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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. 

BOOKS

Backlisted: If you love old books, Backlisted is for you. Each episode features a guest (usually a writer) who has chosen a book they love and which they think deserves a wider audience. It's  about how and why some books stand the test of time.

The Richard and Judy Book Club: a weekly podcast where television favourites Richard Madeley and Judy Finnigan discuss a brand-new book with its author.

DOCUMENTARIES

Dr Death: 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. 

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

The Outdoors Fix: 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. 

My Year in Mensa: 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. 

DRAMA

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. 

FASHION 

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

GARDENING

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 recently published a book called Diary of a Modern Country Gardener.  Each week she interviews a doyenne of gardening. 

HUMOUR

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. 

Fortunately with Fi and Jane, BBC Radio 4: UK broadcasters Fi Glover and Jane Garvey share stories they probably shouldn't. Laugh out loud funny.  Includes a guest each week - these have included Dawn French, author Robert Harris, Tim Minchin and Monty Don. 

INSPIRATIONAL

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

Her Spirit Podcast: 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. 

Thanks a Million: 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.

MID LIFE WOMEN

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. Interesting guests. Topics have included getting good sleep, getting your midlife glow on, and rebooting your libido.

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. 

TRUE CRIME

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:  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: the anonymous Australian narrator gives us the story straight with no attempts at humour or pleas to subscribe.  Solid research and a compelling voice 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 from 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:  Every Monday and Thursday this series from Parcast 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. 

Autopsy: The Last Hours Of....weekly series that reveals the truth behind the controversial deaths of global icons and people. 

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 Drop Out: examines the story of brilliant young entrepreneur Elizabeth Holmes who became a self made millionaire and then lost everything almost instantly, and faces criminal charges.

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