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The best free podcasts on Audible

From true-crime tales, laugh and loud comedies and tear-inducing interview series.

Audible podcasts

Audible has carved out a solid reputation as a service that puts over a million audiobooks at your disposal – but did you know the platform also hosts a number of podcasts too? There is in fact not only large numbers of podcasts accessible via the service – but a huge variety too.

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You’ll find true-crime thrillers, laugh-a-minute comedies, in-depth documentaries and – no, seriously – a meditation course from P Diddy. Unlike Audible’s audiobooks, which are available as one-off purchases outside of subscription, these podcasts are available for free provided you do indeed subscribe to the service.

To find out more about the service and the different subscription tiers available, check out our how does Audible work article. You might also want to see our list of the best Audible audiobooks to see what’s available. But for a run-down of the best free podcasts you’ll find on Audible, read on.

Heist with Michael Caine

Sir Michael Caine
Getty Images

Audible members are now free to blow the doors off this docu-series narrated by the king(pin) of crime cinema, Sir Michael Caine. Across six episodes, the Batman and Italian Job star delves into real-life heists and remarkable robberies, with the help from detectives tasked with hunting down the criminals (some of which can also be heard).

Episodes cover the Antwerp diamond robbery (the biggest in history), the Transylvania University rare book heist and the 1972 United California bank robbery (in which $9 million was looted). However, despite the intriguing crime capers, it’s Caine who really steals the show, his gripping commentary perfect throughout.

The Sun King

The Sun King Rupert Murdoch David Dimbleby

Can one man really change the course of history? After listening to this in-depth biography of Rupert Murdoch, you’ll definitely think so. Narrated by BBC News legend David Dimbleby, this six-part series explains how the Melbourne-born business mogul grew his media empire – including The Sun and Fox News – and how this changed elections and journalism forever.

Also covering the News of The World phone-hacking scandal and Murdoch’s precarious relationship with US President Donald Trump, The Sun King offers a forensic examination of the recent media landscape.

Murderabilia

Murderabilia

Whether it’s football stickers, stamps or holiday souvenirs, chances are you’re a collector or something. But what drives people to collect crime memorabilia – mementos from bloody murder scenes, or art painted by notorious serial killers? That’s the central question journalists Poppy Damon and Alice Fiennes cover in this six-part series, one featuring fascinating and downright disturbing interviews with collectors and those who make a living in trading criminal collectables.

Importantly, it’s a show that not only explores the psychology behind the murderabilia industry, but also asks just how complicit all true-crime fans are in transforming murders into an object of entertainment.

Jon Snow: Making the News

Jon Snow

Turns out Jon Snow does actually know some things. No, not the Game of Thrones one. As Jon Snow: Making the News demonstrates, the veteran Channel 4 journalist offers some incredible insights into some of the biggest global events he’s witnessed across 45 years of broadcasting.

Using original news tapes from the ITN archive, Snow revisits (often quite emotionally) the biggest moments in his career, from reporting on the fall of the Berlin Wall, to the Grenfell tower fire and 9/11. A real gem not only for the series’ mesmerising journey through recent history, but for Snow’s sharp analysis of the structural problems in the modern UK media.

The Butterfly Effect

Jon Ronson

Fronted by gonzo journalist Jon Ronson, this docu-series explores the mysterious and perplexing world of modern pornography. However, this isn’t only the much-told tale of how the industry’s young stars are brutally exploited. Instead, Ronson delivers a strangely surprisingly uplifting account of how producers are altering their output in the face of freely-accessible online porn – many now creating custom content for wealthy individual clients. EyeEar-opening, often funny and deeply fascinating throughout.

Evil has a name

Evil has a name Audible

The Golden State Killer, the East Area Rapist, the Original Night Stalker, The Visalia Ransacker: whatever name you want to give him, he’s the serial killer and rapist that tore apart lives across California from 1975 to 1986. Although police were able to work with witnesses to create many sketches of the notorious criminal, he evaded US police and justice for decades.

However, on 24th April, 2018, he was finally caught – a whole 44 years since his first attack. How did he stay on the run for so long? And what forensic breakthroughs were made to catch him? This series explores such questions with help of those who ran the investigation – particularly forensic criminologist Paul Holes, the man who found the killer after two decades of obsession with the case.

Overall, it’s an absolute must-listen for true crime fans.

The Dark Web

The Dark Web Audible

The Dark Web: you’ve probably heard of it, but do you really know how it works? Fronted by Geoff White (Channel 4 News), This critically-acclaimed 10-part docu-series exposes and plainly explains the anonymous online network used by the likes of sex traffickers, government spies and hacking groups. And, with a plethora of expert interviews, the well-paced series also delves into why the dangers of the dark web are overblown in some cases.

Most intriguing, however, are the tales of how dark web system such as Tor were set up – and why they’re deliberately maintained by the US government today.

Curious with Micael Dahlen

curious audible

Is social media making us dumber? Why do movie studios announce sequels so early? Why is everyone still so obsessed with Charles Manson? And why do assholes drive expensive cars? These are just some of the questions that occupy the mind of Micael Dahlen, Professor of marketing and consumer behaviour at the Stockholm School of Economics, Sweden.

Taking on one such mystery each episode – be gigantic or seemingly trivial – Dahlen interviews key experts to conjure up unexpected explanations that fuel his infectious curiosity. If you’re looking for an easy listen that broadens your horizons, this is it.

We Need to Talk About the British Empire

We need to talk about the British Empire

As host Journalist and author Afua Hirsch points out in the first episode, those who were educated in UK schools probably still have gaping holes in their understanding of the British empire. Fortunately, the six-part series is there to fill some of them in, correcting inaccurate notions of colonialism and the brutal life many endured under British rule.

Hirsch achieves this through a series of interviews with some of the leading figures in Britain today, from poet Benjamin Zephaniah, presenter Anita Rani and novelist Nadifa Mohamed – who all illuminate how the ripples of empire still influence modern life.

Elizabeth II: Life of a Monarch

Queen Elizabeth II
Getty

Calling, all fans of The Crown: Audible now has a podcast that further explores the British leader’s life, from the public scandals to the private losses. And not only that. Fronted by veteran royal broadcaster Jennie Bond, the series also asks who the real Elizabeth II is, questioning how close to reality her on-screen portrayals really are.

Complete with accounts from historians and eyewitnesses – plus plenty of audio recreations of private moments – Life of a Monarch offers a rounded and rigorous look at one of the most remarkable people alive today.

The Kurupt FM Podkast

Picture Shows: Steves (STEVE STAMP), Decoy (DANIEL SYLVESTER WOOLFORD), Chabuddy (ASIM CHAUDRY), Fantasy (MARVIN JAY ALVAREZ), Grindah (ALLAN 'SEAPA' MUSTAFA), Beats (HUGO CHEGWIN) - (C) Roughcut Television - Photographer: Jack Barnes (BBC)

That’s right: People Just Do Nothing, the BAFTA-winning BBC mockumentary following the exploits of a failed gaggle of grime artists now has a podcast. And its glorious attention-to-detail, many belly-laughs and sheer stupidity make it one of the best comedy audio series around.

In fact, you might well argue the series – featuring DJ Beats, MC Grindah, ‘Weed activist’ DJ Steves and everyone’s favourite hopeless manager (and inventor of Peanut Dust) Chabuddy G – is even funnier than the TV series.

Exoplanets: The Search for Another Earth

exoplanets audible

2020 left you calling for the Earth to stop spinning and let you off? Then this is the podcast for you. Hosted by the University of Manchester’s Danielle George, this fascinating six-part series asks if humans really could move to another planet.

Specifically, the exoplanets in the universe’s so-called “habitable zones” that may host water – and even other forms of life. Crammed with expert interviews, good humour and a rocking (albeit occasionally too loud) soundtrack, at least your search for another great science podcast series is over.

Meditations: The Audible Sleep Collection

p-diddy

If you’re struggling to catch some Zs, this collection will easily send you off to a sound slumber. Guided by a dream team of leading experts and celebs – such as actor/musician Nick Jonas and journalist Ariana Huffington (plus the actual P Diddy for some reason) – all spoken-word ASMR-esque episodes are designed to onset shut-eye in less than 45 mins. Overall, it’s a real snooze fest – in the best possible way.

People, Just People 

Dermot O'Leary

Real talk: Dermot O’Leary is a very very nice man. And now The X Factor host and BBC DJ is being a very nice man on this podcast series, joined by a special guest each episode. Unsurprisingly, O’Leary proves an excellent host, squeezing touching tales and humour out of interviewees including Fleabag’s Andrew ‘Hot Priest’ Scott, former Labour leader Ed Miliband and model Yasmin Le Bon.

A Grown-Up Guide to Dinosaurs

A grown up guide to dinosaurs

Let’s face it: no matter how much you loved Pterodactyls as a kid, they hardly make for suitable dinner party conversation. However, evolutionary biologist/big kid Professor Ben Garrod is trying to change that. And for good reason: as he points out, we’re currently living through a golden age of paleontological studies, research that has drastically changed our understanding of dinosaurs, from what they looked like to how they evolved.

These amazing insights crossed with Garrod’s never-ending enthusiasm ensures your interest in dinosaurs won’t go extinct any time soon.

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