Life

6 new podcasts to listen to this week

The week’s best podcasts – including the power of forgiveness, a father and daughter duo and the biggest environmental disaster in Brazilian history.

Leaning into the perspectives of a middle-aged man, the journalist joins his daughter Izzy Hammond to host a new podcast
Richard and Izzy press image 2 (1) Leaning into the perspectives of a middle-aged man, the journalist joins his daughter Izzy Hammond to host a new podcast

Some of the best life lessons are buried in podcast episodes. From learning about how freeing forgiveness can be, why it’s important to pursue justice and listening to the perspectives of others, this week’s podcasts have something for everyone.

Best podcasts of the week

1. Who We Are Now

Streaming platform: All streaming platforms

Genre: Wellbeing

Who We Are Now Artwork

Ever since TV presenter Richard Hammond had a serious accident in 2006 on Top Gear, whilst driving a Vampire jet car at 319mph that spun out of control, crashed and left him in a coma for two weeks, he’s been fascinated by what makes us, us.

Leaning into the perspectives of a middle-aged man, the journalist joins his daughter Izzy Hammond to host a new podcast called Who Are We Now.

Demystifying conversations around masculinity, mental health and the issues that affect us all, the father and daughter duo are also joined by special guests including Gregg Wallace, Dr Alex George and Jodie Kidd.

In the first episode, it’s already obvious how deep Richard is into his journey of self-discovery, and Izzy couldn’t be more pleased for him. Though, from their charming and playful dynamic, she would probably call it a mid-life crisis.

(Yolanthé Fawehinmi)

2. The 3rd Degree Podcast

Streaming platform: All streaming platforms

Genre: Society

third degree

Lolade, Atim and Bola – three friends who met each other at different stages of their lives – started thinking about starting The 3rd Degree Podcast in November, and now they are here, two episodes in.

In their first episode – a Valentine’s Day special – they spoke about love and what it means to them. But this week, they are joined by their mutual friend Michael Lee, who speaks up for the ‘mandem camp’ – to offer a thoughtful male perspective – throughout their conversation.

After exploring the trajectory and impact of Usher and Chris Brown’s careers – especially who the bigger artist is – they made a very smooth segue into an honest discussion about domestic violence amongst celebrities – which the hosts do not condone – and what forgiveness should look like in general.

Is anything unforgivable? Can forgiveness be freeing? Would you say you’re a forgiving person?

“I’ve had to learn to be. I haven’t been a forgiving person… For me, one thing I can do is hold a grudge. It’s like I like it,” said Bola.

Humour, realness and transparency will continue to be the bedrock of this podcast.

(Yolanthé Fawehinmi)

3. Pretty Lonesome with Madeline Argy

Streaming platform: All streaming platforms

Genre: Society

As a 40-something who doesn’t have TikTok, I’m probably not the target audience for Pretty Lonesome with Madeline Argy – a 23-year-old British influencer who has amassed a combined seven million-ish followers on Instagram and TikTok since she started posting in 2021. But listening to her podcast, it’s easy to see why her content gets people hooked.

Pretty Lonesome (also a YouTube series) is basically Argy chatting about whatever’s on her mind while she’s alone. The premise is simple: ‘It’s better to be alone, together’ – and for Argy, this means recording authentic snippets of her days and thoughts, with no topic off limits. In the latest episode, however, she’s with her friend Jake Shane in LA.

We get to follow the pair as Shane introduces Argy to some American essentials – including a shopping spree in Target and a trip to In-N-Out Burger. Between stops, they mess around with glitter slime and natter in the car about teenage pop crushes and their OCD experiences.

It’s oddly relaxing listening, with the background noises as they potter about adding a pleasing ASMR element. And Argy’s relatable, authentic vibe is undeniably absorbing.

(Abi Jackson)

4. Rotten Mango

Streaming platform: All streaming platforms

Genre: True Crime

South Korean YouTuber Stephanie Soo presents a single (pretty dark) story for each episode – 339 of them in total so far, covering famous and less well-known cases from all over the world. With 3.84 million subscribers on the video sharing platform, her podcast was bound to be popular.

The latest episode focuses on the tragic and shocking incident of the Kiss nightclub fire in Santa Maria, Brazil, in 2013. A firework was set off on stage and the flames quickly spread, igniting the foam in the ceilings and killing 242 people, with more than 600 injured.

Soo’s style might take some getting used to; with no introduction or context, she dives into the heart of the action, with a docu-drama style approach to storytelling. She talks through all the detail, colour and conversations almost like she’s acting, with the odd mumble from a mysterious unknown man in the background.

There’s more than a touch of sensationalism, but you can’t deny it’s impressively comprehensive and well-researched. Previous episodes include the death of actor Lee Sun Kyun and South Korea’s ‘silent killer’.

(Lauren Taylor)

Spotlight on…

5. Dead River

Streaming platform: All streaming platforms

Genre: Environment

DEAD-RIVER_ARTWORK_XL

Environmental expert and broadcaster Liz Bonnin’s new podcast Dead River –  produced by Pulama Kaufman – is compelling.

The podcast tells the story of the heart-breaking events leading up to the UK’s largest class action lawsuit ever, which will take place later this year, with law firm Pogust Goodhead representing the 700,000 claimants.

Bonnin seeks to expose both the environmental and humanitarian aftermath of the most devastating environmental disaster in Brazilian history – the Mariana Dam Disaster of 2015 – and explains why the majority of real-life interviews from those affected with expert analysis, were carried out in Portuguese.

Dead River does a great job of raising the key questions surrounding corporate responsibility, the climate crisis and the protection of indigenous communities, whilst also featuring vivid and harrowing soundscapes and world-class sound design.

Choosing to explore a true story through this medium is both innovative and moving, as it brings listeners closer to the heart of the Mariana Dam Disaster and the fight for justice.

(Yolanthé Fawehinmi)

6. The Sports Agents

Streaming platform: All streaming platforms

Genre: Sport

TSA

Every Tuesday and Thursday, sports broadcasters Gabby Logan and Mark Chapman will be exploring some of the best and biggest stories behind sport in their new Global Player podcast The Sports Agents.

Episodes won’t only include the pair’s insider knowledge, but become the go-to place for exclusive interviews from the most anticipated events in the calendar, including the men’s EURO 2024, the Six Nations, the Wimbledon Championships and the 2024 Summer Olympics in Paris.

“Having spent decades in sports journalism, I’m looking forward to telling the stories behind the sports. I’m so excited to get started, with a huge summer in front of us,” said Logan.

Chapman added: “Often, so many of the most interesting stories in sport happen off the pitch, court and track, and it’s brilliant that The Sports Agents will be the place for us to share the stories behind the action with listeners.”

The first episode of The Sports Agents is due to launch on March 5.

(Yolanthé Fawehinmi)