It is common for people to mistake me for an extreme extrovert – someone who not only is socially confident but would much rather be in a group, at a party, in a crowd, anywhere with others than alone. Only part of this is true – I have always been good around other people – been able to talk to folk for all sorts of backgrounds, positions of authority and status – but I am rarely happier than when it’s just me having some me time – quietly alone.
These days, I have the perfect alone time companion at the press of a button. It’s all about me and my podcasts – whether like today cutting the grass (not mowing it as some would have us believe!) or driving to get the Sunday papers – yes, I still like to hold and fold the Sundays. Podcasts have become a massive part of my information receiving life.
I have a series of podcasts that I listen to regularly, mostly catching me up on politics and current affairs from my favourite programmes, websites or journalists. I now listen to podcasts more than I watch TV. Alongside the Today Programme, The World at One, PM and the Six O’clock News on BBC Radio 4 with Five Live for all my sport needs, my TV usage is limited to a small number of programmes and Netflix.
My go-to podcasts that I take every week are………
The Daily from The New York Times
The Spectator Podcast
Coffee House Shots from The Spectator
The Media Show from BBC Radio 4
Test Match Special
The Moral Maze
The New Washington
This Week with George Stephanopoulos
Meet The Press
Face The Nation
State of the Union with Jake Tapper
Week in Westminister
Desert Island Discs
The Ax Files from David Axelrod
Pod Bless America
Alongside this, I look out for documentaries on Radio 4 which are worth podcasting – that cannot be word! Recently I’ve enjoyed “The Brown Years” with Steve Richards and continue to dip into the treasure trove archive of the wonderful “Letters from America by Alistair Cooke”.
I am always looking for new podcasts and I love how accessible they are both for listener and producer – with very, very low barriers and costs to enter the market. I am not sure we will stop watching TV in my lifetime but as the podcast market expands to cater for every niche interest and need, we are in the midst of an information, communication and entertainment golden age. Long may it continue.
One piece of advice; check out the podcasts on my list – start with The Daily and the fantastic Michael Barbaro – it is a thing of beauty. You will not regret it or get the theme tune out of your head for the rest of the day.