After two years off (I mean, pretty much everything has had two years off) the Edinburgh Fringe Festival has returned. It’s time to empty our wallet.

The podcast ​​Nobody Panic, presented by Stevie Martin and Tessa Coates (behind the inspired named fringe show Get Your Tessa Coates You’ve Pulled) have released a survival guide episode to the Edinburgh Fringe. It’s a worthwhile listen before you head up there. Tips include booking several shows (but having flexibility throughout the day in case you get dragged into something). Also, avoid the main Fringe guide and instead go for magazines like Fest, because they provide more in-depth reviews and profiles. 

The most handy tip I found from the episode is this: “Do not stress that you’re going to make mistakes because you simply will and that is part of the experience,” says Tessa. “You just have to leap into it wholeheartedly and don’t try and get this right. It’s just going to be whatever your Fringe show was this year. There is no right. There is no wrong. That’s the magic [of it].” The Nobody Panic are also recording a live episode of their podcast on the 19th and 21st August and tickets are on sale here.

They’re not the only ones recording live podcast episodes. A number of famous podcasts (and podcasters) are releasing live episodes during the course of the Fringe and there’s tickets out now if you want to be in the audience. These podcasts include Matt Forde’s The Political Party (click the link to purchase tickets), Richard Herring: RHLSTP (tickets) and The Guilty Feminist (tickets), My Seven Wonders with Clive Anderson (tickets) and A Gay and a NonGay (tickets). Iain Dale is also doing a special set of interview podcasts with politicians, from Ruth Davidson to Jess Phillips. There’s also MenKind Live, with Michael Chakraverty and Mark Watson.


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Here are our podcast picks for the week ahead

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Dot Com: The HackingLast year this newsletter featured an unexpectedly delightful and in-depth documentary series from Dot Com, exploring Wikipedia and the people who spend a considerable amount of time writing out the entries we all read everyday. 

They have now come back with a new series looking at a dark side of the internet:  cybercriminals and hacking. “I want to know what is going on,” says host Katie Puckrik. “Why is the cyberwar hotting up? Who is behind these attacks and why?” An appeal of this series is that, with such a complex topic, they go out of their way to explain the topic in terms we all understand, without sounding patronising either. They also talk about the human consequences of hacking, such as how an entire hospital was brought to its knees due to a ransomware email attack.

The Wittering Whitehalls – Michael Whitehall hardly needs an introduction. For several years he’s been the cantankerous plus one to his son Jack Whitehall’s television series, most notably the adventure show Travels with My Father. His unpredictable and sarcastic commentary has clearly built a fanbase, so he’s launched a new podcast with his wife Hilary Whitehall, where they both respond to reader letters and requests. 

Part of the enjoyment (rather than the frustration!) are the ridiculously niche things that both the Whitehall’s end up talking about and the unapologetic way they talk about things too. It’s a bit like being locked up with a witty relative.

Welcome to the NeighbourhoodA simple idea, but a good one. Each episode of this podcast, presented by comedian and upcoming Strictly star Jayde Adams, features passive aggressive and ridiculous messages read aloud from neighbourhood Facebook groups, assorted places sent from the internet and contributions sent in from listeners.

These messages contain a snapshot of eccentric frustrations and something that feels distinctively British: being passive aggressive . Both Jayde (and a celebrity guest) react to these messages in the same way we all do when we read such messages online.

Episodes are only 15 minutes a piece (which feels like the right length), and so far have featured guests such as Thanyia Moore, James Acaster and Helen Bauer.

Wolf and OwlAn established podcast but one that is worth shouting about (and one that we actually haven’t written about in this email. Hosted by Tom Davis and Romesh Ranganathan, this unstructured format features the two comedians riffing on whatever is on their mind or so for just over an hour. A lot of podcasts do this, but this one works simply because of their chemistry. They both make it look so easy.

Thank you so much for reading. 

We’ll be back soon with another edition next Sunday.

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Categories: Weekly Picks