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Podcast Picks with Laura Whitmore

A lovely afternoon talking podcasts with not one, but two Lauras on BBC Radio 5Live today!

TV, radio and podcast presenter Laura Whitmore was sitting in for Nihal Arthanayake, plus podcast producer Laura Gallop joined me on the Must-Listen panel to share our favourite summer podcast picks.

A couple of guests joined us too - Poppy from Brown Girls Do It Too and Dan Skinner from the Brian and Roger podcast.

Scroll down a little further and you'll find all the links to the podcasts we referenced, but you can listen back to our hour long conversation via the BBC Sounds app - just skip 2 hours in on the following link:

(It's available for 30 days after our broadcast.)


If you don't have an hour to spare then here's a few highlights of what you missed...

During the programme, it was great to hear from Poppy Jay, one of the co-hosts of Brown Girls Do It Too, a series which she described as "three girls having a giggle" produced by BBC Asian Network.

The podcast is a 'modern day Asian Sex and The City' and won Best Podcast Of The Year AND Best Sex and Relationships Podcast at the 2020 British Podcast Awards last month. It contains frank unfiltered discussion on everything from identity, to self-care to pubic hair... Poppy explained to us how much it meant to her and her team to win these accolades:

"Personally, we put a lot on the line, the stakes were high. A few of my siblings stopped talking to me. They found out about the series watching a viral clip on Instagram. They're on board and totally supportive now but it took several months.

We wanted to create healthy conversations without shame and the usual culture expectations on Asian women in our community. Misogyny runs deep. We were tired of being looked at like the victims. But change comes very slowly. Progress is happening but probably not as fast as I hope it was going to.

When we recorded this podcast in 2019, we thought six people would listen, we'd put it on our CV, we'd say we dipped in to the podcast life and we'd be a footnote in a free London newspaper. Now we've won... I really am proud that we've created a space for women to talk without any judgement. Because judgement is still quite rife in our south Asian community, especially for women. Really this award is a testament to them."

One of the other picks we highlighted was Harry Peacock and Dan Skinner's Brian & Roger podcast, produced by Great Big Owl. Essentially it's two guys just leaving each other voicemails, both are newly divorced and have met at a support group. The series won silver in the Comedy category of this year's British Podcast Awards.

Credit: Paul Trussell

Dan joined us to give insight into how the format came about:

"We're two busy people with families, we had these characters and we wanted to tell some sort of story but we weren't sure of the best way of doing it. The idea of getting into a room and writing on a computer seemed like a faff so we just started leaving voicemail messages on each other phones. We went to a production company called Great Big Owl and said we've got all these messages and we want to turn them into a story so if you just put them out in the order they're supposed to go out and add a little bit of studio stuff then we think that will be enough. And so that's how it worked!"

Whilst the podcast is listed as comedy, it does also touch on some darker subject matter - but with a wry smile:

"The death of white male privilege is something we wanted to deal with. The idea that two middle-aged white men a few years ago would have been cruising through life with no problems at all, with the pick of the jobs and have just found themselves on the scrap heap at a really bad times in their lives. We hear how they cope and deal with it. Season five is on the way, we'll just keep going until it's not funny anymore!"


Throughout the hour, myself and the two Laura's shared our favourite podcast picks - a mix of comedy, fiction and relationships. Here's some links to get you started, via Spotify Podcasts...

Clare's picks:

Podcast: The Harrowing

Category: Fiction

Description: A once-in-a-century storm hits the remote Scottish island of Toll Mòr. As the isolated community take shelter, a barbaric crime sets off a chain of events which heralds the rise of an ancient evil and threatens to change the course of history. Starring Golden Globe winner Joanne Froggatt as Police Sergeant Jackie O'Hara, in this 8-part supernatural thriller.

Podcast: Blood Ties

Category: Fiction

Description: Our family members are not always who we think. When Eleonore and Michael Richland lose their parents unexpectedly in a small plane crash, they must choose between honoring their father’s legacy as a world-renowned cardiologist and health care magnate — or risk it all to tell the truth. Season 2 released July 2020.


Laura (Whitmore)'s picks:

Podcast: Brian & Roger Podcast

Category: Comedy

Description: Brian and Roger met at a support meeting for divorced men. Both are starting again. Both are finding it hard. One of them is nice. A sitcom from Harry Peacock and Dan Skinner. Season 5 coming soon in 2020.

Podcast: Unlocking Us with Brene Brown

Category: Relationships

Description: The author and shame researcher spent over 20 years studying the emotions and experiences that bring meaning and purpose to our lives, and if there’s one thing she's learned - it’s this: We are hardwired for connection, and connecting requires courage, vulnerability, and conversation.


Laura (Gallop)'s picks:

Podcast: Michelle Obama

Category: Originals and Exclusives

Description: The former First Lady dives deep into conversations with loved ones, family, friends, and colleagues - on the relationships in our lives that make us who we are.

Podcast: Brown Girls Do It Too

Category: Relationships

Description: For most Asian girls, openly chatting about sex is firmly off limits. Enter Poppy, Rubina and Roya.


You can listen to our full conversation on the BBC Sounds app, which was live on Wednesday 5th August 2020 from 3pm - 4pm (skip 2 hours in on this link here - available for 30 days).

Laura Whitmore's podcast about podcasts is Castaway - listen here.

Laura Gallop's podcast is Revisiting - listen here.

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