Top 10 podcasts

The Web's best listens

The Internet's a noisy place, with media giants and bedroom pundits alike broadcasting their thoughts on anything from the meaning of life to the price of fish. But who's worth a listen? Our counterparts at PC Advisor (UK) have compiled a list of some of the slickest, funniest and most knowledgeable podcasts nominated by their readers.

Mark Kermode

Recommended by: Miss Tech

This archive of Kermode's witty and informed film reviews deservedly received multiple recommendations.

Miss Tech summed up the general feeling: "Mark Kermode is knowledgeable, incisive and opinionated. While I'm no film buff by any stretch of the imagination, I always feel I've learned something."

Mark Kermode

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Gnooze

Recommended by: alan14

Multitalented actress, comedienne and news reporter Marta Costello presents Gnooze, a current-affairs podcast that combines juvenile impersonations and razor-sharp satire with aplomb. It's strictly a video show, but the visuals are limited to a talking head and the odd graphic effect, so we've allowed it.

Gnooze

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The History Network

Recommended by: David A

Dry, serious and unstintingly fascinating, the History Network's military essays range from the Battle of Thermopylae to Stonewall Jackson and beyond.

The site is adding 'podtrails' - London walking guides that will allow peacenik history buffs to immerse themselves in the background of an area. However, war is what this site is really about.

"In its field, this is an unsurpassed source of information and insight," writes David A.

The History Network

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Philosophy Bites

Recommended by: MJP

"These brief interviews with notable contemporary philosophers are accessible and informal, and usually less than 20 minutes long," writes MJP.

You don't need to be an academic to appreciate these talks, which are on a variety of ethical and moral topics. They are accompanied by Amazon links to related texts (frequently written by the interviewee). Armchair ethicists will find plenty to mull over.

Philosophy Bites

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From Our Own Correspondent

Recommended by: G Martin

There's only one place to turn for detailed foreign-affairs analysis: the BBC. Its From Our Own Correspondent programme, a mainstay of Radio 4, is available as a podcast on the Beeb's website, with each programme downloadable as a single unit or in smaller chunks.

G Martin recommended "its integrity, attention to context and simultaneous interest in the momentous and the absurd". A piece on political stability in Belarus, for instance, found time to describe a parade of semi-naked men riding veiled tractors.

From Our Own Correspondent

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Feast of Fools

Recommended by: Zauberflote

"Feast of Fools is a 'gay fun show' run by a Puerto Rican and his partner," writes Zauberflote. "At its best, it's very funny indeed." This US-centric podcast is also acerbic, haphazard, fitfully political and occasionally extremely rude - so be warned.

Feast of Fools

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Ricky Gervais

Recommended by: Hamburglar

The fact that, unlike the other offerings here, Gervais and company charge for their podcasts gives an idea of how successful this project has been: people happily pay for the privilege of listening to two grown men mess about, giggle and verbally abuse their producer - expect explicit language.

It's only £4 for six episodes, however, and this is funny stuff. Monkeys and ghosts are recurrent topics of discussion.

Ricky Gervais

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The Geoff Show

Recommended by: Jake_027

"For something to cheer you up while commuting or studying, you can't beat The Geoff Show podcast," writes Jake_027. "It's a radio show with the music removed, leaving random (but usually very funny) chit-chat. I'd recommend it to anyone."

The Geoff Show

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GodPod

Recommended by: Stuart T

It quickly becomes obvious that GodPod's discussions of "burning issues of God, theology, life and much more" aren't entirely unbiased; this is podcasting from a distinctly Christian viewpoint. But non-religious listeners are likely to enjoy these thoughtful, meandering and weirdly comforting conversations too. There's even a couple of decent jokes.

GodPod

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Guardian Football Weekly

Recommended by: darrenrichie

The Guardian's Football Weekly podcast "is funny, informative and the perfect thing to listen to on the way to work", darrenrichie explains. Enjoy astute analysis of the week's big footballing events and prepare yourself for some truly groan-worthy punning. At one point James Richardson compares a match to a Jesuit college: "plenty of crosses, but not much scoring".

Guardian Football Weekly