If you are looking for a great TV show this week, look no further than I May Destroy You. The 12 part BBC/HBO drama, which concluded this week, has had critical acclaim for not only the way it looks at the difficult subjects sexual assault and consent, but also how it mastfully examines the complexities of social media addiction and accepting yourself. 

There have been a lot of great articles written about Michaela Coel, the show’s star and creator, recently. If you are looking for more, listen to the latest episode of Obsessed with… I May Destroy You. Coel joins as a guest, providing a deep dive of the logic of the unexpected and mind-bending final episode (I won’t mention spoilers here, don’t worry) and the meaning behind where we leave all of the main characters.

“I love every single character, which I think is terrifying for some people to think about,” Coel says. “I have to reach a point, if I am to love myself, where I have to love everything that I make, so I had to fall in love with these characters, even when it was very difficult.”

And if that’s not enough Michaela for you, she also spoke to Anne McElvoy in a wide-ranging interview for The Economist Asks too.

In fact, there are a lot of big guests on other podcasts this week:
Gordon Ramsay is the first guest on The Joe Wicks Podcast, launched by the BBC this week. The podcast talks about subjects Wicks is known for, such as the importance of both mental and physical health (fun fact: Wicks has done 115 workouts during the lockdown).Pandora Sykes has launched a new podcast, featuring interviews with Joe Lycett and Irish writer disability advocate Sinéad Burke.David Harewood and Florence Pugh are the latest guests on Sue Perkins: An hour or so with…And Jaz O’Hara, the founder of the charity The Worldwide Tribe, is the guest on Black Sheep, a podcast about breaking the rules.
If you have a guest on your podcast coming up, let us know.

British Podcast Awards Podcasts:

In a *new section* to this newsletter, we’re going to be highlighting some of the big winners of the British Podcast Awards. If you missed the awards that took place last week, you can listen back to the ceremony in a special 90 minute show on BBC Radio 4 Extra. Here’s a couple of the winners and why they stand out:

The Rob Auton Daily Podcast was the winner of the Best Daily Podcast (supported by Podfollow). Auton, a writer and performer, beat some daily podcasts from news organisations because of his amusing, original and profound views of life. Just in case you were wondering, by the time I wrote this he had just uploaded episode 198.

We’ll be featuring other winners in future weeks. In the meantime listen to this week’s Podcast Radio Hour on Radio 4 Extra, where host Amanda Litherland spoke to a number of this year’s winners, including the team behind the The Log Books (who were winners of the Best New Podcast), Brown Girls Do It Too (Podcast of the Year and Best Sex & Relationship Podcast) and Tunnel 29 (Best Radio Podcast and Moment of the Year). Matt Deegan, one of the awards co-creators, also took Litherland behind the scenes of the virtual ceremony.

Four podcasts worth listening to this week:

Heist by Michael Caine – True crime is one of the most popular genres in podcasting. Now, finally, there’s a true crime series narrated by Michael Caine. In a new six part series he reels out tantalising real life stories of bank robberies from across the world: from heists in Antwerp to cat and mouse games between criminal and law enforcements in Los Angeles. Half the enjoyment from the series are the stories, the other half is hearing Caine’s narration (you get a sense that he had a real kick out of recording it.) Just so you know, you need to be an Audible subscriber to listen to it.

The Harrowing – If you’re looking for an escapist thriller for the summer holidays, look no further. Starring Joanne Froggatt as Sergeant Jackie O’Hara, The Harrowing follows her arrival on a remote Scottish island to investigate a crime, not long after many of the animals on it had also mysteriously died. What’s so impressive with this podcast is not just the plot, but the eerie immersive soundscape that comes with it. It’s best captured through your headphones, where you can hear the characters talking to each other around you.

Bestsellers – Even though this isn’t the summer any of us had predicted nor wanted, it doesn’t mean that the summer tradition of bingeing a good book can’t take place (it just might just not be by the pool.) For recommendations of what you should be reading next, there’s this podcast by Natalie Jamieson and Phil Williams. In their latest episode, they interview Dorothy Koomson, the author behind the new book All My Lies Are True, the sequel to her bestseller The Ice Cream Girls. What is interesting is how honest Koomson is, from talking about realities of being an author to what she thought of the ITV adaptation of her books: “The TV series seemed to have gone back to all of those stereotypes, all of those stereotypes I had worked to take out,” she said. Listen out too for the delight of Jamieson’s son popping into the interview at the very start.

The Reality of Reality TV with Fleur East – We’ve all had an instinct that reality television is tough and soul destroying experience for those who take part. Now X Factor and I’m A Celeb alumni Fleur East is trying to work out whether that theory is actually true, by interviewing contestants from popular reality shows about what really happened. What is evident from these interviews is how so much of your experience is dependent on the edit you are given (which can be completely different from their real life) and how you have such little choice in the way you look and present yourself. A worthwhile listen for young ears.

Four podcasts worth listening to this week:

Heist by Michael Caine – True crime is one of the most popular genres in podcasting. Now, finally, there’s a true crime series narrated by Michael Caine. In a new six part series he reels out tantalising real life stories of bank robberies from across the world: from heists in Antwerp to cat and mouse games between criminal and law enforcements in Los Angeles. Half the enjoyment from the series are the stories, the other half is hearing Caine’s narration (you get a sense that he had a real kick out of recording it.) Just so you know, you need to be an Audible subscriber to listen to it.

The Harrowing – If you’re looking for an escapist thriller for the summer holidays, look no further. Starring Joanne Froggatt as Sergeant Jackie O’Hara, The Harrowing follows her arrival on a remote Scottish island to investigate a crime, not long after many of the animals on it had also mysteriously died. What’s so impressive with this podcast is not just the plot, but the eerie immersive soundscape that comes with it. It’s best captured through your headphones, where you can hear the characters talking to each other around you.

Bestsellers – Even though this isn’t the summer any of us had predicted nor wanted, it doesn’t mean that the summer tradition of bingeing a good book can’t take place (it just might just not be by the pool.) For recommendations of what you should be reading next, there’s this podcast by Natalie Jamieson and Phil Williams. In their latest episode, they interview Dorothy Koomson, the author behind the new book All My Lies Are True, the sequel to her bestseller The Ice Cream Girls. What is interesting is how honest Koomson is, from talking about realities of being an author to what she thought of the ITV adaptation of her books: “The TV series seemed to have gone back to all of those stereotypes, all of those stereotypes I had worked to take out,” she said. Listen out too for the delight of Jamieson’s son popping into the interview at the very start.

The Reality of Reality TV with Fleur East – We’ve all had an instinct that reality television is tough and soul destroying experience for those who take part. Now X Factor and I’m A Celeb alumni Fleur East is trying to work out whether that theory is actually true, by interviewing contestants from popular reality shows about what really happened. What is evident from these interviews is how so much of your experience is dependent on the edit you are given (which can be completely different from their real life) and how you have such little choice in the way you look and present yourself. A worthwhile listen for young ears.

As ever, tell us about the podcasts you love and I’ll take a listen.

That’s all from the newsletter this week. If you are hearing about TV recommendations as much as podcast ones, I also have a TV newsletter that you can sign up for here.

Have a great week and see you next Sunday,

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