It’s that time of year again. The days are getting warmer, the pandemic is ever near and daily walks are for many the sole lifeline connecting them to their sanity.
So, as you trudge around your suburb on your daily walk, it is imperative that you have uplifting, informative and engaging content to plug into and I am here to help.
Thankfully the podcast world has not disappointed, with a few true gems coming across my phone screen this month that will keep your ears happy, your mind ticking and maybe even your face smiling.
Series to sink your teeth into
Go Ask Your Mother, BBC: Listen here
A brand new BANGER from the BBC, Go Ask Your Mother is the parenting podcast we all need in our lives. I don’t have kids and I still tune in religiously just to enjoy the commentary of the series’ hysterical hosts, parents and partners Vanel and Sindy.
The London couple take listeners along on the ride which is raising their family in today’s fast-paced world. Come from the parenting goods, stay for the side-splitting commentary that flies between this couple faster than you can say “go to bed”. This one is a serious gem and guaranteed to slap a smile on even the most despondent dial.
Brown Girls Do it Too, BBC Asia: Listen here
This is another absolute stellar offering, this time from BBC Asia. I embarrassingly only heard about this absolutely groundbreaking series this year, but it was actually released in July 2019 and even took out the main prize at the British Podcast Awards last year.
The sexy podcast is hosted by Poppy Jay, 33, Rubina Pabani, 31, and Roya Eslami, 24, the titular ‘Brown Girls’ who lift the lid on the ins and outs of having sex as modern women and tackle everything from stigma, to culture and racial stereotypes in the process.
Nut Jobs, Audible: Listen here
This one is a homegrown number that travels far afield. The latest offering from SBS journalist Marc Fennell, Nut Jobs starts as a deep dive into a multi-million-dollar heist of a number of food trucks in California, which soon unravels into a whole world of organised crime within the food industry.
It is… bananas? Nah, it’s completely nuts and it will have you thinking long and hard about the food we eat, and the sometimes deadly, and deep-rooted networks they pass through before they arrive in our shopping trolleys. If you were a fan of It Burns, Fenell’s award-winning first foray into the podcasting world, you’ll go...nuts (I’m sorry) for Nut Jobs.
Nice White Parents, Serial & The New York Times: Listen here
The latest offering from the genius’ behind Serial, and in partnership with The New York Times, Nice White Parents is a shattering, and sobering peek into the world of New York City’s public school system told from inside one school in the city.
Through the eyes of parents both white and of colour and their children, the series reveals how privilege and class have operated for years to undermine the democracy of the public school system. Never more appropriate than in this particular cultural moment, Nice White Parents is at once riveting, horrifying and hopeful, and should be the top of your ‘to listen to’ list.
Grounded with Louis Theroux, BBC: Listen here
Any fan of Louis will be Ther-illed with his venture into the world of podcasts, kicking it all of with his lockdown conversations Grounded with Louis Theroux.
The endearing journalist sits down with an impressive array of guests to pick their brains, and what comes out will shock any listener. Special mention goes to his chat with Myriam Margolyes of Harry Potter fame who regales him with tales so wild they almost beggar belief – for example a very sexy encounter with a stranger in a tree on one particularly wild Glaswegian night. You have to hear it to believe it, and his other chats won’t leave you disappointed either.
Episodes to zero in on
The Daily: Cancel Culture Part 1 and Part 2. Listen here
This two-part mini deep dive into the ins and outs of cancel culture shared in early August are essential listening for anyone torn between the desire to allow redemption and hold people to account for problematic behaviour.
The episodes from the New York Times’ The Daily reveal why and how the phenomenon has become a political weapon in 2020, and takes a look at real-life examples of people who have been ‘cancelled’ for one reason or another.
Desert Island Discs: Explorer Steve Backshall. Listen here
For anyone who just needs a bit of a break from all the noise 2020 has so far pelted our way, Desert Island Discs is always a welcome respite, and no episode will leave you feeling more hopeful than Kirsty Young's conversation with National Geographic Adventurer in Residence (yep, that’s a real job title) Steve Backshall.
Steve’s trip down memory lane and choice of music, as well as his enthusiastic outlook on life will act like a warm cup of tea for any soul feeling a little chilly and gloomy of late.
Shameless In Conversation: Jameela Jamil. Listen here
The Shameless ladies may have just hit the pinnacle of their conversation guests with UK actress and activist Jameela Jamil’s appearance on the podcast earlier this month.
The star of The Good Place talked all things celebrity, body politics and how she’s dismantling a celebrity world she describes quite simply as: ‘F**ked. It’s completely f**ked’. Hilarious, witty and most importantly unflinching, Jameela’s conversation is important listening for us all at this juncture.