Footballer Peter Crouch scores with his series ‘Working from home’, Psychotherapist Anna Mathur presents an inspiring podcast helping to improve our mental wellbeing and comedian James Acaster brings us some perfect sounds from 2016…..
I don’t know about you, but I’ve listened to so much more audio content in the last few weeks. There’s something about hearing a familiar voice, especially at a time when you can’t interact as much as you want to with others. So I hope these recommendations help guide you through this continuing uneasy period.
Like always, this newsletter is in two parts. It starts with podcast recommendations that will keep you informed and reassured during the lockdown. Then a lot of other stuff that (hopefully) won’t mention it at all.
And just a heads up: The British Podcast Awards will be announcing this year’s nominations in a live stream on Tuesday 19th May. You’ll be able to follow the announcement on their Twitter page.
Look on the Bright Side – A podcast that mentions the good people helping others who have been affected by the coronavirus. This quote from the episode stood out to me: “Perhaps the phrase there is light at the end of the tunnel, should instead be there’s light throughout the tunnel.”
Page 94 – The Private Eye Podcast – The magazine has several insightful perspectives on the pandemic in their most recent episode, all based on reports from the magazine itself. From the consequences of not testing the public, to how the ‘stay at home’ campaign may inadvertently mean that people with other health emergencies are not seeking help.
That Peter Crouch Podcast – The hugely successful 5 Live podcast has been doing a series of ‘working from home’ specials, with Crouch, Tom Fordyce and Chris Stark. Just in case you were wondering: you really don’t have to be into football to get into this podcast.
Dogcast – The series presented by Clare Balding has focused a lot in recent weeks on how best to look after our dogs during the pandemic (and how they end up looking after us.) In recent episodes she’s looked at the effect the lockdown has had on veterinary practices, as well as those trying to home new litters. And a guest you might be interested in: Fortunately presenter Fi Glover talking about her greyhounds.
Slay in Your Lane: The Podcast – Elizabeth Uviebinené and Yomi Adegoke are the authors of a hugely influential guide to life for young black women. Now they have launched their own podcast featuring similar topics as the book (health, dating, workplace and finances) but as it was launched during the lockdown, their first episode consists of a conversation about how to stay safe and sane at home.
RunPod in Lockdown – You’re not the only person who has gone out to exercise once a day because the government tells you to. This podcast presented by Jenni Falconer features motivation, stories and advice on how to get the best out of running.
Mum and Mummer – Harry and Emma are friends who talk candidly about being single and co-parents during the lockdown. It has a delightful community of listeners too.
Non Coronavirus Podcasts
James Acaster’s Perfect Sounds – To cope with a breakdown in 2017, the comedian James Acaster collected as much music as he could from 2016. Why? Because he noticed it was a fantastic year for music. In fact, in his opinion it is the greatest year for music there has ever been. In this new series, he invites a guest to listen to an album from that year of his choosing. They then both argue about whether Acaster was right. What you appreciate from hearing these discussions is how much music can be a support through difficult times. It’s something Acaster has picked up on too, relating the current lockdown to his emotional state back then: “In 2017, I was all on my own, yet the music of 2016 made me feel connected. Not just to the musicians, but to other fans of the music and people who were listening to it.”
The Therapy Edit – Psychotherapist Anna Mathur presents a concise and inspiring podcast on how to improve your mental wellbeing. A lot of podcasts on similar topics like this exist, but this one stands out to me because she provides practical advice without accidentally falling into cliches. Her most recent episode looks at how our self-worth is intrinsically connected to whether we are giving enough self-care, something that might seem obvious at first glance but might be something you haven’t thought about before.
The Kempcast – Turn on Sky One at any point in the late noughties and you would either stumble across The Simpsons or Ross Kemp running into a battlefield shouting at tanks. The broadcaster has made over *ninety* documentaries based on hostile environments and at the start of his new podcast, he explains that what links the places he has been to, has been the resilience of the people who are there. In this series, he speaks to people he admires, starting with Mark‘Billy’ Billingham, who is one of the instructors in SAS: Who Dares Wins. As lockdown takes hold, expect there to be more podcasts like these to help tide us over.
Here are some interesting guests on podcasts this week:
- Lockdown with Louis Theroux started with Jon Ronson last week. This week, the guest is Boy George.
- And on The Adam Buxton Podcast? That’s right, Louis Theroux.
- Sally Rooney, behind the instant classic Normal People, is the best on FT Culture Call this week.
- Lockdown Parenting Hell, presented by Rob Beckett and Josh Widdicombe, this week has Jon Richardson as a guest.
- On How to Fail with Elizabeth Day: Henry Holland talks about business failure during the coronavirus.
- Jay Rayner’s In For Lunch features Edgar Wright as a guest.
Two more podcasts have also been awarded with The BPA Fund this week, that’s our initiative between the British Podcast Awards and The Wellcome Trust. The ambition is to encourage more conversations around public health and the first recipient A Gay and A Non Gay, a podcast presented by James Barr and James Hudson. They have recorded a two-parter on the fight for a cure for HIV, the first-part is out now, and the 2nd part featuring an interview with Adam Castillejo, the second person in the world to be considered to be cured, is out on Wednesday. The second podcast is Stronger Minds – Crime and Nourishment, presented by psychologist Kimberley Wilson, which investigates the link between poor nutrition and hunger and crime.
That’s all for this week. If you are looking for some TV recommendations, I also do a TV newsletter that you can subscribe to. I also review shows for the Must Watch podcast, which you can subscribe to on BBC Sounds.
Hope you have a good and restful Sunday.
Remember, we’re all in this together.
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