Top podcasts this week: A retrospective on The X Factor’s 20th anniversary, highlighting the rising stars and notorious failures.
Top picks of the week
Queer the Music
New episodes are released on a weekly basis and are easily accessible.
Jake Shears hosts a captivating podcast featuring LGBTQ+ hits. The debut episode delves into the history of You Make Me Feel (Mighty Real), a disco anthem, with insights from those close to the artist Sylvester. Shears is a welcoming and attentive host, joined by Self Esteem from Cabaret to discuss queerness and live performances. The lineup of guests for upcoming episodes, including Olly Alexander, Peaches, and King Princess, promises to be impressive. Written by Hannah Verdier
Behind the Scenes: An Inside Look at The X Factor
All episodes of BBC Sounds are now available.
The heady days of early reality TV are always rich pickings, and as the 20th anniversary of The X Factor dawns, Chi Chi Izundu examines it through a distinctly 2024 lens. There’s solid access to show insiders and contestants who reveal the price they paid for a shot at fame – and, in some cases, how it was worth that risk. HV
Can you explain why you dislike me?
Episodes of BBC Sounds are released on a weekly basis.
Marianna Spring, the disinformation and social media correspondent for the BBC, often faces attacks from trolls, but she remains a courageous journalist who isn’t afraid to engage with them. In her most recent podcast, she interviews conspiracy theorists, impostors, and football trolls, providing an intriguing glimpse into their thought processes. She also speaks with individuals who have been negatively impacted by these online instigators. HVQs
Episodes are released weekly and are easily accessible.
When Baltimore Ravens linebacker Ray Lewis (pictured above centre) and his entourage got into an altercation outside an Atlanta club after the 2000 Super Bowl, two men were stabbed to death. Although Lewis walked free after a double murder trial, questions still remain. Tim Livingston investigates what really happened – and asks who killed Richard Lollar and Jacinth Baker. HV
Tom Dean Medal Machine
Episodes are released weekly and are easily accessible.
23-year-old Tom Dean, a successful swimmer from Team GB, is aiming to achieve an impressive feat of winning five gold medals at the Paris Olympics this year. To document his journey, he has created a podcast where he will have conversations with accomplished athletes such as Jessica Ennis-Hill and Jordan Stephens for advice and motivation.
There is a podcast available for that topic.
This week, Rachel Aroesti picks her top five podcasts covering interior design, including a DIY decoration guide and an insightful exploration of renovation challenges.
The Great Indoors
The top interiors blog on the web is Mad About The House, where journalist Kate Watson-Smyth delves into the decoration of stunning rooms, the designs of houses currently for sale, and her own aesthetic decisions. In this lively yet highly informative podcast, she joins forces with Sophie Robinson, formerly the in-house designer on 60 Minute Makeover, to examine emerging trends and products, offer guidance, and chat with key figures in the field, including Joa Studholme, color curator for Farrow & Ball, and Henry Holland, who recently traded the runway for pottery.
Matt Gibberd, co-founder of The Modern House and Inigo, has successfully made estate agency desirable and trendy. In his podcast, he interviews notable guests about their life stories through the homes they have lived in. This includes their current highly sought-after residences such as chef Ruth Rogers’ spacious Chelsea home designed by her late husband Richard, and Mary Portas’ London townhouse located on Paddington Bear’s street.
How do you do it?
If you enjoy scrolling through interior design posts on Instagram, you may be familiar with Laura Jackson. She used to be a TV presenter but now she runs an online store called Glassette that sells home decor. Over the past few years, she has shared the amazing transformation of her home in east London with her followers. In her podcast, she offers advice to those who are new to renovating their homes. Each episode focuses on a specific problem such as how to choose wallpaper, design a kitchen, pick a color scheme, or decorate a rental property. Jackson brings on two experts to provide detailed and practical insights into the issue being discussed.
Dear Alice, an interior design consultancy in Utah, may not seem like a main source of renovation advice. However, it is a valuable resource. The show is hosted by Jessica Bennett, the founder of Alice Lane, and her colleague Suzanne Hall. It offers a soothing and wholesome approach to solving decorating dilemmas. Some key tips include avoiding trendy designs and instead embracing your childhood interior dreams. The show also emphasizes the use of authentic materials and avoiding imitations like wood-effect tiles.
Are you interested in hearing about beautiful houses with a dark and eerie past? You’re not alone. This series, hosted by journalists Hadley Mendelsohn and Alyssa Fiorentino, who both work for the US interiors magazine House Beautiful, combines virtual tours of well-known American properties with retellings of the horrifying events that took place there. Learn about the underground tunnels that have been transformed into a recreational space beneath the haunted St. Louis mansion once owned by the unfortunate Lemp family, the decaying splendor of the notorious Grey Gardens, and the bone-chilling tale of the colonial farmhouse in Rhode Island that served as inspiration for the film The Conjuring.
To get ideas for decorating your home, subscribe to House to Home, the Guardian’s eight-week newsletter. It is full of advice on how to liven up your living space, regardless of your budget.
Why not try …
In the year 2019, performer Sean Hayden experienced a collapse during a stage performance as a result of a panic attack, leading him to address his mental health struggle: an expedition he documents in Stage Combat: A Mental Health Story.
The book Reign of Error explores James Dolan’s troubled tenure as owner of one of the most beloved sports teams in the world, the New York Knicks.
A theory is circulating in Scotland that suggests a group of homosexual judges is putting the justice system at risk. A lawyer with a hidden past asserts to have a document containing the real information in “Shiny Bob: The Devil’s Advocate.”
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