Skip to Content
Recommendation Engine

Recommendation Engine: Another footballer’s podcast?

Plus Gangland upon Tyne and tiny Swedish crime

10:00 AM GMT+1 on June 5, 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 

    • Electoral Dysfunction - “The most illuminating parts are when they move off party squabbles and policy announcements and discuss their personal experiences. Davidson talks of the camaraderie of electioneering, followed by ‘[the] absence, this crashing low that you get after the high of a campaign’. Of the three of them, Rigby’s is the dominant voice, forever highlighting her journalistic contacts as she references private texts and WhatsApp chats between her and unnamed ‘sources.’”

    Jude Rogers in the Observer 

    • You’ll Never Beat Kyle Walker - “Rightly or wrongly, I sensed the strong whiff of programme-making directed by an external publicity machine. Walker has been in the tabloids regularly this year over his personal life (an extramarital affair resulting in two children) and his team’s alleged breaches of Premier League regulations (without, as yet, getting docked points in the table). Naturally, none of that features here.”
    • The Case of the Tiny Suit/Case - “Amateur sleuths Karen Whitehouse, Helen McLaughlin and Lauren Kilby have moved on to a new case, because, as Kilby explains in her hilariously deadpan New Zealand tones, spending ‘one year on faecal matter is enough.’”
    • The Beauty of Everyday Things - “Ian McMillan has been tweeting short, sweet posts about his dawn strolls for years, and here, they are given room to expand.”

    Patricia Nicol & Clair Woodward in the Sunday Times

    • Gangster - “Livvy Haydock charts the life and unsolved murder of Viv Graham, a Newcastle boxer-turned-nightclub bouncer-turned-racketeer.”
    • What’s Wrong With Democracy? - “A new weekly series from Tortoise brings Ben Ansell and his guests from around the world together to discuss the impact that technology, conflict, AI and protests are having on democracy.”

    The Guardian’s Hear Here column recommends

    • Pack One Bag - “‘If fascism takes over your country, do you stay or do you try to flee?’ David Modigliani opens this beautiful podcast about his family history with the question his Italian grandfather Franco faced.”
    • You’ll Never Beat Kyle Walker - “Self-doubt, bromances and his childhood are all up for discussion as the affable Walker rolls out the anecdotes.”
    • Gangster - “With his imposing demeanour and full control of Newcastle’s bouncers, there’s no doubt Graham was feared, but Haydock shows the heartbreak his family felt after his 1993 murder.”
    • Here’s Hoping - “Grammy-nominated producer, environmental toxicology scientist and house DJ Jayda G is a proper force of greatness.”
    • Slow Burn: Gays Against Briggs - “Slate’s modern history podcast is one of the finest around.”

    In the Guardian’s Guide newsletter

    • Killing Justice - “It investigates the 2014 death of Brijgopal Loya, which came right as the prominent judge was about to rule on a murder case involving a key ally of current prime minister Narendra Modi.”

    And Alaina Demopoulos has a lengthy feature in the Guardian

    • Making Magic - "Over the years, the Magic Wand’s cultural stature grew, featured in movies (including a stripper scene in the 1984 Tom Hanks film Bachelor Party) and television (of course Sex and the City’s hyper-sexed Samantha Jones, played by Kim Cattrall, was a fan). Plugged-in fans referred to the item as a “Hitachi’, which made executives at the ultra-conservative company nervous.”

    Highlights from the Radio Times

    • Death of an Artist - “A Must for anyone who has an interest in the development of 20th Century art.”
    • The Girlfriends - “A full 12 minutes of trails, ads and paeans to sisterhood have to go by before we get to their next puzzle (which is in fact an unresolved question from the first series.)”
    • It Was What It Was - “Makes few concessions to listeners not already steeped in the subject.”

    Heat’s Top of the Pods

    Scott Bryan in Great British Podcasts

    • The Gas Man - “An intriguing game of cat and mouse.”
    • Answers for Claudia - “It has been 15 years since University of York chef Claudia Lawrence went missing.”
    • Dead Man Running - “Every small community has a ‘local character,’ someone that everyone in the area seems to know.”
    • Legacy: Margaret Thatcher - “The four episodes look at the values and beliefs that she formed in her childhood, to the consequences of her policies and the fact that, even though you might be against her, your life has been shaped by her impact.”
    Already a user?Log in

    Thanks for reading our articles on Podcast Rex

    To continue reading articles here for free we need you to register. You can also choose to get our free podcast recommendation newsletter - Great British Podcasts. Already get it? Log in with that email address below to get access to more stories here on

    Fancy supporting the work we do? Subscribe here for extra benefits.

    Stay in touch

    Sign up for our free newsletter

    More from Podcast Rex

    No Rabbit or Hats

    Plus The Tories are the UK's new third party

    June 14, 2024

    Cheerful Earful podcast festival announces 2024 line up

    And there’s some seriously funny shows on offer

    June 13, 2024

    Sunak vs Starmer – The Rematch

    The political podcasts stay up late to review the debate

    June 13, 2024

    Your Next Podcast: The Modi Raj

    Can the Indian PM continue to balance both parts of his agenda?

    June 13, 2024

    Recommendation Engine: Thief at the British Museum

    Plus D-Day, personal history and a sprinkling of politics

    June 12, 2024