Backlisted is a podcast I’ve recently become so hooked on that I am forcing it on everyone I meet. Three friends in publishing meet every two weeks to talk about what they’ve been reading and a forgotten or neglected book that their guest has chosen.
The result is what can only be described as a rollicking 60 minutes of childhood memories, barely-legal gossip, and laughter. Matthew Clayton’s embittered memories of childhood trips round the south England folk scene had me nearly crying with laughter, whilst the authors they choose seem to have specialised in outrageously unbelievable lives. Erskine Childers was hailed as a true patriot by Churchill and later killed by firing squad as a traitor, Denton Welch decided to go into drag in 1930s China whilst visiting his dad on an escape from boarding school, and Nigel Balchin found time between working on national food policies and writing a novel for NASA to produce the Aero, the Kit-Kat, Black Magic and the screenplay for Cleopatra.
In between such gems are insights into publishing life, heated debates on how to make a really good pastiche, and a pile up of possible memoir titles: Devastating Boys, Bourbon and Surnames and A Puffin in my Porridge are all on standby.