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29 September 2015updated 30 Jun 2021 11:59am

SRSLY #12: Piping Hot Takes

On the pop culture podcast this week, we talk the patronising critical reaction to Ryan Adams’ Taylor Swift cover album, The Great British Bake Off, and The Lives of Christopher Chant by Diana Wynne Jones.

By Caroline Crampton

This is SRSLY, the pop culture podcast from the New Statesman. Here, you can find links to all the things we talk about in the show as well as a bit more detail about who we are and where else you can find us online.

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SRSLY is hosted by Caroline Crampton and Anna Leszkiewicz, the NS’s web editor and editorial assistant. We’re on Twitter as @c_crampton and @annaleszkie, where between us we post a heady mixture of Serious Journalism, excellent gifs and regularly ask questions J K Rowling needs to answer.

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You can also find us on Twitter @srslypod, or send us your thoughts on tumblr here. If you like the podcast, we’d love you to leave a review on iTunes – this helps other people come across it.

The Links

On Ryan Adams / Taylor Swift

Read Anna’s article, “Ryan Adams’ 1989 and the mainsplaining of Taylor Swift”. Links to the sexist mansplainy articles discussed are in there.

Listen to 1989 by Ryan Adams on Spotify.

The problematic video for Taylor Swift’s “Wildest Dreams”.

The Pretty Much Amazing review titled “Taylor Swift Writes Ryan Adams’ Best Album”.


On The Great British Bake Off

Helen Thomas’ article about how the overseas format exports of the Bake Off are different to the British version. Read her episode-by-episode blog for the NS here.

Caroline’s most-read article ever: “Diana was framed: why did the Great British Bake Off throw an innocent WI judge to the wolves?”.

Paul’s lion bread:

This is a tennis cake (who knew?):

The Bake Off’s Tamal is on Twitter @DrRayBakes and Nadiya is @BegumNadiya.

If you have to, hate read this by Quentin Letts: “I adore The Great British Bake Off. But does it have to be so right on?”

Laurie Penny on the darker side of “British twee”.


On The Lives of Christopher Chant

Get a copy of The Lives of Christopher Chant by Diana Wynne Jones. This is what Caroline’s copy looks like (that Anna read):

The Chrestomanci series has a helpful wiki.

Listener Victoria told us on Twitter that she likes the books so much that her cat is named Chrestomanci:

Next week:

We’re going to do a special themed episode looking at popular culture adaptations of “highbrow” texts, so Caroline is watching the film She’s the Man (based on Twelfth Night).

Your questions:

We loved talking about your recommendations and feedback this week. If you have thoughts you want to share on anything we’ve discussed, or questions you want to ask us, please email us on srslypod[at], or @ us on Twitter @srslypod, or get in touch via tumblr here. We also have Facebook now.



The music featured this week, in order of appearance, is:

Ryan Adams’s Blank Space

Ella Fitzgerald’s Petootie Pie.

Our theme music is “Guatemala – Panama March” (by Heftone Banjo Orchestra), licensed under Creative Commons. 


See you next week!

PS If you missed #11, check it out here.