Francesca Turauskis

Francesca Turauskis is Digital Editor at Pod Bible magazine, and an award-winning podcast producer. She has worked on shows with the BBC, Broccoli Productions and Stripped Media, and made episodes for Out There and the New York Times featured Ochenta Stories. In 2022, she founded Tremula Network, the UK’s only podcast network dedicated to unheard stories of adventure and the outdoors. She produces and hosts On The Outside and Seize Your Adventure, and edits Wild For Scotland and The Everyday Adventure Podcast. She recently started The Outdoors Podcast Club designed to help outdoors podcasters create engaging shows, promote in the right places and grow together.

Based in West Sussex, UK, Francesca has been known to walk and run silly distances across countries, and has talked about her adventures with epilepsy on many podcasts.

The UK has had some massive breakout podcast hits. From My Dad Wrote A Porno touring the world, to the South Asian feminist podcast Masala signing with Spotify, and Brett Goldstein moving from podcasting to Hollywood blockbusters and Emmy-awards (rather than the other way around!). I’ve been able to follow the rise of podcasts like these through Pod Bible, and many of the UK’s most popular shows have graced the cover of our magazine. 

But whilst our cover pages have the stars, the inside pages of Pod Bible have always highlighted podcasts that haven’t had the press elsewhere. So I want to use this list to bring you some of the podcasts from the UK that you might not have heard of – yet – but I think you should add to your queue straight away! And with my own Tremula Network, you might notice a number of podcasts in the outdoors/adventure sport/nature theme too!

Get Birding

Get Birding is an extremely accessible podcast about how listeners can get started as a ‘birder’, which can be as simple as sitting at your window. Winner of the Climate Award at the 2022 British Podcast Awards, as well as a Lovie Award, each season is hosted by a different conservationist who speaks to celebrity bird-watchers about their joint passion. The first series holds a special place in my heart with the focus on connection to birds during lockdown and was hosted by (then) 18-year-old ornithologist and conservationist Dr (yes, Doctor!) Mya-Rose Craig aka Birdgirl. Look out for the new season that was just announced with Kwesia (aka City Girl In Nature – who we actually interviewed a few years ago for a Tremula Network podcast!)

Recommended episode: Series 2: Episode 1 – Dr Mya-Rose Craig, Poppy Rummery

Radical Science

This is a science podcast that’s not about the science and focuses more on the science communication (or sci-com) aspects. This also makes it kind of a book podcast. The hosts Gemma Milne and Lawrence Yolland often speak to authors that write about the social, political and historical influences on science and tech. With topics such as bit-tyrants, space junk and viral misinformation, there is plenty to relate to. The show has been on hiatus since 2021, but there is a massive back-catalogue going back to 2016 – just beware that the world may have moved on, so some of the references to both the tech and the personalities may be a bit dated (any mention of Elon Musk in particular).

Recommended episode: Scientists are workers too with Audra Wolfe

Blossom Trees and Burnt Out Cars

Nature and the outdoors is such a big aspect of my own work, and in Blossom Trees and Burnt Out Cars, Writer and Performer Talia Randall explores who does and doesn’t have access to nature. On a more philosophical level, she also questions what ‘nature’ even is. The title refers to where Talia grew up, which was once called “the road with the most burnt out cars in London”, but in the series opening, Talia reminisces about the blossom trees that filled the street in Spring. Talia has platformed voices and stories we could be hearing more in nature commentary.

Recommended episode: 3. Who gets to be a nature writer?

The Log Books

The Log Books was made in partnership with a charity called Switchboard, which is the leading LGBT+ helpline in the UK. The show explores the LGBTQIA+ history of the UK through log books of phonecalls made to Switchboard since it was founded in 1974. Alongside quotes read directly from the books, we hear interviews with Switchboard volunteers and thoughtful discussion from hosts Adam Zmith and Tash Walker. The second series was particularly moving as it looked at the HIV crisis, but I found the final series (which covered 1992-2003) taught me about a world that runs parallel to my own memories. I’m sad to say the series has ended, but the physical log books from Switchboard became digital in 2003, so it was a fitting place to end.

Recommended episode: Don’t miss an episode and start with “Crashpad needed” | Episode 1

Human Resources

The short way I describe this Broccoli Productions show is “a British 1619”. Human Resources explores the British involvement in the transatlantic slave trade, and how it permeates every part of modern Britain. The series takes us from the most British thing imaginable – the Royal Family and the profits they made from enslaved people – to chocolate and our pub culture. If you’ve heard me on the Pod Bible Podcast, you’ll know that I recommend Human Resources a lot. I was psyched to see Alexandra Cohl recommend it in a previous guest list.

Recommended episode: Right of Way

Forest 404

One of the things I’ve enjoyed about writing this list is revisiting limited series that I loved. Forest 404 was an innovative environmental show from BBC Sounds set a few centuries from now starring Pan (voiced by Pearl Mackie from Doctor Who) finds a 21st-century recording of a rainforest, but she has no idea what it is… But the fiction episodes are only a third of this show. Forest 404 also has interview episodes that discuss themes of the story such as “How will humans die out?” and the full storytelling soundscapes get their own episodes as well. With theme music by Bonobo, I think Forest 404 was unappreciated at the time. I’d love to see more of this type of mixed-episode podcast.

Recommended episode: Ep0: Enter The Forest explains the show better than I can!


Ryan Latto’s podcast unearths the truth about Scottish history, folklore and myths by speaking to people whose lives are still connected to them. From the legend of Mary Elphinstone being buried alive, to the pirate Captain Kidd and Peter the Moor – a Black courtier in court of James IV of Scotland – Unearthed covers a wide range of Scottish history. As an ex-journalist and tour guide, he does so with great storytelling, production skills and attention to detail. But Ryan also enjoys the freedom of the podcast format with insights such as talking about his return to nursing during COVID vaccinations.

Recommended episode: The Stone of Destiny (Season Two Finale)

Atlantic: A Scottish Story

Whilst we’re in Scotland, Atlantic: A Scottish Story is a 8-part drama about life on the edge of the world. We follow the story of Evie and Quinn, two young islanders from St Kilda (an archipelago 64 kilometres off the coast of mainland Scotland) whose lives are entwined even when an ocean comes between them. Based on the fascinating true history of St Kilda, the cast includes Richard Rankin (of Outlander fame) and the original music by Scott Gilmour and Claire McKenzie makes this comparable to the grandest stage musical. 

Since this is an audio drama, start at the beginning – Episode 1: A New Arrival.

Women vs Hollywood

This film podcast looks at the history of cinema, and women’s role in it. Hosted by Empire Magazine journalist Helen O’Hara and based on her book of the same name, Women vs Hollywood investigates just how far sexism in Hollywood goes, but it also brings to light some of the triumphs and lost contributions women have made to filmmaking. The episode about the Silent Era was the biggest surprise – I immediately watched The Hazards of Helen! Women vs Hollywood was a limited series on the same feed as Helen’s Christmas podcast, Bah Humbug, so you’ll have to scroll to get to it, but it’s worth it.

Recommend episode: #3 – Silent Movie Era

Finding Natasha

Finding Natasha is an epic investigative podcast of ballet dreams and a search for a lost friend, played out against the backdrop of Soviet Russia. But it is more than just an investigative podcast. The subject, Debbie Gayle, is the daughter of a Holocaust survivor, one of Britain’s most promising young ballerinas in the 1970s – and lead producer Jake’s mum. But this isn’t a vanity podcast. Finding Natasha really highlights aspects of cultural diplomacy for Britain and Soviet Russia. Read my full review on Pod Bible.

Recommended episode: Part 1: A Myth and a Dream

Other Edens

This podcast has had a few different iterations, but it has always focused on the idiosyncrasies and histories of towns in the UK. Journalist Nick Hilton took us through the bizarre history of East Grinstead in the first series ‘The Town That Didn’t Stare’, whilst the second season ‘The Town That Knew Too Much’ took us to Cheltenham to explore the home of British spying. The new-look third season documents a different town or village each episode, taking you to strange corners of my nation. I like podcasts that make me want to go away and look things up, and this feed makes me do this a lot – I am particularly pleased I found out what the golden hare from my recommended episode looks like.

Recommended episode: The Town That Knew Too Much: The Wishing Fish Clock

It’s a Continent

It’s a Continent is here to remind us that Africa is, in fact, a continent – not a country. And as such, there is a lot of history for many of us to unpack. From Queen Nzinga fighting against the slave trade in Angola, to Wangari Maathai becoming the first Black woman to win the Nobel Peace Prize, every episode is packed with research and social commentary. Hosts Chinny Ukata and Astrid Madimba explore key historical moments that have shaped the continent in an easily digestible, satirical (and shady) format. They’ve also released a book based on the series.

Recommended episode: The Agojie: Dahomey’s Warrior Women

Outliers – Stories from the edge of history

Another podcast that looks at history from an interesting angle, Outliers is an historic fiction podcast that takes some big events in history, and explores them from the point of view of those forgotten by the history books. Made by Rusty Quill (who are most popular for making fiction podcasts like The Magnus Archives and Stellar Firma) in association with Historic Royal Palaces (who manage sites such as the Tower of London and Hampton Court) each episode is a monologue from the sidelines of an event that took place in a royal palace. I really enjoyed Fresh Sweat and Cloves, where we hear from the widow of Walter Raleigh.

Recommended episode: Fresh Sweat and Cloves

In The Beginning

In The Beginning is a show by Fun Kids with short episodes telling creation stories from around the world. Made with children in mind (and with children in the cast!) the show is a playful way of connecting to other cultures. But it’s also perfect for adults wanting a short fiction hit, with interesting music, fun accents and small innuendos. This gives you a light-hearted snippet of the world. Definitely download it, even if you don’t have children to listen with!

Recommended episode: The Cosmic Hug

Pilot Season 2023

Described as ‘a mixtape of formats’, Pilot Season 2023 is actually technically pilot episodes of five new shows looking for a commission. With the amount of worthy podcast ideas increasing all the time, award-winning production company We Are Unedited have created this to showcase some ideas as a proof-of-concept.  Whether it’s inquisitive analysis to controversial statistics, a shared love of sneakers, memories of Reading Festival or DJ’s final gigs, Pilot Season 2023 gives some interesting ideas a space to breathe. 

Recommended episode: Gary Younge’s Facts That Matter


Bitter/Sweet is a brand new show that explores the connection between food and memories. Like many food shows, it asks guests to share a profound moment in their lives involving a meal. But the guests’ stories are accompanied by memories from the creator Natasha Miller, who is the founder of a taste branding consultancy. Bitter/Sweet is the perfect name for these mini-memoirs – the first episode hits you in your gut as she talks about her mother and Sunday lunch. This show does a lot and yet the episodes never break the 20 minute mark! 

Recommended episode: Anna’s Life Changing Noodles

Dead Honest

Georgie Vestey’s show Dead Honest interviews the people who help us as we die and when we’re dead: police divers who recover dead bodies; a Railway Chaplain supporting those affected by deaths on train lines; the Death Doulas supporting us as we die. Whilst the show is one to approach carefully, and you have to be in the right mindset, Georgie creates a moving platform for professions that are often overlooked. The podcast won The British Podcast Award in 2021 for Best Interview (sponsored by Pod Bible), and the judges said that Georgie “was never afraid to ask difficult questions with genuine interest”.

Recommended episode: Episode 12. What Lies Beneath

On The Outside

Would I be a true podcast writer if I didn’t sneak in my own podcast? On The Outside talks about what is happening in the UK outdoors. Each episode features a different panel and we’ve discussed things like a racist stunt on the peak of Ben Nevis, how the UK outdoors sector is connected to Afghanistan, staying safe in the water and decolonising the outdoors through trespass. The outdoors sector often has panels at festivals, but ours is the only podcast that uses this type of format to platform diverse views and start conversations about different aspects of outdoor recreation.

Recommended episode: 90th anniversary of the Kinder Scout Trespass, Kinder in Colour and decolonising the countryside

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