The day will come. We’ll be back. The beloved British pub will fling its doors wide open once again. We’ll be able to hug mates, have a cheeky chat with cheerful bar staff within two metres, and of course watch sport on the big screen TV whilst nursing a pint.
Well the hugs are virtual, it's just three blokes, and sport is only partly on the agenda, but welcome to your new local, The Socially Distant Sports Bar. In the cosy corner of the room are the motley crew of two of Wales’ finest comics, Mike Bubbins and Elis James, and their compatriot, former BBC Wales sports presenter Steffan Garrero, who acts as compere amongst the chaos of one of the most increasingly popular podcasts, that the uninitiated need in their life right now. Though it is planet sport, it is the disastrous orbit that provides the most fun. The idea is to bring discussions of docs, YouTubes, books, even other podcasts ‘to watch in the bar and let the evening pass with a bit of fun’.
And every sport is admissible.
Welshman and Wales football fanatic Elis James may be familiar to a wider audience through his hit Radio Five Live show with fellow comedian John Robins, a broadcast often punctuated with reference to Elis’ love of Swansea City, his Euro 2016 adventure, and generally baffling knowledge of the beautiful game. His presence translates well on this runaway minecart of a podcast in a terrific triumvirate of talkative talent. But the brains of the outfit is Steff, who had an idea for a podcast for sports fans who were missing sport during lockdown that captured the essence of what it’s like to be a real fan in the pub with your mates, an antidote to the heavy-hitting analysis that often completes the charts.
Steff describes The Socially Distant Sports Bar as “Three friends sitting in a ‘pub’ telling each other about YouTube clips of sport they’ve watched, but who frequently get sidetracked by laughing.
“I’ve always wanted to be involved in a project which really gets across what it’s like to talk about sport as a real fan,” he told Wales Online after it kicked off in 2020 as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic kicking off. “When lockdown happened I texted Mike and Elis to see whether they wanted to try out a few ideas and it spiralled into this. We only spoke about the idea between ourselves about six days before we recorded the first episode - it was that fast.”
Ten months after its debut on podcast platforms, there are now over 40 episodes to pour yourself a cool beverage and sit down to consume with carefree company. Topics may venture into Kimbo Slice reminiscence.
The Socially Distant Sports Bar is available through Patreon.