Are there British podcasts I'm missing out on?
November 14, 2017 11:10 AM   Subscribe

I love podcasts. But I feel like I'm missing out on a wealth of British ones. Do you have any favorite UK podcasts or radio shows?

I am a huge fan of podcasts and find them super useful to have on in the background when I work. I have a sizeable list (ranging from comedy narratives, conversational humor, trivia, interviews with creatives and comedians, to topics like history, racial issues, science, tech culture, and food. Not so much True Crime.)-- I'd say I like a balance between laughing and learning.

Some of my faves off the top of my head: My Brother My Brother and Me, Gastropod, Start Up, Invisibilia, Reply All, Ear Hustle, Oh No Ross and Carrie, The Pitch, We Got This with Mark and Hal, The Thrilling Adventure Hour, Rough Translation, The Hilarious World of Depression, Wits, Flash Forward, The Sporkful, Heaven's Gate....

This list though is largely US-centric. I also love British comedy, and I feel like there must be a ton of British podcasters I'm unaware of. These are the ones I know and love (and highly recommend to other Mefites):

Definitely Human Productions-- makers of MarsCorp, The Bunker, The Infinite Bad, and The International Worldwide Global Biscuit Review Podcast.

The Beef and Dairy Network Podcast

Answer Me This

The Allusionist

The Bugle

but can you tell me others I'm missing? I'm open to traditional radio programs as well, provided they're something I can listen to in the US. Thanks!
posted by actionpact to Media & Arts (35 answers total) 62 users marked this as a favorite
In Our Time

Discussions with diverse groups of people who are actually experts in their field.
posted by mysticreferee at 11:11 AM on November 14, 2017 [11 favorites]

I listen to Desert Island Discs (I always end up learning about a British figure I didn't know about) and The Kitchen Cabinet.
posted by Kitteh at 11:19 AM on November 14, 2017 [1 favorite]

The Adam Buxton podcast has become one of my favourites. Do The Right Thing is good fun , it’s not updated regularly but you can work through the back catalogue. Richard Herring’s Leicester Square Theatre Podcast is funny but the humour is often a bit vulgar and it can be a bit hit and miss.
posted by Bloxworth Snout at 11:25 AM on November 14, 2017 [3 favorites]

In Our Time!
posted by stevedawg at 11:27 AM on November 14, 2017 [2 favorites]

I like The Unexplained with Howard Hughes.

He's very British.
posted by mibo at 11:33 AM on November 14, 2017

My Dad Wrote a Porno (seriously funny!)
posted by Champagne Supernova at 11:35 AM on November 14, 2017 [3 favorites]

Oh yes, MDWaP indeed! I have never laughed so hard!
posted by Kitteh at 11:59 AM on November 14, 2017

Humor/trivia: No Such Thing As A Fish, a weekly podcast in which the QI researchers share their most interesting recent discoveries.
posted by ringu0 at 12:08 PM on November 14, 2017 [6 favorites]

Wooden Overcoats will be right up your alley.
posted by tatiana wishbone at 12:09 PM on November 14, 2017 [1 favorite]

Rex Factor rates the monarchs of England beginning with Alfred the Great. They discuss and give points for military prowess, social conditions and juicy scandals. I recommend trying a couple from the beginning as they hit their stride quickly. I am now listening to their series on kings and queens of Scotland.
posted by Botanizer at 12:46 PM on November 14, 2017 [6 favorites]

BBC is a great source of podcasts which are available internationally, but they often come in sixes with six or twelve weeks between batches.

Personally, I'd go with "More or Less", "The Infinite Monkey Cage" and "Inside Science" for factual. "Desert Island Discs", "Gardeners Question Time" and "The Kitchen Cabinet" are fantastically British. The "Friday night comedy" is great and topical. If they exist, "Unbelievable truth", "Just a minute", "John Souvenir Programme". If they reappear, "Cabin Pressure" and "Revolting People" are fantastic.
posted by sodium lights the horizon at 12:54 PM on November 14, 2017 [2 favorites]

Several BBC podcasts and one MeFi one:

BBC Inside Science
Great Lives
The Curious Cases of Rutherford and Fry ("Science sleuths Dr Adam Rutherford and Dr Hannah Fry investigate everyday mysteries sent by listeners")
A History of the World in 100 Objects (not currently being produced)
The Life Scientific
We Will Fix You
posted by paduasoy at 12:55 PM on November 14, 2017

Damnit - "John Finnemore'sSouvenir Programme"
posted by sodium lights the horizon at 1:00 PM on November 14, 2017

Nthing In Our Time.
The excellent and broad-ranging Little Atoms.
Iszi Lawrence's The Z-List Deadlist and British Museum Membercast.
Janina Ramirez is The Art Detective.
Josie Long and Robin Ince's Book Shambles.
As a fan of AMT, have you tried Olly's The Modern Mann?
posted by mumkin at 1:06 PM on November 14, 2017

Jon Ronson On...
posted by brushtailedphascogale at 1:24 PM on November 14, 2017

Definitely Friday Night Comedy, which depending on the season gives you the Now Show, the News Quiz, Museum of Curiosity, or Dead Ringers. The first three are great, the last is fine.

Also Spotlight Tonight with Nish Kumar. I think it's on hiatus currently, but definitely subscribe so you don't miss it when it comes back.

Nthing In Our Time.

Finally, Beyond Belief if topics of world faiths are of interest.
posted by General Malaise at 1:41 PM on November 14, 2017

The Mystery Hour!
posted by duoshao at 1:47 PM on November 14, 2017

Oh my god. No one has mentioned the amazing, the great - the High Low podcast.

A weekly pop-culture / news podcast brought to you by Dolly Alderton & Pandora Sykes.

I absolutely love it. They are lovely intelligent girly girls. With brains and wit. Love it.


Does the Cortex count? Its recorded in the UK. Bit geeky but both presenters are thoughtful and fun.

CGP Grey and Myke Hurley are both independent content creators. Each episode, they get together to discuss their working lives.
posted by Vroom_Vroom_Vroom at 1:49 PM on November 14, 2017 [2 favorites]

News Jack (although I think this series has just ended)

There is about to be a new podcast/programme by Neil MacGregor (who narrated the excellent history of the world in a hundred objects mentioned above) called Living with the Gods

nthing: Friday night comedy; answer me this; and no such thing as a fish! Friday night comedy most likely to make me snort out loud while in public!
posted by sedimentary_deer at 1:58 PM on November 14, 2017 [1 favorite]

Nthing^2 “In Our Time” and many of the above. I’ll add another personal favourite from Radio 4: Ramblings with presenter Claire Balding, joined by “notable and interesting people for a walk through the countryside”. As an avid walker, I love to listen to Ramblings whilst rambling my own self.
posted by Celsius1414 at 2:08 PM on November 14, 2017 [1 favorite]

There's nothing distinctively British about it, apart from the fact that it's presented by two British people, but Philosophy Bites has long been one of my favourites.
posted by rd45 at 2:32 PM on November 14, 2017 [1 favorite]

Oh my gosh. I step away from the computer from a bit and you all gave me hours and hours of new things to listen to!! I'm so excited. Some of these I've seen in lists and never realized they were British, but there's so many I haven't heard of!

I definitely want to rec those Definitely Human podcasts to all who answered-- I don't know a ton of people who know about them, but MarsCorp was one of my favorite finds of 2016 (I'd found them from The Audit, which has been a great source of international podcasts too), and I've been really enjoying their other efforts. I also just remembered from listening to one of the DH podcasts that I heard about another humor podcast called The Monster Hunters, which is a send-up of 70s action shows and the paranormal.

More of course welcomed but this is going to be very exciting to trawl through...
posted by actionpact at 2:41 PM on November 14, 2017

My new favourite podcast is Reasons to Be Cheerful with Ed Milliband and Geoff Lloyd. They talk about policies to make society better, veering between serious and silly. It's utterly charming, despite the fixation on Millifans.
posted by kendrak at 2:55 PM on November 14, 2017

I would love to know what you think of Athletico Mince. It’s a genius show by one of the greats in British comedy collaborating with someone who’s often just as funny as him. I can’t imagine anyone who’s not British getting any of it. I don’t get most of it. My wife hates it.
posted by einekleine at 3:39 PM on November 14, 2017 [2 favorites]

Talking Politics with David Runciman at Cambridge is insightful, in-depth and a very easy listen even if your UK familiarity is minimal. They talk about global and British politics at a level of discourse often absent in the podcast world.
posted by mdonley at 4:28 PM on November 14, 2017 [1 favorite]

Surprised no one's mentioned Witness from the BBC World Service. The podcasts are short (around 9 minutes) and feature interviews with people around the world who have been firsthand witnesses to important events, trends, cultural phenomena, etc.
posted by imalaowai at 10:50 PM on November 14, 2017 [2 favorites]

Plus one for Athletico Mince. It's perfect in every way.
posted by ZipRibbons at 12:34 AM on November 15, 2017 [1 favorite]

The Fatal Attractions podcast about a kind of niche subject - trashy-ish erotic thrillers of the last few decades - is a really fun listen from a bunch of people who are total film buffs and bounce off each other really well.
posted by low_horrible_immoral at 3:46 AM on November 15, 2017

Nthing BBC podcasts - my top rec being Kermode and Mayo's Film Review. As well as the broadcast show there are many podcast extras.

Also Fighting talk a sports punditry/comedy programme for which no sporting knowledge is needed.
posted by daily saunterings at 6:18 AM on November 15, 2017 [2 favorites]

Try the Brit Lit podcast, and blog. If you're into that sort of thing. It's run by a friend. They cover all sorts of British books and publishing news.
posted by jhope71 at 10:19 AM on November 15, 2017

seconding BBC Witness, I learn so much, and you get topics ranging from light things like "an influential piece of work from this day in time" to very serious parts of history from around the world that don't get a lot of airtime.
posted by lettezilla at 10:51 AM on November 16, 2017

The Mike Harding Folk Show - just ceased production, but lots of episodes to get through.
posted by paduasoy at 6:48 AM on November 21, 2017

If you are into quizzing (trivia night, to USians), then I recommend Radio 4 Quiz podcast. It cycles over the seasons between different BBC Radio 4 quiz shows. The Round Britain quiz is current on - one of the finest.

I am surprised nobody has recommended From our own Correspondent yet. The finest journalism and commentary one could wish for.
posted by thaths at 9:21 PM on December 1, 2017

Thinking Allowed features accessible interviews with social scientists working on real-world problems.
posted by Frenchy67 at 10:23 AM on December 14, 2017

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