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 June.

The Bipolar Diaries

Anastasia McLean went to countless physiatrists and doctors before she was diagnosed with bipolar II back in 2014. During her time at university, she experienced several manic episodes and finally managed to get help after one expert recognised the symptoms. Now, Anastasia wants to destigmatise conversations around bipolar and mental health illnesses through first-hand experiences and stories. Each episode tackles a different subject, such as taking medication, dating with bipolar, dealing with down days in the workplace, and keeping on top of spending habits. Anastasia uses wit and anecdotes to talk about her diagnosis and mental health with sensitivity. An important listen for all. 

Episode Highlight: Bipolar & Boyfriends

Anastasia talks about dating with a mental illness and what she’s learnt along the way. She happened to have a boyfriend at each major part of her bipolar journey – through pre-diagnosis, during diagnosis and post-diagnosis. Here, she shares what each one taught her and how it’s shaped her relationships today. 

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Unreal: A Critical History of Reality TV

Journalists Pandora Sykes and Sirin Kale present this ten-part documentary about the history of reality TV. They’ve both been fans of the genre since they first watched Big Brother as pre-teens and have spent a fair amount of time defending it when people dismiss its importance in our wider culture. That said, they’ve also been troubled by what they've seen in the genre: the exploitation, the lack of aftercare and the impact of sudden fame. In each episode, they interview the creators, producers and stars of some of the most iconic reality shows from the past two decades, including The Only Way is Essex, Love Island, Keeping Up With the Kardashians and Pop Idol.

Episode Highlight: Laguna Beach & The Hills

When Laguna Beach first landed on our screens back in 2004, few predicted that a reality show following the lives of ‘socialite’ teenagers in California would turn into a global phenomenon. Its spin-off show The Hills was even more successful, turning Lauren Conrad, Audrina Patridge and Heidi Montag into household names. They became reality TV’s first wave of influencers, known for their noughties outfits and scandalous antics on and off screen. In this episode, Pandora and Sirin ask Spencer Pratt and Heidi Montag how they’ve coped with fame.


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Dish

DJ Nick Grimshaw and Michelin-star chef Angela Hartnett talk food, drink and entertaining in this new series. In each episode, they’re joined by some of their favourite dinner party guests including the stars of TV show Ted Lasso, Strictly Come Dancing Champion Giovanni Pernice, comedian Sindhu Vee and TV presenter James May. They also chat about life and work, and share tips on making delicious meals at home. 

Episode Highlight: Ted Lasso’s Hannah Waddingham, Phil Dunster & A Sea Bass

Angela and Nick are joined by Hannah Waddingham and Phil Dunster from the seven-time Emmy-winning comedy Ted Lasso. Hannah and Phil star as club owner Rebecca Welton and footballer Jamie Tartt in Apple’s hit series, alongside Jason Sudeikis as the American college football coach hired to train a British Premier League team. Over seabass and drinks, the table chat ranges from Hannah and Angela’s obsessions with each other to the secret ingredient of ragout. 

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Betrayal

Six years ago, Spencer Herron was a popular high school teacher in Acworth, Georgia. He’d won a teacher of the year award and was known as “a nice guy who’d do anything for you” within his local community. That all changed in 2018 when his wife, Jennifer, was served with a search warrant for the home they shared together. Spencer had been arrested for sexually assaulting one of his 16-year-old students. Jennifer thought she’d married the perfect man, but when he was convicted and charged, it revealed a series of devasting truths she never could have imagined. In this new series, Jennifer tells the story in her own words.  

Episode Highlight: Damages

A school graduate explains how Spencer manipulated teenagers around him and normalised inappropriate communication. Then, the sexual assault victim’s lawyer addresses the case against the school district in Georgia. He reveals how after-school clubs and the failure to follow specific protocols created an environment for a sexual predator to operate at school.

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The Beauty Voice of Reason

This new podcast takes listeners behind the scenes of the skincare industry. Hosted by Ksenia Selivanova and Megan Felton (founders of virtual skincare consultancy Lionne), each episode is full of practical, digestible advice you can actually use: like where to start with chemical exfoliants, how to be a conscious consumer, what to know about Botox, and why your scalp needs a skincare routine too. Expect myth-busting info from skincare experts and honest product reviews. 

Episode Highlight: How to Perfect Your Brows

Ksenia and Megan talk all things eyebrows with Blink Brow Bar founder Vanita Parti. Having the right eyebrow shape can frame your face and elevate your make-up, but that’s easier said than done. Whether you have sparse or unruly brows, this episode has tips for everyone. Vanita also shares three brow products everyone needs in their make-up bag and questions if skinny brows are really making a comeback. 

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Gay Pride & Prejudice

A timely release for Pride Month, this fictional series is a modern interpretation of Jane Austen’s classic. Bennet, a 30-something, non-committal gay man struggles to find belonging when his chosen family suddenly begins coupling up and settling down. Set in the early noughties, the series starts with a celebration after Massachusetts legalises gay marriage for the first time. What follows is a story of romance with one man searching for his prince charming in gay clubs and making all the right – and wrong – moves along the way. Stars Jesse Tyler Ferguson (Modern Family). 

Episode Highlight: Colin

Bennet grows closer to his love interest Darcy, an ultra-confident man who’s looking for someone to take control in his life. After a slightly awkward meeting, things take a steamy turn.

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Slow Burn

Season seven of Slow Burn explores the history of abortion in America. During the 70s, Roe vs Wade came into effect – a landmark decision by the US Supreme Court which protected a pregnant woman's liberty to choose to have an abortion without excessive government restriction. Last month, nearly 50 years later, the Supreme Court announced plans to revoke that ruling. Podcast host Susan Matthews explores the path to Roe – a time when more Republicans than Democrats supported abortion rights – and the political landscape that followed. She discusses the first woman ever to be convicted of manslaughter for having an abortion and the unlikely Catholic couple who helped ignite the pro-life movement. 

Episode Highlight: Get Married or Go Home

In 1970, 22-year-old Shirley Wheeler got an illegal abortion in Florida. When she refused to tell the police who performed the procedure, she was arrested and charged with manslaughter. In the months that followed, she’d be prosecuted and publicly condemned. She’d also become the unlikely face of the fight for reproductive rights.

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Liar Liar

In 2020, Melissa Caddick, a seemingly successful businesswoman from Sydney's eastern suburbs, went missing after authorities raided her home amid questions over an unlicensed business. During the police investigation, journalist Kate McClymont managed to uncover the truth: Melissa was running a multimillion-pound Ponzi scheme that ripped off investors, and her own family and friends. On the outside, she was living the highlife with flashy holidays, expensive cars and designer clothes. Behind closed doors, it was a much darker story. This podcast reveals fresh details of the crime through interviews with victims in upmarket jewellery auction rooms in Hong Kong, to the ski slopes of Aspen. 

Episode Highlight: A Wolf in Chic Clothing

Diamonds, designer dresses and five-star hotels. Exactly what was Melissa Caddick doing with the vast sums of money that poured into her Ponzi scheme and why was she driven to spend it all like there was no tomorrow?

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Slow Politics

This podcast dissects the main stories happening in UK politics today. Behind the headlines about ‘Partygate’ and stories of MPs’ personal lives, what legislation has been being passed? Who are the main players in Parliament? And what stories are getting lost in the UK’s media coverage? Journalists Matt d’Ancona and Lara Spirit dig deep into one issue, story or person driving the agenda in Westminster to tell you the inside story on the people who really make things happen.

Episode Highlight: The Party That Got Away

Why did Sue Gray abandon her investigation into the Downing Street ‘Abba party’ on 13th November 2020? Matt and Lara share their theories. 

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Ghost Church

Comedian and writer Jamie Loftus investigates American spiritualism, a century-old tradition of communicating with the dead in camps full of mediums across the country. Across communities and classes, it spans a large demographic, from carnival workers to middle-class churchgoers. Who is drawn to these camps? How did the religion come together? And why are the tarot card readers and the seance callers fighting? Ghost Church is a look at grief, religion and loneliness, with on-site reporting and interviews with everyone from spiritualist psychics to Protestant pastors.

Episode Highlight: The Tables Are Tipping

In the third episode Jamie goes to a table tipping class – a spiritualist tradition that uses tables to connect people with the dead. She also tells the story of the Fox sisters, a family from New York that played an important role in the movement during the early 19th century. 

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