This week in the world of podcasting: Rhys James humorously talks with his guests about their early works, Fit & Fearless look at different approaches to health and well being and much more

If you missed last week’s podcast picks we have just launched a huge survey with a prize for one Great British Podcasts reader. We want to know all about the podcasts you loved in 2019 and the podcasts you want to listen to in 2020, your responses helping other podcasters work out what shows to invest in this year.

Every response will be put into a draw and one Great British Podcast subscriber will win £200 worth of Amazon vouchers. You haven’t got much time to enter, so get your skates on. Just follow the instructions on the website click link (obvious FYI: one entry per person).

Early Work with Rhys James 

 We’ve all written or performed things in our childhood and adolescence that we cringe at when we look back as an adult. In this new podcast, comedian Rhys James invites (or shall I say, pushes) a well-known name to perform some of their earliest work. The first guests is Edinburgh comedy winner Rose Matafeo, who reads aloud cringe anecdotes about watching Austin Powers and some rather awkward war poetry. In return Rhys then reads back some old work of his, including this confusing GCSE poem he voluntarily read aloud in class when he was 16: “Time is reaching out to me, through roots it branches, with hands it dances and hence it passes in its garden of infidelity. My life is trees surrounding me.” He is at a complete loss at what any of it means.

It’s quite frankly a delight to hear the clues in their younger writing that in the end led them into who they are today.

Fit & Fearless 

A new series from BBC Radio 5 Live has arrived just at that time of year when you try to locate your trainers.This podcast approaches health and wellbeing with the following attitude: that exercise does not ever have to feel like a punishment and that there are many ways to be fit and feel your best. 

Each episode features a trained specialist or exercise and the presenters Victoria SpenceZand van Dirk and Tally Rye always seem to ask the right questions. I particularly liked the episode with personal trainer and wellness expert Harry Jameson, who talked about the importance of balance between body and mind when training: “You cannot measure one’s wellbeing if you don’t look at happiness first.”

Your Broccoli Weekly 

NOT a podcast about the recommended intake of vegetables (I also got confused.) Under the slogan of “content that is good for you” (see what they did there), Diyora Shadijanova tries to review the last week in politics and culture in just three topics alongside two special guests. I’m impressed at this podcast by not only the production standards, but the intelligent discussions that play out over each episode, chats that you wouldn’t have heard elsewhere. A podcast to watch, with new episodes dropping every Sunday.

Do You Really Know?

And finally, this is an interesting idea. Each three minute podcast episode delves into a topic you think you know a lot about already but actually contains a lot of info you might not have known, topics from “what are e-cigarettes?” to “what are bed bugs?” 

It’s essentially the audio equivalent of a curated Wikipedia hole you find yourself down at 3am, and that’s not a bad thing at all.

Just to round this week off, here are some big guests worth listening to on podcasts over the last week:

Andrew Scott appears on the latest episode of How to Fail with Elizabeth Day.

Fortunately… with Fi and Jane is back with a new series with Radio 1’s Scott Mills as a special guest (they talk a lot about the Scott Mills Bridge by Fleet Services on the M3)

And Nadiya Hussain is on Fearne Cotton’s Happy Place.

If you’ve got a big guest appearing on your podcast, just use this form to tell us about it. 

Also fun fact, this week I have been in France and when you play a podcast the adverts are in French yet the podcasts remain in English. 

Thanks so much for reading. See you next Sunday.

Categories: Weekly Picks