Jack Laurence on One Minute Remaining, the facade of success and his new podcast Wanted

Radio Today Podcast Award winner Jack Laurence took a leap of faith when he quit a secure job in radio to carve his own path in podcasting. 

A series of conversations with a prison inmate took on a life of their own, inspiring Jack to launch the One Minute Remaining (OMR) podcast.

Little did he know it would hit 1 million downloads in the first six months, forming a community of listeners from 102 countries across the globe.

The idea snowballed into a chart-topping podcast, and another project is beginning in a similar fashion.

Speaking with Radio Today, Jack details his new upcoming crime podcast, Wanted, the success of OMR and the ebbs and flows of being an independent creator. 

Initially starting as a potential OMR bonus episode, Jack said it was one conversation that knocked the first domino over on the path to creating Wanted.

“Since launching OMR I always get tagged in crime related stories online or get messages and emails from people bringing something to my attention,” said Jack.

“One day, I got tagged in this guys tiktok video, he was claiming to be wanted by the FBI. So I did some reading watched his tiktoks and just knew this was a fascinating story so I got in touch with him.”

“Initially I was thinking it might make for a fun bonus episode of OMR. It didn’t really fit the MO for interviews for the main show, but he had spent time in prison so it had a link.”

“However after we spoke for four hours, I knew this was more than a bonus episode but again didn’t fit our OMR model.”

“Anyway long story short I asked him if he knew anymore wanted people and he did! And that just started the ball rolling.”

In terms of what to expect from Wanted, Jack says the series will bring a style similar to One Minute Remaining, with a variety of characters and stories, including one from the UK’s secret service.

“In terms of style of show, it’s definitely built around the same format of storytelling as OMR,” said Jack.

“I essentially build the type of podcasts that I enjoy listening to, I think a nice mix of narration, interview, music and supporting audio helps to build an immersive story.”

“We’ve been really fortunate that the audiences have found OMR and have really enjoyed it so the old saying, ‘if it ain’t broke.'”

“As for content, I think we have a really interesting mix of people, some who were completely guilty of the crimes in which found them wanted, others who say the government agencies have concocted these charges and are trying to clear their names and then there’s the grey areas! A fascinating story coming from one of the most secretive organisations in the UK, MI5.”

With the upcoming release of Wanted on Monday, August 7, Jack is still coming to terms with the success of OMR and the stresses that come with being a solo creator. 

When asked how he feels about the achievements of his podcast, Jack gave a realistic insight into the mental hurdles faced by independent creators.  

“How do I feel? It’s a hard one to answer really, I know most people would go well surely you must be over the moon and I am of course, the success is great but I still deal with the day to day anxieties that running a solo podcast comes with, do we have enough content, are the numbers sliding, do we need to promote the show more, will people like this story, someone’s given us a one star review, ad revenues taken a hit, is this going to fail and I’ll have to go back to radio with my tail between my legs? etc.,” Jack said.

“It sounds like I’m complaining, but I’m just saying numbers and charts aren’t everything and there’s a lot of anxiety and doubt that goes on behind the shiny BS of Instagram and LinkedIn posts.”

“In saying that, I wouldn’t change what I’m doing for anything.”

Jack says he owes his success to the experiences and opportunities he was lucky to have shaped him over the years, as well as a bit of good old trial and error.

“Of course radio taught me my craft of storytelling, I’ve been incredibly lucky to work with some of the most talented entertainers in the business, Luke TooheyAnt Simpson back when I was a young fella gave me so much freedom to create when I worked on their show The Benchwarmers,” said Jack. 

Kate Langebroke & Dave Hughes were incredible to learn from, Ed KavaleeSacha FrenchBryan MadiganAmos GillAdrian Brian… the list goes on (I feel like the bands going to start playing me off stage soon).”

“However, it’s also the amount of things I’ve created that have failed.”

“A comedy podcast, a sitcom web series, my stand-up comedy career, a narrative fiction podcast, countless youtube channels, the list can go on. All of these things in their own little way have helped me learn about storytelling.”

It also helps to have friends that support you when you roll the dice. 

Jack had Erin MolanThe Alpha BlokesAcast and Dom Evans from Earsay in his corner to help spread the word. 

“I couldn’t be more grateful to everyone that’s helped me get the word out,” Jack said. 

Coming up to a year on his own, Jack said he wouldn’t change a thing and encouraged anyone with an idea to take the leap. 

“I love radio and have some extremely fond memories of working in the industry but if I’m honest, I probably overstayed my welcome by a couple of years,” Jack said. 

“I think because it had been really all I had done since I was 19 I was terrified of leaving, but It was certainly time.”

“Podcasting has really allowed me to take control of my own future and I honestly, despite my little anxiety riddled rant before, love waking up and building the shows.”

“Anyone who is thinking about starting a podcast, stop thinking and just do it!”

“Anyone who’s doing one and might not have all those fancy numbers, ignore them! If you’re enjoying it just don’t give up.”

“The only time you’ll fail is when you give up! and Im always here for any help or questions just hit me up… Oh, and please listen to Wanted.”

Episodes of the new Wanted series are available from Monday, August 7. Find Wanted wherever you get your podcasts. 

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