Welcome to a special edition of the Great British Podcast Newsletter, brought to you by BBC Sounds.

And it’s a big one. This bumper edition contains *all* the nominations for the upcoming British Podcast Awards 2021, powered by Amazon Music, celebrating the best podcasting in the country. They were announced on Friday by Hannah and Suruthi from Redhanded – you can watch it back on the British Podcast Awards website. 

The awards, which are supported by Amazon Music, will be held on Saturday 10th July at Brockwell Park. 

To listen to any of these podcasts, all you need to do is click on the corresponding link. We’ll be publishing a special edition of this newsletter shortly after the event too, with the full list of winners too. Happy listening (and congratulations to all the nominees).

Best Arts and Culture Podcast (supported by Create Podcasts)

Happy Place – Fearne Cotton chats about happiness with celebrities and wellness experts.

Real Dictators – Paul McGann narrates a series looking at the lives of tyrants, from Hitler to Kim Jong-Un, evaluating what shares their tyrannic rule.

Shade Podcast – Lou Mensah presents a thought provoking series weaving in themes of race, identity and art.

The Empire Film Podcast – Chris Hewitt, Helen O’Hara, James Dyer and a special fourth host review the latest films (and celebrate some classic hidden gems).

The Secret Life of Songs – A 10 part pop music podcast that picks apart a classic record, with interpretations of its musical and lyrical meaning.

Transmissions – Narrated by Maxine Peake, this series tells the definitive history of the iconic and groundbreaking bands Joy Division and New Order, using interviews and archive.

Best Branded Content Podcast (supported by Acast Creative)

Gardening with the RHS – The Royal Horticultural Society’s gardening podcast, with advice and interviews with horticultural experts.

Grilling – In association with Weber BBQs, Simon Rimmer and guests share tips and memories about cooking and barbecuing.

Military Wives: The Official Film Podcast – To accompany the film, Gaby Roslin speaks to Kristin Scott Thomas and Sharon Horgan, along with members of the real Military Wives.

Table Manners with Jessie Ware – Jessie Ware and her mum Lennie invite guests (virtually) over for dinner, partnering with Jameson’s Whiskey and Sainsburys.

The Crown: The Official Podcast – Edith Bowman speaks to the stars and creators of The Crown about the latest series of the much loved Royal Netflix series.

The Midpoint – Gabby Logan speaks to well-known names such as Rio Ferdinand and Richard Bacon about the reality of middle age and the unexpected benefits it brings.

Best Business Podcast (supported by Wondery)

Doing It For The Kids – A podcast for parents who also happen to be freelancers, presented by Steve Folland and Frankie Tortora.

How To Own The Room – Comedian and broadcaster Viv Groskop speaks to interesting and inspiring women about the art of public speaking.

Money Maze Podcast – Simon Brewer and Will Campion navigate you through the often complicated world of finance and investment, for anyone interested in the industry.

The Diary of a CEO – Steven Bartlett, CEO of Social Chain, shares his diary of his learnings in business and speaks to business leaders on their successes and learnings. 

The Voiceover Social – Nic Redman and Leah Marks explore the voiceover industry with a touch of humour.

We Built This City: Greater Manchester – Created by Roland Dransfield, this series speaks to the people born, raised or adopted by the great city of Manchester. 

Best Comedy Podcast (supported by Stitcher)

Beef and Dairy Network – Created by Ben Partridge, this fictional and often surreal comedy series looking at the beef and dairy industry. 

Dear Joan and Jericha – The filthy agony aunt series by Vicki Pepperdine and Julia Davis.

Hidden Ireland – A spoof of those investigative podcasts that are all the rage at the moment, Michael Stranney attempts to show us the real Ireland.

Kurupt FM – The stars of the BBC Three’s “People Just Do Nothing” have now got their own Audible podcast series, presented from their own podcast studio. 

Poppy Hillstead Has Entered The Chat – Poppy Hillstead dives into the surreal modern world of internet forums, with Poppy and friends recreating her online conversations with others.

SeanceCast – A 15-minute comedy-horror series created by Charlie Dinkin and Zoe Tomalin.

Best Current Affairs Podcast

Interconnected Voices – A podcast amplifying voices underrepresented in British media, which also includes The Black Voices Collection, exploring what it means to be Black and British. 

Stories of our Times – The Times and The Sunday Times’ daily news podcast, presented by Manveen Rana and David Aaronovitch.

The Intelligence – All of what you need to know about the UK and the world from the team at The Economist.

The Oxfordshire News Podcast – The latest news from Oxfordshire, from the Jackfm news team.

Today in Focus – The Guardian’s daily podcast by Anushka Asthana and Rachel Humphreys.

Your Broccoli Weekly – Diyora Shadijanova and two guests dissect the three biggest stories of the week.

Best Daily Podcast (supported by Spotify)

Anthems – Manifestos, speeches and stories on a particular theme over the course of a month. Series have included ‘Pride,’ ‘Women’ and ‘Home.’

Stories of our Times – The daily news podcast from The Times and The Sunday Times, also broadcast each day on their new radio station Times Radio.

The Intelligence – The daily news podcast by The Economist team.

The Santa Daily – Santa himself provides a daily update for kids on how he is preparing for Christmas Eve night, thanks to the team at Fun Kids.

Today in Focus – The Guardian’s daily news podcast, with analysis from reporters and experts.

Wake Up, Wind Down – Crafted audio to start and end your day, from the mind of Niall Breslin. 

Best Documentary Podcast

Hometown: A Killing – Mobeen Azhar visits his hometown of Huddersfield to investigate the life and death of Mohammed Yassar Yaqub, who died in a police shooting on a slip road in 2017.

Ida Schuster’s Old School – Ida Schuster, the world’s oldest podcaster, presents a series on her 101 year old life and the history she witnessed. She sadly passed away in April 2020.

My Mother’s Murder – A Tortoise podcast exploring the life and death of Daphne Caruana Galizia, a well-known investigative journalist in Malta, touchingly presented by her son Paul.

Peter 2.0 – A three-part series following the life of Peter Scott-Morgan, who was diagnosed with having Motor Neurone Disease (MND), so used his skills as a robot scientist to see whether he could live on as a cyborg.

The Secrets In Us – Georgina Lawton presents a series that not only looks at the phenomenal rise of DNA ‘do-it-yourself’ kits, but how a DNA testing kit changed her life and her relationship with her family.

VENT Documentaries: Problem Kids – From VICE UK. Telling the stories of young people living in one London Borough, by giving them microphones and letting them interview who they want.

Best Entertainment Podcast (supported by Amazon Music)

6 Degrees From Jamie and Spencer – Spencer Matthews and Jamie Laing from Made in Chelsea now host a BBC Radio 1 podcast where they try to prove that we’re six degrees from stardom, by tracking down a celebrity from six calls or less.

A Gay and a NonGay – James Barr and Dan Hudson explore perspectives on LGBTQ+ issues, with many well-known guests.

James Acaster’s Perfect Sounds – A BBC Sounds podcast where comedian James Acaster tries to prove that 2006 was the greatest year for music, with guests debating their favourite music.

No Ideas Just Vibes – Lizzie and Ilaria present a high-energy podcast, where they ask each other the question: “How did you get through the week?”

Stars In Your Ears – Jess Robinson (impressionist, most known for “Spitting Image”) speaks to celebrities such as Gareth Malone, Stephen K Amos and Rachel Parris.

Table Manners with Jessie Ware – The musician (and her mum Lennie) speak to well-known names whilst trying to cook and present a meal at the same time.

Best Family Podcast

Bottle Ship Adventures – Aimed at children up to the age of 12, this fictional story written and created by Charly Conquest and Ben Mullins, is set on a magical boat.

Fun Kids Science Weekly – Dan from the Fun Kids children’s radio network explores science and asks scientists and experts loads of questions sent in from listeners.

History Story Time – Sophie (aged seven) and Ellie (aged five) tell us interesting and surprising stories from our past.

Homeschool History – Greg Jenner fronts a BBC Sounds podcast, full of facts and quizzes, to help teach young minds about Roman Pompeii, William Shakespeare and more.

Maddie’s Sound Explorers – Maddie Moat presents a podcast that explores the sounds all around us, whilst making a piece of music from all the songs featured.

World Wise Web – A BBC World Service series where teenagers get to meet the inventors of devices that have revolutionised their lives (and ours).

Best Fiction Podcast

Cassie & Corey – A drum and based comedy musical podcast about eating disorders, a collaboration between Christopher Gogg and Girls Take Action (GTA)

DEM TIMES – A comedy series about Samuel, a troublemaker who is sent to a Ghanian boarding school.

Lem N Ginge: The Princess of Kakos – A comedy series about two actors desperately on the hunt for some stage work, written and performed by Ell Potter and Mary Higgings, and starring Sharon D. Clarke.

Once Upon A Time in Zombieville – A BBC Scotland sci-fi series aimed at 9-12 year olds.

The Harrowing – Joanne Froggatt stars in a creepy thriller set in a storm on the Scottish island of Toll Mòr.

This Thing of Darkness – A BBC Radio 4 thriller looking at the impact of a murder on the victim’s family as well as the family.

Best International Podcast (supported by Podfront UK)

Bunga Bunga – A Wondery series documenting the rise and downfall of Silvio Berrlusconi.

Floodlines – A documentary podcast by The Atlantic telling the real story of Hurricane Katrina.

How’s Work? by Esther Perel – A podcast helping you navigate the difficulties of work life.

Revisionist History – Malcolm Gladwell’s podcast, where he revisits an event from our past.

The Daily – The New York Times’ daily news podcast, which the daily podcasts try to emulate.

The Joe Rogan Experience – The hugely successful conversations podcast by Joe Rogan.

Best Interview Podcast

Dead Honest – A podcast, presented by George Vestey, interviewing those whose livelihood involve the dead and dying.

Future Prison – A podcast where staff from the Ministry of Justice meet prisoners, in the hope of influencing how justice and prisons could be run in the future.

Masala Podcast – South Asian women talking about subjects traditionally seen as being taboo, hosted by Sangeeta Pillai.

The Student Sessions – Tonia Galati hosts a series for students and graduates on the issues that they are facing.

Today in Focus – The Guardian’s daily podcast by Anushka Asthana and Rachel Humphreys

Ways to Change the World – Where Channel 4 News’ Krishnan Guru-Murthy asks guests on the big ideas and issues facing our society and what they would do to change them.

Best Lockdown Podcast (supported by Amazon Music)

Your Work, Your Money –  A BBC 5 Live series, presented by Sean Farrington, helping you financially navigate your way through the coronavirus crisis.

Folk on Foot: Front Room Festivals – An initiative to support musicians during the lockdown, with special performances put together by the broadcaster Matthew Bannister.

Mandemic – A BBC Radio 1Xtra podcast series where the broadcaster Sideman interviews well-known names about how they are coping through lockdown.

Phone A Friend with George Ezra & Ollie MN – A broadcasted phone conversation between the singer George Ezra and his friend Ollie MN, usually covering themes around mental health.

Stolen Goodbyes – Karen Rice presents a heartfelt podcast asking someone what it is like to lose a loved one to coronavirus without being able to say goodbye. 

The Mentor – Presented by Sideman, businessman and philanthropist Ric Lewis provides advice and financial support to several young people, who are at the start of their careers.

Best New Podcast (supported by Audible)

Field Recordings –  Where audio makers stand silently and record nature, uninterrupted.

Growing up with Gal-Dem – The independent website created by women of colour and non-binary people of colour have a podcast where a notable name goes through their old diary entries and messages, to work out how they have changed as a person.

Hunting Ghislaine – The investigative journalist John Sweeney investigates Ghislaine Maxwell and how she was able to evade detection from the authorities before her high-profile arrest.

Maddie’s Sound Explorers – Maddie Moate looks at the sounds from science and nature, creating a piece of music from the sounds included in the episode.

Prison Bag – A documentary series following the family of a prison inmate.

VENT Documentaries – A partnership between VICE UK and the London Borough of Brent where young people are given recording devices to record features of their choosing.

Best Radio Podcast

Danny Wallace’s Important Broadcast Podcast – Best bits from his Radio X Sunday show.

Fun Kids’ Story Explorers – The Fun Kids show where authors respond to fan questions and help scout new stories.

Homeschool History – Greg Jenner presents fun history lessons for BBC Radio 4.

Slide Into My Podcast – The Radio 1Xtra show hosted by Kaz Crossley and Jordan Hames.

The Sista Collective – The BBC Radio 5 Live podcast hosted by Jessie Aru-Phillips, Aminata Kamara, Simone Riley and Letitia George.

The Skewer – A delightfully surreal take on the week’s news, brought to you by Jon Holmes.

Best Sex & Relationships Podcast

A Gay and a NonGay – James Barr and Dan Hudson explore LGBTQ+ issues and pop culture.

Brown Girls Do It Too – BBC Asian Network’s acclaimed podcast hosted by Rubina and Poppy.

Masala Podcast – South Asian women talking about subjects traditionally seen as being taboo, hosted by Sangeeta Pillai.

Millennial Love – The Independent’s fortnightly dating and sex podcast, by their lifestyle team.

Sexpots – An unapologetic sex positive podcast hosted by Katy, Bitsy and Rebecca.

Tough Talks from Hits Radio Pride – People from the LGBTQ+ community talk about their past, from the commercial broadcaster Hits Radio.

Smartest Podcast (supported by Podfollow)

Maddie’s Sound Explorers – Maddie Moat exploring the sounds you hear in nature and science.

Peter 2.0 – A personal story from Peter Scott-Morgan, exploring Motor Neurone Disease (MND).

Stories of Scotland – Recorded from Inverness, Jenny and Anne help unravel Scotland’s history.

The Secret Life of Prisons – Phil Maguire, Paula Harriot explore the realities of prison life.

VENT Documentaries – A partnership between Brent, London Borough of Culture and VICE UK. 

Windrush Stories – In depth interviews from ‘The Windrush Generation’ by the Prison Radio Association.

Best Sport Podcast

A Winning Mindset – The inspiring and honest stories from celebrated Paralympans.

Coming In From The Cold – A talkSPORT series telling a comprehensive history of Black footballers in English football, narrated by Jessica Creighton.

F1: Beyond The Grid – Tom Clarkson keeps you up to date with the latest from Formula One.

Fight Disciples – Adam Catterall and Nick Peet look at the latest from the fight sports world.

GIANT – A Spotify Original football podcast hosted by Owen Blackhurst.

The High Performance Podcast – Jake Humphrey and Professor Damian Hughes speak to those who have been resilient despite huge challenges.

Best True Crime Podcast

Hometown: A Killing – Journalist Mobeen Azhar goes back to his hometown of Huddersfield to explore a story that has rocked the local community.

Hope High – A BBC Radio 5 Live series that follows a school trying to protect children from county lines, over the course of a year.

Hunting Ghislaine – John Sweeney tells the story of Ghislaine Maxwell, ahead of her trial.

The Missing – True stories of missing people, with information to help solve their cases. 

Where Is George Gibney? – Reporter Mark Hogan tracks down George Gibney, a once celebrated Olympic coach later charged with child sexual abuse.

Who Killed CJ Davis? – An investigation by John Simpson from The Times, into the killing of the 14-year-old Newham resident CJ Davis.

Best Wellbeing Podcast

Cassie & Corey – A drum and based comedy musical podcast about eating disorders, a collaboration between Christopher Gogg and Girls Take Action (GTA)

Discovering Dementia – Penny Bell hosts an insightful and touching interview series on dementia, following her mother’s diagnosis.

How Did We Get Here? – Professor Tanya Byron meets someone encountering a real-life issue, which is then later discussed with the broadcaster Claudia Winkleman.

How Do You Cope? – Elis James and John Robins have candid interviews with well-known names about how they are coping with their mental wellbeing.

Talk Twenties Podcast – Gaby Mendes interviews guests about issues facing those who are in their twenties.

The YUNGBLUD PodcastThe musician has his own BBC Radio 1 podcast where he speaks to young people about the problems, challenges and opportunities they are facing.

Best Welsh Podcast

Clera – A monthly podcast that looks at Welsh poetry, produced by the poets Aneirin Karadog and Eurig Salisbury.

Dewr – A passionate mental health conversation podcast by Tara Bethan and Llinos Williams.

Gwrachod Heddiw – A series celebrating Wales’ leading women, by Mari Elen.

Nawr yw’r Awr – A podcast that focuses mostly on triathlons, by Nia Davies and David Cole.

Y Coridor Ansicrwydd – Owain Tudur Jones and Malcolm Allen give their take on football.

Y Diflaniad – A series looking at the disappearance of Stanislav Sykut from West Wales.

Moment of the Year (supported by Acast)

The Divorce Club – This podcast was selected by the judges for how it amplified voices that are not usually represented in the media.

Happy Place – Fearne Cotton’s interview with Phillip Schofield was selected by the judges.

Sandman – The judges selected this for how it provided one the most impactful pieces of audio fiction in the last year.

Ways to Change the World – Krishnan Guru Murphy’s interview with the British-Iraqi writer and performer Amrou Al-Khadi was selected by the judges.

Where Is George Gibney? – This investigative series was chosen by the judges for how it educated the public on the issues behind this story and how it sought justice for survivors.

Who Shat On The Floor At My Wedding? – The judges said that it provided “the most original concept of the year.”

The Bullseye Award (supported by Global)

This award celebrates smaller shows that are meeting and exceeding audience’s needs.

Bare Naked Politics – A politics podcast that tries to explain all of the big stories, without all of the political complexity. Hosted by Julia Belle.

Benlunar – A fictional audiobook aimed at young children, at a time when many audiobooks are usually behind a paywall.

Out of Home – A podcast created by Kieran, Kwame, Yaf and Steven, four Londoners who are now living in Amsterdam.

Some Families – An LGBTQ+ parenting podcast, presented by Lottie Jeffs and Stu Oakley.

The Confidence Fighter – A show aimed at girls aged 8 to 15, talking about confidence and overcoming fears, presented by Myrtle Mitchell.

The SwimOut Podcast – A series capturing the joys of wild swimming, presented by Hunter and Vicki.

The Creativity Award (supported by Audible)

Futile Attempts (At Surviving Tomorrow) – A surreal and dark show from the mind of Kim Noble. 

Interconnected Voices – Political commentary and news analysis from underrepresented voices.

James Acaster’s Perfect Sounds – A show where James Acaster argues that 2016 is the greatest year of music (his guests like to disagree)

Probably True – Scott Flashheart tackles LGBTQ in an engaging and unique fashion.

The Power of Sound – A Monocle podcast following the careers and passions of audiophiles.

Tracks: Abyss – A BBC Radio 4 conspiracy thriller, written by Matthew Broughton.

Best Network

The Athletic

BBC World Service

Economist Radio

Fun Kids

Plosive Productions


The Spotlight Award (supported by Global)

This award celebrates podcasts doing excellent things with massive audiences.

Alan Partridge – From the Oasthouse – Alan Partridge’s musings from his Oasthouse in the countryside. 

French & Saunders: Titting About – Lockdown conversations between Jennifer Saunders and Dawn French.

Grounded With Louis Theroux – The documentary maker Louis Theroux turns to podcasting with a BBC Sounds series.

Happy Mum Happy Baby – Giovanna Fletcher’s popular parenting podcast.

The Isolation Tapes – Elis James and John Robins’ lockdown podcast for BBC Radio 5 Live.

The YUNGBLUD Podcast – The musician has his own BBC Radio 1 podcast where he speaks to young people about the problems, challenges and opportunities they are facing.

Spotify Podcast of the Week: Who We Be Talks – Bugzy Malone joins Harry and Henrie this week- their chat is exclusively available to listen to on Spotify!

Just before we go, the podcasting conference Podcast Day 24 is just around the corner, with speakers from the most notable names from the podcasting industry in the UK, US and Australia.

Tickets are usually £99 + VAT, but for subscribers of the Great British Podcasts newsletter you can grab tickets for only £75 + VAT. All you need to do is use the code BPAINSIDER at the checkout. Just head to the website PodcastDay24.com for more details and details on the latest speakers and sessions.

That’s all for this week (phew!)

Categories: Weekly Picks