I discovered recently that my UK Mission FC teammate Adrian is also a fan of podcasts, so we agreed to exchange tips on some of our favourites. The list I emailed to him seemed like it would sit well here too. One we already had in common is Fighting Talk, a humourous weekly sports panel show from BBC Radio 5. Colin Murray presents. Highly recommended.
So, without further ado, here’s a list of the podcasts I listen to:
Playback (RTE Radio 1)
This and Fighting Talk are the two definites each week for me. This weekly show is a great way of keeping in touch with political, cultural, sporting, social life in Ireland. It’s a kind of compendium of the best bits of shows from across all of the RTE radio stations during the previous seven days.
This American Life
This is from public radio in the USA. Usually good, sometimes really excellent. I pick and choose depending on whether it looks like something that’ll interest me. Each one is only available free of charge for one week. This week’s one looks like it could be pretty good (Doppelgangers).
Radio documentaries about popular science. Always a good listen. The short show this week about doctors and death is good…and I enjoyed the one a few weeks back about kids and genetic inheritance. Not as heavy as it sounds.
I used to listen to this a lot more, but the host has really started to annoy me. His two co-hosts are okay and it can be quite funny at times, but Chris Hardwick himself tries a bit too hard. Nonetheless, when the guest is someone that interests me, I’ll download and listen. Some of the guests are people I’ve never heard of or have no interest in, but recent interviews (actually they’re more like casual chats than interviews) have included Tom Hanks, Mel Brooks, Kevin Bacon and Larry King.
Cover versions. Lots of them. The presenter is clearly passionate about covers but isn’t great on the microphone himself… I check the feed every couple of months to see whether any bands or themes that particularly interest me have passed by. Right now I’m about to download the 2012 Top 40, which should make for a few hours of good listening. (The covers in the Top 40 aren’t all from 2012, but are voted on by his subscribers. To keep it fresh he inducts those that appear repeatedly into a kind of Hall of Fame that removes them from the Top 40.)
The Guardian Tech Weekly
I’m not that big of a tech geek, despite what some may think, but the topics do interest me a bit, and it’s handy for my job to keep in touch with new developments. I dip in and out of this one.
Le Rendezvous Tech
Covers similar ground in the tech domain, but this time serving the twin purpose of helping me to improve my French.
Just recently came across this one…I’m not sure yet whether it’ll turn out to be my cup of tea, but a recent interview with Jason Kottke (whose blog is just brilliant) was quite interesting.
I haven’t listened to this at all yet, but it comes highly recommended and I may give it a try over the coming months.
And that’s it! I may add one or two of Adrian’s recommendations to the mix in due course – but there’s only so much listening time available. Actually it was the fact that becoming a father ate into the amount of time I have for reading that started me on podcasts. Now I find I’m trying to strike a good balance between listening to music and listening to podcasts. Life’s tough, eh?!