Tag: history

The chef who creates seven-hour podcasts about horror movies

The Secret History Of Hollywood podcast

In a recent edition of my newsletter I covered a wealth of great podcasts and related resources, one of which was my new podcast app of choice, Pocketcasts.

The Pocketcasts ‘Discover’ feature has since led me to find a podcast called The Secret History of Hollywood. I thought I might need to get my eyes checked when one of its episodes – ‘Hunting Witches With Walt Disney’ – was listed as coming in at 171 minutes. Then I noticed that another episode, ‘A Universe Of Horrors’ – which tells the tale of Universal Studios’ iconic horror movies – ran to 429 minutes. That’s over seven hours.

As a man who once catalogued every articIe I read in a year, the level of dedication & obsession involved here piqued my interest.

Having listened to ‘Hunting Witches With Walt Disney’, and thoroughly enjoyed the wry tone and detailed historical context (it looks at the HUAC witch-hunts and how they affected Hollywood stars – plus the social conditions that led to them), I decided I had to learn more about the people who produced it.

Only, there is no collection of film journalists or content production behemoth behind The Secret History Of Hollywood. It is but one person: a chap called Adam Roche. And he has no background in radio, or audio of any kind. In fact, he’s a chef.

Adam kindly agreed to answer lots of my questions, and did so in great detail.

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My great-uncle’s D-Day letter from Normandy

While visiting relatives in Scotland, my auntie showed me this letter that my great-uncle, able seaman William (Bill) Honeyman, wrote from a ship approaching Normandy on the 5th June 1944 as the D-Day landings were about to take place.

I’ve wondered in the past if the men entering into battle on the beaches were aware of just how massive the overall operation it was. We know now that this was make-or-break in terms of the War, but did they know this as they set out?

Bill’s references to the task at hand made me realise that they knew it all too well. They knew that this was likely to be the largest invasion the world had ever seen, and that failure was not an option.

While most of the letter is concerned with descriptions of what he sees and does before and during the early part of invasion, this recognition of the enormity of the situation is most vividly illustrated in the cover sheet and in a passage that would look bombastic in virtually any other setting.

What was at stake:- The future of the whole civilized world depended on this, the Greatest Venture ever undertaken in the annals of World History. We must defeat this devil upon earth so that the people of the World should live in a world as our Lord planned it to be and for what He suffered and died upon the CROSS AT CALVARY.

(Click images to enlarge.)

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