I am cherishing things I usually wouldn’t think about this year: long rambling walks in the cold autumn sun, the joy when realising a restaurant I visit has an outdoor patio heater. Also, watching a television show that I would notice but never usually tune in for: Strictly Come Dancing.

Part of the reason why I am watching is down to the fact that I want a distraction, but its continued place in the Saturday schedule gives a reassurance, normality and continuation at this nervous time. The same-sex dance pairing of boxing champion Nicola Adams and Katya Jones has given the show a fresh, reflective feeling too.

Nicola Adams joined AJ vs Curtis this week, a new podcast hosted by the Pritchard brothers. In it she revealed that she has been asked to participate in the show since 2012, but only agreed to participate this time if she could dance with a woman. They also chatted about nerves: “I get nervous for every competition I do,” she said. “It’s good because you need that adrenalin to get you fired up so when … you’re doing those moves, it just makes everything just that little bit sharper.”

Meanwhile, on Two Shot Podcast, an in-depth interview series hosted by the actor Craig Parkinson (featured on this newsletter only a few weeks ago), none other than Nicole Kidman was a guest. In the interview they chatted about why she finds it difficult to say no to new projects, how she’s worked with the same people for three decades and also …. nerves! 

Listening to both guests talk so openly about nerves made me feel, heck if Nicola Adams and Nicole Kidman get nervous before they do what they do, we can cut ourselves some slack.

THERE’S A LOT OF NOTABLE GUESTS ON PODCASTS THIS WEEK:

  • Billie Piper is a guest on David Tennant Does A Podcast With…, where she talked about the difficulties of finishing I Love Suzie during the lockdown, Doctor Who (of course) and the effects of becoming famous at the age of 15: “I think I am only just coming to terms with a lot of those things that happened to me in my teen popstar years,” she says. “I think it is deeply unnatural to experience such highs at that age. It gives you a false sense of power … it’s not something I would want from my own kids.”
  • Terri White, Editor-in-Chief of Empire Magazine and author of the memoir ‘Coming Undone’ is the latest guest on the mental health themed series How Do You Cope?
  • Rocketman and Bohemian Rhapsody director Dexter Fletcher joins Celebrity Catch Up – Life After That Thing I Did, where he reminisces about his role in the iconic British children’s show Press Gang!
  • Judy Murray is a guest on The Game Changers Podcast, a podcast that challenges the current status quo of women in sport.
  • Steph McGovern is the latest guest on Fortunately with Fi and Jane.
  • And David Lammy joins Jay Rayner for a socially distant meal in Out to Lunch

If you have listened to an interesting guest, let us know by filling in this form.

OUR PODCAST PICKS FOR THE WEEK AHEAD:

The Mentor This podcast comes with an interesting idea. Many of us have written off the rest of 2020, but what if you were given £5000 and one-to-one advice by a renowned business expert to help turn your year around? 

In this twelve week experiment, hosted by David “Sideman” Whitely, three young people are mentored by Ric Lewis, real estate businessman who last year topped the UK Powerlist of the most influential people with African or African Caribbean heritage. In each episode you’ll hear these sessions, covering topics like you’re not reaching your own expectations, to overcoming failures and trying to be your authentic self.

It’s slick, well-produced and full of heart. The biggest takeaway I got from the first episode is how important it is, for your own well-being as well as others, to be supporting and helping others, especially right now. “Changing the vector and slope of someone’s life is one of the most meaningful and rewarding things you can do,” says Lewis.

The YUNGBLUD PodcastBBC Sounds have been expanding more into music content in recent weeks, including the launch of their Radio 1 Dance stream. They are also launching more podcasts hosted by musicians, including this one hosted by the singer-songwriter Yungblud. In each episode he interviews a Radio 1 listener about the challenges young people are currently facing (of which there are many), with the mindset that whilst these issues might feel unique to you and isolating, they are actually shared by a lot of people.

The first episode is a conversation about sexuality and how it can be so fluid throughout your life, and how contrary to previous generation’s attitudes, that’s actually OK. “If you change and your sexuality changes that does not invalidate your decision to have previously come out as gay or lesbian or bisexual,” he says. “Be proud to tell people, be proud to not know, be proud to care, someone will support you. If it’s not your family, if it’s not your friend, share your story online.”

Spotify Podcast of the Week: Dare to Lead with Brené Brown There are many strings to Brené Brown’s bow – she’s professor, lecturer, author and (most notably for the purposes of this newsletter), podcast host. She’s partnered with Parcast to bring her newest podcast Dare to Lead to the world – based on her book of the same name which became a New York Times bestseller which has become the ultimate courage-building playbook for leaders at every level. The podcast will be a mix of solo episodes and conversations that help us show up, step up, and dare to lead – the first episode looks at the differences in leaderships and is absolutely fascinating. 

The Full Fact Podcast Full Fact is the UK’s only independent fact-checking charity. They regularly correct dubious claims by politicians, as well as correct misinformation on the internet. 

As you can imagine, they have got their work cut out, so what might surprise you is that despite mistruths feeling like a modern phenomena, it has actually been around for centuries. For example, in 1835 a New York newspaper massively boosted its circulation by claiming that the moon was teeming with blue goat unicorns, frolicking through fields of red flowers (side-note: does this has something to do with the NASA moon announcement next week?)

In the podcast, Full Fact Editor Tom Phillips and history professor Jacob Soll talk about the history of lies. A problem with correcting mistruths takes more time and effort than sharing the lie, made worse by the fact that many newspapers and media organisations have cut their fact-checking departments. “Fact-checking takes time,” says Phillips. “Sometimes it takes a ridiculously long amount of time. Something you think you would be really simple can take actually weeks of work to establish what the truth is. The truth isn’t simple, the falsehood is nice and easy.”

“The business of working out what is true is long, and complicated, and messy, and annoying.”

Self Care ClubFinally, we have been told countless times that we should be focusing on self-care, but what self-care actually makes a positive difference to our lives and what fads are worth avoiding? In this informative and often hilarious podcast, Lauren Mischon and Nicole Goodman introduce a different ‘wellness’ topic and give it a try for a few days. 

In their most recent episode, they tried juicing, which involves not eating any solid foods for three days. “I will say it’s lucky that we weren’t doing no complaining this week as well,” they joke.

Next week we’ll be taking a look at Jeremy Paxman’s new podcast, where he talks to ‘real’ people such as inner-city teachers, authors, conservationists and others, instead of what he refers to as ‘political robots.’ All of these conversations are promised to take place over a pint. I hope that both the interviewer and interviewee are wearing thick coats and that they are located near a patio heater.

As always, if you want your podcast featured, or you have a great recommendation, just fill in this simple form and we will take a listen. And if you’re into TV recommendations at this rather anxiety inducing time, I’ve got a television one that you can subscribe to here.

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