Tony Blair goes podcast crazy

‘Ever wondered what happens when Europe’s political leaders get together? Well Eddie Izzard did, so he set off for Brussels to find out. The popular comedian, who has a passion for European issues, tagged along with the PM’s party for a behind-the-scenes look at what happens at a Council meeting.’
Eddie Izzard continues his bid to become ‘Britain’s favourite europhile’, with this remarkable contribution to the Downing Street website. The inclusion of amateur photos of the trip – and I mean that in a positive sense – is a really nice touch. Well done for mimicking Flickr’s ‘photo set’ presentation, too.
The BBC’s Nick Robinson covers the ‘shock news’ on his own blog. But he’s wrong to call it ‘No10’s first podcast’. In fact, it’s arguable that Downing Street actually invented the podcast?!
Starting in February 2000, Downing Street went through a phase of producing regular MP3 ‘addresses to the nation’ by Tony Blair – trying, I suppose, to mimic the US President’s weekly radio broadcasts. It started out as a weekly thing, then inevitably became a bit more sporadic over the summer break, and never really recaptured its rhythm. Was it a podcast? Depends on your definition. To a purist, it isn’t a podcast unless it comes in an RSS feed. But these days, the term is seemingly applied to any posting of audio content. In which case, Blair was there right at the beginning.
Oh… and just to make this even madder… Tony Blair will be co-hosting Radio Five Live’s football phone-in tonight. I thought I’d heard someone on the radio say so this morning, but then my brain said it couldn’t possibly have been what they said, and made me get on with my breakfast. Best listener-submitted question so far: ‘Are you going to be supporting England at this world cup, or will you just support the USA regardless, like you normally do?’

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