David Tennant Does A(n Amazing) Podcast With...

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David Tennant Does a Podcast With... has a charmingly simple premise: David Tennant interviews someone on his podcast. They chat for about an hour. There are so many podcasts like that, of course. The magic in this one is David Tennant.

He's disarmingly simple and affable in his approach. He quietly and refreshingly redirects any comments about his own career, and instead focuses on his guest, helping them shine; making space for their stories, going where the guest wants to go. When a guest is deep in their narrative David can be quiet for minutes at a time; a rare thing these days. When a guest is clearly out of material on a certain topic he quietly steps in and asks another question, or comments on another area of that guest's career, giving them a chance to move to something that might be easier for them.

But beyond learning from Mr Tennant's interview style, it's fascinating for me, as a showbiz industry outsider, to listen to these actors when they are being given space to talk about the craft of acting. The informality of his show seems to let people be more open than they are on press junkets or televised interviews. And thus we get Dame Judy Dench talking about loving the backstage jokes more than any other part of the show. We get a deeply human look at Jim Parsons, away from any Big Bang Theory controversy or judgment. Every episode I've listened to thus far has left me feeling more optimistic, more kind-hearted, more sure of others' desires to do good, and more empathetic for people who have to make sense of life in the limelight.

Oh, also go back to season one. All those interviews are brilliant, and the one with Katherine Tate is a pure delight. The two of them have always had fun together and this episode sounds less like an interview and more like two friends just catching up after a time apart.

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