Binge on BBC Sounds boxsets made in Northern Ireland over Christmas and the New Year


BBC Sounds

Escape and unwind this Christmas with brilliant boxsets and podcasts available on BBC Sounds.

All made in Northern Ireland, these podcasts have proven popular with listeners locally and throughout the UK. There is something for everyone with fascinating stories, in-depth documentaries, comedy and much more.

Andy Martin, Executive Editor, Documentaries, Drama & Comedy, BBC Northern Ireland says: “The beauty of BBC Sounds is the ability to get lost in a different world while achieving something mundane. Driving, cleaning, walking, cooking or just putting in the miles, the only problem is what to choose. There is so much good content there. Stuff that will make you laugh and cry or equip you with enough knowledge to win a pub quiz.”

Top 10 NI BBC Sounds Boxset recommendations to listen to this Christmas & New Year

Back to the Irish

Back to the Irish series, with music obsessives Steven Cockcroft and Jason Carty, explores the links between the island of Ireland and some of the biggest names in popular music history. Led by the five-part series Give The Beatles Back to the Irish (which offers up some trivia even superfans of Paul, John, George and Ringo might not know), the boxset also includes one-off programmes on Kate Bush, The Smiths, Nirvana and Oasis.

Limelight: Bitter Pill

Limelight: Bitter Pill is a six-part drama written by Oisin Kearney and Michael Patrick (My Left Nut) and set in Northern Ireland. It examines the deployment of a futuristic drug used to treat PTSD and a corrupt clinical trial. Featuring actors Séainin Brennan (Hache), Seamus O’Hara (An Irish Goodbye) and Martin McCann (Blue Lights), the drama follows the story of Mary as she joins a clinical trial. When the experimental medication triggers intense flashbacks, is Mary simply remembering the event or reliving it? And if she is returning to the past, does that mean she can change the future?

Killing Leprechauns

Killing Leprechauns, written and hosted by comic and impressionist Oliver Callan, attempts to dispel the stereotypical impressions people have about Ireland and the Irish. Each ‘leprechaun’ (or myth) is presented by Oliver using an ‘unrivalled knowledge’ of the subject, before being bludgeoned before two fellow comedians and ending with a final word from Oliver.

Assume Nothing: The Hunt For Typhoid Mary

Assume Nothing: The Hunt For Typhoid Mary is a story some might think they’re familiar with. Part of the award-winning Assume Nothing strand, it begins in New York in 1907 as Dr Soper undertakes a high stakes search for a ‘typhoid spreader’. But what would the cost be to the woman who would become known as ‘Typhoid Mary’? Those who think they know this story may have to think again. Meticulous research breaks new ground and identifies the real Mary – who not the person most thought she was. Delivered with drama, the story is a cat and mouse hunt between a germ detective, and a resourceful and terrified Irish cook.

Alright Pet?

For animal lovers, the award-winning Alright Pet? sees presenter Anne-Marie Wallace and specialist veterinary surgeon Rob Adams chat to famous pet owners to celebrate the bond they have with their pets. Now in its third series, the podcast includes chats with journalist Rory Cellan-Jones, JB Gill from JLS, reality star Vicky Pattison and Doc Martin actor Martin Clunes. The series also includes plenty of pet tips and advice.

Europop – The Neil Hannon Show

Fresh from creating the Wonka soundtrack, Neil Hannon presents the second series of Europop – The Neil Hannon Show. In it Neil visits European counties and regions to discover, via a mix of the obvious and the obscure, the influence their music and creativity has had on the rest of the world. This is Divine Comedy meets musical genius and the depth of Neil’s knowledge is encyclopaedic.

Assume Nothing: The Shankill Gold Rush

Assume Nothing: The Shankill Gold Rush takes us to west Belfast in the late ’50s and ’60s. A child chucking stones in demolition-marked houses, manages to dislodge a biscuit tin from a chimney. Out pour countless gold sovereigns. But who put them there and who did they belong to? In this Assume Nothing series, author Glenn Patterson investigates this mysterious discovery at a demolition site in the Lower Shankill Road. He takes the listener into the heart of pre-Troubles Belfast, a very different era, and tracks down the little boy whose story is as fascinating as the find itself.

The Circus

Drama serial, The Circus, written by Paul McVeigh, is a 10-part series produced for BBC Radio 4 set in north Belfast. It revolves around a new pub controversially situated on the premises of an old former working men’s club. The new owner, a gay man, freshly returned to Alliance Avenue from a life in London, tries to bring the locals on board with a talent contest and a hefty prize. But will it work?

The Michael Fry Show

Michael Fry brings a bit of light relief with his second series of The Michael Fry Show, driving tweezers into the skelf-like irritants we encounter every day. This series serves up surreal sketches and characters as Michael mocks the world of live radio, with parodies of DJs, talk shows and adverts. From the ridiculous work meetings and the bully at the back of the bus, to the tall tales men tell of how things were in their day, Michael’s humour is fresh, bizarre and immaculately delivered.

Assume Nothing: The Handler

The second series of Assume Nothing: The Handler is a dramatised memoir of Special Branch officer ‘James’ (not his real name) operating at the outset of the Northern Ireland Troubles. ‘Six Months in Hell’ dispels some of the myths created in movies around this shadowy world.

One to watch out for in 2024

Assume Nothing : Femicide is an eight-part series which will be available in the spring. Presented by Donegal-born actor Amybeth McNulty (Anne With An E, Stranger Things) the series investigates why women continue to be murdered and what could be done to prevent it.

Professor of public protection Dr Jane Monckton-Smith believes there are eight key stages that can ultimately result in domestic homicide, and that if recognised, murders can be prevented. Her work is being used to train English police to help officers to identify opportunities to intervene and save the lives of vulnerable victims.

From the multi award-winning team behind Assume Nothing: Rape Trial, the series will examine what women can spot in order to keep themselves safe from attack and whether recognising a pattern of behaviour could save lives.

All podcasts are available on BBC Sounds. BBC Sounds can be accessed through the website at on your computer, laptop, phone or tablet device. There's also a dedicated BBC Sounds app for mobile and tablet devices. And you can listen to live stations and podcasts through BBC Sounds on your internet radio device.

Source BBC Sounds

December 19, 2023 3:00am ET by Pressparty  


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