Olly Mann

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Olly Mann
Olly Mann (8046683690).jpg
Mann in 2012
Born (1981-05-12) 12 May 1981 (age 39)
EducationSt Christopher School, Letchworth
St Catherine's College, Oxford
OccupationBroadcaster, journalist
Years active2006–present
Notable credit(s)
Answer Me This!

BBC 5 Live
Chips with Everything
The Modern Mann
Regular Contributor:
BBC Breakfast

Steve Wright in the Afternoon

Reader's Digest

Oliver Louis "Olly" Mann is a British writer,[1] presenter[2] and gadget correspondent.[3] He is best known as the presenter of the weekend evening show on LBC and for his work with longtime collaborator Helen Zaltzman with whom he presents the award-winning podcast Answer Me This!.[4]


Mann was educated at St Christopher School, an independent school in the town of Letchworth Garden City in Hertfordshire, followed by St Catherine's College at the University of Oxford, where he first met Zaltzman.[5]

Life and career[edit]

Answer Me This![edit]

Zaltzman and Mann began presenting their weekly comedy podcast Answer Me This! in 2007, recording each episode from Zaltzman's sitting room in Crystal Palace, London.[6][7]

The show increased its audience following a number of publicity stunts in Luxembourg, which they had selected as "the world's smallest country with its own iTunes site", and where they became the fourth highest-ranked podcast in the country.[8] In 2009 was nominated for Best Internet Programme at the Sony Radio Academy Awards;[9] an award it went on to win in 2010 (Silver)[10] and 2011 (Gold).[11] It has been selected as one of the Top 10 Comedy Podcasts in the World by The Guardian,[12] and as Critic's Choice in Radio Times, Metro,[13] and The Observer.[14]

In 2010, Zaltzman and Mann wrote a book of the show, published by Faber and Faber,[15] and were commissioned by VisitBritain to make an online video series, "Helen and Olly's Great British Questions".[16] In 2012, they released their first album, Answer Me This! Jubilee,[17] which entered the UK Top 20 Album Chart.[18]

The Modern Mann[edit]

The Modern Mann podcast launched in 2015 as a "magazine show for the podcast generation". In each episode, Olly Mann is joined by sex educator and journalist Alix Fox for a weekly trip into Alix's "Foxhole", and tech writer and T.V presenter Ollie Peart for "The Zeitgeist".

The show starts with "The Zeitgeist" where Peart is set weekly challenges listeners submit, which he then reports back on. In the middle segment, Mann interviews people whose job it is to "provoke or confuse". Examples include a theme park designer, a white hat hacker, and a gambling addict. The show finishes with The Foxhole featuring Alix Fox, a "softly-spoken, foul-mouthed love expert" who answers listeners' questions such as "How do I clean my vibrator?" and "How do I tell my wife I’m gay?"[19]

The show has twice been nominated 'Podcast of the Year' at the UK Radio Academy Awards, winning Silver in 2016.[20]


In 2009, Zaltzman and Mann became the UK's first podcasters to be given their own radio show, "Web 2009 with Helen and Olly", an irreverent look back at the year's online trends,[21] on BBC 5 Live.[22] This was followed by other specials for the network, including "Web 2010 with Helen and Olly", in which they interviewed Trinny Woodall and Jon Ronson;[23] and, in 2012, "Helen and Olly's Required Listening", a look at the world of alternative broadcasting.[24] In 2010, 5 Live gave Zaltzman and Mann their own regular slot, as the "internet experts" on Saturday night news magazine programme Saturday Edition.[25] After the show had been running for two years, the slot was made available to download as part of the BBC's weekly Let's Talk About Tech podcast.[26]

In 2012, Mann became a regular stand-in presenter on London talk station LBC 97.3, where he has interviewed comedians Rufus Hound[27] and Charlie Higson[28] and hosted the overnight slot for ten nights over the festive period.[29] In December 2013, he was announced as the new presenter of the overnight slot for 2014.

Gadgets & technology[edit]

Mann is the gadgets correspondent for British Forces News on BFBS[30] and reports on technology for Radio 2 daytime show Steve Wright in the Afternoon, including annual coverage of the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas.[31] He is also the gadget columnist for Reader's Digest[32] and has reported on gadgets and technology for outlets including This Morning,[33] Sky News,[34] CNET[35] and the Jeremy Vine show.[36]


As a newspaper reviewer, Mann regularly appears on BBC Breakfast,[37] Lorraine,[38] Sky News and the BBC News Channel.[39]

Before going front of camera, Mann worked as a TV producer on shows including The Culture Show (BBC2), and ITV's The London Programme and Confessions.[40][41] He now writes for comedy shows including Celebrity Juice[42] and Keith's LemonAid.[43]


  1. ^ Faber & Faber "Author, Olly Mann" 2010
  2. ^ The Richard Stone Partnership "Profile of Olly Mann" 2013
  3. ^ British Forces News site "Profile of Olly Mann" 2010
  4. ^ Answer Me This Website "Answer Me This! Official Site" 2013.
  5. ^ Comedy Blogedy "Interview with Helen and Olly from Answer Me This!" 2010
  6. ^ Ross' Random Blog "Interview with Answer Me This!" 2010
  7. ^ Find Your Dream Job "Top Tip To Being Successful: Try Something New" 2012
  8. ^ The Daily Telegraph "Helen and Olly - How We Cracked The iTunes Top 20" 12 January 2008
  9. ^ Jewish Chronicle "Olly Mann and Helen Zaltzman chat their way to podcast glory" 7 May 2009
  10. ^ Answer Me This! official site [1] 11 May 2010
  11. ^ British Comedy Guide "Frank Skinner and Jason Byrne win at Sony Awards 2011" 9 May 2011
  12. ^ The Guardian "Top 10 comedy podcasts" 27 July 2009
  13. ^ Metro "Answer Me This!" March 2008
  14. ^ Miranda Sawyer, The Observer "Rewind radio: Prime Minister's Questions; Prisoners' Women; The Alias Men; The 404; Nature; Answer Me This! – review" 4 December 2011
  15. ^ Comedy Blogedy "Interview with Helen Zaltzman and Olly Mann from Answer Me This podcast" 19 July 2011
  16. ^ VisitBritain "News Releases: VisitBritain video is the big cheese" 27 July 2010
  17. ^ Persephone Magazine "Persephone Pioneers - Helen Zaltzman" 26 September 2012
  18. ^ Answer Me This! Official site "Answer Me This! Jubilee" 24 March 2012
  19. ^ "ABOUT". The Modern Mann. Retrieved 30 July 2018.
  20. ^ "Nominations for 2016 Audio and Radio Industry Awards revealed". Retrieved 30 July 2018.
  21. ^ BBC News website "Month by month internet highlights of 2009" 31 December 2009
  22. ^ Broadcast "BBC Radio 5 Live to Answer Me This" 27 November 2009
  23. ^ British Comedy Guide "Web 2010 with Helen and Olly - Episode Guide"
  24. ^ Robin Blamires Radio and Audio Site "The Listening List" 1 September 2012
  25. ^ Saturday Edition page on BBC.co.uk "Saturday Edition homepage"
  26. ^ Let's Talk About Tech page on BBC.co.uk "Let's Talk About Tech podcast"
  27. ^ LBC 97.3FM Audioboo Channel "What Are Your Tips For Writing Wedding Speeches?" July 2012
  28. ^ Olly Mann Soundcloud Channel "Olly Mann interviews Charlie Higson" September 2012
  29. ^ LBC 97.3FM website "LBC 97.3 Christmas Schedule" December 2012
  30. ^ BFBS "Profile of Olly Mann" 2010
  31. ^ Steve Wright in the Afternoon on BBC iPlayer "Olly Mann reports from the Las Vegas consumer electronics show" 10 January 2013
  32. ^ Reader's Digest UK website "Olly Mann at The Gadget Show Live" 11 April 2012
  33. ^ YouTube "Olly Mann on This Morning" 22 July 2008
  34. ^ Sky News Editors' blog "Sky News Unplugged - A New Weekly Show" 12 May 2008
  35. ^ CNET UK "XperiaZ,4K and a fork, live from CES" 10 January 2013
  36. ^ Olly Mann Soundcloud channel "Olly Mann talks to Jeremy Vine" 2011
  37. ^ Internet Movie Database "Olly Mann"
  38. ^ Rex features "Olly Mann on Lorraine" 6 March 2013
  39. ^ Olly Mann official site "Olly Mann TV Showreel 2013" 2013
  40. ^ Mulcahy Agency "Author profile: Olly Mann" 2010
  41. ^ Pull Yourself Together Zine "Helen and Olly Answer Me This!" December 2010
  42. ^ British Comedy Guide "Celebrity Juice - series credits" 2012
  43. ^ British Comedy Guide "Keith's LemonAid - series credits" 2012

External links[edit]