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Life in the midst of a global pandemic calls for some distractions and these four favourites of mine are a perfect place to start.

Jaackmaate’s Happy Hour Podcast

With a regular supply of comedic banter, YouTube personality turned podcaster Jack Dean, aka Jaackmaate, and his co-host and good friend Stevie White delve into the lives of TV personalities, comedians and youtubers. Guests range from comedian and Mock the Week regular Ed Gamble to broadcast journalist Raphael Rowe, who, from 1990, spent 12 years in prison for a murder he did not commit. Lighted-hearted episodes with regulars such as youtuber and ex-Soccer AM producer Robbie Knox and friend-of-the-show Alfie Indra on topics from dream holidays to irrational fears are guaranteed to make you laugh.

How Do You Cope? … with Elis and John

In this podcast, comedians and BBC Radio 5 live presenters Elis James and John Robins talk  to a range of guests, many of whom are in the public eye, about the challenges and hurdles they’ve faced in their lives and how they are learning to cope with them. Whilst these episodes are not a barrel of laughs, they are by no means all doom and gloom and moments of tasteful comic relief are to be expected. Above all, this podcast provides valuable insight into issues such as bereavement, anxiety, disability, and sexism, which many people are familiar with and deal with on a daily basis. Guests include author, comedian and former NHS doctor Adam Kay and ex-footballer and unfaltering optimist Fabrice Muamba who suffered a sudden heart attack on the pitch, forcing him into early retirement.  If you are after something of theirs which really is a barrel of laughs, Elis and John’s BBC Radio 5 Live show on Friday afternoons is also available to download as a podcast.

Louis Theroux – Life on the Edge

Who doesn’t love a bit of Louis Theroux? In this new four-part series, Louis Theroux revisits his documentaries from the 1990s onwards, shedding a new light on his many interactions with quirky and, in some cases, desperate individuals. Whilst the episodes are not exactly jam-packed with original content, interviews more than a decade later with people such as the former cover-face twins of Neo-Nazism, Lamb and Lynx Lennon Lingelser, demonstrate how even the most radical views are not always ingrained in people forever. Furthermore, if, like me, you are looking to see what the inside of Louis’ house is like, this series is perfect for you.

Max Fosh

In his final year at Newcastle University, Max Fosh started his YouTube channel under the name Streetsmart. Equipped with a camera and microphone, he would interview students after a night out in the city centre, asking them the more mundane questions in life and receiving predictably hilarious responses. StreetSmart became the Max Fosh channel after the introduction of series such as ‘UnConventional’ and ‘S.P.I.’ (Special Private Investigator) in which, alongside finding a winner of the children’s TV programme Takeshi’s castle, he set out on a quest to find the woman from a framed stock photo he had never got round to replacing. You couldn’t make this stuff up. His channel blew up after filming a collaboration with ‘The Zac and Jay Show’ in which, dressed in Primark clothing and wrapped in fragile packing tape, he was transformed into the fake model, Maximus Bucharest, gaining himself a seat at London Fashion Week as well as a mention on Vogue’s website. Unlike a lot of conventional youtubers, his content is entertaining yet inoffensive and his quick wit and friendly persona are infectious: a refreshing youtuber who, quite simply, everyone should want to be friends with. 

This article is part of a themed content week celebrating our fantastic Contributing Writers. The role is flexible, fun, free and open to anyone!

Alice Howick

Bristol '21

4th year German student at the University of Bristol
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