Musicians George Ezra & Ollie MN phone a friend, Dan Snow delves into history, Newsnight’s Emily Maitlis & BBC’s North America editor Jon Sopel present Americast & special investigations with The Private Eye Podcast……..

Let’s start with some quick podcasting news. The Times have announced a new daily news podcast coming later this year, joining The Guardian, The Economist and others. And BBC Sounds have also announced a new slate of shows this week, including new series from Fearne CottonSidemanJacob Hawley and James Acaster and more. Look out for them in the Spring (which has to be around the corner, please stop winter at all costs).


Here are some shows worth looking at over the next week:

Phone a Friend with George Ezra & Ollie MN – George Ezra makes it look so easy with hit after hit constantly dominating the music charts. He’s also an articulate, thoughtful and entertaining podcaster and has now released a new weekly podcast with his friend and musician Ollie MN.

They both share what is on their mind, the silly and serious, with the same intimacy as a phone conversation, hence the title. Their openness and the conversations on mental health are particularly insightful, George discussing the relief of hearing his recent OCD diagnosis followed by Ollie talking about his experiences of therapy. “Part of the reason why I bothered seeking help in the first place was hearing word-for-word someone explaining what it is I have lived with” Ezra explains.

Dan Snow’s History Hit – Dan Snow is known for his history documentaries on television, which he regularly presents with his father Peter. But do you know that Dan also presents an illuminating history podcast that delves into different history subjects, featuring historians and experts? 

The latest episode looking at flu pandemics and how they have affected us through history, a subject that feels timely given the news. “We’re good at talking about Dresden, we’re good at talking about the First World War and the trenches,” Snow elaborates. “And yet we’re incredibly bad sometimes at taking a step back and looking at the things that are actually affecting the onward march of this species and the death of 50 to 100 million in the space of two years.” The episode looks into how many of these deaths could have been prevented and what lessons we can learn.

Americast – British election coverage usually only lasts a few weeks. Meanwhile in the United States, it can feel like there are only a few weeks every four years when there isn’t one. With only nine months to go until the 2020 election, Newsnight’s Emily Maitlis and the BBC’s North America editor Jon Sopel present a new podcast looking at how both the democratic and republican campaigns are progressing, with all of the wit and nerdy detail that made Brexitcast (now relaunching as Newscast) ever so popular. 

You might be wondering why this podcast is needed when there’s already a crowded market in US Election news. For me, it’s their British outsider perspective, bringing the latest news into context of what is and is not important. They also explain some of the more confusing parts of the US democratic process for you, such as the Iowa caucus (the part of the campaign that Maitlis absolutely loves).

Page 94, The Private Eye Podcast – Finally, a good podcast to listen to if you are a fan of the bi-weekly magazine, but it isn’t just a rehash of its content. Instead, you’ll hear special investigations and analysis on recent news events, episodes dropping when they wish rather than on a regular timetable. It’s interesting that a magazine that has invested little elsewhere in digital, still sees podcasting as integral to its publication.

If there is a podcast that you think this newsletter should be looking at, let us know and it might feature in a forthcoming newsletter.

Here’s some of the big guests on podcasts this week:

If you have a podcast, tell us about your guests! Just fill in this form.

That’s all from the podcast newsletter for this week. 

See you in the next one!

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