Happy New Year! And welcome to the second special edition looking back at the best in British podcasting in the last year. This week’s newsletter is once again full of recommendations that you have told us about in the last year.
To find the previous email, all you need to do is scroll back in your inbox or check it out on our website.
The Music and Meditation Podcast – If you are looking for a bit of peace and quiet over the festive period, this podcast might be the one for you. Presented by the singer-songwriter Nao, each episode is full of practical tips, easy to follow meditations and calming melodies to help you through whatever stress and hurdles come your way. “Nao is a wonderful presenter with a perfect, calming style to get us in a meditative zone,” said Adam, one of our readers. “And it features amazing, soothing music.”
The Line of Fire – Presented by the foreign correspondent Ramita Navai, this series features extraordinary interviews and stories with other journalists, with them talking frankly about the risks and dangers they have taken in trying to get to the truth. . “It is an amazing insight into what these brave people do to keep us informed,” said Caroline.
Empire – At a time when British history has been so fiercely debated and politically divisive, this series by William Dalrymple and Anita Anand provides much needed facts and analysis into the rise and fall of Empires. And it is not just the British Empire that is explored, as the Ottoman Empire is the focus in Season Two. “It provides critical background information about a period in time that’s not really taught in school and which many Brits see through rose-tinted spectacles,” says Andrea.
Working Class to World Class – Hosted by Lynn Lester, this series looks at successful individuals who come from a working class background, weaving together thoughts on the adversity and hurdles they may experienced along the way. Guests so far include Dame Mary Perkins, co-founder of Spectators and the British photographer Rankin.
The Rest is Politics – The format is simple. Former Labour strategist Alastair Campbell and former Conservative minister Rory Stewart meetup and discuss the latest ins and outs of politics coming out of Westminster. For millions the series became an unmissable resource during the downfall of both the Boris Johnson and Liz Truss governments. “The interactions between and insight of both Campbell and Stewart are absolutely fascinating,” says a reader.
Dua Lipa: At Your Service – Many celebrity podcasts can feel like filler, but this is not the case with Dua Lipa’s podcast. Her series has received critical acclaim for providing engaging conversations and thoughtful perspectives.
All About Sound with Lemn Sissay – A delightful way to explore library material. In each episode the author Lemn Sissay plays sound recordings from decades ago that have been kept in vaults in the British Library. These recordings are then used as a basis for a discussion around heritage, emotion and identity.
Fear of Missing Out – A project by Jesse Lawson, each episode features a different young person being given the opportunity to explore a topic of their own choosing. The production quality has been widely praised, along with the choice of guests for each of the presenters to engage with.
Older and Wider – Hosted by Jenny Eclair and Judith Holder, listeners recommended this podcast for the way that it talks about the realities of the menopause, along with a light comedic touch. “Their followers are welcomed to interact and regarded as one of the ‘gang’! I spent the whole week looking forward to Friday’s update,” says one reader. “It’s an honest reflection on life, good and bad, sad and happy. Each episode always makes me laugh out loud but also think and reflect on life and even maybe shed a tear,” says another reader called Helen.
The ADHD Women’s Wellbeing Podcast – This has been a year when awareness of the late diagnosis of women with ADHD has been kicked into the mainstream. In each episode of the series, Kate Moryoussef taps into the benefits that having ADHD can bring in our work and personal lives, whilst also providing tips about the best ways to calm your nervous system.
Thank you so much for reading this newsletter and for all of your recommendations throughout the year. We’ll be back next week and again in 2023.