“It’s not one of those podcasts you’d need to pause and come back to”; Mandy Catalano & Jess Farchione on their bite-sized new podcast

Assistant Editor

Fox FM announcer Mandy Catalano has teamed up with Hit Newcastle Breakfast host Jess Farchione to launch a new podcast.

Mandy and Jess tell Radio Today that they had lived “parallel lives” for years before meeting after breaking into radio around the same time.

Mandy and Jess started Inside The Group Chat recently because they wanted a place to explore intimate conversation topics that often don’t get talked about in a public forum.

“The podcast is called ‘Inside the Group Chat because it’s everything girls would discuss privately with their close mates in a WhatsApp or Facebook Messenger thread,” explains Mandy.

Part of the inspiration also came from Jess getting out of three and a half year relationship.

“Her love life just became so fascinating,” continues Mandy.

“She’d tell me stories about the new guy she was dating and often ask for advice and I’d think ‘Oh my God, this is crazy/hilarious, people need to hear about this and I’m sure there are girls out there who could really relate’ – and that’s how the podcast was born!

“Our relationship statuses could not be further apart. I am married and have been with my husband for nine and a half years, so my stories are relatable to people in long-term relationships, whereas Jess’ stories are relatable for people who are single and dating in 2018.

Mandy and Jess join an ever-increasing number of radio presenters branching out into podcasting.

So with no shortage of podcasts to tune in to, what sets Inside The Group Chat apart from the rest?

“A lot of podcasts available seem to be around the 45 minute to one hour mark,” says Jess.

“Whilst Mandy and I could talk under water for five or six hours, we’ve kept each episode to around 15 minutes.

“We wanted people to be able to consume the stories on their 20-minute tram ride to work or sitting in the waiting room for their eyebrow appointment.

“It’s not one of those podcasts you’d need to pause and come back to the next day because you didn’t have time to listen to the whole thing.

“Another thing that makes this podcast a little different is that although each story is quite personal and specifically about our lives, they’re super relatable,” adds Mandy.

“It’s kind of a “what-not-to-do” guide for blokes, for both single guys and those in relationships.”

All good podcasts stem from a genuine desire to make good content, and the girls explain that their new pod came fairly organically.

The idea purely came from thinking we just had to share some of these stories with the world, which then evolved into ‘how can we make this appeal to more than just people who know us’,” Mandy explains.

“Obviously the fact that we both work in radio means it wouldn’t hurt for our names to get out there a little more in the industry, but that was never the initial thought behind the idea.

I selfishly wanted another platform for Mandy to make me laugh,” Jess adds.

“She is hilarious and more people need to hear the stuff that comes out of her mouth. If it’s at my love life’s expense, so be it!”


Listen to the latest episode of Inside The Group Chat below, and catch up on Episode 1 here.

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