74 Of The Best Podcasts To Listen To Now (2024)

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The Best Culture Podcasts

Once Upon A Time At... Bennington College

In this gripping series, Vanity Fair writer Lily Anolik traces the history of Bennington College’s class of ’86, which included Donna Tartt, Jonathan Lethem and Bret Easton Ellis. According to Anolik, the renowned writers were both affectionate and competitive with one another while navigating the “wildest and wickedest school in America”, which all three later mythologised in their writing.

You’re Wrong About

Hosted by journalists Michael Hobbes and Sarah Marshall, You’re Wrong About podcast aims to debunk myths, misconceptions and misunderstandings about some of the world’s greatest events and prominent figures. From Princess Diana and Monica Lewinsky to Yoko Ono being blamed for breaking up the Beatles, they’re obsessed with putting the past to right.

Gilmore Guys

The hilarious Demi Adejuyigbe and Kevin T Porter dissect the Gilmore Girls – kind of. Part intense analysis, part mockery, part launch-off point to talk about everything else under the sun (typically joined by comedians like Doug Benson and Lauren Lapkus), you’re guaranteed to laugh at each episode.

Food 4 Thot

A group of four multiracial queer men, all writers, talk irreverently about sex, identity, culture, and who and what to read. There are no limits here, and no barriers – see their in-depth discussion of whether Virginia Woolf would have been a top.

The Great Women Artists

Katy Hessel – an up-and-coming art historian who works on special projects and exhibitions at Victoria Miro Gallery – celebrates female artists and their work through interviews with key figures in the art world: Tate Modern director Frances Morris talks fine artist Agnes Martin; British painter Celia Paul opens up her live-in studio; and Ami Bouhassane recalls her grandmother, Lee Miller.

Bookclub

There are more than 200 archival episodes of BBC Radio 4’s Bookclub – also known as the ultimate podcast for bibliophiles. Listen to host James Naughtie in conversation with some of the greatest authors in the world, followed by questions from an audience of readers. Past guests include Don DeLillo, Jay McInerney, Muriel Spark, Jonathan Franzen, Michael Chabon, Elizabeth Strout, Naomi Alderman, and Donna Tartt.

Teach Me A Lesson With Greg James And Bella Mackie

When husband-and-wife Greg James And Bella Mackie team up, you know you’re in for a treat. Mackie, the bestselling author of Jog On: How Running Saved My Life and Vogue contributor, and James, BBC Radio One’s breakfast show host, have created a podcast that’s all about learning. Speaking to some of the best teachers in the country, the couple ask the questions that they’ve always wanted to know the answers to.

The Apology Line

In Manhattan, for 14 years people called to anonymously apologise for something. In The Apology Line, the series delves into the line, and the creator at the other end who was ultimately consumed by his own creation. Hosted by Marissa Bridge (she was married to its creator), the six-episode series discusses empathy, deception and the content of thousands of calls.

Welcome to the OC, Bitches!

Rachel Bilson and Melinda Clarke – aka Summer Roberts and Julie Cooper on The OC – spent lockdown recording a podcast together. Each episode of Welcome to the OC, Bitches! recalls a particular episode of the much-loved Noughties series. Expect cameos from former cast members, writers, musicians, and “the many people that made The OC the cultural phenomenon that it is today”.

The Green Dream with Dana Thomas

Dana Thomas, British Vogue’s contributing European sustainability editor and the author of Fashionopolis: The Price of Fast Fashion and the Future of Clothes, speaks to changemakers about tackling the climate crisis in innovative ways in this relentlessly hopeful biweekly podcast. Guests include everyone from children’s author Oliver Jeffers, who examines environmental degradation in his work, to Oscar-winning documentarian Eva Orner, whose latest film looks at the causes and impact of the Australian bushfires of 2019 and 2020. It manages to be uplifting and inspiring without losing sight of the challenges we continue to face.

Chanel Connects

The first season of the storied fashion house’s culture podcast featured intimate, wide-ranging conversations between creatives: Keira Knightley and Lulu Wang discussing misogyny in the film industry; Amanda Harlech, Tim Blanks and Andrew Bolton delving into fashion’s greatest untold stories; and British Vogue editor-in-chief Edward Enninful and Tilda Swinton dissecting everything from the evolving nature of celebrity to how acting can be a form of portraiture. Now, in its second instalment, you’ll find eight more ingenious pairings, from Maisie Williams and Grimes on the metaverse, and Kehinde Wiley and Misan Harriman on image making, to Emerald Fennell and Gillian Flynn on anti-heroines and the comedy that can be found in tragedy.

Fanfare

Fashion journalist Monica Ainley de La Villardière and cookbook author Emma Knight helm this delightful podcast which invites writers, filmmakers, curators and cultural leaders to plan a fantasy dinner party for their dream guest – think Nathalie Biancheri, the director of the Lily-Rose Depp-led arthouse drama Wolf, serving up roast chicken and carbonara for German auteur Werner Herzog, or The New Yorker staff writer Lauren Collins attempting to impress Edith Wharton with ice-cold Champagne. Their fortnightly discussions are always illuminating, encompassing the life and times of these cultural icons, and how their work has influenced everything that’s followed.

Free Period

Want to be transported to ’90s California? Tune into best friends Alana Haim and Sasha Spielberg’s predictably zany podcast in which they look back on their most cringeworthy childhood experiences and consider how they shaped who they are today. From managing braces and acne to pining for a first kiss and deciding on your Bat Mitzvah theme, no supremely awkward stone is left unturned, and there are special appearances from friends and family too, including Rashida Jones, Kate Berlant, and Este and Danielle Haim.

i-Dentity

Osman Ahmed, i-D’s fashion features director, interviews the likes of Tommy Hilfiger, Bimini Bon Boulash, Charles Jeffrey and Dapper Dan in this nine-part docuseries tracing the origins, evolution and legacy of a range of subcultures that have had a profound impact on street style, from grime and hip-hop to Harajuku.

Hello Girls

British Vogue contributor Kate Finnigan is joined by fellow fashion journalist Emily Cronin – both self-confessed “underwear obsessives” – in this fascinating, body-positive deep dive into the secret history of our most foundational garments. How did the Wonderbra, first developed in the ’40s, go on to change the world? Can the thong really be traced back to ancient Greece? And how did corsetry manage to endure, transforming from a symbol of patriarchal oppression into one of feminist rebellion? Fashion historians and designers weigh in, debunking myths and considering how current and future innovations will change what we wear underneath our clothes.

The Booker Prize Podcast

Launched by the titular foundation and hosted by writers Jo Hamya and James Walton, this weekly literary podcast sees the pair revisit the 500 or so novels that have won or been nominated for the prestigious prize since its inception more than five decades ago. They argue over individual titles – from Patricia Lockwood’s No One is Talking About This and Patrick McCabe’s The Butcher Boy to Han Kang’s The Vegetarian – meet its authors, and offer a peek behind the curtain of past Booker ceremonies as well as the current prize season.

Homing In

Obsessed with The Modern House? Then don’t miss this deeply soothing interiors podcast from the supremely stylish estate agency’s co-founder Matt Gibberd, in which he speaks to the likes of The River Cafe’s Ruth Rogers, photographer Nick Knight, designer India Mahdavi and Tate Modern director Frances Morris about all the places they’ve called home. How much have those past living spaces informed their present? And what do their current homes reveal about who they really are? Expect a wealth of personal stories alongside life-changing design advice.

Soft Life

Launched by Somerset House, this four-part series examines the decline of hustle culture in the age of soft-quitting and “the great resignation”, and explores alternative ideas around work and productivity. Guest speakers include the founders of Black Power Naps on rest as a radical act, philosopher Bayo Akomolafe on the politics of softness, and artist Raquel Meseguer Zafe on the importance of slowing down to contemplate art.

74 Of The Best Podcasts To Listen To Now (2024)
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