Last week, I was joined by hundreds of tearful Millennial and Gen-Z women emotionally distressed across Twitter and Whatsapp groups as the beloved podcast, The High Low, came to an end.
Hearing the voices of Pandora Sykes and Dolly Alderton became a weekly comfort, as their satirical, yet still informative, views on stories and headlines roaming the world allowed me to interact with and build my relationship with the news. Now that’s it’s coming to an end, it almost feels like I’ve lost a friend, a weekly catch-up that I didn’t quite realise how much I needed.
After announcing a Christmas live-stream special in aid of Blood Cancer UK, a charity close to their own hearts, the gal-team announced in their penultimate episode that after 4 brilliant years, over 150 episodes, and 27 million downloads, their regular chart-topping cultural conversation was ending on a high and coming to a close.
A tribute to pop culture and female friendships, Dolly and Pandora spoke about everything we wanted – and sometimes needed – to hear. From feminism, women’s reproductive rights, and racism to book recommendations, bad date stories, and not-so-cute-but-still-somehow-adorable bats, the duo really did deliver it all.
Although posh, white, and privileged, Pandora and Dolly were refreshingly clear that they weren’t shying away from the real issues women were discussing around the nation, issues that they themselves may not have been experts on but certainly were able to introduce us to. Featuring guests like Clemmie Hooper and author specials with Otegha Uwagba, they focused on empowering women from all walks of life, reminding us what matters in female friendships and ultimately allowing a few chuckles to evolve around otherwise very anxious moments in any twenty-something’s life.
The podcast created solidarity among young women. A feeling that you’re not going through this alone – whether you’re cooped up in a one-bedroom flat suffering a break-up, or questioning the pains and intricacies of motherhood. Introducing me to Lisa Taddeo, voicing my awe for Reni Eddo-Lodge, Pandora and Dolly’s chats and chuckles remind me of the comfort of old Friends reruns or fondly looking back at my Snapchat memories from my last days at sixth-form.
Pandora expressed her own emotions via Twitter at the bittersweet ending of her career (and life) chapter:
Very hungover, very emotional, very thankful to everyone who has ever downloaded an episode of @thehighlowshow. I still can't quite believe we have recorded our last episode together. Also how did I not know how lethal margaritas are, astonishing ignorance
— Pandora Sykes (@PINsykes) December 2, 2020
Her tweet reads: “Very hungover, very emotional, very thankful to everyone who has ever downloaded an episode of @thehighlowshow. I still can’t quite believe we have recorded our last episode together. Also how did I not know how lethal margaritas are, astonishing ignorance”
Fans flocked to Twitter replying to Pandora’s emotional farewell tweet, commenting the likes of ‘Thank you so much for the joy and comfort you’ve all brought to me. Get weepy every time I think about the end.’ and ‘Thanks for the book recs, the diversity, the brighter commutes. Early mid-weeks will be a bit empty! Good luck with the next chapter.’
One listener, Lucy Williamson, a journalist and long-time The High Low fan, expressed her thoughts on the show coming to an end:
“The High Low was the first podcast I ever listened to (when I discovered podcasts were actually a thing). I instantly connected with it – I love podcasts that are informative and discuss meaningful topics but they remain accessible and fun at the same time.
“The High Low offered a great touchpoint for hearing about cultural trends, books coming out, quirky news items and golden TV moments.
“I trust the opinions of Pandora Sykes and Dolly Alderton. They must read a lot of stories; if something was good enough to get onto their podcast then it must be good.”
At hearing the podcast from the dynamic duo was nearing its end, Williamson admitted: “All good things must come to an end. It’s good to go out on a high.”
Do I want to start a new year without hearing their voices guide me through the relevant pop-news/Covid-news/NYE-stores of the week? Probably not. Yet will I always cherish the memories they’ve created, stories I’ve lived vicariously through, and always relatable girl-chats? It’s a big yes from me.
Words by Meghna Amin
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