Posts Tagged ‘toasters’

Best of AMT 2014

December 18, 2014

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


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

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

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

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

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


Helen & Olly

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


Tyler’s toaster triumph

July 9, 2014



It gives us such a glow to learn that our advice has changed a listener’s life. Given our usual schtick, this happens extremely rarely. But thanks to us, AMT292‘s lovable toast-moron Tyler from Manchester has triumphed over (self-inflicted) adversity:

Thank you for reading out my letter about my toaster trouble and for correctly identifying that I am a bit of a mooncalf when it comes to toasting bread.

I just wanted to thank you for alerting me to the fact that toasters come in different sizes – I had always blithely assumed that they all had the same standard-sized slots, and had never shopped around for toasters with the room to accommodate a slice of Warburtons, crusts and all.

I have now done so, and am the proud owner of a large red one, with ample bread-browning docking areas. In honour of you guys, I have christened it Olly. I hope you don’t feel left out, Helen, but this toaster is definitely masculine. Which might make you wonder why I called it Olly. The simple answer is that calling a toaster Martin the Soundman is just a bit too nutty.

Of course, naming a toaster ‘Olly’ is not nutty at all. Keep on keeping on, Tyler.


Toaster mystery SOLVED

July 1, 2014



It’s the news you’ve all been waiting for! OK, some of you have been waiting for. Not like you wait for an exciting parcel to arrive, or for you tea to be ready; more how you might wait for a dental appointment, just to get it out of the way, or you wait for someone to hurry up in the loo because SERIOUSLY WHAT HAVE THEY BEEN DOING IN THERE FOR 40 MINUTES?

Yep, that’s how to feel about feedback about the toaster latching mechanism as considered in AMT292. Sean from Waiheke Island, New Zealand appears to be qualified to explain it:

In a previous life I spent several years traipsing around toaster factories in China, inspecting their wares and production methods, helping them improve their quality and designs, and buying them, quite literally, by the truckload for the eager British public.
In this capacity, I can advise you with some confidence, that the reason a toaster won’t latch when it’s not plugged in is because the mechanism is held in the down position by an electro-magnet. And as the term suggests, electromagnets need the “electro” component in order to work.

Basically, there’s a small electronic timer (a chip on a circuit board) which powers the electromagnet for the period set by the “browning control”. While the electromagnet is powered on, it holds on to a small metal plate attached to the lever and the bread carriage. When the time’s up, the power to the electromagnet is cut, the magnetism stops, and the whole mechanism is released, with springs bringing the bread carriage back to the up position.

In the “olden” days, all of this was done much more mechanically using latches and bimetallic strips, which was a great system, but with varied results. But because it was purely mechanical, you could latch the bread carriage down without the power being switched on. The fancy new electromagnetic timers are cheaper and more reliable, and the reason why the toaster needs power before the mechanism can be latched in the down position.

So there you go… mystery solved.

Thanks, Detective Sean! And for all of you still wondering whyyyyy this is necessary, here’s a cautionary tale to illustrate the vital role the toaster-latch plays in our lives. Josh from New York writes:

When I was in high school, my parents had an older toaster with a latching mechanism that allowed you to push in the bread even when the toaster was not plugged in.

One fateful Fourth of July, I was in the mood for some toast. I put some bread in the toaster, pushed the bread down, and waited five minutes before realizing toast was not being made because the toaster was not plugged in. (Yes, like your original questioner, I was apparently too stupid to make toast.) Without pushing the bread back up, I reached to plug in the toaster. As soon as the plug was in the socket, the toaster short circuited and lit on fire.

I was burned badly enough that I had to go to the emergency room, where I waited two hours so a doctor could tell me he did not believe my story and insisted that I had probably been playing with fireworks for American Independence Day. And on top of that, I NEVER GOT MY TOAST.

In short, if you’re as bad at making toast as I am – and the original question asker apparently is – you should probably just eat your bread cold.

There we go. Those electromagnets are just looking after us, knowing that we’re too stupid to be trusted. I’m going to delegate all my life admin to electromagnets.

PS Star Wars fans, I have found THE toaster for you. HERE. No need to thank me.
PPS If your tastes fall more on the Olly Mann end of the spectrum, I also have the toaster for you.


EPISODE 292 – phallic noses

June 19, 2014

Listeners, who is the bigger idiot: the questioneer who is too big an idiot to make toast, or the podcasters who talk about that big idiot for nearly ten minutes?

The only way to decide is to listen to Answer Me This! Episode 292:

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

In which we discuss:

Alexander Armstrong
McDonald’s weddings
Pop Tarts
Christmas booze
30 years since Gremlins
metal thieves vs Barbara Hepworth
graphic design vs alternative medicine
tiny toaster troubles
Greyhound Buses
Olly’s next rotten criminal scheme
The Raccoons.

In today’s Bit of Crap on the App, we delve deeper into the grotesque and terrifying world of novelty toasters. Join us if you dare on your iDevice, Android or Windows toy.

If you’ve invented your own amazing multi-functional toaster (“Guys! It can heat soup at the same time as cutting the toast into perfectly equal croutons!”) then build yourself a snazzy online store through our benevolent sponsors, deploying the code Answer for 10% off their services for a whole year.

When you’re not too preoccupied with (re)inventing kitchen gadgetry, send us QUESTIONS: call the Question Line on 0208 123 5877 or Skype ID answermethis, or email And be our imaginary friend at and

We shall return on Thursday 3rd July with AMT293 – but we’ll also be appearing on this Radio Academy panel about podcasting on 25th June; and as we mentioned, we’re also available at our side project podcasts The Media Podcast, Sound Women and Brain Train. Furthermore, to accompany all the SPOOOOOORT that seems to be happening at the moment, you can hear us talking as sportily as we are able on the AMT Sports Day album, available now at

That’s it! We’re off to make some toast. We could be gone for some time.

Helen & Olly

••• AMT292 Child-Friendly Rating: 40%. Swears. Cartoon phallic noses. Kicks off with feedback about parental sex, the very notion of which can be traumatic for your progeny. •••


EPISODE 215 – the Richard Gere problem

May 17, 2012


We’re really, really sorry, but after listening to Answer Me This! Episode 215, there’s a strong chance you will have an LMFAO song stuck in your brain, and it will make you want to stick a straw in your ear, suck that brain out of your head then spit it down the drain. But, hopefully the rest of the podcast doesn’t have that effect on you.

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

Today we mention:

Annie Hall
Joey Barton
the future of pubic hairstyles
Jessie J vs. indifferent radio professionals eating dinner
Will.I.Am vs. Simon and Garfunkel
‘Party Rock Anthem’ vs. ‘The Birdie Song’
Quentin Crisp
Olly’s uncle
frigid North Hertfordshire
the scary Dalai Lama
the sexual misuse of animals
the man with the box on his head.

Plus: Olly theorises upon why footballers sport such ridiculous barnets; Helen does not like her toast done on one side; and sadly we don’t have video footage of Martin the Sound Man’s first ever viewing of ‘Sexy and I Know It‘, but if we did, it would be right up there in the video commentary canon alongside this.

This week’s Bit of Crap on the App (available for iDevices or Android) is a two-course feast of questions: firstly one from Hannah about currywurst, then for pudding a question from Sammy in Falkirk about pineapple. We hope this combination does not give your ears indigestion.

If you want more ear-food next week, please send us a QUESTION: deliver emails to or leave voicemails on the Question Line (dial 0208 123 5877 or Skype answermethis).

See you next Thursday,

Helen & Olly


EPISODE 199 – putting drugs into kids’ songs since 2001

December 1, 2011

Happy Advent, Team AMT! Let’s open the first door of our advent calendar……..oh. It’s a bloody Robin Redbreast, like it is every bloody year. Better luck tomorrow, eh? At least there is the consolation of today’s other new surprise, Answer Me This! Episode 199:

This classic episode is available to BUY NOW for just 79p at the Answer Me This! Store, through a secure server, without DRM restriction. CLICK HERE to find out more and support our podcast. (This helps keep our most recent episodes free)

Today we consider:

boring drummers vs. insane drummers
onions vs. lilies
Buckingham Palace
The Vicar of Dibley
The Bread Show
Nicki Minaj’s facial expressions
Alex James’s cheese
NHS records
King Charles Spaniels
the tragic death of Jeff Porcaro
canine faith
pelican fly
Augustus Gloop.

Plus: Olly warns against handling screwdrivers with your buttocks when attempting DIY tasks; Helen says NO to Grandpa Joe; and Martin the Sound Man plans the toast-based timelapse video that will be going viral shortly after he’s finished his breakfast.

This week’s Bit of Crap on the App (available for iDevices or Android) is a question from Katherine about how to compile the perfect mixtape with which to woo her new boyfriend. We also learn how not to woo Olly’s mum, and how many Strangelove songs it is permissible to add to one compilation (clue: either one, or none).

We are VERY VERY EXCITED about next week’s episode, because it is of course going to be AMT200! It’s a milestone we never imagined we would reach, but by crikey, here we (almost) are. It will be a rather different affair to AMT100 – the party whistles are still ringing in our ears – but it’ll definitely be a bit special. And like every single one of the episodes preceding it, it will be based upon your QUESTIONS, so send emails to and leave voicemails on the Question Line (dial 0208 123 5877, Skype answermethis).

As we’ve also mentioned, another AMT landmark lurks around the corner, namely our 5th BIRTHDAY, so help us celebrate by sending something suitable to the following address:

Answer Me This!
PO Box 53587
SE19 9BQ

Yours, giddy with anticipation,

Helen & Olly


EPISODE 175 – Urine-Off

April 14, 2011


That’s right – the time has come for us to shout ‘Wooooo!’, whip our tops off, and throw up all over a beach resort in Mexico while Joe Francis captures our shame on video. Answer Me This! is off on its hols for a few weeks, but before we go, here’s Episode 175:

This classic episode is available to BUY NOW for just 79p at the Answer Me This! Store, through a secure server, without DRM restriction. CLICK HERE to find out more and support our podcast. (This helps keep our most recent episodes free)

In which we speak of:

Trebor gum
wedding-wear double standards
Birthday Girl
vats of KY
grab bags
parkour vs. flashmobs
Spiderman vs. white-collar crime
Hugh Grant vs. Ben Chaplin
Russian mail-order brides vs. Thai mail-order brides
Vernon Kay’s mum vs. Davina McCall’s mum
the Queen Sister-in-Law
the annual Test Card convention
Party Pieces
Simon Cowell’s fully-functioning penis.

Furthermore! Olly is like a smack-head, but for Percy Pigs; Helen shuns a potential money-making scheme; and Martin the Sound Man provides the key to safe toaster cookery. This week’s Bit of Crap on the App (a worthy addition to your iPhone or Android) is the true question of Lil Wayne: what possessed him to go for this?

We hope you don’t forget us while we’re away; please keep sending us your QUESTIONS for the new series: leave voicemails on the Question Line (dial 0208 123 5877 or find answermethis on Skype) or send emails to Plus, don’t hesitate to sign up for your free and half-price audiobooks at – you get a bargain, we get paid, everyone’s happy!

There will be bits and pieces popping up on this site during the break, but we’ll see you back here bright and early on 26th May for AMT176. Until then, behave yourselves.

Helen & Olly