OK Amber & Paul are back on the podcast today and I promise to keep this intro as short as possible.
It’s been a while since the last episode with Amber and Paul so it’s great to have them back. It’s been a little difficult to get the three of us in a room together, because we’ve all been busy, especially Paul who has been doing his stand up and working on a TV show and other projects.
So, anyway, here is “Catching Up with Amber & Paul” #8. The idea behind these catching up episodes is that we just see what my friends Amber & Paul have been doing recently and then see where the conversation takes us.
You can expect the usual mix of us talking quite fast, going off on various tangents and making fun of each other. That’s what usually happens in these episodes, and everyone seems to enjoy that, which is great! It’s the tangential trio, the PODPALs – reunited again for much pod-related fun.
Just to help you a bit, here’s a rundown of what we’re talking about in this episode.
In my coworking space, not on the terrace or in the sky pod this time. The co-working space is quite trendy and “hipsterish”, and empty.
Paul looks very different. His appearance has changed – what’s going on?
Paul’s new TV show about stereotypes, called “Stereotrip” (first revealed on this podcast last year)
Some talk of stereotypes, focusing on Italian people, Swiss people, German people, Swedish people and English people. What are the stereotypes of those places and are they true, based on the research that Paul and his team did for the TV show?
How is Amber’s show with Sarah Donnelly going? The show is called “Becoming Maman” and is about learning how to become a mother in France.
The importance of marketing for things like comedy shows, Vlogs, YouTube videos, podcast episodes and the way that certain episode titles or comedy show titles (names) get more success than other ones, like how “clickbait titles” are often more successful. What makes something go viral?
I just want to say again – when the three of us get together we do get a bit excited and we all have things to say, as a result we end up speaking really quickly, talking over the top of each other and cutting each other off. So, be warned – you are about to hear some quite fast speech. See if you can keep up, I hope you can! Listening several times will actually help a lot, so try doing that.
Just one more thing. You might hear some beeping in the background of this episode. There was an electrician working in the next room at the time.
Right, that’s it for this introduction. Let’s now listen to some superfast English from the PODPALS and here we go!
So, we’re going to pause right there and carry on in the next episode.
How’s this going for you? It’s nice to have Amber & Paul back on the podcast again isn’t it.
As usual, I wonder how much of this you understand because we do speak very quickly when we’re together.
I realise it might be difficult to follow, but hopefully that’s not such a big issue because it’s just pretty enjoyable listening to the three of us just rambling on like this. Certainly the impression I get is that people out there in podcastland enjoy listening to us.
You can let me know in the comment section.
Also, share your thoughts on the topics in this episode.
What do you think about stereotypes? What are the stereotypes people have of your country? Do they have any truth in them? Why do people have those stereotypes and where do they come from?
Also, what do you think about the titles of episodes? When you listen to this podcast, do the titles make any difference to your listening choices?
Let us know in the comment section and part 2 will be coming your way soon.
Learn English from an anecdote told by Sir Paul McCartney. Let’s listen to Paul telling a sweet story about something funny that happened to him and George Harrison when they were teenagers, before they became world famous musicians in The Beatles. Let’s listen to his story , do some intensive listening practice and then I’ll help you understand everything. Also, let’s have a laugh with some funny Paul McCartney impressions. Video and notes available below.
This episdoe is called Paul McCartney’s Spider Story and if you keep listening you’ll hear what happens when a couple of Beatles meet a couple of spiders.
You can also do some intensive listening practice focusing on every single word, and then later there are some bits focusing on Paul McCartney’s voice – including a few fun Paul McCartney impressions.
But right here at the beginning, before the jingle even, I just want to give you a heads up about some bits of vocab that appear in the episode. I’ll tell you the vocab now and while you’re listening and hopefully enjoying the episode, just try to spot these words and phrases as they come up, and when you do spot them you can just go – oh, there’s that word, there’s that phrase.
a bed and breakfast (a B&B) = a simple guesthouse where you pay for a bed for the night and breakfast in the morning, a bit like a basic hotel which is just someone’s home. (e.g. We hitch-hiked around Cornwall and stayed in a few little B&Bs along the way)
to turn out (phrasal verb) = when you discover a fact or when something is later revealed to be true or to be the case ,turn out + infinitive (e.g. we got talking to this guy and made friends with him and it turned out that his mum owned a B&B up the roador I was standing in a shop and I overheard someone talking about recording music and a concert and it turned out to be Paul McCartney!)
menace (noun) = something dangerous that can cause you harm (e.g. next door’s dog is a real menace to my chickens, or he has an air of menace about him, or there was a hint of menace in his voice)
as blind as a bat = totally blind, e.g. I’m as blind as a bat without my glasses! (Bats are often thought to be blind, but in fact their eyes are as good as ours – but they use their ears more at night than their eyes)
a nativity scene = a set of models or statues depicting the birth of the baby Jesus Christ, with Mary & Joseph often sitting over the baby Jesus. Every Christmas my school used to display a nativity scene in the school’s entrance. Sometimes people display nativity scenes in their homes or even outside the house if they’re particularly religious at Christmas.
to bury the hatchet = to stop a long running argument and become friends again. E.g. I wish you two would just bury the hatchet so we can get the band back together. (bury the weapon you might use to fight with someone)
to bury the hatchet in someone’s head= a joke! If you bury a knife, sword or hatchet in this case in someone’s head – it means you stick it deep in their head – to kill them. E.g. I’m ready to bury the hatchet – in your head! – Makes it sound like you’re ready to stop fighting, but actually you still want to kill the other person!
showing off = behaving in a way to attract attention and show people how great you are, but in a way that’s annoying. E.g. Dave is really good at the guitar but he’s always showing off doing these ridiculous guitar solos. He just wants to impress everyone. or Stop showing off in front of all the guests!
OK – so, no information yet about the context that those words come up in, but I just wanted to give you a heads up about some bits of vocab that definitely do come up at various points during the episode. See if you can spot them all as they naturally come up. Now, on with the episode!
What are we doing in this episode? Listen to an anecdote – a real one, told by none other than Paul McCartney.
This is a video I found on YouTube (see below). Listen to the story, and just work out what’s going on. I’ll give you a few questions to guide you. Then I’ll go through the recording again and explain it, clarify, highlight any features of language and generally help you to understand it as well as I do. So, this is a great chance to learn some English from a real anecdote – a personal little story, in this case told by Sir Paul McCartney.
I love The Beatles. I love listening to Paul talking about, well, anything really, and I love this particular video and this little anecdote.
It’s not a story about how he conquered the world in The Beatles, or how they played Shea Stadium or how they sold millions of records or whatever.
It’s just a sweet and funny little story about something that happened to him and his mate George Harrison when they went hitchhiking in Wales – before they were even famous or in The Beatles.
I think the video originally appears as an outtake from the George Harrison documentary “Living in the Material World”, which was directed by Martin Scorsese. Highly recommended.
He was just asked if he could tell a story about a good memory of George. Of all the things they must have been through together, this is the one he picked.
Who’s Paul McCartney? (as if you don’t know…)
He’s got to be one of the most successful musicians to have ever lived.
He was in The Beatles – you must have heard of them!
I don’t know if you like their music, but you can’t deny that they’re one of the most significant bands ever and also one of the most significant moments in cultural history. I have no doubt that their music and their story will forever be remembered, studied and considered ultimately to be like classical music.
But I don’t mean to build it up too much. For me, I’m a fan of the Beatles not just because of their place in cultural history, but because of the fascinating story of these apparently ordinary guys from Liverpool, their lives, their friendship and the amazing pool of creativity that seemed to open up between them once various factors were in place and the career of the Beatles happened.
Watch the video of “Paul McCartney talking about his best times with George Harrison” (below)
Try to answer these questions. Listen to find out the answers.
Why did they hitch hike to this place called Harloch in Wales?
Where did they end up? Why did they spend their time there?
Where did they stay?
What did he realise later on?
Who did they hang out with? What did they do?
What was their reaction to the spiders in their room? How did they deal with the spiders?
Who were Jimmy & Jemimah?
Paul McCartney talking about his best times with George Harrison – “The Menace! The Spiders!”
The second anecdote – Buddy Holly and John Lennon’s poor eyesight
What’s the funny thing Paul says about John’s eyesight?
Answer: John Lennon famously wore glasses because he was very short sighted. He used to take the glasses off if girls were around. Later, Buddy Holly became a famous pop/rock star and suddenly it was quite cool to wear horn-rimmed glasses. Anyway, one night after writing songs at Paul’s house one dark evening at Christmas time, John walked past a house and thought he saw some neighbours still sitting outside in the freezing cold playing cards. Paul later realised that it was just a nativity scene, and John was so blind that he’d thought the statues of Mary & Joseph bending over the baby Jesus were a couple of people playing cards outside their house.
Rob Brydon & Steve Coogan do Beatle Impressions in The Trip to Spain
Rob and Steve do their Paul McCartney impressions. Rob talks about how Paul’s voice has been affected by the fact that his mouth has lost some mobility now that he’s quite old. Steve disagrees and says that he thought Paul was quite articulate. They then start doing John Lennon impressions.
Peter Serafinowicz Show – The Beatles go for a poo
A parody of the Beatles in their Let It Be period, when there was lots of friction in the band and they couldn’t agree on the musical direction for the group. British comedian Peter Serafinowicz does impressions of all the Beatles.
Listen to Episode 414 – “My Uncle Met A Rock Star” – My uncle’s account of how he once met Paul McCartney in a shop
Amber is from London in England, but she’s been living in France for ages and she speaks fluent French.
She has the loveliest voice in the known universe, causing hundreds of thousands of listeners from around the world to melt as soon as she begins talking.
She has a son called Hugo who makes dinosaur noises and poos under tables (well, once).
She sometimes has nightmares about fish.
She loves listening to audiobooks and BBC Radio 4.
She sometimes works as a teacher with kids, but also has a background in theatre. In fact she studied mime for 2 years (actually it’s “physical theatre”)
She is a tour guide in Paris sometimes. In fact she is very well read and knows a lot about the history of this great city.
One of these days she’s going to produce her own podcast about the history of Paris and everyone is waiting for it expectantly. No pressure.
She recently learned the words burlap, gaslighting and Hobson’s choice. Listen to episode 431 for more details.
She’s probably more intelligent than either of us.
Paul is from Canterbury in England, which is in Britain, which is in the UK, which is in Europe (sort of).
He’s from England but also spent some time growing up in France where, as a child, he once nearly burned down his house and stabbed himself in the face with a kitchen knife while pretending to be one of the teenage ninja turtles.
He has a funny, infectious laugh which causes my listeners to make fools of themselves on public transport when they can’t help laughing too (which is one of the aims of this podcast)
He has naive eyes (a reference to a comment by a listener called Olga a couple of years ago.
He doesn’t know any words. (kidding of course)
He speaks French with “no accent”.
He also speaks Spanish, and has a bit of a talent for doing accents in English.
He used to work for Apple but quit his job to do comedy. It’s going pretty well.
He does his one man stand up show #Franglais twice a week to sold out audiences and his TV show “WTF France?” is a hit on YouTube and Canal+
He used to do a podcast called “Becoming a Comedian” which was all about the challenges of becoming a comedian, but now he’s become a comedian so the “Becoming a Comedian Podcast” is now redundant!
Comments & Questions from Listeners
Nick (on our recent ‘restaurants’ episode) I was missing Paul’s laugh while listening to this…
Anonymous (on an episode from few months ago) Amber’s voice seduced me
Eri No!!!!! I just found this comment now… Oh, dear… [thinking it’s too late] If I could add some message for both Amber and Paul… ☆To Amber I am looking forward to listening to your podcast with the most lovely voice in the world!!! ☆To Paul I have been checking all video of “What The Fuck France” and can not wait next episodes and other videos on YouTube!!! And please join in LEP sometime when you have time…
Alexandr Shnaider Hi, Luke. I wonder when we should expect the release of Amber’s podcast and how we can find it.
Sylvia I am looking forward to Amber’s podcast. I love her.
Naomi Hello,Luke,Amber and Paul! How are you doing? My questions are 1.You are very funny. Did you use to make jokes in the classroom when you were students? 2. If you could have a special power, what would it be? 3. What food would you bring to a desert island? Sorry for my silly questions. Have a nice recording. I’m looking forward to listening to the Pod Pals! And I can’t wait for Amber’s podcast!
Pavel Rybalko Do you guys have favorite YouTubers?
Paul: JaackMaate (angry rants by a British guy in a shed)
Amber:Diane Love (not really a YouTuber but she does have some lovely hula-hooping videos)
Luke:Nerdwriter1 (Brainy video essays)
Jairo Trujillo García Good luck for the show tonight!!! 👍 Question : What do you admire the most about the people you are sitting with right now ? and why ?
oksipuskya (Comment on the TripAdvisor episode – episode 431) One day about 10 years ago I’d a supper with my future husband and his father in a roadside cafe on the way home. The waiter brought my meal and we three noticed a small insect lying on the plate. In spite of this I ate all the supper. Then my husband’s father said that his son had to marry me. If I hadn’t been frightened to eat it I wouldn’t be struck by family routine. (?)
This image from Chris Benitez for fans of the Russian Joke (don’t know where it was originally posted)
Boy Trent (On YouTube) Are you the same luke english who bid on a PS4 PRO system on ebay at the last minute? Then. Didn’t pay or leave me with any information as to what was going on? Ebay are now going to issue you with a non payment mark on the 19th March. 2017. I should state that many honest people were bidding on this item and strangely – you appeared out of nowhere at the very last minute. After I had blocked bids from the usual eastern european fraudsters et al. I am a person of integrity and honesty and am really sick and tired of people making false bids on items. Destroying the core purpose of ebay and leaving me with an unsold item and without £300 from the honest bidder you dishonestly won over. Yes. I am angry. etcetc…
Sorry mate – you got the wrong guy! I’m not Luke English, my name’s Luke Thompson!
Wesley Hello Luke, Amber, and Paul, Are you doing all right? As the French presidential election is drawing nearer, I was wondering what the three of you think about the candidates. After Brexit and the Italian constitutional referendum result, Marine Le Pen being the next French President could be the final blow for the European Union. In your opinion, does she stand a good chance to win the election? In this so-called ‘post-truth era’, do you consider opinion polls to be reliable enough? All the best, Wesley
Amber & Paul are back on the podcast after a 4 month absence. What have they been doing? Let’s catch up with them again, and respond to some comments from listeners. This episode was recorded in the open air, up on the terrace of my flat in the April sunshine. It’s been almost exactly a year since did Episode 271: Catching up with Amber & Paul, when we sat on the terrace and chatted about TV series, ginger people and getting caught in the sun. Since then Amber & Paul have been on the podcast quite a few times, playing vocabulary & speaking games, planning a bank robbery and generally talking nonsense.
The most recent time they were on, we played a rematch of The Lying Game. (Amber won, surprise surprise). Then we launched an interactive version of The Lying Game. We’ll be playing that later. If you’re not sure what I’m talking about – just go back into the episode archive and search for episodes with Amber & Paul.
Who are Amber & Paul? (Just in case you don’t already know)
Both are Brits living in Paris. Both perform stand up.
Amber has a lovely voice. She does voice overs, does stand-up, trained at the Gaulier school (same as Sacha Baron Cohen) loves books, radio 4 and audiobooks. Speaks French. Is a history nut. Has lived here for about 10 years. Has a baby boy who is now about 2 and a half years old.
Paul is a stand-up comedian who used to work at Apple but quit that job in order to focus on doing comedy full-time. He speaks English, French & Spanish. Previous appearances on the podcast seem to show that he doesn’t know any words in English ;) and that he always loses competitive games we play. Since his last appearance on the podcast his comedy career has taken off after one of his videos hit 1.5 million views in about a week, and now his one-man show is regularly sold out and he’s being approached by TV companies who want to produce The Paul Taylor TV Show!
Episode Contents (Here’s what you’ll hear in the episode)
Describing the context and the situation – we’re on the terrace, in the sunshine again
Amber & Paul introduce each other (for the benefit of any new listeners)
We share some comments from listeners (I read them out, we all respond)
What have you both been doing? Anything to report? This conversation will continue in the next episode…
COMMENTS FROM LISTENERS ABOUT AMBER & PAUL
Original comments can be found in the comment section for previous episodes, especially 318. Any errors have been corrected by me – you’re welcome.
Comments about the team…
Gabriel • 4 months ago
I really like the episodes with Amber and Paul :D
Brahim • 4 months ago
You make an amazing team with Amber and Paul
This is a really good episode of Luke’s English Podcast. Natural conversation among native speakers, good, engaging stories, a bit of humor and the game that listeners can also be involved trying to guess who was a liar. Please make more conversations and games on Luke’s English Podcast. It really makes a difference.
I like the new jingle. I think you should play it whenever Paul and Amber are with you ;)
I really enjoyed this episode! Paul and Amber are awesome (I started to listen to Paul’s podcast too). The joke about Philips lightbulbs was great. I listened this episode during my way to school when I was in a bus. When I heard Paul’s laugh I couldn’t stop laughing too and lots of people in bus were staring at me but I didn’t care. Thanks Luke for changing my boring travel to university into a wonderful journey. I’ve already downloaded the second part and I can’t wait to listen to it.
I had never seen Paul, but then I don’t know how but I was on your page on facebook and saw a photo of Paul. I knew I shouldn’t have done it, but I did. And for me Paul looks definitely like Mort, an adorable goodman’s mouse lemur from “Madagascar”. cs608727.vk.me/v6087276… His eyes are so lovely, kind and naive.
So, you are the greatest, Luke, but you, Paul and Amber are like a great power. You remind me of “The Fantastic four”. But I think you need someone else for a complete set! ;) www.kinomania.ru/images…
mih • a month ago [added to the COMEDY SHOWS page]
omg, I thought Paul was black when I listened to his voice =)
On Amber & Paul’s voices (apparently most people think Amber has an amazingly lovely voice, but Paul has his fans too)…
OMG I love Amber’s voice! I could listen to her all day long!
There is something so beautiful in Amber’s voice, Paul always makes me laugh.
Chriss Benitez • 3 months ago
I wasn’t aware of this episode till now. I will say it every time I hear Amber: “Just lovely voice”.
You’ve got a nice accent too Paul, and you do French and Spanish impressions so well. But Amber is a British girl with a lovely accent, there is no better thing on earth :/ sorry.
Dinara • 4 months ago
Paul I totally LOOOVE your voice! It’s charming)
Lê Vũ QC • 4 months ago
As a girl, I quite enjoy Paul’s voice, it sounds boyish and cute :) I’m downloading the episodes of his podcast now. #teamPaul
On Paul’s podcast…
Edelegn • 4 months ago
Absolutely loved Paul’s podcast.
Lê Vũ QC Lê Vũ QC • 4 months ago
OK I listened to the first episode and it was quite hilarious [Luke: absolutely hilarious]. I shouldn’t have been eating dinner while listening though because he talked about some gross stuff there. Very funny podcast nonetheless. :v
Michael Prior • 4 months ago
I enjoyed your rematch very much today! It’s just that I found myself thinking that you might have been a bit rude towards Amber, with referring to Paul’s comedy and blog and all. On the other hand, when Amber mentioned she’s doing stand-up as well, it didn’t seem worthwhile elaborating on that. You just let that slide… or did I miss anything? ?
Michael from Germany Luke Thompson to Michael Prior • 4 months ago
Amber does stand up too, but she doesn’t have her own show at the moment, and also doesn’t have her own podcast either. Really, it’s fine – we’re good friends so there was no rudeness or anything. :)
From the Archives: Other Episodes featuring Amber & Paul