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In 2015, Jamie Morton received an email from someone named Rocky Flintstone that told him to “enjoy” the first few chapters of “Belinda Blinked,” which, upon opening the attachment, Morton discovered, was a series of erotic novels his father had penned. Rocky Flintstone was his nom de plume.

“At first I thought, ‘Great, well done Dad’ for doing something productive with your retirement,” Morton tells Variety. After grappling “for all of about a day” with the fact that his father sent him his own erotica, Morton says he “rushed” to read it to James Cooper and Alice Levine, his longtime friends.

The trio eventually turned Flintstone’s “oeuvre” into a podcast, which to date has accumulated more than 150 million downloads, spawned a live stage version that visited the likes of the Sydney Opera House and the Royal Albert Hall, and now a live special for HBO, which airs May 11.

“Belinda Blinked” centers around the titular Belinda Blumenthal, an international sales director at the fictional Steeles Pots and Pans who sleeps her way around the office, London and the world in the name of cookware sales consolidation.

The hosts poke fun at the plot, as well as Morton’s father’s exaggerated writing style. As an example, Flintstone once memorably described Belinda as being so overcome with sexual pleasure that her nipples swelled to the size of “the three-inch rivets which held the hull of the fateful Titanic together.”

Morton first introduced his friends and collaborators to the books while sitting in a local pub. He read from his father’s chapters aloud, and suddenly the unsuspecting patrons of a tranquil, quintessentially British setting were subjected to smut and raucous laughter. Morton says they “basically cleared the pub.”

This response is what gave the trio the idea to turn the story into something larger.

Besides Belinda, a woman who often eschews a typical greeting for stripping down to whatever lacy underwear she happens to be semi-wearing, Flintstone’s creations include the Duchess, a spurious, “deeply sexual” member of the British aristocracy, voiced with husky received pronunciation by Morton; and a Texan named Jim Sterling, whose penis enlargement surgery goes terribly awry, leaving him with a “flaky” member which spews out blue semen as “an add on.”

“I have a small breakdown in every episode,” Morton confesses.

However, the team admits some positives have come from the project as well, chief among them the connection with the audience.

“A lot of people have said they were maybe a bit prudish before — ourselves included — about talking about their sex lives and sexual antics, and this is a really good way of opening up the conversation. It’s done with humor and we hope it has made it clear that sex doesn’t have to be a really serious, earnest conversation,” Levine says.

While the trio often discuss adapting the books for the large or small screen, and have received several offers to do so, Cooper says that a live comedy special felt like a “logical first step” towards expanding the “Belinda Blinked” universe.

“With the HBO show, we can re-enact some of Dad’s stuff and see how unbelievably unsexy and, quite frankly, impossible his ideas are, but it hasn’t deviated from being its own thing. We’re being careful not to do something because we’ve been offered it, but to do it for the right reasons,” Morton says.

If Belinda and her motley cast of colleagues were to make it to film or TV in a narrative adaptation however, there would be no shortage of A-list talent gagging to jump on board.

The show counts many of Hollywood’s elite among its fans, including Michael Sheen, Rachel Bloom, Thomas Middleditch, Nicholas Hoult, Daisy Ridley, Hayley Atwell, Elijah Wood and Dame Emma Thompson, each of whom has appeared as a guest on the podcast and expressed interest in playing a different character.

“It’ll be greenlit on that alone, surely,” Morton jokes.

In the meantime, Morton, Cooper and Levine are happy to reflect on the journey that reading Flintstone’s deeply questionable, endlessly entertaining business erotica has taken them on.

“We’ve come so far with this,” Morton says. “For my Dad, a retired builder from Northern Ireland, to have his writing read out around the world by his son and his son’s friends, it’s an amazing story. I am very proud of him. I was appalled and chastened for a long time, but now I’ve come full circle, that’s what terrible porn can do to you.”