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Recommendation Engine

Recommendation Engine: Everything to Play For

Plus Class As and political veterans

10:00 AM GMT+1 on June 19, 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 Weekly Show with Jon Stewart - “While there remains a conspicuous absence of gags (note: this is a Comedy Central production), Stewart is knowledgeable, authoritative and endlessly alert to the absurdities of US policy.”

    Miranda Sawyer in the Observer 

    • Everything to Play For - “The opening, where Murray gets James to introduce the show in different presenting styles, had me laughing out loud, especially in episode 2, where James gave us his local newsreader voice. It’s hard to convey how hilarious this was, so you’re just going to have to listen.”
    • Everything I Know About Me: Stormy Daniels - “Excellent interviewing by producer Osk Petursdottir means that we get an in-depth picture, and episode 1 concerns Stormy’s childhood and adolescence; so if you’re looking for a detailed discussion of the Trump todger, you’ll have to wait a couple of weeks.”
    • Cocaine Inc. - “There are some interesting statistics in the programme – did you know that the amount of land used to grow coca plants has trebled in the last decade? – but it’s let down by its tone. It’s all too jolly and silly, with supermarket till noises used to illustrate a very laboured metaphor about drug prices.”

    Plus Miranda spoke to Lily Allen and Miquita Oliver in depth about their podcast Miss Me?

    Patricia Nicol & Clair Woodward in the Sunday Times

    • Cocaine Inc. - “With Tom Burchell’s lively surf-guitar and Latin-fused musical scoring (occasionally a tad too insistent) and a globetrotting narrative, it is a stimulating, entertaining, thought-provoking listen exposing the unglamorous truth about a common habit.”
    • Rylan: How to Be in the Spotlight - “It is hard to believe that Rylan Clark — the laughing stock of The X Factor in 2012, but who finished in fifth place — has transformed into being one of Britain’s most intelligent and incisive broadcasters.”
    • Could It Be True? - “The latest in a slew of pre-election podcasts comes from Tortoise, with Alexi Mostrous and Patricia Clarke fact-checking claims made on the election campaign trail.”

    The Guardian’s Hear Here column recommends

    • Where Everybody Knows Your Name with Ted Danson and Woody Harrelson (sometimes) - “It is every bit as smile-inducing as you’d expect.”
    • Smoke Screen: My Friend, the Serial Killer - “Steve Fishman was an intern at his local Connecticut paper in the 70s when he hitchhiked a ride from a man called Robert Carr III – who, he learned while working on a story, had killed three people.”
    • Animal - “From rescuing baby puffins and helping them find their way back to sea – by throwing them off a cliff – to charming tales of dogs saving lost hamsters.”
    • The Pink House with Sam Smith - “Sam Smith’s new podcast is named after their childhood bedroom, a haven where they’d escape after many a tough day. Now they welcome celebrity guests to share that feeling.”
    • The Weekly Show With Jon Stewart - “US satirist Jon Stewart unleashes his newsy podcast in time for all the US election shenanigans, starting with an episode on corruption.”

    In the Guardian’s Guide newsletter

    • The Weekly Show With Jon Stewart - “This week he takes aim at the military industrial complex, asking whether America’s love of the army might have – pretend to be shocked – gone too far.”

    And as we reach the halfway point of the year, the Guardian have published their best podcasts of 2024 so far.

    Highlights from the Radio Times

    • The Trial of Lord Lucan - “Unexpectedly absorbing and almost justifies the Mail’s rather overexcited treatment of their own exclusive.”
    • The Weekly Show with Jon Stewart - “With a frankly tedious number of political podcasts to choose between, it’s surprising that Jon Stewart has chosen now to attempt another foray into the format.”
    • Primer - “Promises to introduce a different genre of music from outside the English-speaking world each season.”

    Heat’s Top of the Pods

    Scott Bryan in Great British Podcasts

    • Everything to Play For - “Broadcasters Colin Murray and Elis James have launched their own podcast looking at some of the most enthralling stories from the world of sport.”
    • Rylan: How to Be in the Spotlight - “Podcasts on this topic risk falling into the trap of having celebs going ‘woe is me’ about their lives when they are successful and likely very rich. Rylan is well aware of this, asking the right questions to celebrities about the pressures and stresses of being famous, whilst also highlighting the privilege of fame in the first place.”
    • Alison Moyet - 40 Moyet Moments - “An interesting format for a podcast interview series, where journalist and Alison Moyet fan Steve Coats-Dennis speaks to the musician across forty… that’s right forty episodes.”
    • Who Shat On The Floor At My Wedding? And Other Crimes - “‘It might be time to move on to something that is non bodily fluid or secretion related.’ deadpans Lauren Kilby at the start of this very funny new series.”
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