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Stephen Fry’s Great Leap Years – the stories behind inventions, launches on April 9 with Acast

PRESS RELEASE — April 3, 2018

Stephen Fry will launch an epic new six-piece documentary audio series entitled Stephen Fry’s Great Leap Years – the stories behind inventions. The podcast will explore topics ranging from the rise of humankind as the inventor, to the astonishing combination of persistence, investment and inspiration it took to create the Gutenberg Press and the communication technologies that created our world. It tells the story of how our lives have been transformed by a fascinating and compelling mixture of human decision and vision, greed and need.

At just under 50 minutes per episode, the series is solely researched and narrated by Fry and will launch globally on the 9th of April with Episode 1 ‘When we were very young’. Released weekly over six weeks, the podcasts will be available for download from Acast, Apple Podcasts, Google Play and all podcast aggregators.

Heralding a return to podcasting after a 10-year hiatus, the long form and sound-rich series allows Fry to explore what is happening today through a studied look at what has come before.

“The future has already happened”, Fry says. “The world is on the very edge of utter transformation and perhaps the best way of understanding what this might mean is not to peer blindly into the dense fog of the unknown, but to look back and see how we have transformed our world in the past.

The saga of the development of technologies that criss-crossed continents… railroad, telegraph, electricity, telephone, radio, television and internet is filled with extraordinary stories of human will, coincidence and inspiration”.

“The world is about to change as fundamentally as it did as a result of the agricultural and the industrial revolutions. We sleepwalked into the information age, let’s not stumble as blindly into Humanity 4.0. I’m excited and frightened at one and the same time. I hope you will join me: for the future has already happened”.

After pioneering one of the first multi-million downloaded podcasts in 2008, Stephen and his long-term digital collaborator Andrew Sampson have produced the series for an experienced and sophisticated generation of podcast listeners - creating a tightly polished production.

“We wanted this series to sound as epic as the subject - written and narrated by Stephen. We have been fortunate enough to work with British film composer Guy Farley on the show title music along with a full 75-piece orchestra recorded in the iconic Abbey Road studios in London. It’s a stunning piece of music by a brilliant composer whose work has recently included The Crown and That Good Night - John Hurt’s last ever film”, says Sampson.

With Hyundai as the series sponsor, the Great Leap Years team has worked carefully with the car brand, recording bespoke advertising messages that fit the style and theme of the podcasts. Fry says “They have understood the aims of our series from the first and we’re grateful to their great team for putting together careful and thoughtful messages. We couldn’t ask for a more mighty and considerate sponsor”.

“Working with Stephen as he re-enters the podcast world is perfect for us,” said Adam Nickson, Head of Brand Strategy and Communications for Hyundai. “Just as Stephen is so interested in how technology is shaping our lives as people, at Hyundai we are focussed on using technology to help enrich those lives. We’re really looking forward to helping bring these stories to people through podcasting.”

The Great Leap Years team have also worked closely with Acast for the launch of the series, and are pleased to join the Acast family for their return to the airwaves.

This is a press release which we link to from our daily newsletter about podcasting and on-demand. This is reprinted verbatim; we may rewrite headlines and descriptions. Press releases can be sent to


Stephen Fry's Great Leap Years
By Stephen Fry | SamFry Ltd


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