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Best podcasts of the week: Tennis ace Venus Williams serves up a show all about art
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Best podcasts of the week: Tennis ace Venus Williams serves up a show all about art

Picks of the week

Widening the Lens: Photography, Ecology, and the Contemporary Landscape
Widely available, all episodes out now
Tennis champion, arts patron and now podcaster – Venus Williams hosts this thoughtful series from the Carnegie Museum of Art in Pittsburgh. “Look at the photos on your phone,” she requests in the opener. “Go ahead, give them a scroll … ” She then speaks with experts about the relationship between photography and the environment, and how artists are reframing the world around us. Hollie Richardson

Harry and Paul are … Devious
Widely available, episodes weekly
What this podcast from The Traitors’ Harry and Paul lacks in accurate facts, it makes up for in infectious energy. They run down some of history’s biggest botched crimes, riff wildly, laugh at each other’s jokes and lay out exactly how they’d have committed the crimes. Week one is the Millennium Dome diamond heist. Alexi Duggins

A closeup of Michael SheenView image in fullscreen

Widely available, episodes weekly
The second season of this shocking eco pod is downright jaw-dropping. Actor Michael Sheen claims that forever chemicals are leaking from ex-landfill sites – and he’s right. What follows is a wild, horrifying investigation that finds seals so full of toxins they’re rotting alive, supermarket fish riddled with poisons and more scandal than we can list. Must-listen stuff. AD

Sonic Fields
Widely available, episodes weekly
When Sam Tyler found a box of photos of his parents taken at festivals, along with his own teenage adventures, he decided to make a podcast about it. The result is a beautiful, cross-generational celebration, with guests including his mum, nailing the familiar experience of going overboard on the first night. Hannah Verdier

Alison Moyet – 40 Moyet Moments
Widely available, episodes twice weekly
“This good fortune should not have happened to Alf,” says the lovable and charismatic Alison Moyet as she looks back over her 40-year career, with Steve Coats-Dennis. She sounds like a woman who’s finally having her say, with anecdotes about trauma at the hands of record companies as well as her huge success. HV

There’s a podcast for that

A woman standing on rock looking over the waterView image in fullscreen

This week, Charlie Lindlar chooses five of the best podcasts on the single life, from a guide to thriving as a single parent to the thrills of solo travel

A Single Serving
“We just don’t deserve to be miserable or ashamed of our singleness,” says former Refinery29 journalist Shani Silver of her podcast on finding solace in singledom. Silver doesn’t shy from talking about relationships or how to find one (if that’s what you’re after), and the hardships of dating – including an excellent episode with fellow journalist Nancy Jo Sales on the “corporate takeover” of dating and how a whole industry has conspired to make us feel inadequate alone. Silver’s show went behind a paywall in 2022, but whether you subscribe or just check out her archive, her lessons are universal and timeless.

The Widow Podcast
Losing a loved one is a unique form of singleness, but nonetheless one that deserves its own space for stigma-free discussion. In this podcast, “widow coach” Karen Sutton offers affirmations and advice to make the best of things after the worst happens. She fearlessly confronts grief’s impact on the body, how Covid brought a new form of loss to millions, and so much more – never wavering from her belief that we must “lean into” our grief and accept it as a fact of life, rather than denying its impact on our wellbeing.

The Single Mom Podcast
Heather Wells, a single parent of three, knows it’s a lot to raise a family on your own. In this podcast she shares advice and support with a dash of humour to help navigate solo and co-parenting. Crucially, Wells deals not only with how to look after your kids but also everything else that becomes harder as a single parent: succeeding at work, maintaining friendships and finding time for hobbies and exercise. Wells also refuses to shy away from current affairs, explaining Roe v Wade and the controversial Texas “heartbeat law”, and stridently laying out what they mean for parental rights.

Behavioural economist Peter McGraw is on a mission to “destigmatise single living” in its many forms. In his long-running podcast, McGraw philosophises on almost anything one can do alone, but expands to confront complex issues like family estrangement, ethical non-monogamy and how to build families that exist outside the conventional nuclear structure. More of a cerebral show about the meaning of our bonds with others than a practical advice podcast, Solo has plenty of wisdom to offer those who commit to listening.

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A Girl’s Guide to Travelling Alone
One of the more unspoken aspects of single life, Gemma Thompson and guests tackle the joys and trials of solo globetrotting in this practical podcast. Single life experts such as Alonement author Francesca Specter and photographer Suchitra Vijayan (who travelled alone for seven years capturing India’s borders), weigh in with motivating stories of going for it and living your dreams. Standout episodes include chef Rachel Khoo on how to eat well alone and writer Nanjala Nyabola on the care she takes as a black woman travelling alone – it’s a revealing conversation about privilege, caution and refusing to be limited.

Why not try …

  • A deep dive into the (surprisingly widespread) world of people faking Indigenous ancestry in Pretendians.

  • Crooked’s Killing Justice delves into shadowy goings-on in Indian politics.

  • From Sudan to Mexico, journalists tell their stories of risking everything for their reporting in Silenced.

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Source: theguardian.com