11 Podcasts To Listen To This Month

Whether it’s a particularly good episode from a long-running favourite, or a new name causing ripples on the airwaves, here’s a roundup of some of our favourite podcasts to listen to this month...

Books & Rhymes

This popular podcast, which celebrates the joy of reading by putting a musical twist on your favourite books, is back for a second season. Taking you on a musical journey through the works of new and classic authors, the show’s host Sarah Ozo-Irabor invites writers, thinkers, and creatives to pair books that have influenced their art and self-identity with songs that spark the same emotional connection. An extended playlist of songs curated for each episode is available via a link in the show notes, if you ever want to follow up, too. 

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Ditty In A Dash

One for budding songwriters, or anyone interested in how musical composition happens, Ditty In A Dash sees artist, musician and songwriter Frances challenges some of her most creative friends to write a song from scratch in just 15 minutes. Once a fortnight, Frances will invite a special guest into her home studio for a chat about their musical journeys, before setting the timer and getting down to business. With chart-topping, award winning guests lined up, the new series aims to pull back the curtain and reveal a glimpse of the talents of some of the music industry’s biggest songwriters. We’ve bookmarked the episode with Andrew Jackson, who’s written for the likes of Dua Lipa and Rag ‘n’ Bone Man.

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Do You Really Know? 

Perfect for those who want a new podcast to add to their regular list, but not enough hours in the day – in three minutes, Do You Really Know? helps you understand the true meaning behind the trends, concepts and acronyms currently making headlines. Whether it’s leap years, nudge theory or why heatwaves happen, one thing’s for sure – after listening, you will really know once and for all about the topic at hand. Episodes are released every couple of days too, guaranteeing your general knowledge a regular top up.

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How They Made Us Doubt Everything

Released in one big drop at the end of July, this podcast from the BBC examines exactly how doubt is manufactured in our society. The ten-part series explores how powerful interests and sharp PR managers engineered doubt about the connection between smoking and cancer and how similar tactics were later used by some to make us doubt climate change. With the help of once-secret internal memos, presenter Peter Pomerantsev and producer Phoebe Keane take listeners behind boardroom doors where such strategies were drawn up and explore how the narrative changed on one of the most important stories of our time – and how the marketing of doubt has undermined our willingness to believe almost everything. It sounds heavy, but with episodes coming in at under 15 minutes on average, it’s an easy listen for those who find themselves short on time.

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Hungry Minds

Renowned London food destination Fortnum & Mason has launched a podcast, ‘Fortnum’s Hungry Minds’. Dedicated to highlighting extraordinary stories from influential tastemakers and new talent who shape the way that we eat, join host Tom Parker Bowles as he interviews chefs, farmers, suppliers, pioneers and artisans to explore an insatiable love of all things food. Topics explored throughout the series include the power of food, sustainability and how to fuel the next generation of food lovers. The first episode features British farmer and activist Patrick Holden, while future guests include British food writer, journalist, historian and author Bee Wilson and top chef Angela Hartnett.

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Hyper Curious

Get ready to change your perception of what it means to be an 'overnight success'. Aimed at change-makers, explorers and entrepreneurs – or even just those with a curious mind – this new show sees host Beta Lucca bring her upbeat energy, bold attitude and multipotentiality mindset to interview some of our favourite authors, scientists and artists. Listen in as her guests reveal their intriguing U-turns and a-ha moments, and how embracing change - rather than fearing it - has kept them curious and evolving. We loved the episodes with serial beauty entrepreneur Sharmadean Reid and happiness expert Mo Gadwat. 

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Polonium And The Piano Player

New from the Storycast team at Sky, this series offers a searing new insight into one of the world's most notorious assassinations – the poisoning of Alexander Litvinenko back in 2006. An ex-KGB spy, Litvinenko was attacked with one of the deadliest substances known to man: polonium-210. A highly radioactive material made in a nuclear facility, just one gram has the potential to kill millions. At the time, Litvinenko was in the piano bar of the five-star Millennium Hotel in London's Mayfair when two secret agents dropped polonium into his green tea. Although a widely reported incident at the time, what went largely unnoticed was the risk posed to hundreds of members of the public who were exposed to the nuclear poison – none more so than the podcast's central character, Derek Conlon, the resident piano player at the Millennium Hotel.

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Poppy Hillstead Has Entered The Chat

From Poppy Hillstead comes this new six-part podcast, which sees the comedian and animator dive deep into the murky world of internet chatrooms. After talking to real people, Poppy and her mates (including fellow comedians like Kim Noble) then re-enact the conversations for the listeners at home. From hypnosis roleplay to pretending to know about angler fishing techniques, each week Poppy is determined to enter the chat and blend in. Laugh out loud funny – fans of My Dad Wrote A Porno will love this.

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The Bomb

The devastating explosion in Beirut, Lebanon last month drew instant comparisons with the Hiroshima bomb – the largest deliberate atomic detonation on record, which killed hundreds of thousands of people, most of whom were civilians, shortly before the end of the WWII. Now, this new podcast from the BBC World Service explores that harrowing moment in history, prompted by the host’s grandfather’s work on the very equipment used in the blast. Join American writer Emily Strasser as she attempts to answer this crucial, highly personal question: could another man – Leo Szilard – have stopped it? Looking at the broader implications about what humanity unleashed by dropping the bomb, all episodes are under 30 minutes. 

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The Harrowing

A once-in-a-century storm hits the remote Scottish Island of Toll Mòr. As the isolated community take shelter, a barbaric crime sets off a chain of events which heralds the rise of an ancient evil and threatens to change the course of history. Starring Golden Globe winner Joanne Froggatt (Downton Abbey) as Police Sergeant Jackie O'Hara, this eight-part supernatural crime thriller is the creation by celebrated writer and director Mark Healy. Produced by Storyglass, we promise this will be the show everyone’s talking about when you finally get back to the office.

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What’s Missing

This new podcast explores the wide-reaching, devastating impacts on communities and families when someone disappears without a trace – whether a parent, a child or simply an acquaintance. Hosted by Loren O’Keeffe, the founder and chief executive of the Missing Persons Advocacy Network (MPAN), the series features interviews with family members and loved ones of missing persons in Australia, going beyond the headlines to provide a deep, unflinching insight into their searches and struggles. Compelling, and emotional at times. 

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