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Recommendation Engine

Recommendation Engine: Here Comes the Guillotine

The king of dark comedy moves into podcasting

10:00 AM GMT on February 21, 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 World’s Hardest Puzzle - “Tommie Trelawny, a YouTuber devoted to unearthing arcane stories, and the journalist and producer Nicky Anderson delve into the murky world of Cicada 3301, the online mystery which beguiled surfers of the so-called “dark web” and prompted US Navy and National Security Agency recruiters to create copycat challenges where applicants were asked to decipher coded messages.”

    James Marriott in the Times:

    • A Piece of Cake - “Podcasting requires a measure of subtlety. It’s a relaxed, conversational medium. And Gregg Wallace — as MasterChef viewers will know — is not a relaxed, conversational kind of guy. He is a bellow-frantically-at-you-while-you-try-to-make-a-pavlova kind of guy.”

    Miranda Sawyer in the Observer

    • The Gatekeepers - “We’re only a couple of episodes in, but there have been some intriguing sliding-door moments, where if a different decision had been taken, we wouldn’t have ended up where we are now.”
    • Intrigue: Million Dollar Lover - “This is such a small, gripping story, one where you find yourself shouting at your audio player as you listen.”

    Patricia Nicol & Clair Woodward in the Sunday Times:

    • Here Comes The Guillotine - “Slightly dark, very dry and absolutely hilarious conversations about the state of the world.”
    • Elis James And John Robins - “You can tell when the relatively new podcast movement is settling into a groove when success stories look as if they’re taking over networks.”
    • The Nightingale Of Iran - “Sisters Danielle and Galeet Dardashti dig into the story of their Jewish family members who were household names in Iran 60 years ago.”

    The Guardian’s Hear Here column recommends

    And in the Guardian’s Guide newsletter

    • Varnamtown - “They dig into a strange rumour about a small coastal town in North Carolina that reputedly did a deal with Pablo Escobar: an endless supply of cocaine in exchange for letting the drug lord land his planes and dock his ships here.”

    Highlights from the Radio Times

    Heat’s Top of the Pods

    Scott Bryan in Great British Podcasts

    • And Then Came Breast Cancer - “Each episode thoughtfully delves into a different aspect of diagnosis and treatment.”
    • Hollywood Exiles - “Explores the origins of this moral panic.”
    • Free Sex - “This series explores how society can be holding us back.”
    • Here Comes The Guillotine - “Feature free, with the series just being a free-wheeling conversation between the three of them.”

    In PodPod’s Earworms column

    • Jake Warren, Message Heard: The Runaway Princesses - “Centres the journalism at its core.”
    • Michaela Hallam, Fresh Air: This American Life - “A speed-dating masterclass in ways to tell stories in sound.”
    • Robyn D'Arcy, AMV BBDO: You’re Wrong About - “They imbue old stories with more accuracy, nuance and empathy.”
    • Brett Spencer, BBC Three Counties Radio: Why Do You Hate Me? - “Nobody makes this sort of content like Marianna.”
    • Amy Townley, Acast: Sidetracked - “The genuine friendship the hosts have shines through.”
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