10 podcasts you should be listening to


1st Jan 2015 Technology

10 podcasts you should be listening to

Here's the Reader's Digest pick of the best podcasts around. From film to feminism, trivia to true stories, there's something in our top 10 for everyone. 

The Modern Mann

modern mann
Image via The Modern Mann

A men’s magazine for your ears, Olly Mann’s new venture The Modern Mann (geddit?) endeavours to help men navigate the choppy waters of the modern world.

So far he's discussed how to be a dad, sampled the world's best burgers and sniffled his way through an impressive bout of Man Flu. Like all the best men’s magazines, you needn’t be a man to enjoy it.


Mark Kermode and Simon Mayo’s Film Reviews

kermode mayo
Image via BBC

It’s the biting chemistry between messrs Mark Kermode and Simon Mayo that makes this podcast such fun to listen to.

Whether you’re a seasoned film buff (like Kermode) or a happy popcorn muncher (like Mayo) you’ll easily find something to enjoy amidst their heated debates and fascinating interviews.


No Such Thing as a Fish

No such thing
Image via This is Oxfordshire

Do you enjoy QI? Of course you do. No Such Thing As a Fish is a weekly podcast presented by the real QI elves, full of fascinating—and usually hilarious—trivia.

In an interview with ThreeWeeks, host Dan Schreiber said that the podcast; “came about because too many facts in the QI office kept going to waste… We decided to get round a microphone once a week and share our favourite facts we’d learned that week.”

You'll come away laughing and a little bit more interesting. It doesn't get much better than that. 


Desert Island Discs 

desert island discs
Image via BBC

If there was a starter pack for podcasts, Desert Island Discs would be everyone’s first subscription. With archive episodes spanning decades of BBC Radio recordings, the concept was first aired in 1942.

Celebrity guests are invited on the show to select the pieces of music they would take with them if they were to be cast away on a desert island. Along the way, listeners hear the story of their life through their musical choices.  

Almost everyone of note has appeared on the show at some stage, with past guests including Louis Armstrong, Tennessee Williams, Michael Caine and Princess Grace Kelly of Monaco.


Distraction Pieces with Scroobius Pip

distraction pieces

Poet and rapper Scroobius Pip’s podcast concept is very simple—long one-on-one conversations with people he finds interesting.

The chats are in depth and long (the average episode spans around 90 minutes) and past guests have included Russell Brand, Stewart Lee, Roots Manuva and Jon Ronson.


Answer Me This

Answer Me This
Image via Answer Me This

Again, a simple concept is key to the brilliance of this podcast, hosted by Olly Mann of The Modern Mann, Helen Zaltzman of The Allusionist and ‘Martin the soundman’.

Listeners are invited to send in questions on absolutely any subject to be answered by Olly and Helen. Is it acceptable to refuse to serve meat at a vegan wedding? Why a wake is called a wake? Exactly how many calories are there in a communion wafer? The answers to these and many, many more (there are over 300 episodes and counting) await you. 


Philosophy Bites

Philosophy bites

Philosophy Bites takes some of the world’s most intimidating conversation topics and transforms them into interesting, understandable chats.

Most of the episodes are a very manageable 15 mintues long and the presenters, authors David Edmonds and Nigel Warburton, have covered themes such as free will and the connection between mind and body.



Image via Serial

It’s likely that even if you’ve never listened to a podcast, you have heard of Serial. Over the course of one season, Serial told the true story of the 1999 murder of schoolgirl Hae Min Lee and her 17-year-old ex-boyfriend Adnan Syed, who was arrested for the crime and convicted to life in prison.

As the podcast develops however, listeners hear the progress of investigative journalism in real time, and it soon seems there’s far more to the case than first met the eye.

A second season, featuring a different true story, is coming soon.


Monocle Culture podcast

Monocle culture podcast
Image via Monocle

Monocle have an impressive array of podcasts but our favourite has to be Culture with Rob Bound.

A neat one-stop-shop for lively reports, in-depth interviews and live music sessions, it has everything you could possibly want from the world of the arts.

Recent episodes have explored the popularity of graphic novels, what makes a scary story truly spine tingling and why musicians make the decision to go solo.


Stuff Mum Never Told You

Stuff Mum Never Told You
Image via Stuff Mum Never Told You

Stylist magazine described this podcast as ‘Woman’s Hour with attitude’, and for good reason. Hosts Cristen Conger and Caroline Ervin answer female-focused questions with punchy life advice.

From whether it’s okay to cry at work, to the trap of perfectionism, to the history of cookery shows—you’ll find anything and everything discussed on this sassy podcast.   


We might be a little biased, but we think the Reader's Digest podcast is really rather good too. You can listen to the December issue, where we discuss podcasts with Olly Mann, here: