Up until a few months ago I'd stuck to just a couple of podcasts because the ones I'd picked were long form in nature and so needed a bit of time to get through them. An hours walk each day wasn't enough to get through more than a couple.
Now I've upped my podcast game and have a few more in rotation so here are my top 8 podcasts at the moment.
Hosted by Tim Lovejoy, it's a podcast that started as an agony aunt type show but evolved into one that featured guests. The best thing about it is that it's not about celebrities or his friends, but people from all walks of life and with opinions that differ from his own.
Presenting is a job he fell into over 20 years ago as the presenter of Soccer AM. Now he hosts Sunday Brunch and for the last couple of years the Dear Lovejoy podcast. With well over 100 episodes available, there's almost certainly something for everyone. Here are 5 I would recommend:
- Ep. 47 - June Sarpong
- Ep. 58 & 59 - Helen Chamberlain (Tim's Soccer AM co-hsot)
- Ep. 85 - Johnny Vegas
- Ep. 107 - Peter Bleskley
- Ep. 117 – Gyles Brandreth
David Tennant Does a Podcast With...
David Tennant gets talking with the biggest names from TV, movies, comedy and elsewhere. Revealing conversation, surprise stories and lots of laughs.
A fairly new podcast, David Tennant has podcasted with a range of actors including Jennifer Garner, Krysten Ritter, Olivia Colman and John Hamm. The conversations aren't mundane as the host has shared experiences with most, if not all guests.
Full Disclosure with James O'Brien
Award-winning LBC presenter and best-selling author James O’Brien hosts a series of compelling conversations with fascinating people. These are revealing interviews with people who rarely give in-depth interviews, be it from politics, entertainment or news. Subscribe to get a new episode every Monday.
I'm a big fan of James O'Brien, mainly because of his ability to debate so logically with anyone he encounters. The idea behind this podcast is for James to meet those he is truly interested in meeting, rather than those with something to peddle. There are just 5 episodes at the time of writing, but all have been really good and somehow he kicked it all of with former Prime Minister, Tony Blair.
Ways to Change the World
How can you change the world? Join Krishnan Guru-Murthy and his guest of the week as they explore the big ideas influencing how we think, act and live.
Channel 4 News' Krishnan Guru-Murthy presents a podcast that features academics, politicians, actors and just generally interesting people. While there's plenty of interesting content, Jameela Jamil was the stand-out episode for me when she talked about body image in such a passionate way.
The Talk Show with John Gruber
The director’s commentary track for Daring Fireball.
Not much more to say other than Daring Fireball's John Gruber has his own podcast. Probably the one with the longest episodes on the list, he has great guests and like his website, interesting insights and thoughts on the world of Apple and tech in general.
The Ron Burgandy Podcast
Will Ferrell reprises his role as Ron Burgundy in his brand new Ron Burgundy Podcast! Each episode has a different theme in which Ron engages in conversation with another notable person on the topic at hand. In true Ron Burgundy fashion, these conversations have a tendency to go off the rails, and we find out things about people we never knew we wanted to know. In Season 1, Ron addresses important issues like bullying and the mind-expanding nature of meditation, and attempts to ultimately answer the question “seriously, what is a podcast?”
Another recent podcast on the list, but it's a really good use of the Ron Burgandy character. I loved Anchorman the first time I saw it, but it hasn't stood the test of time for me. The character itself though is a different matter, Ron Burgandy is ridiculous and it's like he's been transported to the current day and is doing his best to get by with the rules of today.
I've been a fan of Jus Reign for years now and when he kicked off a new YouTube series, I signed up for it straight away. It proved to be a logistical challenge with one host in the US and another in Canada and so it evolved into a podcast.
Kermode & Mayo's Film Review
Mark Kermode joins Simon Mayo to give his verdict on the week's movies
The long running film review show from BBC's Radio 5 has the unofficial name of 'wittertainment'. I remember hearing clips of the show on radio and it often sounded like two people bickering, but having looked up some film reviews I gave it a listen and it's actually just two friends getting the best out of each other. Mark Kermode is a seasoned film critic and while I may not agree with all his reviews, he's insightful, thoughtful and articulate. There have now been many times I've anticipated a movie more than I would have. It's helped me avoid duds and when I've gone back through the archives I've found even more movies to look out for.
As school holidays roll around, the regular hosts get a break and even their replacements are suitably competent. If you love movies, it's a no-brainer.
Podcast pro tip
If supported by your podcast player of choice, listen at 1.5x if not 2x speed. For me, 1.5x is the sweet spot as I can get through a podcast in a reasonable time and still comprehend what's being said.
This past week Apple rolled out a new look to their podcast pages on the web where you can preview and listen from your browser. Gone are the days of ugly lists that forced you over to iTunes and it looks like they're paving the way for a new macOS Podcast app later this year. Web interfaces for content are great. Makes it searchable and accessible.
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