The wonderful David Williams talks us through the lives of famous musicians, Television presenter Angela Scannon helps us to refocus our minds on how to be thankful and one to munch your way through is a podcast investigating crisps, and yes Gary Lineker does make an appearance…….

Just a reminder that it is indeed Sunday (I sent an email that ended with “have a great weekend” on Wednesday).

In the past few weeks we have been dividing the newsletter into two, starting with podcasts that cover the coronavirus in a useful way, followed by podcasts that you might find entertaining and a bit of a distraction.

For this week only we have added a third section. The BBC has rolled out their own education service this week, to coincide with the Summer term. We’ve added a few education podcasts that you might find particularly helpful at the moment. Do let us know if there are any that have helped you.

As always, if there is a podcast that has come in use to you, please do let us know by filling in this form. We listen to each one we receive.

ALSO… If you are thinking about launching your own podcast, radio guru Matt Deegan has written this great little guide about all the things you should consider before you record your first episode.


BBC Bitesize Primary Planner / Secondary Planner – If you have kids you would be undoubtedly aware of the new BBC Bitesize lessons that have been rolled out in the last week. There are two podcasts that have also been launched specifically for parents, depending on whether you have a kid in primary or secondary. Each daily episode will feature tips on homeschooling and how to structure their day. You’ll also have insight into what your children are learning that day and why, which means that you’ll get more than just “stuff” when you ask them what they have been up to.

Parentland – Another good listen for parents, looking at how we can keep our families happy, healthy and stimulated whilst we are all on lockdown. Featuring questions and answers from all over the world.

Homeschool History – Meanwhile, good news for those enjoying Greg Jenner’s history podcast You’re Dead To Me. BBC Radio 4 have just released their own spinoff to coincide with the summer term. Shorter episodes will be out each and every week looking at a different period.

Fun Kids Science Weekly – If your child is interested in science, just a reminder that this podcast is bursting with facts. A recent episode looked into what a haematologist does, then jumped right into a conversation about why the magnetic fields at the North and South Pole will one day flip.

David Walliams’ Marvellous Musical Podcast – And as for music, this is a great little Classic FM look into the lives of famous musicians, from Mozart to the music of John Williams. Brilliantly produced and full of fantastic little stories.


Stories of our Times – It would have been difficult to have missed the investigation by The Sunday Times’ Insight team into Boris Johnson’s handling of the pandemic. The explosive report claimed that there were five weeks of missed opportunities and that Boris Johnson missed five crucial COBRA meetings. Following fierce rebuttals by the government of some of the report’s claims, the newspaper’s podcast has released a special episode into how the investigation came together, along with evidence why their reporting stands up.

Jon Richardson and the Futurenauts: How to Survive the Apocalypse – The title might sound a bit dark at such a time of uncertainty, but this is actually a very optimistic and uplifting podcast about how we can cope with what gets thrown at us. The comedian is joined by Ed Gillespie and Mark Stevenson, two authors and experts in futurism who lay out what we can do to overcome some of humanity’s biggest problems. The joy of this podcast is listening to the dynamic between Gillespie and Stevenson’s optimism and Richardson’s cynicism.

Thanks a Million – At such an uneasy time, it’s always worth taking some time out to think about what you should be thankful for. The television presenter and broadcaster Angela Scannon interviews a well known name, the conversation focusing on doing that. Their most recent episode? Sian Clifford, from Fleabag and Quiz.

The QuaranTea Break Podcast – A new weekly podcast, presented by Simon Webb, encouraging us to take a tea break away from the world. Recent episodes feature interviews with Robert Webb and Rufus Jones.

The Coronavirus Newscast – The BBC News podcast continues from Tuesday to Saturday with the latest analysis. Recent episodes include a deep dive into the race to find a vaccine and looking after your mental health during the lockdown.


Frank Skinner’s Poetry Podcast – The Absolute Radio DJ and comedian has always been a fan of poetry (who knew) and in this new series, he not only reads out his favourite poems, he dissects each one stanza by stanza. Listening to this podcast is like dropping in on a lecture, but one that isn’t preachy or too pompous and full of explanations, ideal for those who are not familiar with it and want to learn more.

The Walkers Switch – An investigative podcast series about crisps. Many people believe that in the early nineties their salt & vinegar crisps were once blue and their cheese & onion crisps were once green, but Walkers deny that it ever was. I know! This podcast goes to extreme lengths to find the truth, even tracking down Gary Lineker. A hilarious listen.

Letters of Love in WW2 – A series you may have missed last year, but one that is still getting a lot of acclaim. Cyril and Olga were lovers separated by World War II. Thousands of their correspondence to each other were later uncovered by their daughter. In this series, you hear their letters to each other. A suitable listen for the 75th anniversary of VE Day.

Grounded with Louis Theroux – A new interview series consisting of the documentary filmmaker doing what he has always done: chatting to the people he finds interesting. Celebrities interviewing other celebrities is sometimes an overdone format in podcasting land, but Theroux always asks the right questions. This is one to look out for.

Meet Me at the Museum – Recorded before all of the museums closed, but a nice escapist listen to make you look forward to when they open, the podcasts consist of a famous face walking around a museum they love, followed by chats with a curator. Funded by the charity Art Fund.

Finally, our recipient of the BPA Fund this week, an initiative between the British Podcast Awards and the Wellcome Trust, is Discovering Dementia. The most recent episode looks into how important social interaction can be for someone experiencing dementia, an important thing we still need to consider at this time of social distancing.

Have a good rest of your Sunday.

Remember, we’re all in this together.

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Categories: Weekly Picks