I am currently obsessed with podcasts. Just like the rest of the world then. Honestly I don’t know what I did before them, I’m absorbing them, adoring them, getting through one, two, three episodes every day.
From Ed Sheeran’s favourite song to Stephen Fry’s mental health to Ruth Jones’ first love, a PHD’s opinion on women getting the right to drive in Saudi Arabia, to a badly written sex scene in a pots and pans office, to the streets of Dublin to hear about the eighth amendment, to an in depth and extensive analysis of Love Island, my podcast obsession is giving me everything I could have hoped for, taking me everywhere I might want to go.
I listen to them whilst walking my dog and she’s currently the fittest she has ever been.
I asked on Instagram last week if anyone wanted to hear about the podcasts I was currently listening to (whilst onto my fourth hour of walking that day) and for the first time in my career as a blogger, an Instagram poll was met with a unanimous 100% YES. So here it is.
But there’s more… since my podcast obsession is rivalled only by my love of books, I have decided to add a new instalment to the blog; regularly recommending the books, audiobooks and podcasts that I have loved recently. Once every month or so check back for a load of stuff that you too can get your teeth into.
Of course I am also on the hunt for recommendations so feel free to drop those in the comments below. In the meantime, here’s a roundup of podcasts I’m loving atm, with specific reference to episodes you NEED to listen to.
How had I not discovered the heaven that is the Desert Island Discs podcast before now? Despite of course being aware of the show’s existence (my mum has been a Radio 4 fanatic for as long as I can remember), I had no idea how beautifully wonderful it would be to have access to Kirsty Young’s soothing Scottish tones and the soul of some really inspirational people ANYTIME THAT I WANTED. Well I’m sorry, but if that’s not heaven then I don’t know what is.
For anyone unfamiliar with the premise of this show (where have you been??), once a week celebrities are interviewed by Kirsty Young and asked to reveal and explain the eight tracks that they would take with them to a desert island, should they be cast away. It’s a beautiful and fascinating look into some amazing people’s lives.
Particularly recommend Ed Sheeran’s episode, it was brilliant. Also Judi Dench and Stephen Fry because obviously but there are so many good ones available – I’ve yet to find a bad one.
Holy bejesus WHAT A SERIES. I found it after my Desert Island Discs obsession began because Fearne interviewed Kirsty Young for an episode (every bit as brilliant as it sounds). The episodes are short – a little too short if you ask me but I suppose that’s useful if you’re a busy bee, and so inspiring and uplifting.
I’ve heard rumours that it’s coming back for a second series (please god let it be true) but the ones up there already are probably good enough that I can listen to them for a second time and be happy enough.
Particularly recommend the episode with Gok Wan which, without meaning to be dramatic, totally changed my life.
Hosted by Pandora Sykes and Dolly Alderton, I am properly obsessed with this podcast and so are basically all of my friends (even the ones with normal jobs and stuff). Girls in particular I highly recommend this one – it is a weekly thing and covers all the week’s top issues/news stories/gossip all the while recommending news articles the girls have found interesting, TV shows they’ve liked and other podcasts I should be listening to, even occasionally bringing in authors to interview (I have found lots of new books this way).
At a time when we are bombarded with more news then we ever know what to do with, I find this to be a really great way of staying informed – it just feels like I’m chatting with a couple of my brightest friends about all things current and I love it.
Another masterpiece from Dolly Alderton and honestly home to some of the most beautiful podcast episodes ever. I LOVE it. Dolly talks all things love with all sorts of people – from what love means to them, to their first loves to who and what they love now. She created this series to promote the launch of her book: Everything I Know About Love, which I loved SO much also really recommend. Lovely stories and lovely people and lovely love and it’s guaranteed to put a smile on your face.
Particularly recommend the episode with Ruth Jones because obviously but also the one with Bryony Gordon (who’s new book Eat, Drink, Run I’m reading and loving right now btw) because she is queen.
Hosted by Rachel Bland, Deborah James and Lauren Mahon, this podcast is THE most inspiring thing on the internet, probably. It is a ‘candid look at cancer’ and it will make you cry.
All three of these amazing women have either gone through or are currently going through cancer. It is friendly and touching, sad and happy, inspiring and truly, truly beautiful. To anyone affected by cancer at all, I cannot recommend this highly enough I really can’t.
Another masterpiece to come out of Radio 4, another show I ignorantly thought I was 40 years too young for. The Woman’s Hour podcast is basically just the radio show uploaded daily and it is brilliant. Starting honest, open and important conversations, it is NOT, as I assumed when I was younger, a group of angry olde women being bitter and aggy about everything, rather, a balanced and crucial look at current affairs.
Particularly ahead of the Irish Referendum on abortion I found it fascinating and really useful they were going to the streets of Ireland and talking to real women – I was very grateful to them for opening my eyes to view points that I might not otherwise have found or appreciated.
Can’t recommend adding this to your daily routine highly enough.
Because not everything needs to be educational or inspirational, sometimes you just need something really fucking funny to distract you for forty minutes or so. If you haven’t listened to this you are missing out on one of life’s true joys. Like, laugh out loud, doesn’t matter where the hell you are. I am jealous, painstakingly jealous, of anyone that is yet to start this series; you don’t even know the treat you have ahead of you.
In case the title has not given it away and you somehow have not heard of this yet, this podcast is hosted by a man who’s dad wrote a porno book (pretty badly). Every week he gets together with his two best mates and they read a chapter together and it is every bit as hysterical as it sounds.
Of all the podcasts I have found, this is arguably the best of 2018 so far. Queer Eye fans n particular, you EED this in your life. Honestly. The first episode I listened to was Jonathan interviewing Professor of Middle Eastern History at UCLA, Dr James Gelvin about the Middle East, it was called ‘Is Saudi Arabia Cute Now?’ and it was totally fascinating.
When I first watched Queer Eye (now available on Netflix and wholeheartedly recommended if you are yet to watch it), I actually found Jonathan to be mildly irritating, but holy shit since finding the podcast I am in love with the guy. Unapologetically, fabulously camp, he is bright, informed, full of energy and inquisitive. Honestly I’ve learnt so much from this, demo with a listen…
So there ya go. There’s just some of the magic that I am directing to my ear drums at the moment. I’m sure I’ll find more over the next few weeks (pity my career which will no doubt take a hit when I run out of time to do anything but listen to podcasts) and I’ll update you as and when.
For now though, enjoy!x