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Recommendation Engine

Recommendation Engine: an historical murder mystery

Plus Lily Allen & Miquita Oliver and a great football fiction

10:00 AM GMT on March 27, 2024

    Welcome to this week's Recommendation Engine from Podcast Rex, rounding up the week in podcast reviews. Get this in an email each week by signing up to be a supporter of Podcast Rex from £3.99.

    Apple Podcasts New & Noteworthy:

    Spotify New & 🔥

    Fiona Sturges in the FT

    • The Butterfly King - “In August 1943, Boris III of Bulgaria had a meeting with Hitler, which, by all accounts, went badly; two weeks later, the king was dead. The official line was that he’d died of a heart attack but, 80 years on, the creators of The Butterfly King aren’t buying it and nor are his descendants.”

    James Marriott in the Times

    • The Sports Agents - “The jovial banter about who had what for breakfast is relatively minimal. The result is that it sounds a lot more like a radio show (and, you might argue, much more like proper journalism) than the two-hander podcasts at the top of the charts.”

    Miranda Sawyer in the Observer

    • Miss Me? - “Miss Me? is, if we’re being technical, a teeny bit of a mess. Topics arrive and are dismissed, talked around, then recalled; huge diversions are made into other areas. But none of this matters. It’s all immensely cheering and laugh-out-loud funny, because both Allen and Oliver are both madly charming and genuine friends.”
    • 53 Minutes - “Ó Briain and Widdicombe are accomplished performers, they have a dynamic script, some great interviewees and they promise to make the show about more than just Ali Dia.”
    • Heroes & Humans of Football - “These are in-depth, discursive, information-packed analyses of some fascinating characters; a bit like a long-read piece in a broadsheet.”

    Patricia Nicol & Clair Woodward in the Sunday Times

    • The Story - “The long-running Times and Sunday Times flagship podcast, Stories of Our Times, has been refreshed and rebranded.”
    • Status Update - “A must-listen for any wannabe TikTok stars and anyone interested in the always evolving and increasingly strange world of social media.”
    • Dial F for Football - “The world of Totalsport FM is brilliantly recreated in Rhys James and Mark G Smith’s script.”
    • To Die For - “The show is based on the first-hand story of an alleged seduction agent of the Russian Federal Security Service.”

    The Guardian’s Hear Here column recommends

    • Dial F for Football - “Listeners of Totalsport FM are used to hosts being white and blokey, so what happens when management bring in a young YouTuber?”
    • Miss Me? - “Funny stories, 90s memories involving A-listers, debates on hot topics and musings on the Princess of Wales’ whereabouts are all here.”
    • Unreliable Witness - “This nuanced podcast proves that there’s a lot the public don’t know.”
    • Strike - “It’s the personal memories that really stir emotion.”

    And in the Guardian’s Guide newsletter

    • Dial F for Football - “In this scripted audio series, a young YouTuber (Lolly Adefope) is brought in to shake up the blokey world of sports radio to the chagrin of many listeners.”

    Highlights from the Radio Times’ politics special

    Heat’s Top of the Pods

    Scott Bryan in Great British Podcasts

    • 53 Minutes - “Widdicombe and O’Briain are due to spend significantly longer pondering Dia’s career than he ever spent on a Premier League pitch.”
    • We Can Do Hard Things - “But there is real value in their personal perspectives on the situation.”
    • The Butterfly King - “A masterfully told WW2 tale of family drama, political intrigue and pure treachery.”
    • Black Box - “An essential podcast to help us stop and take stock of just what we’re doing with technology.”
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