From London with Love: My Podcast Journey

The Autumn of 2020 was the start of a health kick for me (there have been many since.) I began going to the gym regularly and was getting tired of the monotony of my playlist. There was only so many times I could listen to the same songs over and over again. So, I decided to hop on the podcast wave.

See, 2020 was the year of podcasts. Joe Rogan signed his record-breaking $100 million deal with Spotify and there was upwards of 700,000 podcasts available, with more than 9 million listeners. I was starting to get FOMO, the cruellest of phobias, and figured that it was time to join the masses. And like all things, the best place to start was with recommendations.

My cousin, who’d started this gym quest with me, told me about Potterless, a show about…Harry Potter! In 2016, Mike Schubert, the creator of the show, was a 24-year-old man, who’d never read any of the Harry Potter books. As a certified Potterhead, I felt personally attacked. Thankfully, he began to rectify this by documenting his experience reading the series for the first time. Now, I knew I loved Harry Potter, but could I really listen to a 24-year-old man read them for the first time and give commentary? Yes. Yes, I could.

Listening to Mike try and predict future story events and his refreshing takes have made rediscovering Harry Potter all the more fun. And if you thought, what happens when Mike’s covered every inch of JK Rowling’s mystical world? Fear not, for Mr Schubert has blessed us (me) with a new podcast all about one Perseus Jackson. The Newest Olympian follows Mike as he discovers another of my all-time faves, Percy Jackson and the Olympians. With a total of one hundred and five chapters across five books and an average of one chapter per week, that’s another two years minimums of listening to Mike Schubert, now a twenty-nine-year-old man, reading children’s books.

It’s important to note that I’m a read two books at a time kind of gal, and so starting one podcast was never going to be it for me. As I perused the libraries of Spotify, Apple, Youtube etc, I came across the 90s baby show. And it’s been the wildest of rides. The 90s baby show is ‘a podcast exploring the mind of a 90s baby in this ever-changing society.’ That’s the pitch. The truth is, it’s a podcast where Fred Santana, Temi Alchemy and VP In The Cut are up to nonsense.

The boys discuss everything and anything. Is sleeping overrated? Do wind turbines cool the Earth? What is inflation? Why do men lie? No topic gets left behind. The only things funnier than the topics of the day, are the helmet offences. The infamous helmet gets handed over whenever someone commits a faux pas. No matter how small the transgression, getting something wrong on the couch is likely to get you stuck with the helmet. And on the occasions that a gaffe slips past, the comments section can always be trusted to pull them up. VAR wreaks havoc on the 90s baby show couch almost as much as it does on the pitch.

Between Mike and the 90’s baby show, I’ve never looked crazier. I’ve had to stop listening to podcasts in the gym. Stopping every ten seconds to laugh isn’t very conducive for a good workout. Instead, I’ve started listening to them everywhere else. On my work commute, walks to the shop, car journeys. Anywhere I can, respectfully, have my earphones in. It’s been a wonderful time.

Since August 2020, I’ve completed my master’s degree, started my dream job, survived (so far) a modern plague, and listened to more than two hundred episodes of Potterless and the 90s baby show. Not a bad feat.