British Podcast Awards 2023: Podcast Of The Year

This award is the highest honour of the night, chosen from the Gold winners of all this year’s previous categories, and is given to podcasts that represent the very best of what British podcasting can achieve.

Featuring outstanding presentation, original research and writing, appropriately superb sound design and boundary-pushing material that showcases the heights of what the medium has to offer, the winners of this award earned ringing endorsements from the jury, and should be rightly proud of the exceptional work they’ve done.

Winner: A Positive Life: HIV from Terrence Higgins to Today

Tackling a subject matter as emotive and affecting as the history of HIV and AIDS in the UK is no easy task, but A Positive Life: HIV from Terrence Higgins to Today did so with thoughtfulness and care, balancing powerful testimony examining some of the most serious and moving impacts of the crisis on those it affected with a lightheartedness that reminds us that they were and are more than their illness.

Particular credit should be given to its focus on Terrence Higgins, an often-under-recognised figure in the ongoing fight against HIV and AIDS, and the podcast presents perhaps the most well-rounded look at his life and experiences. 

Sam Smith excels in their duties as host of the show, and draws listeners into the podcast’s world which is brought to life with engaging and immersive sound design, presenting a rich and vivid tapestry of the time and communities it deals with, making it as enjoyable a listening experience as it is a powerful one. 

The judges said:

“This is a really powerful and important podcast with stories that need to told… Intimate stories backed up by good production.”

Highly commended: The Skewer

A close runner-up for first place in this category, the judges wanted to recognise the outstanding work done by The Skewer in not only producing consistently entertaining audio content, but doing so in a way that innovatively uses the flexibility of the audio medium to reimagine topical satire in a way that feels fresh and exciting.

The judges also highlighted the open submission process the show uses for its ideas as an excellent way to give new talent a route into the audio industry, which helps contribute to its vibrant and eclectic feel, and of which creator John Holmes should be rightly proud.

The judges said:

“A deftly produced and biting satire, full of exceptional editing and wonderful observations.”