When you work making things with your hands TV shows and movies are not really the best thing to pass the time, for me this leaves audio-books and podcasts. Although I do love my audio-books (Stephen Fry reading Harry Potter anyone) I get a kick out of the variety and surprises you get with Podcasts. Not only that, but the length of the average Podcast episode makes it really easy to switch things up when your mood changes.
Now I know everyone’s tastes are different, but here are my absolute favourite podcasts that get me through my working day. I tend add a new Podcast to my list every couple of weeks and I am always looking for more, so please feel free to recommend some more, it is always great to discover new things and, you never know, there might be another post in the future.
To find out more about each of these podcasts just click on the images below.
Welcome To Nightvale
It was inevitable that this Podcast was going to join my playlist. When it first came out my Facebook feed was filled with hype, and seeing my friends constantly posing about it, along with the surreal quotes that kept popping up on my page, I followed that bandwagon and hopped right on. I was not disappointed. The podcast is set up as a radio show presented by Cecil, narrating and updating you with strange events from the town of Nightvale. It is wonderfully creepy and surreal, filled with amazing imagery and events in this otherworldly town. The Podcast feels a little Lovecraftian and a little Stephen King. The writing and acting is on point, combine this with the interesting characters and the brilliant musical interludes they describe as the weather, and you get a show at top of my recommended list. Seriously, if you not have listened to it before, go and download it now.
No Such Thing As A Fish
A podcast run by the brilliant QI elves. If you know nothing about QI it is a fact based game show where the mission is not necessarily to just be right, but also to be as interesting as possible, know your facts and share them with the world. This format totally appeals to a brain filled with so much useless information the only thing I can use it for is a Thursday night Pub Quiz. No Such Thing As A Fish is the shows researchers telling you the most interesting fact they have discovered that week, the others then chip in with information they found around that topic. You will learn a huge amount of interesting and often hilarious information, and I guarantee you that the wit and eloquence of the presenters will have you laughing out loud when you are listening to it. Just one small heads up, it does help to appreciate a good pun.
The Magnus Archives
Compared to most of the podcasts I listen to this one is fairly new. It started in March 2016, and I started listening a few months later and it almost immediately made its way to the top of my must listen list. The setting is that of an archivist reading reports of supernatural happenings and recording them for the archives, all to try to bring some form of order from the chaos left behind by his predecessor. It quickly comes about that there is an over arcing story, and it is a fascinating listen. The dry cynicism with how the archivist assesses each case, the combination of static filled recording, well used music and sound effects, and a good balance of well timed humour, mean that this podcast has genuinely creeped me out at points as well as giving me a couple of surprising laugh out loud moments. If you love well written, original horror, this should be on your stream right now.
The Thrilling Adventure Hour
As the tagline says, new style podcasts in the style of old time radio. This is a high quality production, often featuring guest stars such as Nathan Fillian (Oh I love that man) and Zachary Levi (guess who else I love), and gives you fantastic stories in the style of 50’s radio shows. There are different worlds, each wonderful in their own way, the fan favourite, and mine also, is Beyond Belief, two upper class, drunken socialites who see ghosts and end up reluctantly solving supernatural issues. The fabulous and quick fire banter between the two leads, Frank and Sadie Doyle, and the rest of the cast is a joy to listen to and always has me in stitches. My other favourite is Sparks Nevada, Marshal on Mars, it plays wonderfully with the stereotypes of the Wild West and again has the quick witted writing you get with Beyond Belief, combine this is Sparks’ improvised interruptions and you have yourself some comedy gold. I highly suggest you head over now, download it and start listening. Though the live shows, and thus the podcast have now finished there are still at least 200 episodes out there to be enjoyed.
Hello From The Magic Tavern – A ridiculous improv show, based in the magical land of Foon. The premise is presenter, Arnie NieKamp, has fallen through a portal and landed in the magical world of Foon. He has two co-hosts Chunt a shapeshifting badger and Usador the Wizard. It is rude, brash and ludicrous but, as he meets each new guest the world starts to build and the characters round out. I have to give this props for continuity and humour. Be prepared for swearing and an inordinate amount of talk about buttholes.
The Infinite Monkey Cage – A science podcast presented by Brian Cox and comedian Robin Ince. It is interesting, funny and often insightful. Plus they have some pretty cool guests. Brian Blessed talking about going to Mars will get your spirit for adventure going. If you ever wanted to know when a strawberry was dead, or the science of Christmas then this is the podcast for you.
Escape Artists – OK technically 3 podcasts, PseudoPod, EscapePod and PodCastle, Horror, Sci-Fi and Fantasy stories respectively. They release new, high quality, well written, short stories each week for you to listen to. The joy of these podcasts is, if you do not like one story there is a good chance you will like the next one. They have added a YA cast to the list since I started listening but I have not dived in there yet.
So what are your favourites? Do you agree or disagree? Do you have an recommendations? I would love to hear what you are listening too now.