For many couples it must sound like an impossible dream: being paid to moan about your partner. But a thriving genre of spousal podcasting now allows couples to rehearse their in-jokes, relitigate their grudes and discuss their grouting in front of a loyal audience.
The king and queen of spouse beef are Chris and Rosie Ramsey, whose Sh**gged Married Annoyed is a rare fixture of the top ten podcast chart not made by Goalhanger. (If it were, it would be called The Rest Is Plumbing Disagreements.) The Ramseys are thirtysomethings from South Shields who first met as teenagers. They can now boast two children, a live tour, and a BBC chat show talking to other couples about their spouse beefs.
In the first ever episode of SMA, in 2019, Rosie complained that Chris burped whenever she hugged him; he complained that since they had a child she wouldn't let him be ill. More recently, she has taken issue with the fact he puts backpacks on by swinging them over his head - a process that gives her "the ick".
The banality of their content can be mesmeric: a recent episode opened with minues discussing a gravel delivery, with Rosie revealing at one point that she was Googling table linen during the recording. The first episode ended with singer Ed Sheeran submitting a question about whether to keep ketchup in the cupboard or the fridge. QFTPs - questions from the public - have now become a staple, often leading to anecdotes of mind-bending triviality: do you keep any contact in your phone under another name, the couple are asked. Chris reveals that he uses the nickname "Mr Dogshit" for his tour manager... because he's so nice. With content like this, the mystery of who reads Adrian Chiles' Guardian colmns about spoons is suddenly revealed: Britain is a nation that revels in soothing domestic dullness.
What carries the listener along with Sh**gged Married Annoyed is the genuinejou the couple take in each other's company. This isn't one of those podcasts where the man does all the jokes and the woman's job is to laugh adoringly. Rosie can easily outgross Chris, and he often responds like someone's dropped a can of nitrous oxidie in a baboon enclosure.
Parenting small kids requires patience and an ability to smile through gritted teeth while covered in unexpected urine: many of the "Smas and Das" in the audience must appreciate the Ramseys' breezy attitude to bodily fluids and minor setbacks.
In the first episode after their second child, Rosie revealed that she loved having a catheter in the hospital because it felt "luxurious" not to get out of bed to go to the look. She also recounted her struggles with breastfeeding, concluding that she simply had "shit tits" and wondering if she was "bitter" about the women who found it easy.
"You're sour," replied Chris. "Like the milk in your tits." Some people would regard that remark as grounds for divorce. Rosie found it hilarious, which is probably healither.
There's only one problem facing the Ramsey empire. How many spousal beefs can one essentially happy couple grind out for content? Back in the first episode, Rosie asked Chris if they should stop arguing. "No," he replied, "because we wouldn't have a podcast." Quite.Aphra, Private Eye, 17th January 2024
The famous six are: Perry Fenwick (Eastenders), Karen Hauer (Strictly Come Dancing), Matt Goss (Bros), Conor Gallagher (Chelsea and England footballer), Dr Ranj (TV Doctor), and Rosie Ramsey (Podcaster, Presenter and Author).BBC, 14th November 2023
A VIP Taskmaster studio experience, a hand-painted ceramic vase by Joe Lycett and an audio message from Paddington star Ben Whishaw are amongst a number of comedy-related lots in Piece of Mind: The Brain Tumour Charity Auction.British Comedy Guide, 14th June 2023
We're happy to overshare - nothing is off limits including secret to our marriage.Katie Begley, The Sun, 12th May 2023