Two big investigative podcasts have been launched in the last week.
Firstly, Partygate: The Inside Story. Their UK editor Paul Brand was one of the key journalists breaking stories of the parties at Number 10 Downing Street during the height of Covid lockdowns. This new series not only brings you a definitive account of a story that completely consumed a Prime Ministership, but it also features fresh revelations about the scandal. According to ITV News, Boris Johnson allegedly joked that a party he had been attending was “the most unsocially distanced party in the UK.” You’ll also hear Number 10 staffers aghast at Johnson’s defiant denials, whilst he was PM, that rules had not been broken.
There’s also I’m No A Monster: The Shamima Begum Story by BBC Sounds. A year in the making, the series by Josh Baker looks at how a missing London schoolgirl ended up in Syria and became associated with so-called Islamic State. Whilst some talking heads in tabloid media in the last week have alleged that the series is merely giving her a platform, this investigative podcast is a rigorous piece of journalism that tries to separate fact from fiction from her own story and tries to disclose what actually happened in the four years she was off the radar. What really happened to Shamima Begum?
NOTABLE NAMES ON PODCASTS THIS WEEK
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- Actor Naomi Ackie, who stars as Whitney in the film Whitney Houston: I Wanna Dance With Somebody, is on the Girls on Film podcast this week. She talks about how much training was required to prepare for the role.
- The celebrated Australian yachtsman Jimmy Spithall is on the podcast Why I Run this week, a podcast hosted by TikTok star Erin Azar and the record-breaking swimmer Ayo Akinwolere.
- Sam Mendes is on Kermode & Mayo’s Take this week to talk about his new film “Empire of Light.”
- If your kids are fans of CBBC’s Mallory Towers, Stream It, the podcast about TV and Film from Fun Kids, talks to its stars Ella Bright, Danya Griver, and Carys John.
Here are our podcast picks for the week ahead
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How To Own The Room – If 2023 is the year you wish to improve your skills in public speaking or stage presence, this podcast will help you achieve these goals.
In each episode, the journalist Viv Groskop interviews women who speak a lot for a living and they both dig deep into what they have learned along the way. The series is full to the brim with tips, from how to find your voice, the importance of knowing the audience you are talking to, and of course, the big one, nerves. Guests have included the writer Kit de Waal, broadcaster Gabby Logan, and entrepreneur Debbie Wosskow.
The Conversation of Money – If 2023 is the year that you wish to step up your financial literacy, this is the podcast that will help you do just that (do you detect a theme yet?)
Presented by Peter Komolafe, who you might recognise from Steph’s Packed Lunch and Channel 4’s Secret Spenders, each series looks at how money shapes the world that we live in. In his latest episode, he speaks with Bobby Seagull to explore the relationship between mathematics and financial literacy, off the back of PM Rishi Sunak’s announcement that he wants to have pupils taught maths to the age of 18.
The Useless Hotline – If you’ve been on TikTok for more than a few minutes, you would have likely stumbled across either Max Baledge or George Clarke. These content creators not only have a knack for creating viral videos, but they also feel like one of those people you feel you already know, even if they haven’t even met them. Their relatively new podcast features listeners sending in their personal problems and queries for them to solve, but it is also a space for them to do what they do best: gossip.
The A-Z of the ‘90s – Our final podcast recommendation this week is one full to the brim of nostalgia, looking back at the highs, lows, and weird moments from the 90s. Andy Bush and Louise Moloney are taking a literal A-Z look at the 90s, with each episode featuring everything under a different letter.
This episode is all about the letter W, so expect in-depth conversations about Windows 95, wham bars, and Woolworths Pick n Mix.
Thanks so much for reading (and listening).
We’ll be back next Sunday with another podcast newsletter.