Confessions with Giles Fraser, UnHerd
There are plenty of interview-based podcasts around, but a lot of them lack intellectual rigour. Not so this invigorating series from Giles Fraser, in which he discusses issues of faith, motivation and philosophy with well-known figures. I loved the Mary Beard episode in which she discussed her personal values and the experience of being the target of a Twitter storm; Helena Kennedy on the relationship between legal justice and social justice; and Alan Rusbridger on fake news and the future of journalism.
The Visitors from Maida Vale, Culturewise
Thirty years ago, shortly after the Tiananmen Square massacre, TV director Patrick Lau received a phone call that brought the events happening on the other side of the world to his doorstep in London. Two Chinese strangers were defecting and seeking asylum, and needed his help. In the short term, they urgently needed somewhere to stay. Bringing a human, sideways perspective to global events is something podcasts do uniquely well, and this compelling example is one of the best so far this year.
The Ron Burgundy Podcast, iHeartRadio and Ron Burgundy
It’s the question that faces everyone at all times: what would Ron Burgundy do? Thankfully, he now has his own podcast, so we can find out. Will Ferrell (below) reprises probably his greatest character, said to be originally inspired by Alan Partridge, for a podcast venture. There aren’t any of the other characters from Anchorman—it’s just Ron Burgundy and a long-suffering producer —and the result is more Partridge than ever. It’s funny, low-key cult listening, featuring Peter Dinklage and RuPaul.