And goodness … we’re already in October. This time of the year tends to be the busiest part of the year when it comes to new and landmark podcast releases and this newsletter will try to serve you the best and brightest between now and Christmas.

Let’s start with some big news in the podcasting world this week. Fi Glover and Jane Garvey have announced that they are going to be joining Times Radio as weekday afternoon presen ters from Monday 10th October. It’ll mean that they will be leaving Fortunately, their hugely popular BBC podcast that features them chatting to stars by the cafe outside the front of BBC New Broadcasting House.

Never fear, because Times Radio have said that details of a new podcast hosted by them both will be announced in due course. They will also be hosting Fortunately on the BBC until the end of the year. But it does raise more questions about whether the BBC is able to retain podcast talent, especially as the presenting team Americast, Kermode and Mayo and That Peter Crouch Podcast have left the BBC over the last year. 

At Podcast Day 24 … a podcasting conference featuring some of the biggest names in the industry is taking place just next week. Funnily enough special guests include Fi and Jane from Fortunately, plus Namulanta Kombo, the presenter behind the British Podcast Award winning Dear Daughter, Tash Walker and Shivani Dave from The Log Books and Jess Phillips MP from Yours Sincerely. We’ll be featuring some of the key announcements and talking points in next week’s Great British Podcast newsletter.


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Here are our podcast picks for the week ahead

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The PrinceA new podcast series by The Economist looking at the life of China’s leader and arguably one of the most powerful people in the world: Xi Jinping. This comprehensive and accessible series charts how Jinping has abolished traditional norms (such as sticking to a two-term Presidency) and consolidated power throughout his time in office. “Now the future of China’s 1.4 billion people, and maybe world peace, hinges on the mind of one man,” says hos Sue-Lin Wong. “And finding out what is going on inside that mind hasn’t gotten any easier in the ten years he has been in charge.”  

The podcast starts with the strange tale of how, shortly before he became leader, Xi disappeared from public view for more than 14 days; with his name was unable to be searched on China’s heavily controlled internet. When he reappeared, he ensured that a photo of him was published prominently in the People’s Daily, the communist party newspaper, but nobody knows what exactly happened that made him disappear. 

Can I Tell You A Secret? – One of my favourite podcasts of the year has been Unreal: A Critical History of Reality TV, where Sirin Kale and Pandora Sykes take a deep and at time academic analysis of the often downmarket world of reality television. 

Now Kale is behind this new podcast investigation by The Guardian, looking at how one man called Matthew Hardy cyberstalked women for well over a decade. In the early years of his harassment he would create and add fake profiles on social media accounts, then would absorb information from their account and allege someone close to them had done something wrong (such as that their partner or parent had cheated.) He would use this to create wedges and rifts between people. 

It raises questions, yet again, on the responsibility of social media platforms to stop this sort of thing from happening. Why did it take ten years for Hardy to be jailed?

Sounds of Black BritainA new podcast by the Black Curriculum, a social enterprise that tries to change the lack of education of Black British history within our schools. This great series, presented by Julie Adenuga, explores our history through the history of music, starting with a deep dive into the impact and legacy of Notting Hill Carnival.

“It is so much more than just a street party,” says Adenuga. “It represents the struggles and triumphs of the Windrush generation who fought to create a space for themselves within the UK. And its influence can be felt throughout the music that we all love. ”

Armchair Adventures – Before we wrap this edition of the newsletter, I thought to let you know that this British Podcast Awards award-winning series is just about to launch its third series. And they are about to double the number of episodes a month from one to two.

It’s made by a Manchester not-for-profit and each of the stories are well crafted, engrossing for the little ones between the ages of six and ten.

Thanks so much for reading.

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

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Categories: Weekly Picks