Over recent years podcasts have exploded in popularity – and so too the most popular podcast hosts.
Take Chris and Rosie Ramsey. Warm, engaging and totally genuine, they’ve built a career on being themselves. First, as hosts of Shagged. Married. Annoyed, a podcast with more than 100 million listeners that has spawned a best-selling book and arena tour that sold out the O2 and Wembley Arena in London. Now they’re TV hosts, with The Chris & Rosie Ramsey Show airing on BBC Two.
The couple joined The Big Issue to talk about love, laughs and the secrets behind a successful marriage…
The Big Issue: You’ve had huge success with your podcast. Why did you want to do it in the first place?
Chris: This is where I must thank Rosie, cos it was completely her idea. I had my own show on Comedy Central, and they decided a good way to promote it would be to do Facebook Live. So I’m doing these videos in the house and Rosie is sitting off-camera with a glass of wine. First week, she’s just laughing and heckling, but by week three she’s on with us and the audience loved her. We were deciding what we wanted to do next, and Rosie said she’s listening to loads of podcasts and I said it sounds like a daft idea. I eat my words on a regular basis.
Rosie: We only thought we were going to do six episodes.
Chris: Then we did the trailer, and it went top of the charts – 166 episodes later, I still screengrab it every single week when it’s top of the charts because I still can’t quite get my head around it.
Had you always wanted to do a project together?
Rosie: You didn’t really want me to get involved at all. I was off doing my own thing, and then I had Robin [their eldest son] and did a bit of Instagram. You were very protective.
Chris: I wanted to be very private, closed off. I didn’t want my family life out there. And now it’s an open book. Back in the day, I’d get the odd negative comment. And it can hurt. You want to protect your family from that. But as soon as we started work together, I was like, “Oh my god, this is better than anything I’ve ever done.”
Rosie: We can genuinely say it’s happened naturally. We’re just riding the wave while it’s here because it might not be here forever. We’re just enjoying it while it is.
What do people say when they stop you in the street?
Chris: The one we get the most is someone with earphones in, stops, looks at us, whips the earphones out and says, “I’m listening to you right now.” And it’s so cool. Occasionally they don’t even stop, they’ll just go, “I’m listening to you now!” and then walk off as if I’m going to interrupt. As if stopping and talking to me interrupts the podcast!
The last two years have been challenging for every relationship but what have you discovered about your own marriage during that time?
Chris: If we can still make each other laugh, it’s all going to be OK.
Rosie: We are really good at having a serious argument. We’re a married couple, we argue about serious things. But then a couple of days later, we can absolutely howl laughing about it. And I think that’s how we deal with stuff. What’s my favourite saying?
Chris: Comedy is tragedy plus time.
You’ll hit 200 episodes in early 2023. What do you think you’ve learnt about relationships?
Chris: Oh, that’s a deep one that, mate.
Rosie: I think compromise is huge. You can’t be as stubborn as you were when you were younger.
Chris: Maybe she can. I don’t think I can. I’m joking! Compromise, communication, letting stuff go.
Rosie: This is quite deep, but I think you’ve got to see it more like a life bond. Because obviously when you have kids, your sex life is not as exciting. It’s hard to find the time. A successful marriage becomes more of a partnership than, “Ahh I fancy the pants off you and I wanna…”
Chris: What she’s trying to say is she doesn’t fancy us any more. I’m a big boy, I can take it.
What’s different about The Chris & Rosie Ramsey Show on BBC Two?
Chris: It’s not a TV show of the podcast, but there are elements similar. Obviously, two elements being me and Rosie. We’re going to have celeb guests and audience members with their partners giving their beefs. We’ve got a bit at the end called ‘It Goes Or I Go’ where people come with something they hate, but their partner loves, and they get a chance to destroy it.
What would you put forward for each other?
Chris: Rosie keeps buying prints whenever she’s anywhere. She sees a lovely little picture, framed, for a tenner, brings it home, nowhere to put it, no idea where it’s supposed to go. I’m sick of them.
Rosie: One of Chris’s bikes. The skinny useless one.
Chris: That’s the fastest one.
Rosie: It’s pointless.
Chris: So, contrary to popular belief, girls aren’t impressed when you can go fast on your bike.
The Chris & Rosie Ramsey Show airs on BBC Two on Mondays at 9pm and iPlayer