Radio Review: Jon Ronson On

‘Jon Ronson examines a series of diverse stories and subjects…’

I’ve always loved Jon Ronson. Maybe it’s because his name sounds a little like my name (Rob Johnson), or maybe it’s because his output is of such a high quality that it’s impossible not to become swept up in it all. While it was his books that first introduced me to Ronson (I would particularly recommend The Psychopath Test and So You’ve Been Publicly Shamed), in recent years the gonzo journalist has done much of his best work in the podcast medium. The Last Days of August about porn star August Ames is excellent, as is his culture wars podcast Things Fell Apart. All of these works have their genesis in Jon Ronson On, a seven-series radio show that aired from 2005 to 2013 on Radio 4…

Covering topics as broad as Glastonbury Festival, confirmation bias and time travel, Jon Ronson On is a sprawling and fascinating deep dive into the inner machinations of a curious mind. There are always two storms raging within Jon Ronson. The curious yin that pushes him into ever more extreme situations and the more cautious and introverted yang that pulls him back. It is this dichotomy that makes Jon Ronson On so compelling.

All episodes are available on the BBC Sounds app (I have listened to all of them in chronological order but it would be fine to dip in and out at random too) and whether this radio series acts as an introduction to Ronson’s work or as wider reading for established fans I would highly recommend it either way. If nothing else listen to the season 3 episode ‘The Internet Date from Hell’ – classic radio.