This week, another much loved podcast has returned for a second season: David Tennant Does A Podcast With…, where the acclaimed actor chats to other well-known names for up to an hour. 

I feel like I don’t need to tell you this, but there are a lot of podcasts consisting of celebrities interviewing other celebrities, so what makes Tennant’s so worthwhile? Part of it is down to the host’s charm and interviewing technique, part of it is down to the high level of guests they manage to book (Jodie Whittaker! Olivia Colman! Whoopi Goldberg!) but what also gives it its edge is its complete lack of formality. There’s no real structure, no script, no topics that they both feel obligated to take off tick off, nothing to seemingly promote either. It provides that level of intimacy of a conversation, that you don’t normally get from a celebrity interview.

The first episode includes a chat with Jim Parsons. Upcoming episodes include Elisabeth Moss, Dan Levy and Dame Judi Dench.

Here are the guests on the world of podcasts this week:

  • Elevenses with Danielle Perry, a new podcast where all of the guests are asked the same eleven questions (hence the title) has Karl Pilkington as their first guest and Steve Coogan as the second. In the second, Coogan reveals plans in the episode to bring Alan Partridge to a live audience.
  • Walking the Dog with Emily Dean, a podcast that does exactly what it says on the tin, features an interview with Jeremy Paxman.
  • Black Sheep Podcast, a podcast that celebrates those who “don’t follow the flock” this week features Gundeep Anand, who leaped from PE to Meryll Lynch to running a street football tournament uniting communities in East London.

If you have heard a great guest on a podcast that you think that this newsletter should be featuring, let us know by filling out this form.

British Podcast Awards corner (powered by Acast):

Let’s have a look at two more big winners at the British Podcast Awards 2020. The winner of the Best Live Podcast went to Tailenders, which is hosted by Greg James, Felix White and Jimmy Anderson. The judges said “it is so cleverly and creatively crafted that it keeps you engaged, whether you are a fan of the sport or not.” A recent episode features an interview with Stuart Broad.

Meanwhile, the winner of the Best Family Podcast went to David Walliams’ Marvellous Musical Podcast. The limited series looks at a different famous name from classical musical history, from Mozart to Ethel Smyth, but with tight jokes and an endless supply of facts. The judges said: “This ambitious podcast made clever use of comedy, sound and music, to encourage children to jump the hurdles that stop them enjoying classical music.” I’d recommend this podcast to listen to with the family in the car to help break up long journeys and the episodes can be listened to in any order.

Here are our podcast picks for the week ahead

Sisters Uncensored: A Tribute to Emily HartridgeThere was a touching tribute to the presenter and YouTuber Emily Hartridge in her own podcast recently. Sisters Uncensored was presented by Emily (along with her sisters Charlotte, Jess and Alice) celebrating the bond between sisters. A week after recording an episode of her podcast in July 2019, Emily died after being involved in a road traffic accident. 

To mark a year following her death, her sisters have recorded an episode to celebrate her life and talk about their experiences with grief. “This podcast meant a lot to us four sisters,” says Jess. “It was a chance to get together, switch off from the world and speak freely, often on topics that some of you wouldn’t take to a dinner table. It now means more to us than ever before.”

It must have been so difficult to have recorded these episodes. They are full of raw emotion and heartache, but also full of love and admiration for Emily. Their conversations about loss will resonate to anyone who has or is experiencing feelings of grief, one of life’s most isolating feelings. 

Slay in Your Lane: How We Wrote the BookEver wanted to write your own book, but feel alienated by the process and the industry? Now Elizabeth Uviebinené and Yomi Adegoke, behind the bestselling book Slay in Your Lane, are releasing a new mini-series on how they did it on their own podcast, containing “the ugly bits that we don’t boast about on panels.” 

Each episode has been split to each stage of the process, from finding inspiration and getting the ball rolling, to putting together a proposal to dealing with publishers. Upcoming episodes include a guide to the final push, the importance of a decent book cover and all the marketing you’ll need to do once it is published. A lot of good insight here.

GIANT, a Spotify Original football documentary podcast, returned this week with a beautifully crafted episode about the one and only Alan Shearer. GIANT is produced for Spotify in association with Mundial Magazine and the first season of the podcast won Gold and Silver honours in 2 categories at the New York Festivals Radio Awards. There’ll be new episodes every Thursday covering a plethora of stories about the beautiful game, told by the people who were there. [Chosen by Spotify]

Maddie’s Sound ExplorersAnother interesting podcast for younger listeners. This new podcast looks into the sounds from science and nature, from how car engines sound and how they work, to how bees manage to communicate with each other (it’s called a waggledance, a word I enjoy immensely). Scientists and experts answer each questions sent in by children, and the sounds and quotes from each episode are all edited together to form a song at the end of the episode. Neat.

AmericastAfter a break due to the pandemic, it’s worth mentioning again that the Jon Sopel and Emily Maitlis US election podcast is back again returned on a (pretty much) weekly basis. Sopel’s involvement in the podcast is expected, being the BBC’s North America Editor and all. It is Newsnight’s Maitlis’ enthusiasm for the subject that might surprise you. She has been fascinated by the US elections for years (I would highly recommend reading her take on the Iowa caucus in her book Airhead). Together, along with Anthony Zurcher or “The Zurch,” they provide the latest from both campaigns, most recently Biden’s pick as Kamala Harris for Vice President.

We are always interested in what you have been listening to. Tell us your podcast recommendations simply by filling out this very short form and we’ll take a listen.

That’s all for this week. Have a good one and stay out of the heat.

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