What better way to round off this turbulent year than by listening to some of the very best Manchester-related podcasts?
We’ve rounded up some of the best audio-related entertainment with a Mancunian link, whether they’re about Manchester culture, produced in Manchester, or presented by born and bred Mancunians.
Let’s face it, us Northerners know how to entertain a bit better than most – so sit back, pour yourself a drink and settle in for some of this great city’s most entertaining audio.
We’ve picked out the very best examples from all the topics Manchester does best, such as music, comedy, politics, football and, yes, even sex.
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Music: The Oasis Podcast
For music-lovers, The Oasis Podcast has been a lifeline throughout 2020, harking back to a time when we could not only go to gigs but also when the Gallagher brothers could appear in public without wanting to scratch each other’s eyes out.
With the chance of Oasis reforming looking ever more unlikely every time Liam opens his mouth, this is the perfect way to reminisce about when Oasis were the most important band in the country, let alone Manchester.
This podcast takes an encyclopedic approach to Oasis, looking at everything from obscure b-sides to their biggest ever live shows, with guest appearances from practically everyone who was involved in the band’s rise to legendary status.
If you’ve ever wondered about anything to do with the band, past and present, it’ll be answered here.
Which episode to start with? October’s episode with album cover creator and close friend of the band, Brian Cannon, where he talks about the chaos that went on while recording (What’s The Story?) Morning Glory.
Sex: Famous First Times
It’s a sex podcast, but not as you know it.
Famous First Times takes a cheeky look at the sex claims of celebrity blokes such as Shaun Ryder, each member of The Beatles, David Bowie and even Jim Bowen, using anecdotes taken from their autobiographies and interviews.
The two Manchester-based hosts are Ian (aka yours truly) and Dom, and together they combine detailed research, bizarre stories and pitch-perfect impressions to lift the lid on those famous fumbles.
Packed with jingles and curveballs, this is an adults-only podcast that will appeal to fans of smutty comic Viz, Karl Pilkington and peak-era Spitting Image.
And if all that scandal sounds a bit too vulgar, there’s even a food-based spin-off series which looks at the eating habits of Ozzy, Lemmy and Shaun Ryder.
Which episode to start with? For the ultimate Mancunian Christmas, the episode with Noddy Holder and Liam and Noel Gallagher is the perfect place to begin. Be warned though, you’ll never see Noddy in the same light again…
Football: No Question About That
No Question About That is a more considered take on United’s fortunes than most rowdy football podcasts, featuring hosts with a genuine love and a deep knowledge of the mighty reds.
And presenters Ed and Paul aren’t deluded fanboys, far from it, balancing realism and praise with a healthy dose of humour.
If you want the real inside track on United (ignore the sanitised official Man United podcast), this is where to go.
Which episode to start with? The recent December episode, which looks at the woefully-boring Manchester derby, is a hell of a lot more interesting than the game itself.
Comedy: Tiredness Kills by The Delightful Sausage
They’ve appeared on Harry Hill’s ClubNite, were nominated for best show at the 2019 Edinburgh Comedy Awards, and won the 2020 Chortle Award for best sketch act.
Combining Northern absurdism with belly laughs, they’re the natural heirs to Vic & Bob’s crown and destined for big things in 2021 thanks to their upcoming show on BBC Radio 2.
They launched the podcast Tiredness Kills back in April and it became an instant cult hit, packed with unsettling character-based set pieces and laugh-out-loud moments. You won’t have heard anything like it before.
Which episode to start with? If you’re new to the sausage, start with episode one which features Amy interviewing a mucky-minded ghosthunter and the appearance of Big Baby Anne, a character that will pop up in your nightmares for years to come.
True Crime: All Killa No Filla
Hosted by comedians Kiri Pritchard-McLean and the wonderful Harpurhey-born Rachel Fairburn, on the surface, All Killa No Filla is about their fascination with serial killers – but each episode covers a whole lot more, spiralling off on wild tangents which prove far more interesting than the crimes in question.
It launched in 2014 and steadily grew into a bona fide phenomenon, leading to sell-out live shows and acres of enthusiastic newsprint.
Which episode to start with? The six-part episode about Peter Sutcliffe which spanned the whole of spring this year is a good – if somewhat macabre – way to escape your family over the festive period.
Politics: Mandatory Redistribution Party
Celebrated Manchester comics Jack Evans and Sean Morley host this unapologetically left-wing podcast.
While many politics podcasts fall into the trap of being stuffy and inaccessible, Jack and Sean are endlessly entertaining, pairing potentially complex subjects such as post-capitalism and class division with gags about the Terminator and TikTok teens.
While there’s a deeper message at play here, and one that’s ever-more important due to the ongoing political crises in the UK, Mandatory Redistribution Party skilfully hooks its listeners with well-crafted gags and incisive interviews.
Which episode to start with? Late-October saw the release of a fantastic analysis of billionaire Sir Richard Branson which should be essential listening for anyone with the desire for a fairer society.