James Barr and Dan Hudson are two 28-year-olds who probably wouldn’t have met had not James happened to be friends with Dan’s girlfriend Talia. But then Talia took a month out of work and went abroad, and James and Dan started hanging out together.
Nothing unusual in that except that James is gay and Dan is straight, and out of their friendship came the idea for the podcast A Gay and a NonGay. In it the two of them – both radio professionals – chat about everything and nothing, bounce thoughts off each other, laugh at each other and discover things about each other’s world that they otherwise would never have known about.
The show began 18 months ago, built slowly, and in the past few months has really taken off. It was nominated in the Entertainment category at the recent British Podcast Awards, and has reached No 8 in its category in the iTunes podcast chart, garnering 10,000 listens a month.
That category is “Sexuality” and James and Dan do indeed talk about sex. And the talk is extremely candid. But just when you might be thinking, “Too much information”, the likelihood is that they’ll think it – and say it – too.
The conversation will then move on to something else entirely, such as, to choose at random, Dan’s plan to keep chickens in his London back garden so that he can save on the cost of eggs. A plan that James thinks is so ridiculous it reduces him to hysterics. Or they might talk about Trump or Brexit.
The key to the show is not actually any of the subjects that come under discussion but the sheer likeability of both men, and the way they interact. And by not taking anything very seriously they manage to make some quite serious points. It’s hard to see how any prejudice about either the gay life or the straight life could survive in the face of two such winning individuals.
Tolerant, funny, open-minded and fundamentally kind – that’s A Gay and a NonGay. No wonder it’s something more and more people are turning to in 2017.