The Monday Media Diet interview: Jake Yapp on dead gameshows, irritating sports presenters, and... uh... this newsletter

The creator of Not Today, Thank You on the magazines, TV shows, and music that make him say, "Yeah, okay, actually..."

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Today’s guest is the comedian, composer, and writer Jake Yapp. He made memorable appearances in Charlie Brooker’s Weekly Wipe and has popped up everywhere from Newsnight to The Now Show. He’s the creator and host of the funny and inventive daily news digest Not Today, Thank You, as well as presenter of the Vegan Life podcast (of which more later).

Hello. Who are you in a single line? 

I’m Jake Yapp, I was famous for approx two minutes thirty seconds on Charlie Brooker’s Weekly Wipe for condensing tv shows into bite-size chunks of bile.

How would you describe your media diet? Are you a glutton, a snacker, or a picky eater? 

Picky glutton? When I latch onto something, I kind of need to saturate myself in it until I feel like I understand it. I come from a production background, so I am always conscious of how something gets put together. And often it’ll be a show I don’t even like. But I have to try to extract its DNA before I can move on. I’m horrendous to live with.

What's the first thing you watch/listen to every day? 

If I’m honest, I’m casting around a bit at the moment. Out of habit, as much as anything, I’ll put the Today programme on, but Gary-With-The-Sport (I could easily get two and a half minutes out of him) tends to be the last straw and make me flip to Radio 3, where I think they kind of understand their audience impeccably. Particularly last year, with Covid, Radio 3 provided genuine solace and spiritual and emotional comfort - cometh the hour and all that. They’ve been amazing. Failing that, I regularly listen to Rachel Maddow’s podcast.

What would we find if we spied on your YouTube recommendations?

Um, mainly videos of Claire Saffitz. YouTube recommended some of her Bon Appetit channel videos to me and I have been hoovering them up. She’s a brilliant chef, and she has to try to replicate kind of industrially processed foods, like Starburst or a Twix or Pringles or whatever. I suddenly realise that she is doing to food what I often do to the media — reverse-engineering it. But food is my other great, great passion - I host the Vegan Life podcast which is basically Kitchen Cabinet without the meat and dairy, and I love it. 

Which magazines, websites, and newspapers do you pay for? 

Viz, although I never get round to reading it. And we get Private Eye, but if I’m honest, my partner, Kim generally tells me what bits I really should read and then I don’t. I suck. I subscribe to YOU — [Mic: Jake is a paid subscriber to Conquest of the Useless but I liked him before that too] — and I’m also a supporter of Gretchen’s Vegan Bakery on Patreon.

But I am increasingly realising that micro-payments to individuals is the only hope of keeping stuff alive now. I have supporters of my Not Today, Thank You podcast on Patreon, and they absolutely make the difference between sink or swim every month. And with belated altruism, I am realising that I need to support the people I like directly.

What artist or artists would we find on at the top of your most-played list on whatever streaming service you use? 

I use Spotify. But I’ve only had it for a few months. I am late to the party. Also, my personal algorithm is screwed because I use it for work things, so it currently assumes my favourite album is Mallet Mischief, Vol II by Harry Breuer, which it very much isn’t. But currently, on my ahem splash page there’s 60s French pop, Soca music from Trinidad and Tobago, and Bobby Short’s album Live at the Cafe Carlyle, which is a joy.

If you could only read one website every day, what would it be?

Look, if I say ‘yours’, I’m going to look like such a fucking kiss-arse. I’ll go with Twitter. It’s just such a blissed-out, zen kinda place.

[Mic: Ah, another chance to insert the subscribe button…]

What deceased magazine/ TV show/ radio programme would you resurrect? 


Sorry. Er, 321. The game show with Ted Passive-Aggressive Rogers, where guests had to decipher utterly batshit cryptic ‘clues’ for prizes, in between scandalously banal ‘entertainment’ - sketches and songs that would have been better if you’d asked your family members to put something on. I genuinely love it and I have watched every episode there is available online.

Anyway, I’ve had a lovely day, Ted, thanks for having me on.

Thanks to Jake and thanks to you for reading this edition of the Media Diet interview. It’ll be back on Wednesday with a special Mid-Week Media Diet edition. If you’ve enjoyed this and want to keep getting the paid subscriber bonus issues (which also include a Saturday evening roundup), hit the button: