8 Podcasts to make you a better man

Make the most of travel time and listen to a podcast

Make the most of travel time
Image source: Halfpoint

Fancy some good listening to keep you entertained during your commute? 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.

The Allusionist

This award winning podcast is the ideal companion for your commute


For those who enjoy 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 are long enough to settle into without running on past your stop.

Check out episode 88 – who knew the letter ‘C’ is banned in Iceland, a country where only about 4000 names are on the ‘allowed’ list? Find out why it took comedian and former mayor of Reykjavik, Jón Gnarr 25 years to change his name – spoiler alert – the Icelandic Naming Committee is a tough nut to crack.


Got five minutes to spare? How about a true-life story? Spark London 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.

Join catastrophising ex-health and safety inspector, Alex as she confesses to possessing a very scary pair of glasses. Part comedy club, part confessional, ‘Spark’ now runs storytelling nights across the country – perhaps it’s time to dust off your best anecdote and try it on a new audience.

In our time

In Our Time is one not to miss


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 willing to open Pandora’s Box and explore the philosophy of hope? A half hour with the intelligent man’s intelligent man may leave you baffled, but somehow you’ll still feel the better for it.


Serial podcast

Casey Fiesler CC2.0 via Wikimedia Commons


From the creators of This American Life comes Serial, the popular podcast that tells a single story each season – true crime direct from the US court system. To truly understand the machinations of the US legal system, host Sarah Koenig explains that you need to reach beyond the high profile cases to the courtrooms of middle America.

Series one explored the 1999 case of murdered student Hae Min Lee and her ex-boyfriend Adan Syd who received a life sentence for the crime. Now into series three, the team focuses on the criminal justice system in Cleveland Ohio: “From the smallest misdemeanour to the most serious felony… we tell you the extraordinary stories of ordinary cases. One courthouse, week by week.”

No Such Thing As A Fish

From the hilarious team behind QI


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 direct from the offices of the team behind QI.

Listen for just fifty minutes per week, you’ll soon accrue enough useless information to make you the most irritating guest at every dinner party you attend from now on. Henry’s favourite pudding? Check out this awesome podcast to find out more.

BBC Radio 4 Seriously

Seriously is a rich selection of documentaries


Have you ever heard the term “Thankful Village”? It was the name given to the towns and villages across England and Wales that didn’t lose a single serviceman during the whole of World War One. Follow this fascinating episode as Darren Hayman visits all 54 of these lucky places – whose inhabitants paradoxically suffered guilt at having not, like everyone else, paid the price for peace.

“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, Seriously. These half-hour documentaries will make you stop and think – ideal commuter listening.

Open Culture

Open culture’s mission is to curate and give you access to high quality content


Fancy listening to the classics for free? With 900 free audio books to choose from, your commute need never be boring again. And once you’ve finished the last page of 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.

Open Culture is a free cultural and educational resource aggregator managed by Stanford academics. Though not affiliated to the university in any way, it remains a great resource for learning and entertainment. This is one site you really must visit.

The Big Interview with Graham Hunter

The Big Interview is a must-listen podcast for football fans


What was Terry Butcher’s favourite ever heavy metal concert? With downloads measuring in the millions, The Big Interview with Graham Hunter is a must-listen podcast for football lovers everywhere. Listen as footy fanatic, journalist, and writer Graham gets the lowdown on interviewees from Owen Hargreaves to Robbie Keane, Harry Redknapp, and more.

Who knew Terry Butcher sang on stage with Iron Maiden? For 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.

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.
Posted in Men's Lifestyle.

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