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My Favourite Podcasts

Tuesday, 22 October 2013

I love a good podcast. Some people work better with music in the background but I work better with chatter going on. If the radio is boring me, on goes on a podcast. My phone is stuffed to bursting point with them, to the point where I've had to delete scores of them, but these are the ones that have remained untouched.

I love 'em.

Answer Me This

Um, it kinda does what it says on the tin. Helen and Olly (and Martin the Sound Man) answer questions that listeners send in. There's a certain amount of etymological discussion and myth busting but there's even more utterly random stuff. Just as a quick example, the last episode featured the British Museum, crayon eating, the optimal marshmallow to hot chocolate ratio, Dragon's Den and the painting of the Kennedy kids in Neighbours, plus the usual amount of awesome jingles. It's always funny, often rather rude and sometimes a bit bonkers. As I discussed with Sophie last week, it clocks in around the 30 minute mark so it's the ideal soundtrack for one of my rowing machine or swimming sessions. Can't get bored with exercise when you've got something to keep you amused! Although it's maybe better suited to rowing than swimming as snorking with laughter in the pool tends to make you look like a bit of a weirdo...

(If you're wondering how I listen to stuff when swimming, it's courtesy of the best gadget in the world, my waterproof MP3 player. Honestly, everyone should have one)

Kermode & Mayo's Film Review (aka Wittertainment)

Oh I love these guys. They've been doing film reviews and discussion on BBC radio for over ten years now and this is basically their Friday afternoon Radio 5 show, with some podcast extras (hello Jason Isaacs!) chucked in for good measure. It's a fairly simple format - discussion of the UK box office top 10, interviews about upcoming films and then reviews of this week's releases - but it works perfectly. I think you do have to like a film critic to listen to them this much and I love Mark Kermode so I'm quite happy, but he may irritate you. Or you may be like my friend Lee who finds Simon Mayo so annoying he's had to stop listening. But hopefully you'll enjoy the bickering and the truly epic film ranting.


This belongs to the film magazine of the same name. You may well ask why I have two very similarly themed podcasts in my top 5. There's only so much you can say about films, isn't there? Well, no. They're very different beasts. Empire is a bit geekier and has a slightly more sci-fi bent than Wittertainment, plus they do talk about tv shows a bit as well. The benefit of it being a podcast rather than a podcast of a live radio show is that they can get away with being swearier and indulge in random discussions about general film related stuff. Thoroughly good fun!

The snappily titled DBSA podcast

This features Sarah from Smart Bitches, Trashy Books and Jane from Dear Author talking about books. Specifically romance books. If you don't like them then this probably isn't the podcast for you, but if you like books and you're partial to a bit of romance, I'd encourage you to give it a try. These two seriously know their stuff and the episodes that feature reader questions and Sarah & Janes's suggestions and recommendations are excellent. So are the rest of them though! Lots of interviews with readers, authors, editors and publishing types as well as much general book chat.

A Good Read

If you've read any of my Blogging Good Read posts then this podcast will seem very familiar to you. The host invites two different guests every week and they each pick, read and discuss a favourite book. YAY BOOKS! Literally the only bad thing about this is that it's not on all the time. As with a few Radio 4 podcasts, they share it with another show on a similar topic and although it's also about books and therefore still good, Open Book is just not as interesting as A Good Read! My favourite episode is from a couple of months ago where These Old Shadesgot chosen. I literally squealed with glee when I heard two big manly sports journalists/comedians discussing how much they loved Georgette Heyer.

So those are my top 5. I listen to flipping loads of others but I'm always on the hunt for something new so if you have any recommendations, let me know!


  1. Ooh I like the sound of the movie ones - I've never listened to podcasts before and I've no idea why, must remedy that! :)

  2. I love the Simon Mayo podcast - mainly because I still listen to this drive time show on Radio 2!

  3. Ahh, I love podcasts! I too know the pain of deleting the scores of them I'll never get round to, sigh. Definitely going to check out the books ones. I've been getting into An Irishman Abroad, the Grantland Pop Culture stuff is pretty solid, I like 99% Invisible because I don't know anything about design, and then How Did This Get Made when I just want something silly. Podcasts!!

  4. OOh, where do you get them from?!!! I really want to put some on my lovely ipod shuffle that Char gave me so I can listen during my really long walk to and from work!x

  5. Found your posts!! Love Mark Kermode on 5 live so listen to this one already :) but therefore I trust your opinion so will check the others out too :) x


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