Your guide

Sennheiser XC550 podcast headphones

The BBC has long been a behemoth of the broadcasting industry, and now it’s tackling the modern era of podcasts in a big way. But with hundreds of shows and thousands of episodes to listen to, it can be hard to cut through the noise and find the best BBC podcasts to fill your feed.

Read also: Best podcasts you can listen to right now

Fortunately for you, we’ve run through the backlog and picked out 10 of our favorite BBC podcasts that you can listen to today. Whether you’re listening on the official BBC Sounds app (not recommended) or any other podcast app, you’ll find thousands of hours of great material just waiting for you to press play.

Best BBC podcasts


1. The Infinite Monkey Cage

Infinite Monkey Cage BBC podcast

Topic: Science

Frequency: Weekly

Length: 30-60 minutes

Let’s kick off our list of the best BBC podcasts with one of its most popular: The Infinite Monkey Cage. Running for more than 10 years now, each weekly episode takes a look at a specific issue from a scientific perspective. That doesn’t mean it’s filled with dry facts, with comedian Robin Ince and Physicist Brian Cox co-hosting alongside a plethora of expert and celebrity guests.

Listen on Pocket Casts, Spotify, or Apple Podcasts


2. You’re Dead To Me

Youre dead to me podcast

Topic: History

Frequency: Irregular

Length: 45 minutes

Described as a “history podcast for people who don’t like history”, You’re Dead To Me is top-notch infotainment. Host Greg Jenner talks the audience through the history of a specific topic with the help of two guests – typically one a comedian and the other an accomplished historian.

Listen on Pocket Casts, Spotify, or Apple Podcasts


3. That Peter Crouch Podcast

That peter crouch podcast

Topic: Sports (soccer)

Frequency: Weekly

Length: 45 minutes

Legendary footballer Peter Crouch hosts this BBC sports podcast alongside Tom Fordyce and Chris Stark. In it, the three discuss the latest football news, with loads of banter that will have you in stitches. If you’ve ever wondered what goes on in the lives and heads of football’s biggest stars, this is your window to enlightenment.

Listen on Pocket Casts, Spotify, or Apple Podcasts


4. The Missing Cryptoqueen

the missing cryptoqueen podcast

Topic: True crime

Frequency: Finished

Length: 30-60 minutes

This short run BBC podcast tells the story of Dr. Ruja Ignatova, who defrauded millions of people in one of the biggest scams in history before disappearing without a trace. At just eight episodes long, it’s the perfect series for fans of true crime podcasts who don’t want to invest months into a new series.

Listen on Pocket Casts, Spotify, or Apple Podcasts


5. A History of the World in 100 Objects

history of the world in 100 objects

Topic: History

Frequency: Finished

Length: 15 minutes

This is one of the oldest BBC podcasts on the list, but the subject matter is just as relevant now as it was a decade ago. British Museum director Neil MacGregor selects 100 objects, ranging from Egyptian mummies to Sharia-compliant credit cards, through which he weaves a narrative of world history. It’s more serious and educational than the other podcasts on the list, but it’s essential listening for history buffs.

Listen on Pocket Casts, Spotify, or Apple Podcasts


6. 50 Things That Made the Modern Economy

50 things that made the modern economy podcast

Topic: History, economics

Frequency: Weekly

Length: 10 minutes

While this podcast could be considered a more recent version of the previous entry, it will change the way you think about the things you use every day. Weekly episodes on topics like the iPhone, Google, cellophane, and postage stamps illuminate the impact new ideas and technologies can have on society. The first series of 50 things finished in 2017, and the second is currently in progress.

Listen on Pocket Casts, Spotify, or Apple Podcasts


7. BBC Earth Podcast

BBC Earth Podcast

Topic: Nature

Frequency: Weekly

Length: 30 minutes

If you’re a fan of David Attenborough’s Planet Earth, the BBC Earth Podcast will be right up your alley. Presented by Emily Knight, each weekly episode dives into a unique story that combines nature, science, and the human experience. The show successfully elicits that same feeling of awe using just an audio medium, making it one of the best BBC podcasts out there.

Listen on Pocket Casts, Spotify, or Apple Podcasts


8. Brexitcast

Brexitcast podcast

Topic: Politics

Frequency: Weekly

Length: 30 minutes

As the name implies, this podcast is all about Brexit. Launched in 2017, it features four of the BBC’s best political journalists who analyze and comment on the week’s Brexit news in a light-hearted and engaging way. The podcast proved to be so popular that it was later adapted for TV in 2019. It’s the best way to cut through the nonsense and learn what’s really going on with Brexit, at least to the extent that it can be understood.

Listen on Pocket Casts, Spotify, or Apple Podcasts


9. Desert Island Discs

Desert Island Discs podcast

Topic: Interviews

Frequency: Weekly

Length: 30-60 minutes

At some point, we’ve all thought about what we’d bring with us to a deserted island, but this BBC podcast asks that same question to some of the world’s most famous and influential people. Running continuously on the radio since 1942, it features more than 3200 episodes with guests ranging from Alfred Hitchcock to Stephen Hawking to Dame Judi Dench.

Listen on Pocket Casts, Spotify, or Apple Podcasts


10. Friday Night Comedy from BBC Radio 4

Friday Night Comedy from BBC Radio 4 podcast

Topic: Comedy

Frequency: Weekly

Length: 30 minutes

Sometimes you just need a good laugh, and BBC Radio 4’s weekly Friday Night Comedy podcast is just what the doctor ordered. Episodes rotate between the longstanding comedy programs The News Quiz, The Now Show, Dead Ringers, and Lobby Land. New episodes are released every Friday, but they only remain available for a few weeks before disappearing from the feed.

Listen on Pocket Casts, Spotify, or Apple Podcasts


Honorable mentions

While we’ve listed the best BBC podcasts to get you started above, there are plenty of other great shows on the network that are worth checking out. Here are a few of our honorable mentions.

  • Kermode and Mayo’s Film Review — Long form film reviews and interviews with famous actors and directors. Discussions tend to meander away from the main topic at hand, which can lead to interesting tidbits or boring anecdotes depending on the episode.
  • 13 Minutes to the Moon — The full story of Apollo 11 and the first moon landing. In 12 episodes, host Kevin Fong runs through the details of who and what made Apollo 11 possible to celebrate its 50th anniversary.
  • Test Match Special — One of the best cricket podcasts available (along with fellow BBC podcast Tailenders). It provides ball-by-ball coverage of not only Test cricket matches, but also any professional cricket around the globe.
  • Multi Story — For personal stories from all across England, there is no better podcast then Multi Story. Sometimes you have to turn your gaze inward to appreciate the diversity around you.
  • The Documentary Podcast — As the name implies, this BBC podcast is filled with documentaries about a variety of topics from around the world. Even better, they’re available indefinitely, so you have hundreds of topics to choose from.

That’s it for our list of the best BBC podcasts. There are many more fantastic options in BBC’s lineup, so let us know your favorites in the comments below!

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