Critically-acclaimed podcast The Football Ramble has established itself as the independent voice of punditry, racking up more than 65 million downloads.
The good news for fans is that the live version is back on the road and heading for Sheffield City Hall's Memorial Hall where it will be hosted this Thursday,October 17.
Expect all your favourites from the podcast show as the gang cast an eye over the best – and most ridiculous – moments from the footballing circus.
Marcus Speller, one of the four Ramblers, said: “We definitely approach the live shows differently to the podcast. On the podcast we want to give our views on current footballing affairs. Whereas in the live shows, we just find the funniest things to talk about and have as much fun interacting with the audience as we can each night.”
Fellow Rambler Pete Donaldson said: “The live show set pieces will feature throughout the tour, but we do change it up. It keeps us on our toes and maintains that energy of a live show! I’ve brought several new awful playsuits that I want to inflict on my people.”
Luke Moore is looking forward to meeting die-hard fans and new friends when the cast mingle with the audience after the show. He said: “Our listeners often come along with a bunch of their mates and come up to us saying they all had a great time. I love that and it’s a great way for them to be introduced to the podcast too.”
So how do the team-mates psyche themselves up for a show in front of a live audience?
The fourth Rambler, Jim Campbell, said: “There’s definitely a tension before a live show but I think that’s true of any live performance.”
Pete said: “Everyone gets quite tense, I drink one beer, and everyone starts saying ‘Pete, stop drinking’. I say, ‘I’m in a good mood’. Then we all go on.”
Luke said that one of the major concerns was finding out where Pete was before curtain up. He said: “In Birmingham, there was about five minutes before we were meant to go on, the videos are playing, the lights have dimmed, and Pete is on a balcony somewhere behind the stage. I’m thinking how is he going to get down here, but somehow, he always turns up.”
After the UK tour, the lads are taking The Football Ramble Live to the USA and Canada. Pete said: “I am really proud. We wanted to be the first football podcast to do America properly. I love Chicago and I love New York, so I am really looking forward to getting out there. Our listenership from the States is about 20%, which is a surprisingly large amount.”
Marcus and Luke founded The Football Ramble Podcast around a kitchen table in 2007. With comedian Jim and Absolute Radio DJ Pete joining them, by 2009 the fortnightly show was increased to a weekly episode and reached number 1 in the iTunes sports podcast chart.
The Football Ramble has become such a huge hit that it is now released twice weekly.
Jim said: “We are not just four blokes down the pub talking about the game. We work harder to be more interesting than that.
“What I like about the format that makes it a bit different from those mainstream things is that we are free to talk about playing headers and volleys over the park and the stupid side of football.”
Luke added: “It’s a credit to us that we can make it look like we are relaxed and we have just waltzed in from a night out and are just having a laugh”.
Tickets to see The Football Ramble Live in Sheffield are priced from £22.40. Call 0114 2 789 789 or go to www.sheffieldcityhall.co.uk.