A WEST Kilbride journalist who lost his entire livelihood in just 36 hours due to the coronavirus lockdown has launched a new public-interest podcast.

Stuart Hodge, 31, worked for the likes of Sky Sports as a writer and sports commentator before the pandemic hit and stopped his work overnight.

After plunging into depression initially, he decided the best means of bouncing back was to put his skills into producing something which would entertain people as well as keeping them informed.

The result was the MyCorona Podcast.

Former Ardrossan Academy pupil Stuart said: “I lost about £5,000 work in 36 hours when all of the sport stopped.

“Working for myself that left me without work and struggling badly with my mental health.

“I had the idea of delivering something people could enjoy with my skills and contacts and, after working up to it for a bit mentally, I kicked things off.

“We’ve had some really good guests so far and I look forward to hopefully building this up into something people from all around the local area, and beyond, can enjoy and get something from.”

Amongst those to appear are Clyde FC goalkeeper David Mitchell and celebrated artist Tragic O’Hara, both from the Three Towns, as well as Orwell Prize-winning author Darren McGarvey and Twitter funnyman Old Firm Facts.

Stuart has also spoken to a frontline worker about the impact of the disease on the NHS and feels it’s important to recognise their work.

He added: “The NHS workers need to have their challenges and stories highlighted, they are the heroes of our time.

“Episode 3 was one of the most powerful stories I’ve dealt with in my journalism career, and I’ll be doing more of that kind of thing.

“But it’s not all doom and gloom, far from it. Other episodes are just about growing up here in the 2000s, profiles on interesting people also informative stuff like how it’s going to affect kids’ learning and development.

“I’m also working on episodes about the track-and-trace app and other things people want to know about, along with just finding cool folk to have a blether with.

“It’s fun to make and hopefully people will enjoy it too.

“As someone proud to be from North Ayrshire, I’d appreciate any support from folk locally who enjoy the pod.”

The podcast can be found @MyCoronaPod on Twitter, and by searching for ‘My Corona Podcast’ and/or ‘Hodgeythehack’ on all the major podcast platforms.