James Van Leer was born in Sidcup, Kent and grew up in south east London. He left England at age 22 to travel the world, and after a spell in Asia ended up in Los Angeles, California. After becoming a U.S. citizen and studying improv at the Bang Studio in Hollywood, he realized that his twenty years of experience in America gave him a unique perspective, and that a podcast would be an ideal outlet for all his ridiculous observations on both cultures. The result is “Transatlantically Speaking” — a weekly show that asks: what’s British for “ghetto blaster”? Whose Dennis The Menace is better? And what the hell is a “conker”? With Paul Johnson keeping him honest on the American side, the boys discuss all things Britmerican and finally put the Alumin(i)um debate to rest.
Past guests have included British standup comedians Nish Kumar, Adam Hess, Ray Peacock and Ed Gamble, along with British ex-pat Claire Bolden McGill (of the Desperate English Housewife in Washington blog) and American ex-pat Amber, a genuine American Tour Guide in London.