6 new podcasts to listen to this week

These are our top podcast picks.

With the help of its star-studded cast, Audible’s 1984 podcast mirrors the true essence of Orwell’s dystopian classic about rebellious worker Winston Smith, played by British actor Andrew Garfield.
Andrew Garfield - Audible 1984 With the help of its star-studded cast, Audible’s 1984 podcast mirrors the true essence of Orwell’s dystopian classic about rebellious worker Winston Smith, played by British actor Andrew Garfield. (Michael Wharley)

There’s a lot of history being uncovered in this week’s best podcasts, which promises to take listeners on immersive expeditions.

1. 1984

Streaming platform: Audible

Genre: Arts

1984 cover art

This adaptation of George Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty-Four (also published as 1984) is truly an immersive listening experience.

You can tell that the BAFTA award-winning director Destiny Ekaragha (Ted Lasso, The End of the F—-ing World), Olivier Award-nominated writer Joe White (Blackout Songs, The Little Big Things), along with award-winning composer Ilan Eshkeri (BBC’s A Perfect World, Ghost of Tsushima) who co-created the original score with Muse’s Matthew Bellamy, were very particular about how they built out the landscape of this Audible original podcast.

With the help of its star-studded cast, 1984 mirrors the true essence of Orwell’s political dystopian classic and cautionary tale about rebellious worker Winston Smith (Andrew Garfield), who keeps a forbidden diary as he navigates the repressive society governed by Big Brother (Tom Hardy) and gets into a relationship with colleague Julia (Cynthia Erivo).

I’ll always be an advocate for the innovation of storytelling.

(By Yolanthé Fawehinmi)

2. Myleik Teele’s Podcast

Streaming platform: All streaming platforms

Genre: Wellbeing

Myleik Teele's Podcast

Now and then, Myleik Teele will post something on social media to remind herself and others that she will always believe in and better herself. In the latest episode of her self-titled Myleik Teele’s Podcast, Myleik tells her listeners what this looks like, for her.

Myleik first recalls being confident as a child and how it became the core foundation for her self-belief in her adulthood years. Then goes on to list a series of affirmations and mantras, including “I don’t have to know everything”, and “Have the spirit of a winner” that speaks directly to the type of personal development she subscribes to.

Very early on in her career, Myleik vowed to share her journey with others. So it’s no surprise that her podcast feels like a heartfelt hug pulling you up and out of slumber, waking her listeners and encouraging them to focus on what truly matters.

(By Yolanthé Fawehinmi)

3. Think Twice

Streaming platform: All streaming platforms

Genre: Finance


How open are you to other opinions? Do you know how to engage in healthy debate? Well, friends Beno Obano and Sam Tefera, also co-hosts of new podcast Think Twice, are great examples of how to do this.

For the first episode, they didn’t shy away from the big issues, ideologies and structures that impact how we live our lives today and decided to dedicate it to capitalism and who benefits from it.

“Is the pursuit of profit morally just?” Obano asked. “No”, Tefera replied almost immediately. “It’s not going to the people who create it.”

I appreciate that a lot of their discussions come from an ethical and moral standpoint, and I’m excited to see what Think Twice tackles next. It’s an educational listen.

4. American Dreamer: Who Was Jay Gatsby?

Streaming platform: All streaming platforms

Genre: History

American Dreamer: Who Was Jay Gatsby?

This eight-part series, narrated by Joe Nocera, is a literary detective story that investigates the inspiration behind Jay Gatsby, the iconic character in F Scott’s Fitzgerald’s 1925 masterpiece, The Great Gatsby.

Focusing on the life of German immigrant Max Gerlach, a bootlegger, crook and speakeasy manager, long rumoured to be based on the flawed protagonist, it’s set against the backdrop of World War l, Prohibition-era bootlegging, cocktail parties and the Mob.

The book’s enduring success is the intriguing character that gives the novel its name – rich, charismatic Gatsby, yet his past is cloaked in mystery.

“He wasn’t always Gatsby and he wasn’t always great,” notes Nocera, who along with producer Poppy Damon, set out to establish whether Fitzgerald knew Gerlach; if Gerlach really was a German spy, his links to organised crime, juvenile delinquent past, and how he got to mix with high society.

For decades, scholars have been trying to pin down the real-life inspirations for Jay Gatsby – Gerlach himself approached a Fitzgerald academic in the 1950s claiming he was the man – and there are plenty of tantalising parallels in this podcast to conclude that he was telling the truth. On the trail, Nocera talks to authors and experts who weigh up the evidence.

It’s an incredible story and whether you are a fan of The Great Gatsby or not, you’ll want to keep listening to find out more about the lives of Max Gerlach and F Scott Fitzgerald.

(By Caroline Duggan)

Spotlight on…

5. The Belgrano Diary

Streaming platform: All streaming platforms

Genre: History


In the spring of 1982, Britain and Argentina went to war over a group of remote islands in the South Atlantic, the Falklands to the British, and Islas Malvinas to the Argentinians.

Hosted by novelist Andrew O’Hagan, The Belgrano Diary is a new six-part podcast series from the London Review of Books, which looks into why the 1982 Argentinian ship called the General Belgrano sank.

Using a diary from naval supplies officer, Lieutenant Narendra Sethia, who was on the Belgrano, fundamental discrepancies between the Thatcher-run government’s account are uncovered.

The podcast also features interviews from Sethia himself – which are truly captivating – young conscript Santiago Belozo – also a survivor of the sinking ship – and former ministers, including Lord Heseltine, Secretary of State for Defence from 1983-86.

(By Yolanthé Fawehinmi)

6. National Trust Podcast

Streaming platform: All streaming platforms

Genre: Environment and History

National Trust Podcast

Spanning across history, nature and adventure, the National Trust Podcast does a great job of getting to the heart of a story, while taking listeners on uplifting adventures across the UK.

Now in its eighth series, with several accolades under its belt, such as the British Podcast Awards, host and curator James Grasby kicks things off with an episode exploring the life of a mysterious gang from the 1930s, called Ferguson’s Gang.

For the most part, they had the entire nation eagerly following their exploits. But as you continue to listen to the episode – which is well produced – it becomes clearer that something wasn’t right.

“We hope listeners will feel like they are there with us in these rich and varied locations,” said senior podcast producer, Michelle Douglass at the National Trust.

“We hear personal and passionate tales from individuals, in the places that are special to them and that gives us a really rich connection that helps bring depth to our storytelling.”

(By Yolanthé Fawehinmi)