6 new podcasts to listen to this week

These are our top podcast picks.

By Yolanthe Fawehinmi
Thursday 28 March 2024 12:37 GMT
n episode five of BBC Sound’s Dear Daughter, host Namulanta Kombo speaks to Lebanese-American comedian Janine Harouni all about parenthood. (Matt Stronge/PA)
n episode five of BBC Sound’s Dear Daughter, host Namulanta Kombo speaks to Lebanese-American comedian Janine Harouni all about parenthood. (Matt Stronge/PA)

From the rise of Pentecostalism in Nigeria, what really happened during the 1984 miners’ strike, American novelist and academic Kiley Reid’s taking a red pen to her work and Lebanese-American comedian Janine Harouni’s perspective on motherhood, this was a jam-packed week for great podcasts.

1. BookshelfieStreaming platform: All streaming platformsGenre: Arts

To mark its millionth download, earlier this month, the weekly interview podcast Bookshelfie, brought to you by the Women’s Prize Trust, the charity behind the Women’s Prizes for Fiction and Non-Fiction, re-branded with a new look.

Some of the previous guests have included British actress Gillian Anderson, British-Canadian actress Kim Cattrall, Baroness Doreen Delceita Lawrence and businesswoman and philanthropist Gina Miller.

But in this week’s episode, TV and BBC Radio 1 presenter, author and journalist Vick Hope – who has been hosting the podcast for the last two years – interviews American novelist and academic, Kiley Reid, following her instant New York Times bestseller, Come and Get It, which was published earlier this year.

Reid is obsessed with people and the granular conflict and spoke about how her latest novel is a direct conglomerate of three books that she has read, taking a red pen to her work, consuming brand new pieces of writing from her students and more.

(By Yolanthé Fawehinmi)

2 . Bridging the Gap Podcast 

Streaming platform: All streaming platforms

Genre: Society

As a British-Nigerian, I grew up being told to respect my elders, but as you get older and become your own person you realise that there is so much we can learn from each other.

That’s why I love the premise of Sade Onabowale’s new weekly podcast Bridging the Gap – expected to have 12 episodes – where respectful yet candid conversations are had between younger and older Nigerians, regarding anything from Nigeria itself, politics, health, technology, culture, and everything in between.

In the debut episode, host Onabowale speaks to professor Nimi Wariboko and Dr. Ebenezer Obadare about the vigorous power and influence of Pentecostalism – a Christian charismatic religious movement – in Nigeria.

Throughout the episode they trace the connection between religion and politics, discuss how Nigerian pastors have become the central focus of Pentecostalism, why they are getting younger, who holds them accountable, and unpack the complex impact this all has on Nigerian life and culture.

Onabowale said that the aim was to bridge the knowledge and age gap while promoting inclusive discussions, and I think the first episode is a beautiful example of what listening to understand sounds like.

(By Yolanthé Fawehinmi)

3. Dear Daughter 

Streaming platform: All streaming platforms

Genre: Personal stories

In episode five of BBC Sounds’ Dear Daughter, host Namulanta Kombo speaks to Lebanese-American comedian Janine Harouni all about parenthood.

The interesting thing about Harouni’s experience is that she was performing stand-up at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival while 40 weeks pregnant – just a few weeks before she gave birth.

“We were really worried that I was going to go into labour… and we thought there was a very real possibility [that] this baby is going to be Scottish,” Harouni told Kombo during their conversation.

Thankfully, her son was born last year in September, but Harouni was back to work in January and thought it would be easy to take her baby with her – so she did.

“What’s it like performing whilst being exhausted since becoming a mum?” That’s the first question Kombo asked the 36-year-old.

“Everything is so much easier than being a mum,” was Harouni’s honest response.

Throughout this episode, the pair delve into what no one tells you about pregnancy and childbirth – and the surprise family DNA test which changed her perspective on motherhood.

(By Yolanthé Fawehinmi)

4. Everybody Hates HR

Streaming platform: All streaming platforms

Genre: Careers

Co-hosts Lola and Velisa describe Everybody Hates HR as ‘a HR pod with seasoning’ – and it’s exactly that.

The weekly podcast sees the HR professionals chat through a range of issues relating to the world of human resources, including workplace dilemmas, news reports and social media trends. Their goal is to make things relatable and useful while sharing their takes on things too – covering the serious, the funny and the downright shocking.

In this week’s episode, the pair take a look at a recent report on sexual harassment in the financial sector and highlight some recent pay-out cases – including a council worker granted a record £4.6m, after being dismissed while on sick leave for PTSD from working with victims of the Grenfell Tower fire.

They round it off with their take on the social media trend of people posting videos of themselves getting fired or slating their bosses. Unscripted, honest, and happily jargon-free.

(By Abi Jackson)

Spotlight on…

5. Dial F For Football

Streaming platform: All streaming platforms

Genre: Comedy

Dial F For Football is Keep It Light Media’s first scripted podcast, starring an array of actors and comedians, including Lolly Adefope, Fergus Craig, Jessica Fostekew and Helen Cripps and featuring cameos from UK comedy royalty, such as Alan Davies and Phil Wang.

The audio comedy series unveils the ultra-masculine and racially biased environment behind a popular commercial sports radio station called Totalsport FM.

In the first episode, we meet “urban” YouTuber Lisa (Adefope) who was hired to help “modernise” the station’s output. She tries to showcase more of her personality and avoid mincing her words when discussing how to improve the game of football with her co-host Des (Craig), whilst also trying to prove herself to her obnoxious station producer Carla (Fostekew) and the somewhat racist audience she’s engaging with.

The weekly podcast launches on March 27 and truly prioritises on-the-nose banter. It also explores racism, tokenism, sexism, and online hate towards black women and reflects some of the many institutions still struggling to embrace change.

(By Yolanthé Fawehinmi)

6. Strike 

Streaming platform: All streaming platforms

Genre: History

When you think of 1984 what comes to mind? Is it George Orwell’s iconic book 1984? Maybe it’s Madonna performing Like A Virgin? Is it Prince releasing Purple Rain? For filmmaker Jonny Owen, that year is one thing, the miners’ strike.

This was when class and political fault lines were divided in Britain. For one year, the National Union of Mineworkers were locked in a bitter and violent conflict with Margaret Thatcher’s government that changed the country forever.

Now 40 years on, Owen goes on a personal journey – he was living in the south Wales valleys as a teen when the strike began – and tries to tell the profound story of the hundreds and thousands of people who were at the heart of this industrial dispute in his new BBC Sounds podcast, Strike.

Whatever you think you already know about the miners’ strike, this podcast, using innovative audio storytelling, takes you deeper.

(By Yolanthé Fawehinmi)

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