If you’re looking for some audio to listen to as you spend more time outside (or you just want some distraction from the football), it is worth your time catching up some of the shows that make the nominations for the British Podcast Awards this year.
Let’s take a look at the Best New Podcast award. The nominees include Field Recordings (uninterrupted soundscapes from nature recorded from all over the UK) and Maddie’s Sound Explorers (where presenter Maddie Moate creates a piece of music from the sounds in science and nature). There’s also Growing up with Gal-Dem (where a guest goes through their old diary entries and texts to work out how much they have changed as a person).
Other nominees include Hunting Ghislaine (where investigative journalist John Sweeney looks at the life of Ghislaine Maxwell) and Prison Bag (a documentary series exploring a family’s relationship with the prison system). Finally there’s VENT, from VICE and the London Borough of Brent, where young people are given recording devices to record interviews on subjects they’re passionate about.
If it is comedy that you are after, look no further than the Best Comedy Podcast category. There you can listen to the surreal bovine comedy Beef and Dairy Network, the filthfully rude Dear Joan and Jericha, the comedy-horror series SeanceCast and spoof investigative series Hidden Ireland. There’s also Kurupt FM, from the “People Just Do Nothing crew” as well as Poppy Hillstead Has Entered The Chat, where comedian Poppy Hillstead recreates conversations she has had on the internet.
To listen to these entries (and more) head to the British Podcast Awards website. We’ll be announcing the winners in a special edition of this newsletter on Sunday 11th July.
GUESTS ON PODCASTS THIS WEEK
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- Ed Miliband was on How to Fail with Elizabeth Day this week where, as you can imagine, he had a lot to say about the 2015 General Election: “when I look back at my time as leader, I think I wasn’t optimistic enough and I wasn’t bold enough and I was too cautious.”
- Andy Burnham, the mayor of Greater Manchester, is on The Lock In with Jeremy Paxman this week, talking about his relationship with the North.
- The writer Nesrine Malik is on Growing Up with gal-dem.
- Rafe Spall, most recently the star on Apple TV’s series Trying, was on Out to Lunch with Jay Rayner this week.
- Steven Bartlett, the 28-year-old founder of the Social Chain marketing agency, is on the entrepreneurial podcast Working Hard, Hardly Working
- On Oti Mabuse: The Rhythm of Life you’ll find a two part interview with the broadcaster Carrie Grant MBE.
Here are our podcast picks for the week ahead
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Comfort Eating with Grace Dent – We all have a favourite comfort food and heck, we have deserved many opportunities to indulge ourselves in them over the past 15 months. In this new podcast The Guardian’s restaurant Grace Dent asks a guest to bring along and talk about their favourite comfort food.
At first I was confused why, but then I realised that comfort food is an interesting way into what well-known people are like when they are at home and out of the public eye.
Her first guest is with Russell T Davies, the acclaimed writer of It’s A Sin and Queer as Folk, who brought butter pepper rice as his comfort food (that’s long grain rice, a pepper and a heavy amount of butter). Davies is always an open and engaging interviewee, but here especially so. As his comfort food became an inside joke with his late husband (who passed away in 2018), an intimate conversation about their love and relationship then follows. “I went to work on the Monday [after I met him] and I said ‘I copped off with someone on Saturday night … and I think he’ll be round for years.’”
In a moment that stopped me in my tracks Grace and Russell, having both been carers for a loved one, talked about how caring for someone else is the greatest form of love. “An honour to be cooking it, to be doing that,” said Russell. “He was very ill towards the end and one of the last sentences he ever said to me, whilst feeding him the overnight foods, was ‘it’s delicious.’ That’s nice. It *was* delicious. It still is. Bless him.”
Conflict of Interest – An interesting idea from the Imperial War Museum, this podcast tries to explain the history of some of the most complex conflicts, from the Yugoslav Wars in the 1990s to Libya and the Arab Spring.
It features a guest asking the questions you may have about a conflict but haven’t asked publicly, in case you feared that you would be judged to be ill-informed. And in a similar fashion to the History of the World in 100 Objects, all of these conflicts are explained through various objects in their museum, guided by an expert. New episodes are out weekly: The Yugoslav Wars, Afghanistan, Iraq and Libya.
Spotify Podcast of the Week – Emily Atack: Lie Detector is a brand-new Spotify Original podcast hosted by British actress, comedian and television presenter Emily Atack. It’s a podcast all about deception, fraud, fakery and lies and will see Emily on a mission to find some of the biggest stories of fakery and deceit.
In this series, Emily will get one to two contributors to share their first-hand accounts of stories linked to the week’s episode theme. Examples include a woman’s husband who had multiple wives, a man who made millions through art fraud and more. Emily will react to these audacious tales, adding a comedic commentary. The series will expose some of the most outrageous lies from the most elaborate scams, ingenious cons and fakery.
The first episode is live and future episodes will drop exclusively on Spotify every Wednesday.
If It Bleeds, It Leads – I don’t need to tell you how popular true crime stories are in podcasting. This new series, presented by Emilia Fox and popular criminologist Professor David Wilson looks at the reason why crimes have always had such mass public appeal. Then, by speaking to people in the crime world, they talk about whether our expectations of what we think these crimes are like match reality.
The first episode looks at the appeal of the heists, which are often depicted in news stories or in films either as a Robin Hood style escapade, or something that you can only pull off if you have high levels of intelligence. Are these crimes, which usually involve insured goods or stolen items from an institution, ever victimless? To find out, David and Emilia speak to one of the UK’s most well-known bank robbers, Noel “Razor” Smith. He was very matter-of-fact:
“Would you have been prepared to hurt someone if they had tried to take you on?,” Emilia asked.
“Oh, you’d have to be,” David responds. “It wasn’t a game. A lot of my friends were shot dead by the police during robberies.”
This is a good podcast series. It certainly makes a nice change from those true crime podcasts where the presenters drink wine.
Right Up My Podcast – I think we can all agree that we need to give ourselves a break and a bit more self-care this summer.
This podcast, presented by Gwen Watson and Kate White, explores all different types of self-care that have been advocated by others over the last few months by trying it themselves, from sound therapy self-care to the joy of play.
It’s lighthearted and fun with warm chemistry between the presenters. I like how they aren’t too dismissive of different types of self-care, without getting carried away with a new trend and its supposed benefits either.
Finally, another reminder that tickets are available for the British Podcast Awards 2021, which are this year taking place at Brockwell Park, London on Saturday July 10th. Tickets cost £50 and it includes a complimentary drink and a picnic full of snacks for you to enjoy. Just head to the British Podcast Awards website to purchase your tickets and for more details.