. “At least it keeps the really dumb people from living,” he said. “I don’t believe in evolution or anything, but survival of the fittest!”

Now, my trainer is not your typical “bro” gym rat type person. He is quiet, thoughtful and actually has a masters degree in nutrition and a PhD in kinesiology. His wife also just received a PhD in something or other.

I was very caught off guard when he said that he didn’t believe in evolution. I was rendered speechless and didn’t say anything at all. We aren’t very close and we were in a crowded gym which hardly seemed like the place to get into this debate – but I can not stop thinking about this and it really bothers me.

Answer me this: is it wrong of me to break up with my trainer over this? Should I tell him why?

Any excuse to get out of doing exercise, right? Oh, I don’t know, readers – what do you think? Is it important to share common views with your trainer? Should you refuse to have on payroll a person who holds opinions with which you fundamentally disagree? Let us know in the comments.


phantom pheedback

December 8, 2014



Opinions are flooding in regarding Jenny from Vancouver’s question in AMT303 regarding whether the Phantom of the Opera phornicates with Christine.

Simon says:

Phantom of the Opera makes it clear that the Phantom did not sleep with Christine. When in the lair at the end of the musical, Christine asks him outright if he is (finally) going to rape her.

“Have you gouged yourself at last in your lust for blood?
Am I now to be prey to your lust for flesh?”

The lady doth protest to much methinks.

He answers,

“This fate this requires me to wallow in blood,
Has also denied me the joys of the flesh.”

So they’ve never had sex, he’s a virgin, and he’s impotent.

The less said about Love Never Dies the better….

Too bad for you, Simon, that Calico has written about precisely that subject:

In Love Never Dies (it is exactly as shit as you would assume), the whole thing of Christine and the Phantom having sex actually takes place after the end of the first musical. This is the same in the novel the musical is based on (yes, it’s a book. A terrible fucking book by Fredrick Forsyth).

Music of the Night is just about singing, I’d say the rape connotations don’t really hold as the last song basically has the Phantom say he is a virgin (“This face that condemned me to wallow in blood, has also denied me the joys of the flesh.”).

It’s also obvious in the book he doesn’t rape her because Erik’s (the Phantom) end speech to the Daroga (the melted troll doll dropped him from the naff musical) has him state that Christine kissed him on the forehead and it’s his first kiss and the only true touch of intimacy he ever had.

Thanks, literary detectives. I’m relieved to discover that non-consensual sex probably did not take place. But I’m the opposite of relieved to discover you lot spend so much time thinking about the Phantom’s phallus.


Thursday Listening Party

December 4, 2014
"Hey party people, are you ready to party?"

“Hey party people, are you ready to party?”

On the Thursdays we don’t release a new AMT, we crank up the spoken word audio and have a Thursday Listening Party.
Click here to attend all previous gatherings.

Happy talking talking happy talk…

…talk about things till your jaw falls offfffffff.

It’s hanging by a thread, I tell you! By the end of the week there’ll be a new episode of the Sound Women podcast, in which I meet Jo Whiley; and early next week I’ll be hosting a special edition of the Media Podcast from the Woman in Film and TV Awards.

But RIGHT NOW for your listening pleasure, here’s the new Z List Dead List, a fun history show in which I discuss the life of Sigmund Freud’s best friend/deadly rival Wilhelm Fleiss, progenitor of many theories which let’s euphemistically call ‘eccentric’.

I’m also on the latest International Waters, along with Simon Kane, Jackie Kashian, Brian Fernandes and host Dave Holmes, AND a very festive hit from New Kids on the Block. Be afraid.

UPDATE: the Sound Women episode is now GO:

Speaking of festive, now would be the optimal time to listen to the AMT Christmas album, full of Christmakkakwanzaa cheer.

Listen! I am alone at a crossroads!

OK I’m not, but if I were, I’d keep myself company by listening to Bob Odenkirk on Bullseye, and Rebecca Front on RHLSTP.

At the previous gathering, I was about to go off to listen to true crime podcast Sword and Scale. I have now done so, and I think a lot of you will be thrilled by it; but in my old age I’m becoming a lot more squeamish and pathetic, so after a while I repaired to the gentler crimefest of Val McDermid‘s Radio 4 book of the week about forensics. It reminded me of the books I used to get in my Christmas stocking. Make of that what you will.

Next on my playlist is 4 Extra’s Chris Morris special, Raw Meat Radio. What have you been listening to, dears?

Tune in to our usual gigs:

Catch up on AMT303 and the episodes preceding it.
AMT episodes 1-170 and the special AMT albums are all available at, and if you buy any of them you’re bankrolling the podcast, for which we are extremely grateful.
Olly’s on LBC every weekday 1am-4am. Go nocturnal to hear him.
I host the monthly Sound Women podcast.
Martin the Sound Man makes numerous other podcasts, including Brain Train about clever things, The Global Lab about cities and stuff, and The Sound of the Ladies music podcast.


EPISODE 303: reeks of nostalgia and turkey fat

November 27, 2014

Happy Thanksgiving to AMT’s American pals! Today’s episode is thematically appropriate for you, since it involves a question about Disney’s turkey legs; so don your turkey boxer shorts and turkey tops, strap on your turkey watch, inhale the delicious scent of turkey, plug in your turkey headphones and listen to Answer Me This! Episode 303*:

Subscribe to AMT! on iTunes listen to the MP3 through your computer soundcloud-icon our podcast feed on Libsyn Share with Facebook

We also speak of such non-turkey topics as:

mirrors in the gym
sexy cheese
a pat from Paul Daniels
the Dewey Decimal System
Meville Dewey vs Melvil Dui
McDonald’s bagels
wanking into bagels
ripping off Starbucks
hidden Mickeys
Fifty Shades of Grey-based pranks
cat scat chat.

Plus: Olly favours almond milk over animal milk (maybe the question about cheesy handjobs put him off); size matters to Helen, when it comes to shelving second-hand books; and Martin the Sound Man is never going to be a serial TV quiz contestant

Today’s Bonus Bit of Crap on the App (available for your iDevices, Android and Windows gadgets) is stuffed full of praise for the bountiful foods of Manchester. If you like the sound of the Answer Me This! Christmas – and even Scrooge can get behind it – then you can buy it and episodes 1-170 as an early prezzie for yourself at You’re funding the future of AMT with your purchases, so Thank You from the future!

You can also support the future of AMT by supplying us with your QUESTIONS: call the Question Line on 0208 123 5877 or Skype ID answermethis, or email Also, be our virtual friend at or

We’ll be back with AMT304 on 11th December 2014; stay out of trouble in the meantime,

Helen & Olly

••• AMT303 Child-Friendly Rating: 30%. Sweary from the off. Obscene question about cheese ten minutes in, followed by a Fifty Shades of Grey-based prank, then the possibly non-consensual and definitely unprotected sex in Phantom of the Opera. Overall, not an episode to listen to on the school run. •••

* And here is Helen sporting one of your traditional Thanksgiving hats:

NM ABQ chicken hat


checkout make-out

November 27, 2014



Seems Zora in Los Angeles failed to notice an invitation to become the third in a couple’s relationship. She writes:

I work in a grocery store and I was cashiering one day. A couple came through my line and spent the entire 300 dollar transaction kissing loudly, grinding and looking lovingly into each other’s eyes. At one point he opened a bag of coconut chips and fed one to her and said, “Wrap those luscious lips around that.”

I stood, bagging their groceries and attempting to ignore all of it, but obviously, that didn’t work super well. They kept looking over at me, and trying to engage me in conversation, but then they’d continue kissing a lot.

So, what should I have done in this situation, that would have made things more comfortable but allowed me to be cool cashier lady and keep my job?

You should have acquiesced to their attempt to converse with you – it’s much more difficult for people to tongue each other, or feel sexy at all, during discourse about whether they need their parking ticket verified or if they want to take up today’s two for one offer on dishwasher tablets.