Where did the idea for the show come from?
Ryan: Pete sent me a text one day that said "Ok. Weekly podcast. History of the entire world. 15 minutes a week. Record on Thursdays.” I suggested we call it 'History is everywhere’ and that we base each week’s episode on a random selection of Time, Location and Theme. The rest flowed pretty immediately around that concept.
Pete: I think it came to me in an opium dream. Or I was just bored at work. One of the two. It’s definitely grown to something better than the original scrappy idea though thanks to Ryan.
What do you enjoy most about doing the show?
Ryan: That’s hard! Almost everything. The research, the recording, the sketches, the editing, the promotion.. I’m involved with every part of it and I love every second.
Pete: I love it when Ryan does all the editing, which is every week. The rest of it is all fun. It has to be or it wouldn ‘t be worth spending hours every week on. Until that sweet, sweet podcast money starts rolling in of course.
What's the hardest thing about doing the podcast?
Ryan: Finding time for anything else as there’s always something to do. Also, knowing that one day (in the far future, hopefully) it’ll end.
Pete: On the research it’s definitely knowing when to stop. You find yourself disappearing down fascinating rabbit holes but there’s only so much time. Also, listening back to your own voice takes some getting used to.
Do you have a favourite episode?
Ryan: Yes. I have a fondness for Guyana. I knew nothing about the country before researching it. I didn’t even know it was in South America. But, through that week of reading all I could about it, I’ve grown fond of it as a place and I’m gonna go visit it when the pandemic is gone.
Pete: Egypt was pretty special because we managed to come across someone who could tell us about food and drink from first-hand experience, which was pretty amazing.
Where do you record?
Ryan: We record in my flat! There’s a little nook set up with mics and the laptop and a table lamp that we both hit our head on regularly. We settle in here every week and make ourselves super-comfy.
Pete: That lamp! But yeah, the magic happens in a special corner of Ryan’s flat, in an equally special corner of Croydon, where we both live.
Is the Derselator real, or do you just decide the topics and countries between yourselves?
Ryan: The Derselator is very real. Sadly it’s just a spreadsheet with a macro that randomises the country, time and topic. I wanted a clunking great machine with dials and levers and is fuelled by steam, but Pete said it wasn’t practical. So so boring.
Pete: We have to save the budget for big Podcast champagne socials Ryan. I’ve told you. But yes, the Derselator is real and I have to watch Ryan operate it, because I don’t trust him not to lie and give me some really hard combination of topics.
Is Paul Dersley real?
Ryan: Paul would likely respond to this question with... "well, it depends on what your definition of real is?” and on this occasion I’d have to agree with him. It’s hard to tell. Certainly I can attest to the fact that he smells of gin, wears a smoking cap and is passionate about the clarity of his ice.
Pete: He is very real. And a lovely chap too.