Only a week to go until the British Podcast Awards 2021 (powered by Amazon Music). Most of the winners have already been chosen by a crack team of independent judges, but there’s one award still very much up for grabs. It’s the coveted Listener’s Choice Award, the only category where the winner is chosen by the British podcast listening public (aka you!)

We all have a podcast that we believe deserves more recognition. The Listener’s Choice award is a great opportunity to help a podcast get just that. It couldn’t be simpler to vote for your favourite. All you need to do is head to the British Podcast Awards website and type in your choice and press submit. The only downside is that you are only able to choose one podcast, so choose wisely. 

Previous winners have included Brexitcast (now Newscast) and Sh**ged Married Annoyed. For this year, the vote closes TODAY (Sunday), just before midnight. The full terms and conditions are available on their website.

The awards will be held next Saturday. We’ll be announcing the winners of the British Podcast Awards in this newsletter next Sunday! (Also, hello to all of the 20,000+ of you that have subscribed to this podcast newsletter in the last few weeks alone!).


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Here are our podcast picks for the week ahead

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Pieces of BritneyBritney Spears’ powerful testimony on the consequences the conservatorship put on her life have rocked the celebrity and entertainment world in recent weeks. A number of documentaries have looked at her life in recent years, but this new detailed and heartfelt BBC Radio 4 series looks back at Britney’s life as a whole. Presented by the journalist and broadcaster Pandora Sykes, it explores how successes and difficulties Britney have faced throughout her life says about the way society views women, especially those working in the public eye.

“Whether you think Britney Spears’ life is a 21st Century cautionary tale or a tale of misogyny as old as time, her story is unlike any other.” says Sykes at the start of the first episode. “It is one of hopes and dreams, grief and betrayal, oppression and resilience.” Following a recent trend in podcasting, such as BBC Radio 5 Live’s Ecstasy: The Battle Of Rave, episodes are accompanied with a short audio drama to help bring parts of the story to life, here put together by the playwright Katie Hims.

Hong Kong Silenced – Podcasts are great at helping you make sense of a fast moving and complicated news story. Here’s another useful one, this time by The Telegraph. Presented by the newspaper’s award-winning China Correspondent Sophia Yan, it explores what is happening in Hong Kong. In particular, the consequences of the new National Security law imposed by China on its citizens in June last year.

“Suddenly it was illegal to oppose the Chinese government in the street or in parliament. You could also be punished for saying something critical on social media, or even to a colleague in a cafeteria,” says Yan. “Hong Kong-ers were not consulted on the National Security law, but in one fell swoop it changed everything.” Over the series Yan will explore the law’s consequences. It also examines what this National Security law says about China, at a time when it continues its rise as a global superpower.

Spotify Podcast of the Week – Spotify are delighted to have welcomed The Two Johnnies to the slate of Spotify Exclusives. For those yet to experience the podcast, Johnny McMahon (Johnny Smacks) and Johnny O’Brien (Johnny B) are a musical comedy duo from Ireland. The pair are well known for their comedy sketches and songs, which capture the uniquely funny side of all things Irish. They launched ‘The 2 Johnnies’ podcast in 2018, and it has since gone on to be Ireland’s fastest-growing podcast. The podcast genre is a mixture of comedy, current affairs and sport and the pair bring together a wide range of Irish themed topics into podcast episodes. This week’s episode looks at finding love later in life amongst many other things and is available to listen to exclusively on Spotify. 

The YIKES Podcast – A podcast that has been growing a decent audience in the past few months, YIKES features Mikela Loach and Jo Becker discussing all the news stories and societal problems that have made us go “yikes.” The hosts hope that instead of running away from such issues, we all lean in in the hope of making positive change.

A particular focus throughout all of the episodes is racial injustice, social injustice and climate activism, with hosts relating it to news stories over the previous week. I’ve been impressed with the production as well as the openness of the presenters. They’ve just wrapped a third series with a conversation about what they have learnt over the most recent series.

ITV Cycling Podcast – Finally, what a summer of sport it is turning out to be. BBC News at 10 has been starting later each night because of agonisingly tense (and long) Wimbledon matches. There’s the Euros of course and of course, next month, Tokyo 2020, which at times have felt like it may not be happening at all.

If you’re currently glued to the Tour de France, I highly recommend listening to this daily podcast, hosted by the presenting team. Out shortly after each stage has aired on ITV4, it features them reacting to each stage. It captures one of the best things about podcasting, when experts reel off emotions and reactions without a script in sight.

If you are still on the hunt for a podcast to listen to, here’s some more British Podcast Award nominees that are worth a look. In the Best Radio Podcast entry this year there’s Danny Wallace’s Important Broadcast Podcast (featuring the best bits form his show on Radio X), Fun Kids Story Explorers (where authors respond to kids questions), Homeschool History (the Greg Jenner series on BBC Radio 4). Plus there’s Slide Into My Podcast (the Radio 1Xtra show hosted by Kaz Crossley and Jordan Hames), The Skewer (Jon Holmes surreal take on the week’s news) and The Sista Collective, the BBC Radio Live show hosted by Jessie Aru-Phillips, Aminata Kamara, Simone Riley and Letitia George.

Categories: Weekly Picks