I’ve started to wonder what I actually did before I discovered podcasts; they now accompany me to the gym, on the tube, in the bath and even in my office while I’m snapping away or planning content. They provide such a great way to discover stories, learn, indulge your passions or even just have a giggle – so it’s no surprise they’re seeing a resurgence in popularity and are undoubtedly the hottest form of media right now. Since I got my Hepburn MK II VQ radio I’ve probably listened to more podcasts than is probably healthy, but it definitely beats listening to the same Spotify playlist on repeat or the drivel that happens to be on the radio past about midday. One of the main topics of conversation with my mates is now which podcasts we’ve been listening to or what recommendations we’ve got for each other, which sure beats chat about Big Brother or Love Island in my opinion! If you’ve yet to discover the amazing world of podcasts, then pop over here and read my info for beginners, and then pop back and take note of the eight shows I think you need to know about right now… Headphones at the ready.
Talking Crime: A True Crime Podcast
This started life as a narrative to the Jonbenet Ramsay documentary that was on in the States last year (if you haven’t watched it, google it – it’s one of the best things I’ve ever watched,) and as someone that’s been obsessed with the case since I was a little girl it was the perfect intro. The two friends that host this podcast basically watch true crime documentaries and in the ad breaks discuss what they’ve just seen, their own theories and how their viewpoints evolve. They’ve watched everything from the Amanda Knox Netflix doc, to The Staircase which features the Kathleen Peterson case (more on that below) and O.J Simpson; it’s the best way to pass an hour in the evening. I love how you have to watch the programmes yourself and then listen to their thoughts, bridging a very clever gap between telly and podcasts. They’re very funny, making something that could’ve been heavy into one of my fave podcasts of the moment.
Stuff You Should Know
Quite hard going and not one I binge listen to, Stuff You Should Know covers some really interesting topics and makes them far easier to understand – even if the hosts are a tad annoying. They’ve covered everything from clowns, spiders, tea, Stonehenge, perfume, colour, oceans, passports, police dogs, alcoholism and dreams; with over 200 episodes to choose from there’s sure to be something to tickle your fancy. I’ve taken to listening to episodes of this in the car when I know I can’t be distracted by my phone or making cups of tea, and although they’re not exactly easy listening I do learn a lot more about stuff I would’ve never bothered to research!
Buffering The Vampire Slayer
I grew up on Buffy and can probably attribute 50% off my kick-ass attitude to watching her beat the crap out of every demon that came at her, without barely breaking a sweat. She’s a feminist icon of a generation and I hope the love for Sunnydale never wanes. Buffering The Vampire Slayer is for hardcore fans of the show, as the two hosts dissect each episode in turn and discuss the funny anecdotes and odd characters – as well as pointing out elements that will become more important as the series continues. It’s a great way to revisit the show and it instantly brings back memories of those key moments that left you weeping, laughing or hiding behind the sofa. A must-listen for any Buffy fans, or those that want to discover this iconic teen show.
Beyond Reasonable Doubt
I’d heard about the Michael and Kathleen Peterson case on another podcast, which focused on ‘Owl Theory’ and the fact that Michael was wrongly accused of his wife’s murder when in fact an owl was responsible for attacking her. This BBC Radio Five Live production is fast paced and thorough, taking you through the details of the relatively unknown case
(which involves Kathleen being found at the bottom of a staircase) and presenting the facts for you to make up your own mind; it speaks to many of the key people and delves into elements that aren’t covered by other productions, giving you short and snappy episodes which leave me wanting more. A great intro if you’re new to podcasts too.
I fully accredit this discovery to Kirsty from Fashion For Lunch who kept encouraging me to listen to their wild and wacky stories; it’s now something that I always turn to when I need a podcast hit and I don’t know what I fancy. Although stories of the internet underpin every episode, the hosts cover everything from medical mysteries and dating dilemmas, to internet scams and current affairs. One of their most recent double episode stories that started off as an Indian call centre scam evolved into a tense mystery that my fiance and I listened to in tandem in the gym so we could discuss immediately together afterwards; if that’s not podcast gold then I don’t know what is!
Someone Knows Something
I’d definitely recommend skipping season one of this and delving straight into season two, which covers the disappearance of Sheryl Sheppard after her New Years Eve engagement which was broadcast on television in 1997. Her body was never found, but there’s one very clear suspect that is incriminated by basically everyone that knew him – even if the police couldn’t prove it. This addictive show looks back at the case and analyses the television footage, partnering up with her mother in an attempt to resolve it once and for all; after you’ve become so immersed in the story, they even manage to speak to the main suspect to keep you on the edge of your metaphorical seat. I actually started to go to the gym more regularly so I could listen to this uninterrupted, which is podcast commitment at the highest level.
Hosted by Ella from Coco’s Tea Party and Monica from The Elgin Avenue, Let’s Discuss is basically two friends chatting about issues that impact women in their twenties and beyond: money, heartbreak, organisation, travel, comparison, social media and much more. It’s really easy listening and essentially blog posts in audio form; they give some really useful tips and tidbits of advice, even if they do come across like two of the most perfect creatures to ever grace this earth. (Ella says her idea of relaxation is organising her closet!) If you love their blogs you’ll love their podcast, but even if they’re new to you it’s worth listening to for a sprinkling of inspo and a touch of motivation.
I couldn’t cover off my favourite podcasts without including my own! When I started Made Online I had no idea what to expect and if it would be any good, but thankfully the response has been incredible and I’m overwhelmed with the support I’ve been shown. The overarching idea is that I speak to those that have made their life changing career, moment or business online and get them to share their story (and secrets.) So far I’ve spoken with Sara Tasker from Me & Orla, Jane Cunningham from British Beauty Blogger, Millie Kendall from BeautyMart, the founders of Spectrum Collections, the women who grew Harrods’ Instagram to one million followers, authors Grace Victory and Emily Clarkson, as well as some incredible bloggers. Right now there are ten episodes to enjoy and I have some amazing guests lined up in the coming months, so make sure you subscribe to listen first!
If you want to immerse yourself in the world of podcasts, then have I got a treat for you… I’ve teamed up with VQ (who make some incredible Bluetooth enabled radios) to offer one reader their very own choice of VQ radio, so they can listen to some of my podcast recommendations in the comfort of their own home. Whether you choose to do so in the bath, while doing the washing up or cosy in bed is up to you! All you have to do is enter via the widget below. Good luck and happy listening!
(PS: Got any other awesome podcast recommendations? Leave them in the comments below!)
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Read my post on podcasts (which covers the basics, how to listen and an intro into Made Online) here for more info! The VQ Retro Mini radio starts at £69.99 and is available via their website, or from major electrical retailers.
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