If you aren’t already on the podcast train, you best hop on board. How else will you be able to start conversations with “I was listening to a podcast the other day…” and then go into a detailed description to bore your friends and acquaintances? This downloadable digital audio file format has been around a while but it was the 2014 investigative journalism series Serial that got a lot of podcast fans hooked. Here are a few of our top listening suggestions of the mo’:
1. DESERT ISLAND DISCS
Desert Island Discs is a BBC Radio 4 programme that started way back in 1942. In each episode, a well-known personality picks eight songs, a book, and luxury item that they would take with them if they found themselves castaway on a desert island. The music choices are as diverse as the public figures the show has played host to — think scientists, writers, and Spice Girls. Get hooked and you’ll soon be playing along and choosing your own discs.
2. THE REWATCHABLES
There are some great film-themed podcasts. The Rewatchables offers a roundtable of film fans and special guests who discuss the films they think are worth watching multiple times. Film choices range from Happy Gilmore to The Godfather but we suggest starting with Quentin Tarantino “fangirling” over Christopher Nolan’s epic masterpiece Dunkirk.
3. 99% INVISIBLE
99% Invisible is one of the most popular podcasts on iTunes. Presented by velvet-voiced Roman Mars, the show focuses on all forms of design, architecture, and city planning. This podcast will change the way you look at the world around you. Start with episode 277, which focuses on the once-notorious Ponte City building in the Johannesburg inner city.
4. ROOT OF EVIL: THE TRUE STORY OF THE HODEL FAMILY AND THE BLACK DAHLIA
Crime is a hugely popular genre in the podcasting world. Root of Evil: The True Story of the Hodel Family and the Black Dahlia investigates the infamous 1947 Black Dahlia murder. This is a companion podcast to a limited TV series I Am the Night, created by Wonder Woman director Patty Jenkins, which proposes that the killer was Dr George Hodel. What really flips this investigation on its head is that it is driven by Hodel’s own son and kin who believe that their patriarch was involved. This is a family airing decades of dirty laundry.
5. DIOR TALKS
Dior ventures into the realm of podcasts with Dior Talks, hosted by London-based writer, curator and art historian Katy Hessel. Guests include those who steer the direction of the house and those who have had an influence on its narrative - think Maria Grazia Chiuri, Judy Chicago and Tracey Emin. They discuss their work, connection to the house and, specifically, for this first series, feminist art. It's interesting, inspiring and a unique glimpse into the mind of Dior.
• Additional reporting by Wanted reporter. This article was last updated 27 Match 2020.