Irish couple’s cinema reviews win at British Podcast Awards

‘One woman told us she’d binged watched all 45 episodes on Bank Holiday Monday’

‘Our neighbours think we’re mad’. Dave Corkery and Cathy Cullen record their review podcast as they walk home from the cinema

‘Our neighbours think we’re mad’. Dave Corkery and Cathy Cullen record their review podcast as they walk home from the cinema

 

An Irish couple living in London have won the best new podcast category at the inaugural British Podcast Awards. Dave Corkery and Cathy Cullen won the award for their weekly cinema review podcast, The Cinemile, in which they record their conversation about the film they’ve just watched as they walk home from their local cinema in west London.

The couple, who arrived in London two years ago, having previously worked in Sydney for five years, both work in television – Corkery as senior social creative at ITV and Cullen as editorial manager for Sky on Demand.

Their podcast beat off strong competition for the award, with The Untold by BBC Radio 4 taking the runner-up slot. “We were in shock as we had assumed Edith Bowman would win for Soundtracking, as she’s so successful,” Cullen says.

Dave Corkery and Cathy Cullen of The Cinemile podcast, winner best new podcast at the British Podcast Awards. Photograph: Paul Cochrane
Dave Corkery and Cathy Cullen of The Cinemile podcast, winner best new podcast at the British Podcast Awards. Photograph: Paul Cochrane

“They announced it live at the awards, which were in Platform Theatre in King’s Cross. The next morning our downloads shot up and suddenly in one morning we’d had more downloads than the whole last year.

Shock

“Cathy was so frozen in shock when they announced that we’d won, I literally had to push her (gently – she is pregnant) up on stage,” adds Corkery.

Podcast

The couple have been doing the podcast for almost a year, and have made 46 episodes, each with a 20-30-minute running time. The idea initially came from Corkery, but his wife wasn’t so keen. “They take up a lot of time and I wasn’t convinced we had much to offer. But then he proposed we record our walk to and from the cinema (we go to the cinema a lot) and he’d edit it together ‘as live’, so there would be minimal work involved. So we recorded our first episode last May and enjoyed it so much we just kept going,” says Cullen.

“It works to our schedules, so some weeks we may do two or three episodes, some weeks we may do none. We average about one a week. As it fits around our lives, we often have guests on – friends or family, largely Irish. Both my mother Linda and Dave’s father Donal have been on. We’ve also done special episodes such as 50 Shades Darker ,where I had six of my girlfriends on, and Dave tried to hold his own.”

“We’ve loved having our parents on it. Cathy’s mum had no idea what was happening in Star Trek Beyond and my dad fell asleep in The Magnificent Seven – although he’ll never admit it.” Corkery says.

Joint decision

The decision on what film to podcast is a joint decision. “We pick movies as you would in everyday life – what times suit us, what directors or actors we like, whatever the big release that week is, if something is getting good reviews ...”

But what’s not always so harmonious is the couple’s post-movie debrief. “This podcast includes some swearing and mild married-couple bikering”, they warn on their website, thecinemile.com.

“It tends to vary, on La La Land we disagreed quite strongly on the ending and have had feedback that listeners enjoyed that. But on Logan we both gushed about it, so it changes week-to-week. We definitely don’t disagree just for the sake of it.”

The couple’s good natured debate is part of the podcast’s appeal, they believe. “The judges’ feedback was that they loved our natural chemistry, and that we’ve shown you can make a good podcast with zero budget. Most listener feedback is that they like how relaxed it is and how we review films as ‘normal people’. We get a lot of feedback on Twitter, which is lovely. One woman told us she’d binged watched all 45 episodes on Bank Holiday Monday.

Detour

The programming has taken a slight detour recently, with films featuring babies becoming a theme. Cullen is five months pregnant with the couple’s first child, and they aim to continue making the podcast.

“We don’t have family in London to help with the baby, but we really want to keep it up. We did an experimental episode a few weeks ago we called The Cinemetre, where we watched Look Who’s Talking on our sofa, and have got really positive feedback. This win is a really nice push to keep doing it after the baby comes, once we can manage it,” Cullen says.

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