Mr James Kidd, Dr Adam Smyth, and Dr Dinah Roe relax after recording Art and Literature Podcast

‘Lit Bits. Two well-educated men discuss the peripheries of literature. One of them appears to be drunk.’

Jonathan Thake, the man behind  the phrase: Pot Noodle: The Slag of all Snacks

SHORT STORY: Lit Bits is a podcast and radio show that examines literary matters from curious angles.

For the past two years, Dr Adam Smyth and I have been joined by a guest to discuss a subject using literature, bad puns, and as many references to Keats and Donne as we can get away with. In 2013, we moved from our own website – litbits.co.uk – to Resonance FM for a 13 part series.

LONG STORY: In 2011, I was invited (AKA blackmailed) to contribute to a literary podcast called Lit Bits. The pod (to use its technical name) was the brainchild of Adam Smyth, then lecturer in English at Birkbeck University in London, man about town, expert cheese toaster and better known to his friends by the tag ‘Adam Smyth’. He has since transferred to Balliol College Oxford, but for the time being Adam is still largely known as ‘Adam Smyth‘.

The idea was to discuss literature from curious angles, employing the same combination of humour and occasional pretension – not to mention curse words – that we might over a pint of beaujolais on the bus home. To prove his point, Smyth called Franz Kafka a ‘f&*£ing ch£*e muncher’ and promptly fell down the stairs of the N29.

Lit Bits was born and began to shamble ‘Between the seminar and the pub’. Early attempts were fueled by wine, naievete and poor recording techniques. See episode one: Literature and Football with Dr Joe Brooker, which comes with impersonations of soccer pundits at no extra charge.

The sound quality improved rapidly even if the wine did not. We investigated Badness (with poet and editor James Byrne), Film (with critic and Liverpool supporter James Mottram). Architecture was undermined by Steve Rose and was even broadcast on radio courtesy of ABC Australia.

Our repertoire has expanded with our waistlines. Most episodes last between 30 and 40 minutes. Recent installments have doffed the cap towards Art (with Dr Dinah Roe), History (with Giles Milton), Advertising (with Jonathan Thake) and Error with poet Lianne Strauss. James Kidd was so complacent by this point that he turned up half an hour late.

All of these pods can be streamed, downloaded or subscribed to on iTunes. Just click this link. There is a variety of pods on offer – in addition to the discussions, you can hear Adam and I walk around Soho on a rainy night, wait for a train in Oxford (the glamour), talk to our computers, and wander around a shopping mall in Poughkeepsie, New York.

STOP PRESS. In April, Lit Bits went quite literally radioactive. Resonance FM (10) commissioned 13 episodes to run throughout the spring. Tune in Tuesdays at 9pm (listen again Sunday at 7.30am) as we confront pop music (Lit Bits vs Paul Myerscough), shopping, blurbs (vs Jonathan Thake), reading (vs Dinah Roe) and for those of a late night persuasion – sex scenes (vs Jonathan Beckman of the Literary Review). Is that a pod in your pocket or are you simply pleased to see us?

Series One Highlights. Roy Hodgson reading Milton; Lee Child’s erotica; Samuel Pepys’ love of French smut; impersonations of Run DMC; and made more allusions to Jeffrey Archer than even Mary would essay.

STOP STOP PRESS. Lit Bits the Movie may still be a couple of years away. But Lit Bits is to appear in a short film. Details to follow.

We also Tweet: @LitBitPod. Please follow us. We look good from behind.