Podcasts are undoubtedly growing ever more popular, to the extent that it now seems like every man and his dog (with a microphone!) seems to have one. They can be comedic, educational, heart-warming as well as heart-breaking – but how best to sort the worthy soundbites from the wasted hours? These suggestions might point you in the right direction….

My Dad Wrote a Porno– for those who want to cry with laughter…

A man discovers his father has written an entire series of self-published erotica. What else to do but read it aloud along with two friends (and much wine)? In the first novella, protagonist Belinda Blumenthal attempts to get a job at a pots and pans company, and attends many a regional sales meeting. How on earth could this possibly be sexy? To tell the truth – it isn’t, but it’s so bad it’s brilliant.

Standard Issue– for the social justice warriors…

This podcast began life as an online magazine, but now lives on in our ears. Comedian Sarah Millican interviews weekly a whole gamut of talented, smart women who discuss life, politics, and everything inbetween - serving to highlight that ‘women’s interests’ are certainly not confined to the content that Cosmo would like us to believe our world revolves around.

Sawbones– for the sceptics….

Fan of a juicy bad science exposé? This podcast has discussed everything from medical astrology, to the alkaline diet, reviewed from the perspective of an actual M.D. Some episodes cover the history of various medical techniques, which can be grotesquely interesting but really will just make you grateful for how much modern medicine has advanced!

The Allusionist – for the language nerds….

If the evolution of words and their usage is all that you can think about at night, this podcast is for you. Any vaguely interesting word is seized upon by host Helen Zaltzman and explored, from the everyday “Hello” (apparently Alexander Graham Bell, inventor of the telephone, favoured the greeting “Ahoy!”) to more unusual areas of language, such as baby talk and curses.

Wooden Overcoats– for those who miss Cabin Pressure….

Wooden Overcoats is a charming story-time podcast, following one Mr Fun, the miserable proprietor of Piffling Island’s “Fun Funerals”, as he struggles to keep his business afloat when a rival funeral director – the handsome, charismatic and seemingly perfect Eric Chapman - sets up shop directly opposite him (who, needless to say, is also more ‘fun’ than Mr Fun could ever be).


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The Modern Mann – for those who want to broaden their horizons…

If you have a solid amount of time to devote to podcast listening, this is how to spend it. The Modern Mann features an in-depth interview per episode with a range of guests and stories, including not only a private butler to the London elite but even real-life modern pirate! The podcast also features ordinary people, who often have never been interviewed before, talking about a particular struggle they faced in life, which makes for many emotive tales we can all learn from.

No Such Thing as a Fish – for those seeking a conversation starter…

If you love trivia that is so niche it’s practically pidge-sized, this podcast is for you. Created by several QI writers, who each bring a fun fact to the discussion, it bridges the gap between obscure and hilarious. Were it not for this show, I would never have discovered that there is a version of the Macarena called Macarena Christmas – Joy Mix (which funnily enough, is pretty much the original but with the addition of sleigh bells). The team will be coming to Cambridge Corn Exchange in early March this year – so if you fancy experiencing the show live, keep an eye out for tickets.

Help I sexted my boss – for those ready to share the pain of awkward moments….

This podcast is essentially a modern agony aunt – featuring real listener questions, the hosts work their way through the etiquette of what to do when your phone rings whilst you’re on the loo, or how to make it through a job interview with the hangover to end all hangovers. Brilliant if you’ve just made a faux pas, and need to hear some other excruciatingly embarrassing stories to put your pain in perspective!

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