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Everyone’s talking about podcasts these days. If you’re new to this medium, podcasts are audio episodes that focus on a specific theme.

From comedy to ancient history, there are a vast range of topics discussed. So, what are the best podcasts at the moment? We’ve shared some trending audio treats that will either make you laugh or learn something new!

Comedy favourites

Had a difficult day and desperately need cheering up? Put your feet up in your favourite cosy recliner, and either lay back or rock away to these three podcasts:

• ‘Three Bean Salad’ is the creation of three comedians and writers of some of the UK’s most popular TV and radio shows. This podcast is hosted by Henry Paker (8 out of 10 Cats, Mock the Week), Benjamin Partridge (Horrible Histories) and Mike Wozniak (Man Down). Full of fun topical discussions, covering every area of life.

• ‘The Scummy Mummies Podcast’ ranks top of the list for mums. Hosted by Ellie Gibson and Helen Thorn, this podcast discusses issues facing modern parents with frank and funny chat. Guest parenting experts are often invited to advise parents.

• ‘Off Menu with Ed Gamble and James Acaster’ is an interactive podcast, combining comedy and gastronomy with audience participation. Discussions mainly focus on menu choices and food pairing.

Relaxing listens

When you come home from a long busy day, sometimes all you want to do is simply unwind. Podcasts are great for long commutes from work or when you’re cooking the evening meal. Or curl up on your favourite reclining sofa and switch on one of these podcasts:

• ‘Ted Radio Hour’ combines all the best TED Talks, so you can learn new insights in an easy-going way. Every episode has a new topic, covering a range of subjects, including science, money, beauty and the environment.

• ‘Desert Island Discs’ is a popular radio show and works well as a podcast. Listen to famous guests listing the soundtracks of their lives, from books to music. And you’ll discover the luxuries they would bring if they were really stranded on an island!

Sporting humour

Do you enjoy being outside in the sunshine? The great thing about podcasts is the fact you can listen when you’re out for a walk or run. Or find some comfy garden furniture instead and listen to these podcasts:

• ‘That Peter Crouch Podcast’ continues to rank highly in the podcast charts. Even if you’re not a football fan, you’ll still be entertained by the banter between Peter, Chris Stark and Tom Fordyce.

• ‘High Performance’ is another sports podcast, but a fascinating listen for anyone. Jake Humphries quizzes psychologist Professor Damien Hughes on what it takes to make sporting leaders successful, especially when they’re under pressure.

Bitesize history

Feel the need to feed your mind with a few facts? There are lots of great history podcasts out there. Sit back in your favourite occasional chair or home office chair and listen to these:

• ‘Short History Of…’ is perfect for anyone who likes learning about history but finds big books and long documentary series too time-consuming. Hosted by actor, John Hopkins, you can enjoy a 60-min summary of key historic events and people.

• ‘Half A**ed History’ is ideal for those who love a bit of history but have less time. Australian host, Riley Knight, offers a refreshing spin on historic figures and periods. An easy listen, you will absorb a surprising amount of knowledge in 40 minutes!

The world of podcasts is vast and can seem intimidating. Endless genres and endless releases can mean that it’s really difficult to know where to start. Hopefully, we’ve helped you discover some great episodes with our suggestions. Make sure you are sitting comfortably because once you start listening to one episode, you could find yourself hooked!

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