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Dublin’s biggest chatterboxes are Talking Bollox

From starting the conversation at a kitchen table in 2020 to becoming the voices of a community in the heart of Dublin’s inner city, lads Calvin O’Brien and Terence Power have a lot to say – and it’s nothing short of “Talking Bollox“.

Calvin O’Brien (left) and Terence Power (right) at a recording studio. Photo: Twitter @tallkingbollox_

O’Brien and Power thought at first they would only reach family and friends as listeners. The hopes for the podcast were “to give two young fellas like us a voice, to show other young fellas like us, you can do more than just be a criminal, an addict, or be a product of your environment,” O’Brien said at the Irish Podcast Awards.

Like most inner-city young lads, the pair have a fair share of Irish banter but don’t shy away from hard-pressing issues affecting their community.

They invite guests to speak on their podcast who have shared similar life experiences.

“We’re from the flats – we’re raw. We tell it how it is,” said O’Brien in the early days of the podcast.

“Everyone around the area is just proud of the two of them. It’s something positive that they are doing, and everybody is tuned into them.”

Power, who grew up in Dorset Street flats, recalled on the episode call ‘Background’ that he had a “rough” childhood, as family struggled with alcohol and drug addiction.

He had a difficult time remaining in school and ran into trouble with JLOs (Garda juvenile liaison officers) as a teenager.

Drinking, he said, was his escape.

Despite this, Calvin states Terence “completely turned it all around” when recovering from his addictions.

Power “seems to have come through all of his problems; it’s made him a better person now. The family is proud of him – everyone around the area is just proud of the two of them. It’s something positive that they are doing, and everybody is tuned into them,” said Terence’s cousin, Derek Power.

“It opens the eyes up to a lot of it. It brings a positive feeling that if you do open your mouth about the area you come from, there might be people out there that will help and stand beside you,” Derek Power said.

“It’s amazing how they are bringing all their problems up about what happened and why it’s happening and what we can do about it,” he said.

O’Brien, from Lourdes flats, said that from an early age he stopped getting involved with drinking because he was getting himself “into trouble over stupid and embarrassing things”.

During his third year of studying computer science at NCI, O’Brien became a father to his (now) 7-year-old daughter Harper.

He said on the podcast that it was a difficult time for him, and struggled heavily with his mental health at the time. 

Back in early August, he spoke to Newstalk Breakfast on a matter of people being judged because of their accents.

“That’s one of the main reasons why myself and my co-host and mate Terence actually started the podcast because we feel like we are very under-represented in the media when it comes to how we sound and the things we talk about and the way we speak. So, we said right – we’ll start the podcast,” he said.

O’Brien said he’s “proud” of where he is from.

Calvin and Terence at their live show held on Vicar Street. Photo: Twitter @talkingbollox_

The podcast has earned the duo recognition in the first Irish Podcast Awards held in September of this year, taking home the win for Listeners’ Choice.

The podcast has been ranked 39 top podcasts in Ireland on Apple Podcasts and 20 on Spotify, according to chartable.com.

https://www.tiktok.com/@talking_bollox_podcast/video/7144382703809449222?is_copy_url=1&is_from_webapp=v1

In a post on Instagram, O’Brien expressed his pride at winning gold at the Irish Podcast Awards.

“We now realise we have a responsibility of challenging, educating and hopefully inspiring every single person who listens,” he said.

Not everyone loves the show. Some locals from the southwest inner city have criticised the popular podcast and believe it can’t make a significant change to their community.

Derek Power disagrees.

“The two boys are after proving all [of] them wrong because if anything, they are after sending a positive message around all the inner city.”

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