Tea in the Sahara
Kev – Fiction Podcast Critic
Context is everything right? I first came across British actor Tamer Hassan when he was an up-and-coming actor in the London drug gangster film ‘Layer Cake’ opposite the next James Bond (Daniel Craig), and also another relatively unknown actor called Tom Hardy (sound familiar?) Tamer then went on to play the joint lead in the Nick Love, Costa del Sol classic 80’s film The Business. Both are excellent films that I highly recommend you watch.
Hopefully, for those not familiar with Tamer’s film work this slice of movie context can at least help you picture the chap I am writing about. If there was a London hardman to be played out in true authentic style Tamer is most certainly your man with this full-time geezer! Contextual lesson over.
Now in a world of actors & so-called celebrities seemingly jumping on the current podcast phenomenon with the likes of David Tennant, Peter Crouch, and just recently Danny Dyer all making podcasts my interest piqued when I saw that Tamer had launched his very own. Podcasting is rapidly becoming an overcrowded, confined platform, one which I have to admit I was slightly worried to see Tamer had joined the ranks with his podcast ‘Family Business’ (but how wrong was I!)
Tamer brings his ever charming South East London swagger to a completely unique podcast on Global Player about one of the most important things in the world, family. He discusses the ups & downs, highs & lows, tantrums & rucks by opening his personal phone book of celebrity pals & sporting stars, engaging in open conversations trying to bottom out what ‘family’ really means to us. I have said this before but life is definitely not all candyfloss & rainbows so it’s refreshing to hear podcast conversations about people’s real thoughts about family life (good & bad). A final caveat, this podcast is also not for the fainthearted as there is a sh*t ton of swearing throughout which might not sit too well with shrinking violets.
Tamer has a wonderful way of showcasing a story like your very own naughty, checkered past uncle as he chats to various celebrities about what really makes families tick for a period of about an hour. With three episodes to enjoy so far, we are treated to guest conversations with his daughter Belle Hassan, fellow Londoner and film legend Ray Winstone, and if that wasn’t enough for you to pick up your headphones and automatically listen, Tamer also has a chat with the talented Trainspotting author Irvine Welsh.
No question is too awkward, or small as Tamer guides us through questions that we probably wouldn’t even ask our own families. Like “what was I like as a dad?” Conversations that make you laugh uncontrollably, cry, and take a pause for thought to think about your own family lives in this crazy 2020 that we find ourselves in. Which I must say is quite a talent to bring to the party as a newbie podcaster.
Not knowing who the first guest Belle Hasan was, coupled with not being an avid follower of Love Island I found their conversation between father & daughter fiery, heartfelt full of love & laughter and completely brutally honest. Which in my mind is how a conversation should be between your nearest and dearest. The conversation between Belle & Tamer, about her younger days, and now Belle being an ambassador for mental awareness encouraging families to speak to each other made my respect for her skyrocket. Their conversations are not all of a sad nature as we all know there are family moments in life that make you almost piss yourself with laughter, and there are plenty of these moments shared between father & daughter.
Tamer’s conversation with Ray Winstone is an absolute gem to listen to as the two old pals reminisce, catching up on old times like they were in their local boozer, and we the listener are sat at the table opposite them eavesdropping. The two actors discuss early upbringings, their parents, and what role their mums & dads played in their upbringings. Ray’s daughter Jamie makes a fleeting appearance in this all-family Zoom call.
I urge you to listen to all of the ‘Family Business’ podcasts, however, if you only have time to catch one I would highly recommend you listen to the third episode with Scottish novelist Irvine Welsh whose insanely jam-packed life makes astonishing listening. And as Tamer says, anyone interested in the author they are in for a “real fu*king treat!”
Growing up in Leith, Edinburgh on the wrong sides of the tracks this is a first-time world-exclusive conversation which covers some real-life personal tragedies like Irvine’s dad’s illness and the pain that came with his passing, ditching heroine, and the events that led to writing his first legendary novel Trainspotting. Irvine also charts his rather eccentric career choices from kitchen porter, tv repairman, librarian, DJ, and then to the bestselling author which is a testament to natural ability, and a bit of old lady luck. One interesting titbit that I learned about Irvine was that he lived with some family in Southall, West London, a part of London that I am very familiar with growing up close to.
I hope you have enjoyed reading this podcast review for ‘Family Business’ which is definitely worth checking out on Spotify, or wherever you get your podcasts. For any budding writers out there that would like a frank & honest review of your audiobook or podcast whatever your genre please do get in touch via any of the below methods, or through my contacts page.
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