The Mudhuts Podcast – Truly Innovative : Truly Independent

“If you do not remove the offending text immediately, the relevant legal action will be taken to recover appropriate damages”
– The solicitor of a well known TV personality

Mudhuts Media was something of an enigma.

For just about 10 years, it became a global (yes, really) phenomenon whose legacy is still being felt today. It was home to writers, performers and assorted ne’er do wells and scoundrels. It had a forum on which no subject was taboo, and where only the strong survived. It organised charity and nostalgia nights which raised money for good causes. It had a network of connections which other sites can only dream of. It produced digital radio shows. It produced magazines. And it produced podcasts before they were even remotely fashionable. Not the puny 20 minute soundbites that have made plenty of people rich since then, though. No, we’re talking nearly 3 hours in some cases.

Elsewhere, Mudhuts Media was the target of many attacks, almost all from the very people who didn’t survive the maulings dished out because they couldn’t deliver when it mattered. Despite never topping 500 members over the course of its life, traffic routinely exceeded 1 million visitors a year and peaked at nearly 2.5 million during 2009.

The quote you see above comes from one of many letters and emails of complaint received over the course of a decade through which Mudhuts Media blazed its own trail.

In case you’re wondering, it didn’t end in tears. Almost, but not quite.

So why this site? Well, it’s not a tribute, exactly, it’s merely a place where the Mudhuts Media Podcasts can live on and where people can download them and listen at their leisure. If we had a pound for every time we were asked what happened to all the podcasts, we’d have almost a pound, so let’s pretend they’re back by popular demand, and not as a part of some ill-conceived vanity project.

The Mudhuts Media Podcast was the brain child of original Mudhuts member Father Finton Stack (spelled incorrectly, by the way. Google it)

Together with urchin cohort Ozzie Osbourne, they set out to make something which they’d enjoy doing and which people might just enjoy listening to. What they ended up with was something which went way beyond anybody’s expectations and gathered a fanbase that spanned the world.

Initially, the recordings were made by the late Simon “Si” Young, without whom the project would never have even surfaced out of Finton’s head. Thanks to Si’s invaluable contribution, the Mudhuts Podcasts became very real, and for that we are eternally grateful. Si, himself can be heard on the early podcasts playing the part of “shouty background entity”.

As Si moved on to other things, including a move to the Good Ole US-of-A, his role was taken over by new technical “supremo” Migs. It was this new combination that went on to produce 14 of the 18 Podcasts, in part due to Migs’ expanded role as the bullied step-child of the house and Finton and Ozzie’s capacity for cruelty that seemed to know no bounds.

The music contained in the Podcasts is also something to behold. Finton with his “I wish I was black” selection, Oz with his entire catalogue taken from Steve Wright’s Sunday Love Songs and whatever godawful stuff Migs wanted to play made sure there was something for everyone from cool street corner boys to homeless and hungry tramps. There was even a Podcast or two where the chance to choose a track was auctioned to the highest bidder. It wasn’t a success.

Technically, the Mudhuts Podcast series has never finished. Like everything else on Mudhuts, it just sort of stopped. The series isn’t exactly dead, it’s just not exactly alive.

Either way, it deserves its place in internet history, if only for all the complaints it got.

Download the Podcasts and see for yourself

Mudhuts Media : A Potted History

Mudhuts Media was founded in 2003 by Martin “Jimmy” Tarbuck and Andrew “Vaughanie” Vaughan. With the help of technical genius John Lowe, a website was built and Mudhuts Media was up and running.

From just a handful of regular members, Mudhuts grew to have an online presence which belied its size, attracting the great and good of online writers and a few who, by rights, should either be in prison or in a cemetery. Uniquely in this age of king-of-the-castleing, Mudhuts was entirely the sum of its members. Without them, Mudhuts Media just wouldn’t – and couldn’t – have existed.

As the popularity of the site grew, so did the attention from overseas rascals and, in 2007, the site was hacked and all but obliterated by some teenage Turks who managed to corrupt almost every aspect of the site code. Unfortunately Johnnyl had, by this time, ended up quite important and was spending more time in Tokyo than Wigan, and so couldn’t spare the time to help unbreak what got broken. By happy coincidence, Paul “Migs” Middleton had been a member of the site for a while, and had a basic understanding of how websites work. Within a few weeks, a new site was in operation which, despite the continuous jibes from other members, never got hacked. It should be noted, though, that Migs did break the Mudhuts site late in 2014 and it’s taken him this long to put it (sort of) right.

Just before the Turks did what they did, something happened which would propel Mudhuts into the digital stratosphere, relatively speaking. In 2007, the idea was hatched to record a Podcast. Not some boring, wannabe-journalist or wannabe-comedian type podcast, though. No, the Mudhuts Podcast was intended to be something different, whether people wanted it or not. After the success of the first Mudhuts Podcast, it was decided to develop the idea into a series. If anybody had any idea of what it would become, it probably wouldn’t have happened, if we’re totally honest.

Irreverent, disrespectful, shameless and ball-achingly funny, the Mudhuts Podcast became an internet sensation*. Had Twitter been half the influence back then as it is now, it’s likely everybody involved would have either been rich or prosecuted.

Over time, as the likes of Twitter started to take over from the usual online forum structure, so Mudhuts saw a decline in members and content until it just sort of sat there doing nothing. Coincidentally, that was how most members spent most of their day so it was probably inevitable. As it stands, although Mudhuts Media as a topical outpouring of opinion on the day’s news is no more, this small non-tribute survives.

Enjoy the Podcasts,and please don’t sue us if you hear something you shouldn’t. To tell you the truth, and this is probably a good indicator of why we are where we are, nobody kept a record of just what was on the Podcasts so we don’t really know if they’re offensive or not. Well, okay, we know they’re offensive, but we don’t know if they’re slanderous. Either way, we’ve got no money.

*Everything else seems to be, these days, and we wanted to join in the hype