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Recommendation Engine

Recommendation Engine: The Turnout

Plus the joys of the animal kingdom

10:00 AM GMT+1 on June 26, 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 

    • Animal - “Nature stories tend not to make sense in audio; there can be no gasping in wonder at kaleidoscopic underwater scenes or lions lounging in the savannah. But these aren’t your regular nature stories. They are about human interactions with animals, some of them happier than others. In Crystal River, Florida, Anderson fulfils a long-held dream of swimming with manatees, only to find the animals disturbingly crowded out by humans and their boats.”

    Miranda Sawyer in the Observer 

    • The News Agents - “Maitlis, Sopel and Goodall all have such strong main character energy that the three of them together can be overbearing. They nail everything a bit too high, make the same point over and over. The recent show about Bristol and the Green party’s challenge on Labour was very good, but you could have lost about 20 minutes and had the same impact.”
    • The Rest is Politics - “Alastair Campbell and Rory Stewart can be too casual and cosy with each other (in contrast to The News Agents’ constant overstatement), and Stewart’s waffly manner detracts from whatever they’ve decided to discuss.”
    • The Turnout - “A new and hugely enjoyable show, in which the 24-year-old social media star tries to encourage people of her generation to vote. In her first episode, Barry met a few non-voting young people, who said they were confused about politics and didn’t feel informed.”

    James Marriott in the Times

    • The Weekly Show with John Stewart - I agree that we live in serious times. I do not accept that means we have to become constantly humourless, put aside childish things and talk about the misallocation of the defence budgets constantly. A funny Stewart podcast would have been great. Unfortunately this isn’t it.

    Patricia Nicol & Clair Woodward in the Sunday Times

    • British Scandal - “This is not just an entertaining listen; it is also clear that Forde and Levine are enjoying themselves.”
    • Legacy: Margaret Thatcher - “Hirsch, a fluent broadcaster, is easier than Frankopan to read on Thatcher. Clearly, she finds much of what came to pass abhorrent, while still admiring Thatcher as a trailblazer of ideological conviction. Her blistering broadside in episode one about how Thatcher’s femininity has been debated and fetishised is great. Frankopan is more circumspect about his allegiances. But neither questions, for a second, the importance of Thatcher as a political figure.”
    • Everything I Know About Me - “After unveiling the secrets of the reality stars Gemma Collins and Spencer Matthews, in the third series of this podcast Stormy Daniels, the woman who brought down Donald Trump, recalls her life.”

    The Guardian’s Hear Here column recommends

    • Backfired - “What’s so thought-provoking is how the UK touts vaping as a tool to give up smoking, while the US tries to eradicate the habit with flavour bans.”
    • A Better Paradise - “This atmospheric near-future podcast from the writers of Grand Theft Auto assembles a high-quality cast.”
    • Because the Boss Belongs to Us - “Jesse Lawson and Holly Casio are ‘two queer nerds’ who are obsessed with Bruce Springsteen and want you to get to know him as ‘the queer icon we know that he is.’”
    • Pull the Thread: The Wild Life - “An immersive journey that takes you from environmental conferences at the Shard in London to eavesdropping on Ugandan phone calls where criminals are entrapped into ivory deals.”
    • Fesshole - “Given how much fun it is, it’s worth seeing where it goes next.”

    In the Guardian’s Guide newsletter

    Highlights from the Radio Times

    • The Modi Raj - “It’s to be hoped that somewhere in India someone is subjecting Nigel Farage to similar scrutiny.”
    • Sport’s Strangest Crimes: A French Football Scandal - “Presented by writer/comedian Maisie Adam, in an even handed manner, this four-parter combines testimony and wry commentary to explore exactly what happened that night.”
    • Immaterial - “New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art tells the stories behind the works from its collection.”

    Heat’s Top of the Pods

    Plus Heat interviews GK Barry about The Turnout

    Scott Bryan in Great British Podcasts

    • On the Record - “The classic story of Robin Hood involves Sherwood Forest, robbing the rich to give to the poor, bows and arrows and men in tights. But how did the story of Robin Hood come about? The National Archives podcast delves into the topic.”
    • ADHD Chatter - “Each episode has been thoughtfully considered and covers a range of issues.”
    • Famously… In Love - “The first episode looks at the relationship between the press and celebrity, including the unwritten code of conduct between the Royals and the press and the need for privacy.”
    • The Turnout - “With around half of young people not expected to vote in the upcoming general election, internet personality GK Barry has started a new series in collaboration with the radio station Kiss to encourage turnout.”
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