From food to fiction, comedy to current affairs, the wealth and quality of podcasts has been steadily growing. They have been increasing in popularity, particularly with commuters, but now that daily grind has all but come to a halt there is still an important place for them in our lives.
Our team share their favourites for us all to enjoy with that extra downtime we now find ourselves with.
Arts & Culture
Arts and culture will help us through the good and the bad, providing the sprinkles on the cake that is life. Keep connected with this diverse selection:
The Last Bohemians – profiles on fearless, game-changing females from the world of art and culture.
TOAST - broadcaster Laura Barton travel the UK exploring creative practice and pioneers.
Front Row – magazine style show on literature, arts, film, media and music from the BBC.
Literary Friction – a conversational and discussion based podcast set around an episodic theme with some great recommendations
Anyone in need of a laugh? Yeah, we thought so. Enjoy :-)
No Such Thing as a Fish - a podcast from the writers/researchers who produce the QI programme discussing the different weird and wonderful things they find out each week. Some of them are very strange!
The News Quiz Extra – now this is the kind of news we can handle…an extended version of the BBC’s topical panel show
Adam Buxton – interesting, rambly conversations: sometimes funny, sometimes more serious with funny bits.
The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy – Douglas Adam’s sci-fi comedy brought to life by a fantastic cast in a series of episodes for the BBC.
Adulting – trying to figure out all the ‘adult stuff’ that they don’t prepare you for in school.
Dear Joan and Jericha – this satirical agony aunts will make you laugh and cringe in equal measure.
For the grey matter
Every day is a school day, knowledge is power and learning is life etc etc – you catch the drift. Get wiser just by listening to these:
Brain Stuff – everyday science to explain the world around us.
The Do Lectures – inspiring talks covering all manner of topics.
Or you can watch the videos for free too.
On Being – a comforting exploration of what being human means.
TED Radio Hour - podcast from TED Talks that investigates some of the biggest questions of our time.
Positivity, inspiration & wellbeing
Ahhh that’s better – a little bit of good news and heap of calm might be just what you’re looking for right now:
Happy Place – Fearne Cotton is joined by a range of celebrities and experts to explore how to find joy in each day.
But That’s Another Story – notable guests tell the story of how one book can change the course of your life.
Good Life Project – inspirational conversations with the common thread of a living lives filled with purpose.
Hurry Slowly – on finding meaning, creativity and purpose.
Happier with Gretchen Rubin – exploration of the different ways to live happier lives, with no ‘one size fits all’ approach.
Sleep with Me – trouble sleeping? Drift off to sleep with this bedtime story podcast. Wow!
Listen now (well, maybe not right now – we’d like you to finish reading this list first!)
Entertainment & escapism
Yes please! Lose yourself in a wealth of great quality content…
Murmurs – 10 radio drama tales filled with reality bending narrative and cosmic stories.
George the Poet - The award-winning and critically-acclaimed podcast from George the Poet delivers a fresh take on inner city life through a mix of storytelling, music and fiction.
Desert Island Discs – a treasure trove of episodes from this longstanding BBC Radio 4 classic: one guest, one desert island and 8 music tracks. Well-known names share the soundtracks to their lives.
Case Notes – Classic FM’s true crime podcast featuring some of the most mysterious musical crimes in history!
The Peregrine, read by David Attenborough – okay, so this one is not a podcast but it one of the most beautifully written pieces of nature writing brought to life in the soothing voice of David Attenborough. A great way to enjoy the great outdoors when we are limited on our first-hand exposure.
The Archers - they’re dropping down to 4 days per week and steering clear of the C-word – allowing us to switch off from the headlines and escape into rural life in this long-running drama. We like the omnibus version.
Pop Culture Happy Hour – chats about the latest movies, tv programmes, music and more.
Topical / factual
Okay so most of us have had enough news…from Brexit to floods to Coronavirus we’ve certainly been inundated but it is good to stay connected with a range of current affairs and reality, so here are our top picks for non-anxiety inducing factual listening:
Women’s Hour – frank and open discussion of topical subjects from a female perspective. Plus, there’s food and late night versions to enjoy!
Cautionary Tales – valuable life lessons for adults, told through true stories!
Outrage and Optimism – balancing the outrage we feel with the positive can-do needed to solve our climate crisis.
Right now we’ve all got food on the mind…because we’re hearing about stockpiling and shortages, not to mention the fact that planning our next meal helps to keep us occupied. So why not indulge aurally too…
Off Menu – a combination of comedy and food: what could be better? James Acaster and Ed Gamble invite guests to talk through their dream meal.
The Splendid Table – recipes and food inspired stories.
Spilled Milk – funny food podcast where the presenters start with a food-related topic and run (and run and run) with it!