“Why did we want to do a podcast?” the actor Danny Dyer asks his 21-year-old daughter, the reality TV star Dani Dyer, at the beginning of Sorted with the Dyers. “We like spending time together, don’t we?” Dani replies. “We do,” her dad agrees, “and let’s have it right — we are earning a crust.”
Nowadays, there are big bucks to be earned as a podcaster, but only if you’re a celebrity and have millions of followers on Instagram. Be snooty if you like, but these are the people who routinely top the podcast charts. For reality TV stars in particular, audio is the ideal medium at a time when the usual TV revenue streams have been nixed by the pandemic. The Only Way Is Essex’s Gemma Collins, Made in Chelsea’s Spencer Matthews and Jamie Laing, Queer Eye’s Jonathan Van Ness, and Drag Race’s RuPaul are already old podcasting hands. News arrived over the summer that Kim Kardashian is to host her own criminal justice series. Now the Dyers have joined the party with this Spotify offering during which they do little more than pop to their garden annex, read out some emails and chat about family life.
In fairness, there’s a bit more to it than that. Sorted with the Dyers is, ostensibly, about solving listeners’ problems. Dyer Senior, best known for his role on EastEnders and his ribald remarks on everything from ex-prime ministers to the 9/11 terrorists, is a strong choice for the role of agony uncle. Meanwhile Dani plays the soft-hearted foil, expressing love and sympathy for their correspondents, however daft their problems. In the first episode, a woman wonders how she can stop her partner from eating nachos in bed, prompting Danny to recall the time that he consumed an entire roast chicken in bed and lost a drumstick in the sheets.
Meanwhile, a man reveals his feelings of anxiety as he struggles to find work and provide for his family. “Anxiety is just conspiracy theories that we’re making up in our brain that haven’t happened,” says Danny; “We all go through bad times in life. You can’t always have it all,” adds Dani. You wouldn’t rely on the Dyers if your life was genuinely falling apart, but they are warm and funny and you could do worse than spend 20 minutes in their company.
The Gemma Collins Podcast, a chart-busting series from the BBC, has returned for a fourth season, and, as ever, is a curious mixture of the banal and brilliant. Previous discussions have included what pigeons might be thinking and what animal Collins was in a past life. In the new series, she advises a listener whose mother has started dating her ex-boyfriend. “Block, delete both of them and never speak to them again,” Collins yelps at ear-splitting volume. “Hun, it’s said and done. I’m sorry [but] there’s no conversation to be had . . . Don’t waste any more time with them two rats.”