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Top podcasts this week: The people who fancy themselves detectives and think Avril Lavigne was switched out with a fake.
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Top podcasts this week: The people who fancy themselves detectives and think Avril Lavigne was switched out with a fake.

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Schedule of Events for the Current Week

Who Replaced Avril Lavigne?

New episodes of BBC Sounds are available on a weekly basis.

“I am aware of your thoughts – it’s certain that she is deceased.” Joanne McNally, a clever comedian, has developed a fixation on the internet’s far-fetched 10-year conspiracy theory that Avril Lavigne was substituted by a look-alike due to her alleged death or retirement. As a result, McNally has organized an inquiry from the residence of her “supposed” partner and has even taken on the persona of popular journalist, Stacey Dooley. Surprisingly, McNally is not even a fan of Lavigne, making her determination all the more comical.

Famously Infamous: The Notorious George Michael

Released on a frequent basis, available to the general public on a weekly schedule.

This trilogy, featuring the energetic pair Emily Lloyd-Saini and Anna Leong Brophy as hosts, explores the life of George Michael from the perspective of those who were born after his time in the duo Wham! It provides insight for those who may have forgotten the challenges he faced during the peak of his fame in the 1980s. A special episode includes Russell Tovey discussing Michael’s impact and lasting influence. Hannah Verdier

Berlin election workers during anthrax alarm in Germany, 2001.View image in fullscreen

“Where to Live as a Woman”

Episodes are released on a weekly basis on BBC Sounds.
How and where can women live their best lives? Scaachi Koul and Sophia Smith Galer talk to women around the world about body image, parental leave and friendship to find out who gets the best deal. In a time when wellness is marketed as something that can be bought, they get to the heart of what women need. HV

The Sports Agents

Episodes are readily accessible and released on Tuesdays and Thursdays.
Gabby Logan and Mark Chapman are your hosts for this new behind-the-scenes sporting podcast from the same stable as The News Agents. As familiar voices in the arena, these two have seen their fair share of Euros, Wimbledons and Olympics so they promise to bring big-name guests and analysis to the packed sporting calendar. HV

Title: Concealing the Danger of Anthrax
Widely available, episodes weekly

How would you react knowing that simply opening a package could potentially result in death? After the tragic events of 9/11, this became a harsh reality as letters containing anthrax were being delivered to the offices of journalists and politicians. Josh Dean, who resided in New York during this time, delves into the seven-year-long investigation of finding the perpetrator.

There’s a podcast available for that topic.

Cariad Lloyd and Sara Pascoe.

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This week, Rachel Areosti chooses five of the best podcasts on books, from Cariad Lloyd and Sara Pascoe’s book club for “weirdos” to Pandora Sykes’ exploration of old classics

A Good Read
Each installment of Radio 4’s long-standing program assesses three literary works: two suggested by the celebrity panelists of the episode, and one by the well-informed and authoritative host, Harriett Gilbert. The show’s appeal lies in the diverse backgrounds of its guests, ranging from writers and comedians to chefs and doctors, and their recommendations reflect this variety. For example, Alan Titchmarsh selects PG Wodehouse’s Summer Lightning, while musician Lauren Mayberry opts for Yōko Ogawa’s The Memory Police, and explorer Ella Al-Shamahi suggests Prison Time in Sana’a by Abdulkader Al-Guneid. The reviews can be brutal, the defenses fierce, and the discussions lively. If other podcasts on book reviews leave you unsure and overwhelmed with conflicting opinions, this one is the perfect fit for you.

Weirdos Book Club

The origin stories of this book podcast are unparalleled, starring comedians Sara Pascoe and Cariad Lloyd who first crossed paths while studying English at Sussex University in the late 90s. Now, they are reviving their literary discussions from their university days through a new medium that did not yet exist during their time there. Aptly named Weirdo Book Club after Pascoe’s debut novel, the duo chats about both classic and modern titles with each other, friends, and on occasion, the authors themselves. Notable guests include Nish Kumar discussing Sheena Patel’s I’m A Fan, Monica Heisey sharing about her hilarious divorce comedy Really Good, Actually, and our hosts delving into Iris Murdoch’s Under The Net. While the guests are impressive, it is Pascoe and Lloyd who bring the unique selling points – with witty humor, seamless delivery, and an authentic casual vibe that comes from years of friendship.

Book Chat

Pandora Sykes and Bobby Palmer, two journalists, host a literary discussion show with a specific rule: the books being discussed must be at least two years old. This means no overhyped debut novels or trendy thrillers. Instead, the duo focuses on older, well-known books such as Zadie Smith’s White Teeth and Armistead Maupin’s Tales of The City, as well as lesser-known titles like Sarah Winman’s Tin Man and Meena Kandasamy’s When I Hit You. This approach creates a tranquil break from the frenzy of constantly chasing the next big thing.

The LRB Podcast

The London Review of Books contains thought-provoking essays and critiques that are intellectually stimulating and not overly conservative. This podcast series, hosted by Thomas Jones and Malin Hay, brings the magazine to life through discussions with its writers about their recent writings on literature. The focus is typically on nonfiction and the topics cover a wide range, including Amia Srinivasan’s insights on octopuses, Rosemary Hill’s perspective on Mount Vesuvius, Tom Crewe’s take on wrestling, Deborah Friedell’s analysis of J Edgar Hoover, and Jonathan Coe’s exploration of British humor. While the subject matter may seem eclectic, each episode leaves the listener with a newfound knowledge and understanding.

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You’re Booked
Reading, by its very nature, is a solitary activity, and the books we consume turn into lifelong companions nobody else can see. This podcast from journalist and novelist Daisy Buchanan goes some way to capturing the intimacy of our relationship with literature: each week Buchanan is joined by an author guest to peruse the bookshelves of their imagination, discovering the tomes that obsessed them as children and teenagers (for Naomi Klein it was Oriana Fallaci’s Interview with History), the novels they never got on with (Andrew Hunter Murray can’t stand The Mitfords) and the books that set them on the path to professional writing (Susie Dent was turned on to dictionaries by Our Mutual Friend).

Why not try …

  • Can you manage to do well and flourish if you were transported to the past? Would you create electricity during ancient Rome, or maybe instruct Napoleon on rock’n’roll? Discover the answer in Pastmaster.

  • Come along with Alisha Wainwright, a former botanist turned actress, in When Science Finds A Way as she encounters innovative scientists and researchers who are making a difference in the world.

  • Soulbare Sessions – Where Is Momma? delves deep into the remarkable life of an individual, providing a space for them to openly discuss overcoming difficult beginnings.

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Source: theguardian.com