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A Few Hours With The Nintendo Switch

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You know I’m a massive gamer, right? Always have been, since the days of my Dragon 32 and BBC Micro, I’ve loved computer games. For the last few years I have been an Xbox fan boy, but always had a soft spot for the PlayStation. they are both beautiful machines. Nintendo hasn’t figured in my life too much recently. Saying that, I just bought a second hand GameCube to be stored at work for when I finish my show ‘prep’ early and there’s nothing on the telly. Mario Kart and SSX Tricky shall be filling a void before I talk to people on the radio. I had a Wii, I liked the Wii but I don’t think I was in love with it. And because of that, I was a little suspicious of the Switch when it was first announced. In fact, when asked if I was going to get one, I’d reply with a ‘Nah, I don’t think it’s for me’. But knowing it was out, knowing that people were in their homes playing a new console…I felt very left out. So, I bit the bullet and bought one.

I wasn’t expecting much but even still, I was more than a little giddy with excitement when I got it out of the box. It’s tiny but absolutely beautiful. It looks stunning and feels sumptuous to hold. Switching it on for the first time I felt a little flutter, it may have been the controllers twitching into life, but I like to think it was my heart, excited to be connecting with a Nintendo machine for the first time in ages.

Look, let me jump to the chase. I love it. Aesthetically it is VERY pleasing. The controls are a joy to finger and the screen is magnificent. Of course, you can plug it into your telly as well, and the colours flood the room. At the moment I’ve only got one game, the 1-2 Switch that comes with it, so I can’t speak too much about other games (Zelda is downloading as we speak) and again, I really didn’t think the demo game would be any cop. In fact a few people had told me it was rubbish. Well, maybe they weren’t in the right frame of mind, or perhaps they didn’t have 5 and 7 year olds boys giggling with delight. It isn’t going to set the world on fire, but guess what? 1-2 is FUN. Actual, stupid, silly, laugh out loud, shout as your partner falls on their backside, FUN. And isn’t that really the essence of a good game? We allowed them to become too serious, too intellectual, too…well…dull. But 1-2 is ridiculous and that’s why it works. Today I have been milking a cow, rocking a baby to sleep and having an eating contest. My fave round though has to be Telephone. You sit and wait for a phone to ring. That’s it. Wonderful. My boys seemed to enjoy Air Guitar the most and now end the round with a huge ‘Thank you fans!’

Today Nintendo Switch has lifted my spirits more than any video game has for a long time. I have spent a good few hours laughing at its childishness and loving it. This is just the tip of the iceberg, I know, and I can’t wait to see what else this little bundle of fun can do.

Hey, I’ve written for games mags, presented TV shows on games and also done online work for Nintendo. If anyone wants to hire me for any of these things again, please drop me an email at iain@iainlee.com Many thanks.

The Rabbit Hole Episode 2 – Wangers

By | News, Podcasts, The Rabbit Hole | No Comments

A world first! Unique! A pre-recorded phone in show captured live in front of a studio audience!

Episode 2 of mine and Katherine Boyle’s show is a little rude. We honestly don’t want it to be rude but sex sells. So, we went a bit blue, something for the dads. But we’ll try and make them cleaner in the future. Still, it’s very, very funny.

Don’t forget, we will be uploading a new episode of The Rabbit Hole every Thursday. So subscribe to it to make sure you don’t miss out.

You can subscribe to it on iTunes (ratings and reviews help and we will give away a t shirt at every recording session to the best review) https://itunes.apple.com/gb/podcast/the-rabbit-hole/id1197873408?mt=2

Or, you can listen here. Please share with anyone who may like this! Thanks.

Ooh, still a few tickets left for the recording on Sunday February 19th and more than a few for the recording on Sunday March 26th! www.ticketsource.co.uk/iain-lee

Rabbit Hole Merchandise!

By | News, Podcasts, The Rabbit Hole | No Comments

Thanks to the brilliant Scott Balcony at www.balconyshirts.co.uk there is now a wonderful range of Rabbit Hole merchandise! T-shirts! Bags! More T-Shirts!

First up, here’s yer basic RH T-shirt. Who wouldn’t look wonderful in one of these bad boys? It’s available in black and brown and cut for men and women.

t1

http://www.balconyshirts.co.uk/the-rabbit-hole-t-shirt-official-merchandise-1.html#t-shirt

 

 

 

 

Here’s my fave, the baseball T. Classy, elegant and I shall be wearing one on February 19th at our next recording session! Red or blue, it’s up to you. http://www.balconyshirts.co.uk/hey-rabbit-hole-baseball-t-shirt-official-merchandise-7050.html

baseball

 

 

 

 

 

Finally, for now, here’s a tote bag, available in black or navy, to put your totes in!

tote-navy-prod2http://www.balconyshirts.co.uk/tote-bags/the-rabbit-hole-t-shirt-official-merchandise.html#bag

 

 

 

Stay tuned, because hats and jumpers are coming too.

Don’t forget, you can leave answerphone messages for The Rabbit Hole at any time. Just call 0203 286 6370 NOW! The best messages will get in the show.

Oh, and can you do us a favour? The iTunes chart is based on new subscriptions, ratings and reviews. So it would be really helpful if you could leave us a 5 star rating and a review. We will pick the best one on February 19th and send you a free T-Shirt. iTunes link is this bad boy https://itunes.apple.com/gb/podcast/the-rabbit-hole/id1197873408?mt=2

Thanks for your support. We aim to release a new episode every Thursday so make sure you’ve subscribed. Here’s our most recent one. Enjoy!

The Rabbit Hole Episode 1 – Doors

By | News, Podcasts, The Rabbit Hole | No Comments

Last Sunday, Katherine and I sat on a tiny stage in front of 100 people and recorded two episodes of our brand new show The Rabbit Hole. We weren’t sure what would happen. Would people laugh? Would you call in? Would we look stupid?

The answer to all 3 of those questions was yes.

Basically, it worked. We chatted, the audience joined in and people called .The tricky bit was how would Kath cut it down to 2 x 30 minute episodes?

We are trying to keep this separate from the talkRADIO shows so you may notice any reference to our day jobs excised. No ‘Hip, hip, hip’s’. No ‘What kind of cake’. All of that stuff went. We love that you love that but we want The Rabbit Hole to stand on it’s own 2 feet.

The plan is to record 2 shows every month and release 1 full show every fortnight. We want to bring out SOMETHING in the other weeks, but we don’t know what yet. Any suggestions? You can of course take part ANY TIME YOU WANT as we need answer phone messages. Why don’t you call NOW? The number is 0203 286 6370 or Skype HeyRabbitHoleShow. The answerphone is always on so please feel free to call any time, day or night. Also, we want to encourage as many randoms as possible to ring us, so do feel free to share the number with friends, enemies, forums, websites, toilet walls…

Next show is being recorded on Sunday February 19th. You can get tickets here www.ticketsource.co.uk/iain-lee

You can get the podcast on a variety of platforms. Pocketcast certainly has it, and here is the iTunes link if you want to grab it from there https://itunes.apple.com/gb/podcast/the-rabbit-hole/id1197873408?mt=2 If you do get it from iTunes, please leave reviews and 5 star ratings and SUBSCRIBE. It only takes a moment and really helps push us up the charts and make us visible to more people.

The RSS feed is here for people who find that important http://rss.acast.com/therabbithole

Failing that, the pod is here.

Thanks for listening.

The Rabbit Hole gets closer…

By | News, Podcasts, The Rabbit Hole | No Comments

We are recording the first full Rabbit Hole show this Sunday! You can call in live between 7.30-8.30pm and 9pm-10pm Sunday 29th January. Either dial 0203 286 6370 or Skype HeyRabbitHoleShow

Heck, you can even call those numbers now and leave a message.

This is a real punt. Will anyone call in live or will we be sat there in front of an audience of 150 with egg on our face? That’s up to you.

 

The Rabbit Hole Moves A Step Closer by Katherine Boyle

By | News | 2 Comments

When I was a little kid, my teacher couldn’t work out why I was so much better at telling stories that I was at writing them down. My mum knew. I didn’t want to make a mess of my exercise book by trying to use words I couldn’t spell.

Bless.

Thing is, while my spelling got better, the fear of ballsing up persisted until ridiculously recently. 

About two years ago I had a revelation. Not the religious kind with a capital R, but one that’s been just as life-changing. 

Iain and I were invited out to coffee with our then boss…

“I’ve been contacted by the Radio Academy. They want you to speak at their festival in Salford.”

I took another sip of my latte. I was used to people wanting to pick Iain’s brains, this was nothing to do with me.

“They want both of you.”

My stomach lurched. 

Both of us? On a stage? In front of people? 

Balls to that! I don’t do stuff like that. 

can’t. Just can’t. I mean, what do I know? 

I told them both as much. Well, actually I told them “F*@k that. I can’t.”  Words that would come back to haunt me, but not in the way I feared*. Because Iain convinced me I could.

No. He convinced me that we could. 

And we did. 

And it was terrifying and stomach churning, and there were loads of people there…and a lot of them really liked it. So much so, that we were asked to speak at more conferences, and colleges – at one point we found ourselves  working as radio consultants in Bratislava – before I knew it I was standing in front of people on a pretty regular basis, feeling really comfortable and getting a real kick out of it.

Bloody hell. What had I been so worried about?

I started to think about all the times I’d held back in the past. I’d been telling myself I wasn’t ready, I just wasn’t good enough, or didn’t know as much as the next person, but the truth was I was scared of falling on my face. I was still that kid with a pristine exercise book full of crappy stories that weren’t half as good as the adventures in my head. 

Almost every time an opportunity presented itself, I’d been imagining the hurdles and bailing out of the race. 

What an idiot! No more.

I’d been missing all the fun!

Which is how 2016 saw me give up the nice sensible job at the BBC station I’d worked at for 15 years.  It’s the reason I’m now self-employed and hoping my contract gets renewed at talkRADIO next month. It’s also how I find myself on the brink of co-hosting a brand new podcast that might fail spectacularly.

The idea is this; Once a month, we make a phone-in show in front of a live audience and whoever’s floating about online. We’re assuming you’re going to join in, either by turning up on the night, having a laugh and maybe even grabbing the mic, or by staying home in your pants or PJs, watching on Periscope and giving us a shout on the phone or Skype.

It’s a huge ask, and it might be an absolute disaster.

But…it could be amazing. Can you imagine? It could turn into something really special.

There’s only one way to find out.

Are you in?

Tickets: https://www.ticketsource.co.uk/iain-lee

Skype: HeyRabbitHoleShow

Phone-in: 02032866370

 

Last Few Iain Lee Vs Radio Shows….

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I’ve decided to do a handful of Iain Lee Vs Radio shows. Not sure why. I find the whole process too stressful but part of me feels I didn’t quite finish what I started in 2015. I know lots of you didn’t get to see it and have emailed me saying you want to see it. If you’ve seen the show before this is pretty much the same thing BUT I have added a few extra bits and moved some pieces around. I might add some more new bits as the shows go on. I’m kind of half working on a new show called, predictably, Iain Lee Vs TV and this incorporates some of that.

Anyway, I have 3 shows booked for now. If they sell out I might add a few more a bit further north but…what if no one comes!

Dates so far are…

Sunday March 12th – The Stables Milton Keynes (almost SOLD OUT) get tickets here http://www.stables.org/Whats_on/Event/Iain_Lee_Versus_Radio

Sunday 2nd April – Glee Club Nottingham, tickets HERE http://www.seetickets.com/event/iain-lee/nottingham-glee-club/1060253

Sunday 4th June – Glee Club Birmingham, tickets HERE http://www.seetickets.com/event/iain-lee/the-glee-club-birmingham/1060258

Don’t forget, I hang around after if you want to get pictures or have a chat and stuff.

Oh! And you can also buy a CD of Iain Lee Vs Radio and/or a digital download of the show. If you get the download, you also get a completely different show (well, the same) recorded on a different night. Please buy these as I am hungry. Get them here www.gofasterstripe.com/iainlee

Thanks team. Love you.

x

 

Down The Rabbit Hole – new live show and podcast

By | News | 3 Comments

 

So me and Katherine Boyle are trying something completely new. It’s a real punt and we could totally end up with egg on our faces. Imagine! 2 people doing a brand new thing in front of an audience that may be a total car crash! C’est incredible!

The Rabbit Hole is a brand new podcast
/audio show/piece of art in conjunction with the wonderful boffins at Acast. They do the Adam Buxton and Scroobius Pip pods to name but 2. They’re a pretty cool company that are really in to getting new and exciting audio shows into your earholes. Once a month, Kath and I are going to put on a live event. At each event we will try and record 2 episodes of The Rabbit Hole. You can buy tickets and come and watch. If you’re in the audience, you can even get up onstage and join in. If you’re not there, you can watch on Periscope and CALL IN. Yes, it’s a pre-recorded live phone in show podcast pod.

As I’m typing this I’m realising that actually, it sounds nuts. The odds of it working are pretty slim BUT WE ARE STILL GOING TO DO IT!
I’m getting ahead of myself.

The stage will have a table, a laptop, a screen and 3 microphones. I’ll be sat at 1 mic, Kath at the other. The third is in case any one in the audience feels like coming up onstage and being part of the show. The laptop and screen is so people can call in (02032866370) or Skype (HeyRabbitHoleShow). In fact, that number and Skype are up and running now so you can even leave messages for us.

That’s it. What if no one calls in? We’re screwed. What if no one turns up? We are absolutely buggered. What if it’s a complete car crash? Well, that could still be fun. What I do know for sure is that this is a world first, a completely unique experiment in audio art installations.rabbitholelogo

Want to come? We’re recording a few shows in London. We did look for venues in the West Midlands but I’m afraid they didn’t come off. We will get around the country, I promise. So, we are recording on Sunday 19th February and Sunday 26th March. There are still some tickets available but they are selling out quickly. Get them here www.ticketsource.co.uk/iain-lee Also, we have one Performance Ring in February (sold out) and that will be the last one of those until the summer at the earliest. We want to throw everything into The Rabbit Hole for the foreseeable.

Thanks for your support. We really appreciate all your kind words and for having the faith in us to do something new and different!

Behind the Scenes at talkRADIO with GingerBeardMark

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So a very nice man called Mark got in touch and asked if he could come into talkRADIO and film some stuff. I normally HATE this request but he told me he only had 15 subscribers to his YouTube channel so I felt sorry for him. And his other films were quite good.

So I said YES.

Here is his film in all it’s heavenly glory.

 

Last Night, I Did A Mean Show….

By | News | 39 Comments

 

I’ve worked at various different radio stations throughout the years – LBC, Absolute/Virgin, BBC – and now I’m at the wonderful talkRADIO. The show has evolved and changed throughout the years, at least, it has to my ears. They may all sound the same to you, perhaps the shifts are too subtle, but for me, each show on each station has a different vibe and tone. I started off a bit mean, and that meanness has been pretty much worn away. I genuinely think the stuff I’m doing now is the best I’ve ever done. I’ve been trying to get as far away from the formulaic, hate filled radio that a lot of speech based broadcasting has become. Too much of it, in my opinion, is pointing the finger at differences and blaming the difference for our problems. Those difference might be accent, religion, colour, clothing, jobs, whatever. But so much speech radio is about creating division and scaring people. As Stephen Colbert said ‘if we’re not scaring you, we’re not doing our job properly’.

 

The TR show is generally an anything goes kind of vibe. There are no questions as such, and conversations can be carried on over hours, days or weeks. I have no obvious agenda (there must be one, but I don’t know what it is yet) and I sit and talk. I’ll say how great a film is I’ve watched that day, how I was staring at my kids and realised that when they grow into teenagers I will MISS the 4 and 6 year old boys I live with now, I’ll talk about feeling suicidal or how life affirming Jackie Chan is. Callers will chip in on these themes, or ignore them and call in with their own thoughts on their own lives. I guess it’s all about us trying to make sense of the insane world we live in, in any way we can. The only rules are you can’t call in about Trump or Brexit unless you have something new and unique to say about it. You won’t. No one does but sweet lord, listen to some shows and some entire stations and you would think that is ALL people want to hear.

My ethos could be wrong, it may lead nowhere. My listening figures are good considering it’s a brand new station, but they could be better, and I know they could be much bigger if I went on air and pointed the finger and screamed and stirred the shitty pot and told you how terrified you should be of everything.

 

Last night, I attempted an experiment. I’d been thinking for a while that I would like to try and do a mean show, one of those shows that is so popular and gets huge listening figures. A JHB or Hopkins type affair. I’d mentioned a few times on air I wanted to do it, but wasn’t really sure how to proceed. I’d planned to do it on Monday but bottled it. We’d had the delightful Dexter Fletcher on as a guest and he was such an inspiration that it seemed like a betrayal of him and the listeners to do a complete volt face and be all mean. So, Tuesday it would be.

 

I started by warming people up on Twitter. I posted some incredibly mean tweets about Trans people, immigration and terrorism. I changed my name on Twitter to 52% and told all the Bremoaners to ‘stop whining’. It is amazing how quickly people took the bait. Many got angry with me and were disgusted to find out these were my politics, while some were pleased to hear somebody speaking the truth #freespeech. I probably lost and gained an equal measure of followers!

 

The show itself started with a debate between someone from Leave.EU and a gentleman from Open Britain. I of course gave the Leave guy an easy ride, despite him having a terrible phone line, and ripped into the OB chap. I felt terrible but, and here’s the thing, a tiny part of me enjoyed the meanness. After the initial questions where I would recoil with horror after being so harsh to him, I actually got a buzz. That probably says more about me then it does about humanity, but nastiness, bullying does seem to be a powerful force.

 

They went and the phone lines opened. Now, I should say, TR is a newish station. It doesn’t get as many phone calls as I would like. I do very well on the phone call front, and it is improving, but…for something like this to REALLY work, I needed a full switchboard, so in that respect, the evening didn’t work. But, what we got was gold.

 

There was a gentleman who called in saying he had worn a 3 inch by 3 inch Vote Leave badge and he was confident that had swayed the opinion of a Roman Catholic and a black woman. There was a lady called Sylvia who agreed with everything I was saying regarding cancelling all foreign aid (‘why should we give money to stop Indian women dying during childbirth? Aren’t there enough of them already’ was my argument) and a few others. What was especially interesting was that these people MUST have been listening to my show in the past. I say listening, I guess they had it on but didn’t HEAR anything. Cards on the table, I am a left to centre leaning liberalish Vote Remain lets all love one another depression sufferer. So how on earth these callers hadn’t picked up on that before I’ll never know.

 

We had a rush of calls at the end. Someone telling me that I needed to calm down. I destroyed him by telling him I’d won 3 awards and that I would call him the next day and tell him that HE was crap at his job. A few other agreeing with me and a wonderful call from someone who ‘got’ the gag and fooled most people as a heartbroken snowflake. Simply wonderful.

 

What was most interesting to me was the number of long term listeners who got very angry with what I was doing. They didn’t find it funny (fair enough, it was a slow burn gag) or entertaining (again, I’m cool with that) and also didn’t think it was satire (it was, that’s not open for debate). Several called the show wanting to either tell off my producer Katherine Boyle, or come on air and criticise me for not giving them the radio show they were used to and wanted to hear. A real sense of entitlement. I would have thought that if they were such big fans, they would know that from time to time I like to challenge myself and the listeners. It was 1 show out of 170. You don’t like, that’s absolutely fine. Switch off and pop back tomorrow.

 

I ended the show with a delightful ‘And….scene’ just as the last ads fired in. It’s a phrase used in acting circles to denote the scene or audition piece is over and the audience are free to applaud if they see fit and discuss what they’ve just witnessed. Twitter was ablaze, I haven’t had so many tweets during a show ever. The talkRADIO listeners Facebook page had over 140 comments, a record. People got ANGRY. I know that both of those measurements mean very little, but they do mean something. Being angry, spouting complete untruths such as ‘train drivers earn between £30,000 and £100,000 and all they do is go forward, stop and open and close doors. Sack the lot of them if they go on strike’ go generally unchallenged. The phrase of the moment is post truth, and it really is, well, true. You can say ANYTHING and people will not pick up on it. I said that postal workers were ‘pissing on kids Christmases and they should all be sacked’. Beautifully angry nonsense. Only one person called in to say that was harsh. I destroyed him.

 

And this is the thing. It is so easy to destroy people on air. I am in a position of authority, of power. I have thousands of hours of experience. Most people calling have never done it before. I control the faders. If the argument gets a bit tough, I can cut them off and slag them off after I’ve got rid of them. It is so easy to be mean, to be nasty, to get people stirred up, to scare them. And British radio has too many of these trolls on the air. They’re not solving anything, a phone in show never solved a single thing. They’re not helping people. They are making things worse. They are making this country worse. They are making the whole world a meaner, nastier place. I am sick and tired of turning on my wireless to hear a bunch of shit stirrers frightening people. Stop it. Stop the meanness. Radio editors, be brave. Yes, people like Hopkins gets loads of listeners and you’re driven by listeners but can’t you see what people like her are doing? Phone Farage? Oh do fuck off. They are spreading hatred. Stop it. Stop it now.

 

EDIT

I forgot the Sharia Burgers! How could I forget that? Again, in the spirit of creating fear and talking non truths, I told one caller I was furious that a well known high street burger chain was only selling Sharia Burgers and that we didn’t have any choice in the matter and it was disgusting we had no choice. The caller very quickly jumped on board and shared my anger DESPITE THE FACT THAT SENTENCE MAKES NO SENSE WHATSOEVER!