Although podcasts now encompass a wide range of topics and subjects, it's safe to say that most people get into by way of celebrity interviews.
It's basically the cornerstone of podcasting in general (we even got it on with our limited series, 'The Revisit') and it's no surprise that some of the best podcasts out there feature celebrity interviews. The reason for that is pretty simple, however.
Podcast interviews always tend to offer a level of intimacy and informality that you just don't get with a typical junket setup. For one thing, they often take place in people's homes and that's pretty vulnerable to begin with. Not only that, but it's also often the case that they get far, far longer than normal junket interviews.
With that in mind, here's 6 recommendations for celebrity interview podcasts.
As you'd expect with an NPR podcast, 'Fresh Air with Terry Gross' can pull in some big names and have some pretty revealing conversations with them. There's a real sense of calm, relaxed confidence about Terry's interviewing, and you can tell that guests just immediately respond to that and open up in ways they wouldn't on other shows.
Recommended episode: The one with Anthony Bourdain is easily one of the best
Talking about grief and loss of life can't be particularly funny, no matter how you spin it. Right? Wrong. As it turns out, bringing in comedians like Adam Buxton, Kildare's own Aisling Bea, and many more to talk about it makes it that bit easier to swallow. In fact, you'll more often than not end up crying laughing - which is basically the point of the whole show. Blackly funny in parts, but made with a real emphasis on a shared experience, 'The Griefcast' tackles a tricky subject with humour and heart.
Recommended episode: Aisling Bea's episode will speak particularly to Irish audiences
Stephen King's work as an author spans decades, and his readers and admirers spans all walks of life. 'The Kingcast' picks a work of Stephen King in each episode, and then brings in a celebrity guest to discuss it. Past guests have included Rian Johnson, director of 'Knives Out' and 'Star Wars: The Last Jedi', who picked 'Stephen King's On Writing', Elijah Wood from 'Lord of the Ring', who picked 'Misery', and Alex Winter of 'Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure' who picked 'The Dead Zone'. If you're a fan of Stephen King and good conversations about pop culture in general, this is worth your time.
Abbreviated to 'RHLSTP', Richard Herring's long-running comedy interview podcast has seen the likes of Alexei Sayle, Bill Burr, Michael Palin, Charlie Brooker, Sarah Millican, Kathy Burke, Limmy, and countless more - well, nearly 400 of them, anyway - come on the show and gab their hearts out with Richard Herring. Rarely sticking to one recurring topic and always looking for something original, 'RHLSTP' is one of the funniest comedy-based celebrity interview podcasts out there on this side of the Atlantic.
Recommended episode: Stephen Merchant's interview from early in the series is one of the best
Hosted by celebrity photographer Sam Jones, 'Off Camera' boasts some huge names as guests - Robert Downey Jr., Jessica Chastain, Matt Damon, Olivia Wilde, Cindy Crawford - all of whom Sam Jones has photographed as well as interviewed. Very often the conversations tend to be based around work and the Hollywood machine, but so what? It's so rare to hear A-list actors talk shop and in a way that's brutally honest.
This may technically fall into the category of music-based podcasts, but it's an interview-based show featuring numerous celebrities, so we'll let it through because it's so good. Maxine Peake, who you'll recognise from the likes of 'Black Mirror: Metalhead', 'Shameless', and Mike Leigh's 'Peterloo', takes you on a journey of the lives and careers of Joy Division and New Order, with interviews with the members of each group, as well as insight from the likes of Bono, Liam Gallagher, Johnny Marr, Damon Albarn, and more. If you've even had a passing interest in Joy Division or New Order, this is absolutely essential listening.
Recommended episode: Really, just take them all in - it's so, so good.