Fancy some good listening to keep you entertained while you crack on with your day? Or some quality listening for when you get a moment to sit back and enjoy it? Look no further. Here’s our guide to some of the best podcasts around – intelligent and entertaining musings for discerning gents.
Remember the Adam and Joe show on Channel 4 and BBC Radio 6 Music? This podcast is the creation of one half of that famous duo – Adam Buxton. Still as entertaining as ever, Adam now lives near Norfolk with his wife and three kids, and you’ll often find him taking long walks with his dog Rosie.
We know all this because Adam now presents an excellent podcast which is well worth a listen, and has written a memoir which is available to order now. As a successful writer and performer (and actor), Adam knows some very interesting people, so whether you feel like listening to him in conversation with Zadie Smith about her new book of essays, Intimations, or larking about with Louis Theroux, there’s some good listening here.
Hear all about the American research librarian who solved the mystery of a 33-year-old serial killer case in which the name of the killer was known, but his victims had never been identified. Listen to tales of spooky goings on in the library. Encounter some of your favourite novelists talking about their favourite books.
All this and more is available courtesy of Anything But Silent, an amazing podcast from the British Library which, supported by the Eccles Centre for American Studies, and fronted by Canadian Cleo Laskarin from the library’s exhibitions team, gives the whole thing a satisfying transatlantic vibe. And watch this space for season 2, launching in October, focussing on the library’s Unfinished Business exhibition. Exciting stuff!
Who are the most important thinkers behind modern politics? And what did they have to say? If you like to dig a little deeper than the pages of your favourite newspaper, or go beyond the TV and radio news, Talking Politics: History of Ideas is essential listening. Find out what Hobbes was really saying about the state, or how early feminist writer, Mary Wollstonecraft linked politcal failings to sexual inequality.
This new series of talks by Cambridge academic, David Runciman “explores some of the most important thinkers and prominent ideas lying behind modern politics – from Hobbes to Gandhi, from democracy to patriarchy, from revolution to lock down. Plus, he talks about the crises – revolutions, wars, depressions, pandemics – that generated these new ways of political thinking.”
Find out what the British took to Aotearoa (New Zealand) along with guns, stoats, and Christianity. Do you know what the word ‘takatāpui’ means to Māori people, and what this has to teach Europeans about gender issues? Heard of Shine Theory? Find out what it is and why it’s worth fighting to stop businesses co opting a phrase that really resonates.
For those who enjoy words, witty wordplay, and repartee, British Podcast Awards 2018 Podcast champ, Helen Zaltzman “leaves a flaming paper bag full of language on your doorstep.” Lasting between 20 minutes and half an hour, episodes of The Allusionist use the power of words to entertain, educate and challenge. This is a great podcast to get you thinking.
Would you be brave enough to stand before an audience and reveal your most public humiliation? Or talk about the time when faking it ‘saw a whole company crash and burn’? On offer here are real stories by real people – sometimes cathartic, often heart warming, this is great listening.
True life stories always have something to teach us, and at Spark, that’s just what you get. Spark was Britain’s first storytelling club – a place for ordinary people to take to the stage to tell audiences about their weird and wonderful experiences. The only rules: your story must be your own, it has to be true, and you have to tell it in under five minutes.
Few would turn their nose up at an appointment with Melvyn Bragg, the broadcasting legend whose quest for the scoop once saw him get heroically plastered with Francis Bacon during a lunchtime interview for the South Bank Show.
Join Melvyn, the longtime presenter of Radio Four’s weekly series, In Our Time, as he probes his guests for insights into topics from the fascinating to the frankly obscure. Anyone keen to learn about the evolution of horses? Or perhaps you’re more interested in the theoretical physicist, Paul Dirac? A half hour with the intelligent man’s intelligent man may leave you baffled, but somehow you’ll still feel the better for it.
What was Henry VIII’s favourite pudding? Find out the answer to this and other important questions courtesy of the guys at No Such Thing as a Fish. A discussion of “all the best things they’ve found out this week”, this podcast comes to you directly from the offices of the team behind QI.
Did you know that in 1948, the first ‘drive through, fly through’ cinema opened in New Jersey – you could watch films from the comfort of your car or from the window of your light aircraft as you flew by. Listen to this awesome podcast regularly, and you’ll soon have accrued enough useless information to make you the most irritating guest at every dinner party you attend.
Do you wonder what the impact of the Black Lives Matter movement will be on British museums? Would you like to meet the artists who exercise their craft through the medium of raw meat? Or perhaps you would like to hear about how scientific advice feeds into government policy?
At BBC Radio 4 Seriously, you’ll discover “a rich selection of documentaries aimed at relentlessly curious minds. No subject is too strange, no idea too weird.” That’s how Radio Four describe their fantastic twice-weekly podcast. These half-hour documentaries will make you stop and think.
Who is “probably the best English central defender ever?” While the answer to that question is sure to provoke heated debate among footy devotees, podcaster Graham Hunter’s opinion is that Rio Ferdinand is the player who fills that position. Check out his interview with the man himself – it’s a corker.
At The Big Interview with Graham Hunter, you get football talk that goes far beyond the usual facts and stats. Here you’ll find in-depth conversations between this talented broadcaster and some of the most iconic names in world football like Emiliano Martinez,Owen Hargreaves, Robbie Keane, Harry Redknapp, and many, many more.
Always fancied reading Chekhov, or Hemmingway, Burroughs or Bronte, but never got around to it? With 1,000 free audio books to choose from, now is your chance to catch up with your reading. And once you’ve finished the last page of the last book on the list – Ludwig Wittgenstein’s Tractatus Logico Philosophicus – you’ll be about ready to make a start on the 1,300 free courses and 1,150 free movies on offer here.
Not technically a podcast, Open Culture is a free cultural and educational resource aggregator managed by Stanford academics. Though it isn’t affiliated to the university in any way, it remains a great resource for learning and entertainment. This is one site you really must visit.
With our pick of the best current podcasts, you should have plenty to keep you occupied as you travel, work, rest, or play. But just in case you feel the need for more, we invite you to check out the work of the late, great Alistair Cooke. As far as we’re concerned, Letter from America is a masterpiece of writing for broadcast – the original podcast – it sounds as fresh and relevant now as it ever did – enjoy.