There’s more than music to your ears

As a team of self-confessed culture vultures, we thought some of you might be interested to find out what podcasts we’re listening to during these trying times as perhaps inspiration to get the podcast bug too. There’s an estimated 7.1million Brits listening to podcasts each week and given they range from news & current affairs, true crime, comedy, history, business matters, learning a new skill, meditation, sport and many many more topics, there’s bound to be a podcast for everyone. Some are one offs and others are in a series so think of it as your ‘time out’ session as part of this ‘new normal’ routine. Here’s what the FR PR team are tuning into.

Let us know what you’re loving!


I have a few podcasts that I find very special. The first that comes to my mind is The Californian Century by Stanley Tucci, a brilliant storytelling of modern California. As an entrepreneur, I particularly enjoy The Masters of Scale by Reid Hoffman, the founder of LinkedIn, which showcases a variety of different companies and their journey towards growth and success. I’m also very fond of The New York Times’ Book Review podcast. Country music is a genre I’ve really got in to recently and I’m looking to expand my knowledge of it. Confinement has also been a great time for me to catch up on Desert Island Discs!


Funnily enough I am finding sports podcasts oddly relaxing to listen to, but since now, more than ever we need a bit of a laugh I’m delving back into Adam Buxton’s podcast catalogue. He does his own adverts and jingles in his unique style, while also interviewing genuinely interesting people (just listening to one with Billy Connolly as I write).


I’m a huge fan of Elis James and John Robins on BBC Radio 5 Live. They’re two comedians who’ve been mates for years and the show has the warm feeling of two guys having a friendly chat in the pub. It’s not blokey though, yes it can be silly at times, but serious issues aren’t ignored. They do a lot relating to mental health and getting everyone to talk more about how they are feeling/coping. Which, with us all being stuck inside, seems more important than ever.


Kate Thornton’s White Wine Question time feels like a hang out with a group of friends. Three bottles of wine for three thought-provoking questions makes for an excellent listen. I also have a pretty regular guilty pleasure moment delving into the Who? Weekly which is basically a cheat’s guide to everything you need to know about the celebrities you don’t.


I really enjoy David Runciman’s “Talking Politics” – it’s a weekly podcast that covers international and domestic affairs. It’s conversations with academics, economics and politicians such as Thomas Piketty or feminist writer Judith Butler. I enjoy the tone of discussion and the slight «what is going on in the world?» take which I think is a feeling shared amongst many part time masters students like me.


“What’s your favourite podcast?” was a question I was asked a few days ago which immediately filled me with a mixture of bafflement and panic. Podcasts? Not sure I know what one is, let alone have ever listened to one. Outside of work, kids, dog – I read a lot of books, I listen to music at every opportunity and I play board games with friends and family alike.  Surely, I have no spare time to squeeze in anything else – and frankly why would I want to?  Well, we are now in unchartered waters and the resulting restrictions on our work/life balance has given me the impetus to try new things, investigate new ways to  use the non-commute time, the walk the dog on your own time, the go it alone to the shops time. So, I googled Podcasts on the weekend and opened up a portal saturated with the most amazing stimulation, incredibly inspiration and uncontrollable belly aching laughter – which when you are queuing in your local supermarket can be slightly disconcerting for your fellow shoppers!! I now have three favourite podcasts from my virginal podcast weekend of exploration: They are:

Christopher Hitchens (New York Public Library)

Billy Connolly (1974 Nine And A Half Guitars)

Lucy Worsley (History Extra)

Am I official a podcaster? Is that even a thing? I hope so!


I listen to comedy podcasts over any others by far. My favourite at the moment is James Acaster and Ed Gamble’s Off Menu – back in the days of commuting I found myself zoning out and laughing at strangers who must’ve thought they had something on their face but now I am enjoying it on my self-isolating dog walks and my commute to the downstairs of my house. The humour is just so far up my street and the focus on food really hammers it home for me. I have always loved the old ‘what’s your ideal meal deal’ or ‘what’s your dream three course meal’ game on long car journeys for example but to have it formalised into a podcast with two comedians hosting and a series of really impressive and varied guests (from Rose McGowan to Krishnan Guru-Murthy to Jay Rayner) is a dream. And special shout out to the podcast that got me into podcasts – the legendary My Dad Wrote a Porno.