Podcast of the Week: Griefcast

Funny people talking about death and grief…

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‘Grief is a funny thing’, people often say. They don’t mean man slipping on a banana skin funny though. They don’t even mean Bristol Stool Chart funny (look it up). And they certainly don’t mean cats being scared of cucumbers funny. No, what people mean when they offer that meaningless missive is that grief is a strange thing. A peculiar thing. So what kind of monster would try to combine the disparate world of comedy and grief? Cariad Lloyd, that’s who…

Griefcast is the brainchild of British comedian, actor and writer Cariad Lloyd. It sees Lloyd, who tragically lost her father aged 15, talking candidly with other comedians about their experiences of grief. It is a truism that death remains a taboo subject in Britain and one of the reasons we are all so sodding terrified of it is that we never talk about it. Having said that, it’s a difficult thing to raise in normal conversation and I know from experience that it is a topic that makes some people uncomfortable. This is why Griefcast is such a successful and necessary idea. It gives the guests a chance at catharsis without judgement that also translates to the listener.

Having lost my best friend last year as well as a couple of other close friends and all my grandparents, I know a thing or two about grief. What I don’t know is how to deal with it. The loss, the guilt, the heartache, ad infinitum. Griefcast gives a voice to those emotions and allows people to work through them, whether that be as a guest, a listener or even as the host. I’m sure doing this podcast has helped Cariad Lloyd process the death of her father too. This would all be irrelevant however if it wasn’t also funny. Part of the reason that Griefcast won Podcast of the Year at 2018 British Podcast awards is because despite tackling the most serious subject of all (second only to Star Wars), Lloyd ensures that Griefcast remains light and funny throughout and the quality of the guests also helps.

This brings me on nicely to Adam Buxton. Regular readers will no doubt be rolling their eyes at yet another reference to Dr. Buckles but once again, Buxton has introduced me to something that I love. Now I think about it, I’m pretty sure the bearded maestro may have introduced me to my wife, Coco Pops and Rick & Morty too.

Cariad Lloyd was a guest on The Adam Buxton Podcast and likewise, Buxton was actually the very first guest on Griefcast. It was this divine providence that enabled me to discover the latter and, like everything that Adam Buxton tells me I should love, I ruddy well loved it.

With Griefcast, Cariad Lloyd is doing something utterly unique in the podcast world; forcing her listeners to embrace their mortality. It’s a sad and beautiful thing.

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