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Recommendation Engine

Recommendation Engine: Talking about Today

This week's reviewers look at Radio 4's news podcast offering

10:00 AM GMT+1 on October 11, 2023

    Happy Wednesday!

    Welcome to this week's Recommendation Engine, taking a look at the week's podcast reviews from across the media. It's available for free at the moment, but will soon only be available to 'Supporters' of Podcast Rex. Sign up to be a supporter of Podcast Rex for just £3.99.

    Apple Podcasts: New & Noteworthy

    Spotify New &

    Several reviewers considered the launch of Radio 4’s The Today Podcast

    • James Marriott in the Times: Rajan and Robinson sound completely relaxed and confident. Rajan, especially, is better suited to the more laid-back tone of a podcast than he is to live radio. The casual banter (the obligatory feature of all podcasts) sounds casual and banterous.
    • Charlotte Runcie in the Telegraph: The atmosphere between presenters Amol Rajan and Nick Robinson often sounded like colleagues debriefing in the pub after a long day at work.

    Will Hodgkinson in the Times

    • McCartney: A Life in Lyrics: Aided by the fact that McCartney is allowed to use Beatles music when almost all other podcasters are not, the appeal is in going deep into material we all know. 

    Miranda Sawyer in the Observer

    • Have You Heard George’s Podcast?: His beautiful, hard-hitting, wildly soundscaped, multi-award-winning podcast is unlike anything else out there – even now, half a decade after the first series, there are no imitators.
    • The News Agents Investigates: This was a really interesting programme and a great flagship show for the new series.
    • Sidetracked with Annie and Nick: A ramble-chat between the two about the week in music. And the first episode is fun, though Macmanus is a leeetle shouty if you’re wearing headphones.

    The Guardian’s Hear Here column recommends

    • Wonderbox: Celebrity guests pick treasured items and place them in a fictional “Wonderbox” dedicated to their lives’ most funny and special moments.
    • Lasagna Ganja: It’s the podcast that shows stoners can be entrepreneurs too.
    • The Road to Know Her: Alex Fuller and Emi Geddes are on a mission to learn more about women’s health
    • Why Didn’t You…:  It’s proudly not sanitised, it’s difficult to listen to and it’s so vital.
    • Out to Lunch with Ade Edmondson: Ade Edmondson takes over hosting duties of the food and chat podcast.

    Also in Hear Here, Ella Braidwood choses five of the best podcasts on sporting icons

    • Untold Legends: The seven-part series keeps viewers engaged with dramatic elements.
    • The Making of Messi: The podcast details Messi’s story so far and why he is often deemed the Greatest Of All Time in men’s football.
    • Sporting Witness: This veteran podcast has been running for over a decade, collating key moments from sporting history.
    • The GOAT: Serena Williams: Among the podcast’s star-studded guests are tennis great Billie Jean King and US open winner Andy Roddick, alongside Williams’ older sister Isha Price.
    • 30 for 30: Episodes shed light on lesser known stories and scandals.

    Also mentioned: Subterraneans, The Driving Confidence Podcast, Create the Future.

    Radio Times reviews

    Scott Bryan in Great British Podcasts

    • Young Again: You’re just happy Kirsty Young’s got a space to interview interesting people again.
    • Why Didn’t You…: No doubt, the podcast will be a resource and a great help to anyone who has also survived sexual violence themselves.
    • Stick to Football: The show has a bit of overlap with The Overlap, an interview series that is presented by Neville.
    • Noted: A refreshing and well produced podcast exploring news and culture for people between the ages of 18 and 25.

    In PodPod’s Earworms column:

    • Aradhna Tayal Leach, Radio Academy - Sharing Plate: Such personal stories and personalities flow through the episodes.
    • Kate Norum, BBC Studios - Caffeine for the Soul: It’s so inspiring and warm and engaging.
    • Christian Sørensen, Podder - The Joe Marler Show: It’s interesting to learn about different people and professions.
    • Rob Leane, One More Life - Who Shat On The Floor At My Wedding?: Absolutely hilarious and surprisingly joyous.
    • Susie Banikarim, In Retropect - You’re Wrong About: Sarah's voice makes me feel like the world makes a little sense.

    In Freshly Dropped, they mention First Dates: The Podcast, Solicited Advice, Heavyweight and The Burger Files.

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