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Ricky & Tony: Pop Detectives

Kaiser Chiefs’ frontman Ricky Wilson and broadcasting legend Tony Blackburn teamed up for a unique podcast series to debunk pop myths, solve musical mysteries and crack listener cases.

Check out an episode

Set above a takeaway on Edgware Road, each episode sees the unlikely pair of P.I.s set to work as super sleuths, trawling through the archives, hearing the evidence and interviewing key witnesses to discover the truth once and for all.

Production

We worked closely with the team at Globe firstly to test the concept with a pilot (which became episode one) and to let the hosts familiarise themselves with format, and each other.

This podcast is all about great chemistry, on-point sound design and fascinating guests. We tracked down guests from around the world with interesting stories to tell, like Freddie Mercury’s personal photographer, Cher’s former choreographer, a modern day ‘witch’ and the world’s most famous Jennifer Lopez impersonator. 

The brief was to let the listeners into the Pop Detectives’ world so the podcast is bound together with the creative sound design from film-noir music to the sounds of the Detectives’ old leather-topped desk, a ceiling fan and the distant sirens through an open window.

We weren’t deterred by Covid, series one was recorded pre-pandemic and as such was recorded under normal conditions at studios in London but with the lockdown being announced just as production on series two was due to begin, we adapted quickly and recorded the entire second series entirely remotely.

Promotion

Alongside each episode we delivered two highlight clips for shareable videos (like this one) that were published alongside other content on the show’s Twitter feed.

Results

The podcast has been a hit with both series’ getting a significant amount of press and media coverage, including a great review by Miranda Sawyer in The Observer, appearances on The One Show, itv’s Good Morning Britain, Channel 4’s Sunday Brunch, Chris Evans’ Virgin Radio Breakfast Show, Zoe Ball on Radio 2, TalkSport, Chris Moyles on Radio X and BBC local Radio.

The listeners showed it a lot of love on social media and the podcast was featured on Apple Podcasts’ homepage, reached Number 1 in Apple’s music charts and Top 20 in the main charts.

18Sixty’s work on the number one podcast Pop Detectives was fantastic. Seamless production, masterful editing, calm and controlled throughout. Apart from Ricky and Tony’s wit and charm, what makes Pop Detectives is the guests, all meticulously curated and researched.”

Will Nichols, Universal Music Group