Small talk has made a big impression for two Brighton-Le-Sands residents.
Tom Skolarikis and Nick Athanassiou, both of Greek heritage, found a lot to talk about during their daily walks along Brighton Beach to relieve the tedium of lockdown.
Feeling the need to share the conversation with others of the Greek diaspora they decided to start a podcast called Ouzo Talk.
Now after 11 episodes, Ouzo Talk is listened to in more than 60 countries.
And it has caught the attention of Greek-based media company, the Antenna Group, who signed Ouzo Talk to become the first all-English-speaking program on their platform, SOUNDIS.GR.
"It's unbelievable to think that this little idea we had while walking along Brighton beach is now a podcast that's being listened to in places like the UAE, USA, UK and even Africa," Nick said.
"During lockdown we were both working from home and couldn't do much other than the limited daily exercise we were entitled to," he said.
"Tom and I would meet up at Brighton, grab a coffee or a juice, walk, and talk about the things we had in common - most notably our Greek heritage.
"Being of Greek ancestry, we love nothing more than to sit with friends and family for a drink and a chat. We couldn't do either during lockdown, so Ouzo Talk was a bit of a knee-jerk reaction to that.
"We enjoyed those chats so much that we thought, 'why not record these conversations and make them into a podcast that people can find some comfort in?'"
Topics discussed on the Ouzo Talk podcast have included music, history and culture, to science, philosophy and everything in between.
Guests have included high profile members of the Sydney Greek community including actor/comedians, Angelo Tsarouchas and Mary Coustas, host of My Greek Odyssey, Peter Maneas, and Sydney Olympics conductor and composer, George Ellis.
While welcoming its success, co-host Tom is still surprised.
"We're not sure why but we have hit a chord," he said.
"We try to cover all areas of Greek culture. Our most looked at episode was the one on the Greek musical instrument the bouzouki.
"People are looking at new ways to connect. Podcasting gives people the opportunity to have their own voice in the media. It is democratizing."
According to the podcast hosting platform Buzzsprout, 73 per cent of the US population aged 12 years and over hs listen to online audio oin the last month.
And over one-third (104 million) of Americans listen to podcasts regularly.
"We found there are people out there who will listen to two blokes in Brighton talking about Greek subjects," Tom said.
"We even had a spike one day in downloads in Pakistan. The only thing we can put it down to is that Greeks are everywhere and we are a much tighter community than what you would think."
The next podcast will be about Greeks and Anzacs in WWI and WWII.
The Ouzo Talk podcast is at: https://www.buzzsprout.com/1873222
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