Here’s a list of Podcasts that at least one of us (usually Mick) has enjoyed during the last several years. In no particular order, just how they came up when I looked at the apps on my phone and my PC. I use Acast and BBC Sounds for my podcast listening pleasure. Can I keep up with everything all the time? Sadly, no, there are not enough hours in the day.
List of contents:
- Non-BBC podcasts
- BBC podcasts and radio programmes
- Other (non-BBC) radio stations
- Where to find new podcasts and programmes
- Non-BBC podcasts
David Tennant Does a Podcast With… sees David talking to the biggest names from TV, movies, comedy and elsewhere. This is now on its second series, and so far we’ve heard him chatting with George Takei, Judi Dench, Jim Parsons and Stacey Abrams. An hour well spent in good company.
The British Broadcasting Century – 100 Years of the BBC, Radio and Life as We Know It. Be informed, educated and entertained by the amazing true story of radio’s forgotten pioneers. With host Paul Kerensa and rarely-heard clips from broadcasting’s golden era. Fascinating and very detailed.
The Harrowing – A once-in-a-century storm hits the remote Scottish island of Toll Mòr. As the isolated community take shelter, a barbaric crime sets off a chain of events which heralds the rise of an ancient evil and threatens to change the course of history. Starring Golden Globe winner Joanne Froggatt as Police Sergeant Jackie O’Hara, this 8-part supernatural thriller is created by acclaimed writer and director Mark Healy and produced by Storyglass. A little bit scary.
The Carrier – What happens when a truck driver picks up a loaded trailer, but has no idea what’s really inside? Tony, Grammy, and Emmy award winner Cynthia Erivo journeys down a dark and lonely highway in this original scripted thriller from QCODE and creator Dan Blank. With immersive audio techniques that create a dimensional listening experience, the audience is strongly advised to use caution, wear headphones if possible, and listen… carefully.
The Tip-off – We take you behind the scenes of some of the best investigative journalism from recent years. Each episode we’ll be digging into an investigative scoop- hearing from the journalists behind the work as they tell us about the leads, the dead-ends and of course, the tip offs. There’ll be car chases, slammed doors, terrorist cells, meetings in dimly lit bars and cafes, wrangling with despotic regimes and much more.
Something Rhymes with Purple – What are the origins, meanings and insights into how and why we use the words we do. This is a podcast about words and language where we find out. It’s hosted by Susie Dent and Gyles Brandreth. Each week they delve into a topic around language, offer some words of the week and pepper it with fascinating insights, facts and quirky anecdotes.
Radio Moments – Conversations – Life-stories of radio people – each one featured in an hour of candid conversation and clips.
Radio Today – what’s going on in the world of Radio. Interviews with presenters as well as a lot about the business side of the industry.
Ricky and Tony – Pop Detectives – Kaiser Chiefs’ frontman Ricky Wilson has taken up a new role, as broadcasting legend Tony Blackburn’s apprentice, in Ricky & Tony’s Pop Detective agency. Our intrepid investigating duo will be debunking pop myths and solving musical mysteries from their office just above a takeaway on the Holloway Road.
The Treehouse with Danny Baker – A twice weekly helping to tip the internet on its ear, helmed by Danny Baker and Louise Pepper. There’s no agenda, no spin, we exist for you, in a warm universe where nothing matters, The Treehouse is more fun than counting your teeth with your tongue. Now only available to Patreon subscribers but the first 60+ ‘free’ ones can be enjoyed here.
Wind of Change – It’s 1990. The Berlin Wall has just come down. The Soviet Union is on the verge of collapse. A heavy metal band from West Germany, the Scorpions, releases a power ballad, “Wind of Change.” The song becomes the soundtrack to the peaceful revolution sweeping Europe — and one of the biggest rock singles ever. According to some fans, it’s the song that ended the Cold War. Decades later, New Yorker writer Patrick Radden Keefe hears a rumor from a source: the Scorpions didn’t actually write “Wind of Change.” The CIA did.
The Last Days of August – Jon Ronson, the creator of Audible Original The Butterfly Effect, delves into the pornography industry again as he unravels the never-before-told story of what caused a beloved 23-year-old actress’s untimely death. And if you want to go back further…
The Butterfly Effect – Join bestselling author Jon Ronson as he traces an intriguing butterfly effect. Many years ago, a teenager in Brussels had an idea – make porn free and easy to stream online. The consequences of that idea are surprising, delightful, and sad. They reach into areas of life no one could have expected. In this series’ first episode, meet Fabian Thylmann – that teen from Brussels.
Folk on Foot – Launched by the broadcaster and former BBC executive Matthew Bannister in August 2018, this podcast brings together his three passions: folk music, walking and telling stories in sound.
The Mike Harding Folk Show -Each month, Mike Harding plays an hour or two of new and old folk music from around the UK and the world. There are over 280 shows to catch up on if you’re new to it.
The Crime Hub – The Crime Hub is a unique podcast that looks to bring together both crime fact and crime fiction. The show features a range of interviews with experts involved with leading criminal cases as well as fictional short stories.
The Immaculate Deception – Fertility doctor Jan Karbaat was renowned for getting amazing results. Women who were desperate for children would visit him at his Rotterdam clinic and leave pregnant. But when the clinic closed, rumours began about the methods Karbaat used to achieve his success. The children conceived at the clinic – the Karbaat Kids – began asking difficult questions about what happened to their mothers. What happened in the clinic? This is a story about a doctor who was determined to create life – by any means possible. Reported and hosted by Jenny Kleeman.
How Did We Get Here? – A unique insight into people’s most vulnerable emotions, this podcast gives listeners access to real life conversations with a clinical psychologist on family and parenting issues. Presented by Claudia Winkleman and her good friend, clinical psychologist Professor Tanya Byron, the sessions recorded offer deep insight into every day issues with practical advice on resolutions.
Stephen Fry’s 7 Deadly Sins – “There have always been, I think, alternative ways of thinking about our goodness or badness. One way is to compare our actions to a list laid down by authority in the form of scripture or law. Another is to be a little more independent-minded and judge for ourselves our conduct, perhaps on the basis of its effects on other people. Do my actions ever hurt others, myself included, I might ask myself, do they hurt those close
to me or society or the wider world as a whole? I’m raring to having a look at the obstacles to our individual happiness and fulfilment. And sin, trespass, wrong, transgression, error … all these words describe what you might call stumbling- blocks, impediments to our happiness and fulfilment that come from within” writes Stephen Fry.
Planet Parsons – Lynn Parsons is a fabulous, friendly radio presenter, currently (June 2020) on Magic Radio in the UK. The podcast is produced from her shed at home, infrequently, a great loss to my ears.
Serial – The podcast series from 2014 that arguably gave the genre a big boost. Adnan Syed’s conviction for murder is investigated and questioned in minute detail.
Serial – season 2 – In May 2014, a U.S. Special Operations team in a Black Hawk helicopter landed in the hills of Afghanistan. Waiting for them were more than a dozen Taliban fighters and a tall American, who looked pale and out of sorts: Bowe Bergdahl. Bergdahl, a U.S. soldier, had been a prisoner of the Taliban for nearly five years, and now he was going home. Another rivetting story.
Serial – season 3 – Serial is heading back to court. This time, in Cleveland. A year inside a typical American courthouse. This season we tell you the extraordinary stories of ordinary cases. One courthouse, told week by week. [June 2020, I haven’t listened to this one yet]
S-Town – John despises his Alabama town and decides to do something about it. He asks a reporter to investigate the son of a wealthy family who’s allegedly been bragging that he got away with murder. But then someone else ends up dead, sparking a nasty feud, a hunt for hidden treasure, and an unearthing of the mysteries of one man’s life. fascinating, lots of unexpected twists and turns.
- BBC podcasts and radio programmes
Some BBC podcasts are also available elsewhere, but not all. I think the BBC are attempting to conflate the idea of broadcast radio and podcasts in the Sounds app.
The Secret Life of Teachers – Step inside Mehreen Baig’s virtual staffroom to hear what the UK’s teachers really think. Listen in to a weekly discussion about what life is like behind the school gates. I’ve listened to oner episode so far (September 7) and it’s interesting being a fly on a staff room wall but… the music is so annoying, generic plincketty-plonketty telling me when it’s ok to laugh, nope, don’t need it.
Out of our League – This one hasn’t started yet, but I’ll be listening even if the subject matter isn’t necessarily to my tase. In 2019, Bury FC were expelled from the English Football League. Follow their fans as they seek answers, travel the UK for help and ultimately decide to start again. It’s presented by Sanny Rudravajhala, yes, he of Radio Northenden notoriety.
The Bomb – Leo Szilard was just one of many whose science fiction stories I enjoyed all those years ago. This is the story of how he might have prevented the nuclear arms race, if only people had listened to him.
Jarvis Cocker: Wireless Nights – Jarvis Cocker explores the human condition after dark, with stories of night people, with some poems, some thoughts, some music. Not as frequent as it used to be.
Ramblings – Join Clare Balding and a guest as they wander about the countryside, nattering away and enjoy the fresh air. A good antidote to being locked in, locked down, isolated.
Mastertapes – John Wilson discusses the making of significant rock albums with the artists involved. Each album is discussed over two half-hour programmes: the “A side” programme features the interview and the “B side” includes questions from the studio audience. being Radio 4, the musical tracks are truncated “for rights reasons”.
The Great Post Office Trial – The extraordinary story of a decade-long battle with the Post Office, fought by their own Sub Postmasters. Some call it the widest miscarriage of justice in UK legal history.
The Curious Cases of Rutherford and Fry – Dr Adam Rutherford and Dr Hannah Fry investigate everyday mysteries sent by listeners.
The Verb – Radio 3’s cabaret of the word, featuring the best poetry, new writing and performance, poetry, songs, presented by Ian McMillan.
The Listening Service – Rethink music with The Listening Service. Tom Service presents a journey of imagination and insight, exploring how music works.
The Listening Project – Since 2012 we have been collecting intimate conversations between friends or relatives, to build a unique picture of our lives today. We have collected over a thousand so far, and most will be broadcast across BBC radio, while all are archived by the British Library, preserving them for future generations. Presented by Fi Glover.
Intrigue: Tunnel 29 – A story of life, love and a curious death told by writer and barrister, Philippe Sands. A cold war mystery that reveals consequences that stretch across generations. A previous story in this strand, just as intriguing, is Murder in the Lucky Holiday Hotel.
Death in Ice Valley – A woman’s body is found in Norway. Who is she? Why has nobody mised her? A real life detective story.
The Missing Cryptoqueen – Dr Ruja Ignatova persuaded millions to join her financial revolution. Then she disappeared. Why? Jamie Bartlett presents a story of greed, deceit and herd madness.
13 Minutes to the Moon – There are now two series. Detailed stories about Apollo 11’s successful mission to the Moon, and Apollo 13’s disastrous mission. Presented by Kevin Fong, forensic deatil and many interviews with the people involved at NASA.
Fortunately… with Fi and Jane – A frank look behind the scenes with broadcasters Jane Garvey and Fi Glover as guests from Radio, TV and podcasting share stories they probably shouldn’t. Safely eavesdrop on a couple of young ladies yakking away with a special guest each week.
More or Less – Tim Harford explains the numbers and statistics in the news and in life. If you see soimething in the news that seems a bit far-fetched, let him know and he’ll check the numbers. There’s Radio 4 and a World Service version. One is longer than the other. Which is which I shall leave as an exercise for the student.
BBC Inside Science – Dr Adam Rutherford and guests illuminate the mysteries and challenge the controversies behind the science that’s changing our world. Unless Adam’s off writing a book, in which case, someone else steps in.
Word of Mouth – Series exploring the world of words and the ways in which we use them, presented by the poet and all-round good guy Michael Rosen.
Feedback – Radio 4’s forum for comments, queries, criticisms and congratulations, presented by Roger Boulton and often with a producer or an editor from the BBC denying they’ve made a mistake or done anything wrong.
Soul Music – At the time of writing, 28 series of programmes about pieces of music with a strong emotional impact. You may need tissues.
Pick of the Week – A selection of highlights from the past week on all BBC radio, national, international, regional and local. Usually, only the most recent 4 episodes are available on BBC Sounds.
The Infinite Monkey Cage – An irreverent look at the world of science, presented by Brian Cox and Robin Ince with guests each week, scientists, comedians and other humans.
Thinking Allowed – Discussion about and around new research on how society works. Presented by Laurie Taylor.
Under the Weather – Meteorologists Simon King and Clare Nasir love the weather. In this BBC podcast, they are joined by a range of experts as they answer some of weather’s most challenging questions. A couple of years old, but still interesting.
BeSpoke – Intermittent podcast from BBC 5 Live, reporting on cycle sports, Giro d’Italia, Tour de France and other competitions.
- Other (non-BBC) radio stations and programmes
Serenade Radio – On Serenade Radio, our music is timeless. Enjoy the finest melodies, written by the World’s most gifted composers, performed by the greats. Easy listening all the way.
Wythenshawe FM – Our other local station which I can’t pick up on 97.2 FM, and I think the online broadcast needs a tweak.
- Where do we find new podcasts, radio stations and broadcast programmes?
Sometimes, podcasts promote others that we might be interested in. Some of these ads can become annoying if they play the same one every time and it’s something you’re not interested in.
Great British Podcasts is a great resource, and I’ve signed up to the weekly newsletter. Some weeks, I want to subscribe to all the suggestions and sometimes, nothing tickles my fancy.
Miranda Sawyer writes a weekly column in The Observer about radio and podcasts, and while it’s always a good read, some of the suggestions and recommendations just aren’t for me.
This page was last updated on September 7th, 2020, and I’ll try to update it every month or so, but no promises! Send me a message if you think it’s been too long 🙂