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Kia ora! Welcome to the podcast corner of Salient. I’m Annelise, and I’m the Podcast Editor. This is a new feature for Salient, and I’m so excited to discuss my favourite podcasts and elaborate on podcasts as a medium. I love listening to podcasts because they offer endless possibilities. Podcasts can be emotive, entertaining, informative, and provocative. You can listen anywhere, anytime. Anyone can create a podcast for very little cost, and anyone can listen for free. If you love podcasts too, please contribute! Salient is an expression of the student voice, so if you’d like to submit some podcast related content, please get in touch — email email@example.com with the subject “Podcast”.
In the meantime, download the truly excellent Desert Island Discs. This show is a BBC institution, and has been on air since 1942. The premise is simple: guests are “cast away” to a desert island, and asked to choose eight tracks to lift their spirits on the island. In between tracks, they are interviewed about their life, including their upbringing, education, and achievements.
The guests are outstanding, with a plethora of big names being “cast away” such as James Corden, Lily Allen, and Malcolm Gladwell. However, just as many guests are not household names, yet equally as interesting. I particularly enjoyed the episode with Inga Beale, a phenomenal woman who overcame prejudices about her gender and sexuality to become CEO of major international insurance firm Lloyds of London.
The guests are interviewed by Kirsty Young, whose warm Scottish brogue makes me want to listen to her for hours. She’s a great interviewer: funny and kind, but a straight shooter. Desert Islands Discs relies on honest portrayals of guests’ lives, and Young is unafraid to call someone out when she senses they are being evasive.
Ultimately, Desert Island Discs is wonderful because it reveals every part of the human experience. Someone had a terrible childhood, someone else had a loving childhood. Someone landed their big break out of sheer luck, someone else through sheer will. Someone will always dedicate a song to someone they love, or were loved by. Touching and life-affirming, listening to Desert Island Discs you can’t help but think that everything will turn out just fine.
Episode to start with: Tom Hanks