A new podcast based on life in a village near Melton is described by its producer as like ‘The Archers meets Little Britain’.
Joe Johnson speaks the voices of every character in his comedy drama, called simply ‘Village’, which he hopes will be seen as an affectionate portrait of what it is like to live in this special part of the country.
The six-part series, which is based in a fictional village in the Melton borough called Chalcombe, is free to download and it has already established a healthy following just over a month after it was released.
Joe spent a year writing, recording and editing his podcast and his ultimate aim is to get it picked up by a national radio producer.
“I’ve always messed about with different voices with the family and that’s what this came from really,” he said.
“I grew up on a farm near Melton and my mum was always involved in important things in rural life like village fetes and fundraising for the church roof.
“I’ve relied on these experiences to tell the story and there are plenty of references to pork pies and Stilton cheese and other things Melton people will recognise.”
The story revolves around the world of village cricket - one of his main passions - pubs, angry gamekeepers and, intriguingly, the 1970s pop band Showaddywaddy. Joe, a father of one child with another on the way, is reluctant to reveal which village it is based on but he is confident some local listeners will quickly correctly guess it.
This is the second podcast he has produced, following This Rural Life, where he interviewed people in remote locations who had done well in business.
Village will resonate well with fans of the Archers who enjoy following the goings on in Ambridge, he says, although he points out there are some ‘explicit themes’ more in keeping with the irreverent humour of BBC television comedy series, Little Britain.
“The feedback has been tremendous so far and I’ve had exclusively five-star reviews on iTunes,” added Joe, whose day job is for a product design company in Nottingham.
“I feel humbled but equally chuffed that it’s gone down so well.
“I would like to produce a second season but I want to attract a sponsor this time because I can’t justify spending all this time on something without earning any money from it.
“I underestimated how much work was needed to get all the voices right, putting the background noises in the right place and then editing it all.
“It was a lot of fun although my wife says she didn’t know what I was up to when I first started it and was giggling away to myself in my office.”
Go to iTunes, Spotify or Sticher to get a free download of the podcast or search online for ‘Joe Johnson Village’ for a link to it.
You can also click on www.player.fm/series/village to listen to it on a desktop computer.