We all need a distraction at the moment, so a good place to start is this week’s Fortunately… with Fi and Jane. They had self-professed “agony aunts” Joan and Jericha (aka. Julia Davis and Vicki Pepperdine) dishing out advice to their listeners. If you’re familiar with their work, yes, the interview is a delightfully rude one. I tried to find a quote from the interview here but it proved too difficult.

Jeremy Paxman also launched himself into podcasting this week, with a podcast called The Lock In. The idea is that he interviews people outside the world of politics to get some real answers. Where do honest, truthful conversations take place? The pub. The first guest is Lee Child, the author of the Jack Reacher series.

Meanwhile, the Don’t Filter Feelings podcast by Hollyoaks, presented by Yinka Bokinni, featured an interesting discussion on Black History Month this week. “I’ve found out so much about Black culture this year, just off social media,” said the actor Bobby Gordon. “Rather than having a month, Black culture has been such a fundamental part of British culture in so many parts of history. It should be part of the curriculum as a whole, as opposed to giving us one month.”

David Tennant Does A Podcast With… wrapped their second season this week. With that they’ve launched a best-of episode, which includes their chats with Billie Piper, Neil Gaiman, Dame Judi Dench, Brian Cox (the actor one, not the space one) and more. As well as this, if you have been missing Poppy Hillstead from Gossipmongers, the second series of her left-field podcast where she explores the world of internet message boards is just around the corner. Listening to the first season is well worth your time.


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Philippa Perry’s Families in Crisis – A thoughtful Audible series presented by the psychotherapist and author Philippa Perry, where she interviews a family experiencing a crisis, be that how they are coping as a family member experiences issues with alcohol, obsessive compulsive disorder or anorexia. 

The conversations that spill out are compelling and absorbing, whilst never feeling exploitative. Issues you first assume as being relatively straightforward end up being increasingly complex. You also learn how family members can end up being on a constant ‘fight or flight mode,’ draining their energy for months. It’s a window into social issues that are more common than we think, at a time when we are all more isolated than usual. You need to be an Audible subscriber to listen.

The Prime MinistersA good coping strategy for the next few months is finding a series, book or podcast that has a lot of episodes and pacing yourself through all of them. This new political history podcast series, hosted by the LBC broadcaster Iain Dale, will have 55 episodes, each looking at a different Prime Minister dating back to Sir Robert Walpole in 1721. That’s certainly a lot of content to keep you company.

The Prime Ministers featured in this series are not in chronological order, meaning that there’s a mixture of podcast episodes between leaders you know and leaders you don’t. The first episode looks at William Gladstone, who was PM four times in the 1800s, the second looks at the turbulent economic tenure of James Callaghan in the late 1970s.

Spotify Podcast of the Week: The Eboys are a group of four YouTubers; Memeulous (George), WillNE (Will), ImAllexx (Alex) and James Marriott, who post entertaining weekly videos on their group channel. They’ve now taken to podcasts and their latest episode is exclusively available on Spotify – you can find it here.

On The Ward – Even though there has been a lot of mental health awareness in the last six months (and rightly so), there are still many assumptions about what it must be like to be a patient at a mental health facility. Contrary to what you might think, these are no longer institutions full of people in straightjackets and doctors in white coats. In this illuminating podcast series, mental health nurse John-Barry Waldron dispels myths, by interviewing patients, nurses and doctors at a mental health hospital in Essex. 

In the first series they covered the basics: what it means to be sectioned, what these places look and feel like (“the ward just looks like my University halls,” says one nurse) and the types of therapy patients receive and how it can help, including music and art therapy. The second series looks at the challenges caused by the pandemic.

Harry Hill’s Noise – And finally, an extremely Harry Hill idea. The comedian has launched a podcast that contains no words at all. All you’ll hear are ambient sounds of his nearby surroundings, a different location each week. You the listener have to guess at what point in the episode Harry Hill will make a random sound, and what sound he will make.That’s it.

I know what you’re thinking … is this even a podcast? Well, if it’s available on a podcast app it has got to be, right? The anticipation of when Hill will drop his noise is also a draw, the ambient sounds throughout a soothing draw too. At one point I forgot I had pressed play on this podcast and then almost dropped the kettle when he made a noise some minutes later (I won’t specify when due to spoilers). Have fun!

Before we go, a quick reminder of some podcasts that are tracking the US election, as the results come out Tuesday night until who knows. There’s Americast, hosted by Jon Sopel and Emily Maitlis from the BBC. The Guardian’s Politics Weekly will be releasing bonus episodes over the next few days as the result becomes clear and from ITV News there’s a pod simply called Will Trump Win?

As always, if you have heard a podcast that you think should be featured within this podcast newsletter, just fill in this simple form and we’ll take a listen.

That’s all for this week. Thanks so much for reading.

Categories: Weekly Picks