Earlier this week we announced the nominees for the British Podcast Awards, powered by Acast in a special edition of the newsletter (it’s your inbox, it’s one that’s approximately *100,000 words* long). We linked out to each of our nominees’ podcasts in that email, so you can get into bingeing their episodes ahead of the awards livestream on the 11th July.
But if you are unsure what podcast to start on, you needn’t worry. As we’ve brought back The Shortlist, presented by Rihanna Dillon, a podcast showcasing each category, featuring excerpts of each entry. Episodes will be dropping every few days in the run-up to the ceremony.
As always, here are the podcasts that are worth your time this week, starting with podcasts that focus on the effects of the coronavirus.
The Tortoise Podcast – An estimated 15,000 people have reportedly died from the coronavirus within Britain’s care homes, raising serious questions on whether more could have been done to save the lives of its residents in the weeks leading up to the pandemic. In a special episode of the ‘slow news’ podcast, reporters lay out the myriad of problems the social care system has faced in the last twenty years, to help explain why it has been so badly hit. What is particularly shocking is how so much money the care homes receive end up in profitable tax havens abroad.
Going for Goal – It is impossible to have missed Joe Wicks in the last few weeks, even if you haven’t been watching (or sweating) in his daily workouts. In an episode of the Women’s Health podcast, Wicks gave tips on motivation, nutrition and fitness tips to both the magazine’s editor-in-chief Claire Anderson, and her seven-year-old son Zak.
The ITV Sport Euro 96 Relived Podcast – With a lot of sport this summer cancelled, broadcasters are relying more and more on their archive of sport. But a lot of these repeats have ended up being surprisingly popular, with more than a million watching a repeat of a Euro 96 match on ITV4. ITV is airing the whole competition either on the ITV Hub or on their channels in the next few weeks, and with that comes a special accompanying podcast featuring interviews with the professional footballers, who all share their memories of the competition.
We Will Get Past This – Sandi Toksvig has launched a daily podcast from her room full of books. In each episode she delves into and shares some history, to provide some sense of calm and perspective at this rather challenging time. But first, a disclaimer. She says that some episodes were recorded to feature a particular anniversary or date in mind, “but as we’ve all come to realise, none of that kind of thing really matters.”
Radio 1’s Life Hacks – Radio 1 have been doing a lot of great specials on the coronavirus, such as how we can prepare for life post lockdown and how, at this difficult time, we can be kind to ourselves. They’ve also launched I’ve Been There, where Katie Thistleton talks to a number of special guests about a big problem they encountered in their teenage years, how they managed to get through it, and how you could too. It starts with a discussion about anxiety, which I reckon many of us are experiencing right now.
Bryony Gordon’s Mad World – It must feel particularly surreal if you are an athlete, currently unable to compete or even head to your local training facility. Olympic gold medalist Dame Jessica Ennis-Hill talks about what it must be like for professional athletes, but also says some encouraging words on how to stay active. She also emphasises that no matter how good at fitness you are, we all have good and bad days.
Pride & Joy – Freddy McConnell presents an enlightening and interesting podcast how the definition of a family has changed in recent years. When McConnell started transition seven years ago, he was told that he would never be able to father a biological child. It was only several years later, after stumbling across a video on YouTube, that he realised that what he had been told by his doctor was wrong. He later conceived, gave birth and is now the father of a happy little toddler. “There are loads of different ways that queers are having kids; ways that are creative, courageous, exhausting, beautiful,” he says. The series looks at the different ways LGBTQ+ people can have children, with the first episode looking at how other trans men were also told they could not have children, only to later find out that they could. “Is it ignorance?” McConnell asks. “Not enough research? Prejudice?”
Changes with Annie Mac – I have really enjoyed this interview series with the Radio 1 broadcaster. The concept of the podcast is about how we change from childhood to adulthood, how change takes place constantly throughout our lives, and how we react and learn from change. Recent guests have included Rylan, Alice Levine and Caitlin Moran (with a second nine minute shorter episode without any of Caitlin’s swears). A good episode to start with is with the singer Robyn, behind arguably the greatest song of the 21st Century: “Dancing On My Own.” As well as talking candidly about her life, she also neatly sums up exactly what being at home feels like at the moment: “I think a lot of freelancers understand that feeling of being a little bit outside of society in some way, but now everyone is doing it, so I feel more in sync with the world than ever.”
The John Dredge Nothing To Do With Anything Show – And finally, a comedy show that’s well worth your time. This six part series is full of slickly produced surreal sketches, the show having returned after a five year break (a lifetime in the podcast world!). I highly recommend starting with the first episode of the most recent series rather than the most recent episode, as it starts with the most spot on spoof of The Archers that I have ever heard.
Remember if there is a podcast that you think this newsletter should be including, just fill in the form on the Great British Podcast newsletter website. And if you have a guest coming up on your podcast, let us know and we might be able to feature it too.
All you need to do is head to the British Podcast Awards website and select your favourite. That’s it! You have until Monday 6th July to enter (and all the rules are on the site itself).
That’s all for now. Have a good week and we’ll see you in the next one. Remember, we’re all in this together.
Scotty / @scottygb