British Podcast Awards 2023: Best entertainment podcast

While podcasts can be serious and thoughtful, we shouldn’t forget that they can also be fun, and this category recognises the shows that put a spring in their listeners’ step, providing toe-tapping, chin-stroking, chuckle-inducing escapism.

Incorporating engaging banter, audience interaction and captivating storytelling, this category’s winners revel in their eclecticism, curating content and features that their subscribers eat up with enthusiasm.

Gold: Elis James and John Robins

Robins’ description of the show as “a commercial indie radio show that has got wildly out of hand”, is as good a summary as any. Released every Friday, the podcast is the award-winning radio show, thoughtfully adapted for those who want to listen to the pair’s “unproducable” banter in their own time.

Best friends since meeting on the comedy circuit in 2005, the Elis James and John Robins podcast is a showcase of the pair’s fast wits, natural chemistry and willingness to break broadcasting norms in the name of hilarity. The show’s self-proclaimed PCDs (Podcast Devotees — those who have listened to every episode from the beginning) love regular features such as John’s Shame Wall, Made Up Games, Up Your Region and Petty Parliament.

While the show may seem unusual for 5 Live — a station known for its more serious output — it’s a natural fit for podcasting, and it’s no surprise that it turned co-host Elis James into a podcast devotee.

The judges said:

“I really loved all of the nuance. The podcast charts wouldn't be the same without Elis, John and Dave - and they continue to churn out hilarious content seemingly without even trying.”

Silver: Help I Sexted My Boss

Put an etiquette expert and a radio DJ together and — despite their chalk-and-cheese differences — podcast magic happens. Help I Sexted My Boss is a show about the challenges of modern life, mulled over by the two witty and engaging hosts, William Hanson and Jordan North.

The podcast has had a hugely successful year, completing a sell-out tour and securing a book deal. It’s also become a viral sensation on TikTok, where sections on the history of knife etiquette and an unusual modern sex trend have gone viral with millions of views apiece. 

The judges said:

“An exceptionally well-produced entry. Jordan, William and the team know exactly what their brand is and from the imaging and music right through to the hosting and the edit, everything comes together in an entertaining, cohesive and hilarious way.”

Bronze: British Scandal

Proving that nobody does a scandal like the British, comedian Matt Forde and My Dad Wrote a Porno co-creator Alice Levine explore the strange stories behind the UK’s biggest whoopsies. From the man who faked his death in a canoeing accident to Boris Johnson’s downfall via Covid-breaking lockdown parties, British Scandal is an extremely entertaining way to get your historical gossip fix.

The judges said:

“Outstanding storytelling, compelling narration with an excellent use of music and sound effects to create urgency, ambience and location. Script writing really paints a picture whilst the editing was on point.”