In 2017, the inaugural Australian Podcast Awards (known as the Cast Away Awards) was held at Giant Dwarf in Sydney's Surry Hills. After a memorable red carpet hosted by Maynard, guests took their place in the theatre for the presentation of the first category, Comedy & Entertainment.

The winner - Maynard! Maynard has been part of the Australian podcast community from its early days, which he shares with us, along with his tips and podcast recommendations, below.

Maynard during the 2017 Australian Podcast Awards (AKA the 'Cast Away Awards')

Maynard during the 2017 Australian Podcast Awards (AKA the 'Cast Away Awards')

Aus Pod Awards: What is your podcast origin story? Do you have a podcast 'spirit animal'?

MAYNARD: I foolishly first started podcasting infrequently when it became available through iTunes in 2005. But have regularly been releasing shows since 2009. My current podcast feed has over 200 shows available.

Inspired by shows from No Agenda and the TWIT Network, I put together The Dirty Disbelievers on the ABC. This was a paranormal, comic, skeptical show with music, that asked questions like, “Why are Nazi UFOs so hot right now?” AND we had a poetry segment.

Without a budget for a studio and three presenters, a chance comment during A Very Maynard Xmas show spawned the media juggernaut that is Bunga Bunga.

Tim Ferguson, of Doug Anthony All Stars fame and professional wheelchair owner, helps me with my favourite inhabitant of Planet Maynard: Bunga Bunga. We solve the nation's and the listeners' problems with Tim’s genius sense of humour and little regard for reality.

Planet Maynard also includes my music shows, book author interviews, archival content going back to 1982, and the recently rediscovered legendary '90s Oxford St gossip Lance Leopard who brings the extra camp needed in these challenging times.

What preparation goes into an episode before you begin recording?

I gather the Crankmail and any issues to bring up with Tim for Bunga Bunga. Some set-up lines for Tim to bounce jokes off. Tim Ferguson is never told anything about the content in advance - that helps keep it fresh. Any laughing on the show we do is genuine.

What mics, editing software, studio gear and facilities are used to produce your podcast?

Planet Maynard, Bunga Bunga and all the shows I do are recorded in a variety of non-studio environments. This brings a vibrancy and immediacy to our shows that Maynard International Studios is known for.

Shows are usually recorded using a Yellowtec recorder, with a Beyer Omnidirectional Dynamic mic capsule, to SD card inside the microphone.

Edited and mixed in Reaper on a MacBook Pro. Put through Auphonic, then converted to mp3 in iTunes (I prefer the Fraunhofer encoder used there). is a Wordpress website using Powerpress plug-in. Digital Management by Bryson & Hume.

Tim Ferguson and Maynard at Sydney's Madame Frou Frou Cafe.

Tim Ferguson and Maynard at Sydney's Madame Frou Frou Cafe.

What aspect of podcasting takes up the most time?

The post-production editing. A day to edit, a day to find the sound inserts, and a day to mix and upload.

What advice would you give to a podcaster who's just starting out?

Think through the complete process. Don’t just record shows and never do anything further with them. Sound quality is important. It doesn’t matter how interesting you are if no-one can understand you. Use post-production compression to keep your sound more listenable and consistent. Don’t do yet another True Crime podcast - enough already.

Please complete this sentence: "I feel most connected with my audience when..." When they become patrons of the show. Crankmail and free drinks are great, and it’s always special to meet listeners at live events. But when a listener actually enjoys our shows enough to become a financial producer of the show, that’s a real-world help to keep the show going. We call it "cash signalling."

What are your gateway episodes? 

Bunga Bunga 46 our latest Bunga Bunga show, with Tim Ferguson and I creating more problems than we solve.

Lance Leopard Changes His Spot, the first public appearance of Lance in over a decade, letting the world know where he’s been the last 20 years, and why he had to go away.

Paul McDermott on the reformation of The Doug Anthony All Stars, perhaps one of my favourite interviews I’ve done.

Feel free to insert plug for your next episode or series. 

If you like my shows, consider becoming a Patreon at a monthly amount of your choice. We make a monthly show just for Patreons, and we really suck up.

Bonus question - what are your go-to Australian podcasts?

Spokey Blokeys - Two guys on a bike making jokes about a different suburb every week.

The Lazy Couch - Technology report from Australia from people who know what they are talking about.

Tea With Alice - Alice Fraser has tea with a different comic each week. She wears her heart on her sleeve and is talented, funny and on the right side of history.