Five podcasts I like at the moment

I’ve really upped the amount of time I spend listening to podcasts over the last twelve months. I think it’s partly that the quality and variety of what’s available has increased but it’s also displaced reading articles on the web as a lot of the sites and publications I used to read have become more aggressively advertising heavy and/or are surrounded by a toxic culture of debate that puts me off.

These are my five favourite podcasts at the moment:

  • BBC’s The Documentary — some of the best and most diverse stories from across the BBC World Service and their partners in other countries. Regularly updated and each episode is usually 30 mins.
  • Conde Nast Traveler’s Travelogue — I love to travel and the podcast is much more down to earth than the rather glitzy magazine. There are some genuinely useful tips and great recommendations for places to go.
  • Stephen Dubner’s Freakonomics Radio — each episode is so well researched and scripted. It always leaves me with lots to think about.
  • The Reboot Podcast with Jerry Colonna — long interviews bordering on therapy sessions between Jerry and tech founders or investors. The quality varies based a bit on who the guest is but there are some gems in there.
  • How I Built This — interviews with founders of some (now) well known companies. Reminds me very much of the ‘founder confidential’ talks we run for BGV.

What else should I be listening to?

Documentary of the week — Tickled

It’s pretty difficult to write about Tickled without giving too much away but if you want good documentary story-telling about something you probably know nothing about, then you should definitely watch it.

The story starts with New Zealand journalist David Farrier innocently finding a Youtube video and Facebook page for ‘endurance tickling competitions’ that involve contestants travelling expenses paid to America for trials. He thought it would make a good ‘and finally…’ type story so got in touch with the organisers to ask for an interview. Their response threatening legal action if he pursued the story took him by surprise though and got him wondering whether something more worrying was going on.

The film has hints of Louis Theroux but ultimately the story is even more sinister than that and has a stronger narrative as the team uncover what’s really going on and who’s behind it. It’s not just an ‘aren’t people weird’ piece— the team break a real story.

It’s a fantastic documentary and very brave journalism put together in a situation when a group of people really don’t want the outside world to find out what’s going on. Highly recommended.