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All The Podcasts We’re Listening To Right Now

We asked the PRIMER team and their more cultured mates to tell all

By Laura Brading

Think of your most niche interest. Shopping centre memories from your youth? There’s a podcast about that. Bat advocacy? You must listen to Give Bats a Podcast. Ironing in extreme and unlikely locations? Very odd but, yes, there’s a podcast for that, too.

In case you missed it, it’s the golden age of podcasting. Australians downloaded 2.8 million podcasts every day last year. That’s over one billion podcasts for the entire year, with the national obsession for the audio format increasing by a whopping 26 per cent in 2023.

I’d like to think I’m responsible for at least a quarter of those stats. As well as consuming podcasts while I hang out the washing, prepare a meal, do the groceries, wait in line for even 30 seconds for a coffee, take a bath etc, I have also been known to insert my air pods while pretending to hang out with my family. Sorry guys.

And if I’m not listening to a podcast, I’m probably talking about one (apologies also to my friends who likely shudder every time I start a sentence with, “On a podcast I was listening to the other day…”). I related a little too intensely to Dolly Alderton’s protagonist in Good Material who, depressed post breakup, always has a podcast on as a sort of simulation for human company. We’ll leave the ‘Can Millennials Ever Sit Quietly With Their Own Thoughts?’ question for another article.

But how does one cut through the supersaturation of podcasts to find their favourites? We turn to our more cultured and in-the-know friends of course, many of whom happen to have their own podcasts. Enjoy the list, dear listeners.

Maggie Zhou, writer and co-host of Culture Club podcast
I’m a podcast obsessive and often cycle through different podcast fixations. Right now, I’m very much loving Binchtopia, a podcast that dissects pop culture through a sociological and philosophical lens, while also being incredibly funny. They’re known for their deep dives on trending topics, such as child influencers and furries. Hosts Eliza McLamb and Julia are known for their deep dives on trending topics, from child influencers to the history of nail salons. The two American Gen Zs who have cultivated a loyal fandom of “binchies” – and I’m proud to be one of them.


Hannah-Rose Yee, Vogue Australia’s features editor and writer
I am obsessed with Chioma Nnadi, the new editor of British Vogue — she’s a brilliant writer, deeply stylish in a very effortless and unique way, and incredibly smart.

I’m so excited to leaf through her first issue of the magazine, which was just teased on Instagram, but until then, I’ve been listening to her podcast The Run Through, which she co-hosts with American Vogue‘s digital editor Chloe Malle (also a brilliant writer and also incredibly smart, funny and chic). The pair are close friends and colleagues, and their chemistry as co-hosts is exactly what every good podcast needs: warm, intimate and relaxed, like two friends catching up for coffee to talk about all the things you and your friends like to talk about. Namely, clothes, culture, books, movies, that long-read that’s doing the rounds of every group chat. If you want a place to start, look for the interviews the pair have done this fashion month with female designers including Victoria Beckham, Simone Rocha and Gabriella Hearst, or just start at the top with their very funny Oscars debrief from earlier this week.

Madeleine Gray, author of Green Dot
I must admit I am a very late adopter to the podcast lifestyle. For many years I have considered my ears sacrosanct – to be penetrated only by pop bangers or the sounds of my friends’ conversations. However, I have recently entered the podcast universe in that I have been a guest on many fabulous podcasts as part of the press for my debut novel, Green Dot.

I’ve had amazing conversations with Irish delight Caroline O’Donoghue (Sentimental Garbage), with queen of pop culture Sohani Goonetillake (Shameless), and with bookish legends Hannah MacDonald and Lydia Clare (A Pair of Bookends), to name a few – and each of these podcasts is an excellent mix of high/low culture, political philosophising and spilling the tea.

These experiences led me further into the podcast universe, to my current favourite listen. It’s a fake agony aunt podcast called Dear Joan and Jericha, and it’s the brainchild of two British comedians, Julia Davis and Vicki Pepperdine. If there’s one thing I like, it’s silly shit. This podcast is ridiculous, and its hosts are so atrociously committed to the bit that it is impossible not to laugh. The pair play the aforementioned “Joan and Jericha,” two Ab-Fab-esque Brits who dispense extremely questionable, judgemental and dark wisdom to their listeners. Joan has been married several times and has five children, while Jericha has been married for 30 years and has an only daughter, Cardinal. Joan writes erotic-romantic adult fiction, whilst Jericha has written five books on depression. You get the idea. From telling women it’s their fault when their husband cheats, to signalling red-flags for possible bed-shitters, Joan and Jericha have got you covered.

Julia Ashwood, co-creator and creative director of The Sun Ranch
Cocaine and Rhinestones! My friend from Love Police said it was the best thing ever. So of course, I listened. And while I can’t get through a full episode without being interrupted by kids, I just love it. Right up my alley. Music docos are my favourite genre and even better if I can consume whilst driving.

Isobel Beech, author of Sunbathing
On any given week, Talk Easy will have Cate Blanchett shooing away her teenage daughter from the room where she’s beaming in via Zoom, filmmaker Ava DuVernay candidly laying bear the boardroom powerplay of Hollywood, or author Jenny Odell unravelling the particulars of who owns and dictates time. Host Sam’s eager, deeply-researched interviewing style makes for something between a concert hall panel discussion and a late-night dive bar deep and meaningful. Highly recommend.

Anna Saunders, PRIMER co-founder
If there’s one thing I’m interested in at the moment it’s how people spend their time. As someone who never feels they have enough time to squeeze everything in, I’ve really enjoyed The Atlantic’s podcast series How To Keep Time, where experts ponder questions such as: why is it so important to be productive? And how can we reclaim our relationship with time?

I’ve also really enjoying dipping into The Monthly’s books podcast Read This, where Michael Williams interviews Australian authors about their lives and work (his interview with Anna Funder was a favourite).

Felicity Robinson, PRIMER co-founder
While my husband is nerding out on The Rest Is History podcast, I happily tune in to the far superior The Rest Is Entertainment, hosted by Guardian UK columnist Marina Hyde and best-selling crime author/gameshow host Richard Osment.

Both quick-witted and hilarious, Hyde and Osman tackle every thorny light-entertainment question you’ve never asked but should, like, ‘How much do Goggleboxers get paid?’ and ‘Are on-screen phone numbers real?’ (The answers will surprise you.) The fact they’ve both been in the industry for eons means the hosts bring a wealth of insidery knowledge that often feels clandestine to hear. You have to keep your own wits about you, though, because they talk fast.

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BY Laura Brading

Laura is PRIMER's books editor

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