People’s Landscapes, National Trust This sweeping podcast from the National Trust, presented by John Sergeant, is about how Britain’s geology shapes the country’s history, culture and communities, from the evolution of our languages to the roots of neighbourhood feuds. Its four bite-size episodes are refreshing when so many podcasts have hours to catch up on, and the story is evocatively told by Sergeant with help from Horrible Histories author Terry Deary, historian and broadcaster Eleanor Rosamund Barraclough, and singer-songwriter Caryl Parry Jones.
Beatles City, Liverpool Echo A new history of the Beatles made by the Liverpool Echo tells the story of what Beatlemania was like in the early days with the help of people who were really there. And I mean really there: Paul McCartney gives an interview about his childhood home, and Pete Best talks extensively about his drumming days. If you’re a fan of the Beatles (and who isn’t?) you’ll lap it up, but there’s a valuable sense of social history here, too.
Beyond Today, BBC Tina Daheley and Matthew Price present a podcast extension to Radio Four’s Today programme each morning, focusing on one key issue or conducting one interview that would be too long to be broadcast as part of the main programme. The tone is more informal than the live broadcast, and sometimes more enlightening: the explainers on Brexit and the environmental crisis are particularly good, as are interviews with Louis Theroux and Charlie Brooker.