Lockdown is boring. It really is. One can only bake so much banana bread and tolerate so many Zoom quizzes. Therefore, the question of 2020 has become: “what shall I do now?”
Solution: Podcasts. Podcasts are a great way to fill the hours because you can listen to them whilst you do other things, such as run, take a bath, or bake the tenth banana bread of the day. Below is a selection of some of my all-time favourite podcasts:
Sue Perkins: An hour or so with…
This wonderfully funny and fast-paced podcast is based upon the premise of Sue Perkins having a good old conversation with a series of notable guests. Part of the reason why it is so great is because it is utterly lacking in structure or direction, thereby giving it free reign to be totally weird and hilarious. I recently listened to the Emma Thompson episode, which began with a discussion about creative directions and ended with a debate over whether it is ok to wet yourself on someone else’s trampoline. Have a listen and you will get better acquainted with a series of special guests, such as Florence Pugh, Alan Davis and national treasure Mary Berry.
Must listen episode: Emma Thompson
The Fault Line: Bush, Blair and Iraq
Educate Yo’Self! I recently stumbled across this podcast and it is honestly amazing. Presented by David Dimbleby, The Fault Line explores the reasons behind why the UK and USA went to war with Iraq in 2003. When I first listened to this, I was honestly so shocked at how little I knew about a war that had happened in my own lifetime. The best thing about The Fault Line is that there is no assumption that you are an expert on Middle Eastern studies or nuclear weapons. Presented simply, and perfect for those who are new to the subject, this is a great listen.
The RFK Tapes
The podcast that got me into podcasts. If you love true crime, history, or conspiracy theories then this is for you. The RFK Tapes investigates the lesser-documented 1968 murder of Robert Kennedy, John F. Kennedy’s (JFK) younger brother. Using police reports, sightings of suspicious people and debates around multiple shooters, this podcast asks the question ‘who really killed RFK?’
Happy Place with Fearne Cotton
I realise that I am probably a little late to the Happy Place craze, but a podcast on how to cope has never been more important than it is now. Take some chill time and have a listen.
Must listen episodes: Philip Schofield, Russell Brand: In Isolation (this episode is really interesting in terms of spirituality), Hillary Clinton, Ricky Gervais.
A Bit of a Stretch
Chris Atkins is the author of the bestselling autobiography A Bit of a Stretch, which narrates the months he spent in Wandsworth prison for tax fraud. Like the book, the podcast (presented by Atkins himself) highlights the many, many flaws in the British prison system. Each episode focuses on different topics such as the “Children of Prisoners” or the day-to-day of prison life.
Trigger warning: some episodes, particularly “Are You Listening?”, feature discussions of mental health and suicide.
Peter Crouch Podcast with Prince William
Even if you are not into football, which I most certainly am not, this podcast episode hits all the spots for royal nosiness. Answering questions like what William gives Kate for Christmas to what William’s curry of choice is, this is the best thing to listen to if you want a break from the stress of lockdown.
The Penguin Podcast
No doubt many of us will use this second lockdown to read those books we have always wanted to read or have to read for Uni… As procrastination, I really recommend listening to the Penguin Podcast. Each 30-minute episode features an interview wherein some of the best-known names in literature discuss their latest projects. Penguins’ use of a variety of presenters ensures that no episode is ever the same.
Must listen episodes: Dolly Alderton, Ruth Jones, Sebastian Faulks, Jojo Moyes.
– Lottie McGrath
All podcasts listed in this article can be found on Spotify.
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