Looking for a new podcast to check out while you stay at home this weekend? We’ve got you covered.
If you’re fresh out of Netflix content or just hoping to give your eyes a break from screens, why not give your ears a treat instead? There’s a vast sea of podcasts out there to choose from, so to help you decide, we’ve put together a list of our top recommendations.
The Nobody Zone
This six-part true crime series from RTÉ follows the story of a homeless Irishman in London who committed multiple murders, seemingly without rousing suspicion. If you’re interested in a series that puts evidence under the spotlight, our head of AV Connor recommends checking this one out.
This American Life
If you’re undecided on a specific genre, This American Life is definitely worth a listen. The focus of the weekly show is simple: a different theme is selected for each episode and a variety of relevant stories from different perspectives are collected. Our sub-editor Sarah is a fan.
My Dad Wrote a Porno
You’re likely familiar with this one already, but just in case you’re missing out, here we go. The show’s website says it all: “Imagine if your dad wrote a dirty book.” In each episode, three friends read through a chapter of the Belinda Blinked series, an erotic set of stories penned by the father of host Jamie Morton. As you can imagine, plenty of cringing and laughter ensues.
Tony Cantwell’s Shitshow
This is one of my personal favourites. Cantwell started out uploading video content to social media, pushing characters such as Ploon and Your Ma’s Best Friend to viral fame. Since then, he has launched a podcast and for “hilarious weekly rambles”, as Podtail describes it, I highly recommend giving it a go.
— Tony Cantwell (@tonyhorror) March 3, 2020
I hadn’t heard of Song Exploder before gathering suggestions for this list, so maybe you haven’t either. For any music lovers, it sounds like a fascinating listen as musicians “take apart their songs” and explain how they were made. This week’s guest was Laura Marling, while previous guests include Tame Impala, FKA Twigs and Vagabon. It’s going straight onto my list.
In Our Time
Our publisher Darren recommended BBC’s In Our Time, a weekly show hosted by broadcaster and author Melvyn Bragg.
Bragg invites guests onto the show to talk about the history of ideas which, in the past few weeks, have included the novel Wuthering Heights, the life of Marie Antoinette, and which of the dinosaurs were feathered.
The Gateway: Teal Swan
Jenny, our deputy editor, suggested this as an oldie, but a goodie. If, like me, you’ve never heard of Teal Swan, you can learn all about the spiritual guru through this six-part series.
Swan became famous for practising hypnosis through YouTube videos in a bid to help people with depression. The Gateway discusses the different perspectives on Swan’s practice, from her own claims of “saving lives” to her critics’ warnings.
13 Minutes to the Moon
Another BBC show on the list is 13 Minutes to the Moon. Across two seasons, the podcast’s presenter, Dr Kevin Fong, takes a closer look at the Apollo 11 and Apollo 13 missions. Check it out here.
The Missing Cryptoqueen
Connor also recommended The Missing Cryptoqueen, an eight-part BBC podcast about Dr Ruja Ignatova. Ignatova founded OneCoin, a scheme described by podcast as “the perfect scam”. Georgia Catt and Jamie Bartlett take listeners on the journey of her story and how she persuaded millions of people to join her scheme before disappearing.
Reply All, hosted by PJ Vogt and Alex Goldman, first began in 2014 and now boasts 5m downloads every month. The show came to our attention when tech journalist Kelly said she had listened to an extraordinary episode called The Case of the Missing Hit. This episode features a hunt for a pop song that has seemingly “vanished” from the internet, and a man’s quest to find it based on his memory. Learn more about the show here.
If you're new to our show (or introducing a friend to it) here's a page to get you started. https://t.co/bfNtHa55s9
— Reply All (@replyall) May 1, 2019
No Such Thing as a Fish
Presented by four writers of QI, No Such Thing as a Fish is released every Friday, as the hosts talk about the different things they’ve each learned during the week. Last Friday’s episode, for example, was called No Such Thing as 19th Century Feudal Japanese Monopoly. As our editor Elaine described it, this one is a great option for “nice, light entertainment”.
Dreamgun Film Reads
Finally, for a bit more comedy, I recommend Dreamgun Film Reads. It’s a premise that’s impossible to explain without losing most of its magic, but here’s what you need to know: the show’s writers take a famous movie script and rework it, then hand it over to comedians and actors who perform in front of a live audience without getting the chance to read it beforehand.
Of course, the live shows aren’t taking place at the moment because of Covid-19 restrictions, but there’s still a bank of episodes to catch up on, including versions of The Shawshank Redemption, Toy Story and The Matrix.