Podcast Week: Fun Fables, The Missing Australia, Half-Arsed History

Podcast Week: born funny

9Podcasts, Yumi Stynes, Fairground F*ck Ups

Compiled by Jasper Baumann and Tess Connery

Finding the magic with Fun Fables

The Fun Fables podacst on LiSTNR brings kids and parents a re-imagining of classic tales with a modern twist. Removing stereotypes, promoting positivity, and championing all the things that make us different, host Josh Newth tells well known stories in a whole new way.

Podcast Week’s Tess Connery spoke with Newth about breathing new life into some of our oldest stories,

“At the root of every story, I’m making it for my kids,” Newth said when asked how he approaches each episode.

“I’m thinking, what do I want my kids to get out of this morally? What lessons do I want them to learn? What is going to make them laugh? I use them as a sounding board, and ask them is this funny? Or what do you think the message is here?

“Sometimes it’s hard to find the original – because some of these stories go back thousands of years – but I’ll find a well-known version of that story. Then I’ll think about what it’s trying to tell us, what’s the moral here?”

fun fables

Translating that message can sometimes mean updating the conclusion to a more modern version. Newth said the podcast “almost makes fun” of the original tales by “questioning the morals a bit.”

“In a lot of the older sort of stories, the overall message might aspire to be a pretty princess, or aspire to be rich, or the most handsome. For my daughter, I don’t want her to be aspiring to be pretty, thin, attractive or anything like that. I’d rather her aspire to be – if it is a position of power – a good leader, and be understanding of everyone.”

As well as involving his kids in the scripting, Newth has his kids involved in the voicing of characters – such as in the Jack And Jill episode. They aren’t the only guest voices, however, with Andy Lee jumping in to help out narrating the Rumpelstiltskin episode.

“That worked out very well,” Newth laughs. “He had just released his newest Do Not Open This Book, and we thought, why not? It doesn’t hurt to ask the question about whether he’d like to be involved in the podcast, and he could use it as a little plug for his book. He very kindly said yes, and he was great. He was an absolute pro.”

With an audience of kids tuning in to Fun Fables, Newth said creating children’s podcasts requires thinking very carefully about every word that’s used. 

“When I’m reading books with my kids, I’m getting stopped every two minutes. What does that word mean? What does this word mean? Why would they do that? So I have that in my head all the time. I’m changing the wording of things and putting it into kid speak, or making it a bit simpler. 

“Especially with audio, it’s a whole way of thinking. Because there are no pictures, it can be fun to create that world in audio. But you’ve just got to be very cautious that the kids understand the joke if they can’t visually see what you’re pointing out. So sometimes you might need to over-explain things.”

Overall, with positive feedback coming in from across the globe, Newth said that his goal for the podcast moving forward is simply to continue to grow. 

“For the podcast itself, I hope it continues to grow. I’m continually getting messages from kids all over the world – I got a message from a parent the other day that their kid has a lot of trouble settling at night. The podcast is the one thing that helps them to settle. 

I’m hoping that it can be used as a tool to help calm and learn, and to just enjoy storytelling.”

[Listen to Fun Fables here]

News Corp Australia launches season three of The Missing Australia

News Corp Australia’s on-demand audio arm, NewsCast, has launched the next season of true crime podcast The Missing Australia, investigating unsolved missing persons cases across the country. 

Season three is set to feature missing person cases around Australia as well as detailing potential breakthroughs in two cold cases that were featured on the last season of the podcast in 2023. The series is hosted by former policeman Meni Caroutas. 

These include potentially identifying an unnamed child’s body that has lain in a cemetery in Darwin, NT, for decades, as well as several new witnesses coming forward in relation to the suspected abduction of a 16-year-old girl. 

New episodes will be released each Sunday.

[Listen to The Missing Australia here]

Acast signs history podcast ‘Half-Arsed History’ to its Creator Network

Boasting six million all-time listens and 90,000 weekly listens, ‘Half-Arsed History’ takes listeners on a journey through the ages, blending humour, insight and unforgettable tales from the past. 

Hosted by Riley Knight, the podcast highlights absurd and entertaining stories from the past, ranging from the history of the toilet to the lost secret of Greek fire. 

Riley Knight said: “In high school, my Year 11 history teacher gave me a failing grade, saying my work consisted of ‘a series of unsubstantiated generalisations with no evidence.’ I’m proud to say that absolutely nothing has changed since then. It’s still a mystery as to why Acast have agreed to pick up my tinpot history podcast although I’m very glad they did.”

[Listen to Half-Arsed History here]

9Podcasts boosts listenership in 2024 with a 16% growth month-on-month

New Triton data for January has revealed a 16% growth month-on-month across Nine’s Podcast Network including catch-up radio podcasts and their original podcast slate. 

Nine Radio catch-up podcast listeners grew 43% MoM, boosted by growth across 2GB’s Ben Fordham Live up 71%, 3AW’s Breakfast with Ross and Russ up 73%, and Wide World Of Sports up 75%. 

9Podcasts original podcasts delivered a 114% listener increase, compared to January 2023.

2024 will see the return of a slew of 9Podcasts favourites including, Six Tackles With Gus, The Official Married At First Sight Podcast and Neil Mitchell Asks Why.

[Listen to 9Podcasts here]

Yumi Stynes returns for season two of SBS podcast ‘Seen’

Eight new guests join Yumi Stynes on the new season of ‘Seen’ to unravel their personal stories and speak on what it’s like forging your own path without positive media representation. 

The interview-style podcast talks to inspirational Australians who have come from under-represented backgrounds and communities. 

The new season steps into the life stories of various trailblazers including Dr Amy Thunig, whose bestselling memoir chronicles growing up with a parent struggling with addictions, alongside drag royalty Kween Kong, AFL Women’s player Darcy Vescio, domestic violence advocate Tarang Chawla, and others. 

Host Yumi Stynes said: “These are stories of triumph over voices of judgement, hate and doubt, of bravely taking up space, and finding the happiness you deserve. 

“As an Asian, single, working mum, I think a lot about my own identity. I mean, I’m confident and work hard but still I grapple with motherhood, the maddening persistence of sexism, daily casual racism, gendered violence, death threats, and generational cycles that need to be broken.” 

The guest list for season two includes:

• Kween Kong
• Dr Amy Thunig
• Antonia Burke
• Darcy Vescio
• Debbie Kilroy OAM
• Khanh Ong
• Tarang Chawla
• Tea Uglow

[Listen to Seen here]

Unique true crime podcast ‘Fairground F*ck Ups’, launches its fourth season

Season four of the podcast will cover amusement park accidents from Australia and across the globe, including stories of theme park misadventures, rollercoaster accidents and malfunctioning rides.

One case featured in Season Four will cover the death of Tyre Sampson, who was visiting Icon Park in Florida on March 24, 2022, when tragedy struck. 

The podcast’s mission is to share the stories of theme park accidents that often reveal how negligence and greed led to specific tragic accidents, and that the ensuing penalties often fall short of providing justice for the victims and their families. 

Season 4 is being produced by Andrew Menczel, Emmeline Peterson and Emilie Lauer. 

[Listen to Fairground F*ck Ups here]

Podcast Week: fun fables

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