‘My Dad Wrote A Porno’: How the makers’ turned a parents’ embarrassing erotic literature into a hit show

Friends Alice Levine, Jamie Morton and James Cooper created the hit podcast My Dad Wrote A Porno after Jamie revealed his 60-year-old dad – under the nom de plume Rocky Flintstone – had secretly channelled his sexual fantasies into a series of erotic novels named Belinda Blinked. As it returns for a third series, Thomas Smith joins the threesome in London

Jamie, what was your reaction when your dad first revealed he’d been writing erotic literature?

Jamie: “Horror. Disgust. Disbelief. He initially said he was writing a novel, so I was really excited for him. Then when he sent the first three chapters through I discovered it was actually pornography.”

So you decided to share it with your friends?

Jamie: “I realised how was funny it was, so I took to it to these guys down the pub.”
Alice: “We were in a posh place in north London, cackling like, ‘Woooh! Cervix!’”

Are your parents OK with you sharing it with the world?

Jamie: “Initially I thought, ‘Oh God, Mum and Dad are going to get a divorce.’ We recorded the first episode as a test and my dad was like, ‘It’s absolutely brilliant, what a podcast!’”

Why do you think people have latched onto it so much?

Jamie: “I think there’s just an alchemy that you could never manufacture. The characters too, like Belinda, Giselle and Jim Stirling – they’re all so ludicrous.”
James: “In the last series there was a cliffhanger at the end of one episode and it was like when Ross said ‘Rachel’ at the altar in Friends. People went nuts for it.”

Once you’d finished the first book, you started doing bonus ‘Footnote’ episodes with a special guest. How did that happen?

James: “Daisy Ridley [Star Wars’ Rey] just slid into our [Twitter] DMs to say that she absolutely loved it. We tentatively invited her round; next thing we know, she’s at the door with two bottles of Prosecco. Michael Sheen was similar. He just came to ours and hugged us all, saying, ‘It’s like we’re old friends.’”

Who’s the dream guest for the show?

James: “Well, we heard that Adele listens. I really want her on the show.”
Jamie: “I’d like E.L. James [author of the Fifty Shades series] because I feel like that would be a meeting of minds. Perhaps Dad could give some tips on how to write.”

Have you ever felt like what you were reading was too disgusting or crude?

Jamie: “We’ve never cut anything. A couple times I have just asked, ‘Are you OK, Dad?’”
Alice: “We’ve already been to some pretty gory and graphic places. So if we haven’t hit the line yet, where is it?”

You’ve started taking the book on tour now. What have people been like on the road?

Jamie: “People go absolutely nuts. We did a show a couple months back and someone was dressed as a big blue sperm – like Jim Stirling’s semen is in Season 2 – and then fired blue silly string at us.”

Someone’s told you they lost their virginity because the show helped them to be more open about sex, right?

Alice: “Yeah, it’s a bit worrying, isn’t it? Initially you think it’s disturbing because you think, ‘Have they used it as a guide?’ This is definitely not a guide.”

What can listeners expect from Season 3?

Jamie: “More of the same, I guess. Although my dad’s actually written a plot for once in the first few chapters.”

Now your dad is famous, do you worry his writing will become a bit too knowing?

Jamie: “He actually wrote four of the books before we did any podcasts. He listens a lot, but sometimes he’ll call me and say, ‘I loved the episode, but I’m not sure why you find microwaving mulled wine so funny.’”

Has he never been tempted to make a guest appearance on the podcast?

Jamie: “He’s a bit like, ‘I wrote the book and you’ve made it into a podcast, so that’s your problem.’ I think he’s quite happy to just sit in his garden, drinking wine, watching Twitter, because he’s a retired man.”

So there’s definitely another series of first-wave Belinda? Do you have long-term plans?

James: “We promise we’ll go away as soon as it gets boring. But until then, we’re going to crack on with it.”

My Dad Wrote A Porno Series 3 is available to download from May 29 at mydadwroteaporno.com