In recent weeks I’ve been pushing some of my favourite podcasts at the moment. If you’re currently enjoying the whole host of great podcasts like Serial and Bowraville, it’s worth keeping in mind that there is a bottomless pit of fantastic radio documentaries that have been produced down the years and are now available for stream and download… effectively podcast form.
When you’re adding your favourite podcasts to your smartphone, tablet or ipod, it’s definitely worth considering adding a few radio documentaries each week as well. I’ll keep this site updated with recommendations, here’s the first;
Don’t Go Far – A real life adventure story
Here’s a great story to wet you’re radio documentary whistle. Don’t go far is a 40 minute story of two kids from Dublin, aged 10 and 13 who with no money hopped on a Dublin commuter train and ended up in New York City… sounds like it’s not possible… just take a listen to Don’t Go Far.
The story is told by one of the charming young boys, Keith Byrne. Back in 1985, Keith and his best friend Noel Murray were outside their homes with their Mothers calling them to be ready to come inside for dinner any minute. Instead of dinner, they fancied an adventure, so they started by hopping on a train into the City… what happened after is quite unbelievable. One day and every possible mode of transport later, two innocent lads from Dublin’s working-class suburb hit the headlines as they somehow landed thousands of miles from home and in the biggest and most intimidating cities in the world.
I won’t outline the story too much as I really feel it’s best heard in the documentary. The story is a real throwback to a completely different era… for many of us 1985 is not that long ago, but the insight you get in this story really makes you realise how much the world has changed. It’s a story that could never happen today for so many reasons. It’s also quite an uplifting story, the charming and innocent nature of the two boys really shines through.
If you’re listening to podcasts and enjoying the format as a nice break from music or the radio, download Don’t Go Far, give it a listen and you’ll fast realise that radio documentaries are equally as entertaining as some of the best podcasts around at the moment.
Radio Documentaries – A bottomless pit of entertaining podcasts
While podcasts are a relatively new format, radio documentaries have been getting made for decades and most of the best ones are still available online. Podcasts like Serial owe so much to the traditional radio documentary. Radio documentaries generally clock in at around 30 minutes, and done well are a fantastic source of entertainment and if podcasts are going through such a fruitful period, then the radio documentary should be too. There’s documentaries for EVERY genre, so much to hear and so much to learn. Start with the BBC Radio 4 or RTE ‘Documentary on One’ documentary archives. Simple search for a niche word or topic that you’re interested in and it’s guaranteed to hand back a few pages of professionally produced radio documentaries.
If you’ve heard some good audio documentaries, let us know your recommendations below.