10 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 in October...

River Cafe Table 4

For more than 30 years, The River Cafe in London has played host to artists, designers, actors, writers and politicians. Michael Caine, Glenn Close, JJ Abrams, Steve McQueen and Lily Allen are just some of the regulars. On River Cafe Table 4, proprietor Ruth Rogers sits down with her customers – many of whom have become friends – to talk about their food memories. From family suppers to first dates, what they cook to the restaurants they love, each episode is punctuated by guests such as Ralph Fiennes, Emily Blunt and Alfonso Cuarón reading their favourite recipe from one of The River Cafe’s best-selling cookbooks.

Episode Highlight: Victoria Beckham

For anyone wondering, Table 4 itself is situated near The River Cafe’s open kitchen, close to the bright pink wood-fired oven where Ruth oversees the restaurant. On this episode, she hosts fashion designer and entrepreneur Victoria Beckham, who reveals the secret use of her mother’s oven, what the Spice Girls ate on tour, and her first taste of Cristal champagne after signing a record deal. 

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4D With Demi Lovato

This new weekly podcast series hosted by actress and activist Demi Lovato sees her hold a range of conversations with some special guests. Covering topics like identity, creativity, activism, philanthropy and more, Demi shares insightful chats with high-profile women like Drew Barrymore, Chelsea Handler and Jane Fonda. Each episode ranges from 20 minutes to close to an hour in length, so there’s plenty to dip in and out of.

Episode Highlight: Hailey Bieber

Hailey fans – this one’s for you. The model and wife of Justin Bieber sits down with Demi to chat all things business and love. The two also recount a personal memory from the Met Gala, before Hailey shares more details on her next beauty venture and the art of blending your life with your partner to ensure a healthy, successful relationship.

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American Vigilante

American Vigilante follows the story of KC – someone with either an extraordinary life or an overactive imagination. He says he rescues kidnapped children, hunts down missing people and goes head-to-head with the Mexican mafia – he even goes as far as to call himself “a monster hunter”. Over the past few months, he’s spoken to ex-BBC presenter Sam Walker, who’s been recording their conversations. Addictive listening.

Episode Highlight: Episode One

There’s only one episode out so far, but more are in the works, so stay tuned. In the inaugural instalment, KC pulls no punches talking about his deadly work – in fact, the moment when he turns the tables, asking Walker if she’d hire him should one of her own children go missing, is edge-of-your-seat stuff. Paying subscribers can access episodes ahead of general release.

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Witnessed: Borderlands

This podcast follows a charismatic outlaw, a small-town sheriff and the drug bust that entangled them both. Set in the rugged Texas borderlands, host Rob D’Amico takes listeners to US side of the border with Mexico, where so much dirty money swirled across the Rio Grande that even the most incorruptible citizens would be tempted. In the tradition of films like No Country for Old Men and Charles Portis novels, the shows chronicles not just the events of a specific crime, but digs deep into the mystery of one of America’s most notorious regions.

Episode Highlight: A Wild Place

Start at the beginning. It's the 1970s in west Texas, and local bad boy Robert Chambers has always found himself in trouble – be it with women, drugs, rock stars or mountain lions. When cocaine starts flowing across the Mexican border, Robert – unsurprisingly – finds himself involved in the trade. 

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Cancelled

Cancel culture is a hot topic these days. While getting cancelled can often be the consequence of specific actions, it can leave people unsure as to why events play out like they do. This new scripted weekly podcast series from the team at Broccoli Productions (Broccoli Book Club, Human Resources) is designed to catch listeners up on the full story of who, what or where has been cancelled. Not intended to judge or take anything too seriously, some stories have complicated themes to get you thinking, while others will have you laughing out loud. 

Episode Highlight: Alison Roman

May 2020 was a strange time. Lockdown still felt new and there can be little doubt about the role it played in the media storm surrounding food writer and chef Alison Roman, who was questioned and ultimately put on pause. From the arguments around elitism to the role of ‘colonial cuisine’ as well as the right or responsibility of women to support other women publicly, it’s a must-listen for foodies and political curiosos, alike.

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Electric Easy

Sci-fi fans will love this forbidden love story between a runaway android and the human sent to hunt her down. Electric Easy is a musical neo-noir science fiction show set in a futuristic Los Angeles in which humans struggle to co-exist with robots known as ‘Electrics’. The all-star cast includes singers Kesha and Chloe Bailey, and Mason Gooding (Booksmart), to name a few.

Episode Highlight: In The Dark

Given the moving parts in this series, it’s another one best started at the beginning. Divisive new technology, provocative nightlife and brutal gangs which dominate the LA underworld test Lucky, a young and promising member of the ruthless Diamond Dogs gang. Sent on a mission, he heads to the wild Electric Easy club in the hunt for someone – a valuable Electric he’s been sent to track down.

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Incredible Women: The New Guard

We’ve long been fans of NET-A-PORTER’s podcast Incredible Women, so we were thrilled to hear the new season has finally landed. In The New Guard, fashion director Kay Barron speaks to six talented trailblazers. While there are only two episodes available so far (one with pop sensation Charli XCX, the other with model, singer-songwriter and entrepreneur Yumi Nu), both tackle universal subjects, including how to break barriers as a woman, maintain good mental health and tackle change head on.

Episode Highlight: Francesca Hayward and Lauren Cuthbertson

If you get the chance, we recommend making your way through the archive so you don’t miss any hidden gems. The final episode of the first season features principal dancers at the Royal Ballet, Francesca Hayward and Lauren Cuthbertson, reminiscing about the first time they saw each other dance, unforgettable moments on stage and the vastly different ways they rang in the new year, with Frankie performing in The Nutcracker and Lauren welcoming a new baby.

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Smoke Screen

New from the Bureau of Investigative Journalism, Smoke Screen is all about love, bribes, lies and spies in the tobacco industry. Host Victoria Hollingsworth tells the true story of corrupt practices behind the scenes at British American Tobacco (BAT) – one of the UK’s largest companies and a stock market giant. Hear from the very people caught up in the underbelly of the industry in South Africa. With BAT saying its actions were simply to combat the illicit trade in tobacco products, the UK's Serious Fraud Office found there was insufficient evidence for any prosecution. Enthralling.

Episode Highlight: Room 205

The show’s investigation starts in 2013, when an attorney called Belinda Walter is recruited by BAT in London to spy on tobacco smugglers in South Africa. But – spoiler alert – she’s the one who ends up blowing the whistle. Is she who she claims to be? And how exactly did she become involved with a state intelligence agency? Further episodes explore the allegations that BAT used a network of such spies to help damage its rivals.

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Women Vs. Hollywood

Women in Hollywood seem to have it all – they’re rich, successful and beautiful. But even they’re fighting an uphill battle against sexism. The revelations of #MeToo and #TimesUp shook Hollywood to its core, but behind the sexual predation and low pay there’s an entire belief system designed to keep women sidelined in filmmaking: they comprise fewer than 20% of lead characters and only about 10% of directors. This podcast explores how and why the industry got to this place, and how moviemaking can be more representative. 

Episode Highlight: Awards

In this episode, Helen goes behind the scenes of the glamorous world of awards shows like the Oscars and Golden Globes. With the help of Amy Gustin, Tom Salinksy and Jessica Regan, they discuss why female filmmakers are often overlooked at high-profile ceremonies, and how things may (slowly) be changing for the better.

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