Off Mic | Revisiting

Revisiting was picked up by Stakhanov in March of 2018. Originally titled Berkhamsted Revisited, the first few seasons revolved around 20-somethings Laura K and Laura G as they reflect on Laura K’s hilariously frank teenage diaries. Since then, Berkhamsted Revisited has put out seven seasons worth of episodes, rebranded to Revisiting, welcomed a whole host of guests, and covered everything from embarrassing childhood celebrity crushes to horrible first job interviews.

Everything came together rather incidentally after Laura K rediscovered her diaries: “I thought, ‘You know what, there’s got to be some content in here that I could—not make into a podcast, but you know, at least do something with.’ And then I started reading them to my friends on voice notes…and I thought ‘Oh this is really funny.’” She sent out a tweet jokingly suggesting that she turn the diaries into a podcast and Stakhanov’s own Luke Moore stumbled across that very tweet (“Well, obviously I’m brilliant on twitter, so Luke already followed me.”) and reached out to Laura, inviting her to send some recordings of her reading excerpts from the diaries.

After a call with Luke (and a tense 2 weeks of radio silence), Laura K was invited to Stakhanov HQ to start talking podcast production with Luke and Laura G. Laura K describes the whole ordeal as being rather surreal, she laughs: “I remember leaving from work (I used to work just down the road) and I remember thinking, ‘What am I doing?’ I was marching up the road with my personal diaries in a bag to put in front of people that I don’t know, for a podcast that I don’t really know how to make. But, and very unlike me, I was just a bit like: ‘Go on then, let’s just give it a go. It might go nowhere, it might go somewhere. Let’s just give it a try.’”

Once the Lauras were introduced and the podcast was given the green light, the two started working on the concept and pilot. After many meetings and one frantic Selfridges tapas night, the two were ready to get going and give this thing a shot. And so, they promptly got down to business and recorded the pilot—“It wasn’t good,” the Lauras laugh. Laura G muses: “I’m kind of glad that hasn’t seen the light of day. I’d honestly forgotten about it.” Laura K adds that recording wasn’t what she’d expected it to be, “My expectation was that it was going to be relatively easy, I’m not going to lie. I thought, ‘Well how hard can this be? All you’re doing is talking to someone.’” When asked whether nerves around sharing her personal diaries to an audience factored into her initial trepidation, Laura K had more rudimentary doubts.

In the end, the Lauras rallied and episode 1 of Berkhamsted Revisited went live on March 5th 2018. Looking back at the whirlwind that was the show’s inception, it’s uncanny that this all started with one tweet and one half-baked idea. To those kicking podcast ideas about in their heads but aren’t sure whether it’s worth pursuing, Laura G encourages people with something they’re passionate about saying to record something themselves: “If you’re having that thought then you’ve probably got something good to say. It’s the people who don’t have that thought that probably shouldn’t do it.” Laura K goes on, “If you have a good idea and you’re willing to accept that it’s not going to be perfect the first time—you don’t have to put out everything that you record, that’s one thing that Laura and Luke [Moore] say a lot: ‘If it’s not very good, you don’t have to publish it.’ You can have another go. Just, you know, have a go. Why not? The worst that could happen is you go, ‘Well actually, that doesn’t sound great let’s try again or let’s change it.’”

After six seasons of Berkhamsted Revisited, the Lauras eventually ran out of diaries to, well, revisit. When asked whether they ever worried about what would happen once they reached this point, Laura G immediately laughed, “I’ve been crying about it since day one. Like, ‘This is going to have to end, I don’t know when it’s going to end.’ And my plan was that someone from BBC3 would contact us before that and offer us a sitcom—well that never happened, so we had to think of a plan B.” Plan B ended up being a total revamp to the concept. Berkhamsted Revisited was laid to rest and from its ashes, Revisiting was born. While the diaries were a good jumping off point and the original inspiration for the podcast, Laura K argues they were never crucial: “We’re essentially still doing the same thing, which is trying to tap into common shared experiences. Only, the format of doing that has changed. So it used to be diaries, now it’s slightly more broad but we’re still trying to tap into that same thing. We’ve all experienced similar things, be that TV shows, toys, whatever. The way that we’re talking about it and the vehicle that we’re using to do that is still the same.”

So what can we expect from season eight? A lot of bad decisions. “For this series we are focusing in on all of the bad decisions that we’ve made in our lives,” Laura K explains, “What we’re going to be doing each week is really examining the decisions that we made throughout our lives, whether we were kids, teenagers, last week or last year—what was the thought process? What was the outcome? Essentially going for a 30 going on 13 vibe. What advice would we have given to ourselves when we were making that decision?” The Lauras are also looking forward to getting the Revisiting listeners more involved this season, so much so that they’ve set up a WhatsApp for the show!

Revisiting also speaks to a whole load of guests from different walks of life and to reminisce about their own childhoods - they’ve welcomed everyone from radio DJ’s to authors, and pop stars to fitness models. There’s no specific aim or strategy when picking out guests to invite on the show, as the Laura’s explain.

The first episode of Revisiting’s eighth season is available now! Listen here, or search ‘Revisiting’ wherever you get your podcasts.