Best Podcasts 2022

Podcasts are everywhere these days, and 2022 has had plenty of great ones. Of course, with so many cropping up all the time, it can be difficult to know where to begin, and you can end up feeling a bit overwhelmed with the number of hours of listening out there. To streamline things a bit, we’ve rounded up some of the best podcasts of the year to help you find something new to dig into and become your new obsession.

Normal Gossip

Normal Gossip has become one of the best podcasts of 2022, and it doesn’t take a lot to work out why: the show is all about fun and juicy gossip about total strangers. Hosted by Kelsey McKinney, each episode sees user-submitted gossip being discussed and, well, gossiped about. McKinney chats to a guest, usually a “normal person”, and the rumours and tasty morsels of info that they’ve heard about various people in their social circles. Like any good podcast, it gives a real social vibe, and you feel like you’re really sitting there with them chatting away about all kinds of tattle – it’s fun and addictive.

The Dropout

The Dropout began and ended in 2019, so it might seem odd (and perhaps cheating) that we’ve put it on this list- but its subject has come back to the front of our minds during 2022, so we’re including it anyway. Telling the story of Theranos founder Elizabeth Holmes and how she scammed the tech world with a fraudulent new blood test, and how she then got found out, The Dropout charts how the world’s youngest female self-made billionaire soon became one of the most reviled people in business. The Dropout was adapted into a Hulu series starring Amanda Seyfried earlier in the year and returned several times to discuss not only Holmes’ trial and the verdict but also her recent sentencing to over 11 years in prison.

Changes with Annie Macmanus

DJ and former Radio 1 host Annie Macmanus (or Annie Mac) hosts this podcast that’s all about change. Talking to artists, musicians, writers, and more, she discusses the changes and adaptations that come with adolescence, adulthood, new jobs, being a parent, and all other kinds of new directions in life. Everyone knows that change can be scary, but the aim of the show is to explore how it can define who we are as people and how we can confront and deal with it. Recent guests have included Professor Brian Cox, Robbie Williams, Tembi Locke, and Joe Lycett. If you’re going through big adjustments in life or want a podcast to reflect on how you’ve gotten to where you are, Changes is for you.

The Rest Is Politics

With political times as topsy-turvy and seemingly endlessly ridiculous as these, it helps to have someone out there to explain things a bit more clearly. The Rest is Politics launched earlier this year but has already become one of the most popular politics podcasts in the UK, consistently topping the iTunes podcast charts and leading to sold-out live shows. Hosts Alastair Campbell and Rory Stewart, two figures from both sides of the political aisle, come together to discuss what’s been going on in the news recently and interpret things to help the listener get a better perspective on the world. There are often disagreements and small arguments on certain issues, but the two also agree on a lot, meaning the style and tone are always conversational.

Dynasty by Variety Fair

This year saw the death and funeral of Queen Elizabeth II and the accession of King Charles III, along with the Platinum Jubilee and plenty of other royal news. So it makes sense that a podcast all about the Royals would be on our list, and the Vanity Fair-produced Dynasty is one of the best out there. The prestigious magazine’s royal correspondent, Katie Nicholl, and staff writer, Erin Vanderhoof come together to look into the history of the House of Windsor and how it’s changed over the years. Much like Netflix’s The Crown (albeit a bit less dramatized), the show examines the whole of Elizabeth II’s reign, including her wedding to Prince Phillip and coronation, to becoming the most recognised woman in the world to the royal scandals and controversies that began to appear later in her reign. There are also episodes on how the Queen won back much public approval in her last two decades and looking ahead to what might become of Charles’ time as monarch.

The Diary of A CEO

Another chart-topping podcast, Steven Bartlett’s The Diary of A CEO sees the entrepreneur and Dragon’s Den investor explain how he managed to turn around his life after dropping out of university and being broke, and became a highly successful CEO. Chatting with different interviewees each week, Bartlett shares his (and his guests’) insights into the world of business, its highs and lows, and how to keep persevering against the odds. As the name suggests, the podcast is kept as unvarnished and honest as possible, sharing the struggles and dark thoughts of someone trying to start a company without glossing things over. With over 200 episodes and counting, the show is going strong and has become one of the best podcasts of the year.

My Dad Wrote A Porno

My Dad Wrote A Porno has been one of the most popular podcasts in the world for a few years now, but 2022 was the year it sadly came to an end after seven years. If you’re one of the few who’s never heard of it, MDWAP is hosted by Jamie Morton, James Cooper, and Alice Levine, and each ep features Morton reading from a chapter of an erotic novel (or, porno) called Belinda Blinked, which is written by his dad under a pseudonym. The three provide a commentary on every bizarre moment and detail, and it works raucously- so much so that there was even an HBO comedy special in 2019. While it may have come to an end, there’s a backlog of six seasons worth of episodes, so there’s no better time to dive in.

A TV show binger? Read our best podcasts about TV shows guide.

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