Although it certainly feels like it has been Halloween for about three years now, Halloween will actually take place tomorrow (that’s Monday!)
The Spooky Tales Podcast has been sharing some of their favourite stories they have heard over the years in a special episode, Ghosts & Folklore with Mark Rees has a paranormal investigation of “the most haunted pub in Wales” and Paranormal Activity with Yvette Fielding (Yes! From Most Haunted!) looks at some of the most well known UFO sightings in history and whether they hold any truth.
Also listen out for The Witch Farm, which we featured in last week’s Great British Podcast newsletter. Unexplained has a mysterious story that inspired the hugely successful novel The Woman in Black. Meanwhile for the kids there’s Stream It from Fun Kids which reviews kids tv and films, and this week has a spooky special featuring their top five picks to keep you horrified all week. Plus hear from Kidz Bop about their Halloween special.
On a different topic altogether … There’s an interesting innovation that I’ve stumbled across on BBC Sounds. For Black History Month they have curated a selection of programmes and podcasts, but what is interesting is that they all play out one after another, as if it is a schedule of a conventional radio station. This feature, similar to one that I remember seeing trialled on Spotify last year, makes me think whether the future of podcasting could actually be more like this.
NOTABLE NAMES ON PODCASTS THIS WEEK
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- Malorie Blackman is on Comfort Eating with Grace Dent this week.
- Renowned actor Kerry Godliman is on The Mid•Point with Gabby Logan.
- On Secret Leaders this week is Luis von Ahn, Co-Founder and CEO of Duolingo, who talks about the company’s journey.
- Alison Spittle is on Off Menu with Ed Gamble and James Acaster.
- Olly Murs joins Alan Carr on his podcast Life’s A Beach this week.
Here are our podcast picks for the week ahead
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Con Juan – A fascinating story about an unconventional conman and the investigative journalist and police officer who teamed up to track him down. Juan Carlos Guzman Betancur has smuggled himself into more than 50 countries and has stolen millions of dollars from innocent people and has been doing so since a very young age, but the reason for him doing so is somewhat unclear.
The story starts with Juan found as a stowaway on an aircraft, hence the artwork.
The Boy in the Woods – The award-winning journalist Winifred Robinson is behind this new true crime BBC Radio 4 podcast, looking at the disappearance and murder of six-year-old Rikki Neave. His mother Ruth was falsely accused of being responsible for her son’s death, but police ignored vital evidence that meant that his killer was able to remain free for more than 25 years. The series looked at how failures resulted in such a late conviction, but also whether the care system is currently doing enough to protect and support children.
“[The story] has stayed with me for half my working life,” says Robinson, who has been following this story. “I’ve always felt it held a key to stop sad family histories repeating themselves. Every leading player in this story was in trouble, and the authorities knew them all, and the authorities offered help. The help didn’t work.”
They Did That – This is a great idea for a podcast. Presented by Takara Small, this illuminating podcast amplifies stories of innovators and game changers who have largely been kept out of mainstream history, simply because they were LGBTQIA+, women and / or people of colour.
The first episode looks at the story of Alice Ball, a chemistry student in the 1910s who pioneered breakthrough treatment for those who were experiencing Hansen’s Disease (aka. leprosy.) It took more than 80 years for her work to be publicly recognised.
The Bugle: Top Stories! – It has been 15 years of The Bugle, the satirical podcast presented by Andy Zaltzman (from The News Quiz) and John Oliver (now the host of a little known show called Last Week Tonight on HBO.) To celebrate, the duo have launched a special set of episodes featuring the best from their own archive. It provides an interesting snapshot into how satire covered some of the major news events from the past, one of which includes the McCain v Obama Presidential debate.
Ah, simpler times.
Before we go, just to let you know about the launch of PodPod. It’s a new website that tells you everything you need to know about the thriving world of podcasting, for those who want to start their own, for those who want to understand more about the business of podcasting and for those who just binge an awful lot of episodes at once.
Thanks so much for reading.
We’ll be back soon with another edition next Sunday.
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