Wikishuffle (A Love Letter)


Last week one of my favourite podcasts was snubbed by the Guardian. They had been told that they were going to be included in the Guide as part of a massive feature on podcasts and then, after telling everybody and their mums about it, they were snubbed. No mention. Not one sausage of mentioning. And you know what, neither was the Monday Graveyard (though, we weren’t told that we would be mentioned, but that’s even more of a snub if you ask me).

I’ve waxed lyrical about Wikishuffle on my podcast a fair few times, and I’ve been rudely insulted about my love of rollercoasters on their podcast, but I’ve not written anything about their show on here, and knowing that maybe 1% of the readers here actually also listen to my own podcast (that’s a depressing Venn diagram) it is time I hailed their podcastery on here.

Wikishuffle is one of those ideas that makes you go “oh man, that’s a good idea that I should’ve came up with” that annoys me, like Facebook, capacitive touchscreens, or the Caps Lock key. They simply take Wikipedia, click the random article button, and then chat about whatever comes up. Literally, anything, from massive dreadful massacres during the War on Drugs, to Brum, the CBBC children’s TV show from my youth, with the usual stopping off at controversy sections along the way. The results are normally very amusing, and often downright hilarious, but sometimes quite sombre, like the time they talked quite well about Unit 731.

The show features Jack Stewart (known to me as jook from an alternate life on a semi-popular indie-music message board), Chris Wallace and Phil Sharman. The three all kind of know each other from outside the podcast world and this familiarity occasionally crops up from time to time. Favourite stories include Chris getting punched, Jack getting lost on a walk and failing into a swamp, and Phil's endless LARPing chat.  I identify with Phil the most though being of a similar vintage, but the references (to Pokemon, namely) always draw a wry smile and a belly laugh from me.

The show is a format that by its own nature is non-scripted but also means that each week something different pops up. It’s a clever gimmick that they’ve grown into, and the podcast episodes have been cranked out as one a week quite regularly, which is more than can be said for me and my own audio-output, which has been quite lazy recently for… reasons.

Anyway, I’d suggest you start at the start as you genuinely learn stuff – like the articles I mentioned up there, that I remembered entirely from memory. But one episode in particular sticks out – the one that during the episode they even call “our worst episode” – episode 48, which introduces the “Hippocampus” running joke.

Anyway, give them a listen. They deserve to be un-snubbed.

Follow them on Twitter here.