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 are some of our favourite podcasts to listen to in May.
By Harriet Russell /

Floodlight

A product of The Anti-Slavery Collective, which looks to raise awareness of modern slavery and explore how we can all help rid the world of this global epidemic, this podcast sees the charity's co-founders, HRH Princess Eugenie and Julia de Boinville, sit down with guests from all walks of life who are helping to combat modern slavery in a variety of ways. From lawmakers and company leaders to famous activists, survivors and journalists, Floodlight proves just how prominent modern-day slavery still is and that we can all do something about it.

Episode Highlight: Caroline Haughey OBE QC

Hot off the press, there’s only a single episode of this podcast out so far – but it’s a good one. In it, Princess Eugenie sits down with Caroline Haughey OBE QC, a renowned barrister who helped draft the Modern Slavery Act. She also led the prosecution for Operation Fort, the largest case of modern slavery ever tried in the UK. She explains the details of the case, the struggle bringing the perpetrators to justice, and how you can spot signs of modern slavery in your own life.

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The Woman Who…

To mark its 140th anniversary, Fenwick has launched a ten-part podcast series with narrator and actor Zawe Ashton. Diving into the lives of some of Britain’s most inspirational female trailblazers, she attempts to uncover the tales of the true pioneers of music, literature, performing arts and fashion. These women have defied convention, broken boundaries and pushed the outer limits of what is possible. With a new instalment every Thursday, each ten-minute episode (great for those who are time poor) will focus on a British woman who lived during the last 140 years.

Episode Highlight: Michaela Coel - The Woman Who…Knows her Worth

Award-winning screenwriter, actor, producer, singer, Michaela Coel is a creative force to be reckoned with. Known for her genre-shattering TV series I May Destroy You she’s also a distinctive voice who has made audiences on both sides of the pond sit up and take notice of issues surrounding consent, race and womanhood. In this episode, listeners can find out how a shy young girl from East London made history as the first black woman to win an Emmy Award for Outstanding Writing for a Limited Series and who turned down a million-dollar deal so she could hang onto her creative control.

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Blended

Hosted by Kate Ferdinand, this podcast is a celebration of blended families and explores the stories of relationships bound by love, no matter their circumstances. Covering subjects such as second marriages, divorce, grief, adoption, fostering and stepmothers, Kate aims to use the show to champion different voices and experiences by speaking with experts, everyday people and celebrities in the public eye.

Episode Highlight: Not So Wicked Stepmothers with Kim and Amelia

Stepmothers have an unfairly bad reputation, but the reality is it takes a strong person to be a good step-parent – and it isn't always easy. In this episode, stepmother-daughter-duo Kim and Amelia talk openly about the realities of becoming a blended family 19 years ago. Amelia opens up about the anger she felt in the earlier days and Kim talks about the struggles with grief on all sides of the family. A warm, and often funny episode, it shows there is light at the end of the tunnel and love really is all around.

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Run Bambi Run

Based on the bestselling book, this podcast follows the story of Laurie Bembenek – a Milwaukee police officer and Playboy Club bunny who was arrested for the murder of her husband’s ex-wife. A crime she insisted she did not commit, she was nicknamed ‘Bambi Bembenek’ and became a tabloid fixation. After she escaped from prison, she became an American folk hero, although she was never exonerated. Here, journalist Vanessa Grigoriadis takes a fresh look at the case Diane Sawyer once called the “most glamorous murder case of the 1980s”.

Episode Highlight: Ramsey Avenue

Like most true-crime podcasts, it’s always best to start at the beginning. In this episode, the shocking murder of Christine Schultz, a mother of two, leads police to focus on a small circle of suspects – including Laurie. But it’s her refusal to take a polygraph test that turns out to be a critical misstep…

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28ish Days Later

These days, the conversation around female health has come on leaps and bounds – and yet, parts of the female anatomy remain full of mystery, even to women. This 28-part podcast aims to demystify the menstrual cycle, as BBC journalist India Rakusen explores the whole story, discovering a range of never-heard-before facts that could change the way you look at your period – and your life. Even better, episodes rarely exceed the 15-minute mark, so you can digest the information in easy soundbites.

Episode Highlight: Day Seventeen: PMS

If there’s one thing almost every woman has experienced, it’s PMS. And yet, while the cause is common, the symptoms are usually far from it. In this episode, India and Dr Anita Mitra discuss the causes and symptoms of PMS, while Maisie Hill offers up her advice for dealing with both. Listeners will also hear from two women who live with Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder (PMDD) and explore the reality of the condition.

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Behind The Sun

In Behind the Sun, Nadia, a young Syrian woman in the diaspora, struggles to come to terms with what the world knows about what’s happening in her country. She speaks with Riyad – her father's friend – whom she first met in the strangest of circumstances. Riyad tells Nadia more about his extraordinary story and what happens to those who, like him, have disappeared 'behind the sun' in Syria. As part of the six-episode series, listeners will also hear from others who are still living amid the ongoing horrors that more than 100,000 detainees in Syria and their families continue to face.

Episode Highlight: Unsafe Haven

In this first instalment, Nadia and Riyad explore the true meaning of safety and justice in Syria. He tells her the story of his disappearance in Syria for 21 years and how he formed a close friendship while behind the walls of the infamous prison Sednaya. We recommend you stay tuned for episode three, too, when Nadia explores how the 2011 revolution changed Riyad living conditions inside Sednaya. 

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Nearlyweds

Getting married? Planning to? Find yourself in a whirlwind of wedmin and anxiety? Even if you’re not a bride-to-be and just fancy a laugh, NearlyWeds with Jamie Laing and Sophie Habboo follows their own (hilarious) journey to the altar. From venues to vows, rings to the reception, they discuss every element of getting married as they plan their special day.

Episode Highlight: Venues

Sadly, there are only four episodes of this new show out so far, but we can’t wait for more – especially if the latest instalment is any indication. In ‘Venues’, Jamie and Sophie go to Seville to look for potential places they might like to get marries and things, shall we say, don’t quite go to plan. Plus, there’s more intimate secrets revealed in “Reverse Mr and Mrs” as Jamie and Sophie answer some messages from the listeners.

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Tiffany Dover Is Dead

Back in December 2020, a nurse named Tiffany Dover fainted on camera while talking to reporters after getting her first Covid-19 vaccination. She got right back up and gave another interview, but it was too late. A conspiracy theory was already racing around the world: Dover had died and been replaced by a body double. And an ever-expanding list of conspirators was in on the cover-up, including the drug companies, the hospital, the media, and maybe even the Pope. Tiffany Dover is alive and well, but she’s stayed silent through it all. And now her story has been hijacked by total strangers trying to make people doubt the safety of the vaccine. In this series, NBC News reporter Brandy Zadrozny sets out to show what’s true and what isn’t.

Episode Highlight: Who Does That?

Tiffany Dover’s already fainted on camera, and theories about her fate are already running rampant. As the misinformation spreads, it turns out Tiffany isn’t the only victim. In this episode, Brandy tracks down a blogger who spreads falsehoods about the Covid-19 vaccination to find out why. A fascinating listen.

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The Rethinkers

This new podcast is all about challenging societies norms and getting a fresh perspective on life. In each episode, host Katrina Ridley is joined by a different specialist, author or environmentalist to look at a different aspect of life or society from a new angle. Whether that's rethinking happiness or our use of plastics, this show proves it’s only by exploring all of life's alternatives that you can truly make the right decisions for your everyday life.

Episode Highlight: Rethinking Fashion

In this episode, Katrina’s joined by freelance journalist Lauren Bravo who writes about fashion, popular culture, food, travel and feminism, to chat about her personal story of breaking up with fast fashion and changing the way she shops. They also discuss her book How To Break Up With Fast Fashion, as Lauren shares some of the main takeaways and tips everyone can put in to action today to help the planet and our wardrobes.

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Where’s My Jetpack?

Back in the 1980s, TV and films promised us everything from jetpacks to flying cars and holidays in space – so why isn’t it a reality yet? Every week, space journalist and author Sarah Cruddas and broadcaster Luke Moore look into a different piece of retro-futuristic technology that never was, to find out if these brilliant inventions are still just science fiction or, by looking in the right places, may be just around the corner.

Episode Highlight: Where's My... Mars Visit?

Visiting Mars has always seemed just of our reach – but how far away is humans’ first visit, really? In this episode, Sarah and Luke try to answer one of science's longstanding questions as they look into the financial and psychological cost of reaching the Red Planet, especially in the age of Elon Musk and Jeff Bezos. Decades of expertise comes courtesy of Dr Andy Aldrin, Dr Tanya Harrison and Dr Robert Zubrin.

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