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The Podcasts of Oxfordshire

With the return of an England-wide lockdown, we're braced to source all manner of entertainment for you to enjoy from the safety of home - and we're once again grateful to live in the digital age! When so many projects involving live events had to be put on hold, many creative folk in Oxfordshire turned their skills to podcasting. Here are some of our favourite Oxford-based podcasts...

Not Just For Kids

Are you in search of well-made kids' films that also reward the adults who have to watch along? Or love reminiscing about your favourite flicks from childhood that stand the test of time? Then Not Just For Kids is your podcast destination.

Daily Info's very own former resident film expert Russell Bailey is at the helm, joined by professionals from the world of film criticism, writing, comedy and theatre, with each episode discussing the merits - or lack thereof! - of a title or two. Episodes are around an hour long, so the presenters can really sink their teeth in. Each series covers a different area, such as a particular director, studio or era - with a few specials thrown in for events on the cinematic calendar such as the London Film Festival and Halloween.

Series 1 covered the struggle for dominance in the animation world between Disney and DreamWorks between 1995 and 2004, and series 2, examining the work of Spielberg, is imminent, so it's a perfect time to binge listen and catch up!

Oxfordshire Theatre Makers

OTM (Oxfordshire Theatre Makers) is a network for professional theatre makers in Oxfordshire. They run social and professional development events, provide online and in-person networking, create and distribute theatre-related resources, and promote locally-made work to venues and audiences.

The OTM Podcast is a weekly podcast connecting theatre professionals with one another and people interested in the people behind the shows. Hosts Krage Brown and Miriam Higgins chat to theatre CEOs, actors, directors, writers and everything in between, with recent guests including Louise Chantal from Oxford Playhouse and Alex Coke from Arts at the Old Fire Station about what they've been up to since theatres closed and what they're looking forward to later on in the year. Currently available on Apple Podcasts and Spotify.

Very Short Introductions

The world of knowledge is vast, and, thankfully, ever-expanding. And Oxford University Press have become dab hands at distilling subjects into concise - yet far-reaching - books, in the form of the popular Very Short Introductions series. For people who don't have the time to read the books, they've now got a free podcast series, making these bitesized chunks of insight even more concentrated. You'll be amazed at how much you can learn (and remember) about subjects as diverse as Ancient Greece and Fashion, in the space of between 6 and 15 minutes.

Burnt Toast Presents

What if the very worst people on the planet had their own podcast? Burnt Toast Presents is a comedy podcast spoofing every podcast genre imaginable. The first series follows an investigation into a missing toaster in the style of popular true crime podcasts. The second series parodies a new podcast genre each week. All hosted by a group of monstrous characters, brought to life by a largely Oxfordshire-based cast. Currently available on Apple Podcasts and Spotify.

Tales by the Fireside

"Hello everyone, my name is Joe, and I am here to tell you a story.

Tales by the Fireside features weekly stories for both adults and children, specially crafted and lovingly told to help you sleep. You might run in to an old favourite, a new creation, an unsung author's work or interesting information carefully selected and read for you with the sole intention of giving you a good night’s sleep.

Tales by the Fireside is designed for you to press play and put your device down: all you need to do is relax and let the story play out in your mind to the sound of a crackling fire.

My partner often has trouble sleeping. Sometimes it can take her hours to fall asleep unaided. She tried apps, meditations, noises and audiobooks to speed up the process, but nothing really stuck. We came up with a little game, where I would ask her questions and form the skeleton of a story, and then I would make one up on the fly with my so called “sleepy voice”. This seemed to work wonders and almost always sent her off to sleep pretty rapidly. She then wondered if perhaps it might help other people, and thus Tales by the Fireside was born...

I would like to invite you all to join the Fireside Community, on our quest to improve the quality of sleep, and therefore, the quality of life, for as many people as possible."

Jericho Comedy

Do comedians make good dinner party guests? In The Dinner Party Podcast, Jericho Comedy's Conor McReynolds is on a quest to find out, by interviewing exciting performers about their dream dinner party - covering the ideal venue, guest list and, of course, grub! Interviewees have included some of the most exciting voices in comedy, including politics populariser and Pegsus Theatre regular Tiernan Douieb, viral satirist Sooz Kempner, Dragprov's Francesca Forristal (AKA Christian Adore) and Live at the Apollo star Laura Lexx - so you're in safe hands if you're looking for a laugh, and aren't we all, right now?

The Oxfordshire Mind fundraising champions also have a more straightforward interview format, The Jericho Comedy Podcast, where they discuss the ins and outs of the comedy industry with previous performers and local rising stars such as Chelsea Birkby, Ed Patrick and Tara Newton-Wordsworth.

BBOWT Wildlife Gardening Podcast

Want to feel more connected to nature while stuck inside? Then the Berks, Bucks and Ox Wildlife Trust (BBOWT) Wildlife Gardening Podcast will provide you with some delightful escapism - at the same time addressing the serious issue of wildlife conservation. Team members from across the three counties' conservation sites provide fun facts about your furry garden neighbours, inspiration for making your own outdoor space more wildlife friendly, and advice on what to do if you discover a critter in peril - there's an interactive element too, as listeners can email in questions they want answered in future episodes.

Ever get the feeling of deja vu? Check out our earlier podcasts blog from Lockdown 1, with a totally different selection! If your favourite is missing from either of these, please do email [email protected] to let us know!

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