Kildare man in charge of behind the scenes podcast at hit TV show Vikings

Sarah Peppard talks to Newbridge podcaster Liam Geraghty about his exclusive show about the historical hit

Sarah Peppard

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Sarah Peppard

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sarah.peppard@leinsterleader.ie

Kildare man in charge of behind the scenes podcast at hit TV show Vikings

Liam Geraghty pictured on the set of Vikings

The Vikings TV series, which hit our screens in March 2013, has proved a massive hit with Irish and international viewers.

So it’s no wonder Newbridge podaster Liam Geraghty jumped at the chance to work alongside the crew.

Vikings, produced by the History channel and shown on RTÉ in Ireland, is back for a fifth series on November 29, and ahead of that Liam is hosting and producing eight weekly podcasts that give an insight into the making of the show, and the behind the scenes.

The hit series explores the violent world of the Norsemen, and follows the journey of historical hero Ragnar Lothbrok and his sons.

The series is filmed in Ireland, at Ashford studios in Co Wicklow, and was inspired by a 1950s movie about Vikings.

Liam has been producing podcasts since 2008, and said this is one of his biggest gigs to date.

“In terms of podcasts for sure, because podcasting is relatively new. Even though it has been on the go since I think 2005, Ireland is certainly very much behind in produced podcast.”

He admitted that he hadn’t seen the show before being approached to do the podcasts.

“There wasn’t really a requirement to watch it. Obviously it would be helpful but it’s not a recap podcast, it’s more ‘a making of’, a behind the scenes, which is actually totally up my alley because that’s what I do with my own podcasts. I go out and interview people, and I don’t know much about it.”

Liam, who also reports for RTÉ radio and works as a puppeteer for CBBC’s Brain Freeze, said a trip to the States a few years back landed him the gig.

“I had done a radio workshop in New York a couple of years ago, so I was selected to do this week-long radio workshop by all the big podcasters in America. It was really cool, and someone who I was on that with recommended me to a producer there who was looking for a producer in Ireland. Luckily I had literally just launched my own podcast called Meet Your Maker a month ago, and then this came along.”

Do you have to be a Vikings fan to get it?

“Not at all, it does give out spoilers is the only thing. It’s very interesting if you’re interested in Vikings but it’s also very interesting if you want to see how a TV show is made.”

Liam said hanging out on set with the crew is very cool. “It is super interesting. I’m like a big kid going out to the set.

“It really is like walking into Hollywood, they’ve got three massive stages and you go inside and there’s whole buildings inside these stages, you just walk in and suddenly you’re in a church, or you’re in the great hall, and not only that, but outdoors they have an entire Viking village built. It’s really nice.”

It is hard to get the visual across when making a podcast?

“I don’t think so, I think radio and podcasting are visual mediums in that people picture things in their mind. It’s like reading a book really, but on radio you get to add sounds to give an impression of the picture.”

Liam said interviewing characters and cast was a great experience. “It was really interesting, this is exactly the kind of thing I’m interested in.

“I’m really curious about how things are made and I got to go and interview absolutely everyone from the stuntman, to the makeup guy to the prosthetics, the concept artists, and then all the cast as well, so really just free reign access to go and talk to everyone so it was amazing.”

Liam said Ireland is a bit behind in terms of producing good podcasts. “I think the problem at the moment is that there’s not enough people willing to fund a podcast. In terms of produced podcasts you need time as well.”

Liam added that if someone wanted to make a good living out of it, they’d have to move abroad, to somewhere America, multi-million dollar podcasts are produced.

For a listen to Liam’s podcast series, search ‘History’s Vikings Podcast’ on iTunes.