The podcast business is huge, especially in today’s era of self isolation, with tens of millions of listeners every week. There is a podcast for everything – from science and technology, to the history of the Victorians and techno music playlists. More and more celebrities are jumping on the bandwagon, as it would seem everyone has an opinion on life that they want to share with us.

The beauty of podcasts is that you can listen to them anywhere at any time. We bring you our recommendations of the most popular, for those times when you have a spare hour or so and want to relax with some audio entertainment without being glued to a screen. Visit the websites for more information, or get the podcasts at iTunes.

For sports:

If you like football (soccer) and you like laughing, tune in to That Peter Crouch Podcast. The ridiculously tall Crouch (6 ft 7 inches, or 2.01 m in new money) theoretically brings us his experiences as a Premier League footballer with tips on how to be a professional footballer. In reality, Crouch and his two cohorts Chris Stark and Tom Fordyce regale the listener with their thoughts on dressing rooms, goalkeepers, football strips, and breaking up riots in Africa while on the team bus. The current season is called ‘Working From Home’, a lighthearted response to COVID-19. That Peter Crouch Podcast was the winner of the 2019 British Podcast Awards, Spotlight Award, and has several million listeners every week. It is well worth a listen regardless of which team you support.

For everyday life:

The Wired UK Podcast is released every Friday, and is around 30 to 40 minutes long. Each week, the team takes a look at the week’s stories in tech, culture, science and politics. As well as debates concerning the coronavirus, the podcasts reference random topics such as how the Western world is being taken over by high-tech Japanese toilets, the reason behind the weird dreams we are having while in lockdown, and whether the workplace instant messaging platform Slack has ruined our lives.

For history:

The HistoryExtra podcasts are brought to you three times a week by the good folks at BBC History Magazine, BBC History Revealed and BBC World Histories Magazine. There are interviews with historians on subjects spanning the centuries, from ancient history to more recent British and American events. Expect tales of Tudor monarchs, the D-Day landings, surviving the Greek plague, and everything you wanted to know about the Vikings but were afraid to ask.

For science and technology:

Another BBC podcast, this time from the BBC Science Focus team (in fact, the BBC has a lot of interesting podcasts you may wish to investigate). The Science Focus Podcast makes sense of today’s important issues featuring some of the biggest names in science and technology. There is a new series with six physics lessons from Professor Jim Al Khalili, who answers Google’s most asked physics questions along with queries from listeners, so you will finally find out what happens if you were to fall into a black hole and how old the Earth’s core is. Elsewhere you can learn the odds of civilisation surviving the century, what our brain is doing when we sleep, what happened to Apollo 13, and how emotions are made.

For design and architecture:

The 99% Invisible podcast takes its name from American architect Buckminster Fuller: ‘Ninety-nine percent of who you are is invisible and untouchable.’ The show focuses on the unseen and overlocked aspects of design and architecture and is consistently in the Top 50 of iTunes podcast lists. Listen to those in the industry discuss how certain design elements have influenced them personally and in their career, as well as episodes about current news events and all the things we don’t think about, from the lives of long haul truckers to the world’s recent obsession with toilet rolls.

For the internet:

It’s difficult to find someone who doesn’t like Reply All, which has a solid five-star rating on iTunes. The podcasts are loosely based on everything relating to the internet and how humans have shaped it. Hosts PJ Vogt and Alex Goldman somehow manage to uncover the strange and the baffling each week: episodes so far have covered what happens when you let someone hack your phone for a day, trying to find a song that has completely vanished from the internet, and the Snapchat usernames everyone wants.

For music:

Each week, Song Exploder asks artists in 30 minutes or less to talk about the writing and production process behind one of their favourite songs. The podcast is a fascinating and personal interview as musicians take their song apart, with brand new artists alongside longstanding names such as Sheryl Crow and Lindsey Buckingham of Fleetwood Mac. The short episode lengths mean you can dip in and out whenever you have a few spare minutes, and is the chance to listen to great songs by artists you may not have otherwise discovered.

For real life stories:

The True Spies podcast from SPYSCAPE only started in April 2020 but already has a cult following. Hayley Atwell narrates the incredible true stories behind some of the world’s greatest spy operations. Listen as operatives from the FBI, CIA, KGB and Cambridge Analytica relate their experiences, from spying on spies to deep undercover operations and the manipulation of personal data to influence public opinion. SPYSCAPE then asks: what would you do in these situations?

For movies and TV shows:

Binge Mode comes from The Ringer website and podcast network in the US. It has been named one of the best podcasts by Time magazine and USA Today, and was No 1 on the Apple Podcasts iTunes chart in April 2019. The two presenters, Mallory Rubin and Jason Concepcion, are unofficial experts in such pop culture phenomenons as ‘Game of Thrones’, with their first podcast series aired prior to the series’ seventh season. This led to a Harry Potter series, and another GoT podcast for series eight. The two have now turned their attention to the Star Wars franchise, with each episode humorously dissecting a specific film or character. Expect conversations on the final episode of ’Star Wars: the Clone Wars’ and a favourite topic for fans, Jar Jar Binks. Binge Mode also covers other hot topics like TV shows ‘Tiger King’ and ‘Devs’.

For news:

This American Life is considered one of the most popular podcasts there has ever been, regularly attracting more than 2.2 mn listeners each week. It is also hugely successful, having won the Peabody Award and the James Beard Award for Radio Show. In May 2020 it won the first Pulitzer Prize for a radio show for ‘The Out Crowd’, which reported from Donald Trump’s ‘Remain in Mexico’ asylum policy. The podcasts cover a vast variety of stories, often on subjects that don’t get due attention, but all delivered in an informative, entertaining and thought-provoking manner, and with many suitable for listening to as a family.

And finally – For news and interviews about life in Qatar:

Doha Heat comes from Ginger Camel and features interviews with those in the community who are contributing positively to life in Qatar, whether from a business or personal perspective. The informal chats discuss all manner of subjects from all walks of life – themes have included taking care of babies, cultural diversity and making your dreams become a reality. Visit or find the episodes on iTunes.

Take a look at all the Ginger Camel podcasts that are available:






Author: Sarah Palmer

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