Global’s hit current affairs podcast The News Agents played a role in the decision making process around government policies on childcare, chancellor Jeremy Hunt has revealed.
Speaking in an interview on yesterday’s episode of the podcast, Hunt cited an earlier episode which looked at the state of the childcare system in the UK, saying it provided him with “very important ammunition” when it came to writing his budget, which included 30 hours of free childcare for children over 9 months old.
“I listened to your podcast on childcare with great interest, and it was about the time that we were making big budget decisions,” said Hunt. “and it was a time when I was really determined to do childcare if we possibly could afford it and I thought it was absolutely fascinating some of the comments you made.”
The News Agents has quickly become a chart-topping podcast in the UK, amassing over 10 million downloads in just three months since it was launched byu production company Persephonica in August 2022. The current affairs show cemented its credibility when it landed a major scoop earlier this year about the proposed privatisation of Channel 4 ahead of other news organisations and broadcasters.
“It’s not often the chancellor and his entourage descend on a podcast studio the morning after the Budget, but Jeremy Hunt and his team are clearly huge fans of The News Agents,” said the show’s executive producer and Persephonica founder, Dino Sofos. “After just eight months our podcast has become a space for decision makers to come and set the agenda - and we now know they’re also using it to inform their policies”.
“Every day on The News Agents, Jon, Emily and Lewis are tapping into the public consciousness. So much so, that when the Chancellor is forming his view on government policy he’s listening to the podcast,” added Global’s head of news and factual podcasts, Vicky Etchells. “Having the Chancellor as a guest the day after the budget has always been reserved for the big national broadcasts. For The News Agents to be considered on a par with those broadcasters only eight months after launching the podcast is incredible and credit to the superb teams at Global and Persephonica.”
Another politics and current affairs podcast to be making headlines in the UK is Goalhanger’s The Rest is Politics which is also the number one competitor of The News Agents, consistently going back and forth between the first and second ranking of the most popular UK podcasts on Chartable.
The Rest is Politics, with former Westminster insiders and journalists Alastair Campbell and Rory Stewart, recently released its most controversial yet most-downloaded episodes this week on the 20th anniversary of the Iraq war, which featured heated debates and discussions from the co-hosts as they spoke about their own personal experiences and involvements.