The government have been encouraging people to return to their offices, and whilst I know lots of people are still working from home, which is a very good thing, the Great British Commute looks set to return in force.
My commute is much shorter than it has been in the past, which is actually a shame when there are so many brilliant podcasts to be catching up on. But, never mind, anyone who does have to return to the office or who has been heading to a physical place of work all along will be able to really benefit from some of the broadcasts that are out there. Here are our favorites for October.
Work in Progress
Sophia Bush and her gorgeous smokey voice present this podcast in which she interviews friends, academics and activists to discuss their professional work, their socially responsible work and their personal work – their work in progress.
The results are a series of remarkably insightful, gentle, thoughtful podcast episodes that discuss everything from overarching empathy and the battle to achieve this, political beliefs, fears and disappointments, the incredible luxury and gift of therapy as well as topics like feminism, environmentalism, anti-racism and social consciousness.
Sophia Bush ends each episode by asking her guests “What for you is a work in progress at the moment?” and the responses are really insightful, interesting and enlightening.
The Confessional with Nadia Bolz-Weber
This series of shortish episodes seeks to listen to confessions from a range of people who are prepared to discuss their failings, or less than perfect behavior, on air with Lutherian Minister Nadia Bolz-Weber.
For those who haven’t heard of N B-W; she is a very open-minded, vocal feminist left wing minister in the Lutherian Church. Her personal brand is honesty, openness and humanity. She seeks grace and tries to be a kind and thoughtful person but is truthful about when she fails.
Agnostics, atheists and those of various faiths will find something very special in N B-W’s podcasts; she is an admirable person, and her guests are equally admirable in their attempts at total honesty and accountability.
We Can’t Talk About That Right Now
Jessie Cave (Lavender Brown from Harry Potter) and her sister, Bebe Cave, sit down to literally just chat about anything and everything, including MMA wrestling… The pair don’t seem to have any kind of structure whatsoever to their episodes, talking about a wide and diverse range of topics which flips from Selling Sunset, to Jessie’s teenage rape experience, to Bebe’s kleptomania to Jessie’s partner’s alcohol consumption, hitting every stop on the way.
If this sounds chaotic, it’s weirdly not, and it’s not annoying either, it actually really refreshing to hear to women talk without any particular agenda. They say lots of things that I suspect many people think without vocalizing and they manage to pull together a show that holds its listeners’ attention somehow despite its apparent randomness.
This podcast is a once a month very special treat in which Willa Paskin, TV Critic and journalist, dedicates herself to getting to the bottom of a pervasive cultural question. Sometimes she might examine something like a physical phenomenon, but often it’s a question that concerns popular culture and the way in which it infiltrates our psyche and influences our thoughts and our behaviors.
Recent episodes have approached the ‘Karen’ movement and The Shop Around the Corner (the true story of You’ve Got Mail)- especially interesting for anyone with an interest in old Hollywood, Theatre and Hungarian playwrites. The fact that we have to wait a month for each episode makes each one particularly enjoyable and means it’s easy to keep up to date, but besides that, Willa just makes great content.
Ten Things That Scare Me
This is exactly what it sounds like. Individuals sit in a room and discuss their deepest, darkest, silliest and most pervasive fears on air. Their responses are very moving sometimes, and sometimes they’re just very funny, but regardless, there’s nothing like listening to another person’s vulnerability to make yourself feel less alone
The Walkers Switch
I have saved the most important, the most hard hitting, and the most groundbreaking podcast for last. The Walkers Switch delves deep into the suspicious and mysterious act of Walkers changing the colours of their crisp packets.
I know this is what you all have been waiting for and now finally, the journalism is here, ready and waiting for you. In all seriousness, whilst the podcast begins as an investigation as to why Walkers changed the colours of their crisp packets, and more importantly, why they deny doing so, the story takes a number of bizarre and unexpected turns along the way. Tune in to find out how Nelson Mandela, the Torys and the Illuminati tie into the Walker’s crisps saga.