Comedians Rob Beckett and Josh Widdicombe bring us a witty new series to make parents feel less alone, Food critic Jay Rayner switches his ‘Out For Lunch’ to ‘In For Lunch’ ordering takeouts for himself and his guest connecting via video link for juicy interviews and the fabulous Katherine Ryan lets us know what’s on her mind……

We’re on day 56676 of the lockdown, we’re all cutting our own hair and life’s greatest thrill is the possibility of a Greggs or a Nando’s reopening in your local area for takeout. 2020 is wild.

As always, we’ve divided this email into two, starting with podcasts that will help you during the lockdown, followed by podcasts that might be recorded under lockdown, but don’t talk about it.

If there is a podcast that you think this newsletter is needing, do let us know by filling in this form. We listen to each one we receive.


Things Unseen: Ramadan in Lockdown – The coronavirus have resulted in many Ramadan traditions, such as community gatherings to break fast, impossible. In this engaging faith podcast, journalist Remona Aly speaks to Islam scholar Abdal Hakim Murad about how rituals have changed for 1.8 billion Muslims worldwide. 

Lockdown Parenting Hell – Rob Beckett and Josh Widdicombe present a new witty series to make parents feel less alone. “What I want is us to feel better by venting here and people who listen to feel better by thinking ‘well it’s not just us finding lockdown parenting difficult,” says Widdcombe. “And if you’re listening and you don’t have a child, you’re thinking ‘bloody hell my life is good.’” An ideal listen for those with young children (but don’t listen to this with them in earshot).

Kermode on Film – We are all familiar with Wittertainment with Kermode and Mayo, but Kermode also presents a weekly podcast with fellow film boffin Jack Howard full to the brim of film recommendations to keep us busy, many which are ideal for lockdown. They have also just started two partner on their favourite underrated films.

Podcast Radio Hour with Amanda Litherland – If you’re still looking out for good lockdown podcasts for this week, I dropped by (virtually) on the latest PRH on BBC Radio 4 Extra. Both presenter Amanda Litherland and I talked about and played excerpts from our favourites, which included Audible’s Locked TogetherHomeschool History,Everything Under The Sun and FT Culture Call.

Americast – And finally, more of a public service announcement than anything, but the BBC’s US Election podcast has resumed after a short break. Newsnight’s Emily Maitlis and North American Editor Jon Sopel provide the latest analysis of the Biden vs Trump 2020 race, which has been affected by the coronavirus, with extra episodes if there’s breaking news.


Tales from the Tannoy – Ever wondered who voices those announcements you hear every single day, from self-service checkouts, to train stations, to programme announcers? In this fascinating and engaging new series, Elinor Hamilton (who you can hear throughout the London tube network) interviews other famous voices you can hear in public across the country, voices that you might find eerily familiar. In the first episode, Hamilton talks about her late husband Phil Sayer, who was a voiceover artist and made announcements alongside Hamilton for a number of years. “He’s still working alongside me in tube tunnels every single day,” she says. “I love the fact that we’re still together, even though we can’t be together in person.”

A Good Service on All Other Lines – Another tube related podcast, but this one is entirely fictional. Writer and comedian David Head and singer-songwriter Matt Glover are behind this funny and moving five part story about the lives and loves on the 23:47 train leaving from London Marylebone, a story that was originally performed at the Edinburgh Fringe in 2018. At a time when the simple commute feels alien, this story helps make everything feel that bit more normal again.

*In* For Lunch with Jay Rayner – The Observer food critic Jay Rayner has always believed that the most engaging and enlightening conversations take place over a good restaurant meal, so he launched a podcast series doing just that. But with restaurants closed for the foreseeable, what can he do for the return of the third series? By turning it into a takeout meal recorded in two separate locations, of course. In the first episode of his new series, Rayner interviews the musician George Ezra, ordering a surprise meal so big you can hear Ezra cackling with fear. “This might just be your longest episode yet as I work my way through this,” Ezra says.

Katherine Ryan: Telling Everybody Everything – A very ‘does what it says on the tin’ podcast, with the comedian telling you what is on her mind that week in a huge monologue, sometimes with more than one episode dropping at the same time (“A lot like Netflix, but without a hundred shows glorifying serial killers,” she says. “If I see one more show about a handsome bon vivant running round killing women, I think I am going to lose my mind.”) It’s an eloquent, no nonsense and a surprisingly deep listen.

The podcast that the British Podcast Awards and the Wellcome Trust have given funding this week, as part of an initiative to encourage more conversations around public health, is Quirky Voice presents Anyone F’Coffee presented by Sarah Golding. The episode looks at endometriosis, a condition affecting women that can cause severe pain and fertility problems. 

Oh and finally, as everyone is talking about Sally Rooney’s Normal People this week, I thought I’d let you know that there’s an official podcast to accompany the series too. The series is perfect for a weekend binge, but heck with no end in sight to the lockdown, it might be worth spreading the episodes out too. 

Have a good rest of your Sunday.

Remember, we’re all in this together.

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Categories: Weekly Picks