According to those in the know, last year was the 'year of the podcast', with official figures estimating over six million people listened to one every week throughout 2018.

Not wanting to buck the trend that's taking the nation by storm, two friends from Darwen decided to set up their own podcast, talking all things Lancashire.

The Lancashire Hot Pod first aired in December, and at the helm of the new venture are Gav Scott and Mike Collins.

Mr Scott, 42, who works as a warehouse operative, said: "Mike and I have listened to podcasts for quite a while, and I sometimes listen to them at work, so we got the idea to do our own from that really.

"We did a pilot episode at the end of November and then launched officially on December 2."

Since then, the show has had more than 562 downloads, and has reached listeners as far as Australia, Ecuador, Germany and the USA.

Recorded at La Corsia Studio on Dove Lane, Darwen, the two friends have just made their fifth episode available for download, which discusses the use of medicinal cannabis.

Mr Scott said: "We've done five podcasts so far and the last show we did was about Lancashire dialects.

"We started it as a hobby at first and haven't set out to make a career out of it or anything, but it's had such great feedback that we're wanting to increase the number of listeners.

"At the moment it's all been made possible through the generosity of the guys at La Corsia Studio, who let us use the space for free, but as our audience grows we're hoping to get sponsors on board to help with funding."

Each podcast lasts around an hour and with 35 episodes planned already, discussing issues such as Artificial Intelligence, and talking to people from local museums and distilleries, Gav and Mike are looking to make 2019 the year of their podcast.

Mr Scott added: "We've got two Rovers and two Burnley fans coming to join us in the studio in a few weeks to discuss all things football so we're really looking forward to that."

The Lancashire Hot Pod is available to download for free on Podbean, Spotify and iTunes, and the latest episode can be listened to by following this link