Well-known and much loved comedy duos provide us with some light relief, Final Answer uncovers all those truths from behind the scenes of Who wants to be a Millionaire, A hilarious sitcom that brings us some belly laughs and how to keep your mind occupied whilst socially isolating………

I don’t know about you, but I have been addicted to the Charles Ingram drama Quiz on ITV like nothing else this week. There’s so many facts in this three part drama that I couldn’t believe beforehand, such as the hundreds of people who hacked the application process, who all ended up taking and sharing £5 million worth of cash between them.

If you’ve been a fan of the drama too and you want more facts, you will be pleased to hear that there is also a three part accompanying podcast available that accompanies the series. Details of it are featured below.

But first, as always in these surreal times, here are podcasts that are covering the coronavirus in a useful way.

CORONAVIRUS PODCASTS

BBC Educational Podcasts: From tomorrow (Monday 20th April), BBC Sounds will be launching daily education podcasts for primary and secondary children, with lessons that will match the school summer curriculum. There will also be further resources online, as well as special educational programmes on iPlayer and special documentaries broadcast on BBC Four. Head to the BBC Bitesize website for more details.

Locked Together – In this special Audible series, well-known comedic duos have been brought together (but are kept socially distant) to provide us with some light relief. These pairs will include Jennifer Saunders and Dawn FrenchPaul Whitehouse and Harry EnfieldSharon Horgan and Rob DelaneyTez Ilyas and Sindhi Lee among others. The series is free to anyone who has an Amazon and Audible account, even if you are not a subscriber. All you need to do is login to listen.

The Coronavirus Diaries (Stories from the Frontline) – This series provides a raw account of how doctors and nurses are fighting the global pandemic, made possible by them simply recording and sending in audio recorded on their phones during their breaks. You only need to listen for a few minutes to acknowledge the huge effort and sacrifice NHS Staff are currently making to get others through this, providing an essential reminder about why we all need to maintain social distancing. It’s also a first-hand account from doctors and nurses of where the government are failing and need to do more.

Working From Home with Stylist – Lisa Smosarski, Stylist’s Editor-in-Chief and their Editor-at-Large Alix Walker give lots of tips on how to work productively at home and stay on top of it, with the first episode looking at comparison culture. They also make a good point that if you do get distracted that’s not always a bad thing, as it provides such a boost to our wellbeing in the same way as chatting or joking with a colleague at work does. Expect recommendations for what to do on your time off too.

Stuck at Home – The children’s radio station Fun Kids have also launched a new daily podcast to help kids keep mentally active during the lockdown, recorded from each of the presenter’s homes. Expect air show facts, pop facts, camera facts and more, with lighthearted news updates provided by the team from The Week Junior.

OTHER USEFUL PODCASTS

Final Answer: The Official Who Wants to be a Millionaire Podcast – If you got absolutely addicted to the three-part drama based on the 2001 Charles Ingram Who Wants To Be A Millionaire coughing scandal, starring Michael Sheen (!) as Chris Tarrant (!!!), you will love this three part series accompanying the TV series. A lot of it consists of playwright James Graham and other members of the production team saying “yes, that really happened” over and over, such as the man responsible for the glitter not having done his job minutes before the glitter was needed for the machine. There’s lots of fun little facts too, such as the fact that real contestant footage was edited into the drama and that Sheen was asked, and declined, to wear false teeth as Tarrant’s teeth were deemed to be too different to his own.. 

Heavy Pencil – This very funny podcast sitcom (yes, there is such a thing) has returned for a second series this week. Starring Anna Crilly and Tony Gardener (it’s worth mentioning every time that he is the father from My Parents are Aliens), the sitcom consists of a pompous and self-entitled actor Michael Cork trying desperately to get through to his agent on the phone, but ending up with having to deal with Sarah Tiptree instead, his agent’s assistant’s assistant. I know, that might not sound like much of a plot for a sitcom, but trust me, there’s a lot. And there is a lot of joy to be had in listening to a rather frazzled Cork being in endless purgatory whilst Tiptree continues to be helpless at helping him. Joe Wilkinson makes an appearance in the first episode of the series.

Listen In – Although this podcast has been made to reflect our social distanced lives, with well known names talking about how they keep their minds occupied during social isolation, it’s really just an opportunity for interesting people to talk about the things they like. So there’s Deborah James talking about what she has learnt from her daughter and Elizabeth Day on the books she can’t live without. More episodes are on their way.

If there are any podcasts that you think should be included in this roundup, do let me know by filling in this form.

PODCAST GUESTS

Even though we’re all socially distant at the moment, podcasts have continued to have interesting guests on.

Here’s a few choices 

  • Material Matters with Grant Gibson, a podcast where artists, architects and designers talk about how a specific material makes a big difference to their work. Their most recent episode is with furniture designer Gareth Neil, who talks about his love for timber.
  • Table Manners with Jessie Ware has had not only Mel and Sue, but also Emily Maitlis as recent guests.
  • On the Pilot TV podcast, Sian Clifford and Matthew Macfadyen have been recent guests.
  • Full Disclosure with James O’Brien has done a special episode of his podcast shining a spotlight on those on the frontline.

Finally, one more podcast that the Wellcome Trust has funded with help with British Podcast Awards to encourage more conversations around public health. In Stem in the Gorbals, Erin and Abrart (who is 11) meet experts to talk about the mental health support that is available to the Gorbal community at this time.

That’s all for the podcast newsletter this week.

Stay safe!

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