Six of the best podcasts to listen to now: from a rethinking of one of America’s great icons, Dolly Parton, to the story of the rise of Rupert Murdoch
While oral storytelling is a tradition as old as time, podcasting has breathed new life into the spoken word. Here we shortlist our favourites for winter, from country singers and psychological thrillers, to workplace therapy and a media legacy.
With the release of her debut podcast – Where Should We Begin? – Esther Perel welcomed us into her therapist’s office, providing an illuminating window into the shared frustrations, challenges and joys of our romantic relationships. As that show wraps its third and final season, the Belgian psychotherapist and New York Times bestseller has turned her attention to a different, but no less crucial, set of connections. How’s Work? explores the invisible forces that shape workplace relationships, conflict and dynamics through one-time therapy sessions with co-workers, co-founders and colleagues. It’s a thought-provoking and revealing listen.
A must-listen for fans of Succession, The Sun King tells the real-life story of the rise of Rupert Murdoch. A disruptor who has changed the nature of our politics with a steadfast focus on giving the people what he believes they want, the series attempts to understand what drives the media mogul – money or power? Hosted by veteran broadcaster David Dimbleby, The Sun King is a gripping examination of politics, power and one man’s will to influence the world. Compelling and unsettling in equal measure.
How do you prepare for death? And does the certainty of a coming end change how we spend our final moments? In Julie, Julie Yip-Williams revisits the events of her extraordinary life as she watches herself die from stage four colon cancer. A moving and meditative reflection on family and motherhood, Julie is an immigrant story, a love story, and a ghost story.
A deeply personal, historical and musical rethinking of one of America’s great icons, Dolly Parton’s America sees Radiolab and More Perfect creator Jad Abumrad examine what makes the country singer so universally appealing in such divided times. Far from an aggrandising hagiography, this is a show about female pain, slut-shaming and domestic violence. It’s a show about how music travels and how it unites listeners across continents. It’s a show about migration and labour, and how we can hold space for one another despite opposing beliefs.
Towards the end of her senior year, aged just 18, Danny vanished. Friends and family were left devastated and confused by her sudden disappearance. Years later her best friend Becca receives an unexpected visitor which forces her to revisit painful memories from the past. Gaslight is a gripping psychological thriller that plays to the strengths of audio – slowly, magnetically pulling listeners into the murky internal struggles of each character. Masterfully sound-designed and beautifully scored with lead performances from former AnOther cover star Chloë Grace Moretz, Kelsey Asbille and Taran Killam among others, Gaslight is audio fiction at its best.
Throughout its history, Belstaff has sought to align itself with those who’ve forged their own path – Che Guevara, Amelia Earhart and T. E. Lawrence to name a few. The brand’s new podcast series, The Road Less Travelled, hosted by Reggie Yates, seeks to understand what it takes to define a life less ordinary. Guests for season one include Stanley Tucci, Raleigh Ritchie, Naomie Harris, Andrew Scott and Emma Mackey.