Introducing Guru: The Dark Side of Enlightenment
Self-help is a $10bn industry with a target audience that includes some vulnerable people. Yet there are no qualifications for becoming a self-help guru. You can see the opportunity for manipulation… In this true-crime series, journalist Matt Stroud digs into the sinister case of life coach James Arthur Ray. In the noughties, he amassed a huge following and garnered praise from the likes of Oprah Winfrey. By 2011, Ray was convicted of three counts of negligent homicide. From the makers of Dirty John and The Shrink Next Door, this new podcast explores similar territory to the new Netflix series (Un)well, taking another look at the dark side of self-improvement.
The Good, The Bad & The Rugby
House Of Rugby hosts James Haskell and Alex Payne have returned with a shiny new show. They’ve joined forces with England World Cup winner Mike Tindall and gone straight to the top of the podcast charts. Through the series, an array of guests serve up some serious analysis between the laughs. Kicking it all off, the first episode features England head coach Eddie Jones, chatting through everything from family life to the secrets of great coaching.
Futile Attempts (At Surviving Tomorrow)
Artist, comic and manic depressive Kim Noble has used lockdown to make a podcast – just like “every other loser” apparently. Searching for a solution on how to get by, his show is actually a winning mix of dark comedy, awkward interactions and stark confessionals. In each episode, he takes on a new adventure. From hanging out with a Hounslow-based cult to getting shot at outside Sting’s mansion, Kim forces himself back out into the big bad world.
The images of atomic bombs destroying Hiroshima and Nagasaki are engrained in the consciousness of the modern world. Marking 75 years since the US attacked those Japanese cities and hastened the end of World War 2, The Bomb is a BBC World Service podcast tracing the events surrounding the attacks, and how they almost didn’t happen. Narrator Emily Strasser tells of her grandfather’s role in creating the nuclear weapon, but the podcast most closely follows Leo Szilard, the man who conceived the idea of the bombs and never wanted to see them detonated.
The Cam Chronicles
Cam Newton is a big deal in American football. As one of the NFL’s most prominent black quarterbacks, he has led a team to the Super Bowl while establishing himself as a self-proclaimed “entertainer and icon”. He is no stranger to controversy, however, or indeed injury. This six-part series shines a new light on a talented man’s decade-long sporting career, with host Tyler Tynes grabbing interviews with friends, family, teammates and the man himself.
Nice White Parents
From the makers of Serial, Nice White Parents is a five-parter probing disparities in the American education system. The podcast is nothing like as dry as that sounds. It zooms in on the issue of racial integration (or lack thereof) in New York City public schools. After decades of alleged educational reform, why do these problems still exist? Attempting to make sense of the cracks in the system, reporter Chana Joffe-Walt gets to the heart of the problem: the influence wielded by the parents of the city’s white students.
Polonium & The Piano Player
In 2006, Russian defector and former KGB agent Alexander Litvinenko was poisoned in a five-star hotel in Mayfair, sparking an international crisis that still undermines British-Russian relations. In this real-life spy thriller of a podcast, Sky News reporter Robert Mulhern tells a lesser-known part of the story: how the hotel’s piano player, Derek Conlon, unwittingly became witness, victim and potential suspect when he too drank from the cup that held the lethal dose.
Your Own Personal Beatles
The cultural impact of The Beatles doesn’t just endure – it moves with the times. Or so Jack Pelling and Robin Allender argue, as they attempt to unpack how and why The Beatles continue to have such an intimate resonance with listeners, over half a century on. Joined by guests including celebrated songwriter Guy Chambers and irreverent broadcaster Elis James, they examine every aspect of a band that has shaped their own lives and careers.
Origins, With James Andrew Miller
Join award-winning journalist and bestselling author James Andrew Miller as he uncovers the beginnings of some of the biggest success stories in television, movies, sports, music and business. Experience all the unpredictable moments, pivotal junctures and strokes of luck that turn great ideas into formidable realities – as told by the insiders who were there. His latest short-run series looks at the 2000 smash-hit film Almost Famous. Broken down into six addictive parts, the last instalment sees Miller joined by the original cast to celebrate the movie’s 20th anniversary.
If you've paid any attention to the news in the last couple of years, you'll be aware of the opioid crisis which currently threatens to engulf America's youth. But did you know that in 2019 fentanyl killed more people in a single year than any other drug in modern history? Join Vice News reporter Keegan Hamilton as he tracks the third wave of this unique drug crisis, as part of this new series which has just landed on Spotify. Gripping.
That Peter Crouch Podcast
Ex-England striker Peter Crouch has had a busy lockdown. His new series of footy-focused WFH chats with luminaries from Louis Theroux to Theo Walcott culminated with a trip to Kensington Palace. Crouchy sat down with Prince William to discuss the beautiful game over a takeaway curry. This is the only place you’ll find out exactly why the royal supports Aston Villa.
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