Big news from the world of radio this week. Graham Norton has announced that he is leaving his BBC Radio 2 show to join Virgin Radio (the same station Chris Evans switched to).
He was also an interesting guest on How I Found My Voice this week, a podcast where broadcaster Samira Ahmed asks household names about how they became such effective communicators. I’ve enjoyed this podcast for a while now, much of it down to Ahmed’s great questioning, her attention to detail in her research and the guests asked to participate.
In the interview Norton talked about his experience living with hippies in San Francisco (“those hippies were so good for me … they made me understand that we have more time than we think we do”) and how the traumatic experience of being stabbed whilst being mugged was a turning point in his life (“it was freeing in that it made you realise what was important, and what you could brush off.”)
He also talked frankly about how the Graham Norton we all saw on his Channel 4 chat show was an exaggerated persona and how, in the end, it made him feel uncomfortable: “It was straight men who were writing these jokes and it was straight men who were producing this show.”
“I feel like I get who I am now. I didn’t then.”
It’s a great interview and worth your time. You can listen to it here.
WORTHWHILE GUESTS ON PODCASTS THIS WEEK:
- President Obama was interviewed by the historian David Olusoga earlier this week. An extended version of the interview is available to listen to BBC Sounds, where you’ll also be able to listen to excerpts of his book.
- The Friendship File, a podcast where two friends are asked a number of questions about each other separately (a really interesting series) has just launched a reunion episode, featuring everyone who was featured in series one.
- Comedian Katherine Ryan joined Nadia Craddock and Honey Ross on The Body Protest, a podcast about how to improve our self-love.
- Ben Cajee, the CBeebies presenter who went viral on Twitter last month, is the latest guest on Power Hour with Adrienne Herbert.
- Chris Stark, from the Scott Mills show on Radio 1 and That Peter Crouch Podcast, joined Fantasy Football Hangover to talk about fantasy football.
- Alan Ruck joined Celebrity Catch Up: Life After That Thing I Did to talk about the film that made him famous, Ferris Bueller’s Day Off.
Here are our podcast picks for the week ahead
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The Crown: The Official Podcast – This is how you do an official television series podcast: lots of room for behind-the-scenes interviews with writers and experts explaining their decisions on major plot points, no room for guests to go on and on about why they love the show (I mean if you’re listening to the podcast, you’re probably a fan anyway).
In the first episode of the new series of the official podcast, Edith Bowman speaks to creator and writer Peter Morgan about the fourth season (the interview sparked a bit of news too, with Morgan defending a scene featuring letter between Mountbatten and Prince Charles). She also talks to Annie Sulzberger, a specialist researcher for the show, who goes into detail about the political context at the time and how Thatcher became Prime Minister. Three episodes are available to listen to, each accompanying a different episode.
Hunting Ghislaine with John Sweeney – The upcoming trial of Ghislaine Maxwell, accused of assisting Jeffrey Epstein’s abuse of minors (she denies all allegations), will generate considerable media coverage next year. This LBC documentary series by the journalist John Sweeney, who you might recognise from his Panorama documentaries on North Korea and Scientology, provides an interesting profile on Ghislaine and her story, by speaking to those who have known her. The first episode looks at her father Robert Maxwell, whom she had a close relationship with.
Spotify Podcast of the Week: Teen twin pop sensations and 2019 X Factor Celebrity finalists, Max & Harvey launched their debut podcast this week! School Daze with Max and Harvey is an energetic show airing every Tuesday and Friday, tackling the culture of the schoolyard with the help of their family, friends and fans.The new and exclusive Spotify Original podcast series sees the 17-year-old Tik Tok stars and teen phenomenons relive their school days, revealing exclusive and hilarious stories along the way, as well as offering a helping hand as they’ll offer advice for listener-submitted dilemmas.
Quiz Chat Repeat with Miquita Oliver – Remarkably, despite endless Zoom quizzes and Quizzy Mondays on BBC Two (Only Connect should follow University Challenge and not the other way round in my honest opinion) there are still relatively few British quiz podcasts out there. This new daily quiz podcast is a fresh listen, where broadcaster Miquita Oliver quizzes a guest whilst lightly interviewing them at the same time. Mondays are for general knowledge, Tuesdays are music related questions, Wednesdays are for sports (my weakest round), Thursday is a quiz based on the guest’s life (don’t worry it’s very general) and Friday is for specialist subjects. You will find yourself shouting the answers whilst listening through your headphones. In a way, maybe it is a good idea that we’re not back in offices yet.
Dear Joan and Jericha – And finally, the much anticipated third season of the frightfully rude agony aunt podcast presented by Julia Davis and Vicki Pepperdine returned this week, the first available episode available to listen to since June. A joy of this podcast is how Davis and Pepperdine try to compete with each other on how far they can take it, as well as them attempting to keep going if the other one makes them laugh. This goes without saying, but I’ll say it anyway. and this is absolutely not suitable for younger listeners.
A couple more to let you know about before we go. A while back we featured Chris Evans’ ‘How to Wow,’ a podcast about if you put the hours in and dream big, good things can happen. Just to let you know that *a lot* guests have appeared since we wrote (and I mean it): Matthew McConaughey, James Blunt and Dame Emma Thompson.
And finally, if you have enjoyed Jordan North vomiting up a hill on I’m a Celebrity this week, his podcast has been tweaked to Help I Sexted My Boss Does I’m A Celebrity and will feature recaps of what happened with Jordan the previous night. His Mum might make an appearance as well.