Finance guru Martin Lewis brings us the low down on financial questions relating to the Coronavirus impact, writer Katie Hutchinson captures the amazing lives of women who are fearless within the world of arts and culture, comedians John Robins and Elis James bring some much needed laughs and Zing Tsjeng journeys through what it means to be British……

Welcome to the Great British Podcast Newsletter, supported by BBC Sounds

Well, it’s Easter this weekend … *shrugs* 

At least we have an excuse to not be productive as we would want to be this weekend. This newsletter is divided into two sections once more, with podcasts at the top that cover the coronavirus in a way that you might find useful, followed by other podcasts that can take your mind off the news. 

I know it might feel like an unsettling time right now, but what has helped with my anxiety is the understanding that it is unsettling for all of us. Nobody has ever been through this before, so there is no guilt and shame in not feeling your best. 

I hope these podcasts provide some comfort.


The Isolation Tapes – John Robins and Elis James are recording their 5 Live podcast from their respective homes during the lockdown. The emphasis is to lift spirits whilst we are not allowed to leave our houses, so expect relatable anecdotes, stories and listener messages.

Employment Law Matters – This does-what-it-says-on-the-tin podcast has done a special series of episodes on furloughing and its pitfalls. It also tries to ask questions that might not have a clear answer from the government. You can also put your questions to an employment law barrister.

Ask Martin Lewis Podcast – Martin Lewis has got a financial podcast too answering your questions about the coronavirus. He’s also been doing a stellar effort at getting clarity from the government about the rules and potential loopholes that can impact our income.

Reasons to be Cheerful – The Ed Miliband and Geoff Lloyd podcast has done special episodes on how to keep kids occupied at the moment.

Love in the Time of Corona – Absolute Radio’s Matt Dyson and Kate Dyson from The Motherload describe what home life is like under lockdown when you have three children.

Coronacast with a London GP – Dr Hannah Harris, a South London GP, and her daughter Tilly provide a health perspective, their most recent episode chatting with an 83-year-old who is currently in self-isolation.

Social Distancing Diaries – An opportunity for musicians and artists to reach audiences at a time when a lot of our culture remains closed to the wider public, so expect performances. It’s an interesting snapshot into how different people are coping during these surreal times.

As always, if there are any podcasts that you think this newsletter is missing, especially ones that you think are covering the coronavirus in an effective and helpful manner, do drop me a line by filling in this form.


The Last Bohemians – This much-loved podcast presented by Kate Hutchinson has just returned for a second series, featuring interviews with people who have refused to conform to the mainstream right through their lives. I loved the episode with Gee Vaucher, a confrontational artist who has had work published in The New York Times. She has run an open-house for a number of years, which means that anyone can come round for tea and a chat at any time unannounced and people travel from all over the world to do just that (with only one unwelcome guest in all that time). In this episode, Hutchinson (and her all-female audio team) pop round for a chat.

FT Culture Call – The Financial Times have an interesting and uplifting arts podcast recorded on both sides of the Atlantic, in studios in New York (with Lilah Raptopoulos) and London (with Griselda Murray Brown). Their latest episode is with Ira Glass, the host of This American Life, discussing what the podcast name actually means (“it means that when we named the show we really never anticipated we would be successful enough to have an audience outside the United States,” jokes Glass) and how they find stories, of what he thinks of podcasts trying to copy the format of Serial. There is a bit of coronavirus chat at the beginning of the episode, but for those who want to head right to the interview, go to the 27th minute. An upcoming episode will feature Samin Nosrat (the author and presenter of Salt Acid Fat Heat).

United Zingdom – Zing Tsjeng, who has lived in Britain for more than half her life, would have to give up her Singaporean passport if she decides to become a British citizen. But what does it mean to be a British citizen, when being British can mean something different to each one of us? In this new series, Tsjeng speaks to Drag Queens in Birmingham, poets in Bradford and podcasters who talk about sex in Welsh. It’s a limited series, but doesn’t necessarily mean you have to listen in a particular order.

Ninetwentynine – A bold opinion, but no podcast should be much more than an hour long. Even though we’re all stuck indoors, none of us really have the time, nor the concentration, to listen to something for that length. This new business podcast, hosted by Eshaan Akbar, has taken the value of short podcasts to heart by promising that each episode is no longer than nine minutes twenty nine seconds long (hence the title). The focus is on how we can grow our businesses or side-hustles, the first focusing on how to retain and hire the right people.

Nappy Days with Mia Boardman – And finally, a new parenting podcast from MTV featuring honest discussions about what it is like to look after a baby on a daily basis, with advice of what they wish they knew beforehand. It’s very handy if you’re going through the same thing.

And there’s two more podcast episodes to mention that have been funded by The BPA Fund, that’s an initiative between the British Podcasts Awards and the Wellcome Trust to encourage conversations about public health. 

The first is Declassified, a podcast about the military community presented by former firefighter and soldier Michael Coates, who speaks to psychiatrist Professor Neil Greenberg about trauma and moral injury. 

The second is Why Aren’t You a Doctor?, who have just started a new series on overlooked or misunderstood health conditions, starting with endometriosis, a condition that affects one in ten women.

That’s all for the podcast newsletter this week, Stay safe.

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Categories: Weekly Picks