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Why 'braying posh girls talking gibberish' makes for one compelling podcast

‘I want a seat at the table.’

THE BEST PODCASTS, in my opinion, are the ones that make you yearn for an opportunity to join in.

While I’m a true crime devotee and a die-hard fan of Desert Island Discs, neither – the former for quite obvious reasons – ignite a desire to get involved; I’m quite happy to be a passive listener.

But then there are podcasts like The High Low, for example, where I’m not content to simply listen; I want a seat at the table.

Actually I want more than just a seat at the table; I want to take off my shoes, pull up the mike and spill my thoughts right alongside hosts Pandora Sykes and Dolly Alderton.

A mixture of current affairs and pop culture, the journalists discuss period poverty, the zeitgeist that was Big Brother and everything from misogyny, misandry and monogamy in much the same way you imagine they shoot the breeze with each over two bottles of wine.

And the ease with which they hold these conversations result in my regularly nodding along, butting in – admittedly less impactful when they can’t hear you – and longing to take part in the discussion.

Launched in 2016 on the back of their former collaboration, The PanDolly Podcast, The High Low takes its inspiration from the idea that an interest in both ‘high-brow’ and ‘low-brow’ culture, as they’re so-called, don’t have to be mutually exclusive.

Discovering a new podcast (shamefully late in this instance) and adding it to your regular rotation or, in my case, bingeing on every previous episode as quickly as possible, is a shortcut to damn near hysteria.

In recent weeks, I’ve made reference to things the hosts have said and delivered it to other people as if a friend had mentioned it over a pint.

‘Oh my God, Dolly said the same, actually,’ or ‘That happened to Pandora! Pandora? From The High Low?’

Yes, it’s embarrassing, but it’s also practically unavoidable when you become so immersed in the tone of a podcast, and the approach with which its hosts take to the topics you yourself feel strongly about. 

They have created a wholly comfortable environment where they don’t claim to be an authority on anything, regularly own up to their own fallibility and deliver each episode in a warm, wise, witty and self-effacing manner.

Piers Morgan once described The High Low as ‘braying posh girls talking gibberish’ which coming from him is all the confirmation I need to know that I’m in the right place.

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About the author:

Niamh McClelland

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