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18. Keeping Athena Company – Ben Van Der Velde

January 12, 2020

In this episode I talk panto, history, improv and Great British comedy with the uber talent that is Ben Van Der Velde. This was an absolute pleasure to hear Ben share his vast knowledge, curiosity and his most favourite fact.

More about Ben:

Ben Van der Velde is a stand-up comedian, actor, improviser and presenter. He is a regular host and act for respected British comedy clubs such as The Comedy Store, Komedia, The Backyard, The Glee, Covent Garden Comedy Club, The Stand, Comedy Loft, Top Secret Comedy, Outside the Box, the Frog & Bucket and Comedy Club 4 Kids, as well as hosting stages for Bestival, Festival No.6, End of the Road and Sunday Papers Live. 


On top of that, he has taken commissions to perform a voodoo re-marriage ceremony, founded the Church of the Holy Kazoo with comedy legend Mark Thomas, walked the entire London Underground network to raise money for The Refugee Council, hosted a comedy tour of the FIFA Museum in Zurich and even took part in experiments at The Royal Society that revealed him to have the most infectious laugh of any human, rat or monkey.

What more do you need to know? Press play!

17. Keeping Athena Company – Susie Steed

December 24, 2019

In this episode I am joined by someone with a PHD in economics and if you you listen you will learn about the following:

Why anti capitalists are really just anti imperialists because capitalism as it is intended to be doesn’t really exist

Why financiers want to leave the EU

Why left wing politics has up until this point been imperialist 

Why the City of London might note be as sinister as you think.

This was recorded on the Sunday after the Thursday before so this is also your last word on the 2019 General Election! I promise this has plenty of food for thought.

Susie reads all the books so you don’t have to and it was a pleasure to get her intellect on wax, so to speak.

More about Susie:

Susie Steed is a writer and comedian who has written for publications such as The Guardian, HuffPost and appeared on the TEDx TalksLSE Podcast and Institute of Ideas. She has appeared in several documentaries including The Spiders Web and In Transition 2.0. She has performed several times at the Edinburgh Festival, last year in a show called ‘Gold Diggers’ and the year before on a walking tour exploring the hidden history of Capitalism which was featured on Al Jazeera in this clip. She runs economics walking tours around the City of London. She also co-runs a comedy night in Brixton.

She writes excellent blogs at:




16. Keeping Athena Company – Joe Jacobs

December 15, 2019

In this episode I am joined by the epically talented rapper and comedian Joe Jacobs. We chat about success, where Eminem is going wrong and the underground rappers you need to be listening to if you’re bored of Ed Sheeran. Plus we have the definitive winner of the ultimate creative battle: comedy vs. rap. Enjoy!

Find Joe Jacobs on Twitter, Instagram and You Tube: @JesterJacobs

More about Joe:

Joe Jacobs is a London based comedian, rapper and writer. Since 2012, he has performed nationally and internationally, sharing bills with acts including Bill Burr, Stewart Lee and Mr. Motivator.

His live shows effortlessly flit between hip hop and comedy and he’s been seen/heard on Channel 4, BBC Radio 4, BBC 6 Music, Radio 1XTRA, plus gained millions of viral video views online. In addition to stand up, as solo artist Jester Jacobs, he has put out regular music since 2008. His latest EP State Of The Art was released in 2019.

In 2017, Joe took Ripe to the Edinburgh Fringe where it received critical acclaim. In 2019, he returned with Grimefulness. 

Joe has just appeared on Channel 4’s stand up show ClubNite.

15. Keeping Athena Company – James Harris

December 1, 2019

We are back! After a brief hiatus caused by a house move and various conflicting work commitments I am finally able to release to you my chat with James Harris. We have a must listen chat about what being anti-racist is actually about, anti-semitism, non-league football and the hostile environment. 

James Harris is a writer and comedian. His satirical storytelling show ‘The Palace of Earthly Delights’ is currently booking new dates. He tweets @JamesHarrisNow.

14. Keeping Athena Company – President Obonjo

November 5, 2019

I was joined by character comedian President Obonjo otherwise known as Benjamin Bankole Bello. We chat about spending formative years in Nigeria, starting comedy a little later in life and whether or not we’ll see this mad dictator in Nollywood. Plus he has a hidden talent…press play and all will be revealed. Benjamin is a treat and this was a pleasure to record!


More about President Obonjo:


n the age of Trump, populism and Brexit, the world probably doesn’t need another bloated ego pretending to give easy solutions. Thankfully what we need is a comedy character who skewers them with precision, hilarity and who isn’t afraid at showing vulnerability.

Following civil unrest due to the President’s long periods of absence to go and secretly perform stand up comedy in Britain, there was a military coup in the Lafta Republic. The official line is that President Obonjo was tried and executed for his neglect of the Laftarian people with his decapitated head stuffed and mounted in their new government headquarters. However, some say it’s a myth and has instead moved to St Albans where he now performs headline spots and festival shows throughout the United Kingdom. 


President Obonjo,  is an upcoming and increasingly successful stand-up comedian and who has been peforming Comedy for the past 10 years.. As the larger-than-life, uber-confident, self-appointed, side-splitting dictator of ‘Lafta Republic’, President Obonjo has quietly been leading a comedy revolution to become the first President to take over the comedy industry by storm. He has been creating rumblings by storming New Act competitions including winning Luton Comedian of the YearRunner-Up at Great Yorkshire Fringe and was a finalist in the Naty New Act of the . His previous solo show President Obonjo Stole My Identity was performed in 2015 at Bath Comedy Festival, Brighton Fringe and Edinburgh Fringe Festivals in 2015  and 2017  to packed crowds and critical acclaim.


President Obonjo took his third Edinburgh Show titled Goodbye Mr President to the fringe in 2019 

13. Keeping Athena Company – Sadia Azmat

October 21, 2019

In a Keeping Athena Company first, Sadia refused plantain, albeit politely. I soldiered on to have the kind of conversation I swore blind I would never have on this podcast, the kind of conversation that is two comedians talking about comedy. However give this one a chance, it was bloody brilliant. We charge through taking offence (obviously), doing gigs on the Black, Muslim and ‘mainstream’ circuits, white supremacy and writing material on difficult subjects. I also give a handy definition of racism.  

More on Sadia

Sadia is a stand up comedian and writer from East London. She’s the host of hit podcast on the BBC, No Country for Young Women and BBC Radio 2’s My Single Life. Neither of those shows are recorded in her mother’s kitchen so they are already much more worthy of a listen than this one! Find her on Twitter: @sadia_azmats_  or Instagram: @sadia_azmats



12. Keeping Athena Company – 1.5 Arabs

October 7, 2019

I welcome 1.5 Arabs into grandma’s kitchen, Fatiha el-Ghorri and Esther Manito! This was so much fun, even the child was entertained as you will hear throughout this very enjoyable conversation. I was giggling throughout the whole edit I swear. We chat about freedom of speech, challenging perceptions, people’s fear of the Middle East and the stress of friends watching you perform. 

These two comedians are so funny and as 1.5 Arabs produce some of my favourite online sketches right now! Find them on Instagram: @1.5arabs, esthermanito and fathia.elghorri

PLUS! You can see Fathia and myself perform with a load of top top acts on Wednesday 16 October at Library Laughs

It’s a fundraiser for Libreria, a lending library in Accra. Find out more about them here:

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