Welcome to The Great British Podcast Newsletter. Hope you’re having a good week.

Pilot TV Podcast, the popular TV review podcast hosted by James Dyer, Boyd Hilton and Kay Ribeiro, has announced a new bonus podcast for paid subscribers. As well as their regular Monday episode reviewing the very best on television and streaming, there’s also a new Thursday episode featuring plot spoiler chat and listener letters and reactions. It follows a similar model that Kermode and Mayo launched last year.

Plus The Rest is Politics, one of Britain’s most popular podcasts, has launched a new spin-off series called Leading. In each episode, Rory Stewart and Alastair Campbell

interview someone they, or many others, consider to be a leader (and this doesn’t just have to apply to the world of politics.) Their first guest is former Conservative Deputy Prime Minister Michael Heseltine.

Before we move on with this week’s recommendations, some TV spin-offs. Love Island: The Morning After has started up again to coincide with the new series. Plus if you’ve been watching the US version of The Traitors (which is not as good as the Claudia Winkleman series where she is wearing that turtleneck jumper), there’s also Laters, Traitors!, an unofficial podcast series breaking down all the key twists and featuring interviews with those who have been banished from the castle.


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  • Actor Jason Watkins is on Off Air… with Jane and Fi this week, talking about his experiences with grief and why he is trying to raise awareness for sepsis.
  • The Olympic swimmer Yusra Mardini is on How to Fail with Elizabeth Day this week, talking about her extraordinary story of becoming an athlete after being a teenage Syrian refugee.
  • The writer Juno Dawson is on the Homo Sapiens podcast this week.
  • Damian Barr, from the BBC’s Big Scottish Book Club, is on Two Lit Chicks this week to talk about his new book Maggie & Me. He also talks about his love for the work of Armistead Maupin. 
  • Sports journalist Barry Glendenning is on The Moon Under Water podcast. The series, hosted by the comedian John Robins and Robin Allender, features Glendenning talking candidly about his relationship with alcohol and what he has learned since losing his father.

Here are our podcast picks for the week ahead

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Joanna Lumley and The MaestroLet’s be honest. Any podcast with Joanna Lumley is a sure bet because she has a voice that is so easy to listen to. So it is an additional benefit then that she’s got a podcast that is on a really interesting topic too. 

Teaming up with her husband the conductor Stephen Barlow, this new podcast series delves into the world of classical music. They talk about their favourite works and their musical influences, whilst lightly educating you on topics that they are fascinated about, as well as insight into the history of symphonies and orchestras. All in all, it’s a delight.

Please Tell Me A StoryA great idea format for a comedy podcast, fronted by comedians Omid Djalili, Seán Burke, Kai Samra, Sikisa, and Helen Bauer. Each episode starts with one of them telling another a funny anecdote, which they then have to repeat to someone else in the group in a different location sometime later. It means that any account more than a few minutes long becomes obliterated by poor memory, or distorted by exaggeration and mishearing certain parts of the story. And at the end of the episode, all of them are reunited to hear how the story should have been told, leading them all to compare and contrast their answers. 

Assume Nothing: Death on the TracksA new true crime series by BBC Northern Ireland investigating the death of 14-year-old Ryan Quinn, who was hit by a train in Ulster back in 2009. 

“I have spent hours with those closest to him to try to piece together how this tragedy happened,” says the show’s producer and presenter Vinny Hurrell. “I have been through reams of documents, dozens of statements, many interviews and it is clear. What happened that night and afterward is not as it first appears.”

A key question in this sensitively handled series is how did Ryan end up there in the first place. “If it was a tragic accident, why wouldn’t more people come forward to give a clear picture?”

The Science of CoffeeWhy do some people become so obsessed with the ritual of making coffee, and how much of a difference does the way you make a cup of coffee make to the way it tastes? In this new documentary series, James Harper does a deep dive into every part of how you make a coffee, highlighting how specific processes can make a big difference. I particularly like how in-depth it is too. Where else can you listen to a 45-minute episode on the practice of latte art, for example?

Thanks so much for reading (and listening). 

We’ll be back next Sunday with another podcast newsletter.

Categories: Weekly Picks