‘Tis the season to reflect on our listening habits for the year and Pod Bible online has decided to do not one, but two articles on the best podcasts of 2020. This is because we are saying goodbye to our first ever Digital Editor, Jordan Rizzieri. Everyone at Pod Bible would like to wish Jordan the best and thank her once again for all her amazing work this year.
Jordan will be sharing her countdown of ‘The Top 10 Podcasts That Saved Me From Myself’ next week. But today, you’ll be hearing from Francesca Turauskis as the incoming Digital Editor.
Hello Pod Bible disciples, I thought it was time I introduced myself! I’m Francesca/Fran and I’m the new Digital Editor for Pod Bible. I also produce and host my own podcast and can often be found guesting and editing on others. But I wanted my first article to give you an insight to my podcast listening habits. I also wanted to capture some Christmas joy and hope for the future. So, I decided to do a Christmas Carol inspired list of podcast listening.
I have enlisted the help of Pod Bible Co-Founder and Magazine Editor, Adam Richardson. We talked about our favourite Ghosts of Pods Past, Pods Present and Pods Yet to Come. Or, in other words, our favourite limited series podcasts from 2020, the podcasts we’re listening to right now, and some new podcasts you’ll want to subscribe to for the future…
Ghosts of Pods Past
Fran: So many of my ‘best podcasts of 2020’ have been limited series, and I don’t have space for them all. But two in particular stuck with me: the second series of 13 Minutes to Moon and The Hidden Djinn. This series of 13 Minutes to the Moon looked at the Apollo 13 mission. It was very highly produced, and mixed interviews, narration, actual audio from NASA archives and an epic music score by Hanz Zimmer. In very 2020 fashion, the host Dr. Kevin Fong left us on a cliffhanger when he literally joined the COVID response as a doctor.
From science to spiritualism, The Hidden Djinn was a mix of mythology and journalism about the djinn (Arabian spirits). It made me question the lines between reality and superstition, and the host Rabia Chaudry has a great storytelling voice as well.
Adam: Grounded with Louis Theroux. I was a bit sceptical at first as it was right at the beginning of lockdown when all the stuck-at-home celebs were making podcasts, but of course it’s brilliant. The other one I got really into was Ecstasy: The Battle of Rave. Ingenious storytelling with a mix of documentary and scripted episodes. We had Chris Warburton and Danny Brocklehurst on the Pod Bible Podcast to discuss it and it’s one of my favourite episodes of the year. Final shout goes to a podcast series that wasn’t released this year but had a surge in recommendations due to the death of George Floyd and subsequent interest in the Black Lives Matter movement. 1619 marked 400 years of the African American struggle against racism and made me realise just how little I knew about the subject. It encouraged me to do more in terms of educating myself, listening to others and working harder to give a platform to underrepresented voices.
Ghosts of Pods Present
Fran: Passport is a travel show about the little-known quirks of popular destinations, for example Helsinki’s city-size doomsday bunker, China’s Wild West town. This week’s seasonal episode takes us to the host’s own city: ‘Barcelona: The Magical Pooping Log of Xmas’! I’m also happy Outside Voices is back. It’s an independent show from the US sharing underrepresented voices in outdoor recreation. The episodes are really well researched and mix personal stories with narration and interviews. It released four shows in 2019 and then had a long hiatus, so I’m glad it hasn’t gone! I also always have Outside/In and Out There in my podcast queue (you may have guessed that I’m quite outdoorsy).
Adam: I’ve really enjoyed the Here Right Now podcast. It explores emerging worldwide trends and discusses how everyday life is changing by speaking to experts from a variety of industries. It’s a brand new independent show and I’m excited to see how it develops. I’ve also been amazed by the growth of daily news show The Smart 7. I listen to it on the way home from dropping my daughter at school and it fits the journey time perfectly. In terms of my regular go to pods, Off Menu, Football Ramble, The Adam Buxton Podcast, Say Your Mind and WrestleMe have kept me going and provided distraction from the endless bad news this year!
Ghosts of Pods Yet to Come
Fran: Away from podcasts (and when I’m not outdoors) I also work in a library. So I’m very excited about the concept of the Broccoli Book Club, ‘A real book club’ in a podcast format. A lot of book podcasts rely on the interview format, so the discussion aspect of this is a pull for me. On that note, a show that is sure to have fun conversations is Totally Trans: Searching For The Trans Canon. It should be an interesting new look at popular culture and literature. Looking further into the future, an ‘As-yet-untitled six-part podcast’ by Hana Walker-Brown has been announced. She’s a great producer (check out both Anthems and The Beautiful Brain if you haven’t) so I’m keeping my eye out (ear out?) for this one…
Adam: Can we just call a truce on new podcasts for 2021 so I can keep up with everything that’s already out there? Please?!