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The Rest is Politics
Who said arch enemies can’t become friends? In one of 2022’s most popular podcasts, Tony Blair’s infamous former spin doctor Alastair Campbell and former Conservative leadership candidate Rory Stewart form an unlikely duo in tackling the big issues of the day. While both are willing to indulge each other’s tangential takes on the world, The Rest is Politics is first and foremost a current affairs podcast with a regular release schedule. What sets it apart from others is the way it’s enlivened by hosts who have been on the frontline of UK politics over the past two decades. Trust us: it’s one of the UK’s most-listened-to podcasts for a reason.
The News Agents
Not many current affairs podcasts can boast a star-studded line-up like Emily Maitlis, Jon Sopel and Lewis Goodall joining forces in The News Agents podcast, which launched at the end of the summer. It makes sense to get your dose of daily news from those who have made a career of covering it. Listeners can expect astute analysis and explanation of the day's news – and a healthy dose of scepticism and the ability to laugh at it all when needed. Available every weekday afternoon, The News Agents aims not just to explain what is happening, but why it is happening.
Coffee House Shots
Sometimes, when it comes to current affairs, you need to treat each issue individually. The Spectator’s Coffee House Shots podcast takes this approach with instant political analysis, dedicating each episode to a single question. Recent episode titles include: Why have the RMT cancelled the strikes? Are we heading for a recession? Why is Rishi now going to COP27? And with each episode running between just 10 to 15 minutes, it’s easy to fit these short but punchy discussions into a busy schedule.
Having first launched as Electioncast in 2017, the BBC’s daily current affairs podcast has had many guises. It became Brexitcast until February 2020, before becoming Newscast as it is now – via a temporary rebrand as The Coronavirus Newscast from March to July 2020. At its core, however, it’s always been the same show. Currently presented by BBC political journalists Adam Fleming and Chris Mason, recent episodes delve into backstage chatter at the COP27 climate summit, ‘predators’ within the police force and Elon Musk’s Twitter takeover. If you’re looking for digestible briefings, this is one to add to your podcast rotation.
The Problem With Jon Stewart
US satirical current affairs series The Daily Show made Jon Stewart a star. Now he hosts The Problem With Jon Stewart on Apple TV+, where he devotes each of its hour-long episodes to a topical single issue. In this sister podcast, Jon is joined by expert guests for nuanced discussions and updates on action items on discussions that didn’t make the cut during the show. If you’re in need of a refresher on everything that’s going on in the States – whether that’s the overturning of Roe v. Wade or Trump’s apparent comeback – this is the podcast to listen to.
Red Box Politics Podcast
In this award-winning Times Radio podcast, journalist Matt Chorley ponders the comings and goings in and around Westminster and presents the best interviews, analysis and panel discussions from his radio show. Covering news interviews, analysis and panel discussions – including Prime Minister’s Questions, the legacy of Liz Truss, Rishi Sunak’s first week as PM and the predicted return of austerity – you can also listen to his show live and in full on Monday through to Friday from 10am to 1pm every week.
The Political Party With Matt Forde
The Political Party podcast is so popular, it’s already hit six million downloads and many of its episodes are recorded live on stage in front of a rapt audience. Hosted by comedian, broadcaster and former political adviser Matt Forde, the show gets renowned politicians and experts to open up and give their most honest, revealing and often hilarious answers. Recent people to be grilled by Forde include business secretary Grant Shapps, RMT Union boss Mick Lynch, former Tory chief of staff Gavin Barwell and former PM Gordon Brown, whose stories span his time in office and since.
Reasons To Be Cheerful
Reasons To Be Cheerful brings former Labour leader Ed Miliband and long-time radio presenter Geoff Lloyd together with smart thinkers and inspiring campaigners from around the world. Each week, the pair unearth bold ideas to create a better society, with new episodes every Monday. Topics range from social housing to the rise of pickleball – with a recent highlight being a chat with Guardian columnist Marina Hyde about her way with words, fielding the phones on the Sun's showbiz desk in the 90s and what she thinks about the alternative world of ‘chaos with Ed Miliband’.
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