Radio review: Discovering a different side to Lee Mack

Nuala McCann

Nuala McCann

Nuala McCann is an Irish News columnist and writes a weekly radio review.

Nuala McCann
Nuala McCann Nuala McCann

I can’t believe it’s not Buddha Podcast

I’m a big fan of comedian Lee Mack of Would I Lie to You – he’s only slightly eclipsed by the wonderful Bob Mortimer... in a former life, he was the Cockroach King.

This podcast unveils another side to Mack – he has long been interested in Buddhism – meditation, mindfulness, journey, spirituality.

Sexy? No not a bit. Blokesy? Very much so.

The first episode poses the question: What are we doing?

Yes indeed. It’s a chat between Mack and his mate Neil Webster as they take their first steps on the way to Nirvana.

Did I say it was laid back? Okay, two blokes go on a journey.

Or is it two mature men seek spiritual enlightenment for fun times?

The pair have both read Eckhart Tolle’s The Power of Now and it had an impact. They are genuinely into meditation.

There was a long argument about when Neil signed up to a week’s Buddhist retreat and Lee was meant to go.

But Lee wouldn’t agree to sleep in a room with strangers. He suggested they both sleep in Neil’s camper van even though it was January. But Neil said that wasn’t the spirit of the idea.

Neil said Lee’s stardom would have changed the dynamic in the room as people would be asking: “Is that that bloke off Would I Lie to You?”

And Lee argued that sleeping in a room with strangers would have implications for him: “If I fart every night, it’s an anecdote.”

They have no delusions of grandeur: “We’re a couple of media arseholes who have got little else to do but get into spirituality.”

But Lee and Neil are vegetarians/vegans and they have given up alcohol.

Strangely this does draw you in – they’re on the path into the forest. Two dabblers dipping their toes into the idea of Buddhism.

The magic is in how Neil challenges and debunks Lee along the way: “You didn’t read two chapters of Eckhart Tolle and think ‘I’m up with the Tibetan monks’.”

But ditch the trippy music please... it is a vibe too far.