A quick office polls confirms it, podcasts are our new favourite way to while away an hour (and actually learn something into the bargain) while we’re walking the dog/travelling to work/cooking the dinner. Here are the shows we’ve been downloading so far in 2018…
How I Built This
Q: Want to know how Kate Spade started her eponymous handbag line? A: By making her first collection out of sackcloth because none of the fabric houses would sell her small enough quantities of the material she actually wanted to use. Or the origins of one of the world’s top selling ice cream brands, founded by school friends Ben Cohen and Jerry Greenfield in the 1970s? Clue: think cookie dough. Hosted by Guy Raz of National Public Radio (US), How I Built This unravels the intriguing stories behind some of the world’s most successful entrepreneurs, all of whom had to start somewhere. If you’re sitting on a good idea, this’ll inspire you to make it happen.
The High Low
What we love about The High Low, hosted by journalists Dolly Alderton and Pandora Sykes, is just how much we learn. Loads. The show’s title is inspired by Tina Brown, the British ex-editor of Vanity Fair who coined the term ‘high low journalism’ in the 80s to describe the mix of gossip (low) and intelligent cultural comment (high) that would ultimately become the magazine’s USP. It’s a concept Dolly and Pandora have run with – in any one week expect to hear their innermost thoughts on the widest possible subject matters, from motherhood to Eurovision, and feel extremely entertained, and positively more informed, afterwards.
Desert Island Discs
It would be remiss of us not to include the Radio 4 classic, us being island-dwellers and all. We’re regular streamers of Kirsty Young’s Desert Island Discs, taken from the weekly radio slot which casts away well-known individuals (celebrities, musicians, sportspeople etc) on a fictional desert island and asks them to nominate the songs, book and a luxury item they’d take with them. Not to be confused with Desert Island Dishes, the food-inspired version hosted by Margie Broadhead (which is equally worth a listen).
Is It Just Me?
Listening to ex-Glamour editors Jo Elvin and James Williams chew the fat with their celebrity guests feels a bit like the juiciest session of eavesdropping we’ve heard in long while. Their knack for putting their guests – the likes of Davina McCall and Sali Hughes – instantly at ease makes for a smart and often hilarious debate that shines a light on the kind of water-cooler dilemmas that evoke strong opinions in us all – questions like ‘Should we really tell our friends exactly what we think of them?’ and ‘When is it acceptable to lie?’. If you’re anything like us, you’ll be nodding along knowingly and chipping in to the debate within the first 10 minutes. We’re hooked.
Self Service with Jerico Mandybur
If 2018 is the year you vowed to prioritise self-care, then brand new podcast Self Service is the show for you. Hosted by Jerico Mandybur (her name alone deserves applause) of Girlboss radio, it’s a millennial-friendly mix of astrology, guided meditation and, in her own words, weird wellness, to help fine-tune your mental and physical being. We’ll admit, the first few episodes had us in stitches, but once we got over the wackiness, we actually picked up some neat techniques for navigating stress and blitzing our towering ‘to-do’ lists without losing the plot − no mean feat!