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Podcast Recommendations


On the last Friday of every month I suggest new podcasts to try, and this is a summary of my suggestions here on Is This Mutton?  I've tried many, many more but these are my regular listens. Enjoy, and let me know if you have any recommendations. 

Is This Mutton Podcast Hall of Fame

Each month I choose one or two 2 podcasts to go into my Hall of Fame:

August 2021

This Thing of Darkness (BBC)

Told mostly from the perspective of a forensic psychiatrist, this gripping drama aims to find out who killed Jamie. His father is on remand accused of his murder. Our perceptions change as the story shifts and unfolds.  I couldn't wait for each episode, although there was some careless and cliched writing at times, and the murdered man seemed to scarcely figure at all. This is August's Podcast of the Month. 

July 2021

Killer Psyche (Wondery)

Former FBI agent Candace DeLong shares her decades of experience to explain why murderers and criminals committed their crimes. It's a fascinating glimpse into the minds of criminals such as "Dr Death," a hospital doctor;  "The Unabomber," and "the Lipstick Killer."

June 2021:  no winner

May 2021: no winner 

April 2021

The Battersea Poltergeist (BBC Radio 4): In the late 1950s,  the UK was gripped by the real-life horror of "The Battersea Poltergeist."  Strange things were happening in an ordinary house in Battersea, London, and they seemed to centre around a 15 year old girl, Shirley.  In this meticulously researched series, a combination of documentary and drama, we hear from experts both pro and against the idea of paranormal events, and we hear from Shirley herself, now aged 80. The conclusion of the experts is unexpected.  Utterly compelling.

March 2021

Against the Odds (Wondery): A new series which examines thrilling stories of survival.  The first story covered, in four episodes, is the Thai Cave rescue of 2018.  The world was agog when 12 boys aged between 11 and 15, and their young football coach, got trapped in more than six miles of caves when the rains came early. 

The podcast skilfully tells the story of the rescue, where international experts and specialist cave divers from the UK, came to help, and a Thai Navy Seal lost his life. It's fascinating to hear how they finally rescued the boys, one at a time, each child sedated and referred to as a package so that the divers didn't make an emotional connection to them.  The chances of rescuing the boys successfully had been at just 20%.

February 2021

Catching Melanie's Killer, ITV News:  An exceptionally good true crime podcast on the solving of a cold case murder, 32 years after a 17 year old Bath school girl was killed. 

Where is George Gibney? BBC News:  The victims of Irish Olympic swimming coach George (now known as John) Gibney are still seeking justice after he walked free from a trial on ludicrous legal grounds. Gibney, accused of sexually abusing his young swimmers, has been on the run ever since and is now living in the US.  Very well reported podcast including footage from  his victims. 



Confronting Columbine, Glass:  A survivor of the Columbine high school massacre in April 1999 confronts many of the realities, questions and myths that surround the tragedy to this day. 

Dr Death, Wondery: the crimes of two US doctors who abused their patients' trust are exposed in two seasons.

Do No Harm, Wondery:  explores how the Texas legal system was so focused on protecting children from abuse it targeted innocent parents. 

Hunting Ghislaine, LBC:  as Ghislaine Maxwell awaits trial on multiple charges for helping the paedophile Jeffrey Epstein, British journalist John Sweeney looks at the case against her. He examines her upbringing and the role of her overbearing father, disgraced billionaire Robert Maxwell. 

The Missing Cryptoqueen, BBC Radio 4:  Dr Raja Ignatova, said to style herself on Steve Jobs,  persuaded millions to buy into her holistic bitcoin operation. Then she mysteriously disappeared.

The Dropout, ABC News: examines the story of brilliant young entrepreneur Elizabeth Holmes who founded a medical comopany, Theranos, became a self made millionaire, and then lost everything almost instantly. She faces criminal charges.

Chameleon, Hollywood Con Queen, Campside Media: for several years an elaborate scam has been targeting both the "gig economy" of film making - the personal trainers, security guards and make-up artists, who were lured to Indonesia for interviews to work on films which appeared to exist on IMDB.  The names of high-ranking producers and studio execs were used to lure them, and in turn, their reputations were tarnished. 

The Dating Game Killer,  Wondery: In 1978, Rodney Alcala won a date on the popular TV show, The Dating Game. What no one knew was that he was a prolific serial killer in the middle of a cross-country murder spree. 

The Man in the Window, LA Times/Wondery:  in a similar vein is this fascinating series about the serial killer known as the East Area Rapist and Golden State Killer, Joseph DeAngelo, who committed at least 13 murders, 50 rapes, and 120 burglaries in a spree that was eventually detected thanks to painstaking research on a family tree DNA website. 

Casefile True Crime, Casefile Presents: An anonymous Australian narrator gives us the story straight with no attempts at humour or pleas to subscribe.  Solid research and a commanding narrator makes this one of the best. Weekly. 

Men's Rea:  Irish podcaster Sinead explores notorious crimes from Ireland and the UK and the court cases that followed. Released fortnightly.

Canadian True Crime: Kristi Lee releases a new crime fortnightly and presents it straight. 

Criminal, PRX Radiotopia: the seductive tones of Phoebe presents a different take on crime once a fortnight:  stories of people who have been wronged or done wrong. Eye opening tales.

Serial Killers, Parcast:  Every Monday and Thursday this series takes a factual and pyschological approach into the mind, methods and madness of the most notorious serial killers. 

Medical Murders, Parcast: a different story each week on a medical practitioner who used their skills not to heal, but to hurt. Those featured have included Harold Shipman, the UK's most prolific serial killer. 

Fascinating Facts, Quirky True Life, Outdoor Pursuits, Motivational

About a Girl, Double Elvis Productions and iHeart Radio: hosted by Eleanor Wells, and with a deft, well written script, this podcast explores the lives of women who shaped and influenced music’s most iconic male artists.  The very first episode was devoted to Angie Bowie, first wife of David Bowie. Other women have included Linda McCartney, Rita Marley, Marianne Faithfull. 

Autopsy: The Last Hours Of, PodcastOne:  currently not on air but check out previous episodes. A pathologist examines the medical evidence behind the deaths of celebrities including David Bowie, John Denver, Maurice Gibb of the Bee Gees, Mama Cass Elliott, Roy Orbison, Farrah Fawcett.

British Scandal, Wondery:  now in its sixth series, this documentary series is currently exploring the Profumo scandal.  An amusing double act present the podcast and it's very well researched and entertaining. 

Dying for Sex, Wondery: Diagnosed with stage 4 breast cancer, Molly decided to leave her unhappy marriage and embark on a series of sexual adventures to make her feel alive. Moving, uplifting, shattering, laugh inducing in equal measures. 

Her Spirit Podcast, Her Spirit:  BBC Breakfast presenter Louise Minchin and BBC Triathlon presenter Annie Emmerson are on a mission to inspire women everywhere to lead a healthier, happier life.  For women of all ages. 

Jackie Weaver has the Authority, Audioboom: The Jackie Weaver phenomenon could only happen in the UK.  She shot to stardom when video of her trying to restore order at a local council meeting over Zoom went viral.  J In this podcast she meets a guest each week and they discuss random topics in an amusing way, ultimately deciding if Jackie has the authority to disagree or veto.

Life Changing with Jane Garvey, BBC Radio 4:  Jane Garvey talks to people who have lived through extraordinary events and discovers how these moments have reshaped their lives. 

My Year in Mensa, iHeart Radio & Jamie Loftus: Jamie Loftus takes the Mensa IQ test and passes, which gives her access to a whole new strange world. She takes us to the Mensa convention where she's threatened and humiliated by angry Mensans, most of whom seem to be slightly unhinged. 

Seriously, BBC Radio 4:  documentaries look at offbeat and sometimes quirky topics for the relentlessly curious. 

The Outdoors Fix, Liv Bolton: a fortnightly dose of outdoor adventures. Learn from Laura Doling, who moved from Essex to be a postwoman in the Lake District, and from Oge Ejizu, adventuring in London with Black Girls Hike. Just two examples. 

Ted Talks:  latest thinking on the latest topics in 24 minutes or much less. 

Thanks a Million, Angela Scanlon:  broadcaster Angela Scanlon interviews someone each week and finds out, at the end, what they're thankful for. It sounds schmaltzy but the interviews are interesting and Scanlon draws the best out of people.

The Vaping Fix, Wondery:  This documentary series recounts how a San Francisco start-up intended to rid the world of smoking with an incredible new product. But it all went very wrong when young people began to get addicted to vaping, scarcely realising that their addiction was fuelled by nicotine.

Welcome to Your Fantasy, Gimlet:  explores what went wrong with the Chippendales, an 80s sensation. The documentary unearths a dark story of greed, corruption and murder.


Tracks  (BBC Radio 4):  An ambitious drama by Matthew Broughton which started in 2016 and follows the story of GP Dr Helen Ash who discovers that her late father, killed in a mysterious plane crash, was involved in cutting edge, and secret,  research into human life.  The final episode aired in December 2020. Find it on the BBC Sounds app and the usual podcast providers. 

Drama of the Week (BBC Radio 4):  can be a bit hit and miss but occasionally a real gem is broadcast.

Drama On One:  The Irish broadcaster RTE's selection of dramas, very varied both in style and length. You're bound to find something you'll like.

Dirty Diana: Diana, played by Demi Moore, escapes from her work life and dying marriage by secretly running an erotic website where women reveal their intimate sexual fantasies. An all-women production with some star names including Lena Durham and Gwendoline Christie.

This Thing of Darkness (BBC): see Podcast Hall of Fame 

Bridgewater (iHeartRadio): folklore professor Jeremy Bradshaw is pulled into the mysterious 1980 disappearance of his police officer father, Thomas, when new evidence comes to light. 

Together with his father’s former partner, retired Detective Anne Becker, Jeremy must chase the clues that will tell him whether or not his father really did fall victim to a Satanic cult in the Bridgewater Triangle—or something much more dark and unexplainable.


My Wardrobe Malfunction  Susannah Constantine discusses clothes and hears anecdotes from celebrities who have included Elizabeth Hurley, Skin, Jane Seymour, Christopher Biggins and Dame Zandra Rhodes. There are six series's so very bingeworthy. 


Gardeners' World podcast: the team from BBC Gardeners' World discuss all things gardening. 

Gardeners' Question Time: sometimes hilarious panel discussion where well known gardeners answer listeners' questions.

Fresh from the Pod: presented by gardener and horticultural journalist Tamsin Westhorpe, who  published a book called Diary of a Modern Country Gardener.  Each week she interviews a doyenne of gardening. 


Dear Joan and Jericha, Hush Ho and Pepperdine Productions:  two doughty and venerable middle-aged women give their very unusual and unexpected advice to listeners who write in with sexual problems and dilemmas. Lately marred by too much advertising, with the podcast becoming ever shorter. 

Fortunately with Fi and Jane, BBC Radio 4: UK broadcasters Fi Glover and Jane Garvey share stories of midlife angst. Laugh out loud funny.  Includes a guest each week - these have included Dawn French, author Robert Harris, Tim Minchin and Monty Don. 


Postcards from Midlife, Acast:  two glossy magazine editors, Lorraine Candy and Trish Halpern, address the challenges of living with hormonal teenagers while battling with perimenopause. Topics have included getting good sleep, getting your midlife glow on, and rebooting your libido.

Liz Earle Wellbeing Show, Liz Earle: Robust and on-trend discussions with evidence-based medical advice. Fitness experts about latest topics, separating fact from fiction. Very good for latest thinking on menopause. 

Women Living Well After 50:  Sue Loncaric presents topics and weekly guests to help us live well and embrace life. Topics have included gut health, writing your story, becoming bold and adventurous and becoming an author. 

Growing Bolder, Zestylife: Actor Linda Robson celebrates the ways people are living their lives after 50. 

The Shift, Sam Baker (Acast): Former magazine editor Sam Baker aims to tell the truth about life for women post 40, the good, the bad and the ugly.

Magnificent Midlife: Rachel Lankester: Rachel talks all things midlife, sharing stories of women doing cool stuff. Topics have ibcluded staying fit and healthy through menopause, simplifying your life and turning midlife into prime time.

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