Irish Podcast Awards 2023: Best family podcast

Children are one of the fastest-growing segments of the podcast listening community - both literally and figuratively - and the podcasts in this category are notable for the care they take in addressing their young audiences in a respectful and responsible manner, while still delivering content that provides the future generation with vital understanding and a broader perspective.

Winner: Nero’s Class

The brainchild of writer, producer and composer Bobby Aherne, Nero’s Class captivated young listeners for the entirety of its first six-episode run. 

Blending sharp writing, innovative storytelling and creative use of sound and music, the show concerns Professor Nero (comedian Hugh Cooney), a bumbling teacher who finds himself responsible for three children on the remote island of Mrunglody. It’s an enjoyable, entertaining and funny adventure as the four go on surreal school tours grounded in (but not limited to) Irish folklore. 

For each of the six weeks a new episode aired, Nero’s Class topped the ‘Stories for Kids’ charts in Apple Podcasts Ireland, but it made a dent elsewhere too, charting in the UK, Australia, France, the USA and the UAE. It was sufficiently successful that Professor Nero and his young learners Rowan, Jacaranda and Scoochie will return for a second series in early 2024.

Highly commended: KidCast

Produced with the help of over 150 contributors under the age of 12, KidCast is designed to teach children about complex topics like the environment and wellness in an entertaining and accessible way, without talking down to them. The podcast has also launched a spin-off miniseries featuring interactive episodes which can be used as a teaching tool within classrooms.

Highly commended: Scéalta

Storytelling is an inextricable part of Ireland’s cultural identity, and Scéalta brings this to life with ten Irish-language stories by popular Irish writers, all about Irish heritage and experience. Covering everything from folklore and myth to modern-day living, these tales capture the essence of fireside storytelling for a new generation.