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Here are some of our favourite podcasts. Kick back and listen to them now.
The Adventure Zone
Mention Dungeons and Dragons and it immediately conjures up images of basement meetups and impenetrable rules designed to keep all but the most hardcore fantasy fan out. However, the tabletop game has seen something of a resurgence over the last few years, thanks in no small part to players’ ability to stream their gaming sessions across the web for everyone to listen to, as well as playing a pivotal role in Netflix’s hugely successful first season of Stranger Things in 2016. And Wizards of the Coast (the production company behind D&D) recently announced that 2017 was the game’s best year in terms of sales since its launch in 1974.
Justin, Travis and Griffin McElroy, hosts of the popular podcast ‘My Brother, My Brother and Me’, decided to enlist their father, Clint, and try out the popular tabletop game for the first time. As the human fighter Magnus Burnside (Travis), eleven wizard Taako (Justin) and dwarven cleric Merle Highchurch (Clint), the McElroy family navigate a world of high fantasy and adventure, led by their DM (dungeon master) Griffin. What starts as a fun attempt at roleplaying (as they are all new to the world of D&D) soon turns into a wildly expansive fantasy adventure that spans over 70 episodes. Along the way, the trio take part in a Mad Max-style battlewagon race through the desert, investigate a murder-mystery on the Rockport Express and stop a series of interdimensional portals from crystalising the entire world. With an enormous cast of characters (all voiced by Griffin) and an adventure that lasts over four years, the Adventure Zone is a must for anyone interested in the world of tabletop games, or simply yearning for a good old fashion adventure.
The Adam Buxton podcast
Adam Buxton, a well-known British broadcaster and co-host of the Adam and Joe Show (with Attack the Block director Joe Cornish), launched his own podcast in 2016 in which he meets up and chats with a diverse bunch of people. Notable interviews include Radiohead guitarist Jonny Greenwood a day before their concert in Lyon, France, and broadcaster Louis Theroux in Los Angeles.
The conversations are more informal and friendly than the usual ‘celebrity’ interviews and there is an openness and charm to each episode that really brings out the series’ intimate nature, making each episode’s duo a pleasure to spend time with. Each episode is bookmarked by an ‘intro’ and ‘outro’ where Adam records himself walking with his dog, Rosie, and muses on both the current guest and the state of the world in general, which makes for as interesting listening as the rest of the podcast.
No Such Thing as a Fish
2003 saw the release of the hugely successful BBC panel show QI, in which hosts Stephen Fry and Alan Davies, joined by a group of different panelists each week, explore a variety of subjects that are ‘quite interesting’. The compendium podcast ‘No Such Thing as a Fish’ was launched in 2014, as a side project by four of the show’s writers to talk about all the facts that couldn’t make it into the TV show. Now in its fifth year, the podcast has gone on to win numerous comedy awards and has a listenership that numbers in the millions.
Throughout each episode, the four hosts take turns to reveal their favourite fact that they’ve discovered from the past week, with each one dissected by the other three until it flowers into a ‘quite interesting’ conversation (it’s the podcast version of clicking on a random Wikipedia article). Topics range from noisy silent discos and squid holograms to a city where the streets are paved with used toilet paper, all explored with that quintessential British wit and charm.
‘S-Town’, hosted by Brian Reed, comes from the same team who brought us ‘Serial’ and ‘This American Life’. It’s about an investigation into an unsolved murder in a sleepy American town. Soon enough someone ends up dead, a nasty feud becomes apparent and there’s a hint of buried treasure.
This scene-setter showcases Brian Reed’s expert storytelling as the story spirals out of control, and by the end, it is apparent that the narrative won’t go in the direction that was originally thought.
Internet of Things with Stacey Higginbotham
Stacey Higginbotham has outfitted her house with a whole bunch of Internet-connected devices and has recently started her own IoT podcast, detailing her day-to-day dealings with tech. It’s fun and informative, especially for those looking to set up their own homes with the latest in IoT tech.
Stacey herself describes the podcast as follows: ‘No matter what you call it, we’re at a pivotal moment in the evolution of human creativity, business creation and productivity gains. We could see the gains we make in these next few years help us conserve resources and let us lead safer and healthier lives or we could open the door to a dystopian society where our every thought is monitored and our every utterance is effectively for sale. I hope to explore all of these issues, the people who will make it possible and the devices that will lead us there in the IoT Podcast.’
While these podcasts are all free, the data you need to stream them isn’t. Visit Vodacom online today to find the best data deals and price plans to suit all your streaming needs. And if none of these sounds like your cup of tea, why not start your own podcast with our handy guide?