My favourite podcasts

Ghosts, politics, food and scriptwriting. It's like the inside of my head!

My favourite podcasts
Image: AlpakaVideo via Canva Pro

The inspiration for this week's post comes from a question by subscriber Masie Burnett, sent via my Ask Me Anything form:

What podcasts are currently in your ears?

Great question, Masie. I listen to a lot of podcasts, so prepare yourself for a list!

Regular listens

The News Agents

I rarely miss an episode of The News Agents or its spin-off, The News Agents USA. Three ex-BBC journalists offer commentary and interviews on the day's headlines. It's definitely left-leaning, but so am I, which is why it's a good fit for me. Is there a certain smugness there? Sometimes, but the insight of Maitlis, Sopel and Goodall make up for every now and then veering into ever-so-slightly cringe.

‎The News Agents on Apple Podcasts
‎News · 2024

Pod Save the UK

Often brutal examination of the news by comedian Nish Kumar and journalist Coco Khan, but with a healthy interest in folk who are trying to make things better. Also, much funnier than The News Agents.

‎Pod Save the UK on Apple Podcasts
‎News · 2024

The Rest is Entertainment

A relatively new pod that has become a weekly favourite. Richard Osman and Marina Hyde discuss the week's entertainment news every Tuesday and then answer listeners' questions on Thursday. While the show understandably has a UK bias, I've loved the insights on the day-to-day running of light entertainment shows from everyone's favourite TV quiz producer turned cosy crime sensation, Richard Osman. The Thursday Q&A show is a particular delight for both trivia and TV fans.

Plus, this was the show that finally told me why Fozzie Bear is called Fozzie Bear!

‎The Rest Is Entertainment on Apple Podcasts
‎TV & Film · 2024

Off Menu

It's a comedy podcast that probably needs no introduction, but I'm going to give one anyway. Hosts Ed Gamble and James Acaster invite guests into a magical restaurant to choose their favourite starters, main course, side dish, desserts and drinks. Shouldn't be as funny as it is, but often has me snorting my morning tea out of my nostrils. Literally hundreds of episodes to choose from, but highlights include Dan Akroyd, Miriam Margolyes, Bob Mortimer and a rather sweet recent episode with Peter Capaldi.

One day I might have to share my own choices on this newsletter as I'm never going to be famous enough to be invited into the dream restaurant itself!

‎Off Menu with Ed Gamble and James Acaster on Apple Podcasts
‎Comedy · 2024

Script Apart

Oh, the insights that have been shared here. Host Al Horner invites a legendary script writer to examine their original draft for a classic film or TV show. I'm forever dipping in and out of the show's impressive back catalogue. The Die Hard Christmas episode is a particular favourite.

‎Script Apart on Apple Podcasts
‎TV & Film · 2024


I've mentioned this one a lot and for good reason...

It's brilliant.

Danny Robins and his team of experts investigate ghosts, UFOs and weird goings on in a podcast that has spawned TV specials, a live tour and a rattling-good book.

It's also worth checking out Danny's two long-form investigations The Battersea Poltergeist and The Witch Farm.

‎Uncanny on Apple Podcasts
‎Society & Culture · 2023

The Screen Writing Life

I've mentioned Meg LeFauve and Lorien McKenna's podcast before (most recently when talking about what gives me the most creative joy), but this is a real treasure trove of information and insight from the Oscar and Emmy-nominated pair. I have page after page of notes from this one.

‎The Screenwriting Life with Meg LeFauve and Lorien McKenna on Apple Podcasts
‎TV & Film · 2024

The Archers

So, I refused to listen to The Archers for a long time. After all, it was what my Dad listened to, every day on Radio 4. The BBC's long-running soap opera about everyday farming folk wasn't for me. I liked spaceships and monsters and... well, anything else.

Then, because of my work on Countryfile, I was invited to sit on the BBC Rural Affairs Advisory Board where we'd, among other things, discuss how The Archers represented farming life. There was no getting out of it. I had to listen to the blooming thing.

Fast forward five years after I'd left both the BBC and the Advisory Board, and Clare casually pointed out that not only was I still listening to The Archers, I never missed an episode.

OK, I admit it. I'm an Archers fan and I don't mind who knows it. I've even talked about it on stage at San Diego Comic Con. Who wouldn't thought? Certainly not my Dad!

‎The Archers on Apple Podcasts
‎Arts · 2024

Ideas Don't Bleed

Comic writers Matthew Rosenberg and the Supple Boiz interview comics creators about every aspect of, well ,comic creation! Anyone interested in how the comics sausage is made needs to listen to this one. Oh, and Star Wars: The High Republic fans might also be interested in the recent two-part interview with Charles Soule too, for that matter!

‎Ideas Don’t Bleed on Apple Podcasts
‎Arts · 2024

Talking Scared

The place to go to listen to in-depth conversations with the greatest voices in contemporary horror fiction. Most of the chat is strictly spoiler-free, but not a week goes by without me adding to my already teetering TRP!

‎Talking Scared on Apple Podcasts
‎Arts · 2024

Limited Series

I think that's probably enough for now, although there needs to be a few shout-outs for limited run podcasts I've enjoyed recently, some of which I've mentioned here before, some I haven't...

Heirs of Enslavement - A thought-provoking look at how the British slave trade continues to affect the world and our own country, hosted by the ancestor of a slave (MP Clive Lewis) and the ancestor of an enslaver (journalist Laura Trevelyan)

‎Heirs of Enslavement on Apple Podcasts
‎History · 2023

Ghost Story - A true-crime podcast with family drama and... ghosts? Of course I binged it!

‎Ghost Story on Apple Podcasts
‎True Crime · 2024

Witch - A fascinating BBC investigation into the history and modern life experience of witches in the UK.

‎Witch on Apple Podcasts
‎Society & Culture · 2023

Yeti - Another BBC podcast that sees two Yeti enthusiasts, one a believer, the other a sceptic, head off into the Himalayas to see if the mythical creature really exists.

‎Yeti on Apple Podcasts
‎Society & Culture · 2023

I think that's everything for now. Thanks for the question Masie!

Do you have a favourite podcast I've not mentioned here? Then share it in the comments.

And don't forget to send your own questions in either in the comments or via my online form!

Until next time, don't forget to forward this mail to anyone you think would enjoy it! They can subscribe here!

Take care!