“We want to indoctrinate the world into massive perverts” Interview with Jamie Morton, host of My Dad Wrote a Porno

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Hosts James Cooper, Alice Levine and Jamie Morton all met at the University of Leeds and have been delivering weekly aural pleasure to millions of dedicated listeners since 2017. Meanwhile, the star of the erotic novel-cum-podcast, Belinda Blumenthal, has been delivering a different sort of oral pleasure. I sat down with Jamie to discuss what lessons students could learn from him, and what the future holds in store for the blazingly successful podcast.

Q: For the uninitiated, how would you describe the podcast in a sentence?
JAMIE: Well, it’s really in the title. My dad wrote a terrible erotic novel, and I read it out loud with my two best mates every week.

Q: Why do you think students in particular should listen to the podcast?
JAMIE:I think there’s so much heavy stuff at the minute, whether it be political like Brexit or Trump, we just wanted to make something unashamedly fun and not really about any of that sort of thing. I think for students in particular, they have a lot on their plate, and having some terrible erotica every week is a good antidote.

Q: Is it sexually informative?
JAMIE: It’s informative in knowing what not to do. Please don’t try and emulate Belinda’s business acumen, or how to get to the top of any industry, as you’ll probably be fired from any job you ever have.

Q: What’s your favourite memory of your time at Leeds?

JAMIE: Honestly, I loved it all so much, we were talking the other day about how much we [Jamie, Alice and James] loved Leeds. I think my favourite memory must be the massive house parties: I had this crazy house that was the big party house. They were the most fun because no one gave a shit, no one had any responsibilities, no one had to be up for anything ever – it was great. It’s interesting now that I live in London, I miss being able to walk to all of my friends’ houses. Leeds is a great city for that.

Q: Do you have any horror stories from your time at Leeds?
JAMIE: God, yeah, when my house got trashed! I’m honestly amazed we got our deposits back (at least, I think we got them back…). Because it was the one everyone descended on it was trash – no one cared if you smashed up the sofa.

Q: It’s clear that you and your two co-hosts are extremely close. Do you have any tips for students on making good friends?

JAMIE: I met basically all of my really good friends through Leeds Student TV (LSTV). People don’t talk enough about all the amazing societies when they go to university. They’re a great resource to learn a craft or learn how to do stuff, and also to find like-minded people, because you don’t always find people on your wavelength in halls or on your course. LSTV is really collaborative, and you have the benefit that when you graduate and people get real jobs, these people then help you get a job! There certainly wouldn’t have been My Dad Wrote a Porno without the University of Leeds. It’s funny, Alice and James applied to LSR for a radio show and they got told that they weren’t good enough, which is hilarious now, as Alice is literally on Radio 1.


Q: Do you ever come back to Leeds to visit?
JAMIE: The three of us went back to Leeds when we wrote our book and took it on tour. I still have a few friends who live up there, so I visit every few years, but not as much as I’d like to. I’ve noticed that it’s changing, it’s becoming more of a creative hub, especially now that Channel 4 is moving there. I always saw it as creative, and it’s nice that big companies are seeing [its] potential.

Q: Have you been inspired to pen your own erotic literature? Will Rocky hand down the legacy to you?
JAMIE: Categorically, no. How could you better Dad? He’s really cornered a marketplace for the absurdist erotica, it’s really his own unique realm there. I think I’ll leave the bad porn writing to him.
 
Q: How did it feel to win Best Comedy Podcast at the Webby Awards?
JAMIE:It felt great! We didn’t quite realise how prestigious they were over in States – they’re a big deal. We’ve been nominated twice before, and it was third time lucky. It was really exciting, and especially amazing now that the HBO show is coming out in the next few weeks. It helps builds momentum for the brand over in America, I suppose.

Q: Is that what your trying to crack next?
JAMIE: Well, we have fans there already as we did a big tour there last year. We just want people all over the world to be obsessed with Belinda Blumenthal –

[laughing]

we want to indoctrinate the world into massive perverts.

Q: What should we expect from the HBO special?
JAMIE: It’s basically a TV version of our live show [where we read from the book], but we’ve added new elements. We’re really excited for people to see it, and for new audiences to stumble upon it and discover it that way. It’ll air in the UK in May, although – annoyingly – I can’t say what channel yet. Fingers crossed it goes down well.

Q: Can you ever see an end to the podcast?
JAMIE: What, you think reading my dad’s pornography isn’t what I want to do for the rest of my life? I think with anything you don’t ever foresee something lasting forever, but for us its always been about enjoying making it. The moment we stop enjoying it, we’ll hang up the mics. As long as people enjoy having Belinda in their lives, then why not keep it going?

Image credit: roundhouse.org.uk