Octopus Group Reading time: 5 mins

Octopus Recommends Summer Series: Podcasts for Warmer Weather Listening

7 Aug 2019

As part of the Octopus Recommends Summer Series, we asked our Technology Centre of Expertise team to tell us the tech they won’t holiday without. This week, they recommend their favourite podcasts for summer listening, with a little help from our Marketing Centre of Expertise too.


Potterless follows Mike as he reads the Harry Potter series for the first time. Mike invites Harry Potter fanatics onto the show to chat with him, makes predictions about the story, and sometimes pokes fun at plot holes in the books. David, one of our Front-End Developers, recommends Potterless, saying, “listening to someone explore the world of Harry Potter, when they’ve never read the books, is great for nostalgia. And overall, the presenter is a pretty funny guy.”

TED Talks Daily

Ariana from our Digital Marketing team recommends TED Talks Daily, a podcast that brings you TED talks on the go, on a variety of subjects. Ari says, “I love it because they’re relatively short, but they cover such a wide range of interesting topics and current happenings – scientific discoveries, psychotherapy, urban planning. You name it, it’s covered in a TED Talk.”

No Such Thing As a Fish

Lots of Octopus people recommended No Such Thing As A Fish, a podcast run by the fact checkers from the TV show QI. Jack from our Investment Marketing team likes this podcast because it “features some of the fun and quirky facts that don’t make it into the TV show.” Matt, one of our Senior Designers, thinks it’s “pretty funny” and reckons, “if you like the show, you’ll like the podcast. If you don’t like the show, you might still like the podcast.”

Desert Island Discs 

Desert Island Discs is a Radio 4 institution and has been running for more than 70 years. And it comes in easy-to-listen, podcast form. Bex from the Digital Marketing team tells us, “during the show, guests choose the eight records they would take with them to a deserted island, along with a luxury item.” She loves listening to Desert Island Discs because “you learn so much about a person in half an hour, and they get surprisingly deep.” Bex’s favourite guests include Tom Hanks, David Mitchell, Dawn French and Ray Winstone. You can listen to particular episodes or hit the archives and listen to shows from as far back as 1942.

My Dad Wrote a Porno

My Dad Wrote a Porno is another podcast that’s been recommended to us multiple times, because of its ability to have our colleagues in stitches. Each week, Jamie Morton reads a chapter of Belinda Blinks, the hilariously terrible erotic novel written by his father, and discusses it with his friends Alice Levine and James Cooper. Ari says “it’s really, really funny. You won’t regret listening to it, so just do it.” And according to Sam from our PR team: “if you ever see people on the Tube, headphones on, who are laughing lots but also with a slight hint of disgust and bafflement, there’s a good chance they are listening to My Dad Wrote a Porno.”

Hip Hop Saved My Life with Romesh Ranganathan

Here we have another recommendation from Matt. He’s a big fan of Hip Hop Saved My Life, in which comedian Romesh Ranganathan talks about hip hop with a variety of guests, including Mark Ronson and Jamie Redknapp, and a host of comedians such as Frankie Boyle and Katherine Ryan. Matt enjoys listening because, “this comedy podcast gives an interesting look into how music has affected the lives of celebrity guests, and also dishes out excellent recommendations for artists and albums you may not have heard of.”

Peter Crouch Podcast

For all you football fans out there, our Brand and Marketing Director Jen recommends That Peter Crouch Podcast. She says, “if you want to know about the inner workings of professional football, including which team has the best quality shower gel and what really happens on transfer deadline day, this is a brilliant set of stories from Peter Crouch’s playing career. There’s some great insight into things like the pressure of singing the national anthem in tune when the camera pans past, too.”

If you love football, here are some bonus recommendations for you: Quickly Kevin; Will He Score? (90s football show hosted by comedian Josh Widdicombe) and Athletico Mince (Bob Mortimer and Andy Dawson talk about football, amongst other things).

Against the Rules with Michael Lewis

Our Head of Content Kevin counts Michael Lewis, author of The Big Short and Moneyball, as one of his favourite writers, so very much enjoys his podcast Against the Rules with Michael Lewis. In this podcast,” Kevin explains, “Michael looks at the concept of fairness, both in sport and life, and what happens when the rules begin to break down and fairness is no longer enforced. He’s a great storyteller, and he attacks the topic from a wide variety of fascinating angles.”

We Have Ways of Making You Talk

In We Have Ways of Making You Talk, comedian Al Murry teams up with historian James Holland to chat about World War II. It comes highly recommended by Octopus Marketing Executive Nick, who says: “I’m really interested in military history and this podcast gives some great insights into World War II, along with some light-hearted tales.” Nick goes on: “One of my favourite episodes is the story about Plan B for D-Day, which discusses the plan for if everything went wrong. It’s a side of military action that’s rarely thought about, especially when the outcome is successful like it was for the allies on D-Day.”

Conan O’Brien Needs a Friend

Here’s another one from Kevin: Conan O’Brien Needs A Friend. “This is just a really fun listen,” says Kevin, “as US chat show host Conan talks to famous people he would like to be friends with.” Lots of authors, actors, comedians and other famous folk turn up to chat with Conan. And one of Kevin’s favourite parts of the show is “listening to the razor-sharp, warm, witty banter between Conan and his production team.”

Next week, we’ll be sharing the final chapter of the Octopus Recommends Summer Series: books to bring with you on your travels.


Summer Series 2019