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Career

The maker of the wildly successful 'My Dad Wrote A Porno' podcast can't quite believe its success

In 2015, Jamie Morton sat down to discuss his dad's erotic novel with his two best friends. Now the 'joke gone a bit too far' has racked up over 200 million downloads.

By Ellen Mackenzie
Jamie Morton still can't quite believe he's found fame on the internet reading aloud his retired dad's amateur erotic novel. "It's a joke really, isn't it? It's gone a bit too far," laughs the Manchester-born star when he sits down for a chat during a brief visit to New Zealand.
In 2015, the 31-year-old launched a podcast called My Dad Wrote a Porno, where he sat down to discuss his dad's writing with his two best friends, James Cooper and Alice Levine. Fast forward to now and the show has racked up over 200 million downloads, and spawned several international tours and even a one-off televised special with HBO.
"In a weird way, it's been successful because we never expected it to be popular," chuckles Jamie, who seems unable to talk about the whole thing without cracking up.
"We're often caught out by the success – we were sitting in our kitchen, three mates chatting, and then we suddenly realised millions of people were going to hear what we just said!"
The show has been so successful, it's even attracted some celebrity guests, including Elijah Wood and Michael Sheen. But a real highlight for Jamie was recording an episode with Last Christmas actress Dame Emma Thompson.
My Dad Wrote a Porno has an A-list fan base including Elijah Wood, Michael Sheen, Emma Thompson.
"She invited us round to her house for dinner and that was just so cool!" he gushes. "I've grown up watching her movies and she's such a great role model."
Emma is also one of the few people to actually meet Jamie's dad, who goes by his pen name Rocky Flintstone and has managed to keep his identity a secret despite the podcast's popularity.
"Emma came to my show in London at the Royal Albert Hall last year, so she met Dad and they had a big chat, which was so nice," he shares.
While it's not a journey he expected to be on with his father, Jamie says it's brought them closer and made their relationship even stronger.
"I wouldn't be doing this if he in any way felt slighted – my aim was not to make anyone feel uncomfortable," he explains. "I think he just sent me these books to begin with to screw with my head a little!
"So I've actually one-upped him by reading it to the world. But the fact that he's so willing to go on this ride and just let people take the mickey out of him has been great."
And Jamie insists the podcast isn't going anywhere anytime soon, with Rocky still writing.
We're coming! James, Jamie and Alice are touring NZ with new kinky content.
"Everyone started off saying, 'Oh Rocky is such an idiot.' Now the tables have turned and everyone's thinking maybe he's a good writer, maybe he's actually a genius!" laughs Jamie. "What's been really nice is that he's found a love for something that he never thought he would do with his life.
"For him to be an executive producer on the HBO show in America and have all these amazing things happen to him in his 60s, after he's retired, it's like a whole second career. It's nice to see that, and to be able to share it with him is pretty cool."
Unlike most "internet celebrities" or "online influencers" these days, Jamie has still kept his full-time job as a TV director, the same role he was in when he launched the podcast. Apart from his touring and live shows, he doesn't make much money off the venture, but that's the way he and his podcast partners like it.
Jamie explains, "We never wanted to make this our job because then you start doing things for the wrong reasons. Whereas if we keep doing this just because we love it and it's fun, we'll probably do everything for the right reason. It's kind of like an extracurricular activity, a bit like choir!"
Risqué "Rocky" pictured with a young Jamie.
The podcast has also brought him incredible opportunities – like being able to visit Aotearoa. Jamie, Alice and James first came Down Under in 2017, but now they're returning next month for three shows in Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch.
"It's so great, I love it over here!" he enthuses. "We're actually ending the tour in New Zealand this time, so we get to explore everything and have a bit of a holiday."
The live shows will feature brand-new writing content from his dad that hasn't been read on the podcast before.
Jamie laughs, "He constantly sends me stuff asking what I think and I've just ignored it for the past four years, so we thought why not for this tour? Let's get all that stuff together and wade through it each night with an audience!"
The fact that he now gets to travel the world because of this podcast is still something Jamie has to pinch himself about some days.
Smiling, he adds, "We started all this just because it made us laugh and we hoped that somebody else would find it funny as well. Now look where we are!"

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