495 questions answered in 2008!

aired 18th December 2008

Andy from Essex: who invented tinsel?

Mick: why are there only twelve days of Christmas?

Rob from south-west London: Jesus’s birthday is celebrated on both Christmas and New Year; how did this contradiction arise and why hasn’t it been resolved?

Warwick from Enniskillen: what did Jesus do with the presents that the three wise men gave him? Did he just dump them up in the attic with all his other crap presents or did he go out and trade them to Game for an Xbox or something?

Phil from Treorchy: the whole idea of Father Christmas is out of date. Years ago it was probably easy to palm kids off with tales of how the elves make all the toys (when it was all wooden train sets, etc), but my eldest is 6 and she is fully aware that you get toys from Argos and other toy shops (kids’ channels only ever show adverts for toys & loan companies). She seems to be rapidly cottoning on to the fact that is us who buy her the electrical goods she asks for and not some jolly fat bloke with a beard who’s probably never even heard of High School Musical 3, let alone been granted permission from Disney to let his army of small people make official merchandise for it.
Also, she asks how he’s going to get in and out of our property, seeing as we don’t have a chimney and we lock all the doors and windows at night. The answer “It’s magic” is such a cop-out and she’ll see through us and tell her sisters if we’re not careful.
So please, Helen and Olly, answer me this – do you think we are in need of an updating of the story, or a need a modern day version? Nothing too far off the original story, but something the kids can believe in that relates to modern living.

George from Aberdeenshire: what do the Royal Mail do with all the letters kids post to Santa Claus?

Gareth: why do we eat Turkey at Christmas? Similarly, why do we eat Christmas pudding and mince pies at Christmas?

Ned from Bath: how do they get the turkey inside the goose and the partridge inside the turkey or whatever order the strange Christmas meal is?

Andrew from Northamptonshire: why is Boxing Day called Boxing Day?

Wade: after recently watching a Flintstones Christmas episode, I was left thinking as the credits ran… If the Flinstones are set B.C, then why are there Christmas episodes anyway? Not only that, I’m sure there is also a Thanksgiving episode, but B.C there was no America…

Ryano from Epsom: what would your perfect Christmas gift be?

Holly: who made up the ridiculous tradition of Secret Santa, and what would be the best gift to get if you draw the name of someone you hate?

aired 11th December 2008

Chelsea from Wisconsin: Helen, do you have a cat? Because I thought I heard meowing on an early podcast.

Chris from Ormskirk: Olly, because you used to live in boarding schools, do you now pay high-class prostitutes to punish you?

Stephen: what is the point of a tie ( i.e a neck tie)? I admit that they make people feel and look more smart, but WHY? What is their function?

Matthew: you have a pair of eyes, so you have a pair of glasses. You have a pair of hands, so you have a pair of gloves. You have a pair of legs, so you have a pair of trousers and so on. But you have a pair of breasts but you only have a bra, not a pair of bras. Why is this?

Jamie from Stanmore: why is it that children like to listen to or watch the same thing over and over again?

Alex from Norwich: I am a teenager and as a young person I was wondering why everyone blames young people for ABSOLUTELY EVERYTHING!! Seriously, it doesn’t make any sense! We can’t all be 20 stone, computer and tv junkies AND ALSO be running around in gangs, stabbing people!

Daniel from Gosport: One of my teachers told us that he had taken Viagra. We were freaked out. What is the most embarrassing thing one of your teachers ever said to you when you were in school?

Luke from Stockport: where does the saying “Pissed As A Newt” come from?

Lo: I’ve been thinking of taking the drivers’ test and wondered what the difference is between a toucan, zebra and pelican crossing and why have the powers that be insisted on naming all these crossings after animals?

Tom from the Isle of Wight: what would happen if you did a dump off the top of the Eiffel Tower? Would it break up on the way down? Would it kill a Frenchman? What if it was diarrhoea? Can Martin the Sound Man try it for us?

Paul: how bad is it to go to the cinema alone? I work unusual hours and so I’m normally at home while friends and family are at work, so I’ve started going to the cinema alone in the afternoon. I’ve been doing this once a week for about a year and I still feel vaguely uncomfortable every time I go. Am I a hopeless case?

James from Dorset but working in Warwickshire designing Landrovers: I like to play online computer games. I play around 3-4 hours a night in the week and a couple of hours on a Saturday and Sunday (as I work away from home in the week and want to spend time with my girlfriend at the weekend – if I were single i’d probably play all weekend – instead I get dragged around the shops and to the outlaws etc. and try not to look bored).
My girlfriend doesn’t like me playing those games, although she never actually implicitly says that, it’s implied in the things she says and I think the biggest issues are the amount of time I spend doing it, also that I interact with other people, some of them girls (although I’m not going to jack my relationship in for a disembodied voice from World of Warcraft). However my girlfriend watches TV in the evening from when she gets home from work until she goes to bed and then practically all weekend (except for shopping or visiting the outlaws, obviously).
I recently have stopped watching TV completely as I find the current crop of TV to make me want to dig out my eyeballs rather than watch them, also TV adverts annoy me greatly.
It’s my opinion that watching TV and playing computer games are similar activities and we spend a similar amount of time doing it.
So answer me this: should I reduce the amount of time I play games? Or should my girlfriend quit judging me?

Georgina from Surrey: why will guys happily watch girls get off with girls, yet when it comes to guys getting off with guys women view it as just wrong? Not that I enjoy it myself!

aired 4th December 2008

Mr X from Somewhere: I just turned up to work – at the shop where I’m the only employee – about 2 hours late so the shop’s been shut. Do you reckon I can get away with it?

Ollie from Great Bentley: can you recommend a method/merchant that can remove arse hair? I’m pretty sure my cheap Babyliss device is not up to such a task.

Josh from the Isle of Wight: what is your earliest memory? Everyone I have asked have said it is something that upset them or made them happy. My was when I split my head open when I was 3 and my friend Tom’s was when he shit his pants!!!!

Chris from the Wirral: my question was inspired by my two children. My youngest son, who has just turned one, has taken his first unaided steps, and my two-year-old daughter completed her first unassisted trip to the toilet. Both events I’m sure you and other listeners would agree are proud moments as a parent. My question is, when was the last time you did something for the first time?

Philip from London: I’ve just seen an Evening Standard headline which is ‘City banker “kills wife”’. The inverted commas make ‘kills wife’ seem sarcastic, so why would the headline be something that emphatically didn’t happen?

Andy from Essex: who invented chess and why?

Ffion: where and when did the saying “feeling blue” crop up?

Lorna from London: I’m writing my English coursework essay. How can I write another 200 words so I can go out?

Lola from Leamington Spa: what is the origin of ‘diaper’ as the transatlantic word for ‘nappy’?

Kim: if you could invent anything in the world that doesn’t exist yet, what would it be and why?

aired 27th November 2008

Busby: I’m pregnant – woo hoo!! Jolly exciting! Friends keep referring to me as ‘up the duff’ and now I want to know where the phrase comes from. Can you help?

Beth from West Sussex/Staffordshire Uni: when on my walk back to my halls at uni having been to a booooring lecture
I walked past a phone box
and the phone started ringing.
Though intrigued, i left it and carried on my way. Should i have answered it!?! Who could it have been that rings random phone boxes!?! If it happens again should i just pick it up!?!

Anon: Why is it that whenever I travel on the bus I inexplicably get an erection?

Vanessa from Luxembourg: what is your favourite party trick?

Lexie from Chesham: are humans the only animals that laugh?

Brad from Warrington: jesters, what is the point?

Tim from Brighton: Why have I become obsessed with compost?
I’ll explain. After moving in to a shared student house in October, we clubbed together to buy a compost bin. Despite having little interest in it before I have become somewhat obsessed with researching, filling and poking the rotting matter. The other day I came very close to purchasing £12 worth of worms on ebay before my girlfriend intervened. Sooooo answer me this: how can i stop the compost obsession, and, have either of you ever become obsessed with some sort of menial task and turned it in to a perverse hobby?

Andy from Essex: if you could rewrite any book in the whole WORLD, what would it be and what would you change about it?

Fran from Suffolk: what is the point of fun runs?

James, Royal Holloway University: about a week ago me and my new university flatmates wanted pizza (as most students do at some point). By some sort of strange selection process I was chosen to order the pizza over the phone from Domino’s. However, when the man answered the phone I told him that I’d like to order a pizza, as I didn’t want to launch straight into a mildly complicated order when all the pizza man had done was say “hello” (he didn’t even say it was the pizza place!). Turns out my comment was a big mistake as every single one of my friends began to crack up and laughed at me as if I was some sort of crazy person. I became quite embarrassed. So, answer me this, when the fast food guy answers the phone what should I say as a greeting? Should I just launch into my order even though I can tell the guys not ready to take it down? SHould there be some sort of etiquette for this sort of thing?

Ron from Nelson, Canada: what is the difference between a panini and a grilled cheese sandwich? They both seem the same to me, only one has fancier name.

Geoff: how come when I googled myself, I found the only other person with the same name photographs naked women for a living and yet I am a Facilities Manager?

aired 20th November 2008

Acatia: what does James Bond’s licence to kill look like? I mean, is it like a passport, or just a little card like a driving licence? And, who checks that you have the appropriate licence to kill, and not just one to torture?

Doug in Jersey: when I am away in a foreign country (like Australia) and I say I am from Jersey do people straight away say “America?” I would like to think my accent is nothing like that of an American and also that Jersey is more original than New Jersey. It makes me wonder if there’s a little island called Zealand just as annoyed.

Eleanor, Frankie and Rachel from St Albans: why does the Falklands flag have a sheep on top of a ship on it?

Sarah from Gaytown: Girl #1: Me
Girl#2: We’ll just call her camel toe
Boy: My ex
I despise the drama of high school relationships. They seem to be irrelevant and a waste of good time and energy.
But, I got myself into one because this boy didn’t make “your mom” a repetitive come back, which was nice.
I quite liked this one, and unlike others, I didn’t get tired of him in the first week.
We dated for two months and then we broke up because when he stared into my eyes, he didn’t see me.
He saw another girl for which he had much more love in his heart.
I wasn’t jealous of that, I’m not a jealous person.
I broke up with him so that he could go out and get her; he deserves that, doesn’t he?
Camel Toe, his best friend, tore me to bits when she found out I broke up with him.
She didn’t stop to ask why I’d done so, but just had a go at me for being “selfish”
Camel Toe didn’t realise that the boy is madly and desperately in love with her.
This was one month ago.
Keep in mind she is also my friend and I care very much about her, and would love to see both of them happy.
But also keep in mind I cared about Boy a lot and it really hurt that I wasn’t the girl filling his mind with sugar plum smiles.
She came bursting into my car recently and said “We made out”
I was pretty excited for her, and said “Well done!…who’s we?”
“Me and Boy!! It just happened and it was amazing. Sparks flew and my stomach jumped”
and at this point, I was sad, but at the same time so happy that he was getting what he wanted and probably needed.
BUT, [this is where the question comes in] Camel Toe took it a little too far and said “You know when you said he was the sweetest first kiss you’ve ever had?”
and I was all “Yeah”
“Well he is! Oh my gawd, it was so perfect. You were so right! I can’t believe you broke up with him! Aww, now we’ve shared a boy, that’s so cool!”
So, answer me this please?
Do I:
A: Have full permission to give her a swift kick in the ribs for being so utterly insensitive and stupid
B: Forgive her for being ignorant and smile like I’m fine
C: Tell her what she’s done and thus scare her into never talking to me about anything again
Please help me?

Terry (‘Red Dog’), South Africa: I asked a British mate if there is any game the British invented that they can still win and he said “Yes, darts.” I was embarrassed for him; that was the best he could come up with. Did the British invent the game of darts?

Tibi from London: I do CCF at school and we had to shine our army boots for Remembrance Sunday. Why do they get us to do that? I think it looks stupid.

Ryan from Kettering: the first guy that ever milked a cow, what the fuck was he playing at?

Amy from Edinburgh: why do hobbits sound like they’re from the west country???

Amy from Essex, sometimes London, recently Spain: what the HELL is the point of a bidet?

David: if you could trade places with a celebrity for a day, who would you choose and why?
Name three things you wanted as a child but never got.
What is the most expensive article of clothing you’ve ever purchased?

aired 13th November 2008

Ely from Stanmore: my name is Ely and I’m 12 years old and live in Stanmore. I love your show and listen in the car with my dad aged 44. He introduced me to your show and I am wondering if this is responsible parenting. To me this seems wrong; so Helen and Olly answer me this: is this wrong?

Helena from Huddersfield: is there anything more depressing than writing my shitty GCSE French coursework about the shitty holiday I took in a shitty tent in Whitby (with my shitty family)?

Lisbeth from Aberdeenshire: when i was staying in Malaysia over the summer, I had my favourite fleece with me. Not because i needed it for when i was there, but for the journey. One day, we came back to the hotel room and my jumper was gone. So, answer me this: why did the hotel staff in Malaysia choose to steal my thick, Scottish fleece? Surely they wouldn’t exactly need it…

Hannah from Dorking: why did my EX-boyfriend think that ‘well, we were never going to get married, were we?’ was a valid excuse for sleeping with another girl, whilst we were camping together? Why couldnt he just say he was immature, and couldn’t cope with me going off to uni – would that have been so hard?!?!?! Sorry for the rant, but it has made me feel SO much better 🙂

Alex: why is a honeymoon called a ‘honeymoon’, when the post-matrimony holiday has little to do with honey, or the moon?

Emily from Essex: why is a toast called a toast? Like the type you drink to at weddings and whatnot.

Mike from Belfast: what would you like your last words to be? I think it’s important to get it down well in advance of the actual death.

Elliot from Redcar: is 14 too young to appreciate the wonder of Terry Wogan? I like him.

Tom: A dear friend of mine recently contracted chlamydia, so answer me this: what are the origins of the phrase ‘the gift that keeps on giving’? Could it be an old advertising tag-line or something moderately more exciting and edifying?

Maurice: where did the term ‘Fit’ come from i.e. ‘She/He is WELL fit!’

Andy from Essex: what is the best (and worse, I suppose) Disney film of all time?

Clark from Coleraine: as the government have decided that Primary School kids are to be taught about the Birds and the Bees, answer me this: how do Bees do it?

Darren: what is sausage made from?
My bedroom paint is called “Easter Morning”, what colour is that?
Who does want to be a millionaire?
Is there a fun activity that if you don’t stop really makes you go blind?

aired 6th November 2008

Mae-Li from London: Is it possible to get a tan from standing in front of an interactive whiteboard? I ask this as I was in maths today when I noticed that my teacher looked more tanned than I remembered from previous lessons. Could the constant light from the interactive whiteboard shining on her day after day have anything to do with this?

Will: It’s 3am. I just got home from a night out and had a craving for smoked mackerel. Fortunately I had some smoked mackerel in the fridge ready to be eaten. But I got thinking: what about those who don’t – in fact, what about those who’ve never even tasted smoked mackerel? When they have a craving for smoked mackerel, they don’t even know that there is a type of fish out there that, when smoked, would sate their desire! Oh to think what they are lacking!

James from Gloucestershire: I’m 17 and I have a 43-year-old neighbour who wants to sleep with me. She’s quite fit and I would quite happily dick her but she’s my mum’s friend and has a scary husband. Am I right to be cautious? Should I just man up and do the job?
Also, do pink socks exist? Not clothing obviously but the myth that if you bum some one and then wack their head it makes their anal muscles tighten so much that if you whip your dick out it turns their bum inside out? I hope it’s not true because it’s fucking grim.

Jules from Sidcup: why do you get bubblegum-flavoured things when bubblegum itself is just a vehicle for other flavours?

Eleanor from St Albans: what is with the Mona Lisa? Why does everyone think it’s so good? I’m in the Louvre looking at it now, and I don’t get it…

Lew: when the navy performs a burial at sea, do they weight the coffin so you sink to the bottom, or they they just leave you bobbing around on the surface?

Andy from Essex: why is there a London borough called Elephant and Castle? Where did it get its name from?

Elliot from the seaside town of Redcar: what is the use of a hooked hand for a pirate, really? Wouldn’t it just get in the way? Wouldn’t a series of attachments be easier? I suggest a telescope, a sword, a fishing rod, a selection of cutlery and crocodile repellent spray.

Chris from New Zealand: on my iPod I have lots of random songs from movies so please answer me this: what do I do if one my friends asks to see my iPod and I don’t want them to see my random songs?

Katie: why is it that when I am ‘working from home’, I get an overwhelming urge to do my laundry, polish my shoes, clean the windows with paper and vinegar, etc, etc? If I had the day off work, I would never normally want to do any of these things. Why don’t I get the urge to do fun things when I am ‘shirking’ from home?

aired 30th October 2008

Phil from Belfast/Prague: why, when I find myself singing the AMT theme tune, do I find myself singing ‘Kevin and Olly, Answer Me This!’? Who the hell is Kevin?

Mark: is it wrong that over the Answer Me This! theme tune I can’t help but sing “Helen and Ollie, fondle my tits”?
I’m a 25 year-old man from Birmingham.

Dan from Kent: Helen answer me this…
Can you please show some more cleavage when you next appear on Sky News?
I think this would increase viewer numbers and add some ‘sexy time’ to an otherwise sedate programme.

David from Manchester: why isn’t Olly gay? In his atypical hetrocentric manner, he has ‘outed’ himself as straight a number of times probably without realising. But, he’d make a great gay man. He’s hot, has curly hair, flirts reasonably effectively with Martin the sound man and provided an excellent analysis of gay ghosts once. Plus, he’d get to date me. And that’s quite a pull towards homosexuality. I’m good.

Mark from Sunderland: is it wrong to create a fake Facebook account in order to trick a friend into thinking someone likes them? I think it would be quite entertaining for me.

Laura from London: who decided husky voices are sexy? Whenever I’ve got one, it’s because I’m full of flu and I don’t feel sexy at all.

Warwick from Enniskillen: here’s a joke: how many Protestants does it take to change a light bulb? Two. How many catholics does it take to change a light bulb? Two because I like everyone the same, please don’t beat me up. Speaking of the Northern Irish troubles, how do you feel they could be solved?.

Spoonhead from Lincoln: if I make bubble wrap with helium, will it make my parcels lighter?

Daniel from Preston: why are ladybirds called ‘lady’birds? Can they not be both sexes? Therefore it follows that half of them should be called ‘Man’Birds, or would this just lead to more confusion as this is a direct contradiction!

Carlos from St Louis, Missouri: St Louis is the only town in the United States with a giant croquet hoop in the backyard. What more imaginative name would you bestow upon the Arch?

Sarah: I am 25, and have never had much self-confidence. When I went to university all the people on my course were cool and with it people, particularly the girls. You know the types, blonde hair, trendy clothes, friends with everyone, love cheesy pop music. I always felt like a misfit as I didn’t enjoy any of these things, and so I lived a secluded life, never went out etc. After I finished uni I lived a few more reclusive years, and then discovered heavy metal and realised that not everyone was like these powder-puffed fairy girls and that it was ok to be yourself. As a result, I’ve discovered tattoos, piercings, and the kind of fashion that makes my mum and fiance go ‘you’re NOT going out looking like that!’ (but I do anyway!). However, someone recently told me that I dress like an ‘Emo’. After heading to wikipedia to find out what the crap an ‘Emo’ was I became worried. These guys are angst-ridden teens! Is my mental age 10 years below my physical age? And so I come to the question that stems from this long and rambling story…Answer me this…am I too old for this shit, or am I going through an early midlife crisis, or should I just ignore the rest of the world, stop worrying, have another pint and do what the fuck I want?

Carrie in San Diego: When I go to the horse races, I pick the horse I want to bet on by picking the one with the funniest name. I told my boyfriend that if I had a racehorse I would name him “Stupid Sexy Flanders”. My boyfriend says he would name his racehorse something offensive so that people WOULDN’T bet on it, thereby increasing the odds. I recommended “Osama Hitler”. So, answer me this: If you owned a racehorse, what would you name it and why?

aired 23rd October 2008

Paul from Eastbourne: do courts of law still make people swear on the Bible? If so, what happens if you’re an atheist? Can you just lie indiscriminately?

Rebecca from London: why is it your friends always think they have the right to match you up with someone?

Maurice: now that the fad of those ‘Magic Eye’ pictures has died down, can we all admit that it was some sort of cunning hoax to laugh at the pathetic docile masses (including me) who will believe ANYTHING that is told to them, possibly created by Chris Morris?

Andy from Essex: what is the difference between a sauna and a steam room?

Hannah from Dorking: would you rather have a third eye on your forehead or a tiny pair of legs on your chin?

Nicole from Santa Barbara: what is the difference between disoriented and disorientated? Which came first (is the American “disoriented” just a shorter version of the British “disorientated”), and why was it changed? Why do Americans say it one way and the British say it the other? Which is a bastardization of the other (as my husband puts it)?

Helvetia: if reincarnation is predestined, what would you come back as?

Alex from Northampton: when’s my pizza going to arrive?

Tom from Luxembourg: when I was 4 I first liked a girl in my class – her name was Vanessa. Now I fancy a girl in my new class and her name is also Vanessa. The problem is my mum is called Vanessa. Is is normal that I only fancy girls that have the same name as my mum?

Cairn from London: When I was around 13 my mum had recently discovered the internet and made friends with an American woman because they had the same name. After some time chatting they had become familiar enough for my mum to offer to put her up while she visited England. When she did she brought with her a big bag of American sweets (I assume to make up for taking over my room). This made a fantastic first impression on me and my younger brother.
Now I am older, and the situation is reversed, with a friend of mine on the internet offing to put me up during a trip to California at the end of October.
So answer me this, if you will; What English things could I bring with me to make a similarly amazing first impression on my friend and her roommates?

aired 9th October 2008

Spoonhead from Lincoln: my wife and I had to make a large decision recently whether to get a spaniel or have a baby. The baby won through in the end and some months later out she was pulled kicking, screaming and bloody. So answer me this, how soon should I start training her to act as a gun dog, is six months to soon?

Karina from New Zealand: if you were invited to a ‘P’ themed party, what would you go as?

Stephen from Tamworth: where did terms such as Bobbies, Rozzers, The Fuzz and Pigs come from to refer to the police?

Tom and Ollie from the Isle of Wight: is it possible for dolphins and whales to have a big orgy?
Why are fire assembly points are on the wall? Won’t they get burnt down?
We have someone here who has English parents, was born in Germany but only lived there six months; is he German?
Why do hookers wear short skirts when they’re only going to take them off anyway?

Bread: why is it that every time you order something in a restaurant, you always would have preferred everyone else’s food? And in a similar vein, do you also find it annoying when you cook something, and the person for whom you have cooked asks for pepper/salt/catsup/etc WITHOUT EVEN TRYING IT FIRST!!!!

Ted from California: I’ve been meditating recently and contemplating belly button lint. Is it really made of lint?

Rachel from Crystal Palace: I was reading about proteins and this came to my mind: ‘I before E except after C unless pronounced “A” as in “Neighbour” and “Weigh”.’ The word protein has no Cs, and is pronounced the normal “E” way. Have I discovered the biggest flaw in history

Mike from Belfast: recently, I really had to piss, but the bathroom was occupied, so I went into a 330ml Coke bottle. The bottle contracted; why?

Liz: who invented marshmallows and why?

Natasha from Cambridge: why do I only read Cosmo for the bits where they talk about sex?

Mark from Essex: what is this song, and what film is it from?

aired 1st October 2008

Brad and Josh from Huddersfield: if a turtle loses its shell, is it naked or just homeless?
We told our friends we were entering this competition. He asked if you accept dual entries. I asked him if his mum accepted dual entries. Why did he punch me?

Roger from Cambridge: I’m currently writing a list of things to do before I’m 22 (I’m 21 now). What one thing would you each advise me to put on it?

James from Moline, Illinois: do you think the Queen spits or swallows?

George from Boston: why do all the calls sound like this? And do I sound like that?

Mike from Belfast: have either of you had a serious addiction, and how, if so, did you kick it?

Emily from Essex: Why do we get stitches? As in the pain down your side after exercise. I got one when walking the other day and felt very unfit.

Will: Why do we turn red when we’re embarrassed?

Andy from Wolverhampton: what is the difference between a fishstick and a fishfinger?

Amelia from London: garden gnomes: why?

George in Aberdeenshire: what were your first words?

aired 28th August 2008

Jack from Stoke: I am feeling guilty. I am a killer. A rabbit killer. I was in my garden, bored, and I thought of trying to make my sister’s rabbits go into a cage like a sheepdog would do with a cane. I did this; however when trying to beat my time i managed to scare it out of the garden. I then was met with sounds of barking dogs and rustling of trees and an owner calling his dog. To my relief, out came one of the rabbits; I waited for the other but it didn’t come. I just went inside and forgot about it. After being out I came home to find my sister crying that her rabbit had been muzzled and broken to death by this dog. I haven’t said it was me. I CAN’T. So answer me this please: what do I do in this situation? Do I say I had nothing to do with it and then tell her when she’s 20 and probs doesn’t give a hump or admit to my mistakes?

Sadge from Leicestershire: I am cooking chicken Kiev. I’m kind of in a rush – what will happen if I put it in the microwave?

Kathryn from Denver: why do they give out bouquets to medal winners during the Olympics?

Lauren from Tunbridge Wells: how do I cope with a best friend who:
– openly boasts about her successes
– spends all the time we are together talking about her other friends (who I don’t like much)
– thinks I’m weird cos I haven’t had a boyfriend and don’t have many friends who are boys
– thinks my liking Queen (the band) is absurd
– recounts to me all her IM conversations and texts?

Stu from Bradford: I’ve met an interesting girl. She’s 29 and I’m 22. Is that gap too big?

Patrick from near Oxford: during a boring school lunch I won a bet to see if I could drink a glass of malt vinegar. What’s the worst thing you’ve ever done for a bet?

Amy from Aberdere: how do I get my friends to stop making fun of the fact that I play bowls because even though I am on the national squad and have finally beat all those stupid sporty anorexic girls? Everyone says it is easy and doesn’t take it seriously.

Liz from Manchester: how do lava lamps work? I just bought a massive one 😀

Andy from Essex: if you’re a single man of an age, you’re called a Bachelor. But, if you’re a single woman of an age, you’re called a Spinster. Why is this? Also, why is being a Spinster is seen as a bad thing but being a Bachelor is seen as a good thing?

Seb from Brighton: why is it that my twin brother has a significantly bigger wanger than I do?

Troy Sexhammer: “There’s an old man sitting next to me/Makin’ love to his tonic and gin…” Answer Me This – how did Billy Joel manage to concentrate on knocking out a ballad with that going on in his peripheral vision?

aired 21st August 2008

Jim from York: what is the origin of “man” in a lot of Jewish names? Is it a little bit like “son of”?

Louie from Oregon: if Helen and Martin the Sound Wizzle Dizzle eventually break up, who will run the podcast? Will we the listeners be subjected to characters like Vinnie the Sound Guy Helen Picked Up in A Bar Last Night?

David: at what age do you stop appreciating your dad’s music and follow your own route?

Matthew from Colchester: I can’t think of any gay ghosts or black ghosts. Is the spirit world homophobic and racist?

Miguel: why is olive oil sold in glass bottles or tins and all the other oils (sunflower, rapeseed, peanut, etc) in plastic bottles?

Damian from South Wales: could you make black pudding out of menstrual blood?

Steven, 14: if people under the reign of Queen Elizabeth were Elizabethan and people under the reign of Queen Victoria were Victorian, what are we? Surely, though we are reigned over by Queen Lizzie II, we cannot be Elizabethan as this would be confusing for the people of the future.

Rich from Fareham: Who is Edward Norton and why do I look like him apparently?

Ned from Bath: I am predominantly writing as a form of thanks as your ever-expanding fan community has expanded through the social networking site of bebo 🙂 (Which is thanks to Ana!) And this has allowed me and her to start chatting and we really get on 🙂 She is truly Amazing!!! Why is Ana so amazing?

Ana from Mansfield: Ned added your Amt bebo, along with a few others.
I gave him my email address and we immediately clicked 🙂
He’s reallllllly amazing.
And no Ollie he’s not the Brad Pitt of Bath, he’s much better looking 🙂
Anyway, he’s reallly cool 🙂
Thank you so much for having such an amazing podcast and connecting people 🙂
Answer me this please 🙂
Why has Ned got such nice hair 🙂
Where is the most dangerous place to have sex?

Jerry from Maryland: I’ve just returned from a trip across the country to San Francisco. I stopped in Los Angeles on the way there, and Chicago on the way back. On ALL FOUR LEGS OF THIS FUCKING FLIGHT, the person in front of me, within five minutes of our taking off, reclined the ENTIRE WAY BACK, within a few inches of my nose. Four different flights, four different jerks in front of me, all the same result.
My question–is it rude to recline your seat so far back the entire flight? (I’m guessing “yes”.) And if so, what can I do about it, short of either knocking them in the back with my knee or whimpering in my seat?

aired 14th August 2008

Graham from Canada: every year I make a magnificent Halloween costume, that everybody loves (my last costume had a 4ft hat made out of cards) but this year I have no ideas; what would make a AWESOME Halloween costume?

Rich from Fareham: why am I so drunk?

Andrew from Calgary: is there any scientific basis for the statement ‘beer before wine fine, wine before beer oh dear’?

Rob from Bedford: I am getting married later this year. I fear that the emotion of the day may get to me and I might start to well up as my fiancée walks down the aisle towards me. (These will be tears of joy, not fear (probably)) How can I avoid breaking down and looking like an idiot?

Will from Croydon: Helen, when are you and Martin going to get married? I need to know so I can sneak into the wedding and eat all that wedding cake you will no doubt make for all your families. If you do not have any plans to marry Martin, I think now is the time to confess and let us all know what a dirty, dirty gold-digger you may or may not be.

Nicole from Surrey: I was just watching the opening ceremony of the Beijing Olympics, and thought you two would be great presenters for London 2012. Can you ask for the job?

Nathalie from London (originally South Africa): having not grown up in this country, I find the British dislike of gingers mystifying. In other countries, red is quite a desirable hair colour, as it’s a bit rare. My British friends couldn’t give me a decent answer; can you?

Katie from Auckland: why do people point to their wrist when asking for the time, but don’t point to their crotch when they ask where the bathroom is?

Amy from Barnsley: when you were 9, what did you want to be when you grew up?

Tom from Colyton: what is the best way to get a tan without increasing the chance of getting skin cancer?

Beth: fuck-buddy relationships are ok, right?

aired 7th August 2008

Richard from Halifax: will you help me find a girl I saw on holiday? I think I fell in love with her and want to talk to her! It was at the Marharba Palace in Tunisia on the weekend before Episode 64, HELP ME! I miss her…

Peter from Atherton: did I call you last month? I got my phone bill the other day, and your phone number is on there, but I don’t remember calling you, so it’s possible I was drunk. Did I sound drunk?

Alanna from Ireland: is Graham from Canada single?

Graham from Canada: why is a grandfather clock called a grandfather clock?
What is the most insightful/deep sounding thing each of you can come up with in 10 seconds or less?
Isn’t it a supreme tactical error to shoot the sheriff but not the deputy?

Tom from Colyton: why do I get so hungry at night? What can I eat that’s not too heavy?

Jack from Norfolk: what did you do in school to pass the time during boring lessons (when you really should have been working hard to try and get good grades, to get good jobs… which explains why you ended up on AMT 😉 )?

Jim from York: at a wedding, why are there miniature versions of the bride and groom on top of the cake?

Edward from Macclesfield: what the fuck is the point of a lamp?

Matthew from Colchester: how soon is too soon to tell my new girlfriend that I love her?

Roger Stout: our daughter, Kate, has just turned two and I am trying to teach her Spanish with some considerable success: she now counts from one to ten and has an additional vocabulary of about a dozen verbs and a few animal names. I speak a smattering of Spanish and, in preparation for our emigration to Florida, am learning more via podcast. Unfortunately my wife, Emma, has about as much affinity for language as a rabid badger (she is from the speak loud and slow school of communication with non English-speakers). My question is this…Is it acceptable to use Spanish as a means of communicating with Kate when my wife is present if I don’t want her to know what we are discussing (e.g. presents for mummy, asking for biscuits or just to wind Emma up)?

Stu from Bradford: do the three of you make a formidable pub quiz team? What’s your favourite round in a pub quiz?

aired 31st July 2008

Oli in East Grinstead: would dressing up as Adam Ant (Prince Charming) be advisable for my 16th birthday and would “antmusic for sex people” make a good tattoo, and if so where should I have it done?

Sheriff from Nigeria: is it possible to tell if a girl is a virgin? Some say it is. What do you think?

John: I am considering moving out of my parents house (I am 22, this seems a very sensible thing to do) and move in with a fellow Answer Me This! listener in Manchester. Do you think this is a wise move? He is a lovely chap. Although he does have a to do calender on his wall which reads Monday to Thursday “Conduct Sexy Business” and Friday is simply marked “rest”. Should I be concerned?

Jonathan: why do genius composers have such boring names for their pieces? Why do they have names such as Uranus and Pi – is it so we can have a laugh? Why don’t they fill the swimming pool with shampoo so you don’t have to have a shower afterwards?

Fred and Kane from Kent: we read that convicts on death row get free health care so…If a guy that was about to die in the electric chair had a heart attack would they save him?

Acatia: I work in The Pier, a sort of exotic furniture and candle shop, and every now and then there’s a song that comes on which clearly goes ‘I want to go to Havana’ with a reply from a female voice saying ‘you know you can’t go to Havana’. So, please answer me. Why won’t she let him go?

Louie from Oregon: as a stereotypically uninformed American, I was shocked to find out that Tony Blair was no longer the President or Prime Minister or Assistant Queen or whatever of Britain. Are you in the UK equally oblivious to American politics?

Rich from Fareham: which is better, a shaven haven or a big hairy bush?

Alanna, 14, Ireland: can orphans legally watch PG movies?

George from Portsmouth: why are boys so needy?

Maurice: when i was young, I thought Billy Bragg and Melvyn Bragg were the same person. So, after hearing ‘Sexuality’ on the radio, and then catching a ‘South Bank Show’ on the tele, I got VERY confused. I’m older and wiser now… What 2 people have YOU thought were the same persons?

aired 24th July 2008

Andy from Essex: where did “how the Dickens” come about?

Hannah from Portsmouth: why do hairdressers always cut WAY MORE off than you want?

Owen: why do we have millions of Irish pubs all over the world but no Scottish pubs? Surely Scottish people are just as famous across the globe for drinking themselves into oblivion!

Matthew From Colchester: how is it I can drive at 100mph whilst talking on my phone without crashing?

Jack from Stoke: what are ‘bingo wings’?

Alison in San Jose: I am a nanny for an (almost) three-year-old boy. He will come up to me multiple times per day and say “I have a question” and proceed to make a comment such as “I have a tank top on.” So answer me this: How do I teach a three year old what exactly a question is? He doesn’t seem to be able to make the distinction between a question and a comment as of yet, and so I get ready to have answers for him when he really just wants to say something.

Sarah from Gaytown: if there happens to be a boy who I am in no way fond of, how do I tell him, politely and without hurting his feelings, to fuck off?

Emily from Glasgow: what is the purpose of a rubber duck?

Sophie: why can’t us girlies put mascara on with our mouth closed?

Dexter from Margate: why the fuck do idiots come into a pharmacy demanding a known brand of the exact same drug, for example Nurofen for ibuprofen when they could buy a cheaper generic brand? Do they not realise they are wasting money even after I point out their spending habits?

Adam from Fulham: I owe my former university £3899.99. On Friday I got a letter from Optima Legal, who I believe are lawyers or possibly bailiffs, or possibly both. The letter came to my grandmother’s house. I have no intention of paying it. How do I stop my grandmother finding out about it?

aired 17th July 2008

Sadge: why is it when you answer the phone, the person on the other line instantly says ‘hello’ or ‘hi or ‘howdy’ etc? And why is it that when you answer the door to someone you don’t say anything, you wait for the person outside to say something?

Lorna: my friend and I have been searching in the park for AGES – why is it that you can’t find any decent poets nowadays?

Charles from Bath: Yesterday i went on an English trip to Dorset, the land of Thomas Hardy and where TS Eliot wrote a poem. Anyway on the way home i had a bit of spare time and didn’t want to talk to anyone so decided to indulge myself in some back episodes of Answer Me This! that i had on my iPod. I listened to seven episodes straight, all very amusing, but afterwards felt very very ill, I had an awful head ache and stomach pains, and so answer me this: Does your podcast have negative any side effects that result from excessive listening?

Rebecca: have you ever liked someone but found out there they were the wrong sex?

Hamish from Edinburgh: do you have any favourite euphemisms?

Eleanor from St Albans: I just finished my GCSEs and I’m sitting in my room shredding two years of mind-numbing boring work. If they’re going to make us sit massive public examinations, why do they teach us stuff that is so useless we can chuck it out after two years?
I just slammed my finger in the shredder, so am feeling particularly annoyed. What can you do to make me feel better?

Nathan from Hornsea: why is it whenever I am out in the street and spot a person in a wheel chair they seemingly always have to have over their knees a tartan blanket? This mainly applies to old people in wheel chairs, but what is this obsession with tartan by the disabled community? Are they all Scottish?

Matthew from Colchester: who would win in a fight between Gary Glitter, Alvin Stardust and David Essex?

Doug who lives in Leicester: why is it so depressing to eat in a McDonalds? They are generally bright and clean, with nice colours and air conditioning.

Christian from Germany: why do some women who have pretty small boobs wear bras? I don’t mean sexy bras because you could say that this kind of underwear at least looks good. I mean ordinary bras.

Numerous Boys from Tunbridge Wells: will Big Brother ever end?

Stu from Bradford: why do all the cable channels have their ad breaks at the same time?

Rob from south-west London: Is my friend right to ridicule me for calling dinner ‘tea’? I noticed Helen referred to her pizza ‘supper’ in Episode 31; which is preferable? What are your opinions on other contentious appellations (e.g sofa/settee, channel box/tv remote, loo/lavvy/toilet, gary/chav/scally etc)?

Mark from Minnesota: I am looking for a wife. I have formulated a few simple rules like:
1. She can not wear larger pants than me.
2. She can not grow a better moustache than me.
3. She should not have more hair on her back than me.
Can you think of any others I should add to my list of requirements?

aired 10th July 2008

Robot Woman: why do I sound like a robot? It’s really getting me down, and is affecting my confidence and social life. Please help!

Celeste from France: I was watching Wimbledon and couldn’t help myself laughing at the grunts and sighs coming from the tennis players. Why do they make these weird sounds?

Graham from Canada: why do rich people keep on working far past the point which they could retire and live comfortably?

Mole: why is all cinema food so annoyingly loud?
I am a big fan of seedless grapes. How do they take the seeds out of these grapes that i love so much?

Phil: why do people shake their heads to say no, but nod them to answer in the affirmative?

Hattie from Brisbane: what temperature is room temperature – aren’t all rooms at room temperature?

Rhianna from Nottinghamshire: What is the best way for women to pee outdoors in the countryside?

Jack from Tunbridge Wells: if you got kicked in the balls every day, would you eventually become immune to the pain?

Luke from Manchester: when my friend walked off from the pub on Friday, one of my mates said that he is throwing a Paddy. I have heard this term being used all my life and still don’t know where it originates from. So Answer Me This, where does the term “Throwing A Paddy” come from?

Stu from Bradford: cider means a drink made from fermented apple juice; so how the hell does pear cider work? Surely it’s a contradiction in terms.

Dan from New Zealand: I’ve been made redundant. What’s the best office equipment to nick before I’m forced out the door?

aired 3rd July 2008

Trae from Tennessee: I have a Cousin named Jordan who lives outside of London and I haven’t seen her in a couple of years. My question is this: does she listen to this podcast?

Emma: will Martin the Sound Man be my friend? He sounds lovely.

Elaina from Ireland: in The Flintstones, they use their “car” to get around, but the “car” is powered by their feet; surely it would make a lot more sense just to walk? Also, if there are two people in the “car” then they would have to run/walk at the same speed otherwise, wouldn’t they get their feet trapped?

Fiona from London: I’m moving to New York in september (ekk!) but I’ve also starting dating a boy who I’ve started to like. Thing is I haven’t told him that I’m definitely going yet…I know it could all go to shit (as many of my relationships do!) but then again it might not. I’m moving there for a dance student/apprenticeship thing (I’m a dancer) and I didn’t tell him initially as it never really goes down too well and people don’t tend to stick around anyway when you say you’re moving away!

Warwick from Enniskillen: I go to the same school as Oscar Wilde used to go to (Portora Royal School, est. 1608 by King James II). Were there any huge world-famous people who used to go to your school, and if so, are they as famous as Oscar Wilde, Henry Francis Lyte (the guy that wrote ‘Abide With Me’, you know the song they always sing at the FA Cup final every year!) and Samuel Beckett (that guy that wrote some plays or something)??????
Does having a friend who is a nerd make me a nerd?
If you could see anyone’s sex tape whose would it be?

Eliot from Buckinghamshire and Lexie from Chesham: why mustn’t you wake sleepwalkers when they’re sleepwalking? Is it a myth?

Mik: what is the outside of a flying saucer made from?

Graham from Canada: what time period, in any location, would you like to live in?

Acatia: why do I get so embarrassed for other people? If someone makes a rubbish joke, I find myself cringing on their behalf, even though they seem oblivious to the stupid things they’ve just said! It’s the same for TV shows: if I can see that one of my favourite characters is about to do something to embarrass themselves, I actually have to close my eyes! Am I the only person that does this, and why does it happen?
My english teacher has been spelling my name wrong for about 9 months now: ‘Acacia’ rather than ‘Acatia’. It wasn’t a big deal, and I figured that she’d grow out of it soon enough…but she hasn’t! Instead, she now spells my name like that all the time, despite it being clear on her register, her notes on me and ALL the essays I hand in. The problem is, she has spelt my name wrong on my university reference…which is just embarrassing! Is there any way I can (politely) tell her, that as an English teacher she should have a grip of her native language by now and learn how to spell my name right?

David from Barton on Sea: should we sack the Royal family? (Except, obviously, the Queen and Phil, who could work as guides on the Buck House tour to earn their keep.)

Ali: how can I stop my boyfriend picking his nose? He doesn’t do it in public, but saves up all his picking for when we’re at home together. Any suggestions?

Josie from Surrey: what is your opinion on Crocs?

Nikesh: what’s the etiquette for men wearing open-toed shoes?

Joss: why is garlic white, but garlic on garlic bread green?

aired 26th June 2008

Lexy in Glasgow: to my surprise i found Olly on TV at least 3 times more attractive than your website pics. Have you been working out?

Alex: why is the monocle commonly associated with wealth? Do all posh people have impaired vision in one eye?

Brendan: I ate a hotdog from one of the street vendors at Oxford Circus. It tasted pretty good but smelt of gym socks. Answer me this: how long do I have to live? Also, what’s the worst thing you have ever eaten?

Roger Stout: who did you have a massive crush on (i.e. Film, TV and Music Stars) as an angst ridden teen who you now realise – as a somewhat more experience and balanced adult – was actually a bit of a dog? My list of shame:
Marie Fredrikkson – the singer from Roxette
The twin dancers from the Bombalurina single Itsy Bitsy Teeny Weeny Yellow Polka Dot Bikini
Wendy James from Transvision Vamp
Julie Halard – French Tennis Player

Daniel in Melbourne: I have a question about the lass in your jingle, the one who listens to you while she does her myspace and shits. Answer me this: do you think she does all three at the same time or do you think she just has such a fucking boring life that it takes her less than 25 minutes to do her myspace and she has to fill up the rest of the time on the bog?

Betsy: are the prefixes ‘un-‘ and ‘in-‘ synonymous or not? I always thought they were different, but recently I have been hearing more and more people saying things like ‘enedible’. Am I wrong, or is everyone else?

Victor from Portsmouth: why do lesbians use strap-ons? Why don’t they just have sex with a man in the first place?

George in Aberdeenshire: one of my worst nightmares is- having a spider or insect of some kind lay its eggs under my skin, then have these eggs hatch and burst out of my skin (other than said spiders/insects then eating me alive). I’m pretty sure this can actually happen, so…Answer me this: what species of spider/insect does this, where are they found, and how often does this happen to people? I hope to God these bugs’ natural habitat isn’t rural Aberdeenshire, or I’m fucked.

Thatch from Bristol: I’ve been made redundant for the third time by the age of 31; what should I do next? I’ve been working in call centres far too long and I want to do something exciting.

aired 19th June 2008

Dave: do Siamese twins have to buy two tickets when using trains, planes, buses etc?

Kerry: if you could call your house/flat/canal boat anything what would it be?

Nathan: who do you think created god?

Beth: why do all grandmothers seem to adopt the same taste for interior design? Every grandmother’s house I’ve ever been to harbours the same decrepit love for doileys and bland floral patterns.

Nathan from London: why are musicals considered utterly trashy, but opera is considered an amazing artistic experience?

Eliot from Wrexham: am I the only human alive (what eats meat) that cannot stand bacon? Everyone seems to love it so, and yet these are same people who will still trim the ends of their average portions of meat to avoid eating the fat. Is it wrong of me think this way, and should I just save my pride and conform? I’ve never met a meat eating person who thinks like I do, so is there something wrong with me?

Ffion from Wales: imagine you are half British and half Asian and you’re in PE class and you’re told to split into groups, BRITISH and ASIAN. Which group would you go to????

Nick: last night, I went out to play squash with a friend. I was absolutely thrashed, 4-0. I returned to the changing room only to find that some pikey scumbag shite had stolen my wallet, mobile phone and watch (although fortunately he didn’t spot my iPod, the myopic moron…). Overall, it had been a poor start to the evening. Unfortunately, this lamentable sequence of events was further exacerbated during the bus journey home, when a vodka-fuelled tramp inexplicably attempted to piss on me.
I recounted my sorry tale of woe to my girlfriend later that evening. When I told her about the urinating hobo, she collapsed into tears of laughter (bless her little schadenfreude socks)… and then commented… “Talk about kicking a dog while it’s down.”
Helen and Olly, answer me this – where does this peculiar expression come from? Why so specific as canines? Wouldn’t punching a prostrate panda be at least as cruel? What about strangling a supine sheep?

Aled from Pontypridd: piggy banks, what’s the deal with them? Where did this tradition of putting pennies in pigs come from? Who was insane enough to think of that? I mean this guy could have thought of something much cuter, like a penguin or something, but instead he chose a fucking pig!!!

Andre from Bristol: how long does bottled water last?

Andy from Essex: can a plant get drunk?

Gareth from Glasgow: what do you think is the best way to stop hiccups? I have heard lots of different ideas and none of them work for me. Please help!

Adam (13): I’ve just got a detention for not doing my homework. What are the best homework excuses?

aired 12th June 2008

Luke from Birmingham: why is it that people are only allergic to things which can be fairly easily avoided? Seeing as life is such a cunt, one would think that people would be allergic to all sorts of things such as water, air or piss.

Joe: what do those people on the adverts mean when they say you can ‘consolidate your existing debts’?

George from Aberdeenshire: if Britain’s “Got Talent”, what have other countries got?

Wade: last Friday was the last day of Year 11 at our school. And we had a big banquet and said goodbye, had the classic signing of shirts etc. It was all fine, until we got to the end of the afternoon, when everyone, And i mean EVERYONE started crying. All of my friends, the teachers, everyone in the room…. Except me! Answer Me This: does this make me heartless? I mean I’m upset to leave everybody, some of them I’ve known all my life, but I think that sadness was overwhelmed by finally getting away from the total dickwads in our year who have done nothing but made me feel bad since i got there!

Alex: how do one-way mirrors work?

Stu from Bradford: do I feel down because I’m listening to depressing music, or am I listening to depressing music because I’m down?

Jonathan: when I go on holiday with my girlfriend, why does she insist that we cram as many activities as possible into every waking hour? Surely the whole point of going on holiday is to unwind and have a break from the pressures of work – doesn’t cramming in every conceivable attraction a city has to offer in a limited time kind of defeat this? I like a bit of culture, but five museums in one morning? Come on.

Celeste from France: why doesn’t Tarzan have a beard?

Rebecca from the North-East: why don’t they call moustaches ‘mouthbrows’ and where did the word ‘moustache’ originate from?

Brendan: who is the Jose in the expression ‘No way, Jose!’?

Will: you know how we have all these ‘plus one’ channels now, like Channel 4+1 and ITV2+1? Shouldn’t they really be ‘minus one’? As in, if you tune in, you’ll see what was on the original channel at the current time *minus* one hour. If it was plus one hour, you’d be seeing stuff that hadn’t been broadcast yet.

Kate: should you wash new pants before you wear them? I always do, but a quick poll in the office suggests this might not be common practice. When asked why I do it the only thing I could say was, ‘Because I don’t know where they’ve been.’ Should I really be buying pants that make me think – ‘Where have they been?’ anyway?!

Louix from Swansea: why are some grandparents (or a lot of old people in particular) so racist? Mine are very and if I ask them why, they reply with an offensive comment.

Chris from Hull: can you get through a whole episode without swearing?

aired 5th June 2008

Nick: how many questions do you get asked a week? How many of them are dirty/pervy?
Do you like Tacos? I make good Tacos.

Gilbey: What is the impact of the killer-cell immunoglobulin-like receptors on the outcome of haematopoietic stem cell transplantation?

Jerry from Maryland: were there ever any professional football players with one arm or one leg?

Leroy: I Have A Stalker. And..I Really Mean A Stalker. This Guy TOLD Me He Was Obsessed With Me And Got So Attached That I Ended Up Having To Run Away From Him And Avoid Him. Every time I Turn Around He Is There…Watching Me. I Offered To Do Up His Bebo For Him Because His Was Rubbish…And His Password Was My Name!! He Even Went To The Extent Of Writing His Phone Number On A Pizza Box For Me (He Works In Dominoes). And Get This..When I Ordered A Chinese Take Out The Other Night He Text Me Saying ‘Enjoying Your Chinese?’ So Answer Me This-HOW THE HELL DO I GET HIM TO STOP?!?!

Ben from Sussex: why are the months September, October and December the 9th, 10th and 12th months of the year when, judging by their names, they should surely be the 7th, 8th and 10th months of the year?

Katharine from Edinburgh: what does the H in ‘Jesus H Christ’ stand for? I like to think is stands for Hare Krishna but I could be wrong…

Charlotte from Tunbridge Wells: why is it that when you’re driving and you’re looking for an address, you turn the volume down on your radio?

Fran: have you ever done that thing of listening to the theme music of a TV programme and singing in the name of the programme as you do so?

Graham from Canada: I have a whiskey flask (well technically hip flask, I don’t have whiskey in it) and I’ve been drinking water out of it in school for some time, and no teacher has come up to me and asked me about it, or even mentioned it, why? (and they have seen it.)
Should I donate blood? There’s some youth week blood donation thing going on, and I’ve always wanted to know what blood type I am (I’m not sure why, but I always have).

Fiona from London: what are your thoughts on the mooncup?

Alice at the University of Sheffield: how does one freeze dry something, eg. coffee, peas, weird astronaut ice cream? Surely the term ‘freeze’ implies there is water, thus making ‘freeze dry’ an oxymoron.

Stuart from East Dulwich: why are bagel shops always open 24 hours?

Jason: why doesn’t sperm come in other colours?

Jack from Hertfordshire: I can’t help but think you must get bored with answering other peoples questions all the time. SO… If you want to ask me a question you are more than welcome to do so!

aired 29th May 2008

Kimon: why do people who are getting married suddenly want ice-cream makers?

Jack: Why did a rat die in one of my PE trainers?
I left them for the summer holidays, and after a while they started to stink really bad. I found a dead rat in them, but I don’t know how it got there, or how it died.

Gavin: my conservatory is joined to my kitchen, so the drain for the kitchen runs into the conservatory. THIS DRAIN SMELLS LIKE SHIT. Would it be best to place an air-freshener in the offending drain or just in the room?

Morgan: why are eggs considered dairy products when they have nothing to do with milk, cows or anything dairy?

Stu from Bradford: what’s the difference between a pharmacist and a chemist?

Amy: whenever I listen to your podcast, for some reason I always think that Martin the Sound Man is bald, but I looked on your website and he wasn’t. Why do some people sound bald?

Georgina: how do they get cataracts out of the eye?

Katharine from Edinburgh: why do so many English county names have ‘sex’ in them? Are you guys obsessed?!

Robert from Dumfriesshire: what is it exactly that Meat Loaf won’t do for love?

Fiona: when walking home alone late at night, do you sing to yourself to stop yourself getting scared?

Phil: when checking my sent messages earlier I realised that I have signed all of my e-mails to you with an “x”. However, as much as your podcast makes me laugh I don’t actually want to kiss either of you (or Martin the Sound Man)…Sorry. Until just recently I hadn’t really made the association between these “x”s and the kisses they represent and to stop using them now would seem cruel, and most likely make me appear like a miserable bastard. So please answer me this: why has the use of kisses when writing to someone become so frequent? In addition, why is the symbol “x” used to denote a kiss? Did the person who first wanted to demonstrate their affection in written form have a double cleft lip?

aired 22nd May 2008

Lexie in Chesham: why oh why is your Merchandise Store in dollars when you are quite clearly English?

Nikesh: what does Lucozade taste like?

Adam from Sheffield: what will Gillette razors and toothbrushes look like in 10 years’ time? Will the razors have 30 blades on them? Looking at my girlfriend’s new toothbrush, fuck me, what the hell are they playing at, not just a tongue cleaner, no… a cheek cleaner too. What do they think we are eating? Dog shit!! I ask, What next? An arse cleaner?

Rikki: Olly, would you rather wake up one morning in the same bed as Martin the Sound Man, or wake up one morning as Martin the Sound Man?

Walter from LA: I live in Los Angeles and am not in any way part of, or desire to be a part of, the entertainment industry. Given that, why in the hell do I live here? It’s damn expensive! I don’t go to clubs, and my friends are basically fine, but I think I could do better. What do you think?

Graham from Canada: who is the best and worst actor of all time?
I recently discovered a website that claims to have x-ray goggles that operate via sending out small bits of radiation and other technical shit, should I buy them? They are quite expensive…

Will: why do tube carriages have buttons by the side of the doors, as if to make them open, but actually they do nothing?

Rich from Fareham: why do people say that Celine Dion looks like a horse?

Elliot from Buckinghamshire: who first coined the phrase ‘get in’ and what does it mean?

Mark from Essex: why doesn’t super glue stick to the inside of the tube?

Stefan from Holland: I’m going to Edinburgh this year, with school! On April 1st, they told us that we would have to wear school uniforms there. I’m glad I don’t have to, but did you ever have to wear them?

Eliot from Wrexham: why is it so difficult to get a job?

Mark: what is this song?

aired 15th May 2008

Belinda: why is your website banned in Turkey?

Ned from Bath: how much of your life is devoted to Answer Me Is? How do you pronounce ‘scone’? Do you sleep naked?

Will: I went on holiday recently to Dubai and California (go me!). I was away for two weeks and when I came back, my girlfriend broke up with me citing a number of reasons. I took this as it came – being 14 and considering we’d been going out for only six months I did what I’m sure both of you would do – cry for a few days and then forget about it. However, a friend of mine told me that my best friend had since made out with her, and that they’d been going out with each other! According to him, my best friend had told him “what he doesn’t know won’t hurt him”. So, answer me this – should I be annoyed at my friend for stealing my girlfriend behind my back, or should I let it be?

Emily from Glasgow: what is the point of the kids’ tv programme Blue Peter?

Sean in Paris: I was in that renowned fashion store ‘Primark’ the other day purchasing a selection of woolly jumpers (at a discount price) for next winter and polo shirts to replenish my diminishing wardrobe. Having carried said items home and preparing for my evening session in the pub, I tried the new clothes on and this is where the problem started….I’m a big chap (XL!) and all my new Primark clothes are XL! Why is it that they are all different sizes of XL, some even being what I would call S masquerading as XL? Where did the sizes originate from, S – XXXXXL, who agreed to these sizes, and why is there no bloody continuity through the aforementioned sizes between different clothes?

Jamie in Streatham: why does my kitten, Bagel, sit on the litter tray the wrong way round shitting on the floor instead of in the tray?

Dave: if you could have the singing voice of anyone, who would it be?

Michele: why are cookies called Biscuits in Europe? To us, biscuits are something that come with overly fried food at KFC, not a sweet dessert best dunked in coffee. And if you call cookies ‘biscuits’, what name do you use for the soft flaky bread we Yanks call biscuits?

Rich from Fareham: why are lesbians butch?

William (10): Olly, who would you rather shag, the Queen or a dog? Helen, the Duke of Kent or Prince Charles?

Dan: who would win in a fight between the Grim Reaper or King Midas?

Tricky: why is that I have to lie to my parents and say that I am revising for the most important exams I will ever sit in my life, when really I sit in my room and watch the West Wing? Also, am a bad person for this?

aired 10th April 2008

Alex from Hertfordshire: is there any connection between the phrase “Yoo hoo”, as said by effeminate people from the olden days, and “Yo ho”, as said by pirates?

Stuart from Bradford: after a night at the pub with my friends, we always have the same debate: where to go for post-drinking snacks? Pizza, curry, Chinese, kebab etc? Who is right, and what is your preferred after-drinking takeaway?

Marie: what is the origin of the phrase ‘carnal knowledge’? I know ‘carn’ refers to meat, as in ‘chilli con carne’, ‘carnivorous’ etc – this surely can’t be a reference to man-meat?

Paul in Southend: while cooking some brown wholegrain rice to accompany my delicious home-made chilli, I noticed that the cooking instructions on the rice contained the following line: ‘Add a pinch of salt, if required, to a large pan of water, and boil’. What are the conditions that make salt a requirement, or, indeed, not? In case you’re wondering, I always add salt and have never questioned it…until now.

Sonny: why do so many girls describe themselves as ‘dumb blondes’? Do they think it makes them more attractive to men?

Chris from Scotland: my friend thinks I’m depressed, which I’m not, but he has a hard time believing that. How can I prove that I’m not depressed?

Leon in Northumberland: why are the letters on a QWERTY keyboard arranged in that order?

Krabbers: I play ukulele in a band. Why is it that whenever I get my ukulele out, whether in public or in private, someone always shouts, “When I’m cleaning windows!”?

Dave: why didn’t Noah swat those two mosquitoes? It would have saved a lot of problems!

Phil: to my dismay, I currently live with my parents, where I home work. Having graduated from university last year I feel that this is marginally acceptable; plus my living situation will change when I move to my new job in ten months, at which point I’ll be 23. How old is too old to still be living with your parents?

Graham from Canada: could someone be addicted to counselling, and if so, how would you treat them?
If an African elephant comes to America, is it an African-American elephant?
I have a female friend who keeps trying to set me up with the strangest or boringest people, and I’ve tried to tell her to stop but she won’t. Is there a tactful way I can tell her to stop that would make her stop?
I was listening to the episode where Graham from Canada emailed you about rainwater; was that me?
There’s a person in my school, to sum him up – short, fat, high-voiced and spoilt – yet he’s extremely popular. Why?
Do I have attention deficit disorder? I can think up all these questions in five minutes or less!
What do you imagine me to look like?

aired 3rd April 2008

Stefan from Holland: if I have to do a presentation for the subject of English this year, I’m sure I’ll talk about Answer Me This!. So answer me this please, what should I definitely include in my presentation?

Kirsty: would you rather pubes for teeth, or teeth for pubes?

Amy from Maidenhead: at what age does it become inappropriate to need to sleep with a soft toy? Aged almost eighteen, I can’t help thinking that I should have probably grown out of this ten years ago. It has got to the stage where I must take Pandie, my one-armed panda, to my boyfriend’s house when I stay over. Naturally, he does seem to get in the way as I have to keep him in bed (Pandie that is, not my boyfriend, although I do sometimes wonder about whose intellect is higher), but if I put him by the side of the bed I feel as though he’s perving on me. What should I do and should I get counselling for this?

Kieran from Anerley: I’ve decided I need a new hobby, and celebrity-stalking looks fun. I think I need to start small, and preferably within walking distance. Can you see where I’m going with this? Any hints or tips would be appreciated.

Ned from Bath: are ugly people still attracted to attractive people? Because it seems you hardly ever see an attractive person with an ugly person. Or do they merely accept that they are ugly, stop bothering even thinking attractive people are attractive, and somehow force their minds into thinking these obviously unattractive people are attractive?
As a completely gorgeous 16-year-old male i have never had this problem, but it has always puzzled me.

Adeline: when I was extremely young and unable to defend myself (seven, most likely) my parents thought it would be a good idea to send me to Catholic school. There I read the Bible and came to understand that such great values of the Western civilisation, like freedom of choice and the ability to tell right from wrong, were given to us by the Devil. I was very enthusiastic about this discovery…
As you might imagine, it wasn’t long before a man in a long black dress, which it is unholy to call a dress, for it is a cassock (dresses are for women, not priests), informed me that I’d end up in Hell for that sort of thing. He really excited my imagination when he told me all about Hell and how to get there.
Anyway, later in life I realised that I am attracted to men in dresses. This is a bit of a problem, really. So answer me this: do you think I fancy men in dresses as a result of my experiences at Catholic school, and how should I handle this situation?

Nick: as you’ve probably noticed, there are are now a huge number of stretch limos on our roads which are much beloved of hen-night parties and eighteen-year-old just-about-to-puke-on-a-Friday-night giggling Britney wannabes. Given that these motoring travesties offend on so many levels, precisely how much explosive would be needed to vapourise every last one of these dreadful bits of tat?

Jimmski from Dorking: why are private schools referred to as ‘Public’ schools when they are anything but?

Kat from East London: why is it that when I step onto an escalator that’s not moving I feel like I’m being sucked into a vortex? It should feel like walking downstairs; but it’s not, and it feels bloody horrid!

Jamison: who would win in a tug of war, one 200lb man or two 100lb men?

Laura and Tom: you know how computers used to be cream, but now they’re always black or white or silver? Will they ever go back to being cream? This might seem a trivial question, but we just had an argument with our dad about it.

Phil: when people from the UK go on holiday outside of Western Europe or North America for durations in excess of three weeks, why do they refer to it as ‘travelling’? This is particularly prevalent amongst gap-year students. Just because they go to more than one location on their holiday, they’re not fucking travelling, they’re on holiday! Why do these moronic individuals seem to think they’re Indiana Jones!?! Don’t they understand that they are on the same package trip to Africa or Australasia that everyone else their age has been on?

aired 27th March 2008

David the Sound Dad: Martin, how come you don’t know that the Rotunda is still standing in Birmingham?

George: how many people must one kill before it is classed as a spree?

Ben: I listen to your podcast every week and love it, but there is one small thing that slightly bothers me, and that is, by asking you a question I feel very slightly disrespectful. I am just a minion and you are pod-stars and I feel that demanding of you, “ANSWER ME THIS!” is more than a little rude. So please, if it’s not too much of a bother, would you mind re-branding the entire concept by calling it “Please would you answer this for me”?

Chris: how do I get my stupid maths teacher to stop singing your song whenever I say, “I have a question”?

Ollie from Great Bentley, Essex: One of the silliest things I have ever stolen is a metal corkscrew/bottle opener. The most ridiculous thing was I stashed it down my sock and it jostled painfully against my ankle bone. I didn’t make a very graceful getaway as I hobbled out of the store like an utter buffoon. What is the stupidest thing you have ever stolen (I know stealing is bad and unforgivable!)?

James from Surrey: is it legal to name your child ‘Anonymous’?

Andy from California: as a red-blooded and stereotypical American, I absolutely love Mexican food, and here in America, there’s a Mexican food restaurant on almost every street corner, which works out well for me considering how much my American compadres and I love it. So answer me this: why don’t people from other countries love Mexican food as much as Americans do? I’ve been to Germany, Australia, Italy, Korea, and Canada, and in not one of those countries did I find a single Mexican restaurant. If you can find other kinds of foods, like Italian, Thai, Chinese, Japanese, and American fast food in countries all over the globe, how come Mexican food hasn’t caught on too?

Gemma from Colchester: is it true that McDonald’s milkshakes are made of chicken fat?

Steve and Lynne: what happens if you add Dettol to Yakult? Would it just become normal yoghurt?

Ryan from Bridgewater in Somerset: why do men have nipples?

Gary: when is the Guns’n’Roses album Chinese Democracy coming out? I’ve been waiting ten years, and I’d like to know whether I’m just wasting my time.

Stuart from Bradford: a friend I recently got back in touch with has just finished telling me the details of her open relationship. Does this mean she is interested in me, and wants me to know she’s ‘available’? Or does it mean something else?

Jacquelyne: if I was elected Prime Minister, my first act would be to pass a law banning men over 30 and all men with beer bellies from wearing Speedos in public. Especially men with beer bellies so big that they hang down so far over the front you can’t tell if they are actually wearing anything at all. If you had the power to pass any law concerning items of clothing that should or shouldn’t be worn, what would it be and why?

Graham from Canada: in libraries, do they put the bible in the fiction or non-fiction section? If the FBI breaks your door down, do they have to pay for it? Can you cry underwater? – I don’t think so, do you?

aired 20th March 2008

Silvertop: what would you put in a 21st-century version of the Seven Wonders of the World?

Max: I am 16, I live in London, and look forward to the weekend throughout the school week. But sometimes I wonder why. Me and my friends agree that there is almost nothing for us to do on Saturday night and we very often have a very boring time. Is it just me who experiences this, and what do you recommend doing on a Saturday night in London if you’re a 16-year-old?

Stuart from Bradford: if YOU were suspended from work, like I am, on full pay, what would you do with your days? Diagnosis Murder is getting a bit repetitive.

Philip: when you go to the toilet on a plane, do they wait until you land to get rid of it, or do they eject it into the sky straightaway? And if they do shoot it into the sky, how come you don’t hear of more people getting hit?

Oli: if Nintendo is a Japanese company then why is its star character (Mario) supposed to be Italian?

Jonathan: whenever I’m putting my hair gel on, it smells delicious and sometimes I feel compelled to taste it. But when I do it doesn’t taste nice at all. Do you do this? Or are there other things you feel compelled to taste that aren’t food but that smell nice?

David: why is it that when certain people swear they follow it with the phrase “pardon my French”?

Alex: where is the best place to fall asleep in public? Where is the worst place to fall asleep in public?

Stefan from Holland: what is the most useless invention ever invented? And also, what is the most useful invention?

aired 13th March 2008

Roger Stout: why is it that the likelihood of me doing any given task is inversely proportional to the amount of time I have spent detailing said task on a “To Do” list?

Sophie: if you had to choose, would you rather look like a fish or smell like one?

Louisa: Do bald men wash their hair with soap or shampoo?

James from the Philippines: what the hell is wrong with Wile E. Coyote? He always gets shit from ACME and it never works!!

Adrienne: how did people wake up before the alarm clock was invented?

Dovy: why is it that when someone tells you that there are over a billion stars in the universe, you believe them, but if they tell you there is wet paint somewhere, you have to touch it to make sure?

Ollie: why do so many listeners feel the urge not to actually think of questions but instead trawl the internet looking for ones other people have thought up? Being a 14-year-old the internet is my most favourite thing ever, and I have come across many sites with these questions on which I have heard asked many times. Here are a few I found just by typing ‘funny questions’ into Google…
Why do they sterilize the needles for lethal injections?
How do you KNOW it’s new and improved dog food?
Why is ‘phonetic’ spelt phonetically?
Why is ‘abbreviation’ such a long word?
Why does someone believe you when you say there are four billion stars, but check when you say the paint is wet?

Rebecca: why do men feel the need to sit with their legs soooo widely apart on the train? Are we meant to believe they have bollocks the size of Grapefruits?!

Alex from Edinburgh: I recently considered all the celebrated women I had ever fallen in love with – Rachel Weisz, Sara Silverman, Nigella Lawson. I used to think I preferred women with raven hair, but now I realize they’re all Jews. Am I a sex racist?

Simon: as I approach the end of my thirties, I have realised that I now know most of the tracks played on Radio 2 and have resolutely begun to believe that only the music I listened to in my student days is any good. I am getting really worried so please, answer me this:
How long is it going to be before I start to…
a) Wear close-knit ‘Blue Harbour’ wool shirts from M&S ?
b) Tuck said shirt into my jeans and wear them with un-scuffed brogues?
c) Complain about the price of tinned goods?
e) Have to get up twice a night for a piss?
I already choose cars based on the cubic capacity of the boot rather than the engine. I need reassurance. It’s a slippery slope.

April: am I the only woman who uses her bra as a handy storage space? Or am I merely one among many? Because when your iPod headphones aren’t quite long enough to reach down to your pocket, I’m not sure what I’d do without it!

Lo: if you could ask anyone, alive or dead, a question, and they had to tell the truth, what would it be and would you feel better for knowing?

Bas from the Netherlands: I was listening to your podcast while I was at the checking counter of my local grocery store when a young man with acne came into the store wearing sunglasses. Is it ever OK to wear sunglasses inside?

aired 6th March 2008

Abdullah: I was listening to your podcast in class, and my ipod got confiscated, so could you buy me a new one? I mean, it’s sort of your fault for being so addictive. You could send it to Pakistan through my aunt, who’s coming in June.

John from Glasgow: Helen, seeing as you seem to be fairly intelligent and love doing the AMT podcast, would you sell yourself down the river and go on Loose Women if they asked you?

Brendan: why is Episode 35 of Answer Me This! classified by genre as Techno? Was this some kind of prank? If so, it’s not a very funny one. It almost ruined a 90s rave I was holding the other night when Olly suddenly started cheerfully discussing smut between Carl Cox and Underworld.

Flash: what’s the worst film that you really love but are quite ashamed of? Mine is Young Einstein, a film that shows the coming of age of Albert Einstein in Tasmania, who splits the beer Atom, thus adding bubbles to beer! He also invents rock and roll. What’s not to like!

Matthew from Colchester: why don’t badgers come out in the day?

Sarah: what do you think of internet relationships?

Joss: what do you do if you wet yourself on a train?

Graham from Canada: why do people use umbrellas?

Marie from Adelaide: I hit my elbow on my glass shower screen yesterday and it hurt like arsenic-coated chocolates on Valentine’s Day. Why is it called the funny bone when it is anything but funny?

Alex: would you rather be a little piece of shit or a big piece of shit?

Frankie: do either of you (or Martin the Sound Man) own a pair of amazingly fluffy slippers? Or what slippers do you have? Oh, and I turn 16 tomorrow; any tips on how to handle this totally terrifying thing!

Sue from Doncaster: I was in Tesco the other day and they had new trolleys, which you didn’t have to put a pound into. So as I didn’t have a car, I thought I’d take my shopping to the bus stop. It got to the perimeter of the building, where the trolley applied its own brake and I couldn’t take it beyond the perimeter. Answer me this: how did the trolley know it had reached the edge of the building?

Josie: I was just eating some mints while half doing my art homework, and was looking at the ingredients to find out what mints are really made of. At the bottom, it says in tiny letters ‘excessive consumption may produce laxative effect’. So, Answer Me This- how many packets of mints do you have to consume before you start getting diarrhoea??

aired 28th February 2008

Neil in Walnut Creek: your 20-minute podcasts are perfect for sun tanning in Mexico (perhaps other places, as well) while on holiday. Listen to an episode, turn over, listen to the next episode, turn over, this went on for two weeks. So, Helen and Olly, Answer Me This: do you have a list of other activities we should be doing that are perfectly timed to your podcasts?

Silvertop: why do birds suddenly appear every time you are near?

George: how can you tell if an old person used to be hot?

David: I do tours up and down the Thames and I tell people regularly that ‘wharf’ stands for ‘WareHouse At River Front’. I’m pretty sure I made that up; does that have any historical grounding at all?

Kevin from Wallasey: where and when the phrase “O.K.” come from?

Wee Mental Daz: if it came to it, who would batter the other person in a fight: John Rambo or Rocky Balboa? Basically, I would win; but out of those two, who would win?

Andrew from Stoke: are you paying too much for your car insurance?

Aphra Behn: if you go outside in cold dry weather and you fart – can other people see bum-steam? I’ve never noticed bum-steam, and I cannot believe that no one farts when it’s frosty, so WHY does breath turn into steam when it’s cold but farts don’t?

Jowad: if Jesus fed 5000 people with 5 loaves of bread and 2 fish what could he do with a family bucket of KFC?
Why does e=mc squared?

Alex: what’s the longest you’ve gone without a bath?

Miguel: on a scale of 1 to 10 – 1 being not at all and 10 super-duper – how “geeky” am I (a thirty-something-year-old) for having a collection of board-games and enjoying playing them on a regular basis?

aired 21st February 2008

Rob: Martin the Sound Man always sounds depressed. Is he a goth?

Steve in Holmfirth: I am very sceptical about claims of the paranormal. I am open to evidence to the contrary, but it seems to me that claims of mediums, ghost sightings, telepathy, homeopathy and so on are, to put it frankly, bollocks. The more you look into it, the more obvious it becomes that there’s not a shred of proof for any of it. So imagine my dismay when I found out that my uncle, who has lived in Australia these past 20 years, is returning to England to set up shop as a… wait for it… psychic detective. How do you suggest I handle that first uncomfortable family get-together? Should I come out and call him an immoral leech there and then? What would you do?

Mike: I’m 14 and I have a lisp, but I was thinking the other day the fact that I can’t even say ‘I have a lisp’ properly.
Why does the word lisp have an ‘s’ in it, and what causes it in the first place?

Joe Jay: why are French baguettes only made from white bread? When I eat classic English loaves I prefer brown bread but I love my French bread even more! The combination of brown bread and French bread would be amazing but why not, is this some sort of racial prejudice?

Mark from Essex: Why are digestive biscuits too big to dunk in your tea? And why do they drop off in your tea leaving that horrible gunk at the bottom? The manufacturers of biscuits should make their biscuits mug-sized and strong enough to retain at least two dunks into an average cup of tea.

Jesca: why is it that all Smarties have their own flavour but only the orange Smartie has a flavour that is linked to the colour? It undeniably has some kind of orangey hint of flavour and although it is my favourite, it annoys me that i can think of no logical explanation for why the others have no link between the colours and the taste. Please help me to put my mind at ease.

Donna Prima: Today in Drama we had to perform and we were being recorded. I was wearing a quite low-cut vest top and had to bend down, unknowingly showing the rest of the class my boobs. The person I have a crush on is also in my drama group and saw the whole thing, and now we have to watch it back and it’s also being shown to the year above. So, Helen and Olly, answer me this: How do I talk to him (or anyone else in my drama group for that matter) and watch the video without being completely embarrassed?

Leon: since the Channel Four programmes about free-range eggs and chickens, has there been an increase in sales of those?

Richard from Delaware: I am Richard from Delaware on the east coast of the USA. In the state of Delaware, our capital city’s name is Dover and is located in Kent county. Now, I know that there is a Kent and Dover in England. I also grew up listening to the music of my grandparent’s era (the 1940s) and have heard that famous standard “The White Cliffs of Dover”. Now this leads me to my question. Answer me this, are there white cliffs in Dover England? Because growing up close to Dover Delaware USA, I’ve yet to see a damn white cliff in Dover.

aired 14th February 2008

Calvin: with so many French people arriving in the UK, and with the UK having such crap weather, why don’t we do country swapsies?

Kirsty: am I an idiot for thinking that Justin Timberlake, in his recent single ‘Sexy Back’, was actually talking about his actual back? I thought it was just bad grammar when he sang ‘I’m bringing sexy back…yeah’; no, I used to think, you’re bringing your sexy back.
PS any advice on A Level options? You are the experts.

Katherine: I am a big fan of restaurants with puns in their name, my favourites being “Thaitanic”, “Pete’s Plaice” and “Chick King”. What would your favourite restaurant be called with a pun in its name?

Sha: how do Lego people have sex?

Polly: how can I stop colleagues using ‘project manage’ as a verb?

Robert from Dumfriesshire: does anyone know whether Ant and Dec ever tossed each other off?

Mathew: why do some people, who do not speak Chinese or Japanese, choose to have Chinese writing on their arms?

Charles: why do childhood candy favourites suck when you grow up? For example, when I was a young lad the best thing in the world was a Sherbet Fountain – I would have happily sold my brother’s soul for one. But when I had one recently (imported at noticeable expense) it was simply some confectioner’s sugar and a piece of stale licorice. Pathetic. My childhood memories died a bit that day. Why? And do either of you have a childhood favorite candy that sucks today?

Lexy Law: tears clean out dirt from the eyes, so why do we cry when we are upset like when I cant get my big fat ass into a pair of size 10 jeans?

Chris, Tom and Kane: which are better, mohicans or afros?

Philip: do people with stupid/whimsical email addresses, like “jennybeans69” or “doom4ever”, actually put them on their CVs? If you were employing someone, would you choose “Nathan.TheWorkExperience” or “ebonyluvr”?

aired 7th February 2008

Dan: why the fuck do penguins have wings?

Dave: why do you suppose someone would defecate in my driveway, leaving behind their shirt used as ersatz toilet paper in the process?

Katherine: why are period pains sooooooooooo painfuuuuuuuulllll?

Freyja: is Richard Dawkins a bigot?

Polly: what purpose did the horns on Viking helmets serve?

Jack: I have my GCSE exams soon and i find it really hard to revise and pay attention in class. How can i change my ways?

Edmund: what are the chords in the ‘I’ve got a question’ jingle?

John: why have hundreds of millions of people bought ‘The Crazy Frog’ ringtone when everyone I have asked (even those who actually have it on their phone!) finds it the most annoying and pointless tune in the world?

Ali: why are estate agents becoming so posh? I live in an area where there are 15 estate agents on one road, and they’re all having makeovers. There are lots of revolving displays of posh houses, shiny new signs outside – one of them even has a bar full of drinks, presumably to make you feel more relaxed or something. I thought we were heading for a recession.

Miguel: I’m Portuguese and I have been surviving in the UK for the past 5 years. In fact I quite enjoy living here so I might stay forever. The one think I have been having trouble with is making good friends. So, Helen and Olly, please answer me this: What is the secret to making good friends in Britain?

aired 31st January 2008

Dave: every time someone asks me what my name is, I’ll say “Dave” and 99% of times they will respond with “Hehe Daaaaaaaaaaaaaave!” How can i get people to stop saying Daaaaaaaaaave when I inform them of my name?

James: what is the greatest and best song in the world?

Josh: why do kamikaze pilots wear helmets?

Des: why is the word ‘phonetic’ not spelt phonetically?

Matthew: where does the expression ‘Eat your heart out’ come from?

Sha: I recently was invited to be in the Observer’s ‘Ex Files’ column. The reporter wanted to speak to me and my ex separately about how we got together and what went wrong, then write about it in the national press. Why, why, why would anybody agree to be in that column?

Pratik: Why do people think it’s okay to give you those enormous 5kg tins of Celebrations, Roses, Quality Street etc chocolates as Christmas gifts? The chocolates taste like crap and there’s 5kg of the bollocks!! Why?! I don’t live in a home with fifteen other people…Also, why is one bar of Kinder Bueno never enough?

Eliot: why is every person in a film who happens to be homosexual always have to be ridiculously camp? I’m sure not every gay person is like that, and I can vouch that as a gay I’m not. Why do people keep thinking this is the genuine thing?

Jacquelyne: is it weird that I find myself sexually attracted to Antony Hopkins as Dr Hannibal Lecter? I’m sure I’m not the only one.

Oliver: why do people always sound more attractive than they turn out be when you actually see them for the first time?
Not that your podcast inspired this question.

Sue: I am just about to take my multi-vitamin for the day. Apparently it contains ‘probiotics for today’s hectic lifestyles’, such as ‘diffido bacterium diffidum’ and ‘diffido bacterium longum’. Are these words just bollocks-words, or is it actually doing me some good?

Frank: when weighing herself on the bathroom scales, my wife insists on putting said scales on the carpet on the landing, instead of just the tiled bathroom floor, arguing that cos the carpet is soft she’ll weigh less, so this raises a couple of things:
1. does it make any difference to the result? and
2. what’s the point?

Nick: being by nature a person who always does more than one thing at a time, and now being self-employed in the house on my own, one of the things I like to do is to turn up the volume slightly on my computer and have a soundtracked poo. Needless to say, once a week this soundtrack includes your own podcast. So, my bipartite question is:
a) is this wrong?
b) what sort of things is it acceptable to do whilst answering nature’s bowelcall?

aired 24th January 2008

Jonny: if I invited you to my party, would you come?

Jordan: what’s the big deal about pubes?

Josie: I love to call people ‘divs’, but what is the origins of the word ‘div’? Is it offensive?

Eliot: why is there always a nervous or awkward atmosphere when you eat food with your parents?

Will: why do supermarket checkout assistants offer to break my baguettes? It’s my baguette, I’ll break it myself, thanks!

Brendan: I’ve just woken up and realised I’ve slept through my alarm clock. What’s the best excuse for being late to work?

Kirsty: when I went to Live 8, Will Smith did this thing where he got everyone to click every three seconds to represent a child dying every three seconds from poverty. The thousands of people all over the world who were watching the concert put their hands in the air and clicked. Everyone speeded up and ended with a huge round of applause, cheering and general whooping. Why? I counted in the time that we were clicking, over twenty children had died. Everyone seemed over the moon about it. This didn’t make sense to me then and it doesn’t make sense to me now.

Erica: what is the difference between Diet Coke and Coke Zero?

Pete from Norfolk: what is the most famous question ever asked, in your opinion?

aired 17th January 2008

John Rutterford: whilst listening to your fabulous show I get on with my job which is cutting down trees, having had my mind taken of the job in hand I proceeded to plunge my chainsaw into my left leg! Can I sue you for being too interesting?

Krabbers: why is it when Mr Ben gets changed, we never get to see his pants? I’ve always wanted to know what kind of pants he wears, I reckon he wears those old string y-fronts.

Dan: why does my mum refuse to give me enough sugar in my coffee? I ask for 3 teaspoons full, she refuses by saying “2 is more than enough.” Thus the reason why I never accept a hot beverage off my mother.

Des: would it really be wrong to punch slow walking people in the back of the head?

Will: the internet has destroyed my concentration-span. How can I get it back?

Giovanna: is there some scientific reason why evergreens and pines are similar in scent to cat pee?

Asher: on Christmas day me and my sister were very ill and the next day i had very bad indigestion. We think of ourselves as Jewish Atheists, as in we are Jewish because our mother is and that we do not believe in god. Could this illness be a result of God punishing us for not believing? or even celebrating Christmas when we are Jewish?

Dewi: why does the phrase “You have GOT to see this…” ruin any film that anyone wants me to see? The same thing happens with books (“You have GOT to read this novel…”). For example, I was with some friends a couple of years ago, and I asked for suggestions for good books to read. One of them suggested The Magus by John Fowles. “You have GOT to read this book – it’s the best novel ever written.” Well, I read it, and found the whole thing rather adolescent. Another example is The Shawshank Redemption. A different friend said it was their favourite film. “You have GOT to see it!” Well, I saw it, but was overwhelmingly under-impressed. Is it just that my subconscious is bloody-minded, and won’t let me enjoy anything that I’m being ORDERED to do?

George: I’ve been told that I’m a very funny guy, and that I have a great personality, I also have a lot of friends that are girls. The thing is, before Christmas I developed a crush on one of these chums; we were very close friends at the time, we could tell each other anything, so I told her. Her immediate response was that I was a friend and that she knew it was a cheesy overused line but she didn’t want to ruin our relationship. Then she told me that she wasn’t sure. 2 weeks later i got the original answer again. My first idea was, being a 10st fifteen-year-old (and it ain’t muscle) it would be kinda hard to see me in that way, but when asking other female friends about this, they told me I had a great personality, but that is why I think I’m in “the friend zone”. So Helen and Olly, answer me this: if you have a good personality, how do you get a gal to like you without getting into the friend zone?

Alex, Matt and Dave: we are currently in a car on the Severn Bridge. Why do you have to pay to get into Wales but not to get out again? Also, what’s your favourite service station snack? Ours is the Ginsters Pasty.

Lily: why do people (mostly my friends) have a vendetta against the clothing brand Jack Wills? I love it, although it is very expensive. It is viewed by my friends as ‘sloaney’, and that, by wearing it I am a ‘woane’ (wannabe sloane) and that I am ‘succumbing to the pressures of a materialistic society’. All my friends tend to be a little depressing and not materialistic at all, unlike all the mega-rich people-who-i-wouldn’t-really-count-as-friends who are in my class. They all wear Jack Wills with careless abandon. (by rich i mean RICH – three people have private jets, seven have maids, one has a chef, all of them live in belgravia. the tales i could tell about their richness…) My friends show their hate of Jack Wills by actually kicking me in my very expensive sweat pants. I have bruises. How do I make them stop?

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22 Responses to “QUESTION ARCHIVE 2008”

  1. chris Says:

    Does what one country invent get leaked to other counties at the same time, therefore anything that is invented in the world has multiple different versions throughout the world just because people cannot keep a secret about there own work? – This applies to everything from the bible to the hadron collider.

  2. Gordon the BritAmeriCanadian in Edinburgh Says:

    I agree with Tim.






    Off to live in the Open Sewer. With my Wikipedia.

  3. Mithy Says:

    Tim may i suggest you listen to the Collings and Herrin podcast? its much more family value orientated

  4. Kelvin Says:

    Dear Kate “So-Called” Silverton,

    I write to complain about your “news” programme on the BBC. All of the “news” you report can be found by simply going to the place where it is happening and observing it. We’re quite capable of finding out what’s happening without needing you to edit, prioritise, and contextualise it. I can’t see what possible value can be added to raw information by manipulating the tone and context in which it is delivered. Kindly stop it.

    Also, please tell my friends to stop avoiding me as I have become quite lonely.

  5. 68kWhr Says:

    AMT, why did Tim, Nottingham post a comment on the Question Archive 2008 page yesterday? Did it take 15 months for him to gather his thoughts?

    • catherinehirst Says:

      Listen, being a crank is a full-time job. Do you have any idea how many times a day Tim has to work himself into a raging froth about the littlest things? It leaves very little time left over to set the obscene podcasters of the world straight. He’s working his way down the list. Next up: David Mitchell’s gonna get an earful.

  6. Bruce Says:

    Well I agree with Tim
    A 15 year old having any interest in obscene “things” is disgraceful.
    When I was that age I only enjoyed innocent pleasures like skipping through woodlands and macrame.
    If the youth of today are different then that is a clear sign that society is going to hell in a handcart.
    Helen and Olly are clearly Satan’s minions.

  7. Adam, Bristol Says:

    AMT, what does Erudite mean? My IT network at work won’t let me access Wikipedia

  8. Gareth Says:

    Tim, you may have a point in that most of the questions discussed on the podcast I suspect I could answer for myself with a bit of judicious googling. The reason I listen is for the camaraderie between the presenters above all, but perhaps that has passed you by. The podcast must sound very different to listeners with little or no sense of humour or joy.

    As for the language issue, iTunes helpfully provides me with an ‘explicit’ warning in case I worry my ears can’t cope with the endless stream of profanity. These children who presumably wake up all excited on Thursday mornings and run to their computers are as likely as the grown-ups among us to read this website, so your own language rather hampers your argument in that respect.

    Put briefly, you’re a ball.

  9. Tom Says:

    This podcast is excellent. Tim, you are a cunt.

    Perhaps “We’re quite capable of finding our own answers, thanks” can be worked into a new jingle for 2010?


    I agree tim, its like nazi Germany.


  11. James, Lincolnshire/Sheffield Uni Says:

    (I didn’t notice all the other responses to Tim’s post, whoops!) 🙂

  12. James, Lincolnshire/Sheffield Uni Says:

    @ Tim, Nottingham

    1) It’s not as if Helen and Olly request that youngsters send in obscene questions – the questions are submitted by the public. So don’t blame Helen and Olly, it’s not their fault if kids have questions that they want answering!

    2) “Sub-educated” ? I never knew that Oxford University accepted, nor produced, sub-educated individuals…

    3) You berate the pair for swearing on a public forum (the podcast), and then later in the same paragraph you use the words “fuck”, “bullshit” and “bollocks”. The internet is also a public forum, as you’re probably aware, and you just swore all over it… try to practice what you preach!

    4) “Independent” does not necessarily equal “low-brow crap”, and the success and critical acclaim of this podcast is proof of that.

    5) Sure, wikipedia and google may be used in part, but I don’t think that people submit questions solely for them to be answered factually… the element of humour (which, although you may be unable to detect, many thousands of us enjoy and appreciate such comedy!) is what makes the podcast so entertaining for so many people, hence it’s rapid rise to success over the past couple of years.

    6) Finally, just because you don’t like something, many others may like it, so there’s no point in making attacks like these because it is merely a matter of personal taste. The extent of attack and anger that is present in your post only serves to make you look like a fool.

    That’ll do for now!
    Hey… perhaps Helen and Olly will mention this on the next episode of Answer Me This! 😉

  13. Sarah Says:

    I like it when people mock other people’s vocabularies with a tirade littered with swear words. It really backs up their argument.

    I also like how the podcast is funny without an agenda, and the fact that I, like others, can choose to listen, or not to listen if I were to object so deeply.

    My favourite thing is when people take time out of their days to rant about something that only affects them because they’ve chosen to experience it.


    I love AMT.

    Don’t worry Helen, don’t worry Olly- I’ve got your backs.

  14. Andrew Says:

    Tim, fuck off.

  15. Sha Says:

    Thank goodness you have someone who uses the sentence structure “[statement]. NOT.” to criticise your use of vocabulary.

  16. Martin Says:

    Dear Helen and Olly,
    I quite like the podcast, even the sweary bits.
    keep it up,

  17. Tim, Nottingham Says:

    Answer Me This: is AMT proud of the fact you seem to have so many youngsters on here asking quite obscene and disgusting questions? (No doubt you thought they were a bit of a giggle). I’ve seen sexually explicit questions asked by 10 yr olds, 15 yr olds. (Why would adults claim to be children? Maybe that can be another question for you to “answer”!). That says a lot about the state of this country, and thanks so much for validating it.

    And here’s another question to test your world-beating Googling skills: why is AMT liked so much? Oh, is it because you’re a couple of sub-educated adults who like swearing on the radio a lot and filling every sentence with retarded, immature, asinine sexual innuendo because you have fuck all else to say and such a small vocabulary? Wow, yea…that’s err, really impressive. You’re so progressive, so informative, so erudite. I think I’ll subscribe to the podcast right now. NOT. Who the fuck thought such bullshit would be suitable for a podcast? Since when did filthy conversation normally heard in private (you do know the difference between public and private, right?) become perfectly acceptable for a podcast? And don’t give me that “independent” bollocks; on the internet that’s usually a euphemism for “low-brow crap”.

    Your “answers” can be found on Wikipedia and Google, and in the real fucking world. We’re quite capable of finding our own answers, thanks. Your show is so fucking pointless, and it’s another example of how the internet – and podcasts in particular – can be a force for good, but it can also be an open sewer. Just in case you’re confused, you’re an example of the latter.

    • Mysterious Matt Says:

      Tim, why all the hate? You know, we just need to love one another a little more. You and the AMT team are not so different. I mean, you are just anything interesting to say and any interesting way to say it away from being just like them. Oh… and what’s that other thing…. oh yeah, anyone who wants anything to do with you.

      Oh, and just for this comment’s TechSpot®: Helen and Olly do not swear on the radio, they swear on the Internet. So congratulations, that’s one thing that you have in common.

    • Sonny-D Says:

      Dude this isn’t Radio Four – chill out!
      And anyway, is Oxford University not educated enough for you?
      What do you want Tim? Stevens Fry and Hawkins sitting around answering Ted from Dagenham’s questions?
      In the words of Keith Barret “It’s just a bit of fun”

    • alexbrown1816 Says:

      I can’t believe you just used a “not” joke whilst trying to make a point about someone else’s stupidity.

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