I host a weekly podcast along with my pal Barry McStay – excellent actor, Crystal Maze host and playwright – celebrating and commiserating the absolute worst things in the world. Each week we brandish our wooden spoons of destiny and celebrate the losers, heroic failures and spectacular mis-steps that pockmark human endeavour. If you ever want to feel better about your progress in life, take a listen and enjoy a lovely schadenfreude bubble bath.
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Episode 24: World’s Worst Lodgings with Nat Luurtsema
They say there’s no place like home – and in the case of the homes we discuss this week, THANK GOD! We delve into the World’s Worst Lodgings with our guest: no less than a BAFTA nominated screenwriter, stand-up, sketch comedian, actor, author – the multi-talented and multi-vowel-possessing Nat Luurtsema. Nat helps us face up to some home truths as we wade through the murky depths of our former university dwellings. We go exploring a poisonous granny-flat, Ben’s Edinburgh Festival digs, Barry’s showery sex life, Megan Fox’s menagerie and a few horrible hermitages.
Episode 23: World’s Worst Cook with Fiona Sagar
We are serving up a real feast for the ears as this week’s podcast is about the World’s Worst Cook and it is brimful of recipes for disaster – and yes, that very obvious pun DOES feature in this episode! Our guest is character comedian and improviser Fiona Sagar whose love of food and fine dining leads us into some less-than-salubrious eateries. On the menu are disastrous curries, the heart of a saint, chicken with ball bearings and a flood of molasses, all presented by celebrity chefs from Typhoid Mary to Paul Hollywood. So tuck in – if you dare.
Episode 22: World’s Worst Kid’s Movie with Ivo Graham
We’re wearing our finest primary colour dungarees and are full of all the E-numbers as we get ready to indulge ourselves with the worst Kids Movies of all time. Joined by Mock the Week panellist and silken-voiced star of Live at the Apollo Ivo Graham, we uncover some timeless stinkers. If you want to find out about the one movie Whoopi Goldberg regrets, one of many which, sadly, Robin Williams seems not to and the classic Sidney Poitier’s Ghost Dad, give this episode a listen.
Episode 21: World’s Worst MMA Fighter with Bryan Lacey
Join us this week in the sweat-soaked, blood-stained Octagon as we done our fighting gloves, pop in our gum shields and tap out in under 10 seconds to a girl guide from Aberystwyth Primary School. It’s time to find out who the worst mixed martial arts fighter of all time is. The UFC franchise may only have been running since 1993, but this episode heads all the way back to Ancient Greece, from there taking in sumo wrestling mismatches, heartbreaking underdog stories and discovers which Street Fighter character would win in real life! Seconds out…let’s get it on!
Episode 20: World’s Worst Wine with Amelia Singer
POP! Smell our cork, relish our bouquet and admire our legs because it’s a VERY good year for a podcast about the World’s Worst Wine. We’ve got a guest with a very fine nose to help us find it: wine expert, consultant, educator and host of ITV’s ‘The Wine Show’ Amelia Singer. Ben and Barry knock back a few choice bottles of grog including the leavings of monks, a mouldering ancient Roman concoction and some delicacies involving not one, not two, but THREE penises, while Amelia practically challenges a blue nun to a fight. It’s a vintage episode – but remember, please enjoy Worst Foot Forward responsibly.
Episode 19: World’s Worst Parasite with Simon Watt
An episode for smart minds and stern stomachs as we uncover Mother Nature’s dark side. We’re joined by professional science communicator, squid dissector and founder of the Ugly Animal Preservation Society, Simon Watt, to talk about the world’s worst parasites. There’s an entire Hammer house of horrors on display, including flies that bewitch cockroaches, cookie cutter sharks and the worst fate ever to befall the Tasmanian Devil since Bugs Bunny got mean. Strengthen your constitution, don’t eat for a while before listening and dive in where even nematode worms fear to tread…
Episode 18: World’s Worst Teen Movie with Brydie Lee Kennedy
This week Worst Foot Forward sidles up to you at a school dance, drinks deeply from the red cup of awkwardness and asks you, the intriguing new kid, to dance before spilling Kool-Aid all over you and slipping over onto our arses in front of all the jocks from the football team. “Tell me more, tell me more” you sing, for some reason.
Yes, we are looking at the World’s Worst Teen Movies in the company of performer, writer and podcaster Brydie Lee-Kennedy. We examine age discrepancies in Grease, the redemptive power of porn, Elvis starting fights in strip clubs and Sisqo’s Shakespearean roots.
Episode 17: World’s Worst Haircut with Paul Sweeney
Things are getting hairy this week as comedian and barber Paul Sweeney joins us to style out some of the world’s worst haircuts. No amount of dye-jobs, comb-overs and toupées will hide the shameful secrets of our candidates as we take our scissors of silliness to the mullet, learn about the correlations between drug and hair trends, and explore the racist undertones of Duck Tales – WOOHOO! And amidst all of this, there’s a lot of John Candy for some reason.
Episode 16: World’s Worst Conspiracy Theory with Jim Campbell
Pop your collar up high, make sure no one’s tailing you and join us in the WFF basement, huddled around our oil can fire as we share some of the darkest and stupidest secrets of history. Find out who stole Shergar, why the US invasion of Iraq was so much more impressive, how rocks have been pulling the wool over our eyes for millennia and how Danny Dyer is at the centre of every web of intrigue.
We’re joined by award-winning comedian and podcaster, 1/4 of the mighty Footbal Ramble team, Jim Campbell. Or are we…?
Episode 15: World’s Worst First Date with Lynn Ruth Miller
This week Ben and Barry are charmed, beguiled, tickled and shocked by the wonderful Lynn Ruth Miller. Lynn popped into the hearts of the nation when she appeared on First Dates on Channel 4, at the age of 84, so we just had to get her on and find out about her worst dating experiences. On the way we find out about her life as the oldest working stand-up on the planet, why a bagel is simply never enough to impress her and a story of a date with a sailor that literally almost blew up in her face. There’s also the usual supporting cast of US presidents, cocksure Greek suitors and Spartacus himself.
Episode 14: World’s Worst TV Comedy with Thomas Hescott
This episode is all about the funny – or not – as we settle down on the sofa, can our laughter and have our ribs tickled by the World’s Worst TV Comedies. Our guest is television and theatre director Thomas Hescott who was just this week named on BBC’s New Talent Hotlist 2017 for his work directing for TV. Tom brings us a real rare gem of a candidate from the archives of television purgatory. We also go for a drive in a talking car, discuss Spike Milligan’s lesser work and blast a Yorkshirewoman into space.
Episode 13: World’s Worst Wrestler with Jim Smallman
Can you smeeeeeeeell what the Foot is cooking?!?!
Join as we jump off the top rope, only to land awkwardly and give ourselves a hernia as we chat to comedian, idiot, relentless storyteller and top hole wrestling promoter Jim Smallman about the worst wrestlers of all time. As you might have noticed, this is our longest episode by far – once we opened up this Pandora’s box it was impossible to stop exploring. In this episode you’ll find stories about T-Rexes invading hospitals, far from holy conceptions and the staggeringly broad boundaries of taste that professional wrestlers are power-slammed over in the name of sports entertainment.
Episode 12: World’s Worst Fairy Tale with Sarah Bennetto
Are you sitting comfortably? Then we’ll begin…
Ben and Barry love a good yarn spun well and they’re in excellent company this week as they’re joined by chipper Aussie comedian and head honcho of the acclaimed Storyteller’s Club, Sarah Bennetto. Together they wonder through literary history to uncover the worst fairy tale ever told. On their way they tip their hats to the Brother’s Grimm, discover which company gave Goldilocks a sponsorship deal and find out the Big Bad Wolf’s dark secret. #NotAllWolves
Episode 11: World’s Worst Board Game with Paul Flannery
Here at Worst Foot Forward we love a board game so it’s about time we explored those games that are all snakes and no ladders. Rolling the dice with us is Paul Flannery, actor, comedian, and creator and host of the exceptionally geeky stage shows ‘Knightmare Live’ (knightmarelive.com/) and ‘The MMORPG Show’. Taking turns on the World’s Worst Board Games, we land on such notable squares as memorable breasts, the bathhouses of Monopoly, and the Swedish Parliament in 2012.
Episode 10: World’s Worst General with James Rowland
Charge! This week Worst Foot Forward goes to war in search of the World’s Worst General. Privates Ben and Barry are led into battle by their charismatic mastermind of a guest, actor and storyteller James Rowland. Having very much brought our sporks to a gunfight, we find ourselves huddled in a foxhole alongside such decorated heroes as the navy who lost to a cavalry charge, the geometric shapes of Nuremberg and history’s most hilarious and megalomaniacal sitcom pairing.
Episode 9: World’s Worst Heist Movie with Stuart Goldsmith
Today’s guest is Stuart Goldsmith, host of the excellent Comedian’s Comedian Podcast (www.comedianscomedian.com). Stuart, with henchmen Barry and Ben, is masterminding a raid on the highly pregnable vault containing the World’s Worst Heist Movies. Within it, among the countless films called simply ‘The Heist’, we find the Nagasaki atom bomb, Mark Ruffalo’s smug acting and a regenerating Ice-T.
Episode 8: World’s Worst Astronaut with Gemma Arrowsmith
This week Worst Foot Forward goes intergalactic! Our stellar guest, comedian and writer Gemma Arrowsmith (gemmaarrowsmith.com), is a lover of all things space and so she helps Ben and Barry discuss the world’s worst astronaut. We thumb through the books of space law, eat corned beef in a rocket ship and see just how many cute, furry creatures we can launch into the stratosphere in 45 minutes.
Episode 7: World’s Worst Architect with Nathon Caton
Our guest this week, Nathan Caton (www.nathancaton.com) studied architecture before his diversion into comedy. In his company, we are rifling through blurry blueprints, sketching wonky towers and clipping the wings from flying buttresses in search of the world’s worst architect. Among the burning rubble, we discover prostitute-shaped brothels, the infamous Bond villain Goldprick and a Dutch firm which specialise in tasteless post-disaster tribute buildings.
Episode 6: World’s Worst British Day Out with Angela Barnes
Winter is almost gone and a refreshing spring breeze sweeps through Worst Foot Forward in the shape of Angela Barnes (host of BBC Radio 4’s Newsjack). The better weather means the return of the Great British Day Out – so here we dive into some not-so-great ones. Angela reveals her deep-lying love for subterranean bunkers while our battered old tour bus takes us on a journey around Mr Blobby’s ancestral home, 10,000 teapots and 19th century temperance meetings.
Episode 5: World’s Worst Political Protest with Tiernan Douieb
Episode five lands in a week where major protests are shaking the world in support of women’s rights and refugees. So comedian and podcaster Tiernan Douieb joins us to look at some of the less effective and affecting protests that the world has ever witnessed – many of them from our new favourite nemesis, the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals. There are also bucketloads of red milky vomit, elephants being sucked into Pokéballs – and mink. A whole lot of mink. This podcast is essentially 85% mink. Enjoy.
Episode 4: World’s Worst Console Game with Ellie Gibson
It’s episode four and our guest is Ellie Gibson – comedian, co-host of Dara Ó’Briain’s Go 8-Bit, one half of the Scummy Mummies (www.scummymummies.com) and video games journalist. With Ellie’s help, we’re rampaging through various levels of awfulness in search of the Big Boss of terrible console games. The show features a cameo from the Swedish Mafia, Atari’s attempts to bury its demons and magicians Penn and Teller making vast swathes of your life disappear.
Epsiode 3: World’s Worst Beatle’s Song with Jay Foreman
In episode three, we are joined by musical comedian Jay Foreman to unpick the back catalogue of the world’s greatest band in the hunt for the World’s Worst Beatles Song. Ben and Jay’s exhaustive knowledge sees Barry trying desperately to hold his own while we explore mass murder as a subject for pop songs, Ringo’s song-writing process and John & Yoko’s tantric music – with a shout-out for Donovan’s rhyming dictionary.
DISCLAIMER: WE ALL REALLY LIKE THE BEATLES, HONEST!
Episode 2: World’s Worst Superhero with Bec Hill
For our second episode we don our flapping red capes, lower masks over our eyes and pop our underpants proudly over our trousers as we delve into the heyday of comic books to uncover the most terrible, pointless and ineffective superheroes of all-time. There’s a huge supporting cast of superheroes who really should have been left on the shelf, whilst Bec provides her own entirely new pantheon of heroes.
Episode 1: World’s Worst Psychological Experiment with Professor Sophie Scott
Kicking off our first episode we chat to Professor Sophie Scott, an expert in neuroscience and the way that laughter works in the brain. Our subject matter is not as light and fluffy, as we explore the worst psychological treatments of all time, taking us on a journey from Bristol’s most infamous asylum to Ancient Greece, stopping off on the way to stare at some dangerous looking Arctic shamans brandishing hacksaws.