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From ‘Serial’ to ‘Welcome to Night Vale’; The 10 best podcasts to curl up with this winter

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We've all become accustomed to getting stuck into a decent Netflix series or five, casually spending hours at a time glued to a sofa or bed in a bid to finish that must-watch programme. 

Thankfully, we've discovered a way of doing just this but being able to do other activities at the same time. Of course, we're talking about the wonders of the wireless. 

So without further ado, we've hunted down some of the best, most popular and highly entertaining podcasts out there, which you can download to your smartphone and listen to while you shop, run, walk or work. 

Obviously, you could also just lounge around at home too. Binge-listening just became a thing.

Serial

If you haven't heard about Serial already, know this: it's the Breaking Bad/ House of Cards/[insert addictive TV show], but for your ears. Coming from the creators of This American Life (also very good, and also on this list below), it follows the true story of journalist Sarah Koenig who is trying to find out who is responsible for the murder of a teenage girl, Hae Min Lee, who was strangled back in 1999 in Baltimore. While the murdered girl's boyfriend is the accused, and is currently serving life in prison, Sarah believes he might not be guilty. Follow the unfolding real-life crime drama as it happens Gripping and highly addictive listening. 

Download it here

This American Life

These much-loved podcasts are a mix of short fiction and first person stories hosted by Ira Glass. The series has been going for nearly 20 years and is one of the most popular podcasts in the whole of America and UK. Each week you can expect to listen to stories centered around a theme including favourites such as Time to Save the World, 
Seemed Like a Good Idea at the Time and How to Win Friends and Influence People.

Download it here

The News Quiz

The News Quiz

As part of Friday Night Comedy on Radio 4, The News Quiz is what you should and need to be listening to each week. Hosted by the brilliant Sandi Toksvig, who is especially funny when she can't stop laughing herself, the panel show takes an overview of the news from the week, with an obviously British slant. The show features comedians such as Stephen Fry, David Mitchell, Sue Perkins and Francesca Martinez who all manage to make being up on current affairs utterly hilarious. 

Download it here

Freakonomics Radio 

If you have an interest in the world then we suggest you subscribe to Freakonomics which aims to show you the hidden side of everything. From telling stories about cheating schoolteachers and eating champions while teaching us all to think a bit more creatively, rationally, and productively. 

Download it here

Who Charted

Taking a look at what's the best in film and music of the week, host Howard Kremer host a guest from the comedy or music field to review the week's charts and discuss their feelings on them. Towards the end of the episode the guest will play one of a variety of games.

Download it here

Professor Brian Cox

The Infinite Monkey Cage

Take a quick survey of your office, or your family and friends and we'll bet you'll be hard pressed to find someone who doesn't absolutely love the way Professor Brian Cox imparts his extensive scientific knowledge into our brains. With TIMC we get the chance to hear more of his science musings with a hint of comedy, with topics such as Before The Big Bang and, one of our personal favourites, Should We Pander to Pandas?

Download it here

Here Be Monsters

Created by Jeff Emtman, who upon being freaked out by seeing a picture of a friend's placenta on Facebook decided to launch his podcast Here Be Monsters. It delves into people's fears and and discusses topics on the unknown. From science, to religion, to politics and more, this show really explores everything while giving you the shivers. 

Download it here

Welcome to Nightvale

A fictional radio show that takes place in the fictional desert town of Night Vale which is meant to be located somewhere in South West America, the host Cecil Baldwin offers up typical local radio announcements as well as news, weather and advertisements but with a dark twist such as "last night's PTA meeting accidentally opens a rift in spacetime". One of the creators of the series, Joseph Fink said that he "came up with this idea of a town in that desert where all conspiracy theories were real, and we would just go from there with that understood".

Download it here

Desert Island Discs

Desert Island Disks Archives

You've probably heard of Desert Island Discs, so we'll try not to bore you with the details of this long-running show. Essentially, it's where a guests comes to talk about which eight pieces of music they would take away with them if they were stuck on a desert island, as well as one book and one luxury item. Guests also can have the Bible and the complete works of Shakespeare as books to accompany them. Even better, you can download the archive editions and listen to classic DID from Emma Thompson (a very brilliant episode) to Jarvis Cocker to Mary Beard and more. Quite often the stories that go with the choices of music are often moving and offer a real insight into someone's personality and their life history.

Download it here

Betty In The Sky With A Suitcase

Next to doctors and nurses, everyone knows that flight attendants have some of the best work-related stories. Here, Betty, the flight attendant, interviews some of the people she meets on her travels and they're often very funny and moving. Plus we never get tired of listening to the intro music of Benny and The Jets

Download it here

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