It is some time since I featured my "Podcast of the Year" and "Podcast of the Month" awards, having discontinued these regular features following the onset of KOD (Kiss of Death) syndrome. With what became alarming regularity, the makers/producers of my winning entry would go bankrupt, cease trading or drop dead, and therefore in the interests of podcasters everywhere I stopped handing out the Golden Pod. However, I thought I might try and get away with simply mentioning what podcasts I am listening to at the moment and hope that this does not result in any negative repercussions to those thus mentioned.
The podcast I tend to turn to first of all each day is the regular Archers podcast. To readers living outside the UK I probably need to point out that "The Archers" is a radio soap opera that has been running for well over 50 years as claims to tell "an everyday story of country folk". I suspect that country-folk have good grounds for taking legal action over their depiction, and the daily 15 minute installments are compulsive as they are annoying. Personally, I wouldn't bother listening to it each day, but Amy the dog is hooked and it is as much her walk as it is mine.
The name is a bit confusing as "Football Weekly" is transmitted twice a week during the football season. The football coverage from the regular panel of commentators can be confusing as well but it is great fun and splendidly informative. You can pick up the kind of specialist information, glorious gossip and insightful analysis which you can then regurgitate later on in the pub and which will make you the envy of your contemporaries. Another thing in its favour is its willingness to cover more than just the English leagues, with regular features on football in Spain, Italy, Germany and, occasionally, even further afield.
This is a weekly 30 minute podcast from the BBC and it is a seasonal thing so it is off-air at certain times of the year. But when it is available it is well worth a down-load. It's stated aim is to look behind some of the statistics which are endlessly quoted in the press and broadcast media and examine the mathematics of them. In the majority of cases (mind you, the statistical significance of this claim might need checking out) robust statistical claims crumble into spinning dust before your very ears. It sounds geeky but it is hugely entertaining.
An American news podcast for the Obama era and probably the best news podcast going out anywhere in the world at the moment. It is the audio version of what is an audiovisual broadcast so you get the occasional annoying reference to "the pictures you are seeing now". Nevertheless, it is informative, grown-up, and capable of providing a valuable insight into what is happening in America. If only there was a British equivalent : unfortunately there isn't.