Helen Zaltzman performing at TED2017
|Pseudonym||The Etymological Lodger|
|Born||Tunbridge Wells, United Kingdom|
|Relative(s)||Andy Zaltzman (brother)|
|Notable works and roles||Answer Me This! (podcast)|
Helen Zaltzman is an English podcaster, broadcaster and writer. She is best known for her work with longtime collaborator Olly Mann with whom she presents the comedy podcast Answer Me This!, as well as her linguistics podcast The Allusionist.
Answer Me This!
Zaltzman began the weekly comedy podcast Answer Me This! with Mann in 2007. The duo met in 2000 studying at St Catherine's College, Oxford. The podcast is recorded remotely, but was previously recorded in Zaltzman's living room in Crystal Palace with assistance from Martin Austwick (a.k.a. "Martin the Sound Man"). Zaltzman also edits the show, a process that takes around ten hours per episode. In 2009, the two made history by being the first podcasters to be given their own national show on BBC Radio 5 Live, Web 2009 with Helen and Olly. They have gone on to present several other specials for BBC 5 Live.
The podcast won a silver Sony Award in 2010 and gold in 2011, and in 2012 a European Podcast Award. It has been voted one of the Top 10 Comedy Podcasts in the World by The Guardian. It has received critical plaudits in numerous publications including Q, The Times, Time Out, and Radio Times. Due to the podcast's success, Faber and Faber published a companion book in November 2010.
In January 2015, Zaltzman launched a new linguistics podcast called The Allusionist. Zaltzman is the first British broadcaster on the Radiotopia podcast network. The Guardian describes the Allusionist as "an antidote to all the whither-life-and-how-to-understand-it podcasts". The Allusionist was iTunes UK's best new podcast of 2015. At the 2018 British podcast awards it was named ‘Smartest Podcast’ and Zaltzman was awarded ‘Podcast Champion’.
Along with Mann, Zaltzman was the internet correspondent on BBC 5 Live's Saturday Edition and on Steve Wright in the Afternoon. She was a panellist on the third series of Charlie Brooker's So Wrong It's Right and won. She has appeared on Woman's Hour, The News Quiz, The Richard Bacon Show, Transatlantic with Rory Bremner and Ian Collins's shows, and was a correspondent on the 2012 Olympics for BBC Radio Scotland. She has been a guest on numerous podcasts, including The Guardian's Media Talk and Maximum Fun's International Waters, and guest-presented a special edition of the Radio Academy's Radio Talk.
In 2012, Zaltzman was a judge on the Sony Awards. In May 2013, Zaltzman began hosting a monthly podcast for Sound Women, an organisation which campaigns against gender discrimination in the radio industry.
Zaltzman is a comedy writer, her radio credits including The Now Show, The Milk Run on Radio 1, and Newsjack, and TV credits including Celebrity Juice, Keith Lemon's Lemonaid, Britain Unzipped, and Animal Antics. She writes book reviews for The Observer, Classical Music Magazine, and The Big Issue, as well as various pieces for The Daily Telegraph, The Times, and the BBC.
Zaltzman is a crafter, and has painted numerous posters for comedians' Edinburgh shows. Additionally, she has created props, including a giant inflatable Boggle set; dinosaur costumes; and dolls of Tony Benn, Robert Plant, and Donald Rumsfeld.
Zaltzman has acted in plays at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, and will occasionally perform live comedy, most often with Josie Long and Robin Ince. In 2007, during a three-week run of Long's show Trying is Good at the Soho Theatre, she sat onstage embroidering a quilt depicting scenes from the show. In 2010, Zaltzman and Mann wrote and starred in a series of videos around Britain, Great British Questions, in association Visit Britain. In April 2017, Zaltzman delivered a talk entitled 'Writing as a form of time travel' on the main stage at TED2017.
Zaltzman is the younger sister of comedian Andy Zaltzman and the daughter of South African sculptor Zack Zaltzman. She is of Jewish Lithuanian descent, and identifies herself as an atheist. She was raised in Tunbridge Wells and won a scholarship to Sevenoaks School, then went on to study Old and Medieval English at St Catherine's College, Oxford. In April 2011, she married musician and physicist Martin Austwick after a nine-year relationship.
- Zaltzman, Helen (11 November 2014). "How to create a successful podcast: just say yes". The Guardian. Retrieved 11 November 2014.
- "Martin Zaltz Austwick". Retrieved 14 October 2015.
- Zaltzman, Helen. "Adventures in Podcasting 4: editing is your friend". Helen Zaltzman. Retrieved 16 July 2014.
- Shepherd, Robert (27 November 2009). "BBC Radio 5 live to Answer Me This!". Broadcastnow.co.uk. Retrieved 16 July 2014.
- "The Winners 2010 – Best Internet Programme". Radio Academy Awards. Archived from the original on 22 May 2014. Retrieved 16 July 2014.
- "The Winners 2011 – Best Internet Programme". Radio Academy Awards. Archived from the original on 6 October 2014. Retrieved 16 July 2014.
- Benedictus, Leo. "Top 10 comedy podcasts". The Guardian. Retrieved 16 July 2014.
- "What The Papers Say…". Answermethispodcast.com. Retrieved 16 July 2014.
- "Faber To Publish Answer Me This! Book From Celebrated Comedy Podcasters in November 2010" (Press release). Book2book. 30 April 2010. Retrieved 13 November 2014.
- "The Allusionist". Retrieved 19 May 2015.
- Sawyer, Miranda (31 July 2015). "The 10 Best Holiday Podcasts". Retrieved 14 October 2015.
- "Allusionist best of 2015".
- "British Podcast Awards 2018: Cariad Lloyd's Griefcast sweeps the board".
- Sawyer, Miranda (20 May 2018). "The week in radio and podcasts: Mental Health Minute; Chris Hawkins; Jo Whiley and Simon Mayo; British podcast awards and more". the Guardian.
- "BBC Radio 5 live – Saturday Edition". BBC. Retrieved 16 July 2014.
- "So Wrong It's Right – Radio 4 Panel Show – British Comedy Guide". Comedy.co.uk. Retrieved 16 July 2014.
- "Radio Academy Awards". Radio Academy Awards. Archived from the original on 25 July 2014. Retrieved 16 July 2014.
- "Sound Women's sets on SoundCloud – Hear the world's sounds". Soundcloud.com. 1 May 2013. Retrieved 16 July 2014.
- Birch, Nicky (2 March 2015). "Sound Women is about future proofing your career". Media Week. Retrieved 14 October 2015.
- "Helen Zaltzman". The Guardian. Retrieved 16 July 2014.
- "Author Profile: Helen Zaltzman". Classical Music Magazine. Archived from the original on 30 October 2015. Retrieved 14 October 2015.
- Zaltzman, Helen. "Archive for 'craft'". Helen Zaltzman. Retrieved 16 July 2014.
- Zaltzman, Helen (14 December 2007). "The Trying Is Good Quilt". Retrieved 14 October 2015.
- "Helen and Olly's Great British Questions". Answermethispodcast.com. Retrieved 16 July 2014.
- "Tales of tomorrow: The talks of Session 10 of TED2017". TED Blog. 28 April 2017. Retrieved 5 May 2017.
- Zaltzman, Helen. "Lies about love". Helen Zaltzman. Retrieved 14 October 2015.
- "Alumni Review". Sennockian 2010 – 11 – Sevenoaks School. Sevenoaks. 2011. p. 118. Retrieved 15 October 2015.
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