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City Girl Online's commuter podcast playlist

Abigail McCann   May 4, 2023

Podcast recommendations from you, for you
Train graphic with headphones

Image courtesy of  Abigail McCann via Canva

Honestly what’s better than being trapped in a metal vestibule with hundreds of other hot, stressed, and impatient commuters at 7 o’clock in the morning? The commute to and from the office can be the most stressful point of our day. According to a poll we at City Girl Online conducted, a whopping 91% of commuters describe the journey negatively, as both busy and tiring.

A necessary distraction from the living hell is a podcast, other than a cheeky glance through City Girl Online of course. Using your recommendations, we have collated a guide to your favourite podcasts – all downloadable for when the Greater Anglia WIFI fails you. Each pick is tailored to fit perfectly into the time of each popular Essex commute, meaning we’ve got the whole journey covered.

Colchester to London heading

For those making the almost hour-long commute from Colchester, Diary of a CEO can be the perfect past time. Us girls love the inclusion of celebrity guests, with City Girl Online reader Alice Horn commenting, “It is interesting to see a side of celebrities you don’t usually see, talking about their lives, childhoods and career.” With each episode hitting near the 2-hour mark, presenter Steven Bartlett and guest can keep you company on your commute in and out of the city.

The podcast, which has over 1.8million subscribers, is hosted by self-entitled “university dropout” Steven Bartlett who resigned as a CEO at 27, to give his unfiltered advice on how to “create the life you want”. With a celebrity guest each week, the podcast can be equal parts emotional and inspirational, with a different moral or lesson to learn. Categorised as a self-help series, this is perfect for those days when office politics is getting you down, as it will give you hope that bigger and better things are always to come.

Highlight episode: 

Episode 210 : Davina McCall: “I was doing cocaine with my mum at 15!”

McCall's infinitely camp one-liners on Celebrity Big Brother were amongst many things to certify her as an icon, and in our opinion a national treasure. But her rags to riches story makes her all the more inspirational. Despite her standing as a health guru these days, her life didn't start in this was and hearing her struggles is eye-opening and candid, this specific episode was recommended by Horn.

Brentwood to London heading

The second longest commute of the bunch, the Brentwood journey, can be supplemented with an episode of Ed Gamble and James Acaster’s Off Menu. The comedy duo come highly recommended by reader Kate Bennett who says, “It makes me laugh, therefore keeps me awake on the train as they’re always talking about something really funny.”

James Acaster and Ed Gamble with Rylan Clark

April 2023 saw the duo reach a high of 120 million downloads, showing that this podcast is a firm favourite. The premise is as silly as its hosts, with Acaster taking on the role of “Genie Waiter” in order to establish the guest’s dream menu. The food discussions, which always kick off with Acaster startling guests with the question “POPPADOMS OR BREAD?” often escalate into “off menu” chats. Each episode runs for roughly an hour and 20mins giving you enough content to cover both sides of the journey.

Image courtesy of  @offmenuofficial on Instagram

Highlight episode:

Rylan Clark.

Bennett voiced this as her favourite episode of the podcast and we can see why. The famously dramatic Essex boy passionately discuss his love of the Hubba Bubba bubblegum and hatred of screwballs, in a chat that will have you muffling your laughter on that packed train.

Chelmsford to London heading

Jamie Laing and Sophie Habboo have recently shot to It-Couple status with their incredibly aesthetic registrar office wedding. Those black and white images of the pair crossing the street, with Habboo donning that stunning Vivienne Westwood mini dress, have been emblazoned all over our feeds since their wedding on April 14.

Continuously sitting comfortably within the top 10 on Apple podcasts, since its launch in 2021, Nearly Weds is soon to see a rebrand. The couple’s humble nuptials are to be followed by the “real wedding” in Laing’s words, which will take place in Spain in May. Therefore, they are no longer nearly-weds and the podcast will take a new name, much like the new Mrs Sophie Laing.

Highlight Episode:

52: What REALLY Happened On The Stag?

With Laing returning, almost in one piece, from his Stag do in the Alps, the podcast provides many an outrageous anecdote to have you LOLing. With listeners messaging in to snitch on Laing’s antics, many a secret is uncovered: farting in Wetherspoons, being smashed at après ski and leaving a groomsman in a chilly predicament are amongst the hilarious tales shared between the couple within this episode.

Billericay to London heading

After her quick rise to fame on TikTok, it was only a matter of time before Grace Keeling, aka GK Barry, got behind the microphone. You girls recommend it too with reader Gemma Fugeman explaining, “It makes me giggle and takes my mind off work.”

Just like on her TikTok, in which she has over 3.1 million followers, her TMI demeanour allows for hilariously cringey encounters with each celebrity guest, which usually consist of her influencer pals and current reality stars. Some of the hardcore journalism exhibited includes an interview with Alison Hammond that revealed what everyone has wondered for over a decade – was Gillian McKeith’s infamous faint on I’m a Celeb real?

As well as this, Keeling has covered more serious topics with guests such as Georgia Harrison, discussing the recent revenge porn scandal with Stephen Bear. Overall, the podcast is a light-hearted and funny chat between friends but leaves no stone unturned, and you learn something new with each episode – even if it is just Charity Shop Sue’s icks. Can’t say we knew those before.

Highlight Episode:

37: Pete Wicks Talks Celebs Go Dating Secrets, Most Hated TOWIE Star & Almost DYING!

Fugeman notes this as one of her favourite episodes and we can see why. Wicks’ signature dry humour banters with host Keeling ensuring a friendly stand-off sure to make you laugh. Within the episode they discuss Wicks’ “beef” with Keeling, who goes on to state he looks like an “old leather boot”, and this comment honestly sets the tone for the rest of the discussion in which the pair lightly roast each other throughout.

Romford to London heading

When sourcing recommendations from you girls this one just kept popping up and I think we all know why. The girl’s bathroom is honestly one of the most wholesome parts of a night out. Sharing lipstick, life advice and compliments with girls who become your new bestie in under 0.2 seconds. So when YouTubers Sophie Tuxford and Cinzia Baylis-Zullo decided to mimic this in podcast format, they provided all us girls with just what we wanted. The format is your typical Agony Aunt style, with the two besties responding to listeners who write in with troubles for themed episodes of Boy Talk and Girl Talk. With the use of trusty pseudonyms Susan and Brian, Tuxford and Bayliz-Zullo offer their candid advice on dating and friendship dilemmas – obviously prefaced by the disclaimer the pair are not professionals, “we are just boys and girls like you”.


The podcast has spurred into numerous sell-out tours round the UK and a book being punted as “The must have book for messy, wonderful women”. It is clear that the girls have mastered the art of capturing that unique bonding experience that is the cornerstone of a good night out, but this time you can take it on the train with you.

Highlight episode:

Honestly every episode slaps but we would advise having a scroll and finding something you can relate to for a first listen, as you’ll just fall in love with the girls, as well as maybe receiving some validating, or invalidating, advice. Stuck in the exclusive stage? Boy Talk from December 9 should help. Regret ghosting him? Give November 18 Girl Talk a listen. There is an episode to help you through all those things usually spouted 3 vodka crans deep in a grotty club toilet somewhere.

Latest episode:

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