And as it is Halloween (errr … boo!) let’s start with some spooky and unsettling podcasts you can get stuck into (like a vampire).  

A podcast that caused the hairs on the back of everyone’s necks to stand on end, the part documentary / part drama Danny Robins’ The Battersea Poltergeist, received acclaim for the way it weaved drama and documentary to tell the story of a famous British haunting. He’s now back with a new 15 part series on BBC Sounds, called Uncanny, which delves into paranormal experiences. Each episode features interviews with listeners who believe that they have witnessed something unusual. Personally speaking, it doesn’t matter whether you are a believer of the subject matter or not. The storytelling and the sound production will make you feel rather unsettled.

Sticking with the Halloween theme, the history podcast Not Just The Tudors has an episode looking at the witch trials that took place in Massachusetts back in 1651. Meanwhile, the macabre RedHanded have got a two part Halloween Special, featuring a story swap between its hosts Hannah Maguire and Suruthi Bala. Real Life Ghost Stories, which says what it does on the tin, have also completed a ‘31 Days of Terror’ series, with different paranormal stories for every single day of October. 

And for the little ones, Story Quest by Fun Kids has a haunted story about a tour of a spooky, abandoned chapel

NOTABLE NAMES ON PODCASTS THIS WEEK

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  • Comfort Eating, a podcast from The Guardian where Grace Dent interviews stars about the food they crave late at night or the foods they eat when they can’t be bothered to cook a proper meal, has Stephen Fry on as a guest this week. He brought a skipper fish, basically a small sartine.
  • The Travel Diaries is back this week, where guests join Holly Rubenstein to talk about their travel experiences. This week the guest is the actor and author Stanley Tucci, reflecting on a lifetime of travel and eating (make sure you watch his series where he pops around Italy).
  • Comedian Fatiha El-Ghorri is the latest guest on But Is It Funny?, a podcast series where Brian Logan, Suchandrika Chakrabarti and Jamal Khadar talk about what is new in stand-up and the processes of becoming a comedian.
  • A Glass With, where drinks expert Olly Smith has a drink with somebody famous, this week features Sir Trevor McDonald as a guest.

Here are our podcast picks for the week ahead

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Is It Normal? The Pregnancy Podcast with Jessie WareA smart new podcast idea. If you are currently pregnant, or you are supporting someone who is, there is a new podcast with advice and expert support for every stage of pregnancy. Why? “Because sometimes a voice in your ear is more reassuring than a Google search,” says its host Jessie Ware. 

Each episode is split according to what week of your pregnancy you are on, with information on what to expect during your first midwife appointments and scans, insight into what exactly is happening inside your body at each stage of your pregnancy and guidance on when to tell your employer and your rights going on maternity leave.

A lot of the focus is reassurance, that everything you are going through (from cravings to feeling the temperature more than others) is generally normal. Yet it is also mindful that every pregnancy is different, with advice on where to turn if you have any concerns.

dot com: The Wikipedia StoryWe have all spent hours late at night going down a rabbit hole of stories and subjects on Wikipedia. But how much do you know about the website Wikipedia itself? In particular, the thousands of people who spend their time writing, updating and correcting the posts that you read for free.

In this new series by Crowd Network, host Katie Puckrik meets some of these people who dedicate their time to this cause. In the first episode, she meets Steven Pruitt, a Wikipedia editor who has written more than 35,000 articles and has made more than four million edits on the site. “Listen to this,” says Puckrik. “Four million edits means he’s edited a third of all the articles on English Wikipedia.”

At a time when the internet can feel so polarising and problematic, especially on social media, it is always good to hear stories like this about the internet. Yet there is a darkness to Wikipedia too, which future episodes are going to tap into.

Spotify Podcast of the Week – Rose & Rosie: Parental Guidance is currently in the middle of its third season. If you haven’t listened yet, the show is hosted by married couple Rose & Rosie who have been documenting their crazy journey of starting a family since Season 1. You will laugh, you will cry; this show will take you on a real rollercoaster of emotions. This season we get an insight into how life has dramatically changed as new mums to baby Ziggy. 

We are treated to a special Halloween episode this week; there are ghost stories, tales of childhood Halloween experiences and more to get you in the mood for the holiday. Enjoy!

The Price of FootballThis is a good fortnightly podcast that explores the billions of pounds worth of money swirling around football and the various issues and ethical dilemmas that come about from the high profile deals, acquisitions and sponsorships. It is brought to you by football finance lecturer Kieran Maguire from the University of Liverpool as well as the comedian Kevin Day. 

A recent episode looks at David Beckham’s controversial deal as an ambassador for the Qatar World Cup, reportedly worth £150 million. Amnesty International has criticised the deal and have urged Beckham to speak out about Qatar’s human rights abuses, poor track record on freedom of expression and oppressive stance on LGBTQ rights. As is pointed out in the podcast, a typical sponsorship for a company like McDonalds or Qatar Airways to sponsor the World Cup to be around £30-£35 million. The podcast explores the ethical dilemmas around the deal and whether or not it will affect his reputation.

Don’t Call Me “Exotic”The final choice for this week is a new interview series by radio presenter and promoter Oh Annie Oh, who speaks to other creatives about their experiences of racism within the industry, racism within our culture and institutions and how it affects them on a day-to-day basis. As well as providing thought provoking and important discussions, Annie’s presenting style throughout is infectious. Guests so far have included songwriter and soul singer Amahla, Rinse FM’s Jordss and the curator and artist Almass Badat. 

Two podcasts coming soon to note before we go. The first is Whistle Through The Shamrocks, a comedy podcast written by Nicola Coughlan (Derry Girls! Bridgerton!) and the playwright Camilla Whitehall. There’s also the return of The Log Books, the series that delves into the call archives of Switchboard, providing a rich archive of LGBTQ history. Episodes from both series will be out tomorrow and we’ll take a bigger peak in next week’s newsletter.

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Categories: Weekly Picks

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