“The Town That Knew Too Much is a podcast documentary about Cheltenham, the home of British spying, and the cracks of lying and deception that run through this seemingly perfect Cotswolds town.”
The Town That Knew Too Much shines a light on the English town of Cheltenham and how the “pomp and ceremony” of this upper-middle-class town has been “subverted in the seedy world of espionage” since Government Communications Headquarters or “GC HQ” made its home there.
Over seven episodes, Nick Hilton features various characters associated with Britain’s spy and state intelligence history, including Alan Turing, Geoffrey Prime, Gareth Williams, and Edward Snowden. The story also includes an episode about Kit Williams, author and creator of the Masquerade book and treasure hunt – and the Wishing Fish Clock, which resides in Cheltenham.
The second in Nick Hilton’s “Town” series, The Town That Knew Too Much continues with a “light-hearted, whimsical, tangential” documentary tone that is informative and entertaining. Also much like the first series, The Town That Didn’t Stare, The Town That Knew Too Much presents complex themes and issues related to technology, the Internet, society and self.
In this episode of MetaPod, we talk to Nick Hilton about some of the overarching themes of The Town That Knew Too Much, such as privacy, data collection, the Internet, big tech, the Snowden leaks and the state. We also discuss opinions on technology and privacy, from both the media and the public perspectives. Nick also tells us about the interactive elements that he built into the podcast. To conclude, Kevin asks Nick if he would ever like to be a spy. Obviously.
Show notes for The Town That Knew Too Much
- Wishing Fish Clock and Kit Williams
- The Town That Knew Too Much Wishing Fish Clock challenge
- Geoffrey Prime
- You’re using coconuts
- Music from The Town That Knew Too Much by George Jennings
About Nick Hilton
Nick Hilton is a journalist and podcast producer. He was previously broadcast editor at The Spectator before starting his own company Podot, which specialises in current affairs and makes a slate of podcasts including A Podcast of One’s Own with Julia Gillard, The Everyman Podcast with James Naughtie, and House Work with Harriet Harman. He is also the podcast editor at the New Statesman, producing the biweekly New Statesman Podcast, as well as World Review and Skylines. As a journalist he has written for The Guardian, Vice, The Independent, the I, and Prospect, as well as The Spectator and New Statesman.