‘Emily Dean takes some of her friends for a walk with their dogs…’
Walking a dog is such a pure expression of joy and companionship that I have been known to walk other people’s dogs just for the goddamn hell of it. What a maverick! The best bit is when the dog keeps looking up at you as if to say ‘isn’t this wonderful?’. And it is wonderful. So, transposing such a transformative experience to the podcast format was always going to be a winner for this guy.
Walking the Dog with Emily Dean is what it sounds like. A series of celebrities taking their own dog or a rescue dog for a stroll through the parks of London. And that’s it. Emily Dean is a radio presenter and journalist, and while she is very London (in a way that is borderline offensive to my unsophisticated northern ears), she is also affable and compelling as an interviewer. Her list of celebrity contacts has led to episodes with such heavyweights as Ricky Gervais, Greg Davies and Rob Brydon. The fact that each conversation is often interspersed with various dog noises and interjections by other dog walkers and park patrons only adds to the intimacy and homely atmosphere that Dean cultivates.
Dean’s book Everybody Died, So I Got a Dog is a meditation on loss and well… dogs, and her conversational rambles often touch on this subject as well. This results in a selection of interviews that are often as enlightening as they are hilarious which ensures that nothing ever feels stale or samey – despite the fact that many of Dean’s guests are podcast regulars.
Walking the Dog is not particularly groundbreaking but then, it doesn’t need to be. It’s like an old jumper that you keep going back to because it’s warm, it’s familiar and it smells like your dog. Lovely dogs.