Arts Podcast Picks Muse

Podcast Picks: My Dad Wrote a Porno

Kristina Wemyss praises the conversational tone and joviality of this uncomfortably hilarious comedy podcast.

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Imagine, for a moment, that your own father wrote an erotic novel. If most people discovered this and were handed a copy, they would probably burn the book and pretend that it never happened out of pure horror. This is the situation that Jamie Morton found himself in. But after being presented with the masterpiece that is Belinda Blinked, he decided instead to read it to two of his best friends- Radio 1 DJ Alice Levine and producer James Cooper. Seeing the potential it had for entertainment, the three then decided to share Belinda Blinked with the world via a podcast. Seven years and five books later, My Dad Wrote a Porno has amassed millions of fans, fondly known as ‘belinkers’, to the point where international demand led to the trio going on a world tour.

Several months ago, my housemate was giggling to herself constantly. When I asked her why she introduced me to the wonderful world of Belinda Blinked. I had never really considered myself to be a podcast kind of girl but I thought that I would give this one a go, and it wasn’t long before I joined my friend in hysterics.

The title might evoke ideas of other famous erotica like Fifty Shades of Grey, but in reality, the term ‘anti-erotica’ sums it up best. It’s difficult to summarise the storyline of the series, not because it is complex or clever, but instead because it has next to no logical plot at all. When Morton’s father released the first book under the pen name Rocky Flintstone, he decided to market it with the tags  ‘lesbian’, ’erotica’ and ‘business and leadership’; a bizarre mix to say the least, but admittedly a good summary. The protagonist is Belinda Blumenthal (which, as James correctly points out, might just be the least sexy name ever). Belinda is certainly not an obvious focus for erotica, she is a relatively uncharismatic woman who works for a ‘pots and pans’ company and clambers up the ranks by having sex with whoever she can.

From there, things only get worse. Rocky often abandons lines of the plot which he gets bored with and takes the story from zero to one-hundred in terms of how utterly ridiculous things get. As the series progresses, ‘pots and pans’ becomes a growingly international affair, taking Belinda to all the corners of the globe, across Europe, and even down under (no pun intended). Her story also becomes intertwined with the world of aristocracy, taking her to high-flying new levels. There is even an element of espionage, as top-secret company plans for the ‘oxy brillo range’ get stolen and Belinda takes on the role of quasi-spy.

All of these ridiculous storylines are tied together with constant sex and stupidity. Rocky loves a pun, giving his characters names like Peter Rouse (read that one aloud to yourself), and incorporating things like the ‘Confidential Order of the Cookware Knights’ (no points for spotting the x-rated acronym here). Another trademark of Rocky’s writing is his fundamental lack of understanding where genitalia and reproductive biology are concerned, which serves as a constant reminder that this was all written by a sixty-something Irish dad.

Rocky’s speciality is absurd similes, one of my personal favourites being the comparison of a woman’s nipples to “the three-inch rivets which had held the hull of the fateful Titanic together”. It is these unpredictable descriptions that make this a dangerous podcast to listen to in public; you are guaranteed to laugh like a madman, no matter where you are. It’s so incredibly uncomfortable that it’s utterly hilarious; the Guardian compared listening to the podcast to “getting the giggles during a funeral, or farting in a lift”- an incredibly fitting description.

The podcast takes the books to an even more ridiculous level through its use of ‘footnotes’ episodes, in which celebrity guests are brought in. As My Dad Wrote a Porno gained more attention, it also gained many well-known fans. Some of the most high-profile ‘belinkers’ who have guest-starred on the podcast include Dame Emma Thompson, Lin Manuel and Michael Sheen. The Hollywood glitz certainly adds to the podcast; to hear Dame Emma Thompson speaking about erotica and which character she would play is quite something.

What really makes the podcast however is Jamie Morton’s fabulous narration. Despite the obvious trauma that came with his dad writing these terrible books, he throws himself into the narration whole-heartedly. Each episode consists of Jamie reading out a chapter with interjections and analysis by Alice and James, and as the series progresses, Jamie develops a hilarious range of voices for the different characters. Inevitably, the trio collapse in fits of giggles almost every episode. The conversational tone of the podcast makes it perfect for lockdown listening; lots of people have been living alone, but this makes you feel as though you’re surrounded by friends. Having met at university, Jamie, Alice and James’ genuine friendship makes the podcast all the more endearing. As they sit around reading terrible erotica together in each other’s kitchens with a drink, you are made to feel like a welcome fourth addition to their cosy group.



It is safe to say that this podcast is what got me through lockdown and I am now utterly bereft without Belinda. Pandemic permitting, My Dad Wrote a Porno should be returning with a new book and a sixth series in May, and I for one cannot wait to see where Rocky’s brilliant mind takes us next.

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