Podcasts are the newest fad for audio fiends and radio lovers on the go. Here are some of the best interview podcasts that everyone needs to subscribe to.
If you haven’t come across Dolly Alderton’s debut novel, Everything I Know About Love, you must have been hiding under a rock. Please find a copy immediately. Love Stories is the podcast to coincide with the book’s release, and, as we know from The High-Low, Dolly’s original podcast with fellow journalist Pandora Sykes, Dolly is exceptionally eloquent and a terrific interviewer. She talks to people about the defining love stories that make up their lives: the passionate, heartbreaking, everlasting love stories.
An Episode to Download: Emma Freud
Desert Island Dishes
Presented by chef Margie Broadhead, this podcast follows a formula that has stood the test of time. Margie talks to guests about their life with food, and, of course, their seven Desert Island Dishes. From their favourite childhood dishes, to their favourite sandwich, to the dish they eat most often, we learn about the food that has shaped their lives. Margie then goes away and creates a recipe based on the dishes mentioned by her guests. It’s a winning formula, and great to hear from people in the food industry not often interviewed in the mainstream media.
An Episode to Download: Thomasina Meyers, Co-founder of Wahaca, Chef and Writer
Bryony Gordon’s Mad World
Telegraph columnist Bryony Gordon’s journey is waiting for a film producer to snap up. She’s traced her dramatic life in her books: discussing her wildly hedonistic alcohol and cocaine-fuelled twenties in her debut memoir The Wrong Knickers: A Decade of Chaos, her obsessive-compulsive disorder and other mental illnesses in Mad Girl, and most recently her discovery of running and how running a marathon began to change her outlook on life in Eat, Drink, Run: How I Got Fit Without Going Too Mad.
Her podcast, Mad World, is a culmination of all these themes. Gordon interviews guests about how their mental health has affected their lives, proving that feeling weird is actually entirely normal. Oh, and she interviewed Prince Harry in her very first episode.
An Episode to Download: James Rhodes
Here’s the Thing with Alec Baldwin
Alec Baldwin may not be the first person you’d imagine to host an interview podcast, but it turns out he’s a dab hand at it. He is a completely enigmatic host, and he gets the guests entirely on his side. The guests range from Bernie Sanders, the Democratic presidential nominee who ran against Trump, to the deputy commissioner of New York City’s Department of Environmental Protection, leading the city’s Bureau of Wastewater Treatment. The surprising guest choices are just as fascinating as the household names.
An Episode to Download: Tina Brown Was in the Room Where It Happened
How I Built This
In this NPR podcast, Guy Raz explores the stories behind the world’s biggest companies, interviewing their founders and finding out how they made their millions. The stories are always more surprising than you’d imagine, and in most cases, success did not come that easily. Raz interviews the founders of Vice, Airbnb, Zumba, Virgin, Kate Spade, Whole Foods Market, Five Guys, WeWork, Bumble, Chipotle, Instagram and Ben & Jerry’s, just to name a few…
An Episode to Download: Five Guys: Jerry Murrell
At Home With…
In At Home With…, bloggers Anna Newton and Lily Pebbles visit the homes of other bloggers, magazine editors and leading figures within the fashion and beauty industry. It’s super nosy and perfect for anyone who loves the idea of rifling through someone else’s drawers. Our homes says a lot about us, so it becomes a much more revealing interview than you may initially think. If you listen on Acast, you’re also able to view photos of their houses, focusing in on the specific items and features they draw attention to. Their second season is starting soon, so jump on board now.
An Episode to Download: Georgie Cleeve: Founder, OSKIA Skincare
Most people familiar with the world of podcasts should have heard of this one, because it just swept the board in wins at the British Podcast Awards. In it, comedian Cariad Lloyd interviews guests (often other comedians) on the topic of grief and often a particularly momentous person in their life that they have lost. She herself lost her father at a young age. Although it doesn’t sound like an hour of rainbows and smiles, it is always funny and moving, and I have no doubt has helped many people through difficult times.
An Episode to Download: Deborah Frances-White
Where Should We Begin?
Here we go, my third American entry (I think I’m doing quite well for someone who is simply obsessed with British podcasts and very few others). This is a podcast that would quite literally never be made in the UK. Esther Perel is a therapist and relationship counsellor, and these podcast are real-life recordings of her meetings with couples. It is completely fascinating. Each couple come with a different problem, from infidelity to sexual impotency to loss, and each couple are revisited further down the line so we can discover that they have all dealt differently in the follow-up. You may not be sold by any synopsis of the podcast, but dive right in and I am sure you’ll be hooked in no time.
An Episode to Download: Literally any of them. It’s a lucky dip.
Fearne Cotton is a newbie in the podcast world, but has got herself embedded in the top charts extremely quickly. The episode with diver Tom Daley and his husband Dustin Lance Black is something everyone should listen to. The first time I listened to it I found myself completely overcome, welling up within minutes. The interview takes place shortly after they announced to the public that their surrogate was expecting a baby, and the whole talk is so insightful and charming, and Fearne is such a warm host.
An Episode to Download: Tom Daley & Dustin Lance Black
Walking the Dog with Emily Dean
This podcast by The Times has an exceptionally simple format, and one that really works well. She takes her interview subjects on walks with their dogs, and the conversation that ensues varies from week to week. Looking back, some of the best conversations I’ve ever had have been on runs or dog walks, and it’s clear that Emily Dean feels the same. The interview subjects won’t set your world alight initially – they are all familiar comedians, but no-one that controversial or out there – but as the conversations progress, you realise that everyone has stories worth telling, and they’re a really lovely audio accompaniment to your own walks.
An Episode to Download: Larry and George Lamb