The dark side of the Chippendales – podcasts of the week

Picks of the week

Welcome to Your Fantasy
Oily beefcake-merchants the Chippendales don’t seem like the most likely candidates for a true crime podcast, but this is one hell of a romp. Historian and fitness instructor Natalia Petrzela set out to investigate the phenomenon of women stuffing dollar bills down the dancers’ restrictive pants, but discovered a web of intrigue and murder. Star of the show is super smart Candice, who swapped investment banking to look after tanning and chaperoning, and the way Petrzela delivers the scandal amid the screams of thousands of women is perfect. Hannah Verdier

Against the Odds

What happens when you’re pushed to your limits to survive? Wondery’s new podcast brings out stories of pain, starvation and sheer determination. It’s a gripping listen, presented by fearless duo Mike Corey and Cassie de Pecol, with their suitably dramatic voices. The first episode goes in strong, with the story of a football team trapped in an underwater cave in Thailand told in great detail, as the situation becomes increasingly dangerous. Even though the ending has been well documented, the story is engrossing and the extent of the teamwork is inspiring. HV

Rescue workers carry oxygen tanks to Tham Luang cave in 2018 during the rescue mission to save the trapped football team.
Rescue workers carry oxygen tanks to Tham Luang cave in 2018 during the rescue mission to save the trapped football team. Photograph: Lillian Suwanrumpha/AFP/Getty Images

Chosen by Hannah Moore

In this sweet and insightful series, artist Dawinder Bansal speaks to couples who defied the boundaries of race, gender, class and religion to form relationships in one of the most turbulent decades in recent history. Deirdre and Helen, who met while working at Nottingham Castle in the late 1980s, discuss coming to terms with their queer identities at a time when Section 28 was being enforced, and friends were losing their lives during the HIV/Aids epidemic.

Saroj and Kamlesh, meanwhile, explain how by tackling family prejudice, death and illness together they have deepened their love over almost 40 years. “We broke tradition by living together before marriage, and we had an inter-caste marriage that was not arranged by our elders,” they say. “We really did things our own way and it’s worked for us.” The podcast is soundtracked by one of the most iconic musicians of the 80s, Martyn Ware, co-founder of the Human League and Heaven 17, and exists alongside Bansal’s photographic project of We Found Love In The 80s, which is available to view online.

Talking points

  • Following continued controversy behind the scenes of The Test Kitchen – Reply All’s expose of food website Bon Appétit – makers Gimlet have pulled the remaining episodes of the miniseries. The decision to cancel the podcast comes after Reply All host PJ Vogt announced a leave of absence from the main series earlier this month. He and Test Kitchen host Sruthi Pinnamaneni have since exited Reply All.

  • Why not try: Grow, Cook, Eat, Arrange | In Focus with David Yarrow | You Don’t Know Me


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