Described by Time Out as the “perfect antidote to all those po-faced true crime podcasts out there” Drunk Women Solving Crime is a show that mixes two of the most popular podcast genres together – comedy and true crime.
Each episode sees the show’s creators - Hannah George, Catie Wilkins, Taylor Glenn – and one celebrity tackle personal crime stories and solve true crime cases.
While the show has attracted a wealth of celebrity names from Fern Britton to Ricki Lake, it was a show that originally started out as a bit of a joke.
Speaking on White Wine Question Time, comedian Glenn told Kate Thornton how the idea came up after the three of them had consumed a “lot of wine.”
“Catie had been holding onto this title, which she told both of us about,” recalled Glenn. “She said, ‘Oh, I've always had this title - Drunk Women Solving Crime - but I don't know what it is.’
Listen: The hosts of Drunk Women Solving Crime discuss the people they’d like to put under house arrest!
“And we just sort of went ‘Podcast, right?’ We sat in a grimy old pub and just sort of made up the format. It was like, ‘Well, if we quiz each other on the details of cases and we go way back in time so we can laugh at it…’ That's just kind of how it came about.”
Watch: Granddaughters examine evidence collected by detective in JonBenet Ramsey case
Read more: All the true crime TV dramas coming in 2021
Wilkins agreed saying: “It was like that organic way. You’re sort of joke pitching and then you're like, ‘No, actually this has legs.’”
The podcast has become a regular comedy outlet for the three funny women who originally wrote a script together. While the script came to nothing, it did provide them with the opportunity to create their hit podcast.
“We wrote a script together, which you'll be glad to know nothing came of,” laughed Glenn.
“But it did the rounds for three good years. We got along so well, and it was in that waiting period – that excruciating time when you wonder is anything going to happen with this – and we're like, ‘We work well together – what should we do?’”
The podcast, which started in 2018, originally featured fellow comedians and crime writers but since its success, the show has attracted a whole host of celebrities including Richard Osman, Ulrika Jonsson, The Chase’s Jenny Ryan and even US TV star Ricki Lake for their 100th episode. The success has been “a complete surprise” to the trio.
“It's properly snowballed,” said George. “I think if you've been in this industry long enough, like generally the snowball melts immediately, but we've actually snowballed this time, and that's been really exciting.
“Although obviously we we've been going for about two years now – and although podcasts have been around for 10 years – I think maybe even in the last nine months because of lockdown and stuff, so many podcasts are out there now. But I think we got in just before the big explosion.”
The success of the podcast has also given the trio a chance to move away from stand-up comedy. George, who is also an award-winning screenwriter specialising in children’s TV and comedy, said it was a relief to give it up as she was no longer enjoying it.
“I think anyone that has done stand-up and slowly given it up, it always feels like it's sort of almost like a failure,” she admitted to Thornton.
“Actually, it is a decision. I'd always find myself saying yes to gigs and like, traveling to Bermuda or something for 20 quid – and I have to pay for my own hotel. I'm like, ‘Why would I do that?’”
Wilkins, who married fellow comedian Richard Herring in 2012, has also turned her attention to writing young adult fiction and away from stand-up comedy.
“I’m not really actively pursuing stand-up at the moment,” the mum of two admitted.
“I still write down material that I want to turn into something, but I just never gig and do anything with it. I feel like I've done like a lot of stuff – just stupid stuff like gigging at the Comedy Store. That was on my dream list when I was 15 that I didn't think would have ever happened. Part of me is like my 15-year-old self would be very impressed with my life.”
Although Glenn began life as a therapist in New York, she moved into comedy aged 40 and despite having had well-received shows at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, she still has one dream left: to appear on The Great British Bake Off.
“I want to be on the celebrity one,” she laughed. “I'm like waiting until I am really successful – so I'm going to be a hundred years old, but I'll get on!”
Watch: China’s trailblazing female comedians tackle taboos