Answer me this: what the hell is Answer Me This?

AMT Guardian Nov14

Answer Me This! is a monthly comedy podcast in which Helen Zaltzman and Olly Mann answer questions submitted by their listeners, with the assistance of Martin the Sound Man.

Initially recorded in a living room in the London suburb of Crystal Palace (and now recorded remotely, wherever the team happen to be worldwide), Answer Me This! has been a certifiable hit since its debut in January 2007, having three times been nominated for Best Internet Programme at the UK Radio Academy Awards, winning a Gold in 2011 and Silver in 2010; it has also won a British Public Radio Award and a European Podcasting Award. The show has been named ‘Critic’s Choice’ in The Times, Time Out, The Guardian, Q Magazine, Radio Times, The Observer, Metro and The Independent, and is an annual fixture in Apple’s Podcasts of the Year.

Occasionally Helen and Olly welcome special guests on to the show, and over the years have played host to Jon Ronson, Jackie Mason, Ian Collins, Pappy’s, Josie Long, Andy Zaltzman and Isy Suttie. The 300th episode of the show was an all-star spectacular, including contributions from Adam Buxton, Tony Blackburn and Sarah Millican.

The show has been spun-off into five chart-topping comedy albums, which feature exclusive material never featured on the podcast; and a book, published by Faber and Faber.

Helen and Olly can also be heard on other podcasts. Helen hosts The Allusionist, part of Radiotopia. Olly presents magazine show The Modern Mann, current affairs series The Week Unwrapped, and media discussion programme The Media Podcast. Together, they presented a two-part series about podcasting for BBC Radio 4, and numerous specials for BBC 5 Live.

To find out more about the show, read the AMT! FAQ, or, better yet, listen.


36 Responses to “Answer me this: what the hell is Answer Me This?”

  1. mutantsentry Says:

    While there isn’t a cannon of established Halloween carols (probably because none of the traditional celebrations either involved anything like caroling or a mass with special music) there are a wide list of songs appropriate for spooky season, including some written specifically for Halloween.

    Here is a link to a YouTube playlist I threw together quickly as an example.

  2. lori Says:

    I want to no if you owe child support do you get a stimulant check if not does the other part it’s owed to receive it and if not why not?

  3. michaeleric76 Says:

    Helen and Olly. I drive for Uber here in Seattle. Recently I discovered your podcast (also – The “Allusionist”), which has saved me from hours of boredom. I even listen to you at the gym, hoping you won’t say something too funny while I’m trying to crank out my 10th rep on the bench press. As an Uber driver, I try not to play anything too controversial, usually public radio news or lite jazz. How should I handle it if, as often happens, the subject of your podcast suddenly turns from red velvet cake to small man parts or nude sunbathers? Thus far, my method is to express sudden shock! forgeting how “racy” the show could be and making a move to change the station. To date, all of the passengers in my car have instructed me to leave the podcast on! Is this the best method? Regards, Michael Ferguson in Seattle, where I am devoted to broadening your American fan base.

    PS- Do you ever go out on tour? Have you heard about our great city?

  4. Abeeha asif khan Says:

    Improper subset of A={ } …plz answer me

  5. As if I'm telling you that. Says:

    Earlier today I listened to the recent episode in which Olly states that he’s unfamiliar with the song Afternoon Delight. I was later attempting to enjoy some special alone time. Eight minutes into my choice of film that very song came on, as a result all I could think of after that was Olly Mann which was off putting to say the least.

    Therefore my question is:

    Why do adult films often start with music then turn it off? I rather enjoy background music as opposed to grunting.

    Here’s the link for your research purposes.


    Mr P


  6. Stephen Says:

    Celebrity who played a costumed character at Disneyland.

    There’s one…
    Scott Aukerman of Comedy Bang-Bang and Between Two Ferns fame.

    Sorry if this is the hundredth link to this you’ve gotten.


  7. Tom Says:

    I’m sorry that this is a message you didn’t expect to receive.. I’m a freelance audio producer from China and I came across your podcast on iTunes today. Do you need someone to produce your show for you so that you could free up your time and focus on creating great content? What I do is take your raw recording, edit out parts that you don’t want, mix in your intro, outro, music, etc., normalize volume level and add ID3 tag. My rate is 5 US dollars per episode and your first one is free 🙂

    At the moment I have one client – Paul Kirch at the BOSS Academy Radio.

    Thank you for your consideration and I hope you have a wonderful day!

    P.S. Recording tip: pointing the microphone directly at your face causes the most plosives as the puffs of air some letters make will go straight from your mouth. Pivot the mic around your mouth so you are talking past it instead of into it 🙂

  8. Ronney Clement Says:

    Helen & Olly, answer me this:
    Why are some American bands bigger in the U.K. than in the States? Also, could a band named “ColonBlow” ever have a chance in the U.K.?

  9. redlolly Says:

    I like to listen to your podcasts – but – please stop singing or trying to!!!!!!

  10. Lynette Says:

    Hey there! I’ve been reading your website for a while now and finally got the bravery to go ahead and give you a shout out from Dallas Tx! Just wanted to say keep up the excellent job!

  11. Lisa Doyle Says:

    Helen and Olly, answer me this:

    How can I buy your book if I live in the United States?

    • Stephen Says:

      Do what I did. Fly to London, buy the last copy at WHSmith Heathrow then enjoy sideways glance when you tell customs you bought a book about a podcast.
      I saw the Inbetweeners Movie while in the UK too. Funniest movie of 2011. So dumb it wasn’t released in America. I think it would be a hit.
      Or log on to, that worked a few years back when I bought the Ali G book.

  12. Becca Says:

    Helen and Olly, answer me this plx
    I have only been listening to your podcast for a few months but have listened to loaddsss already, and I am pretty sure I MUST be the only listener from Newcastle, or even the North East? I am sure there has been only a few questions from my area of Britain compared to the south; favoritism perhaps?

    • Rob Says:

      Nope – you’re not the only listener in the North East – I’m in Seaton Sluice just north of Whitley Bay.

      • Gillian Says:

        I’m from Newcastle too and have been listening for about 18 months so I think there are more of us northerners tuning in that you think!

    • sarah Says:

      sorry me and my partner and our cat litens to its a thing before bed taken overlisten to ricky gervais podcsts love it!!

    • Graham F Says:


      Nope, I’m from Newcastle and have listened to AMT podcast for years!!

      Never asked a question, but if you think that there is a North/South divide, then we should all ask a question!


  13. Ian Henley Says:


    Mega contgratulations on your engagement to Martin TheSoundMan but Answer Me This….After your marriage will you be
    a) Still Miss Helen Zoltzman
    b) Ms Helen Zoltzman or
    c) Mrs Helen TheSoundMan.

    Please justify your answer.

  14. Wayne Shaw from St.Catharines Ontario Canada Says:

    Helen, Olly, answer me this:
    if tin whistles are made out of tin…
    What are Fog Horns made out of?
    Why do we drive on Parkways and Park on driveways?
    Why is it called a “Hot Water Heater” when you don’t need to heat hot water?
    If your vehicle is traveling at the speed of light and you switch on the head lights, will they illuminate anything?

    Helen, Olly, Martin, all 3 of you should come to Niagara Falls Ontario in July or August and do a location pod cast right from the Falls. answering related questions and so fourth.

  15. Jonad724 Says:

    The reason there’s a Royal Air Force, a Royal Navy but not a Royal Army is because Cromwell formed the new model army and since he was a bit of a republican (not half as much as me though) didn’t want the term Royal as part of its name. Since Charles II was allowed onto the throne and his forbear had his head cut off the term Royal was dropped from the army as their allegiance was at one point extremely questionable.

    A bit of an abridged version but you can always ask Helen and Olly for a better version.

  16. Jumblerant Says:

    Have a good fast – and if that ‘ain’t your thing’ have a middling to good Sunday evening and Monday morning.

  17. josh for Huddersfield Says:

    He’s a SOUND man.
    Not a sand man.

    and I disagree with your view on Christmases as well.

    :. (

    (and the way you spelt it!)

  18. chrismas is crap Says:

    Yo homies.
    What’s going down super fly guy

    If i heard you two down the booza i’d think what a right pair of boring pretentious graduates, both require a puch to the head, but why cannot i not get enough of you on my eyepod?? LOVE IT.

    At first i though martin the sand man was like a subconscious commentry on your thoughts and ideas but now he’s having too much input so it spoils it for me – keep to the subconscious utterings, sand man.

    answers me this you: why does the four on a clock face say IIII when the roman numerals for four is IV. Its dun me sweed in for 40 year.

    answer me this: why do you get the royal navy, the royal airforce and yet not the royal army.

    answer me this: why are teenagers so grumpy? Is it cos they have just realised that they will all eventually end up middle aged boring old farts just like us middle aged boring old farts.

    • Joe Wheeler Says:

      Wow you ARE middle-aged…

    • Floone Says:

      The roman IIII is because clock makers liked the symmetry of having the first four numbers containing a I, the next four numbers containing a V and the last four numbers containing a X.

      Not that you will be reading this answer given you posted your question three years ago…

  19. GFT Says:

    Q gave them 4 stars as well.

  20. GFT Says:


  21. datadog Says:

    Steve, humans have NOT stopped evolving, we just cannot tell in which direction are evolving. I think (and I am no judge) that humans seem to be getting taller (eg: most children are taller than their parents), but probably in most of the western world, obesity will rise, and the human race in general with truely become the “push botton” species of the world

    • Joe Wheeler Says:

      Actually people getting taller is an environmental thing not genetic. We’ve just got better living conditions. Evolution would take much longer and chances are the human race will have blown itself up by then

  22. Barie Says:

    Hi Guys,

    Well i stumbled upon your podcast and thought i would have a listen. Something to do while driving my truck at night, at first I thought “what the fuck am I listening too”, now I am hooked and working through the lot.
    So my question is: why is fart humour so funny ?

    all the best Barrie

  23. steve Says:

    my question is why and when did humans stop evoloving?

  24. steve Says:

    hey if you need im a electricain in the uk maybe i can help im loving the show guys itssssssssssssssss great as the annoying tiger would say

    steve in the uk

  25. Rachele Says:

    Olly, Helen, answer me this:
    Spare any change?
    (I need 12 grand for my bridge in Albania…goes well with the chugger question!)
    (yes this is a shameless plea for a plug 🙂 )

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