Our research team spend a lot of time on the road: that’s a lot of listening hours. Sometimes the sing-a-long reigns, but we often find podcasts are better for keeping the brain engaged and driver awake, not to mention the smug feeling of arriving cleverer than when we left.
Here’s a roundup of our favourite podcasts to keep you company on the road.
Celebrity historian Dan Snow brings his usual clarity to all manner of historical chapters, exploring topics such as the latest Mayan discoveries, the Bayeux Tapestry and the real Charles II with an array of learned guests: “extraordinary, dramatic, tragic and fascinating stories of our shared past”.
A comedy podcast from across the pond, Marc’s show (often recorded in his garage at ‘The Cat Ranch’) features “revelatory conversations with iconic personalities such as Macaulay Caulkin, Robin Williams, Keith Richards, Ben Stiller, and President Barack Obama”. Today, it more than six-million downloads each month, popularity which speaks for itself.
“A long form conversation with guests that is one of the most popular comedy podcasts on iTunes”, Joe Rogan – more known for his connection with Ultimate Fighting – debunks any meathead image with his endless curiosity for the world, with shows on all manner of varied topics, from archaeology to police corruption and nutritional tips from biochemists.
If you’ve ever wondered why more people are going vegan, why companies rely on job interviews, what imposter syndrome is, or why we dream, look to the BBC’s Why Factor podcast for answers. An enlightening exploration of those idle questions that flit across our minds. A slightly more reverent version of Olly Mann and Helen Zaltzmann’s Answer Me This podcast, also worth a listen.
A radio hour based on the famous talks, which give bitesized talks from expert speakers, laying out fresh approaches to old problems and new slants on current issues. Just the sort of brain-piquing content you’d expect from TED.
The classic choice, Desert Island Discs has been going since 1942 and has hosted an array of famous cast-aways picking the eight tracks, book and luxury that they would take with them to solitude on a faraway island. Today hosted by Kirsty Young, conversations around the items are funny and insightful and with an archive stretching back over 70 years, you won’t run out of episodes in a hurry.