9 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 August…

Pieces Of Britney

Just because she’s hung up her headphones with long-time collaborator and fellow writer Dolly Alderton doesn’t mean Pandora Sykes is done with podcasts. In this eight-part series for BBC Radio 4, Pandora traces Britney Spears’ incredible life: from her childhood in rural Louisiana, to her coronation as the inaugural pop princess of the internet, navigating an insatiable celebrity gossip complex; through to a young mother on trial by the paparazzi. Britney’s public struggles saw her placed in a conservatorship, in which she lost the right to control her finances and day-to-day life. Thirteen years later, and she is in court, pleading for this controversial legal arrangement to end. Now, in this sympathetic portrayal, Pandora looks at the cultural reappraisal taking place about how we treat women – famous, or otherwise. 

Episode Highlight: #FreeBritney

The climactic finale of the series, Pandora explores the fascinating movement to liberate Britney from her conservatorship – which has mainly been driven by some of her most devoted fans – and considers the future of fame, as well as that of the pop princess herself.

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Olympic Channel Podcast

This year’s Games are being held in Tokyo, which means there’s a considerable time difference between live events and the UK finding out how Team GB has fared. To get the inside track on all the latest goings-on, including the upcoming events to look forward to, subscribe to this handy podcast which – in bursts of around 15 minutes per episode – will keep you fully up to date.

Episode Highlight: Simone Biles Withdraws

Arguably one of the defining moments of the Games so far, scroll back a couple of episodes to hear reporter and gymnastics expert Scott Bregman share his reaction to Simone Biles’ decision to pull out of the team and all-around individual gymnastics finals. Plus, GB super heavyweight boxer Frazer Clarke talks about surviving a knife attack in 2016.

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Edith!

Rosamund Pike stars as Edith Wilson in this scripted comedy podcast exploring the untold, true-ish story of America's secret first female president. After President Woodrow Wilson suffered a massive, paralyzing stroke in the White House, Edith Wilson did the unthinkable: she told no one. And for almost a year following the end of World War I, she acted as the de facto, unelected president. She would sign documents as him. She would fire people as him. She would even cause international incidents as him. And all along the way, enemies both internal and external, inched closer to finding out her secret. 

Episode Highlight: Welcome To The Dollhouse

Unbeknown to the public, America has a new president – Edith Wilson’s husband Woodrow is dead, but she’s decided to keep it a secret. In the second instalment of this laugh-out-loud series, an international incident threatens to plunge the country back into war before Edith can even veto her first bill.

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A Life More Wild

New from luxury glamping company Canopy & Stars, think of this podcast as a series of wild walks with a range of interesting people, designed to transport you to the great outdoors and help listeners connect with nature. Series one includes episodes on the beach with River Cottage chef and forager Gill Meller, a look at diversity with activist Mya-Rose Craig and a very special walk around Richmond Park with Dr Alex George.

Episode Highlight: Coastal Foraging & Loch-Side Cuisine – Gill Meller & Monachlye Mhor

We’re big fans of chef and forager Gill Meller, so it should come as no surprise to hear the second episode in this charming series is our favourite so far. Gill grazes as he walks through the woods with presenter Christopher Wilson-Elmes, before cooking up sea kale on the beach. Chris also talks to Tom, the unstoppable force behind Monachyle Mhor about his beautiful loch-side home, his approach to food and how nature's calming effect helped him break his phone throwing habit.

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Conversations With Annalisa Barbieri

Ever wanted a deeper insight into human behaviour? If the answer’s yes, this is the podcast for you. Listen to agony aunt and journalist Annalisa Barbieri as she hosts exclusive conversations between her and the trusted specialists she’s consulted over the years – many of whom put a lifetime’s learning into each episode. Every week you can learn more about yourself and the people around you, with topics including: being a better listener, knowing when your relationship is over and why teenagers think you’re always having a go at them.

Episode Highlight: Is Your Relationship Worth Saving With Psychotherapist John-Paul Davies

We're always told relationships require constant effort and work, but how do you know when yours is over or just needs a bit more working at? In this episode Annalisa looks at how a good relationship should make you feel, the signs it may be beyond repair and how to better communicate your needs with the help of psychotherapist John Paul Davies.

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The Great Women Artists

Created off the back of the popular @TheGreatWomenArtists Instagram account, this podcast is all about celebrating women artists. Presented by art historian and curator, Katy Hessel, tune in as she interviews artists about their career and chats to curators, writers and general art lovers on the female artist who means the most to them.

Episode Highlight: Ali Smith on Barbara Hepworth, Pauline Boty, Tacita Dean & Lorenza Mazzetti

Fans of author Ali Smith will be delighted to hear her chat through some of her favourite women artists, all set in the context of Smith’s recently completed Seasonal Quartet novels. Written in the space of four years, between 2016-2020, these books track and are witness to some of the most unprecedented and extraordinary events in living history. Beginning with Autumn, known as the first-Brexit novel, the final book in the series, Summer, was written in the midst of the Coronavirus pandemic. 

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I’ve Been Thinking

Best-selling author, music historian and thinker Peter Frankopan has a new project. In his new podcast series, he talks to experts, academics and thinkers about current affairs and cutting-edge research that doesn’t get the coverage it deserves in the mainstream media. From what it’s really like to be prime minister to whether artists should have more control over their music on Spotify, there’s an episode to suit every interest.

Episode Highlight: Will Page on Economics at Spotify, Artists Controlling Their Product & How Dolly Parton Became A Fan

Former chief economist at Spotify Will Page is Peter's guest on the sixth episode. In it, Peter and Will discuss Will’s book, Tarzan Economics, and the examples which show how economics impacts music and everything else in our wider culture. Will reveals how streaming is changing the way music is written, how a high-street chain we're all familiar with broke a hit record and why other older media streams should look at the music industry for clues as to how best adapt to the changing technological landscape around us.

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The Diedre O’Kane Podcast

In this new podcast, host Deirdre O'Kane is in the company of two of her finest and funniest friends, Sarah-Jane Drummey and Eva Birthistle from their homes in Dublin, London and Madrid. Together they are actors, filmmakers, comedians, mothers, wives, daughters, troublemakers and sisters (in every sense of the word) – so join in the fun as they share some of their good, bad and downright embarrassing revelations. Fans of Fortunately… with Fi and Jane will love this.

Episode Highlight: Regardez Les Blanches

Anyone missing the often-funny stories that go hand in hand with travel, this is the episode for you. Between exotic film locations and nomadic lifestyles, the trio have been around the world and back – and recount some of their favourite travel highlights in this week's instalment.

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The Kindness Economy

Finally, the latest series of Mary Portas’ popular podcast is back for a new series. Exploring the new values driving businesses and the fundamental role they play in our lives, each episode sees Mary talk best practice with inspiring business leaders as they explore this exciting new value system. Think people, planet, profit – in that order.

Episode Highlight: How Food Can Build A Better Future With Rosie Brown, Co-Founder of Cook

It has to be said – the first episode of the new series is one of the best yet. Frozen food brand Cook is a true family business. Co-founder Edward Perry was inspired by his parents’ frozen cake company to set up Cook before being joined by brother James and sister Rosie, who’s now co-CEO. Since its inception, Cook has donated 2m meals to children living in some of the most poverty-stricken areas of the world and gave away more than 200,000 meals during the pandemic. But the company has faced some tough times financially, too, and Rosie tells Mary about how vital it was to stick their core values during them.

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