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Best podcasts of the week: George Alagiah opens up about his cancer


Picks of the week

Desperately Seeking Wisdom With Craig Oliver
If your life has “hit the buffers” in the pandemic, as it did for David Cameron’s former Remain right-hand man Craig Oliver, this 12-part interview series might inspire you to at least try to look at things differently. Oliver speaks candidly with outwardly privileged, successful people such as Ruth Davidson and Richard Curtis – all living with trauma or tragedy, and sharing their unseen, deep cuts. Episode one sees him interview George Alagiah on his battle with bowel cancer. Hollie Richardson

Cover Story: Power Trip
As psychedelics become Goop-mainstream, New York Magazine investigates the big business of underground practices that surround them. Host iO Tillett Wright uncovers the stories of shamans, guides and cults preying on vulnerable people, along with ketamine drips that claim to heal just about anything. Hannah Verdier

Now You’re Asking With Marian and Tara
This oddly soothing agony aunt-style podcast sees author Marian Keyes discuss listeners’ problems with actor friend Tara Flynn. Their “virtual kitchen table with virtual cups of tea” sees them ponder issues such as being cut out of a will, and how to deal with a neighbour who’s installed a pink flamingo in a communal garden. Alexi Duggins

Bad People
Comedian Sofie Hagen and criminal psychologist Dr Julia Shaw’s clever and funny look at criminal cases isn’t new, but they’ve just launched two specials themed round two new BBC dramas: A Very British Scandal and The Tourist. They use guest stars and clips as jumping-off points to discuss issues such as body positivity and coercive relationships. AD

Families Who Kill: The Donut Shop Murders
The McCrary family were a Texas clan who robbed, assaulted and killed time after time in the early 1970s. Doughnut shops may make this deep dive sound like a comedy, but it is at the more hardcore end of true crime, including chilling taped confessions that come with a warning. HV

How did this happen? BBC Podcast The Coming Storm looks at the circumstances that led Trump supporters to clash with police at the Capitol Building last January.
How did this happen? BBC Podcast The Coming Storm looks at the circumstances that led Trump supporters to clash with police at the Capitol Building last January. Photograph: Joseph Prezioso/AFP/Getty Images

Chosen by Danielle Stephens

A year ago this week, Trump supporters stormed the Capitol in Washington DC. Most who were interviewed that day believed they had a right to take back their country after they felt the presidential election had been stolen by Joe Biden and the Democrats.

BBC journalist, Gabriel Gatehouse, decided to find out why so many people had been completely convinced of a different reality. In his BBC Radio 4 series, The Coming Storm, he journeys across the United States, talking to several people who provide insight into what – or who – was responsible for spreading one of the biggest mistruths US democracy will ever experience.

You might think you’ve heard the story– QAnon, social media, disaffected voters – but Gabriel gets access to voices that shed a different light on a story commonly told. As he truly tries to understand why two Americans living on the same street could believe wildly different things, Gabriel comes across as less patronising than fellow journalists who have gone down a similar path. Scoring is sometimes overused, but overall, this is a must listen in order to understand what led to 6 January 2021.

Talking points

  • It’s quite a week for podcasts and last year’s Capitol Riots. As well as audio attempts to dissect the events from above-mentioned Coming Storm and The Assault on America, a new study has been released, analysing nearly 1,500 episodes from 20 of the most popular political podcasts. Half of the episodes released between the election and the 6 January riot were found to contain election misinformation. We knew that picking your pods wisely was important, but now the question lingers: could it potentially prevent insurrection?

  • Why not try: London Pub Reviews | Whistle Through the Shamrocks

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