One of Australian media’s most prolific storytellers joined us in the studio this week. Listeners will know award-winning journalist, presenter and author Marc Fennell from The Feed on SBS Viceland and The Movie Show on SBS. Fennell has taken audiences down the rabbit hole of stolen artefacts on the ABC docuseries Stuff the British Stole, interviewed Hollywood celebrities like Jamie Lee Curtis and Tom Cruise, and keeps listeners updated on the latest (and sometimes frightening) news in tech culture on his podcast Download This Show.

Once described as “the cheerful Aussie version of Louis Theroux,” Fennell has a way of hooking audiences into mysteries they didn’t know they cared about. His latest project, the Audible podcast This Is Not a Game, has done it again. A riveting, true crime-style series, it dives deep into the early days of the internet, and its influence on the online world we know today.

On his new podcast, This Is Not A Game

Of all of the different podcasts and documentaries I’ve made, I think I can safely say that This Is Not a Game is the weirdest, by a significant margin. It’s something I’ve been working on for a couple of years. It’s for Audible, but I made it with the BBC. And we’re taking the audience back to the early days of the internet.

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And in the early days of the internet there was a young engineer who created a hoax. He said that there was a portal to another dimension in the middle of the New Jersey forest, which sounds like complete nonsense. Like, why would anyone believe this? But the thing is, people did.

On interviewing A-list celebrities

I did a show for SBS for a decade called The Feed, and my job was to interview either everyday people with amazing stories [or] a lot of very, very famous people – movie stars, musicians. We did everybody from Tom Cruise to Al Gore and Jennifer Lawrence. And you only really ever have 15 minutes, and that’s more than most people get.

One of the things I used to love about that job is the challenge of: can you create two or three genuinely authentic, interesting moments with this incredibly famous person in 15 minutes? Like, can you create a moment that feels like it couldn’t have happened between two other people anywhere else? And I loved that challenge.

On where he likes to eat

I live in southwestern Sydney and there’s a fabulous cafe in Kings Grove-Earlwood called Frank & Chitch. It’s just a really nicely decked out suburban cafe, but the food is gorgeous. The team that works there is lovely.

Sydney is often described as a city of villages, but it kind of is. There are beautiful, little restaurants, beautiful little cafes sprinkled around. If you go down south into Oatley, you’ve got things like Bitton, which is this lovely little French place. It’s filled with these little gems. What is hard is often finding them. I’m not going to lie, I go to Broadsheet to find them.

The Audible Original series This is Not a Game with Marc Fennell is out now. Listen at

Listen to Broadsheet: Around Town's episode with Marc Fennell wherever you get your podcasts, such as Listnr.