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Inspiring figures: 'Great Lives'

Great Lives logo

Great Lives logo Photo: Supplied/BBC

Who in your life has inspired you to do what you do? A parent, teacher, friend....maybe even someone famous?

'Great Lives' is a biographical show from the BBC where notable guests choose somebody who's inspired them, and tell host Matthew Parris why.It's been going since 2001, and is now onto it's 48th series, so it's already got hundreds and hundreds of 'great lives' to choose from!

In our featured episode the comedian and TV star Matt Lucas is joined by Freddie Mercury's biographer Lesley-Anne Jones, to explain why the late Queen frontman has been such a source of inspiration.

Great Lives is presented by Matthew Parris and produced by Miles Warde for BBC Radio 4.  

Maron milestone: 'WTF' hits 1000 episodes!

WTF logo (Supplied)

WTF logo (Supplied) Photo: Supplied

The podcaster, standup comedian and actor Marc Maron has been recording his show WTF in his garage for almost a decade, and has recently celebrated its 1000th episode.

Maron's 2015 interview with Barack Obama often gets mentioned in the same breath as Serial as being one of those important moments when podcasting really took off. WTF's guest list over the past decade reads a bit like a who's-who of the music and the entertainment worlds- Robin Williams, Keith Richards, Sir Paul McCartney, Bruce Springsteen.

But the show's also been pretty life changing for its host: in a sense WTF's become a story about his personal development too.

All this gets explored in the one thousandth episode of 'WTF with Marc Maron'. No famous guests, just Maron and longtime producer Brendan McDonald pulling back the curtain on their production process, and reflecting on their friendship and creative partnership. There were some great stories, lots of listener emails, and some moving moments too.


Movie Reviews in 20 Qs: film chat from a Mount Maunganui garage

What happens when a Kiwi couple invite friends over to ask them some funny, poignant and just-plain-weird questions about a newly released film?

The podcast Movie Reviews in 20 Qs.

Sam Hurley, co-host of the podcast Movie Reviews in 20Q's

Sam Hurley, co-host of the podcast Movie Reviews in 20Q's Photo: Sam Hurley / Twitter

On each episode, Sam and Stacey Hurley invite friends and fellow podcasters into their Mount Maunganui garage to answer 20 questions about a movie which tend towards the funny and offbeat.

A few "Safe For Work" examples:

  • How long would you survive in this movie's world?
  • What characters would you take with you on a road trip?
  • How would you incorporate Nicholas Cage into the storyline?

The Hurleys started the podcast back in 2016, and now each episode gets thousands of listeners – the vast majority from the US.

Sam – the self-described "film nerd" in the relationship – talks to Richard Scott about how and why they do it.

We also hear excerpts from episodes about Die Hard and Spider-man: Into the Spiderverse.

Movie Reviews in 20Qs logo (Supplied)

Photo: Supplied

Crushing work meetings: 'The Pineapple Project'

The Pineapple Project Logo (Supplied)

The Pineapple Project Logo (Supplied) Photo: Supplied

Ever wanted to be happier, wealthier, fitter, more productive, all-round better You? Well if so, there's a podcast for that!

NPR's Life Kit series, Happier with Gretchen Rubin, and WorkLife with Adam Grant are just a few popular examples in this self help genre.

With The Pineapple Project, the Australian Broadcasting Corporation also aims to get in on this self improvement vibe.

Season 1 tackled money issues and Season 2 takes on work- from nailing job interviews to networking and dealing with a horrible boss. We share an episode all about work meetings- why so many people hate them, and what you can do about it.

The Pineapple Project from ABC Audio Studios is presented by Claire Hooper and produced by Karla Arnall with sound engineering from John Jacobs, featuring Donna McGeorge and Virginia Trioli.


The Podcast Hour for Saturday 27 April 2019

Freddie Mercury is one of the inspiring figures explored on 'Great Lives', 'WTF with Marc Maron' hits 1000 episodes, 'Movie Reviews in 20Qs' is a film podcast made in a Bay of Plenty garage, and 'The Pineapple Project' wants to help you crush work meetings.