This week’s newsletter features short stories for children narrated by some very famous faces, nature writer Melissa Harrison takes us on guided walks around her local area and Broccoli Content bring us a series full of poems, storytelling and speeches for Pride month.

With theatres and indoor performances seemingly off the cards for the rest of the year , what does this mean for podcasters who usually rely on indoor events for their income? 

Well, The Receipts podcast might have found a way forward. This week they announced their first drive-in live show. Just like the sudden resurgence of drive-in cinemas, a future episode of their podcast will be held in one, with the audio being broadcasted directly to the FM radios inside listener’s cars whilst hosts Milena,Tolly T and Audrey then present in front, socially distant.

There’s clearly a demand for such events too, with tickets selling out in under 24 hours. Of course, having live events solely in drive-in cinemas aren’t going to help those who don’t have cars. But podcasters have always been able to think creatively on their feet, so no doubt there will be some breakthroughs in the months ahead, and we’ll let you know what they are. 

Remember, nearly all podcasts are recorded with the presenters and guests not being in the same room as each other. A few months ago, that was unthinkable.

Here are some well known names in podcasts this week:

  • STOR14S, a new short stories podcast for children with the stories written by the general public, launches this week. Each one of the fourteen stories is narrated by a different celebrity, confirmed to be Benedict CumberbatchDavid OyelowoChiwetel Ejiofor and Thandie Newton. The money raised will go towards coronavirus projects in Africa.
  • Sharon Horgan joins Jay Rayner for In For Lunch.
  • Other notable names this week: Afua Hirsch joins Fi and Jane in Fortunately.
  • Troy Deeney and Miriam Margoyles have both joined Louis Theroux in Grounded.
  • Michelle Mitchell, CEO of Cancer Research UK joined You Me & The Big C to talk about how the coronavirus has affected the diagnosis and treatment for those who have cancer.
  • And Donny McCaslin, who collaborated with David Bowie on his final album “Blackstar,” joins Arsalan Mohammad on the Bowie podcast AlbumtoAlbum.

Tell us about your upcoming guests! They don’t have to be an A-lister. Just fill in this form.

And here are our podcast recommendations for this week:

The Stubborn Light of Things – Melissa Harrison is a nature writer and novelist, who is lucky enough to live in a cottage right in the heart of Suffolk’s countryside. In this delightful weekly podcast, you accompany Melissa on guided walks of her local area, hearing barn owls, nightingales and the dawn chorus. This podcast is a good listen at the best of times, but at such uncertainty at the moment there’s a real sense of comfort from listening to and appreciating that the natural world continues as normal without us.

Class of 2020 – What is it like to graduate or come of age in the middle of a pandemic? This interesting podcast series, presented by final year Literature student Rufaro Faith, consists of interviews with young people about their hopes and fears of the future. A huge challenge that not just students but many of us face at the moment is having the motivation to carry on keeping on, so Rufaro speaks to Konstantin Chterev, a Space Psychologist an expert in extreme environments, on how to keep your morale up. He recommends setting yourself constant small, achievable goals: “What do you want to get done in the next hour? Or the next day, or the next week? If you’re feeling overwhelmed, take it step-by-step.”

“Once it’s done, celebrate it. Celebrating the small things happen very often in extreme environment communities and it’s often what holds them like glue during difficult times. Don’t feel stupid that you’ve only done the dishes or you’ve taken out the trash.”

History Storytime – There have been a lot of history podcasts for children, but I don’t think there are any podcasts by children. That is, until now. Sophie (aged seven), Ellie (aged five) and their “Daddy” tell stories from history, from the fall of the Roman Empire to the Jacobite Rebellion in neat little episodes. The podcast has had recognition because of Sophie’s and Ellie’s enthusiasm and obsession for facts, but it’s also had praise for being able to cover more serious topics, with recent episode looking back at the transatlantic slave trade in light of the Black Lives Matter protests.

Anthems – Finally, the good people at Broccoli Content have released a daily podcast series for Pride month featuring LGBTQ+ voices talking about issues that they are passionate about, be that through poems, storytelling or speeches. Episodes are only a few minutes each, yet can have a deep emotional impact, making you realise that podcasts don’t have to have a long running time to make you think about them for a long time afterwards. If you are wondering where to start, I recommend this episode by the BBC’s LGBT Editor Ben Hunte, who told a story that stopped me in my tracks.

For more great podcasts, tune into this week’s Radio 4 Extra’s Podcast Radio HourAmanda Litherland and I talk about our favourite podcasts from the last month, featuring Growing Up with Gal-DemPride & Joy and I’m Grand Mam. And if you’re in for TV recommendations, I also have a weekly TV recommendations newsletter out each and every week, which you can sign up for here.

Thanks for reading. We’ll be back next Sunday,

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