I listen to a lot of podcasts (and audiobooks). I have a fairly boring commute to work (Southampton to Basingstoke) which takes around an hour each way. To pass the time I sometimes like to listen to a podcast as I find the journey passes so much quicker that way. I also listen to podcasts when I walk Alfie and when I do long runs. Don’t get me wrong, sometimes it’s nice to listen to music or to simply just zone out to the sound of the outdoors but it’s also a great way to broader my knowledge on information or just listen to something interesting or funny.
Here are my favourites:
BBC Five Live Film Review
Simon Mayor and Mark Kermode talk movie reviews. This has been a longstanding favourite of mine. I love watching films but I don’t get to the cinema as often as I like, but I still enjoy listening to reviews of the latest films that are either out or up and coming. The relationship between Mayor and Kermode is great – they have good banter and squabbling between them and it’s often very funny. There are a lot of in jokes as it’s been going on for years but it’s easy to get hooked. I will usually always trust Kermode’s review of a film as well.
Who’s it aimed at? Anyone who has a passing interest in watching movies, whether you go to the cinema or not.
The Empire Film Podcast
Another film review show, but this time with an ensemble cast of usually three people who change from time-to-time. It’s from the Empire magazine. There’s swearing, it’s silly and it’s very light-hearted (like the magazine). They discuss movie news and answer fun, random listener questions (“best stairway scene in a movie?”). My only slight annoyance is they do have a heavy Marvel love which I struggle with as I’m not that into comic book movies. They always have great sweary interviews with actors, directors, etc.
Who’s it aimed at? Probably more aimed at movie lovers than the Five Live podcast above as it can get geeky with movie news and interviews.
Of course Marathon Talk is on here (I’m going to the Marathon Talk weekend in a few weeks time wheee!). Good running training tips, running news from around the world, funny anecdotes from Tony Audenshaw (from Emmerdale no less), interviews and listener stories. I really like Martin and Tom and they always have a good balance of opinion and information and they’re extremely down to earth. My one peeve is why they still insist on listing all the upcoming marathons at the end of the podcast…does anyone really listen to this?? It goes on for ages and is so dull and repetitive. I always end the podcast before it starts.
Who’s it aimed at? People who love running, but not necessarily just marathons.
Ben Coomber Radio
Quite a light-hearted podcast based on nutrition, health and performance. It focuses a lot on lifting weights in the gym but it’s not exclusive to that subject. Ben is very amiable and funny and takes a no-nonsense approach. He’s also very knowledgeable with a lot of science and research behind what he preaches. He often co-hosts with Rachel Guy, who’s heavily into lifting weights, so provides a decent insight into that sort of thing and they do Q&A style shows answering listener questions. There’s also a lot of interviews with people from the nutrition and performance industry.
Who’s it aimed at? If you’re interested in solid nutrition advice, going to the gym and just generally being healthy it’s a good one. However it does focus a lot on weight lifting, macros and building muscle/losing fat.
I used to listen to this one a lot more than I do now. It’s hard to describe but basically Stephen Dubner, an economist (he wrote the Freakonomics book as well) explores social, political and random issues with loads of different guests, from social scientists to entrepreneurs to delve into different problems, questions and oddities with an economist and social science perspective. It’s light-hearted and gentle in terms of heavy science but always very interesting. It is quite US-focused though.
Who’s it aimed at? Anyone who has a curious nature and likes to puzzle things out. Not necessarily deep thinking but a fun way to question the world.
A series of interviews of a wide range of runners, professional athletes, coaches and people with a good knowledge of running or in the industry. It’s led by Tina Muir who I think is awesome. She’s a Brit living in America and is an awesome runner (check out her blog – such a talented runner and a lovely person. She incidentally did her favourite podcasts recently too). This podcast is a great way to get some insight into specific running areas and hear more about certain topics from different people within the industry.
Who’s it aimed at? Anyone interested in running, whether at a beginner’s level or an elite level.
You can’t talk about podcasts without mentioned Serial. I binge listened to all the first series a couple of years ago (wow so long ago now!) and haven’t started the second series yet… Anyone tried it? I’ve heard it’s good but it’s not the same ‘story’ as last series which is a shame as I’d love to know what’s going on there. It’s just very well written and you’re kind of drip-fed the story which keeps you going back for more without it seeming like it’s dragging.
Who’s it aimed at? Really anyone. I know so many people of different ages and backgrounds who loved it.
What podcasts do you love to listen to?
When do you listen to podcasts?