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Enfield-based podcaster Kevin Dawson on his journey to the West End

Kevin Dawson, host of The Reel Feedback Podcast
Kevin Dawson, host of The Reel Feedback Podcast

Having just turned 40 and with a creative itch to scratch, I decided in 2017 start my own podcast. I wanted to meet with behind-the-scenes figures from the worlds of TV, film and music in a warts-and-all, candid chat about what they do and the famous projects they’ve worked on.

As a lover of all three mediums I would be discussing, this was as much for my own selfish curiosity as it was for the listener I hoped would share that curiosity. In making my podcast The Reel Feedback, within a couple of years I had visited Pinewood several times, been on the set of Rocketman and stared face-to-face with the original prosthetic make-ups for Spectre‘s Blofeld, Heath Ledger’s Joker and the engineers from Prometheus, and held in my hands Captain American’s costume from Avengers: Age of Ultron.

Through relentless research and pestering via email, I had managed to get conversations with Oscar-winning art directors, make-up artists, editors and producers on films ranging from 2001, Blade Runner, and Aliens to Saving Private Ryan, The Dark Knight and the Harry Potter, Marvel and Star Wars franchises, plus Grammy-winning sound engineers and Abbey Road mastering engineers who have worked with Foo Fighters, Coldplay and Muse.

During lockdown, I secured an investor to market the podcast further into the digital world and was soon featuring guests who appear on the stage and in front of the camera rather than behind it. While sat at home without much to do, I bagged names such as singers Gary Numan, Skin (Skunk Anansie), Grian Chatten (Fontaines D.C) and Grant Nicholas (Feeder), who soon joined actors Katherine Parkinson (The IT Crowd) and Ben Schwartz (Sonic the Hedgehog and Parks and Recreation) as Reel Feedback guests.

In 2022, I took the podcast to the live stage in Brighton to host two shows for promoter Coastal Events; firstly with band Turin Brakes and then former The Seahorses front man Chris Helme. Then at the end of last year, I decided to try it solo, and just as comedy actor Matthew Holness brought back cult Channel 4 character Garth Marenghi with a new book release, I hosted Garth for a show at the prestigious Comedy Store in Leicester Square. Even with 20-plus years fronting bands and taking to the stage regularly, nothing prepared me for the nerves of walking out minus a guitar, my security blanket, to introduce my show.

On Tuesday, 11th April, I am ready to do it again, this time at the world-famous Prince Charles Cinema, also in Leicester Square, to host living legend Brian Blessed. Known for his never-a-dull-moment approach to storytelling, Blessed will regale the audience with an uncensored tour of his legendary career. From Flash Gordon to Blackadder to his three Mount Everest climbs, audience members, and myself, selfishly curious as ever, will be in for a treat.

For more information, episodes and to buy tickets:

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