Join Oliver Gee as he tries to figure out France, its people and its language, with the help of different guests each week.
S.2 Episode 4 – Being broke in Paris
This week, Oliver Gee discusses a major concern for people in the city: How to survive on a low budget in Paris?
S.2 Episode 3 – John Baxter
Oliver surprises a listener invited to attend the show, who is a big fan of writer John Baxter, when John walks into the studio.
S.2 Episode 2 – Swear Words (with Stephen Clarke)
Stephen Clarke is back on the Earful Tower and we discuss French swear words as well as the adaptation of his book into a show!
Why do people swear so casually? How should you stand your ground?
Season 2 – Episode 1 – Making fun of the French (with Olivier Giraud)
The Earful Tower is back! And to kick season two off we have Olivier Giraud with us, who settled in Paris years ago and had to adapt quickly to get by.
As a comedian, he performs his stand-up show How To Become Parisian in an Hour four times a week to both tourists and Parisians.
In the studio today he talks about the attitudes and mindsets that define the French and more specifically, the Parisians. Are they necessary in order to get by, or can they be avoided?
Episode 25 – The Scooter Challenge – Season Finale
To make things fair, we challenged ourselves to visit all 20 places within a day. And to share this experience with you we brought the recorder along with us, so here’s the season finale recorded on the back of Oliver’s scooter.
Episode 24 – The first ever “Walkshow”
Oliver met up with Guy from Café Oberkampf, and they went around the bustling neighbourhood having a chat about life in the city and nearby spots to check out.
The show was initially recorded on Facebook Live – now you can listen to the full audio version here.
Guy has since opened a new café – Café Méricourt, just down the street from where the episode was recorded.
Episode 23 – Are the French rude? (with Parisian Postcards)
The French have a reputation for being somewhat… rude. But is this all just an impression or do they really or do they like to argue?
We’re here today with Lina from Parisian Postcards (and the artist behind the Earful Tower logo!) to talk about daily life in Paris, putting up with comments from strangers and cultural misunderstandings.
Episode 22 – Can the French speak English? (With Luke Thompson)
Did you know… that France has an army of grammar teachers, known as “the immortals”, that guards the keys to all the words that go into French dictionaries?
Luke teaches English to listeners all over the world via his podcast “Luke’s English Podcast”, so he knows a fair bit about language and learning. Let’s find out how well the French do…
Episode 21 – 20 bars you have to check out (with Forest Collins)
We’re going to be taking you through a whole tour of Paris, as we’re joined by a cocktail a expert who’s name even sounds like a drink.
Forest Collins from 52Martinis.com has over 10 years of experience covering the Parisian bar scene and knows every place in town where you can order a demi or a petit jaune.
We’ve put her to the test, and she’ll be naming 20 bars (one per arrondissement!) you just have to visit.
Episode 20 – Secrets of Paris
For the 20th episode of The Earful Tower, we bring you an exclusive list of hidden treasures scattered around the city!
We reached out to tour guides, some of whom have been guests on the show, and convinced them to reveal their secret spots to our listeners.
Passageways, cafés, tips and more… Listen in!
Episode 19 – Underground theatre (with Paris Fringe)
We explore comedy and drama in Paris with the help of Pauline and Charlotte from Paris Fringe, a group that comes together to set up a festival featuring actors from Paris’ underground theatrical scene.
This year’s festival runs from 17th to 28th May – find out more and book tickets on ParisFringe.org
Episode 18 – French Mistakes (with Lily Heise)
Oliver Gee invites author and romance expert Lily Heise into the studio to unveil embarrassing mistakes our listeners made when trying out their French on the natives.
Warning – explicit content in this episode.
Episode 17 – Your Least Favourite French Words
We reached out to you listeners, and previous guests, to find out which French words you just can’t stand. Here’s a list of 19 of them, come have a laugh with us and feel free to send in yours!
Episode 16 – 5 French Films you have to watch (with Lost in Frenchlation)
The Earful Tower takes a walk down to Montmartre, to meet the co-founders of Lost in Frenchlation, in a not-so-conventional café. These guys put English subtitles under French films – the only ones in Paris to do so!
Who best to ask for a recommendation of 5 French films you should absolutely watch?
Episode 15 – 24 Favourite French Words
For this special French words bonanza , Oliver Gee has spoken to previous guests and listeners of The Earful Tower to find out their favourite words in Français. We then went back into the studio, put them together, and came up with this list! Some will surprise you.
Episode 14 – What it’s like to be a mayor of Paris (with Christophe Girard)
Oliver Gee speaks to the mayor of the 4th arrondissement, to find out what it’s like to run one of the 20 districts that make Paris.
An openly gay father and wine enthusiast, Christophe Girard tells us all about on of the trendiest neighbourhoods in Paris and shares his tips on the hidden spots of the 4ème.
Episode 13 – What it’s like to be a woman in France (with Annette Young)
Annette Young is the host of “The 51%“, a television show on France 24 that looks at how women are reshaping the world today.
This week, she tells us about how women are perceived in France and we discuss the word “mademoiselle”.
Should it be banned? Listen here:
Episode 12 – 10 must-cycle streets to experience the “real” Paris
From bustling boulevards to Sunday promenades, grab a Vélib and tune in to discover Paris like you’ve never seen it before.
Our guests for this week are two entrepreneurs who know Paris comme leur poche: Paul and Chris from Bike About Tours. They also run a funky coffee shop in the Marais, just off the river Seine.
Episode 11 – Talking Merde (with Stephen Clarke)
Stephen Clarke has been writing books about France for almost 15 years.
His first novel A Year in the Merde has become a point of reference for anyone who wants to get an entertaining view of life in Paris. The sequel, Merde Actually, even topped Harry Potter in the UK charts.
He’s here on the Earful Tower to tell us about how it all started and we discuss his latest book Merde in Europe.
Visit Stephen Clarke’s website at StephenClarkewriter.com
Episode 10 – The A-Z of French food (with David Lebovitz)
Which is the best market in Paris? How do you taste wine at a restaurant?
We challenged professional cook David Lebovitz to the A-Z of French food, and we made some surprising discoveries! Also included: Oliver Gee’s international croissant blind tasting.
Visit David Lebovitz’s website at DavidLebovitz.com
Episode 9 – What the F____ France? (with Paul Taylor)
He’s English, but lives in France, and has been proudly mocking the French for months on Canal + TV.
Paul Taylor came in to help us figure out just what is flippin’ wrong with France?
Watch Paul’s videos here
Episode 8 – How to Instagram Paris (with Lost in Cheeseland)
Lindsey Tramuta is the woman behind the Lost in Cheeseland blog and Instagram page – and she has just written a book called “The New Paris”.
She joins Oliver Gee for a hot cappucino in the studio, and shares her tips on Instagraming Paris, explains how the city is changing, and reveals more about her new book.
Find her blog here: Lost in Cheeseland
and follow her on Instagram here: Lost n Cheeseland
Episode 7 – The ultimate 20 must do’s in Paris
If you thought you knew Paris well, think again.
Corey Frye, aka the Paris Whisperer, is an American tour guide who knows every nook and cranny of the city. Oliver Gee put him to the test and asked Corey to recommend the unmissable spot in each of the 20 arrondissements.
This list of cafés, restaurants and hidden landmarks will guarantee an amazing time to anyone either visiting or living in the capital.
Check out Corey’s blog – A French Frye in Paris
Episode 6 – Missing words in the French language
Three journalists have coined a list of words that they think are missing in the French language. They’re convinced they’d come in handy, especially to foreigners who might not know what to expect on their arrival in Paris.
We’ve decided to turn it into a game and our jury will be handing out the scores to decide which words should, or shouldn’t, make their way into the next edition of the Larousse dictionary.
Episode 5 – “Franglais” and being Bilingual
On this week’s show Oliver Gee welcomes three fully bilingual guests. These guys didn’t learn English and French at school, but by growing up in cross-cultural families.
They can switch from one to another without even realising it, and create a language only they can understand: “Franglais”.
Episode 4 – Love locks and the Bise (feat Lisa Anselmo)
Part-time Parisian Lisa Anselmo co-founded No Love Locks, to confront the wave of love-locking tourists who were destroying Paris’ bridges. A year later, the city council decided to put up glass panels on a number of bridges to stop the fever.
As an American, when she arrived in Paris Lisa certainly made some quirky discoveries – enough to fill a book! She tells us about how she pulled herself out of a nightmarish situation.
Episode 3: Coffee and Road Rage with Tom Clark
Australian coffee shops are popping-up around the city, defying the traditional French cafés. Their drinks are different, but so are their prices. Tom Clark knows the business and shares with us the passion behind each cup served at his shop.
In the second part of the show, we’ll be talking about why Parisian drivers can’t keep their cool, and is this something that foreigners should adopt?
Episode 2: Streets of Paris with Elaine Sciolino
Bakeries, chemists, shoe-makers… France is keen on maintaining its independent artisan shops, often overshadowed by supermarkets elsewhere – and Paris is no exception.
We caught up with Elaine after her lecture at Shakespeare and Company, to get a full insight into how as an American journalist she came to dedicate an entire book to her favourite street in the city.
Episode 1: Tackling “Verlan” with Slim & the Beast
Keeping up with the latest expressions isn’t always easy!
Local folk band Slim & the Beast joined us in the studio to present their latest EP and discuss a peculiar habit with French slang.