Is someone’s podcast playlist a true reflection of their character? Possibly. Probably. As a form of introduction anyway to me, the Past Loves host, I thought that I would share my podcast playlist to get us through lockdown…
1. The High Low with Dolly Alderton & Pandora Sykes
I think that The High Low was one of the first podcasts that, when I discovered it, I trawled my way through the back catalogue. In finding that perfect sweet spot between discussing the most important topics of the day and news that dominate the sphere of pop culture, it is simply a must-listen. Each episode is hosted by writers Dolly Alterton and Pandora Skyes who always share their thoughtful points of view on a topic before flitting to lighter musings. Informative and entertaining, it is impossible not to feel as though you are joining a weekly catch-up with friends. Plus, their author specials are the perfect place to find the next addition to your bookshelf.
2. In Our Time
An obvious listen for my fellow history fans is the iconic In Our Time – a live BBC radio discussion series that has been airing since 1998. Each episode takes on a new theme, event, school of thinking or prominent person and offers insight from three academics on the subject. Simply, it is one of my absolute favourites. Moreover, the palatable nature of In Our Time has definitely opened me up to exploring topics that I would never have learnt about before – after all, I admit that my interest in history lies in modern history so anything that will nudge me in the direction of something new is positive.
3. The Off Menu Podcast
James Acaster. Ed Gamble. A rambling chat about a wide range of guests’ favourite meals. I mean what more could you ask for? If you are in need of a podcast that is light-hearted, warm and sure to add some lightness to your day, then Off Menu is ideal. The Joel Dommett episode is particularly iconic (his choice of starter, main, side, dessert and drink are quite remarkable) but any episode is a good place to start. It’s a good mood guaranteed.
4. Behind The Headlines of History
Behind The Headlines Of History is one of the more recent additions to my podcast playlist. If you’re a fan of archival work then this is the podcast for you, as you can delve into the newspaper archives and discover a vast range of stories. The two hosts, Brad Argent and historian Michala Hulme, then take these eye-catching stories and trace the genealogy of the protagonists of these articles in order to understand just what happened to them after the publication. It’s time travel at it’s very best.
5. The Great Indoors
A podcast about interior design, a truly visual art form, could be an unmitigated disaster. In the talented hands of Sophie Robinson and Kate Watson-Smyth (aka Mad About The House), however, it is anything but. In fact, as we all spend so much more time at home at the moment it is the perfect way to inspire you to update your surroundings. I for one am now trying endlessly to find a place in the house where I can wallpaper the ceiling. Trust me, these two will persuade you it’s a good idea.
6. Films To Be Buried With
You’ve died and gone to heaven, and in this heaven everyone wants to discuss your life through film. This is how each episode of Films To Buried With starts before host Brett Goldstein and his guest traverse their life from the first film they remember seeing to the film that made them cry the most. They also explore every aspect of the guest’s viewing history from guilty pleasures to films that scared you the most. So, if your looking for a little inspiration for what to watch at the moment this is the place to start. Plus, I completely recommend working out your answers to Brett’s questions – it’s the perfect discussion for long car journeys or, at the moment, nights in lockdown.
7. The History Extra Podcast
Of course the History Extra podcast is a vital part of any podcast playlist in my opinion. My favourite episodes include:
- A History of Celebrity
- Mary Beard on the Nude in Western Art
- The Long History of Brexit
- Appeasement and the Road to World War Two
8. Ways To Change The World
If you’re looking for something that is a bit more serious then Ways to Change The World seems apt for current times. In this period of uncertainty, change is inevitable. Therefore, there has been no better time to discuss how each of us would change the world if we could. In this podcast by Channel 4, Krishnan Guru-Murthy interviews a vast range of influential people to discuss their answers to, not just the problems in, our present and future.
9. Office Ladies
Dubbed the ultimate re-watch party, Office Ladies is hosted by stars of The Office (US) Jenna Fischer and Angela Kinsey. Every week they watch the next episode and give behind-the-scenes gossip that only two people who were there would know. The two became best friends on the show and listening to them reminisce is utterly delightful. If you’re anything like me you will start re-watching with them, a episode a week, until you actually end up bingeing all nine seasons during lockdown. But, then, what’s better to watch when we all need a little cheering up.
10. You’re Dead To Me
Greg Jenner is perhaps the reason why I’m here; why I fell in love with history as a child and carried that through to university. That’s because he is the public historian behind Horrible Histories. As a child, I absolutely adored the show and books – and, confession, I will sometimes still watch a few episodes of Horrible Histories from time to time. Whilst at the University of York, I also went to a couple of his talks on campus discussing how we communicate history in culture. I was, therefore, super excited to see that he now has the You’re Dead To Me podcast which takes on a subject every week with an academic expert and comedian. As always with his work, it is perfect.
Other honourable mentions go to Early Work with James Rhys, The Dropout, The Business of Fashion, Love Stories, The Goop Podcast, Fashion Unzipped, Grazia Life Advice, I’m Absolutely Fine! by The Midult, Dear Joan & Jericha, My Mate Bought A Toaster, Food For Thought and What Do You Actually Do.
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