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Recommendation Engine

Recommendation Engine: Reflection and Reconciliation

Heavy hitting history takes centre stage

10:00 AM GMT on March 6, 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

    • A Muslim and a Jew Go There - “What is striking so far is how much Warsi and Baddiel agree on; the test will be what happens when their opinions diverge. Also noticeable is how much Baddiel interrupts Warsi, though hopefully a producer will have a word about that.”

    James Marriott in the Times

    • Who Trolled Amber? - “In support of his theory, Mostrous cites the case of a misinformation campaign that successfully fooled a large number of people into believing that a famous emu named Emmanuel had died. But spreading one item of false information strikes me as much easier than actually changing someone’s opinion."

    Miranda Sawyer in the Observer

    • Three Million - “Three Million is great radio, not just because of the story, which is awful and enraging and needs to be heard, but because of  Kavita Puri’s presentation – measured, dedicated, beautifully voiced.”
    • Who Trolled Amber? - “There are many podcasts about how the internet is changing the world, turning lies into truth and vice versa. This has the potential to be one of the most chilling.”
    • Who We Are Now - “Richard Hammond and his daughter Izzy wondering about who he is and how he should go about his life… They’re both great presenters but this is thin fare."
    • A Muslim and a Jew Go There - “They explain the nitty-gritty of Rochdale’s byelection palavers, unpick the wider meanings and motivations, and somehow do it all in easy, conversational style.”

    Patricia Nicol & Clair Woodward in the Sunday Times

    • Three Million - “A notable success of this five-part series is how this period emerges not as something distant and dusty but vital living history.”
    • Who Trolled Amber? - “Mostrous is a thoughtful guide to an unregulated online sphere with real-world power.”
    • In Moscow’s Shadows - “With the Ukraine war and the recent death of Alexei Navalny, educated insight into Putin’s Russia is more important than ever.”
    • Who We Are Now - “The newest podcast about masculinity features Richard Hammond and his daughter, Izzy, who have conversations around masculinity and mental health.”

    The Guardian’s Hear Here column recommends

    • Hear Me Out - “This chatty theatre podcast from actor Lucy Eaton.”
    • Dead River - "Looks at one of the most devastating environmental catastrophes in history.”
    • Blame It on the Fame: Milli Vanilli - “When German producer Frank Farian asked the tight-trousered pop duo to make a deal with the devil, it led to exploitation and tragedy.”
    • Time Capsule: The Silver Chain - “The 1970s swinging scene is the stuff of myth and legend.”
    • If I Speak - “As Sarkar says, it’s ‘the place we can be our most unhinged and nosy selves without judgement.’”

    And in the Guardian’s Guide newsletter

    • Black Box - “This new Guardian podcast series, looks at the impact AI is having on our world through the prism of five quite different news stories.”

    Highlights from the Radio Times

    • The Price of Music - “Steve Lamacq and Stuart Dredge dive into music industry numbers.”
    • Joel Golby’s Book Club - “Greatly assisted by Golby’s self-deprecating wit.”
    • F1: Back at Base - “Much more a podcast for the dedicated follower than it is for the casual listener.”
    • City of the Rails - “What starts as Danielle Morton’s search to trace her daughter turns into a revealing ten-part journey into the secret world of the homeless who live on the rails.”

    Heat’s Top of the Pods

    Scott Bryan in Great British Podcasts

    • Electoral Dysfunction - “Why the name ‘Electoral Dysfunction’? According to Rigby, politics isn’t working for many of us, with approval ratings for leaders in power (and potentially in waiting) not ever lower.”
    • Trumped - “What makes this new series by BBC Radio Scotland an interesting listen is how it focuses on his golf course in Turnberry up in Scotland and how his takeover has become a nightmare for the small local community.”
    • The Secret History of Antarctica: Death on the Ice - “The setting is one of the most inhospitable and most remote you can think of for a true crime podcast.”
    • Travel Secrets - “There’s some great travel stories here to give you inspiration, but also practical advice regardless of where you go.”
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