Americast, the US election podcast presented by Newsnight’s Emily Maitlis and US Editor Jon Sopel, has shot up the podcast charts in the last few weeks. You might assume that the podcast will come to an end now that the race to the White House has ended, but fear not. “We aren’t going anywhere,” said Maitlis at the start of a recent episode. “Americast is staying until trespassers forcibly remove us.” 

With President Trump unwilling to concede and with more than 60 days until Biden’s Inauguration, it’s not like they are going to run out of things to talk about anyway.

Plus, at a time when there’s not much to look forward to, here’s something. Dear Joan and Jericha, the British Podcast Comedy Award-Winning agony aunt podcast from Julia Davis and Vicki Pepperdine, is returning for a third series. Episodes will be released weekly starting on the 12th November (that’s this Tuesday!). We’ll remind you that it is out to listen to in next week’s newsletter.


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Here are our podcast picks for the week ahead

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Bed of LiesThere’s a great drama on television at the moment called The Undoing, starring Nicola Kidman and Hugh Grant. The plot consists of a woman who thinks that she is in a perfect marriage, only for her life to unravel when she realises that her husband was never who he said he was. 

This new Telegraph podcast series tells a shocking similar story, only this one is real life.

Lisa thought that she was in a great place with her partner Mark, but it was only after accidentally coming across her partner’s passport whilst he was out cycling, that she realised that he had a different surname than the one she knew. She also came across a phone, full of messages that had been addressed to ‘dad’ but people she did not know.

You might assume that this is the work of a conman, but it’s actually more complicated than that. This was a cover that had been sanctioned by the British state. It also didn’t just happen to her, but dozens of other people too. This sensitive series, put together by journalist Cara McGoogan.

High StrangenessA new Audible comedy sci-fi drama, which looks at the lives of those who spend their lives obsessing about the paranormal. Written by Will Maclean (and starring Sophie McShera, Adam James and Anna Chancellor), it follows a young girl who heads to the Dorset countryside after hearing rumours of something outer worldly in the area. The writing is sharp, the plot is ridiculous and it never takes itself too seriously, making it an easy way to pass four hours. Just to note, that just like other Audible Original podcasts, you need to be an Audible subscriber to listen.

Spotify Podcast of the Week: Casefile is one of the biggest and longest-running true crime podcasts in the world, and this week they’ve teamed up with the Spotify team in Australia to launch Casefile Presents: The Vanishing of Vivienne Cameron. The series, exclusively available on Spotify, delves into the Philip Island murder of Beth Barnard and the disappearance of Vivenne Cameron, examining what happened and working out where Vivienne is. The first episode is now on Spotify.

Good Influence with Gemma StylesPodcasts that explore mental health have been thriving in the last year, but I do wonder sometimes how many actually go beyond talking about why we need to talk about our mental health. The British poet and writer Charly Cox joined Gemma Styles in her new podcast and covered a lot of mental health topics that I haven’t heard anywhere else, to the strength of vulnerability, to how throwing the words ‘anxiety’ and ‘depression’ can result in them losing the weight of their meaning. 

Radio LentoA couple of weeks ago we featured Harry Hill’s new podcast, where you try to guess when exactly Harry was going to make a sound, in a podcast that contains no words. I wondered at the time whether a podcast is a podcast if it doesn’t contain any words. 

Turns out, I was wrong. There are many podcasts with no words at all. This podcast simply consists of rich uninterrupted soundscapes, recorded across the UK, each episode more than thirty minutes each. You can hear the sounds of the Thames Estuary, nightfall in the Forest of Dean or the shingle of a Suffolk beach. We all know the power of nature in making us feel a bit more normal when things feel abnormal, so when you can’t easily go to nature, now is the time for it to come to you.

Finally, Midnight Chats, a great little music interview podcast presented by Greg Cochrane celebrated their 100th episode this week. Jarvis Cocker was their guest, who talked about how he celebrated his birthday: “I had a very good birthday. I cycled to Richmond Park. I had a real desire to see some animals, but not in a zoo or something like that, because we have been like animals in a zoo for the last couple of months.”

Categories: Weekly Picks