Back in late 2015 I (Al) began my podcasting journey with the debut of The Dead Piett Society. It took us a while to get into our stride and work out what the show would be like; it was a show about odd news stories intertwined with some fun games, rants and discussions of all things geek. But sadly by 2017, with all four hosts about to become parents, we just didn’t have the time to continue the show.

Then in 2019 I had another crack, and had an idea for a show called The Bear Cave. It was meant to be a frank discussion about parenting, social anxiety, confidence and other things I had struggled with with others in similar positions as well as experts on the various subjects. But the anxiety aspect basically put a stop to it before I got to record my first interview.

But I also had another idea, something that was meant to be more of a spiritual successor to the Dead Piett Society. And so, following the weird naming theme, The Ministry of Swooping was born. MoS was a show about fake news, helping to identify falsehoods being shared on social media with some light hearted fact checking. Joining me to discuss the stories were comedians, podcasters and friends. I completed one 11-episode season and a sporting special for Sport Relief in early 2020.

Then the COVID-19 shit hit the proverbial fan, and plans for Season 2 of MoS kind of went out of the window. I wasn’t sure about doing a Coronavirus special, as everyone else was already doing them, and so many of the stories being shared online where related to the virus, or the subsequent lockdown. So I decided to shelve the series for a while.

But, because I’m always coming up with random plans, a few new ideas came into my head.

The first was a series of short podcasts, called Sucking Eggs. Each episode would teach you how to do something really simple, that you should already know how to do (hence the name). The other was an audio drama, based on a movie idea I’d had a while back.

After some time brainstorming, I came up with the perfect podcasting solution…

“The Bear Cave and Other Podcasts” is a mashup of all my previous podcasts, with some new podcast ideas, other peoples podcasts and fictional podcasts. There will be a revolving assortment of segments that will be familiar for listeners to my previous shows, such as The Weird Week That Was and Best & Worst from Dead Piett Society. Plus the Fact Check Quiz and the overall premise from Ministry of Swooping will be present as segments, as will Sucking Eggs and Bear Meets, where I interview various interesting people from all walks of life. We’re even including short snips of other peoples podcasts, with an brief interview with their hosts, plus all manner of fictional podcasts appearing very briefly.

Expect everything from the sensible to the nonsensical.