I love a good podcast. I didn’t get into them straight away, and I can’t remember what year I first started listening to them. I just have a vague memory of wondering if podcasts were worth getting into, searching for ones that interest me, and ultimately finding that yes, there are plenty worth a listen!
Basically, you should be able to find a good podcast on any topic. What I love about them is the same thing I love about video-sharing websites-you can find specialist content that the world of TV simply ignores. In the last couple of years, the podcast scene seems to have exploded, and there really is something for almost everyone!
The time I usually enjoy listening to a podcast is when travelling (be it walking, bus, train or car) anywhere, but especially to work. I find listening can help motivate me to make that journey!
Currently, with my main place of work, it takes around 1 hour to get to, I usually do this 4 days a week, so I get through plenty of podcasts! I explore all different ones based on my interests, but there are some that I always listen to. Here are 5 of them
1.The Frank Skinner Show
I have always liked Frank, both as a comedian and a personality. I remember catching his chat show as a kid and finding him funny. As I got older I followed his stand up, finding him entertaining and interesting on any show he might pop up on. I remember his sitcom Shane, wanting more of it (one of many enjoyable recurring jokes on this podcast is how it should have got a second series!)
I have been listening to this podcast for a couple of years now and Frank is as quick-witted as always. I love how a lot of the topics explored are of a mundane variety, everyday things. It’s gentle comedy and chats, but Frank can still showcase that razor-sharp wit and commentary where needed! As mentioned, there are plenty of ongoing jokes and references for long-term listeners (or readers as they are referred to).
Joining Frank, are co-hosts Emily Dean and Alun Cochrane, who all bounce off each other well. The podcast is his Absolute show without the music, and as I don’t usually get to catch that live, this works very well for me. A fun and enjoyable to listen to podcast and a weekly part of my routine. Has plenty of listener interaction for the presenters to chat over, too. Long may the trio continue!
Now this one is not going to be as easy to describe as the above! In fact, one of the running gags on Cheapshow is how hard it is to describe this podcast to anyone-it certainty is its own thing!
Before we get into that, I personally got into the show wanting something that explored my love of finding interesting items for a cheap price-specifically at car boots sales and charity shops. I’m into a few different collectables, some of which the duo explore on this show, but even those that are not, I’ll find interesting.
I already knew of the two presenters Paul Gannon and Eli Silverman from the Barshens videos they starred in with Stuart Ashens and Barry Lewis, two YouTubers I had already been following. Through the entertaining Barshens I discovered Cheapshow which aims to explore charity shops, carboots, Poundland’s, etc and share their quirky findings. And they do this and its very enjoyable, what they actually find as well as the chat that comes with it!
Sometimes the items are very random, but often they will be based around either of their interests and of course, it needs to be cheap. They also focus on particular items at times such as vinyl-one of my favourite segments as it often explores novelty vinyl, a thing I love. They explore these finds in many light-hearted ways, often with games but also with plenty of informative bits, in between the joking and piss-taking! Sometimes they play second-hand board games which are always great. Speaking of games, they have a genius segment called The Price of Shite, yes a riff on The Price is Right!
In between all of the above, and a lot more (yay for a regular Noodle segment!) you will arrive at lots of tangents-many rude and/or surreal! But also often very interesting. In fact, some of the most interesting episodes are when a rabbit whole that was previousley touched on in an earlier episode, is fully explored. Or when they do one of their ‘out and about’ episodes’.
This is not to say the comedy aspect of the podcast is not well done or satisfying because for me it is. I mean, I don’t personally mind how much swearing a podcast has as long as it’s good, I don’t mind how rude it gets as long as it’s funny. The, shall we say, crass, sexual humour is a lot more ‘blunt’ and well, graphic then I would normally get in my podcast fix but it’s part of the brand at this point (over 200 episodes in) and they play up to it as much as possible! Its all done in a knowing way, as is any ‘bad’ parts of the podcast that ‘dosen’t work.’
Speaking of things that don’t work, but again, that often becomes the thing that does work about them-characters play a big part in this podcast. Every so often a recurring or new character will make an appearance, expect regular inerludes of this kind! Sometimes they will be in and out the podcast door, sometimes there will be whole episodes devoted to their narrative.
Oh, and I love anything where people test food out, and as well as good old noodles, all manner of sweets, crisps and other treats will be put through their paces. There is a PO box for these to be sent in, and fans send in other items of non-food in this way, too. Every so often, there will be a ‘special episode’ (in inverted commas because, they are all special!) which follows a spoof narrative of some sort as mentioned, or focuses on one particular brand or person of note.
A podcast that can be nostalgic, interesting, funny and all sorts of other things! Somehow both irrelevant and relevent, but of course it would not be what it is without the two presenters and their double act, along with some great editing and general content! Definitely worth supporting on Patreon if you like what they do, and you can get some nice extras such as exclusive video action:
3. Athletico Mince
Bob Mortimer in a podcast is one of the things that should exist and thankfully it does. This podcast started off about football, but is mostly not really about football at all. Or it uses football loosely as a way for Bob and his co-presenter Andy Dawson to launch into various hilirious scenes. I always find one of the funniest things is when Bob is doing his thing and you just here Andy completley pissing himself in the background! I’ll normally be joining him, and its actually something I have found handy about wearing a mask in public-I don’t scare people as much while I am listening to this with a big grin on my face.
If you are a fan of Bob and his antics and perhaps you know Andy from one of his other quality podcasts, you’ll likely like this pod. And yes, even if you don’t like football it’s still.very funny, with all sorts of running gags and sketches, and if you are into the beautiful game, you’ll get something extra from their football personality take-offs! A very funny podcast. Worth subscribing to its spin-off through Patreon for even more gold content:
4. Off Menu with Ed Gamble and James Acaster
A simple, yet effective idea, that works thanks to the two likeable and funny presenters. If you don’t know Ed or James, you have clearly never watched Mock the Week, but they are both comedians. James is a genie (at least for the podcast), and he allows the guest of the week to pick any Starter, Main and Dessert that they want from his magic restaurant. This will spark some great chat and comedy around favourite food types.
The presenters are always on great form, and do their best to make the episode work (I only say that as of course this depends partly on the guest in question, but whoever it is they usually turn out to be intersting and entertaining in some respect). It is funny but also great to hear conversation around one of my favioute subjects food and drink!
An excellent podcast concept. The team come up with better sequel ideas for films that had very bad ones. The conversations are always interesting and full of good humour, with each contributor ready with plenty of good points to make. I originally got into listening to it as I heard Stuart Ashens was a regular, and enjoy his passion for film. He left some time ago, but I definitely carried on listening as the current team of Matthew Stogdon, Tim Maytom and Jack Chambers is very good.
Definitely worth supporting on Patreon if you can, and look out for special spin-off episodes in-between series’ for something slightly different.
Well, that’s 5 for now, will likely be back with another 5 at some point! What are your favioute podcasts- I’d love to read your recommendations and give them a listen.