Like many people bored in lockdown, I discovered Podge Henry through one of his many viral videos on TikTok. At the moment, Henry has over 1.7 million likes on his page which has allowed him to have a career on various media platforms, firmly securing his status as an Irish influencer.
Henry’s main project at the moment is The Podgecast, a podcast where he interviews a different guest every episode and has open and honest conversations with them.
“From doing the podcast, I’ve realised that I enjoy mediating conversation or hosting people and letting them be the centre of attention.
“I much prefer when I’m talking to someone else and interviewing them. I just find that so much more enjoyable and just having a conversation. As someone else described it, the podcast is an earwig into a conversation with me and someone else,” Henry reflects.
Starting a podcast has become a popular pandemic pastime – is oversaturation a worry for Henry?
“I don’t think it’s oversaturated because people are putting the work in and there’s so much variety.
“It’s great as well because I can ask people for a hand or for advice and there’s so many people in Ireland who are creating such great podcasts.
“Come back to me in a couple of months and I’ll be like ‘get them off’,” he jokingly adds.
“I always feel kind of guilty because the pandemic has benefited me in a few ways, because people are consuming more content but also for me, it’s what got me doing the podcast regularly. I said ‘listen, I have to start going weekly and get guests’, and that’s when I really noticed the podcast growing.”
However, he also acknowledges the hardships that the last year has brought him too.
“You know, like everyone, there’s moments during the last couple of months where I have had times where I didn’t feel up for it or maybe wasn’t feeling myself, as everyone has, by trying to adapt and it’s been very tough.
“I know for myself that I often find it kind of hard to maybe open up or if I’m down, it’s sort of that Irish ‘oh I’m fine’ way of thinking,” Henry continues. “I think it’s about surrounding yourself with people who are able to talk. That’s one of the things that I’m lucky, very lucky to have, is people around me who understand me enough to know when I’m down. It’s definitely something that I don’t take for granted.”
The podcaster also shares his goals to promote topics related to mental health more on his show.
“It’s something that I’d like to do more on,” he says, “like more specific episodes with that focus. I had Rosanna Purcell on the podcast and we talked about body confidence and I definitely try to link it in the episodes and I try to do it as naturally as possible.
“I’d love to do live events where I can donate the money to a charity of some sort. Something that I’d love to be more able to do when the lockdown lifts is to give back a bit more,” he says.
Henry has also been involved in a number of different sponsorships and campaigns. More notably, he participated in the AntiViral campaign at the end of 2020.
“I enjoyed getting behind it because they promoted the good of the people between the age bracket of 18 and 24, where people were following the guidelines,” he tells me.
“At the time, the media were giving a lot of bad press to the young people of Ireland and this is to promote the good that they were doing. It was also an incredible experience to interview Deputy Chief Medical Officer Dr Ronan Glynn.”
Additionally, the internet personality also discusses his opinion on internet culture in 2021.
“Cancel culture is a funny one because it’s so broad,” he states. “I don’t really think it’s a blanket term. I think that you see it more now that it’s happening every day.
“In terms of being redeemed, it’s really down to the individual and is a case by case basis. It shouldn’t be focused on ending someone’s career, it should be focused on educating that person and other people as well.”
Podge and I finish up our conversation by discussing the successes that the internet has brought him, such as “the podcast reaching 12,000 downloads in November, which of course in comparison to other people’s podcasts might not be that much at all. But for me, when I compared it to the year before, I had just over 1,000 so that was cool. It’s just those little goals where you kind of realise what you’ve achieved afterwards that I enjoy.”
Henry optimistically looks to the future. “A lot of opportunities that I got last year weren’t really ones that I saw happening, but I’m so happy that they did. So, I hope to keep the podcast up and hopefully more opportunities will present themselves.”