344. A Totally Terrific Talk on the Terrace with The Tangential Trio (feat. Tom Morton)

What? Another new episode? Slow down Luke! We can’t keep up! OK I will slow down, I promise. I am going away on holiday tomorrow and I will be quiet for a couple of weeks so I just wanted to upload another podcast before I go. While I’m away you’ll have a chance to catch up with all these new episodes. This is #344 and it’s another rambling conversation with podPALS Amber & Paul, but this time we’re joined by a fourth member of the team. Could this be The Fantastic Four that LEPster Olga mentioned in a recent comment? Only you can decide… Topics of conversation include: jingles, voice overs, the Queen’s birthday, the monarchy, Princess Diana and more…

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I’m not going to spend much time on an introduction to this episode (yeah, right) except to say that in this episode you’re going to hear another a fast conversation between 4 native speakers, recorded for you to listen to.

You’ll hear the pod-pals – that’s Amber, Paul  & me (The Thrilling Three or the Tangential Trio) having our weekly chat on the terrace in the sunshine. But this time we are joined by a 4th member to our team in the form of Tom Morton, a friend of ours from the stand-up comedy scene here in Paris. You might remember that Tom has been mentioned briefly on this podcast before and that we’ve established that he looks a bit like Dave Grohl the drummer from Nirvana and Tim Curry the actor from The Rocky Horror Picture Show, and… that’s it! That’s all you know at the moment!


So, just to fill you in a bit – Tom is a professional actor and voice-over artist. He’s done voice-overs for TV and radio advertisements for companies like Mini, L’Oreal, Sky TV, McVities biscuits and Nintendo Wii. He’s is half English and half French and speaks both English and French like a native. “What’s Tom’s accent?”, you might be wondering. Well you’ll find out for yourself in a bit when you listen to him, but in English he speaks with received pronunciation, which is essentially that neutral accent that we associate with the BBC and the universities – no particular regional inflections although he spent lots of time in West London when he was growing up. So, he speaks a bit like me basically, but he has his own unique sound of course, as you will discover in a moment. As ever I am keen to know what you think. What do you think of Tom’s voice? Leave your comments on the website.

Here’s what you’ll hear in this episode

First you’ll hear the three of us give Tom a sort of job interview as part of his initiation onto the podcast. After a couple of minutes though, the job interview goes downhill and is abandoned. We then just mess around, letting you get to know Tom a bit, doing improvised voice-overs on a few royalty-free Apple jingles, before the conversation goes off on a number of tangents (what a surprise). And those tangents cover these things:

  • the complexities of explaining puns and jokes in English
  • doing voiceovers on adverts for the ‘megaknife’ – a knife that is so sharp it can cut through a shoe
  • the Queen’s birthday
  • what British people think of the monarchy
  • the death of Princess Diana
  • public reactions to tragedies like when a famous person dies (this was recorded just a few hours before we all learned that another celebrity had died – the American musician Prince – just another legend who died this year after Lemmy, David Bowie, George Martin and a bunch of other people including British celebrities Terry Wogan, Paul Daniels, Ronnie Corbett and Victoria Wood – you might not know who they are but they were all much loved comedians and entertainers who died this year) So – public reactions to the death of famous people
  • when old people say racist things, like Prince Philip or your grandparents
  • Amber’s son Hugo has learning a new word
  • getting a letter from the Queen on your 100th birthday
  • the drama of Paul and Luke getting attacked by flying insects (ladybirds)
  • Amber’s story about a woman she saw whose scarf had slipped between her bum cheeks making it look like she had a tail
  • the moment one of my neighbours burps very loudly in the background from another apartment (I’m pretty sure you can’t hear it)
  • then finally, which members of The Fantastic Four we would be – I’m Mr Fantastic (because I’m the leader I suppose), Amber is the invisible woman (because since she had a baby she’s become invisible to men), Paul is The Human Torch (because he’s on fire sitting in the sun, and because he’s so hot right now in the world of comedy), and Tom is The Thing (neither French nor English, just an amorphous blob).

It’s a real mix of both serious and light-hearted topics, and yes, I am aware that the conversation moves pretty fast and we talk over each other quite a lot – that’s just what happens when a bunch of friends get together like this. It might be a difficult episode to follow – or maybe not – maybe you’ll have absolutely no problem keeping up with this, but in any case I hope you just enjoy listening to another completely spontaneous conversation between a group of Brits who are getting a bit too much sun on their heads.

You should know that there’s some swearing in this episode – there you go, you’ve been warned.

Also, we’re not talking about the results of the interactive lying game from episode 343 yet – that’s going to come in an another episode soon.

So that’s enough introduction. I will now just let you listen to another outdoor episode of LEP featuring the The Talkative Trio with Tom Morton.


*Conversation begins*


That’s it! Check out the page for the episode. There are a few notes and a brief summary of some of the main points in that conversation, so if you didn’t understand something you can just google it or wikipedia it!

Just a reminder about italki before I say anything else. With italki you can have your own rambling conversations with native English speakers if you like, or if you prefer you can have properly structured English lessons too, and all from the convenience of your own internet connection at home, or anywhere else really. They have loads of qualified teachers to choose from, and when you buy some lessons italki will give you a voucher worth 100ITC which is a nice discount on future English lessons. To get that offer and to check out italki go to teacherluke.co.uk/talk or click an italki logo on my website.

001APVAD1400I’m going to be on holiday for about a week and then I’ll be very busy marking student exam papers so I don’t know when I’ll be able to upload a new episode. But I’m sure it won’t be that long, and anyway I’ve given you so many new episodes lately you could probably do with a little break too – or maybe not! Maybe you’re desperate for more. Don’t forget to check out my other podcast – A Phrasal Verb a Day. There are now over 130 episodes of that. The episodes are much shorter and I get straight to the point in every single episode and just focus on teaching you a new phrasal verb every time – and you shouldn’t underestimate the importance of phrasal verbs in English. They’re a vital part of fluent, natural English. So check out teacherluke.co.uk/pv for the episode archive – some of them have videos too.

Right – enough rambling! I’m off! I’ve got lots of exam marking to do! Have a nice day or night or morning or whatever and I’ll speak to you soon. Cheers! BYE!

Photos (clockwise – left to right) Princess Diana, a ladybird, Fantastic Four logo, The Queen, Tim Curry, Dave Grohl, LEP logo.