We caught up with Rachel Shelley to find out more about the new audio delights she has up her sleeve


We all know about the queer films we should be watching and the queer books we should we reading during lockdown, but what podcasts should we be listening to? 

That’s where you’re in luck! podDIVA is the brand new addition to the DIVA website. We have a whole host of bitesize audio content, produced by the one and only Rachel Shelley.  You might know her as Helena Peabody in The L Word, but we know her as professional podcast producer extraordinaire. 

If you remember Rachel’s content from good ol’ RadioDIVA, you’ll love this. It’s a continuation of her excellent reporting and juicy interviews, expertly produced and edited from Rachel’s own home. 

Ready to listen? Why not start with the home-recorded Lockdown Sessions from DIVA’s very own Roxy Bourdillon and Danielle Mustarde, to Hannah and Jake Graf. Or how about the inside scoop from Rachel’s chat with fellow L Word cast members Kate Moennig and Leisha Hailey.

Or if you somehow need more convincing, you can read our interview with Rachel Shelley below before heading over to the podDIVA page. 

DIVA: How did podDIVA come about?

RACHEL SHELLEY: I started off doing RadioDIVA three years ago when that was a weekly show on Resonance. I was making weekly content for Rosie Wilby and Heather Peace and I would post that onto my SoundCloud page. There was a lot of interest in that and a lot of people would listen and get involved. It felt like when RadioDIVA came to an end, there was still a demand for people who wanted to hear these pieces. People wanted to hear more. 

What can listeners expect from podDIVA?

Each one really varies, that’s the beauty of it. They can be anything from a light-hearted fun interview with a celebrity, or reporting from an event. It’s all just shrouded by the current health situation at the moment, of course. Sometimes there’s more serious pieces about important pieces of news. I’ve done things about feminism, women in film, the women’s vote, there’s a lot there! 

What I try to do is make them interesting. I try and edit and put the production values as high as I can. I edit at home and I try to create a soundscape where possible so that it’s not just one-dimensional voices speaking. 

Where did you learn how to produce podcasts?

I did an MA at Goldsmith’s University in Radio. That’s how I ventured into it. I’ve always written a bit here and there and I love radio, it just felt like something I’ve always wanted to do, but I’ve never really had to time to submerge myself into it and learn how to do it. 

Who would be your dream person to interview for podDIVA?

I’d love to interview Jennifer Beals for the podcast. I would also love to interview Jodie Foster one day! 

What podcasts do you like to listen to? 

I listen to something called 99% Invisible. It tells the stories behind objects in our life that maybe we don’t know the history of. It’s incredible and the production values are really good – they’re well crafted and put together. 

I do like funny ones too like Fake Doctors, Real Friends or Shortcuts.

What else are you up to right now? 

I’m doing more and more podcasting. I’m hoping to have some quite interesting and exciting news for DIVA readers about another podcast I’ve been working on, too! I’ll just leave that there hanging. DIVA readers will love it. 

Why is it so important to you that we hear from LGBTQI voices in podcasts and across all types of media in general?

It’s crucial to have media that represents and speaks to LGBTQI people. Queer characters have finally become absorbed into the mainstream culture but it’s important to have a place to go where you can feel you are amongst friendly and similar voices. We all like to belong. Podcasts are all about sharing stories. When people speak for themselves in their own words, you get such a fuller picture of who they are. 

Feel free to get in touch with Rachel with any suggestions you might have for podDIVA over on her Twitter. 

We plan to have more audio content coming your way in the future, so stay tuned DIVA readers. 🎙️

Like many businesses, DIVA has been hit hard by the economic impact of coronavirus and we need your help to keep the presses rolling throughout the pandemic. Visit our PayPal fundraising page and give what you can. Your support means the world.

divadirect.info // divadigital.co.uk // tinyurl.com/DIVADonate

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