Kaiser Chiefs frontman Ricky Wilson has teamed up with veteran broadcaster Tony Blackburn for a podcast about investigating myths from the entertainment industry – and if that line alone doesn’t sell Ricky and Tony: Pop Detectives to you, we’re not sure what will.
“I love conspiracy theories and I’ve heard loads, especially about Mick Jagger,” Wilson tells RadioTimes.com in an exclusive interview. “I thought what the world needs is an agency where two guys sit and waffle on about [myths] for 40 minutes and not really clear it up.”
Throughout the first series, Wilson and Blackburn chat about all mysteries from the rivalry between Prince and Michael Jackson to Avril Lavigne’s highly-discussed clone, all with a surprising amount of chatter about Twiglets. Wilson laughs: “Tony’s angling for a sponsorship deal with Twiglets which hasn’t really arrived yet, so he mentions them a lot!”
Pop Detectives does little in the way of clearing up any myths 100 per cent and more often than not offers a theory rather than a definitive answer – but that’s not a bad thing. Wilson and Blackburn’s charm and wit makes for a pleasing listen, especially during a rainy lockdown day.
In season two, the pair chat about the possibility that Wilson was followed by the late actor Gene Wilder on Twitter. To help investigate, they get a social media expert and a medium, who delivers a surprising reveal midway through the episode…
The rest of the season is just as zany, reveals Wilson: “We talk to Cher’s wig-maker and one of Cher’s friends and dancers about whether Cher has a room for her wigs, a bit like Moira from Schitt’s Creek.”
He adds: “What we’d really like to achieve, maybe in series three, maybe at the end of series two, is get some guests on, and now we’ve got going a bit and people have heard of our detective legacy and they’re less dubious about us, maybe they’ll come in and we could dispel myths about themselves which they wish the public knew weren’t true.
“So if there’s any big name pop stars that are reading Radio Times right now, please don’t hesitate to contact us at Ricky and Tony’s Pop Detectives on our website and on Twitter!”
Wilson, who has fronted Kaiser Chiefs since the early 2000s, is no stranger to taking on new and different projects. On his extensive CV, his successful – and ongoing – music career comes alongside a winning stint on The Voice UK as a coach, presenter of Sky’s Bring the Noise and a radio DJ, with podcasting proving to be another bow in his arrow.
“I love TV because it’s absolutely terrifying,” admits Wilson. “With the band it’s different because you create your own little world because you’re an artist to an extent, but doing TV is different because you actually have to be quite good at it.”
Not only does he like making TV, but he also likes watching it too, especially the likes of Four in a Bed and The Great British Sewing Bee.
On his lockdown viewing: “It’s weird because all the things that come to mind are not the big box set things that come to mind, I’m still a fan of TV on TV. I like the feeling of it, that’s why I like the radio, it’s the event of it and makes you feel like a community. Since lockdown, it’s nice to feel part of a community. I really like the Pottery Throw Down, Sewing Bee and The Repair Shop, it’s so gentle and exciting at the same time.”
All eyes really are on the entertainment industry at the moment, not just because we’re physically watching more TV, but everyone is waiting to see how it reacts and bounces back from the global pandemic. What does Wilson make of it, coming from a music, TV, radio and podcasting perspective of the business?
“I don’t think it will ever be the same again, and that’s not necessarily a bad thing. TV and pop music changes all the time and it always has huge tectonic shifts in the way it shifts and the way it works. Like Jeff Goldblum said in Jurassic Park, ‘life will find a way’, and so does entertainment.”
Laughing, he adds: “The only problem is I’m watching things I’m really enjoying and knowing there won’t be any more for two years. That’s what I’m worried about: people are worried about EastEnders running out and I’m worried Four in a Bed will run out!”