LOLA’s LIST: Podcasts of Berlin

A selection of the best podcasts being produced in or about the city

Words By Tom Evans
Photos By The Ersties Podcast

There is a podcast for every niche interest. With over half a million podcasts now available on iTunes, Spotify, Stitcher, and countless other platforms, how do you find the right ones to fill your library and titillate your ears while you stroll around the fine city of Berlin? Go local!

Your own podcast library is like a personally curated radio station dedicated to the demands of your own curiosity, with endless content to explore. And perhaps best of all, it comes with you on all of life’s journeys. As you would expect from a city like Berlin, there is a diverse variety of podcasts on offer, from up-to-date Berlin news in English to open takes on sex life. Here we highlight some audio treats that you should definitely be adding to your playlist.

For Berlin stories:
Radio Spaetkauf

For over five years, the team behind Radio Spaetkauf – Joel Dullroy, Maisie Hitchcock, Jöran Mandik and Daniel Stern  have been delving into the issues at the heart of Berlin life. They ‘read the papers’ as they say ‘so you don’t have to’, offering a weekly output of news shorts, in-depth discussions and specials guests. Radio Spaetkauf do an excellent job of peering into the nooks and crannies of Berlinalia, from politics and housing, to transport and way beyond. If insider Berliner info is a thing you crave, then this is definitely one to add to your feed.

Hear also:
Berlin Briefing, a five-minute digest, in English, of the Berlin headlines every weekday – also available as an Alexa skill.

For inspiration:
Dead Ladies Show Podcast

No, this isn’t a true-crime podcast (but if you’re a fan of TV shows like Making a Murderer then be sure to check out the genre in podcast format. My Favourite Murder and Serial are great places to start). The Dead Ladies Show is a live event hosted at ACUD in Mitte with guest presentations, in both English and German, on inspiring and pioneering women through the ages. Their monthly podcast – recordings from the events – kicked off its second season October 2018. The half-hour episodes cover the brilliant and courageous work of women who “were in some ways fabulous during their lifetimes” Think: the ancient mathematics of Hypatia, the pioneering aeronautics of Kaethe Paulus, or the poetry and wisdom of Dorothy Parker. Help the show celebrate these great dames by subscribing or heading to one of the live shows.

Hear also: if you’re lucky enough to be able to enjoy your podcasts in both English and German, check out Food On Point, a dual-language digest of the finer points of the food industry, lovingly served up from Alt-Treptow.

For your sex life:
The Ersties Podcast

If you’re looking for a podcast that explores and challenges ideas about sexuality, then The Ersties Podcast might be for you. Yes, is a porn site, but one that’s uprooting the norms. Based in Berlin, the all-female production team is on a mission to create a new kind of porn, one that’s “full of passion, fun and beauty.” Their podcast offers a fiercely open take on dating, sex, the industry, and everything in between. The four regular hosts have been offering monthly episodes since 2017 and put on the occasional live recording event.

Hear also: for more sex-related podcasting, Besser als Sex is a German-language podcast with a fast-growing listenership.

For laughs:
The BOSS (Berlin Open Stage Show)

If you like your podcasts with a live feel and you need the occasional comic distraction, you can do no better than subscribe to The BOSS. Recorded live, hosts Steindor Jonsson and Trevor Silverstein open their stage to anyone willing to throw down with their own hilarious brand of character-based improvised comedy. Previous guests include Cristiano Ronaldo’s mother, Werner Herzog, Goosebumps author R.L. Stine, and Elon Musk (via Skype). Recordings are Thursdays at 11pm at the Comedy Café (Roseggerstraße), and are well worth the trip.

Hear also: for more Berlin-based improv, check out What’s The Mate?, a weekly half hour of comedic musings hosted by Julia Joubert, who enlists a different troupe for each session.

For new ideas:

Here’s a podcast you can turn to whenever you need a burst of fresh thinking about your life and habits. Produced by the helpful people behind Blinkist, a service that allows you to discover the key ideas from some of the most enlightening non-fiction available via short text and audio digests, Simplify is a series of interviews with intellectual heavyweights and writers discussing all things health, wealth, productivity, and the pursuit of love and happiness. Now four seasons deep, there’s a trove of brilliant interviews to explore, with the likes of behavioural economist Dan Ariely, and Nigerian best-selling author Luvvie Ajayi. Every episode wraps with ‘The Bookend’, where the two hosts offer some recommended reading, and, nicer of them still, it’s all available as a transcript for when you lose your earphones.

Hear also: for another podcast powered by a forward-thinking Berlin start-up, check out The Montage Podcast, a companion to Montag, a magazine exploring where technology is taking us in the future, brought to you by Grover.

Further Listening:

For more Berlin-made podcasts, head over to Bear Radio, Berlin’s very own podcast network and community agitator that helps develop and produce over a dozen shows on all aspects of life in Berlin and beyond. Founders Jill Beytin and Giacomo Bagni also run workshops and host a monthly Meetup for the city’s podcasting community at The Venue Berlin, on Mehringdamm.