Tag Archives: Podcasts

Podcasts: New Recommendations

After I did my last post on podcasts, a few people very kindly recommended some new ones to try. Here’s what I made of them!

Psychomedia:  Hosts Timothy Swann and Ben Fell have a fantastic rapport in this very funny show about psychological research. Puns are my favourite things and they implement them beautifully in illuminating a brilliant range of fascinating topics. Particularly, there is a Greek philosopher pun run in episode 49 that is sensational. The psychology is well researched and clearly explained: you don’t need to have any particular knowledge of the subject to enjoy it- just an interest. The only thing I wasn’t keen on is the length: anything over an hour is a bit much for me; I’d prefer it more closely edited. However, I reckon that’s more a problem with my attention span and how busy I am than their format! I’d definitely recommend listening to this.

Skeptics with a K: This is the podcast of the Merseyside Skeptics Society. I’m really keen on folk science and they do a fantastic job of busting myths with proper scientific method and research. From psychics to sports bracelets, they explore the accuracy and efficacy of claims from a critical perspective. The presenters are really personable and the tone is light-hearted and amicable. It’s hugely informative and fun to listen to. It’s become an instant favourite with everyone in this household.

Betty in the Sky with a Suitcase: This podcast is absolutely charming. Cabin crew member, Betty, introduces amusing anecdotes about working in aviation. Coming from a family with many pilots, I do enjoy a plane-based yarn, though I think perhaps this podcast holds less surprises for me than it would for someone less acquainted with the flying world. Still, Betty is delightful, understandably popular and clearly has a great affinity with her audience. 

Thanks to everyone who shared their recommendations! Do you have a favourite to share? Please tell me in the comments.

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Podcasts!

I love words in all their forms, not just when they are written on pages; I’m rather a fan of them being said out loud. So, for a change from book reviews, here are a few of my favourite podcasts.  

I Like You – JP and Elah discuss relationships, love and a huge range of related issues. The hosts are very natural, genuine and funny. Sometimes it’s just the two of them, but often they have really fascinating guests and contributions from their families, friends and experts. One of my favourite episodes was ‘Letters to my ex’ where people shared their personal epistles, both sent and unsent, to their ex-partners. It was touching and sad and hopeful and wonderful. Massive variety is one of their greatest assets- as well as the great emotional pieces, there is an episode where they attempt to match-make through smell. Genius.

Getting Better Acquainted – This is another fantastic personal podcast. Lovely Dave chats to people that he knows in an attempt to get to know them better. He has a remarkable range of interesting acquaintances (including JP and Elah from I Like You). The chats feel mostly unstructured with a few essential questions asked to each guest. Dave is a warm and engaging host. Also, the theme song is charming and now pops into my head every time I am chatting to someone new – I want to get betterlet me get better acquainted with you!

Answer Me This! – I have listened to this brilliant comedy podcast by Helen and Olly (and Martin the Soundman) pretty much since its inception and I’ll never tire of it. Listeners contact them with questions on all sorts of topics and they respond hilariously. The rapport they’ve built with listeners is really impressive; they are sent everything from etymological minutiae to the most intimate dilemmas to broadcast. With the laughs, they also provide considered and honest responses to the queries. Jingles by their talented comedy friends pleasingly punctuate each episode.

Pappy’s Flatshare Slamdown – This is like the funniest sitcom-panel show ever, but for your ears. Fantastic comedians compete to not do domestic tasks. The rounds are incredibly imaginative. The songs are magnificent (listen to the Christmas episode- their ‘Twelve Days of Christmas’ is hysterically funny- round my Christmas tree we were all singing …Dame Thora Hird… and a part in godfather part three! ) The wordplay is unrivalled. When I got seriously ill last year and couldn’t sleep for the pain, this is what got me through! Laughter is the best medicine (except perhaps morphine…) and this podcast makes me laugh more than anything.

Podcasting is a really wonderful medium. The fact that they are free and not too prohibitively tricky to make and upload means it’s a really democratic field of broadcasting. I also love the interconnectedness of it- Pappy’s have recorded jingles for Answer Me This! Helen, Olly and Martin have appeared on GBA, as have JP and Elah, and Dave has been a guest on I Like You. I love that there’s this fun, inter-linked community of talented people all providing free content for our enjoyment! Thank you, brilliant podcasters! 

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