The fictional cricketer Dave Podmore writes for The Guardian and has several radio series to his name but he's new to me. Like Ed Reardon and Count Arthur Strong he's another incorrigible chancer living off exaggerated glories past, only more so.
Here he is trying to take advantage of his sport's putative 1,000th anniversary and land an appearance on the ancestry TV show Who Do You Think You Are? Unfortunately, his personal records amount to no more than a stack of unpaid parking fines, but with the help of his sidekick Andy he's determined to trace his family back to the very Celt who first got the ball rolling.John Mount, Radio Times, 10th June 2014
One of our finest cricketers, Dave Podmore (Test batting average: four) is bereft. His beloved dog Saxon is dead. And, as befits a great canine and a great master, only the most lavish of funeral ceremonies will do.
Fans of the Pod will smell the stench of oncoming disaster at this point - anything involving Dave either spending or trying to earn money is doomed. This time the cost of hiring Gareth Malone to lead the choir has hit him hard. Could glamorous wife Jackie not help him? She's too busy in the Emirates, setting up her vajazzle franchise. And so Pod must fall back on his cricketing knowledge to earn some money. Who better than he to represent England at the Ashes press conference . . ?
Chris Douglas, Andrew Nickolds and Nick Newman's writing remains as sharp as any Poms vs Aussie rivalry. Best Pod line at the press conference? "If it wasn't for Ant and Dec, no one would have heard of Australia."Jane Anderson, Radio Times, 7th July 2013
Dave Podmore, who first came before the public in the pages of this newspaper, is a comic creation for our times, which are increasingly brought to us courtesy of a sponsor. The core truth of the Podmore project is that first-class cricketers feel entitled to the same rewards as top footballers. Since they don't get them they make up the difference in VAT scams and having their names written on the side of their free cars. This can earn them seven-and-a-half grand, apparently. That's what the titular oaf of Dave Podmore's Ashes Shame (Sun, 7.15pm, R4) tells the actor playing young England star Joe Root, when he can tear him away from his Scalextric.
As a player, Dave never scaled the heights that Root is already acquainted with, and of late he has known hard times. He lost his prestigious post as Twitter coach to the England women's team, his Rhodesian ridgeback Saxon has been shot by the police for killing foxes, and even his lovely wife Jackie has temporarily deserted him to set up a vajazzle franchise in the Emirates. Nevertheless, Dave's buoyancy remains breathtaking, particularly so when placed at the service of his awesome ignorance. There is no sum of money too small for him to discuss. "If it hasn't got Helen Mirren's face on it, it's not legal tender," he warns. This episode has been re-edited since I heard it, to take account of Julia Gillard's stepping down from Australia's highest office. Come the Ashes, Pod will no doubt be knocking out cassettes of the original in the beer tent at Trent Bridge.David Hepworth, The Guardian, 6th July 2013
This comedy about a world-famous cricketer, out of the game and down on his luck, is bold and edgy, especially when it tackles the subject of celebrity.Elisabeth Mahoney, The Guardian, 28th December 2011
Dave Podmore (like the more famous Ed Reardon, the creation of Christopher Douglas and Andrew Nickolds), is England's louchest, laziest former cricketer. But his luck at picking up juicy jobs has run out. He's down to walk-ons in Aladdin at the Meatmarket Theatre, Droitwich. So he has a brilliant wheeze to get back into the headlines, involving old escapades with Miss Scrumpy Jack. Is Dave smart enough to juggle the law?Gillian Reynolds, The Telegraph, 22nd December 2011
Dave Podmore on the Stump (Radio 4, Wednesday) was a glorious post-election tonic. Not all cricket fans love Podmore, sublime comic creation of Christopher Douglas and Andrew Nickolds with assistance here from Nick Newman. He is, for some, too louche, too coarse. Only as louche and coarse, of course, as some former county players who turn up in reality shows and commentary boxes. This was the story of how, by Podmore-ish accident, he became an MP, observed and assisted as always by the faithful Andy, reporter for fictional but recognisable Radio One County. Pod had to stand down, of course, but not before enough jokes to make the script fizz and me fall off the chair laughing. On this show (produced by independents Hat Trick) even (the real) Jeremy Paxman sounded as if he were, at last, enjoying himself.Gillian Reynolds, The Telegraph, 18th May 2010
An election special or, rather, a post-election tonic. Dave Podmore, once a pretty middling kind of cricketer, latterly the sort of lowest league celeb who promotes office stationery or turns up on TV reality shows, has been elected MP for the marginal seat of Leicester Forest Services (East). Has he been the beneficiary of the Undecided vote? Or was he just too drunk to remember what happened at the count? (And did his distant cousin Ed Reardon campaign for him?) Written by and starring Christopher Douglas, Andrew Nickolds and Nick Newman.Gillian Reynolds, The Telegraph, 12th May 2010
England's laziest and most offensive cricketer has, since his last special on Radio 4, fallen upon even harder times. Tipped off that there was still money to be made as an MP he had no choice but to stand as an independent candidate at the recent election with the winning slogan of "Leave me alone and I'll leave you alone". Writers Christopher Douglas, Nick Newman and Andrew Nickolds are on fire again and Pod fans need not worry - his election success is quickly spoiled by scandal.Jane Anderson, Radio Times, 12th May 2010
I have no fear of recommending something that I've not heard: it's Dave Podmore on Strictly. He'll be awful, unspeakably rude and embarrassing to behold. But there is such sweet joy in the misfortunes of others...Jane Anderson, Radio Times, 20th October 2009
Dave Podmore is a fictional former cricketer who scrapes a shameless living in the scrubland between sport and showbiz. There are serious cricket scribes who don't find him funny. I simply adore him. The creation of Christopher Douglas and Andrew Nickolds (who also gave birth to that peerless paradigm of the modern man of letters, Ed Reardon), his adventures mirror life closely enough for laughter, sharply enough to register. Here's how he narrowly missed out to real life former cricketer Phil Tufnell in getting onto Strictly Come Dancing.Gillian Reynolds, The Telegraph, 20th October 2009