641. Catching Up with Amber & Paul #9

The pod-pals are back on the podcast and it’s time for the usual catching up session in which we talk about how very-pregnant Amber has moved to the suburbs of Paris, the difference between a terrace, veranda, porch and conservatory, the difference between a cave and a basement, Paul’s showbiz news, the ongoing joys and struggles of parenthood, the strikes in France, raising bilingual children and more.

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Hello there, how are you? Welcome back to the podcast. I hope you’re basically doing ok wherever you are in the world. Walking around, on public transport, driving, sitting somewhere, lying down – whatever your current body position, welcome. Here’s a new episode and in this one I am joined once again by Amber Minogue and Paul Taylor.

It’s been a while since Amber & Paul were on the podcast. Is it nearly a year? Anyway, for those of you who don’t know, Amber Minogue & Paul Taylor have been two of the most frequent guests on this podcast. They’ve got their own jingle, their own nicknames – the pod-pals, the talkative trio, the tangential three and their own fan club of sorts, in the form of listeners who often say that the Amber & Paul episodes are their favourite.

I met both Amber and Paul on the English stand up comedy scene in Paris, back in the early days when the only English nights were being run by Sebastian Marx and Robert Hoehn. We sort of teamed up because we’re all brits. I used to have them on the podcast to play vocabulary games and have rambling conversations on the terrace of my old apartment.

Amber made her first appearance in episode 161 “She’s Having a Baby” and Paul in episode 158 “A Cup of Christmas Tea with Paul Taylor”. Amber had her baby, little Hugo and there have been various funny stories of what he’s got up to, meanwhile Paul became an overnight sensation with his comedy video about “La Bise” the French custom of kissing people when you meet them. His video went viral on YouTube and picked up over a million views in a few days. It was on the BBC’s website and stuff like that. Then Canal+ the TV company in France offered him a TV show and he went for it, bringing some of his comedy Friends with him to help write the show. So, Amber and I helped Paul a bit with his popular show What the Fuck, France?

That, along with his first one man show #Franglias has made Paul something of a celebrity in France, and now it’s not uncommon for him to be recognised and stopped in the street for a selfie. Often when we are out getting lunch, people will stop to say hello to him, which is funny! Amber & I have been lucky enough to be invited by Paul to performed with him on big shows in Paris, at venues including The Bataclan and Casino de Paris.

On the podcast Amber is famous for having a lovely voice, and Paul is famous for having a funny and infectious laugh. Amber is also known to be the cleverest of the three probably because of her excessive reading and listening of BBC Radio 4. She is also something of a history buff when it comes to Paris and does tours here as well as a podcast about Paris called Paname Podcast. Amber is also quite strategic when it comes to playing games. Paul seems to be less good at the games and it appears that he doesn’t even know his own language sometimes. He’s a good impressionist and often gets angry about life in general. Both Amber & Paul speak French fluently.

Anyway, we don’t get to have Amber & Paul on the podcast that often, so the tradition has become to have one “catching up” episode, in which we do just that – find out what’s been going on with them since the last time we spoke and so there’s the usual mix of stories about general life as well as some stuff about language, some bits about kids learning English and also the usual bits of inside showbiz information as we continue to follow Paul behind the scenes in his career.

So there’s the catching up episode, and then if there’s time I usually try to get them to record another one and we did just that, this time. I managed to record two episodes with Amber and Paul, so the second one will be coming soon. I won’t tell you what that is about or what happens in it, yet, but it will arrive quite soon after this one.

But now, without further ado, let’s catch up with Amber & Paul.

In case you were wondering about “The Russian Joke”

VOCAB: porch / veranda / terrace / balcony / patio / conservatory

In the UK a porch usually looks like this

And a veranda looks like this (UK)

But in the USA, a porch can be bigger (a bit like a veranda), like this

And a veranda looks like this in the USA (longer, and often around the house, sometimes on several floors)

A terrace in the UK is like this

A balcony looks like this

A patio looks like this

And a conservatory is like this

So Amber has a large terrace on part of the roof of her new house in the Paris suburbs.


So that was Catching Up with Amber & Paul #9. I hope you enjoyed that.

Check out the page for this episode on the website to see pictures of a porch, veranda, terrace, patio, balcony and conservatory so you can work out what’s really going on with those words! I wonder if you have one of these features on your home or in the garden maybe.

You heard there us talking about recording another episode, and we did. So the next episode will also feature Amber & Paul again and it’s going to be the return of … that’s right The Lying Game. There’s a full lying game episode coming up next on the podcast. That should arrive in the next few days.

I’m very happy with the responses I’ve had to the last 3 episodes about Quintessentially British Things. I’ve had lots of comments about Mum’s Book Club or Gill’s Book Club. It seems there is quite a lot of enthusiasm for that, so I’ve been talking to my mum about it and we might be able to do some fairly regular episodes in which we talk about 3 books, or other works of art (because Mum is also into theatre, galleries, exhibitions, cinema and stuff like that). Watch this space, that should happen at some point. What should I call those episodes? Gill’s Book Club (because my dad uses his name in his episodes) or should it be Mum’s Book Club? Or should we call it Culture Club (a bit like the band) or something else? Let me know what you think in the comment section.

LEP Premium

I’ve been working really hard on a mammoth series about grammar for LEP Premium. It’s all about articles – a, an, the, no article. This is a particularly tricky aspect of English grammar and I’ve had plenty of requests for it ,so I’ve been slaving away, consulting various grammar books, coming up with loads of real examples. We’re using extracts from interviews with The Beatles in this series ,seeing how John, Paul, George & Ringo have used articles in interviews and using that as a way to learn this grammar. Also I’ve been looking through various grammar books for all the rules. Long story short, I have a long and very detailed look at articles for LEP Premium, which should already be published – either all of it or part of it, and it will also include the usual test and pronunciation drills. So check it out – www.teacherluke.co.uk/premium

But for now, that’s it!

Thank you for listening and stay tuned for the next episode which should arrive in a few days.

But for now it’s just time to say, BYE!