|My Dad Wrote a Porno|
|Hosted by||Jamie Morton|
|Audio format||iTunes, SoundCloud, Acast, Spotify|
|Original release||4 October 2015 – present|
My Dad Wrote a Porno is a British podcast hosted by Jamie Morton, James Cooper, and Alice Levine. Each episode features Morton reading a new chapter of an amateur erotic novel, titled Belinda Blinked, written by his father under the pen name Rocky Flintstone. Morton, Cooper, and Levine react to the material and provide running commentary. Cooper and Levine are hearing the chapter for the first time, whereas Morton usually reads the chapter before recording the episode. As of 2021, the series has had over 280 million downloads. On 11 May 2019, HBO aired a comedy special of the show which features a "lost chapter" from one of the books. The special was filmed over two nights in front of a live audience at the Roundhouse theatre in London.
The podcast began in 2015 and is presented by television writer and director Jamie Morton, digital executive James Cooper, and TV and radio presenter Alice Levine. The three originally met at the University of Leeds, began working in broadcasting, and had worked together on projects before the My Dad Wrote a Porno podcasts. The podcast originated at a family gathering for Morton's sister's birthday, where Morton's father took him into his study and handed him some chapters of a novel he had been writing under the pen name Rocky Flintstone in his garden shed (Morton claims his mother won't let his father write it in the house). Morton realised with shock that he was reading the first chapter of his father's erotic novel, Belinda Blinked. He shared the chapter with friends at a Christmas lunch, where Levine suggested they should create a podcast.
Morton played the My Dad Wrote a Porno pilot to his family, who were encouraging; while his mother initially found it disgusting, she is now fully supportive. The podcast recording usually takes place informally in one of the hosts' houses and 90 minutes of recording is edited by Morton into one 40-minute episode. The podcast is hosted by Acast, which secures the advertising that funds the production. The advert is then scripted into the advertising section of the podcast and performed by the three presenters. The rest of the podcast is unscripted and spontaneous. Cooper and Levine have not heard the chapter before the recording, whereas Morton has read through it shortly before recording the episode to familiarise himself with the phrasing and prepare for any accents he may have to adopt.
Series 1 (2015) consisted of 13 episodes, with 4 "Footnotes" episodes and a "Best of" episode. Series 2 (2016) consisted of 17 episodes, with 16 "Footnotes" episodes and a "Best of" episode. Series 3 (2017) consisted of 15 episodes, with 14 "Footnotes" episodes and a "Best of" episode.
Belinda Blinked is a genuine series of at least six books, three of which are available as self-published e-books for sale and download. As of 2017, Flintstone was working on the sixth book and has said he intends to continue as he "needs the money". The first four books were written and completed before the podcast began airing in 2015. The first was released in March 2015 under its full title, Belinda Blinked; 1 A modern story of sex, erotica and passion. How the sexiest sales girl in business earns her huge bonus by being the best at removing her high heels. The second followed in July 2016, entitled Belinda Blinked; 2 The continuing story of, dripping sex, passion and big business deals.: Keep following the sexiest sales girl in business as she earns her huge bonus by removing her silk blouse. The third was released in May 2017, called Belinda Blinked; 3: The continuing erotic story of sexual activity, dripping action and even bigger business deals as Belinda relentlessly continues to earn her huge bonus. The fourth was released in November 2018, called Belinda Blinked 4;: An erotic story of sexual prowess, sexy characters and even bigger business deals whilst the darkness increases;. The fifth book in the series was the first book written after the podcast premiered and was released in December 2019 with the title Belinda Blinked 5: Belinda Blumenthal, worldwide Sales Director of Steeles Pots and Pans is in big trouble. Can the sexiest girl in sales continue to remove her brassiere whilst the evil grows. A special lockdown-themed book, set during the spring of 2020 during the COVID-19 pandemic called Belinda Blinked; Lockdown 69: A very special Belinda Blinked book written during very unspecial times..., was released in November 2020.
The novels tell the story of the sexual exploits of Belinda Blumenthal and her work in the sales and marketing department of the fictional company Steeles Pots and Pans. Belinda's work takes her around the world, where she meets various sales reps, suppliers, and business associates. Many characters regularly appear throughout the series, although some are introduced only to never be heard from again, or even change name halfway through a chapter. The writing is erratic and Morton has said, "One moment Belinda is handcuffed to a trellis in a 'medium-sized maze', the next she's at a charity tombola raising funds for the Asses & Donkeys Trust."
"Rocky Flintstone" is the pen name of Morton's father, a retired Northern Irish builder. According to Flintstone, the name "Rocky" was inspired by The Rockford Files and a family friend's dog living in Brazil, also named Rocky. "Flintstone" is inspired by the author's degree in geology and his self-identification with Fred Flintstone as he batters on the door waiting to be allowed back indoors at the end of each Flintstones episode. Before retiring, Flintstone worked as a builder, teacher, and, like his protagonist, in sales. Morton has stated that prior to writing Belinda Blinked, Flintstone self-published a number of non-fiction works on subjects of his personal expertise, including a tourist's guide to Brazil, a mineral identification manual, and a gardening book. The Belinda Blinked series is his only known work of fiction. Flintstone prefers to remain out of the podcast spotlight.
See also: List of My Dad Wrote a Porno episodes
The podcast features "Footnotes" episodes which run concurrently with the series, in which they discuss aspects of the phenomenon and invite notable listeners to discuss Belinda Blinked, offer suggestions, and discuss potential film castings. Footnotes began with episodes featuring Flintstone's biography and questions from listeners. Guests have included Elijah Wood, Joe Lycett, Thomas Middleditch, Charlotte Crosby, Michael Sheen, George Ezra, Stephen Mangan, Rachel Bloom, Daisy Ridley, Nicholas Hoult, Ben Barnes, Hayley Atwell, Emma Thompson, Mara Wilson, Josh Groban, Dan Levy, Samara Weaving and Lin-Manuel Miranda.
On 27 August 2018, it was announced that HBO had plans to produce a comedy special based on the live tour of My Dad Wrote A Porno. It features a "lost chapter" from one of the books, and has various segments, including audience participation and live reenactments. The special was filmed over two nights in front of a live audience at the Roundhouse theatre in London. The special aired on HBO on 11 May 2019, and in the UK on Sky Atlantic on 16 May.
The first series of My Dad Wrote a Porno was published as a book on 27 October 2016. It was designed as a spoof "study guide" with comments, annotations, character appraisals, key themes, and games provided by the hosts. In June 2017, a copy of the book signed by the hosts and Flintstone was auctioned as part of a fundraiser for the victims of the Grenfell Tower fire.
The My Dad Wrote a Porno live show has toured the UK, Ireland, New Zealand, Australia, Canada and the United States including the Edinburgh Festival Fringe in Scotland and Just For Laughs comedy festival in Canada. The live show was adapted into an HBO comedy special on 11 May 2019.
The team have also been approached about adapting the material into a film. Based on the "Footnotes" episodes the team have postulated, "Elijah Wood's playing the youngish man. Daisy Ridley's the Duchess. Michael Sheen's Dr. Robbins, he was very excited about that. Thomas Middleditch wanted to be Dr Robbins too, so they'll have to fight for that. Rachel Bloom wanted to be Jim Sterling in prosthetics."
The podcast initially ran into problems with its title, with iTunes refusing to list it and advertisers being reluctant to be involved.
As of 2020, the podcast has been downloaded over 250 million times. Dedicated fans are known as "Belinkers" and on Mondays, when a new episode is released, the hashtag #PornoDay trends on Twitter. My Dad Wrote a Porno is frequently cited in best UK podcasts lists by media such as GQ, Square Mile, The Guardian, Huffington Post, BuzzFeed, and Stuff.
The writing style has been described as "unerotic" and "hideous" (The Guardian), "unintentionally hilarious" and having an "extremely sketchy knowledge of female anatomy" (The Times), as well as "Shakespearesque" (Michael Sheen)
In 2016, My Dad Wrote a Porno was nominated for an Audio and Radio Industry Award (ARIAS) award in the category Podcast of the Year.
In 2017, it was nominated for a Webby award in the category Comedy (Podcasts & Digital Audio). Also in 2017, the series was nominated in the Listener Choice category of the British Podcast Awards and the 7th annual Lovie Awards presented by the International Academy of Digital Arts and Sciences.
In 2019, My Dad Wrote a Porno won a Webby award in the Comedy category for Podcasts & Digital Audio.