10 Podcasts You Should Be Listening To

10 Podcasts You Should Be Listening To

If you are yet to discover the joy that comes from listening to podcasts, it’s about time you got on board as there’s nothing like listening to a lively interview to take you out of your everyday. To get started, here are ten of the best conversational podcasts to listen to, plus some episode highlights to dip into…

SheerLuxe Success Stories

We might be slightly biased on this one, but the SheerLuxe Success Stories series has welcomed a selection of inspiring people to the mic over the last few years. Looking back at the extraordinary lives of some of the UK's most successful entrepreneurs and businesspeople, SL founder and editor Georgie Coleridge Cole talks to each guest to find out where it all started, how they created their business, and how it’s shaped their career to date. Whether you’re looking for advice on how to get your business off the ground later in life, or simply want to hear how a CEO ran their own business during a pandemic, this podcast will leave you feeling totally inspired. 

Episode Highlights: When iconic British perfumer Jo Malone MBE joined Georgie for a chat, she revealed how she left school with zero qualifications and still managed to create a cult global brand. As one of our favourite episodes from the series so far, expect to hear all the secrets behind her success and how she coped after being diagnosed with breast cancer. Tune into the episode with Emma Bridgewater for a candid interview on what it’s like to build a business with your husband, before setting aside 40 minutes to hear how Amanda Wakeley launched her hugely successful fashion brand. Finally, bookmark chats with interior designer Nina Campbell and Caryn Hibbert, founder of Thyme, for later, too.

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Desert Island Discs

As one the most successful and longest-running radio shows on the BBC, Desert Island Discs has over 3,000 episodes in its archive, many of which are available to listen to in podcast form. The format is simple – each guest or ‘cast away’ chooses eight pieces of music, a book and a luxury item to take with them as they’re sent to a mythical desert island. The host – of which there have been five over the last 75 years, including Michael Parkinson, Sue Lawley and Kirsty Young – asks a series of questions about their life and how their favourite music has shaped it in some way.

Episode Highlights: With the largest archive of recordings on this list, there are plenty of episodes to explore but one of our favourite interviews is with neurosurgeon and writer Henry Marsh. You might not have heard of him, but the insight into his fascinating work and life is well worth a listen. Pamela Rose, who found fame on the West End stage in her 80s is a heart-warming episode, while Judith Kerr, the best-selling children’s author, shares a fascinating account of life as a Jewish child in Nazi Germany. Episodes with legendary tennis player Billie Jean King and business executive Sheryl Sandberg are also top of our list.

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Table Manners

Award-winning singer Jessie Ware is joined by her mother Lennie in this podcast about food. The self-proclaimed foodies welcome a new guest each week – including some of the biggest names in showbiz – to discuss the dishes they can’t live without, their most memorable meals and their favourite restaurants. The mother-daughter dynamic is what makes the show so popular – within a few minutes, you’ll feel like your eavesdropping at the dinner table rather than listening to an interview. Lennie and Jessie are a hilarious duo, and aren’t afraid to share their own food recommendations and musings on life along the way.

Episode Highlights: Who better to chat about her love of food than domestic goddess and TV presenter Nigella Lawson? In classic Nigella fashion, she shares her favourite memories during her travels and the most popular dishes she cooks for the family. More recently, Dawn French has been treated to Lennie’s famous chicken soup, sharing how she found love again after her divorce, while Dolly Parton offers an insight into her upbringing in the American South, explaining how she cooks her favourite go-to meal, chicken and dumplings.

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My Life In Seven Charms

Jeweller Annoushka Ducas MBE has been collecting jewellery since she was a girl, so when she started her podcast My Life In Seven Charms, she wanted to find out the ways in which jewellery and charms are nostalgic for other inspiring women. There are only seven episodes to listen to, but the guest list includes a range of women who give an interesting perspective on their lives through their most-loved heirlooms, that are both sentimental and evocative.  

Episode Highlights: Former Vogue editor-in-chief Alexandra Schulman reflects on her life after leaving the publication and why a typewriter is one of her most prized possessions. But one of our favourites from the series is Annoushka’s interview with Lady Anne Glenconner. The former lady-in-waiting to Princess Margaret talks about her fascinating life through her most treasured charms and how her memoir became an unexpected bestseller. 

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Gemma & Emma

Join Emma Forbes and Gemma Sheppard as they chat to their guests to ask them what it means to be a woman in later life. Expect honest conversations with a range of notable people, including Sharon Osbourne, Carrie Grant and Dan Churchill, where the conversations span a variety of topics, from style tips and beauty recommendations to information on the menopause and mental health. The series dates back to 2016, so there are plenty of episodes to catch up on.

Episode Highlights: British writer and beauty entrepreneur Liz Earle joins Emma and Gemma for a range of tips on skincare, cosmetic procedures and the products every woman should know about. Sarah, Duchess of York’s interview is another top listen, thanks to her candid answers about life in the public eye, while Jo Elvin, former editor of Glamour, talks about juggling motherhood alongside her publishing career. 

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Oprah’s SuperSoul Conversations

Few people have interviewed more high-profile guests than Oprah. In her award-wining podcast, she welcomes authors, philanthropists, and health and wellness experts to guide listeners through some of life’s big questions. Some episodes have more modern themes such as forgiveness, mindfulness and intention, while others are a deep dive into the lives of some of the most famous people on the planet – think Tina Turner, Tina Fey and Tracee Ellis Ross.  

Episode Highlights: Oprah is joined by Michelle Obama and a live New York audience in one of our favourite episodes from the series. Discussing her award-winning book, Becoming, Michelle talks about the ups and downs of her 29-year marriage and how she manages to keep her feet firmly on the ground. If you’re after guidance on how to tackle anxiety or stress, listen to the episode with doctor and self-help guru Deepak Chopra. Jane Fonda and the two-part special with Brené Brown are also top of our list. 

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Dear Joan And Jericha

Fictional agony aunts Joan and Jericha (aka comedians Julia Davis and Vicki Pepperdine) answer hilarious questions in this tongue-in-cheek podcast. Joan has been married six times – and has lost three of her husbands to suicide – while Jericha has been married for 30 years and has one daughter. No dilemma is too filthy or taboo for the duo, so expect bizarre questions and raucous answers. The conversations are strictly adult in theme, so make sure you’ve got headphones at the ready. 

Episode Highlights: Episode seven in series two and episode two in series three are both a must-listen. 

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Unlocking Us With Brené Brown

Researcher and best-selling author Brené Brown explores the ideas, stories, experiences and culture that reflect the universal experiences of being human, from the bravest moments to the most broken-hearted. As well as talking to several life coaches, inspiring individuals and experts from around the world, Brené gives fantastic advice on a range of topics, like how to foster empathy, how to deal with loneliness, and how to navigate grief.

Episode Highlights: Some of Brené’s most interesting conversations are with politicians and philanthropists – Joe Biden and Barak Obama both discuss how to be a leader and how to unite people in times of division in their episodes, but if you’re after something a little more light-hearted, tune into the episode on the heart and soul of music. 


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Grounded With Louis Theroux

If you’re a fan of Louis Theroux’s documentaries, this podcast is for you. Having only launched last year, he’s interviewed a wide range of celebrities and high-profile people in lockdown to talk about their life in detail, plus their experience during the pandemic. As ever, Louis asks general and open questions, meaning the conversations often take an unexpected but interesting turn. Expect controversial confessions from some guests, plus a few laughs along the way.

Episode Highlights: British actor Miriam Margolyes is one of Louis’ first guests and sets the bar high. Her raucous confessions and straight-talking manner result in an entertaining interview as the two discuss ‘sexcapades’ and her hatred of housework. Comedian Lenny Henry also has one of the best interviews – he candidly discusses racism during his career, his divorce from ex-wife Dawn French, and his complicated relationship with his mother, while fans of Helena Bonham Carter should tune into her interview where she discusses how she handles criticism. 

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In Our Time With Melvyn Bragg

In this series, Melvyn Bragg is joined by expert guests to discuss the history of ideas and explore subjects in culture and science. The topics are broad as a collective, yet specific week-by-week, and include everything from 19th-century literature and Tutankhamun to Virginia Woolf and the evolution of horses. If you’re looking to expand your general knowledge and listen to some of the world’s leading experts, this podcast has it all. 

Episode Highlights: If you’re into interiors, tune into the episode on William Morris. Melvin Bragg is joined by three university lecturers to discuss the designer’s legacy, his contribution to the art world, his political activism and the context of the time during his height of fame. Another favourite is the episode looking at the life and times of Marie Antoinette – history which has never been more gripping or informative, while also being totally digestible. Finally, add one of the latest episodes to your playlist – The Great Gatsby is considered one of the greatest novels of the 20th century, and Melvyn and his team of experts are here to prove why.

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