As you would imagine, the tennis world is still avidly reacting to the news that Emma Raducanu, who was literally sitting her A Levels just a few months ago, is now a US Open champion.
On the Tennish podcast, a podcast that discusses the latest tennis news, broadcasters Gigi Salmon and Naomi Cavady Reid did a special episode on her win. “After Emma won her semi-final, it was one of those things where I could not stop thinking about it,” says Cavady. “It has just been so exciting. I’ve had a big smile on my face. Every conversation I am just beaming. I cannot just get enough in talking about it. What a moment. What a time to be involved in British tennis.”
Similar sentiments were shared on The Tennis Podcast. “I think we have all just witnessed one of the greatest sporting stories of all time,” said one of the show’s hosts, Catherine Whitaker.
“This is something extraordinary that we have witnessed,” said co-host Matt Roberts. “Quite naturally we often look for comparisons, to try to make sense of things. There just aren’t any comparisons.
“This was just her second ever Grand Slam appearance. It is a record for someone to win a Grand Slam at just their second attempt…
“It is so improbable and implausible.”
NOTABLE NAMES ON PODCASTS THIS WEEK
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- The comedian (and consumer champion) Joe Lycett was on the Financial Times podcast Money Clinic with Claer Barrett talking about his latest series Got Your Back: “I once described [the show] as Watchdog meets RuPaul’s Drag Race.”
- Talking Derry Girls, a fan podcast that celebrates the sitcom, has Tara Lynne O’Neill (who is Ma Mary in Derry Girls) as a guest in their latest episode. She has written and will perform in a new play called Rough Girls, which explores the FA Ban on women playing football back in 1921.
- A new series of Changes with Annie Macmanus debuted this week, where guests talk about the transitions and changes that they have made in their life. In the first episode of the new series she spoke to the filmmaker Steve McQueen.
- There’s also a new series of How to WOW with Chris Evans, where famous names talk about their careers and success. Recent episodes include Noel Gallagher and Professor Dame Sarah Gilbert and Dr Catherine Green, who are two of the scientists behind the AstraZeneca vaccine.
- My Favourite Takeaway, where comedians Tom Craine and Cimran Shah ask guests to give their favourite food stories. Their first guest is Josh Widdicombe.
Here are our podcast picks for the week ahead
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The Proper Class Podcast – An enjoyable new podcast that celebrates the working class because according to the podcast’s hosts, actor Laura Checkley and theatre director Hannah Chiswick, “if we don’t, who the bloody hell will?”
In each episode they interview a working class hero to talk about how their roots have influenced who they are now, starting with the comedian and broadcaster Romesh Ranganathan. He talks about how hanging out with friends provided the much needed escape in his childhood, as well whether you can (or should) instill working class values on his own kids (“we have tried, but the truth is we can’t be arsed,” he jokes).
There is also an interesting, relatable discussion on imposter syndrome: “The reason why I work on so many things as I do is that imposter syndrome is my biggest driver,” he says. “I don’t ever feel like I’m inside. I don’t ever think there’s a moment where you feel like you’ve made it or you’re settled. I constantly live in fear of all of it going away.”
Bad Cops – A new investigative series by BBC World Service that looks at the corruption of Baltimore City Police. In particular, a special Task Force of plain clothes police officers, who were supposed to be tackling gun crime in the city, but actually became criminals themselves. They broke into apartments to steal from members of the public, mostly in poor neighbourhoods. In some cases, they even planted evidence.
“They were both cops and robbers,” says the presenter Jessica Lussenhop, “and they had been doing it for years.” If you are fascinated by podcasts that look at institutional corruption, the people who try to stop corruption and (thanks to the location of the podcast) anything similar to The Wire, this is the podcast for you.
Spotify Podcast of the Week – The Rugby Pod – returned for Season 6 this week and what a guest they welcomed to help kick the new season off – Scotland and British & Irish Lions star Finn Russell joins Andy Rowe, Jim Hamilton and Andy Goode to debrief the South Africa tour. Jim and Goodey discuss predictions for the Premiership Top 4 and a new segment is introduced. It’s good to have them back! The Rugby Pod is a Ringer podcast and is exclusively available on Spotify.
FT Weekend – The Financial Times has just launched their own podcast based on their weekend Arts & Life supplement, which is available in the newspaper every Saturday.
This podcast is a smart bit of marketing, highlighting the sort of topics and features you can read in the magazine, if you don’t already grab a copy. In their first episode they explore Eleven Madison Park, a restaurant in New York that has a waiting list of 50,000 people. Plus a building that looks like a middle finger as a form of revenge to a family living nearby. The Radio Times has also just launched their own podcast doing a very similar thing, featuring interviews with people that you can also read in that week’s magazine.
No Time To Die: The Official James Bond Podcast – Finally, the team behind this podcast must be breathing a sigh of relief. The latest film in the 007 franchise was originally scheduled for November 2019, then was pushed back to April 2020 after Danny Boyle left the project. Then the pandemic happened, which resulted in the film being pushed back to that November. Then, as rates of infection swept up in the Autumn, the film was again pushed to April 2021, then finally to October 2021.
The podcast, like the film, was also delayed. I remember there even being a teaser episode of the official podcast series, only for another episode announcing a delay shortly after. Thankfully, this podcast series with interviews with the cast and behind-the-scenes insights is finally ep. There’s also a special episode into what makes a good Bond song, with interviews with iconic composer Hans Zimmer, musician Billie Eilish and singer-songwriter Finneas O’Connell.
Before I go, I want to recommend a US podcast (note to Editor: am I allowed??!!). If you were a Parks and Recreation fan back in the day, you might be interested to hear that there is now a podcast recapping every single episode, sinply called Parks and Recollection.
Just like West Wing Weekly, each episode is hosted by two of the stars that helped make it become such a household name: Rob Lowe (aka. Chris Traeger) and writer Alan Yang (who appears as the bassist of Mouse Rat).They’ve started with season one, which is the harder series to enjoy, I know. Stick with it. I just wonder when they will get to our favourite horse: “Li’l Sebastian, we miss you. But we know you are in heaven, looking down on us, doing your two favorite things: eating carrots and urinating freely.”
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