Recently I moved to a new place within walking-distance of work. That’s great, not least because ambling across and back over the Thames every day amounts to several hours a week of uninterrupted listening time. Here are a few recommendations of things I’ve enjoyed:

Odd Lots — I’m not just putting one in for the team. It’s a smart but breezy take on business and markets. It doffs its hat to whatever is in the news that week but typically goes off-piste into the more esoteric stories and themes. Try the March 7 edition, an interview with Eric Balchunas who wrote a terrifically thorough history of the ETF industry, which has been around for a while but is now rapidly uprooting traditional, expensive forms of asset management.

FT Alphachat/Alphachatterbox — probably the brainiest series I regularly tune in to. The FT’s financial bloggers including Cardiff Garcia, Shannon Bond and Matthew Klein run an interview-based show that is *not* concise but doesn’t lose itself in waffle. The quality of the guests is high and they are permitted to answer at length. Try Matthew Klein’s hour-long interview with Jim Chanos, the famed short-seller.

Germany: Memories of a Nation — a short and sweet audio catalogue following the book/exhibition of the same name by Neil MacGregor, the former director of the British Museum. It amounts to a potted history of Germany built around its most famous people, places and objects.

The History of Rome — I’m only about a dozen episodes in to a 179-chapter narrative-dominated account. That’s great for me, because I know only the bare bones of the ancient world, but it might be too familiar for those who’ve studied it. Mike Duncan, the man behind it, has since created a second monster-series called ‘Revolutions’.

You Are Not So Smart — the tone is a bit labored and corny, but it does the job: namely, telling you stuff you didn’t know, including about topics you thought you knew well. The series is ‘a celebration of self delusion that explores topics related to cognitive biases, heuristics, and logical fallacies,’ according to the iTunes precis. Those who’ve read Daniel Kahneman’s seminal Thinking, Fast and Slow will find much to chew over here.

Otherwise I’m listening to BBC classics including In Our Time and Desert Island Discs; and my friend Anna co-hosts SRSLY, the New Statesman magazine’s take on popular culture for highbrows.


Greater Manchester Business Week: Forging a second career when time is called on sporting glory

This was a feature I co-wrote with Shelina Begum, a business reporter on the MEN, while on work experience there last summer. The feature was published in Greater Manchester Business Week, the weekly magazine of the MEN business desk, distributed mainly in Manchester city centre.

The issue came out in late July, shortly before the London Olympics began. Shelina and I interviewed several former sportsmen (exclusively men, I’m afraid to say), who had gone on to forge successful careers in business. They included Fran Cotton (the former England rugby union player who co-founded Cotton Traders), Dennis Tueart (a former Manchester City footballer who is the director of Premier Events), Gareth Griffiths (a former professional footballer who co-founded Pro Sport Wealth Management) and Ron Hill.

Ron Hill, for instance, was a former Olympian athlete who won gold medals in the European Championships in 1968 and in the Commonweath Games the year after. Along the way he picked up a PhD in textile chemistry. He later founded the RonHill sports clothing line. He didn’t stop running though; at the time of writing, the then 73-year-old Hill had gone on a run every day since 1965. He is otherwise sane, I can confirm.

I hope these pictures are legible as sadly I cannot find the feature online.

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