The 10 biggest podcast moments of 2018

In the world of Radio 1 and 1Xtra podcasts, 2018 has hosted some incredible moments. From world-famous film stars looking back on their careers, to a Cornish pasty travelling the length and breadth of the UK (yes, a pasty) there's quite literally something for everyone. Below, we look back on a handful of the biggest podcast moments from 2018.

When Stormzy opened up about his life mission

#Merky isn’t just any hashtag. On Radio 1’s Life Hacks, Stormzy explained the mission behind his own brand, and how he’s using it to make real social change.

The grime superstar, who will be headlining Glastonbury in 2019, had an in-depth conversation with Radio 1’s Cel Spellman. He described #Merky as an “embassy for people to come through and realise their dreams,” and explained why he was teaming up with Cambridge University to give scholarships to black students.

“I’ve always understood that the playing field isn’t level. [And] it’s not everyone’s fault that they don’t understand that gap. But there is a barrier for young black people.”

He added: “I got kicked out of sixth form for being a little idiot… I always wanted to go to Cambridge or Oxford [though]. That was always my aspiration. But that’s given me so much respect for anyone who’s stuck it out and managed to get a degree. ”

This was Stormzy like you’d never heard him before.

When Ali Plumb and DJ Ace paid tribute to the legendary Stan Lee

When the late, great Marvel character creator Stan Lee passed away this November, Radio 1’s Screen Time gave a timely tribute to the comic book-turned-movie hero.

Radio 1’s resident film critic Ali Plumb was joined by 1Xtra DJ Ace to list every single amazing thing Lee had achieved. There was a lot. Ali summed it up by saying: “You don’t need to hear us say how brilliant he is again. But he really was and is incredible. If we could do a tiny percentage point creatively as what he’s done, I’d be very very happy.”

“He was chatty. He was full of life. He fully invested in youth culture and teenagers. He really made an effort to engage with his audience. And he’s just someone I always wished I could have met.”

When we learned Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen aren’t identical twins

You always learn something new on the Clickipedia podcast, where Matt Edmondson and a panel of guests dive deep into the weird world of Wikipedia and its endless supply of pointless facts. Such as: did you know The Spice Girls wrote loads of their own songs? Did you know tall people are more likely to have twins? And on that subject, did you know Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen aren’t identical twins?!

That’s right. Despite looking pretty much the same, the celeb doppelgängers are more different than first meets the eye.

In this same episode, poor Nina Nesbitt and Amelia Dimoldenberg (pictured, above) had to watch – and commentate on – pandas making love. Evidence that it’s possible to learn too much on Clickipedia.

When we heard the eye-opening story of Allan Willmott

Back in June, Radio 1 and 1Xtra Stories celebrated the pioneering Windrush generation by hearing the story of Allan Willmott.

Allan left his home in Kingston, Jamaica for London, England in the 1940’s on the Empire Windrush. His father wanted him to be a vicar, but he envisaged a life at sea. What followed was a fascinating journey full of twists and turns, coupled with Allan's unique wisdom.

Allan recalls the racism and suspicion he experienced when first arriving in the UK, the ways he dealt with bigoted comments, and the impact reggae music had in changing British culture. He remembers forming a band, meeting Shirley Bassey, and how he found success in show-business before settling for a more comfortable life.

When a Cornish pasty journeyed through the UK

Only Greg James could send a pasty on an epic journey through the UK, all in an ambitious bid for listener Sarah – a pasty novice – to try the famous baked good for the first time.

Pass the Pasty took over Greg James’ show back in September, and its 671-mile trip was summed up on his podcast.

From Chough Bakery in Padstow, Cornwall, all the way to Newmachar in Aberdeenshire, the pasty travelled on the Flying Scotsman, visited Burnley Football Club’s stadium Turf Moor, and even went on a rollercoaster. All of which shouldn’t strictly translate to a podcast, but trust us when we say it’s incredible.

When The Slumflower gave us a lesson in self-love

The Unexpected Fluids podcast is a 99% NSFW discussion of sex in all its explicit detail, but in amongst the amazing, ‘I Can’t Believe They Just Said That’ stories, there’s often a big lesson to be learned.

Back in May for the very first episode, award-winning blogger Chidera Eggerue aka The Slumflower guested to talk about body acceptance and her game-changing #SAGGYBOOBSMATTER movement.

Eggerue is a pioneer in spreading the word about self-love. “If you don’t like your body, you’re stopping yourself from receiving the love and the life you deserve to have,” she told hosts Alix Fox & Riyadh Khalaf.

When we heard some all-time Essential Mix classics

Every week, Annie Mac’s Mini Mix condenses a dancefloor-filling mix into five killer minutes. It’s a lesson in electronic music that takes about as long as brewing a cup of coffee.

As Radio 1’s iconic Essential Mix turned 20 in October, Annie managed to squeeze classic two-hour mixes into five-minute snapshots. We had Paul Oakenfold’s award-winning 1994 mix in Goa, a 1997 classic from Daft Punk (pictured) which helped put the robot duo on the map, and the legendary Pete Tong’s first ever Essential Mix from 1993.

Some of dance music’s finest moments crammed into five-minute chunks. What more could you ask for?

When The Receipts got their animals mixed up

Pretty much every single moment on 1Xtra’s Receipts is laugh-out-loud hilarious. Tolly, Milena and Audrey took things to new heights back in November when they podded in a pod, recording The Receipts live on the London Eye.

Things peaked when all three started chatting about animals and Audrey got her canines and birds mixed up. “There’s chicken and turkey, that’s it. And a cocker-spaniel. No, that’s a dog! I’m so ignorant. I know peacocks though. They are elite.” Glad we got that cleared up.

When Conor Maynard revealed what it’s like to write for the world’s biggest boyband

K-Pop is taking over the world, and Niki and Sammy’s Peachy Podcast is here to document all the frenzy.

The twins go BTS-crazy pretty much every week, talking about the wonders of the world’s most fast-rising genre, from choreography to gossip to expert trivia.

BTS fans were treated to a very special episode in November when singer-songwriter Conor Maynard revealed what it was like to write for the record-breaking boyband. Amazingly, he claimed the song he’d written for the group took just 15 minutes. “When you hear about BTS, they are basically the biggest boyband in the world. So you think Max Martin or Pharrell will get the cuts on their album – the biggest songwriters in the world,” he said. “I didn’t think they’d even hear it. So when I got the call that they were using my song, I was like: ‘Sweet!’”

It’s a brilliant insight into the ever-changing world of K-Pop.