6 podcasts to listen to this week

These are our top podcast picks.

The Traitors stars Harry Clark and Paul Gorton are back in new true crime podcast, Harry And Paul Are Devious
Harry and Paul are Devious_01 The Traitors stars Harry Clark and Paul Gorton are back in new true crime podcast, Harry And Paul Are Devious

Are you great at creating playlists? Want to hear more about the rise of British tennis player Katie Boulter? Or a fan of Keke Palmer and Ayo Edebiri? Then you’ll be spoilt for choice this week.

1. Make Me A Mixtape

Streaming platform: All streaming platforms

Genre: Music

Make Me A Mixtape is the brand new weekly BBC Sounds show where hosts and opponents Clara Amfo and Jordan Stephens battle it out to create the ultimate mixtape, based on themes picked by a listener – who also gets to choose the winner. But of course, it can’t be that simple. The long-time friends also get two power moves – one allows them to steal a track, and the other allows them to receive a mystery track from a mystery guest.

For the first episode, listener Aadam, a film student from Newcastle, picks early 2010s, old-school RnB and the current UK rap scene. Clara goes first and selects Ill Manors by Plan B, while Jordan goes with Man Don’t Care by JME featuring Giggs – before they start speaking about skiing. I won’t tell you who wins because I hate spoilers, but Make Me A Mixtape is such a fun and innovative way to talk about music and the impact it continues to have in our lives.

(By Yolanthé Fawehinmi)

2. Pop Culture Debate Club

Streaming platform: All streaming platforms

Genre: Pop culture

Each week, host Aminatou Sow (also the host of Call Your Girlfriend) brings together two guests to hash it out over a pop culture obsession, and whoever successfully convinces Aminatou, wins.

The topic in the latest episode is what TV ensemble would make for the best hang. Aminatou brings on journalist Candice Lim, who picks New Girl, and audio producer Ronald Young Jr., who picks Community – both series I’ve never watched. The panellists go head to head sharing their arguments, which include who guest-starred on the show, their favourite characters, and why they see themselves in some of them.

Pop Culture Debate Club, produced by Lemonada Media and the BBC, is critical, fun and a great podcast for pop culture lovers who are as TV-obsessed as I am.

(By Yolanthé Fawehinmi)

3. Off The Bench: The Women’s Sport Podcast

Streaming platform: All streaming platforms

Genre: Sport

Off The Bench: The Women’s Sport Podcast sees journalist Molly McElwee invite extraordinary women athletes, coaches and leaders in sport to talk about how they’ve smashed through barriers.

The latest episode features the current leading woman in British tennis Katie Boulter, who was at one point side-lined due to chronic fatigue and a serious back injury – which she touches on – along with the pressure that comes with being British No. 1 at Wimbledon, and so much more. Boulter also talks about some of her core tennis memories as a child, particularly playing at Leicestershire Tennis Club, where her mum was a coach, and coping with moments of doubt and setbacks.

It’s not often you get to hear sportswomen talk at length about their careers, hopes, dreams and relationships. McElwee does a great job at breaking the ice and giving them the floor to speak their truth unapologetically.

(By Yolanthé Fawehinmi)

4. Harry And Paul Are Devious

Streaming platform: All streaming platforms

Genre: True crime

Are you a fan of BBC One’s tense psychological game show The Traitors? Or pride yourself in having secretive scheming skills? Then you may enjoy Harry And Paul Are Devious, a new true crime podcast hosted by Harry Clark and Paul Gorton, The Traitors’ 2024 breakout stars. The Stak-produced show follows two of the country’s most “loveable liars” as they take on some of history’s craziest crimes that have gone hilariously wrong, devising their own schemes for pulling them off.

They go back to the year 2000 and the Millennium Dome raid (an attempted robbery during the Greenwich dome’s diamond exhibition), sharing their fool-proof ideas that the real-life criminals missed. From art heists to diamond robberies, and sports cheats to police chases, Clark and Gorton put their problem-solving skills to the test, and you should join them.

(By Yolanthé Fawehinmi)

Spotlight on…

4. Where Should We Begin? With Esther Perel

Streaming platform: All streaming platforms

Genre: Society and self-help

Couples therapy is usually kept behind closed doors. But in her hit podcast

Where Should We Begin?,

Belgian-American psychotherapist Esther Perel, probes the tribulations of real people (names are changed but they speak in their real voices). Perel’s accent may be soft and beguiling, but her insight is razor-sharp as she challenges both parties to open up and shine a light on the raw emotions, frustrations and fears they hold.

There is no allowance for excuses or recriminations, leaving listeners free to choose sides, or perhaps decide the mutual misery is deserved. With dozens of past episodes to catch up on, and couples from around the world baring their souls in the hopes of enlightenment, you may just uncover a nugget of essential advice to help your own relationships thrive.

(By Amy Crowther)

5. Baby, This Is Keke Palmer

Streaming platform: All streaming platforms

Genre: Comedy and Culture

The latest episode of Baby This Is Keke Palmer starts like it usually does, with

host, actress and singer Palmer having a chit-chat with her mother Sharon – about how her imagination plays into her everyday life, why movies are such an important part of their lives, telling stories through comedy and sun-gazing.

Eventually, Palmer is joined by is joined by American actress and comedian Ayo Edebiri – who has a very similar sense of humour – and talks about her writing origin story and writing process (“It’s not consistent in any way”). She also ventures into listening to your instincts, and following your ideas and thoughts down the rabbit hole, and so much more. A fascinating interview that gets me thinking about storytelling and creativity, and a a great listen for anyone interested in Palmer and Edebiri’s work.

(By Yolanthé Fawehinmi)