Ex-journalist and now Gympie region podcaster Mark Piepers is using his passion for storytelling produce Over the Bonnet, a talk show with local faces from all walks of life. Pictures: Josh Preston
Ex-journalist and now Gympie region podcaster Mark Piepers is using his passion for storytelling produce Over the Bonnet, a talk show with local faces from all walks of life. Pictures: Josh Preston

The Gympie podcast that had mayor ‘just about in tears’

Former journalist and cameraman Mark Piepers has turned his passion for talking to people and hearing their stories into a gripping podcast featuring prominent local faces.

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The Gympie region local and husband of popular GP Mary Piepers has gone from strength to strength with Over the Bonnet, an in-depth talk show that began as a segment on another one of his shows – Out in the Country.

Available on Spotify, Apple, YouTube and pretty much every other major streaming platform, Over the Bonnet has already featured Gympie mayor Glen Hartwig, Wide Bay MP Llew O’Brien, Gympie Times editor Shelley Strachan and blood cancer charity worker Neil Pennock among others.

Ex-journalist and now Gympie region podcaster Mark Piepers is using his passion for storytelling produce Over the Bonnet, a talk show with local faces from all walks of life. Pictures: Josh Preston
Ex-journalist and now Gympie region podcaster Mark Piepers is using his passion for storytelling produce Over the Bonnet, a talk show with local faces from all walks of life. Pictures: Josh Preston

Producing the show out of his MaryMark Media production studio at home in Glastonbury, Mr Piepers said he formed the idea to expand on the popular segment when COVID-19 hit.

“I was doing a music show, it wasn’t doing terribly but not what I would have liked, and it turned out my most popular segment was Over the Bonnet, an interview segment with artists,” Mr Piepers said.

“Then when COVID hit, I thought ‘I’ve got the studio why don’t I use it?’, so I started doing interviews in there and it seems to be getting some traction.

“I’ve been approached by a guy in America who wants to be on the show.

“I’ve got one guy who started bingeing the show, and if I’m late with one he’s on to me. He has it on when he’s burning around in the car.”

The positive feedback throughout the show’s 26-episode run so far has fuelled Mr Piepers’ passion for hearing people’s stories, with plans to take Over the Bonnet to new levels in full swing.

“There’s amazing people with amazing stories. I’ve got a background in TV and radio, chatting to people is what I love,” he said.

Ex-journalist and now Gympie region podcaster Mark Piepers is using his passion for storytelling produce Over the Bonnet, a talk show with local faces from all walks of life. Pictures: Josh Preston
Ex-journalist and now Gympie region podcaster Mark Piepers is using his passion for storytelling produce Over the Bonnet, a talk show with local faces from all walks of life. Pictures: Josh Preston

“I just want to hear people’s stories. When we had the mayor (on the show) I had him just about in tears, because I was asking him questions that were hard and personal.

“I’m so honoured that a lot of these people are willing to give me their story.

“I love it. I wish I’d discovered it years ago. I have the facility, I just turn the key and I’m ready to go. I go into a podcast with about five talking points, but I don’t do notes. I want them to do the talking.

“I’m just enjoying doing it. I’m having fun. People seem to be enjoying it.

“No one story is the same. If I’m moved by it, there’s a good chance other people will be too.”

Over the Bonnet is available on most streaming platforms.