For the love of pod
I love podcasts. Whenever I find someone else who's a fan it seems like we've hit on some secret club that we're both part of.
I think it's the term 'podcast' which puts people off, but really podcasts are simply radio programmes which you can download and listen to whenever you want: in the car, on your commute, when out for a walk, at the gym or just instead of the radio. You can download them onto your phone or computer using most streaming services, listen to them directly via your computer and there are Podcast apps on most smartphones. When you've found one you like you can subscribe to it, so your favourites will appear ready to listen to whenever a new one is created. I've listed my favourites below - including the one which got me obsessed in the first place. If you don't listen to podcasts already, do please give them a go.
My favourite podcasts
Where it all began for me, I jumped on this bandwagon as soon as I heard (pun intended) about it and this is simply brilliant. Sarah Koenig investigates the case of Adnam Syed, currently serving life in prison for the murder of his girlfriend Hae Min Lee. Koenig's storytelling and the did he/didn't he nature of the case makes this podcast completely addictive, I actually wanted to go to the gym so I could listen to this, that's how good it is.
Entry episode - episode 1, season 1
A completely different kind of podcast, but so brilliantly done. Telling the story of John B. McLemore, a man who hates his small Alabama Town and asks a reporter, Brian Reed, to investigate the son of a wealthy family who's allegedly been boasting that he got away with murder. What follows includes death, a feud, a hunt for hidden treasure and uncovering the mysteries of one fascinating man's life. To be honest any description will never do it justice - it's the best podcast but completely unlike any others. It's just brilliant.
Entry episode - episode 1, season 1
My current love, in Heavyweight presenter Jonathan Goldstein investigates moments in different people's lives which they've not been able to get over - both small and big. Goldstein's deadpan delivery is a delight and the stories both make me smile and frequently bring me to the verge of tears (but I obviously pretend this is just dust in my eye)...
Entry episode - Buzz, Christina or Gregor
This American Life
The godfather of all podcasts, this has been going for years, and the quality and variety of the stories told never fails. It's always a fantastic way to spend the time, you never quite know what you're going to get and the balance of interesting, funny and moving stories is just wonderful.
Entry episode - just go for the latest podcast and then work your way back through the extensive back catalogue.
In a podcast which manages to be both funny and interesting, PJ Vogt and Alex Goldman tell stories about technology and the internet - stories about the world today. This might sound dry and overly technical, but the stories are really about people. From answering the question about whether Facebook is spying on you, to rats in viral videos it's funny and I always feel like I'm learning something (no matter how random) when I listen.
Entry episode - In the Desert
Flintoff, Savage and the Ping Pong Guy
A relative newcomer on the podcast scene, now in its second series, in this show Andrew Flintoff, Robbie Savage and Matthew Syed (aka the Ping Pong Guy) discuss various sporting topics - sometimes topical, sometimes more on the 'Most overrated sportsmen' or 'Hazing techniques I have experienced' variety. Occasionally outrageous, frequently funny, confessional and if you're interested in sport even just a tiny bit it's a great one to subscribe to.
Entry episode - The Colonic for Robbie's outrageous confession...