Let’s start with some environmental themed podcasts that are worth looking out for.

A new climate podcast with a music focus has launched this week, called Sounds Like A Plan. It’s by the music journalist Greg Cochrane (behind the interview series Midnight Chats) and Fay Milton from the band Savages. Why a music podcast about the planet? “[Music] culture has always led change,” says Milton. “There are obvious examples such as Bob Dylan singing about the Vietnam War, but it’s more subtle than that and it’s more all-encompassing. Where culture goes, politics has got to follow.” The show’s hosts hope that the coronavirus recovery plan will focus on sustainability and green investment. Future guests on the pod include Radiohead’s Ed O’Brien, Reading and Leeds festival boss Melvin Benn and Chiara Badiali from the band Julie’s Bicycle.

Meanwhile naturalist Chris Packham was on the BBC Gardeners’ World Magazine this week talking about how we can use our gardens (or whatever space we have) to help encourage wildlife. “I think it’s really important that we empower ourselves to realise that we can make a difference, even on a small scale, a garden scale,” he says. “If we were to manage them even with a little bit of wildlife in mind, collectively then that would be fantastic.” Listen out for the episode for some tips and tricks.

And if you listen to environmental podcasts, it’s always worth dipping into Sustainababble, a weekly podcast mixing climate talk and humour, presented by Oliver Hayes and David Power. In a recent episode they explore greenwashing (that’s when a company tries to make it appear that they are environmentally friendly, when actually they aren’t). If there are other environmental and climate change podcasts that you think this newsletter should include, please let us know by filling in this form.

GUESTS ON PODCASTS THIS WEEK

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  • Armando Iannucci, behind I’m Alan Partridge, The Thick of It and Veep, is a special guest on The New Statesman Podcast. He talks about the impact of his political work on British politics (and whether it’s a bad one).
  • Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, the Women’s Prize for Fiction ‘Winner of Winners,’ speaks to Yomi Adegoke on the latest episode of the awards podcast, talking about the books that changed her life and her latest book ‘Notes on Grief.’  
  • Judge Rinder is on Alan Carr’s Life A Beach, who talks about how he has been very persistent on getting hotel and flight upgrades, why he’s addicted to lounges even though he’s floored (“it looks like a ropey buffet from a fifth rate wedding”) and the excitement of Tel Aviv.
  • Stylist Africa Daley-Clarke is on Happy Mum Happy Baby this week.
  • Professor James Goodwin, a leading expert on brain health, is the latest guest on Deliciously Ella, talking about how best we can care for our heads. Conversation includes chats about managing stress, to the scientific benefits of meditation.

Here are our podcast picks for the week ahead

If you want your podcast featured, or you have a great recommendation, all you need to do is fill in this simple form and might get featured in a future newsletter.

Brixton: Flames on the FrontlineIt has been forty years since the Brixton Riots in London, an uprising by protestors against London’s Metropolitan Police. This new BBC Radio 5 Live podcast, presented by Brixton-born Big Narstie, explains the racism and police brutality that led to it in 1981, the immediate impact across Britain’s culture and its long-term legacy in the light of the Black Lives Matter movement. “The Brixton uprising was the start of a process,” says Narstie. “Things have changed for the Black community in the sense that people are no longer scared to fight for freedom or to stand up for themselves.”

Similar to the recent and successful 5 Live’s Ecstasy: The Battle of Rave series, the podcast features fictional monologues capturing the voices and perspectives from many people who were there today, written by award-winning playwright Roy Williams. Voicing these monologues include Valentine Olukoga, Nathaniel Curtis and Sheyi Cole.

My Therapist Ghosted MeA problem shared is a problem halved, or so the saying goes. Model Vogue Williams and comedian Joanne McNally have taken this approach literally in their new podcast, where they both share their inner-most thoughts in the hope that you’ll relate to their experiences and feel a bit more normal, especially in this rather surreal and transitional era. 

“You know when you are willing to spend 200 quid on shoes but you won’t spend sixty quid on your own mental peace and wellbeing?,” jokes McNally, in a discussion explaining the name of the podcast. The first episode explores our irrational state of minds when we’re going through a break-up and the relationship red flags we should have spotted in the first place.

Spotify Podcast of the Week – Brydon & is a brand new Spotify podcast hosted by Welsh comedian, actor, and presenter Rob Brydon – Rob posted about the show’s premiere on Twitter, saying, “Like many middle-aged men I have had to accept the inevitable, and I wanted you to be the first to know.  I have a podcast.  It starts today on Spotify, and though I say it myself, it’s rather good.  Today, John Bishop and I talk. And talk.  And talk. Enjoy!” The new and exclusive series will see Rob interview some of the biggest names in showbiz as he embarks into the podcast world for the first time. Being joined by a mixture of old friends and colleagues, as well as some extra special guests, the star-studded lineup includes David Walliams, Jason Manford, Sheridan Smith, Sharleen Spiteri and Miles Jupp with more A-list names to be announced. Episode one sees Rob chatting to John Bishop as the pair discuss the open mic night that led to John becoming one of the UK’s most successful comedians and, more importantly, saved his marriage. Rob and John also chat about their shared love of Elvis Presley, how they are staying fit and how to accept compliments.

Story Quest Having celebrities read you bedtime stories is all the rage at the moment (I’m pretty much convinced that 90% of the audience who tuned in for Regé-Jean Page reading a CBeebies Bedtime story the other week were not the channel’s target demographic). Fun Kids’ Story Quest are getting into the celebrity reading game too, with Dermot O’Leary narrating Toto the Ninja Cat and the Mystery Jewel Thief. O’Leary is a good narrator, as you would expect from being one of Britain’s most recognisable voices. There’s five episodes to download so far, each 10 minutes a piece, making it a nifty listen for the school run or just before bed. 

How Many Geese? We’ve been featuring quite a few nature podcasts in this newsletter of late. It’s fair to say that none of them feature some of the nature topics this podcast looks into such as ‘how many otters could you take in a fight?’ and ‘did Churchill really have a parrot that swore at Nazis?’ Presented by Jack Baddams and Roddy Shaw, the podcast feels like going down a rabbit hole of animal related facts and anecdotes. The inevitability is that you’ll end up going down as much of a Wikipedia hole they did in making each episode after listening.

And finally… one of Britain’s biggest comedy podcasts, My Dad Wrote A Porno, where Jamie Morton reads out an erotic novel his father wrote to his friends Alice Levine and James Cooper, is returning for its first series in neatly two years. In case you have forgotten what was in Book Five (apologies if you have been trying to forget), they have released a special episode recapping the series. The podcast returns on the 24th May.  

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