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29th February 2024

‘An audio treat’: The Mancunion’s favourite podcasts

Whether you’re looking to keep up with current affairs, celebrity gossip or even Formula 1, we’ve got you covered with our top pick of podcasts
‘An audio treat’: The Mancunion’s favourite podcasts
Credit: Elise Ambrose @Fuse FM

Jacob Robinson, Today in Focus

At university, it’s easy to excuse yourself from consuming the news – we’ve all got busy schedules and busy lives. After all, a daily news podcast can be hard to keep as a habit. But Today in Focus from The Guardian is the perfect answer if you want to stay up to date on current affairs and global news when you can find the time. Today in Focus provides listeners with a half hour in-depth summary of one news story, combining personal storytelling with expert analysis. Some of these stories aren’t making regular headlines either – such as an episode on the Home Office revoking the visas of 35,000 international students who were accused of cheating English Language exams in 2014. But Today in Focus covers the biggest stories too, from Westminster to further afield. Well worth a listen if there’s a news story you’re particularly interested in.

Miriam Alston, Pop Culture with Chanté Joseph

Every week Chanté Joseph from The Guardian digs deep into pop culture and the internet stories we cannot stop talking about, from Friends star Mathew Perry’s death to Naomi Campbell’s collaboration with fast fashion giant Pretty Little Thing. This podcast takes celebrity news, hit TV shows, internet culture, UK and US music, Black British culture, fashion, and more, and discusses how and why it impacts our lives. Relatable and funny, Chanté asks why everyone is talking about this or that – so you can hear interesting takes on pop culture moments all in one bus ride to uni (each episode is only 30 minutes long). I would highly recommend! 

Imogen Mingos, The Fast and The Curious

My current favourite podcast is The Fast and The Curious which if you haven’t guessed from the title is all about Formula 1! I started listening to it over the summer break when I was waiting for racing to resume and have been hooked ever since. Hosted by Greg James (BBC Radio 1), Christian Hewgill, Betty Glover, and the drivers they interview, makes for a very entertaining listening. I do find myself smiling and laughing along as I walk down Oxford Road because they are hilarious and have really great energy together. They describe The Fast and The Curious as a podcast for “die-hard fans” and those “curious to find out more about this fascinating world and the characters that inhabit it.” If you’re looking for a light-hearted podcast and maybe to learn about something new, then I would highly recommend The Fast and The Curious.

 Eleanor Duke, Pod Save the UK

One of my favourite podcasts at the moment is Pod Save the UK, the UK-focused branch of the Pod Save the World franchise. Hosted by comedian Nish Kumar and journalist Coco Khan, the podcast is both engaging and informative, covering current affairs and news headlines from the week. Kumar and Khan invite a different guest each week to discuss these issues in depth, with speakers ranging from politicians, think tank experts, and charity campaigners, to comedians and journalists. Not only is the podcast great if you struggle to keep up with the news and British politics, but it also provides different viewpoints that can help you form your own opinions, with entertaining debates between guests and hosts often arising. I like that it makes current affairs more engaging than scrolling through The Guardian homepage, and the episodes are the perfect length for the walk (or, let’s face it, bus ride) to and from uni.

Delyth Henley, Rehash

There’s no better podcast to make sense of the digital age than Rehash. This podcast revisits the biggest moments in internet pop culture, looking at the power of social media over our lives throughout the past decade. The two friends Maia Wyman (Broey Deschanel of the YouTube video essay world) and Hannah Raine, explore everything from the impact of Buzzfeed on journalism to the never-ending influence of the Kardashians. Rehash podcast looks at how such seminal events and powerful people shaped the online world of today, offering some critical analysis of the internet’s craziest moments and how they have affected our existence as young people.

Jacob Robinson, Pop Off

Unlike most podcast listeners, I clearly have some underlying commitment issues and therefore rarely return to the same podcasts time and time again. Having said that, one of the very few podcasts I will regularly listen to is Pop Off, hosted by Lewys Ball and Isla Loba. Pop Off is a weekly podcast, and the clue is in the name – another podcast about pop culture. Whilst I must agree that another pop culture podcast is unnecessary, this one started as a solo lockdown project for Ball back in 2020, so has been around for a little while. If you’re not interested in the latest trends, celebrity gossip and showbiz news, prepare to be bored. But if you’re chronically online like me, it’s an audio treat. Despite being an unlikely pairing, Ball and Loba host brilliantly together and capture well the consensus about the latest happenings in pop culture. Of course, I want to know about red carpets, fashion weeks, reality TV, and influencers!

If you’re left still searching for more, check out a whole host of radio shows and podcasts at the University of Manchester’s very own student radio station, Fuse FM.

Miriam Alston

Miriam Alston

Deputy Lifestyle editor 2023-24

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