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Publisher's Summary

Winner of the Silver Narrative/Documentary Podcast Trophy at the 2020 New York Festivals Radio Awards
Nominated for the 2019 Rose D’Or award for Audio Entertainment

Please note: contains mature themes and graphic imagery.

Written and hosted by Marc Fennell, It Burns is the story of a 10-year scandal-plagued international competition that will take listeners from the Australian Coast to South Carolina (via an Indian Research Facility).

It’s a war filled with larger than life characters. There will be sledging, accusations of cheating, theft and performance enhancing drugs. And allegations that Australia was cheated out of a Guinness World Record. In the process of charting the scandal-plagued race to breed the world’s hottest chilli, the audio documentary lifts the lid on the subculture of ‘Chilli-heads’, hardcore chilli fans spread across the globe who compete in chilli eating and breeding competitions.

The internet is filled with videos of grown men being reduced to tears by a square millimetre of chilli. The docu-series asks: what motivates someone to breed and eat a demonic nugget that is so hot it no longer has flavour? At what point does this stop being cuisine and start being an endurance sport?

This humorous series shows that all this has never really been about chilli. It’s been about how people use pain to shape themselves, define themselves and make themselves feel alive.

This is an Audible Original Podcast. Free for members. You can download all 5 episodes to your Library now.

©2019 Audible Australia Pty Ltd. (P)2019 Audible Australia Pty Ltd.

What the critics say

"Entertaining." (Guardian)

"A cheerful Aussie version of Louis Theroux, [Marc] roams around the globe and digs deeper and deeper into a subculture that, while merely a tad eccentric on the surface, conceals some much murkier goings-on." (Times T2)

"If Pumping Iron had been about scoffing scotch bonnets." (Esquire)

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What listeners say about It Burns

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  • Overall
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Easy and enjoyable listen

Great story told in a fun and interesting way. Binged it all in a day as I wanted to hear what came next.

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Who knew the chilli could be so 'spicy'

This podcast over-delivered on every metric by which one could judge a podcast. Highly enjoyable, a little unpredictable and I even learned a bunch!

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The world of chili peppers

A fascinating look at the competitive world of developing the hottest chili pepper. I learned way more than I needed to know about the little fruit. It is worth a listen. Well done!

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Great!

loved it. very interesting stuff . Now I wanna hear more from Fennel. I recommend this .