Saying goodbye to the Leopard

calendar 11 Apr 2019

The only reason I make stuff on or for the Internet is to connect with people. I don’t have a lot of real-world social grace, so in the same way a cat drags in a half-dead mouse from the garden and lays it at its owner’s feet, I cobble together some nonsense, put it in the cloud and hope that someone finds it and wants to chat about it. That’s literally the main reason I do what I do, and pretty much the only reason I have a salary right now.

I really want to do a Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy podcast. I have a great idea for a format... if only I had some friends who would want to do it with me..

Posted by Mark Steadman on Friday, 26 May 2017

So in May of 2017 I posted to Facebook that I’d had an idea for a Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy podcast, and my three favourite people said they’d do it. Predictably enough, Mr Hickman had detailed questions about the format and thought we’d struggle to fill 30 minutes. Since then we’ve covered somewhere in the region of 300 nouns, some of them proper nouns, like really proper nouns.

We nearly came to blows in our first Christmas special, I’ve edited episodes in Brighton and New York, and at 2am, but while we were in-season, we never missed a week. And when you’ve got four people, three of whom have actual lives, that’s no mean feat.

If you were with us from the start, you might remember that we used to do ads for Audible. We dropped those pretty quickly when we realised it wasn’t worth the effort and disruption to the show, since nobody acted on them. Which is to be expected, as most of our listeners probably already had an Audible account or owned the books we were talking about.

We’ve always had a tiny audience, and that can make it tricky when you do have a life outside of the podcast, because you can’t always prioritise a hobby that costs you money over life stuff. But Jon, Jon and Danny put up with my badgering and pestering, and helped me pick up the slack when it was getting a bit tedious…. in much the same way that I put up with Jon Bounds’ numerous references to local chip shops or Danny’s persistent and overwhelming desire to put his knob where it wasn’t designed to go.

This show always took work to put together; it was work to put all the topics in order, to write a description and a question for each one, to schedule recordings, think of bits, comments, and social media posts, then edit the show so that the sometimes two-hour long chats we had actually resembled something people would want to listen to. But every week my co-hosts brought the funny and the fascinating, and there was never a moment where I had to pad out an episode. Which, you’d think, would mean I’d talk less, but clearly, you’d be wrong.

But the hard work paid off because we have a body of work I think we can all be proud of, and I hope you, our listener, have enjoyed.

I can’t thank my friends enough for coming along with me on this silly jaunt, for putting up with me stressing about what was, in the end, a quaint little side-project. I’ve been, not exactly depressed, but definitely not super happy for a good 20 months or so, and hanging out with the three idiots in my ears has been a highlight I think — I know — I’d have been far worse off without, and will remember incredibly fondly.

So thanks lads, and thank you, our listener, for sticking with us. Hopefully we’ve made your Thursday commute a little easier. By the way, no-one’s dying or anything; this is just a panel show that’s going away next week.

The penultimate episode of the show, in which you can hear me deliver this little speech