2015 – The Year of the Podcast

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LAST week I found myself refreshing The Big Interview link on my podcast app, hoping another episode would have dropped. Given that I am the co-producer of the podcast – and knew for a fact that the next episode would not be out for another seven days – this was not my finest moment of 2015. I refresh that app daily hoping that another episode of one of my favourite podcasts will update. I’ll admit it. I’m a podcast addict.

There has never been a better time to feed my addiction. Most of my favourite podcasts are interview-based and non-sport – SerialThe Tim Ferriss Show, Nerdist, Marc Maron – but I have enjoyed some excellent sport pods this year. If you are off over Christmas, here’s a few recommendations…

COVERING FUTBOL – Host Dermot Corrigan’s conversations with people who work in and around Spanish / European football are human stories as much as press box tales. Joshua Robinson’s account of his on-the-ground reporting for the Wall Street Journal in the aftermath of the Paris terrorist attacks is a remarkable listen. Also check out the Andy Mitten episode. At the core of Andy’s story are practises that cut to the core of good sports writing and reporting.

THE TENNIS PODCAST – It’s been a terrific year for Andy Murray, and British tennis in general, and David Law’s podcast has not missed a shot. Law is an amiable, knowledgeable host and Catherine Whitaker’s analysis – particularly in the immediate aftermath of dizzying, titanic Wimbledon clashes – is exceptional.

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There’s been some great interviewees too, including John McEnroe, Pete Sampras and Mats Wilander. But my personal highlight comes during Law’s ‘behind-the-scenes’ show at Britain’s Davis Cup tie in July. Law calls out Davis Cup hero Dom Inglot for his dodgy arithmetic as the Murray brothers erupt with laughter in the background (13mins 30secs).

THE CYCLING PODCAST – Richard Moore, Lionel Birnie and Daniel Friebe have an unparalleled knowledge of the sport, but the success of this podcast is in the irreverent tone and relaxed manner; for someone like myself – who has an interest in cycling, but is not an obsessive – this is key. For a measly fiver a year you can become a friend of the show and access some exclusive interviews with names such as David Millar and Mark Cavendish. The most recent interview with Bradley Wiggins is free.

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PODCAST MASTER – If you are interested in podcasting, then check out Ben Green’s excellent audio series and ebook on starting up a show and making it as high quality as possible. But this is more than a ‘how to’ guide. There’s a fascinating history of the medium and recommendations for must-listen podcasts and episodes. I fear Ben may be as obsessed by podcasts as I am. God help him.

Martin BackPage