Podcasts: Your Next Obsession

So you’ve just watched the latest Netflix show in one long sitting, and you’re on the hunt for your next storytelling fix. The new season of Game Of Thrones isn’t due for another year — what do you do?

Podcasts are fast becoming a favoured alternative to TV, and with good reason. The audio format is just as flexible, ranging from talk shows to comedies to thrillers, and you can listen anytime, anywhere. Here’s our round-up of the most binge-able shows.

Truth Stranger Than Fiction

Serial

Podcasts have been a beloved form of storytelling for years, but there’s no doubt that when Serial came along, it popularised the medium for a whole new audience. This was down to two key factors. Firstly, the compelling true crime narrative, which followed the events surrounding the murder of high school student Hae Min Lee in 1999, unfolded like a drama each week. Secondly, the warm and informal narration by journalist Sarah Koenig made the listener feel that they were a part of the investigation.

No Such Thing As A Fish

Hosted by the team of boffins behind popular quiz show QI, No Such Thing As A Fish will ensure you are never without a fun fact to drop at a party. In each new episode, the presenters offer up something utterly bizarre but 100% true that they have learned.

For more weird science and true stories, try Freakonomics Radio and The Moth.

The cast of No Such Thing As A Fish
The cast of No Such Thing As A Fish

Podcasts To Make You Blush

My Dad Wrote A Porno

The title of this runaway sensation really does tell you exactly what you’re going to get. Join host Jamie each week as he narrates a new chapter of ‘Belinda Blinked’, the smutty magnum opus penned by his own father. And if the painfully awkward and decidedly unsexy prose isn’t hysterical enough, the continuous interruptions and commentary from co-hosts Alice and James will have you in stitches. Warning: Listening in public will result in fits of giggles and some very strange looks.

Savage Lovecast

Do you have a question about love, sex, or relationships? Advice columnist Dan Savage is on hand to offer frank, funny and fearless opinions on whether it’s right to open up a marriage, or come clean to your partner about your sketchy past, or maybe just break up.

For more bawdy humour, check out live comedy podcast The Guilty Feminist. You might also enjoy Modern Love, in which famous figures read out essays on life, family and dating.

Listen With The Lights On

Alice Isn’t Dead

An uncanny tale of love and terror, Alice Isn’t Dead is narrated by a trucker on a journey across America in search of her missing wife. While on the road, she crosses paths with a runaway teen and the monstrous ‘Thistle Man’. From the mind of Joseph Fink, co-creator of podcast sensation Welcome To Night Vale, this compelling serial isn’t for the faint of heart.

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The Black Tapes

Alex Regan is a reporter with a nose for a good story. Which is why, when she meets the enigmatic Dr Strand, she is determined to gain access to his research into a series of seemingly supernatural events. Riddled with dark twists from the outset, The Black Tapes is best described as The X-Files meets The Exorcist. 

Still feeling brave? Then why not also try spooky serial Small Town Horror and conspiracy thriller Limetown.

Your New Best Friends

Spirits

Some of the best podcasts out there are the ones where you just feel like you’re hanging out with your mates. This is the premise behind Spirits, in which hostesses Amanda McLoughlin and Julia Schifini get plastered and chat ancient myths, ghost stories, and urban legends. Think along the lines of Drunk History, but with more monsters.

Throwing Shade

We all have a lot to deal with these days, from depressing politics to even more depressing Tinder dates. Luckily, besties Erin Gibson and Bryan Safi are on hand to give us their own cutting take on it all.

Other hangout shows include The Adam Buxton Podcast and Adventures in Roommating.

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