UK Parliamentary Podcast is a hit

By James Cridland for
Posted 20 April 2017, 5.55am edt

James Cridland

As the UK goes into another election, there's renewed interest in how Parliament works. That's according to, at least, the Apple Podcast charts, where recently the UK Parliament Podcast fittingly hit number 10.

Listeners to Parliament Explained can hear a podcast series explaining what happens in the House of Commons and the House of Lords.

The podcast was produced by Fresh Air Production, part of the RadioWorks Group, in the shadow of the BT Tower in West London. It is narrated by Meera Syal.

In the six-part podcast, expect to hear:

  • an explanation of how you might have thought we had a five year fixed-term parliament but actually we don't
  • an explanation of why it takes a two-thirds Parliamentary majority to call a General Election, but apparently 46.6% to 53.3% was enough to take the country out of Europe forever.

...on second thoughts, that's unlikely to be in there.

Press Release


April 5 2017

A podcast explaining the inner workings of Parliament has become a surprise hit in the iTunes podcast charts. UK Parliament launched the podcast series, made and produced by Fresh Air Production, part of the RadioWorks Group, to explain what happens across the parliamentary estate in Westminster and this week it reached the heights of Number 10 in the run-down of the UK’s most popular shows.

The six-part series, “Parliament Explained” is fronted by writer and comedian Meera Syal and is part of Parliament’s ongoing efforts to demystify what happens it the House of Commons and the House of Lords.

The politically neutral series guides listeners through what Parliament does, how it scrutinises and serves the work of Government, and how the public can get involved in changing the law. Helen Jones MP, Chair of the House of Commons Petitions Select Committee and Baroness Corston, Chair of the House of Lords Social Mobility Select Committee, are among the politicians talking about the work they do.

Neil Cowling, Creative Director of Fresh Air said: “As any UK Prime Minister will tell you, there is no better slot than Number 10, so we’re surprised and delighted that our podcast has generated so much interest. Podcasting is the perfect medium to reach people who are looking to expand their knowledge, and so the series of six episodes set out to to offer an in-depth understanding of these important institutions.”

Branded podcasts are a rapidly growing medium in the UK, and Fresh Air Production are specialists in helping organisations to make the most of audio content.

Cowling continued: “Podcasting is a medium that more and more brands are using to tell engaging long-form stories that can’t be communicated through standard advertising. We’re hugely proud to be working with The Houses of Parliament and it’s a testament to the growth and quality of the medium that such a supposedly stuffy institution is commissioning their own podcast series.”

Matt Ringer, Head of Public Information, Houses of Parliament, said:"Parliament is committed to engaging as many members of the public as possible in how our democracy works, and this podcast, produced in collaboration with Fresh Air Production and brilliantly narrated by Meera Syal, is a vital part of that task. I am sure listeners will come away feeling both entertained and informed."

“Parliament Explained” is available in Apple Podcasts and all major podcast apps.

More information

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James Cridland — James runs, and is a radio futurologist: a consultant, writer and public speaker who concentrates on the effect that new platforms and technology are having on the radio business. He also publishes a free daily newsletter about podcasting, Podnews, and a weekly radio trends newsletter.

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