Perfect podcasts for long summer days


It’s the time of year where the pace of life slows. Many of us are spending hours and hours road tripping, sitting in airports and on planes, or strolling through city streets around the world. 

On these long hot days of travel or even commuting back and forth to the office, podcasts can be a lifesaver. What’s more, they can help you make the most of your time and give you plenty to discuss at those backyard barbecues or around the watercooler.

Whether you are into sports, history and just fancy expanding your general knowledge, here are some recommendations we have gathered. The great thing is, these are all available wherever you get your podcasts.



Who The Hell Is Hamish?


The podcast with an incredulous tale to tell


Scam artists are quickly becoming the new serial killers, insofar as there's a voracious appetite for them in the podcast world. Australian series Who the Hell is Hamish? tells the inconceivable tale of a serial scammer, Hamish Watson, a classic surfer type from Sydney, who managed to swindle his way to a $7 million fortune. 

That's not the half of it though: he stole a lot more after duping people in Australia, America, Britain, Canada and Hong Kong, evading the authorities for decades. His deception stretched far and wide, from posing as an online dater who claimed he survived a plane crash as a child, to gaining the trust of a well-known fashion designer.  How did he do it? And what happened to all the money he managed to steal? It’s incredible to hear how much trust people put in him, but easy to see how they fell for the ruse.


Against the Rules


The podcast to get you thinking


Best-selling author of The Big Short and Moneyball, Michael Lewis, has made a seven-part podcast to investigate the concept of fairness. It looks at the referees of the world, the people to whom the responsibility of making sure things aren't simply just, but fair. The figures he focuses on range from basketball referees to judges in Uzbekistan, Wall Street watchdogs and more. It’s a snappy and smart listen, with Lewis peppering each episode with his dry wit and common sense.


Overheard at National Geographic


The podcast to bring you to far-flung places


This short-form, fact-based show launched by National Geographic gives listeners the inside scoop at the incredible world covered by National Geographic in audio rather than visual form.

Hosted by the National Geographic senior photo editor, Vaughn Wallace, it also taps into the unique knowledge of its many contributors. Each episode gives listeners a chance to get swept up in their own curiosity, from wandering the Sudanese dessert or discussing the singing prowess of the humpback whales, to ruminating on murder plots in Ancient Egypt. Each episode is an easily digestible 15 to 20 minutes long.





The podcast to listen to for a snippet of lesser-known history


Throughline, the first history podcast from NPR, debuted this year with the following premise: focusing on lesser-known events in the past that help make sense of what’s happening in the news today. The series doesn’t cover one serialized narrative - a different topic is discussed each episode. 

What’s appealing about this particular podcast is the blend of archival audio with personable narration and elegant sound design. Some examples of the subject matter include: the story behind the 1953 coup d’état in Iran orchestrated by the United States and the United Kingdom, the backstory of some C.I.A. operatives and the art of protest in American sports.



Song Exploder


The podcast for the story behind the song


While each Song Exploder might only be around 20 minutes long, this podcast manages to fit in quite a lot. Host Hrishikesh Hirway (a musician and composer himself) persuades musicians to take the deepest dive into pop songs in a way that makes you crave a listen by the end. It focuses on hidden lyrics and gives you a behind the scenes look at the creative process undertaken by the musician. Some stellar episodes to get you hooked include examinations of St Vincent’s New York, Lorde’s Sober and Solange’s Cranes in the Sky.


To Live and Die in L.A.


The podcast for armchair detectives


True crime podcasts are wildly popular these days - if you’re in the market for another one to add to your list, look no further than To Live and Die in L.A. This podcast tells the tale of 25-year-old Adea Shabani, an aspiring actress from Macedonia who vanished from her Hollywood apartment in February, becoming one of the 3,200 cases of missing persons the LAPD investigates. 

Host Neil Strauss guides listeners along the multi-state investigation prompted by Jayden Bryant, who was hired by Shabani’s family to find her. New evidence comes to light that reveals that Shabani’s disappearance isn’t quite what it seemed, prompting Strauss and Bryant to embark on separate journeys to track down one of their prime suspects.




The podcast for your inner movie buff


Actor and comedian Paul Scheer co-hosts Unspooled with critic Amy Nicholson. This duo devote their air time to deconstructing some of the best movies ever made, based on the list of the American Film Institute’s top 100 films. 

The history of cinema is given centre stage. What emerges is a podcast that genuinely cares about the development of American cinema, from its roots in the silent era with Charlie Chaplin through to the Golden Age classics of Casablanca and Singin’ in the Rain, the New Hollywood era that saw the rise of filmmakers like Martin Scorsese and Steven Spielberg, and finally on to the modern classics such as Titanic and Toy Story.