There you are lying on a sunbed/climbing a wet Welsh mountain/hiding out in some extreme air-conditioning and you want to dip your toe in the podcasting water. I mean everyone is podlistening, right? So here’s how to shut out the world (because it’s annoying) this summer….
1. If you’re into American politics
Pod Save America is brought to you by three hotshot (also hot) politicos who used to speechwrite for and advise Obama. They decided to become podcasters after Donald Trump won the election – their company is called Crooked Media. The two Jons (Lovett and Favreau), Tommy Vietor and Dan Pfeiffer are unflinchingly coruscating. Also funny. And hot in that clever, passionate about changing the world kind of way. Did we say hot already? Hot.
2. If you love food
Singer Jessie Ware and her mother Lenny host the most snackable podcast series, Table Manners. The pair cook lunch or dinner for a mix of musicians and famous people: think a smorgasbord of Sam Smith, Mark Ronson, Mel B, Ed Sheeran and Sadiq Khan. Tune in for mother/daughter quarrelling and the gentlest of foodie chats. WARNING: Will make you hungry.
3. If you like a proper yarn
The Dropout is the unbelievable tale of Elizabeth Holmes, the woman at the heart of the Theranos (a fake blood-test scandal) deception. Once the darling of Silicon Valley, who modelled herself on Steve Jobs, even down to the black polo necks, Holmes is now awaiting to standing trial for multi-million dollar fraud when it was revealed that Theranos was built on lies. The podcast is a part of a three-year investigation, forensically and grippingly put together.
4. If you want to laugh about motherhood
There’s not many funnier than the Scummy Mummies, whose podcast has been going for many millennia (in podcast years). Helen Thorn and Ellie Gibson are all brilliant banter; skewering the parenting tropes and making people feel less alone. Helen has also got her own hit podcast, the body positivity behemoth, Fat Lot of Good. Enormously good.
5. If you want to geek out
Design is everywhere in our lives, but do you even notice anything any more? 99% Invisible is dedicated to painstakingly uncovering all the little details we take for granted. Like sand. Basically it’s fact porn.
6. If you want an education but not in a worthy way
Deborah Frances-White may very well be our idol. The host of The Guilty Feminist sets out to explore our noble goals as 21st century feminists and the hypocrisies that undermine them. Sample: I am feminist but… on my way to the women’s march I stopped into a department store to buy some face cream – when I came out, the march had gone.” Also starring the best female comics in the world, from Hannah Gadsby to Sindhu Vee, as well as a properly diverse roster of writers and opinion formers.
7. If you are confused by tech
Look no further than the new podcast from female tech venture, Soda. On Talk Tech To Me, Jackie Annesley gets her hands on the phones of various writers and thinkers to make them talk us through their tech life. Sordid details and all…
8. If you’re jonesing for some New York energy
American comedians Phoebe Robinson and Jessica Williams are fierce, live and direct. 2 Dope Queens is the podcast where they chat sex, romance, race, Billy Joel and a whole bunch of other shit. Brooklyn in a bottle.
9. If you are worried about your marriage…
For a sneaky dose of fly-on-the-wall aural spying, listen to Giles Coren and his wife Esther Walker brilliantly bicker their way through the news, in order to help Coren find ideas for his Times column. It’s called Giles Coren Has No Idea.
10. If you adore Queer Eye…
And are so obsessed with Jonathan Van Ness (or JVN as we call him), that you live for his ice skating/gymnastic updates, and are contemplating spending £150 to go and see his live show in London… You can listen to Getting Curious, his podcast about everything, Hunty*.
11. If you’re bookish
12. If you love The Midult
We have a podcast, it’s called I’m Absolutely Fine, and we talk about all the glamour and indignity of being a grown-up with the likes of Anya Hindmarch, Martha Lane-Fox, Clemmie Hooper and Thomasina Miers. Probably the best podcast in the world.
*Hunty is a drag race fusion of the endearments honey and c***. Course it is.