A big week ahead in podcasting, as former BBC presenters and correspondents Emily Maitlis, Jon Sopel and Lewis Goodall launch their own new daily news podcast, The News Agents, with Global (the company that owns LBC and Capital.)

The podcast is edited by Dino Sofos, the creator of the BBC’s hugely successful Brexitcast, Newscast and Americast podcasts (the latter which was fronted by Sopel and Maitlis). In a preview episode launched earlier this week, the trio gave an overview of what the daily news podcast will be covering, essentially asking the “why” behind certain things that are happening. “If you’re wondering why the seas are full of shit, hopefully we can give you a clear understanding of why that has happened,” explained Maitlis. 

They also talked about how they came up with the name, which was thought up by Sopel’s wife Linda. “If you’re talking to a US audience it has got a sort of James Bond vibe,” said Maitlis. “If you’re talking to a British audience they just think of fags, mags and a Twix! And I think we’ve fallen into that ground somewhere in between.”

Andthe podcast has already shot to the top of the podcast charts, knocking off the long-time number one The Rest is Politics, fronted by Alistair Campbell and Rory Stewart. “Happy Monday evening to Campbell and Stewart. With much love, the power couple Maitlis and I,” tweeted Sopel

“Sopes?,” responded Maitlis. “Maybe don’t go to war with someone who has *actually* been to war.” 

The new podcast will launch on Tuesday 30th August on all podcast platforms and on Global Player.

NOTABLE NAMES ON PODCASTS THIS WEEK

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Here are our podcast picks for the week ahead

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What’s His Name?Earlier this year we featured the engrossing podcast by Jack Suddaby and the London based rehabilitation podcast Switchback, exploring the transition back to public life for men who have recently served time in prison. What stood out to me was not just the production quality and the personal feel to the series, it was also down to the fact that Jack Suddaby had done this project singlehandedly.

His next project explores true crime by telling the story of Sarah Sands, who was convicted for manslaughter after she killed her neighbour Michael Pleasted. This was after she found out that he had abused her own children. Featuring a interview with Sands and the police officer who led the homicide team following her Pleasted’s death, the podcast explores issues around sexual offenders and how many have changed their name and have subsequently gone missing, alongside the chief executive of the Safeguarding Alliance Emily Konstantas. 

Once again, Suddaby serves as interviewer, narrator, editor and producer. He also created the artwork accompanying the episode. He’s a real talent.

Superpower State of MindA great and personal podcast series presented by the motivational speaker Malin Andersson, which features discussions about inner-strength during tough times. It accompanies the book “Positivity is our Superpower.”

Her most recent episode features an important discussion on grief with the celebrity Safiyya Vorajee, a discussion that Andersson sought as both Vorajee and herself have experience in child loss. “So many people are going through this journey and so many people are alone,” says Vorajee. “Experiencing this journey is something that we need to talk about more, even though it brings in and triggers the pain. I feel like talking about it and expressing yourself can really help another person who feels lonely, because I did.”

Best Friend TherapyElizabeth Day, one of the biggest podcasters in the country, has a decent podcast looking at the complexity of friendships. And in a podcast landscape where talking about such things is a common topic, this series stands out as co-hosts it with psychotherapist Emma Reed-Turrell, meaning that you get a bit of expertise about why people react the way that I do. A second series builds on the success of the first, now going into topics such as how to spot toxic friendships and why we don’t give ourselves the permission to feel our feelings.

Weight of Sand – Our final recommendation is a drama exploring the life of Isobel Gowdie, a woman from the Highlands of Scotland who was accused of witchcraft in 1662. Her case and revealing story is one of the most famous stories surrounding witchcraft that there is, so this series brings her story to life through the premise of one-on-one interviews with Gowdie. It’s an interesting concept and has been funded by the Northword storytelling project.

Thanks so much for reading.

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