6 French podcasts you need to start listening to
Podcasting isn't just an English phenomenon. The scene has been growing in Quebec and France for years. We asked our colleague Xavier K. Richard from Radio-Canada to give us a list of his favourite podcasts:
Recommended Episode: Christian Bégin
Produced as a spin off of La soirée est encore jeune (Radio-Canada), a public radio sensation hosted by a group of mauvais garçons, Vos vedettes sur le gril is literally interviews plus BBQ. While Jean-Sébastien Girard cooks for the guests, Fred Savard seasons the meat. A great digital-only summer show for cozy Sundays.
Recommended Episode: Soirée de Porcasse
Henry Michel is the host of the most creative and confusing podcast in the whole francophony. Originating from Cannes, France, the show is partially a reunion of old friends and half funny and part creative games with a nostalgic bent.
One of my favorite stories features Henry Michel describing how he succeed to connect his neighborhood to the Internet - even though France Telecom told him his area was not on the connection roadmap. With the help of a savvy tech, Michel shares how he outsmarts the company by cutting trees, unrolling a cable down the street, and having fun doing it.
Recommended Episode: Noël du campeur
This show is the Rolls-Royce of French public radio this summer, starring the iconic duo Marc Labrèche and Anne Dorval in a lovely, unfettered dialog. Because the show is also broadcast on radio, the podcast had a strong presence on the iTunes charts this summer.
Recommended Episode: Jusqu'où peut-on aller pour devenir ami avec ses voisins?
The first episode of the first podcast produced by Slate.fr is a first-person confession about stalking neighbours. First the stalking, then the obsession, the intrusion, and so on. This captivating podcast is based on true stories with minimalist production. It could, along with Crackopolis (ARTE radio, 2014) and La fois où (Radio-Canada, 2013; Full disclosure: I was one of the producers), point to an emerging aesthetic that could become a style of radio storytelling à la française.
Recommended Episode: Élégance, Gamification, Autonomie, Matérialisme
What I like about this Parisian podcast about tech and digital culture is that it's full of revelations. If you can make it through the 2 hour episodes, you'll find yourself thinking: "My God, this is genius." While the group gathers a strong community around their essays about Snapchat, connected car and elegance on the Internet, they are exploring, like another company called Binge Audio, to find a successful business model for their podcast.
Recommended Episode: 26 ans - Elisa et le grand mensonge
The radio producer Catherine Gillet needs only a few minutes to make you jump into someone else's life. She gives you access to her subjects' deepest thoughts about work, family, friendship, and identity. This short radio series is worth a binge-listening. In each story, the subjects get younger than the episode before, which is moving us into a larger storyline of navigating a lifetime in reverse.