272 episodes

We believe Northern Ireland has a better story to tell — one that goes beyond bombs, bullets and a sunken ship.

You are part of this story.

With 180+ conversations featuring some of the incredible people who call this place home, our weekly show gives you the chance to get away from the clickbait and connect with the amazing things happening on your doorstep.

Previous guests include NASA Scientists, Billion-Dollar CEOs, 91-year-old parkrunners, teenaged entrepreneurs, Oscar-winning directors, Olympic Gold medalists, Bitcoin Auctioneers, Tim Burton's puppet-maker and a guy who built an aeroplane in his garage.

Well-known voices include Snow Patrol, Foy Vance, Julian Simmons, May McFettridge, Zoe Salmon, Andrew Trimble, The Dead Rabbit, Michael Deane, The Priests, Two Door Cinema Club, Oliver Jeffers, Pete Snodden, Colin Geddis, Mary Peters, Rebecca McKinney and May Blood — the millworker who became a peer in the House Of Lords.

Best Of Belfast is an independent, crowdfunded show with no political or religious agenda. It's hosted by 26-year-old writer Matthew Thompson and publishes a new episode every single Monday!

To see photos of all 180+ guests, sign up to our free newsletter and support the show please visit https://bestofbelfast.org/

Best Of Belfast: Northern Ireland's #1 Interview Podcast Matthew Thompson: storyteller from Belfast, Northern Ireland

    • Society & Culture
    • 5.0 • 105 Ratings

We believe Northern Ireland has a better story to tell — one that goes beyond bombs, bullets and a sunken ship.

You are part of this story.

With 180+ conversations featuring some of the incredible people who call this place home, our weekly show gives you the chance to get away from the clickbait and connect with the amazing things happening on your doorstep.

Previous guests include NASA Scientists, Billion-Dollar CEOs, 91-year-old parkrunners, teenaged entrepreneurs, Oscar-winning directors, Olympic Gold medalists, Bitcoin Auctioneers, Tim Burton's puppet-maker and a guy who built an aeroplane in his garage.

Well-known voices include Snow Patrol, Foy Vance, Julian Simmons, May McFettridge, Zoe Salmon, Andrew Trimble, The Dead Rabbit, Michael Deane, The Priests, Two Door Cinema Club, Oliver Jeffers, Pete Snodden, Colin Geddis, Mary Peters, Rebecca McKinney and May Blood — the millworker who became a peer in the House Of Lords.

Best Of Belfast is an independent, crowdfunded show with no political or religious agenda. It's hosted by 26-year-old writer Matthew Thompson and publishes a new episode every single Monday!

To see photos of all 180+ guests, sign up to our free newsletter and support the show please visit https://bestofbelfast.org/

    #265 Gemma Gallagher: Design & Dine, Dubai

    #265 Gemma Gallagher: Design & Dine, Dubai

    Gemma Gallagher is an award-winning Visual Artist and the Founder of Design & Dine, a Creative Workshop company based in the UAE and Northern Ireland.
    The aim was to create an event where guests could discover their creative abilities and learn to make art in a fun, sociable environment. What started as a small workshop has now grown to become the UAE’s largest interactive, creative experience with consistent sell-out events and over 7000 guests having attended so far.
    After founding Design & Dine in 2015, she has built the company up to operate across multiple cities with a team of Artists from around the world working with her to make Art fun and accessible to everyone.
    Her vision is to grow Design & Dine to be a global brand, allowing anyone to have fun and connect through the joy of creativity.
    In today’s episode we talk about:
    Growing up on the Antrim Road in the 90s Working on a banana farm in Australia What brought her to Abu Dhabi in 2014 Her experience working as a teacher in the Middle East Where she got the idea to start her business How she scaled her events from 15, to 25, to 50, to 100 people The secret to incredible in-person events What she misses most about home And her greatest highs/lows of the journey so far. Check it out.

    //

    https://bestofbelfast.org/stories/gemma-gallagher-design-and-dine

    • 1 hr 1 min
    #264 Dr. Lindsay Broadbent on Viruses, Vampires & The History of Pandemics

    #264 Dr. Lindsay Broadbent on Viruses, Vampires & The History of Pandemics

    Dr Lindsay Broadbent is a virologist at Queen's University Belfast who has made over a thousand media appearances during the pandemic. 
     
    In this conversation we talk about:
    What a virus actually is How viruses jump from animals to humans The potential scientific truth behind vampire lore Human responses to pandemics throughout history The importance of transparency and nuance in public discourse And what we could have done differently around COVID-19  
    Check it out!
     
    https://bestofbelfast.org/stories/lindsay-broadbent-virologist
     

    • 1 hr 3 min
    #263 Esoteric Ramblings: Working The Land on Biruck’s Organic Farm

    #263 Esoteric Ramblings: Working The Land on Biruck’s Organic Farm

    Grab a pair of headphones, a shovel and get to work. The boys are out of town and this time we’re volunteering at Hahu Organics to try and find the meaning of life amongst the worms and dirt.
     
    Along the way we chat about how disconnected we’ve become from our food, the change of perspective working the land can give us and whether or not our great-granda’s could beat us in a fight.
     
    https://bestofbelfast.org/stories/esoteric-farming
     

    • 1 hr 17 min
    #262 Biruk Sahle: Hahu Organics, Helens Bay Walled Garden

    #262 Biruk Sahle: Hahu Organics, Helens Bay Walled Garden

    Biruk Sahle is the no-dig gardener behind Hahu Organics: an initiative that feeds 40+ families from a small plot of land in Helens Bay Walled Garden. 
     
    By flipping modern agriculture on its head, Biruk and his family have been able to create a sustainable and profitable business growing vegetables in the 21st Century without pesticides, subsidies, heavy machinery or debt — all while regenerating the land he farms and restoring biodiversity back to the area.
     
    In today’s episode we talk about:
    His back to the future approach to farming What the heck a ‘no-dig’ philosophy is Going deep instead of going wide Finding customers before developing a product Permaculture and why it matters And the power of embracing each moment as it comes.   
    Check it out.
     
    https://bestofbelfast.org/stories/biruk-sahle-hahu-organics

    • 1 hr 25 min
    #261 Amilra De Silva on Serendipity & the Chemistry of Everything

    #261 Amilra De Silva on Serendipity & the Chemistry of Everything

    Dr Amilra De Silva (more commonly known as AP) is a Professor in the School of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering who during his 40-year career with Queen’s University developed a blood analyser that has sold 10’s of millions of units and saved countless lives around the world. 
     
    In today’s episode we talk about:
    Growing up in Sri Lanka The role his grandparents played throughout his life Moving to Belfast in the 70s Why he was working on a molecular sodium sensor How it got picked up by Big Pharma The Lion King And the wisdom of surrounding yourself by curators, mentors, and other people going deep into an area of expertise  
    Check it out.
     
    https://bestofbelfast.org/stories/amilra-de-silva-chemistry-belfast

    • 1 hr 34 min
    #260 John from Shines Seafood on the Sustainability & Health Benefits of Irish Caught Fish

    #260 John from Shines Seafood on the Sustainability & Health Benefits of Irish Caught Fish

    Shines Seafood are a family business based in Killybegs, Co.Donegal that sell Ireland’s only Irish Tuna, Irish Sardines & Mackerel to both the retail & food services sectors.
     
    It’s is their aim to make the best quality Irish Seafood in the world more affordable and available to the nation. Having been involved in the fishing industry for a combined 50 years they are passionate about the consumption of seafood and the overall sustainability of the industry.
     
    In today’s episode, we caught up with John while he was up in Belfast receiving an award to chat about:
    Why we eat fish on Fridays The difference between wild and farmed fish Some of the controversy around sustainability and fishing Common fish myths (mercury poisoning, extinction, preservation process) How “sardines” don’t actually exist Why eating local fish makes such a big difference to us and the communities who supply them The Omega 3 content of his fish  And the ‘true cost’ of a 17p can of tuna   
    Check it out!
     
    https://bestofbelfast.org/stories/shines-seafood-irish-caught-fish

    • 49 min

Customer Reviews

5.0 out of 5
105 Ratings

105 Ratings

Alexgst15 ,

Amazing insightful podcast!

Matt and team have created a fantastic series with Best of Belfast. The diversity of subjects and people he has connected with are incredible, inspiring and educational. I’ve learnt so much about the history of ‘home’ alongside what’s up and coming with new entrepreneurs and artists. I can’t wait to visit some of the businesses he has interviewed. Definitely a podcast worth subscribing to! Well done Matt - here’s to many more!

Hiimynameismark ,

Great podcast for anyone from N.I

Heard about Matthew’s podcast when it started and only recently started listening to podcasts and thought I would get stuck into this one from the beginning. Some amazing stories and a really enjoyable listen!

niko8675 ,

a must listen...

I've listened to I think pretty much every edition of this podcast - it's absolutely essential for anyone from northern ireland to learn more about the many, many interesting folk from here. total honour to be on an upcoming edition too, really enjoyed chatting with matt.

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