We get the lowdown from Sir David Attenborough on the art of wildlife narration, Comedian Iain Stirling talks about the suspension of Love Island and Producer Jack Suddaby presents stories of things once loved but now lost……

So many great guests to look out for this week. In this newsletter we feature podcasts talking to Sir David Attenborough and Paul Mescal, but we’ve also heard Daisy Edgar-Jones on How to Fail this week, Rose McGowan visiting Louis Theroux’s Grounded and Little Mix’s Jade joined Lewys Ball. If you’ve been looking for a distraction from endless discussions about eye tests and Barnard Castle, you’ve come to the right place.

And if that’s not enough audio, remember that there’s also The Shortlist podcast, presented by Rhianna Dhillon, featuring excerpts from all of the nominees at the British Podcast Awards this year.


Economist Radio – You’ve probably wondered whether staying at home and not holidaying abroad will result in a greener climate. Emissions have dropped between 4-8% during the crisis, which is half of what the United States emits in a year. However, if we want to meet the Paris Agreement to limit the increase in global warming, emissions need to drop much, much more. In a recent episode of The Economist’s podcast, they crunch through the figures and provide some reasons to be hopeful.

Jacob Hawley’s Jobcast – In the latest episode of the coronavirus tinged series, Hawley speaks to Iain Stirling about Love Island being suspended this year as well as GP Dr Amir Khan on how non-frontline NHS staff have had their entire working lives changed because of the pandemic.

The Poetry Exchange – In an episode of the podcast where people share poems, a special episode features the musical score from Black Ballet’s ‘Then or Now.’ Featuring poems from celebrated poet Adrienne Rich, it would have been performed at The Barbican on March 23rd. Now, with that cancelled, you get to hear it for yourself.


So Hot Right Now – Broadcaster Lucy Siegle and wildlife filmmaker Tom Mustill present a new podcast on how we can all improve our communication skills, so that we can create awareness about our changing climate so that we can influence other people’s behaviour. So who better to ask about communication than the greatest broadcaster of our times: Sir David Attenborough. He gives advice on how to do wildlife narration (“you should pare the words down to the absolute minimum and allow the pictures tell the story”) and why Blue Planet II’s influence on our plastic use was a big surprise for him (“audiences are very difficult to predict, advertisers would pay a lot of money if they could … but they can’t.”) The biggest lesson from Sir Attenborough? To not give up. “You just have to keep going at it,” he says.

I’m Grand Mam – ? PAUL MESCAL ALARM? Connell from Normal People (everyone seems to have the hots for his silver chain but I didn’t notice it) dropped by the upbeat podcast by Kevin Twomey and PJ Kirby. Mescal talks about his fears taking on such a big adaptation of such an acclaimed novel and the utter, utter weirdness of doing both Graham Norton and James Corden’s chat shows from his own home alone, whilst being by himself in self-isolation. The chain, in case you are wondering? It was from Argos.

Her Spirit Podcast – BBC Breakfast’s Louise Minchin and triathlete Annie Emerson host an uplifting interview series, aimed at women (but with male listeners too), with a focus on how to live a healthy, happy life. These interviews provide an interesting balance between sport and motivation, alongside thoughts on overcoming those big life hurdles. It manages to do this without the chat ever becoming heavy or deep in cliche. Recent guests have included Kate Bottley (on open water swimming), Dame Sarah Storey (on being the most successful female British Paralympian) and Naga Munchetty (on her love of golf).

Beautiful Strangers – Finally, a great little podcast by Jack Suddaby, featuring stories on what people have at one time loved, but then lost. I was gripped on the episode about a heartbreaking cocaine addiction and interested in the story about a woman who is allergic to water, which includes drinking to bathing. It’s the production that really brings it up a level. Listen to these stories through your headphones. You won’t regret it

Finally, some words about our Pulse Award. It’s a collaboration between the British Podcast Awards and the Wellcome Trust, encouraging public conversations around health. We’ve been featuring a different podcast every single newsletter, but in case you have missed, here’s the full list: 

And… Discovering Dementia (following Penny Bell and her mother on her Alzheimer’s diagnosis).

That’s all for this week. A good lesson that I’ve learnt this week: not every chat needs to require a Zoom or FaceTime call. Sometimes an old traditional call is just as fulfilling.

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Categories: Weekly Picks