Podcasts we like

B_F5erdUoAAoM2v1The Mosaic podcast launched last week. But what else is out there? Here are some of the podcasts we listen to that inspired us to create our own.

This American Life

This American Life tells the stories of the ordinary and extraordinary people, mostly (as the name suggests) in the USA, though occasionally beyond its shores. Presented by Ira Glass, the show’s variety, honesty and flawless production puts it at the top of many a podcast-lovers’ favourites.


A spin-off of This American Life, Sarah Koenig’s investigation into the murder of Hae Min Lee in 1999 and the subsequent conviction of Adnan Syed engrossed listeners around the world. The twists and turns in each episode following Koenig’s investigation gripped listeners, but also prompted major consideration of the ethics of a public crime investigation. Widely praised and discussed online, don’t go searching too deeply if you want to avoid spoilers!


An excellent podcast about science featuring some standout sound editing. The show uses incredible soundscapes as an aid to explain complex ideas (an excellent example is the description of the translation of mRNA to proteins in Episode 1 of Series 13) and a unique ‘call-and-response’ style for its interviews, intermingling sections of recorded interview with the presenters' live dialogue.


Exploring “the invisible forces that control human behavior”, Invisibilia is a show about real-life stories that usually have links to science. Presenter Lulu Miller is a former producer of Radiolab and co-host Alix Spiegel was one of the founding producers of This American Life.

Welcome to Night Vale

My new favourite podcast and unusual in that it’s fiction presented in a non-fiction format. Taking the form of a biweekly “local radio show” from a dystopian desert town “somewhere in Southwestern United States”, it features ridiculous reports of Night Vale’s goings-on. Cecil Baldwin’s gorgeously stilted vocals and the unnerving music and sound effects create an immersive experience of oppression by the ‘World Government’ and their "vague but menacing" agencies.

The Moth

The Moth is a New York-based not-for-profit group dedicated to the great tradition of storytelling in its simplest and most refined form. This weekly hour-long podcast showcases the best stories told at their live events, juxtaposing hilarious anecdotes, heart-breaking tales of normal life and the accounts of heroic individuals.

The Guardian Long Read

Audiobooks of the pick of The Guardian’s regular longform articles. Professionally read and produced, these are a great way to digest in-depth journalism on the go.

Other recommendations:

99% Invisible
American Cinematographer Podcasts
Crossing Continents (BBC Radio 4)
Freakonomics Radio
In Our Time With Melvyn Bragg (BBC Radio 4)
Outlook (BBC World Service)

Calum Wiggins

What do you like listening to? And how does the Mosaic podcast compare? Let us know in the comments.