Picks of the week
Acting for Others Presents …Widely available, episodes weeklySupporting charities that help theatre workers, this series pairs actors to have a good old chat. First up is the adorably theatrical Judi Dench and Olly Alexander, who charm each other as they veer from one thing to the next. “You were just a little boy actor when I met you,” Dench says, before talking about getting a tattoo at 81 and grilling him about his band Years & Years splitting up. Future pairings include Miriam Margolyes and Derek Jacobi. Hannah Verdier
Nailing ItSpotify, episodes weeklyWunmi Bello, Priscilla Anyabu and Adesayo Talabi are your new favourite unfiltered podcasters with their irresistible overheard-in-the-nail-salon style. Whether the trio are passing judgment on US TV host Nick Cannon’s non-monogamous ways or getting real about dating during the cost of living crisis, the trio are sharp, smart and unafraid to speak their truth. HV
Forbidden HistoryWidely available, episodes weeklyIn the case of this podcast, based on the TV series of the same name, “forbidden” is an understatement. The first episode, Hitler’s Niece: Suicide Or Murder, is a murky affair that explores the life and death of Geli Raubal, who was found dead with a gunshot wound to her chest. The arguments for and against a cover-up continue. HV
SexiledWidely available, episodes weeklyA wedding dilemma looms large when two friends bunking in a hotel room together in Prague are torn apart by lust in this deliciously understated podcast drama. Newly single Ronan gets booted out of the room when his best friend, Sydney, hooks up – but will a wander through the city with a playboy type he meets at the wedding bring him his own love story? HV
Comfort Eating With Grace DentWidely available, episodes weekly from 18 OctThe Guardian’s restaurant critic returns with her moreish podcast in which celebrities dish out admissions of their deepest, darkest secret food fixes. What do Malorie Blackman, Graham Norton and Adam Kay gorge on behind closed doors? Before we find out, Dawn O’Porter is the first guest to reveal all. Hollie Richardson
There’s a podcast for that
This week, Hannah Verdier chooses five tales of rock’n’roll excess, from country scandals to women ageing adventurously
Disgraceland“We want our rock stars to be bad,” says Jake Brennan, sounding like the lovechild of Elvis and Judge Judy as he dives into some legendary hellraising. When Tupac Shakur and Suge Knight aren’t the biggest troublemakers featured on a podcast, you know you’re in for a salacious treat. From charting the hedonism of British stars such as The Sex Pistols and Oasis to asking if Jerry Lee Lewis got away with murder, no stone is unturned. More recent episodes on Britney Spears and Taylor Swift prove that even stars who try to keep away from scandal can be dragged into it by family and fans.
Cocaine and RhinestonesIf you want over-the-top tales, try Tyler Mahan Coe’s podcast on the history of country music, via moonshine, gun battles and drugs. Along with linchpins of the scene such as Bobbie Gentry and Loretta Lynn, Coe also features less widely known figures such as George “No Show” Jones, whose tale is forensically told, with his marriage to Tammy Wynette, problems with alcohol, and struggle with the pressure of fame all recalled. In fact, Jones has so much of a backstory, Coe takes a glorious 30 hours to tell it.
The Last BohemiansOne of the great things about this podcast is that it proves maverick women don’t slowly turn into feeble cardi-wearers who’ve forgotten all about sex, lust and LSD. There’s so much to be learned from Kate Hutchinson’s unapologetic lineup, who were happy to get involved in the same shenanigans as their male counterparts. The adventures of survivors such as PP Arnold are a joy to listen to. “Did you and Jimi (Hendrix) ever write any songs together?” asks Hutchinson. “No. We just made a lotta love together,” replies Arnold.
MogulMusic stars don’t come more rock’n’roll than 2 Live Crew, the parent-scaring rap phenomenon of the 80s. It wasn’t just their explicit lyrics that caused moral panic, as we discover when Brandon Jenkins takes a look at their origins in Miami and what sparked their notoriety. When a Florida judge decreed that the Crew’s lyrics were obscene, it led to member Luther Campbell’s arrest. However, in making hip-hop and “faster and harder and nastier” he also fought for freedom of speech, paving the way for many of today’s artists.
The Line-Up with Shaun KeavenyOrdering brown rice and vegetables for a festival lunch might not seem like the punkest move, but, in Bobby Gillespie’s case, it’s the mark of a man who’s survived his own “pills and powder” brand of hedonism. Keaveny’s podcast features a large library of stars talking about their fantasy festival line-ups, which inevitably include nods to wilder times. Another survivor is mild-mannered former hedonist Tim Burgess, who now prefers meditation and coffee, but hasn’t forgotten the days when other bands would head for The Charlatans’s dressing room because “we had the best drugs and the most booze.”
Why not try …
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