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The Guardian - UK
The Guardian - UK
Hannah J Davies, Hollie Richardson, Hannah Verdier and Alexi Duggins

Best podcasts of the week: Alan Partridge is back with anecdotes and ‘intimate details’

Steve Coogan returns as Alan Partridge in Audible’s From the Oasthouse.
Steve Coogan returns as Alan Partridge in Audible’s From the Oasthouse. Photograph: Audible

Picks of the week

Eliza: A Robot Story
Widely available, episodes weekly from Monday
Voiced by Sex Education’s Tanya Reynolds, Eliza is the world’s first emotional robot in this chilling eight-part series that forces you to examine the real issues behind the story – specifically coercive control. Eliza is owned by Him (Arthur Darvill) and lives life according to his desires and needs. Created by Emma Hickman and the Pankhurst Trust, it marks National Domestic Violence Month and is as fascinating as it is pressing. Hollie Richardson

The Film Quiz Podcast
Widely available, episodes weekly

Nick Helm is your host for this movie quiz, filmed in front of a live audience with celebrities including Sooz Kempner, Richard Herring and Jordan Brooks. There’s much “What’s your favourite film?” preamble, before the panellists get down to the not very serious business of having their film knowledge tested, with banterous distractions. Hannah Verdier

From the Oasthouse: The Alan Partridge Podcast
Audible, all episodes out now
Partridge is back for that vital second series, determined to free the podcast genre from “posh Guardian journalists who shorten their names to three letters”. And he does just that, hardly drawing a breath before he throws out Alan-esque anecdotes. Of course, he goes wild swimming at one point, but will the River Ouse be kind? HV

Widely available, episodes weekly

This illuminating series features young people on journeys through the bits of history “people aren’t talking about enough”. Think a 16-year-old Northern Irish host looking at why her Protestant school teaches different history to a Catholic one, or a Glaswegian émigré from Uganda tackling the legacy of the British empire she wasn’t taught in school. Alexi Duggins

Unearthed: Journeys into the Future of Food
Widely available, episodes weekly

This excellent Kew Gardens series is an intelligent look at an increasingly urgent topic: our failing food systems. Hosts such as the Guardian’s James Wong have fascinating interviews with luminaries including Radio 4 Food Programme’s Dan Saladino. AD

There’s a podcast for that

Chiara Hunter and X Factor alum Diana Vickers host Ki & Dee: The Podcast.
Chiara Hunter and X Factor alum Diana Vickers host Ki & Dee: The Podcast. Photograph: Ricky Vigil M/GC Images

This week, Hannah Verdier picks five of the funniest podcast hosting duos, from a double act specialising in non-blokey banter, to a pair who give Vanessa Feltz the icon status she surely deserves

Like Minded Friends with Tom Allen & Suzi Ruffell
In a world packed with two-blokes-bantering podcasts, Allen and Ruffell offer a soothing take on love, life, culture and anything they fancy. The fact that the comedians are the most laid-back purveyors of chat you’ll ever hear is a large part of their charm, whether they’re rating carbs or bragging about winning dog shows. They’re the best friends who ramble like no one’s listening – except plenty of people are. Just don’t get them started on the rights and wrongs of a street party buffet.

Ki & Dee: The Podcast
If it’s happened to Chiara Hunter and Diana Vickers (yes, the girl who hadn’t heard of shoes on The X Factor), they’ll write a song about it. What started out as lockdown living room fun evolved into a podcast in which the two-headed viral sensation welcome guests, dish out advice, and sing joyful tributes to Jack Grealish. Like the flatmates you actually wouldn’t mind living with, they showcase their flawless millennial humour on subjects ranging from sexual frustration to Cuban heels.

The Antidote
The world is “a dumpster fire,” according to Amy Aniobi and Grace Edwards, best friends, work wives and writers on the TV comedy Insecure. Their answer? This podcast, which is all about joy. They love a good swear and never hold back, even when they’re cackling about useless advice from officials versus what would really happen if New York was hit by a nuclear bomb. But, mostly, it’s all about self-care and all the good stuff in life. Guests including Tracee Ellis Ross enjoy a dose of the pair’s trademark warmth while they discuss plant parenting and positive self-talk.

Never Have I Ever with Joel Dommett and Hannah Cooper
Listening to a married couple bang on about their life could be “Who-puts-the-bins-out?”-boring, but TV presenter Dommett and his model wife Cooper are a delight. They whip through various things they’ve never done together, whether it’s weightlifting, going on a speed boat, enjoying a Magic Mike matinee, or, er, spending time in a sensory deprivation tank. Cooper is no nodding sidekick, and as the podcast has evolved she frequently gets the upper hand – and a great deal of pleasure out of mocking her husband.

A Gay and a NonGay
Barr (the aforementioned Gay) and Hudson (the Non) have a knack for covering issuesincluding pronouns, sobriety and whether or not Love Island is homophobic with a side order of their friendly humour. If you haven’t sampled their delightful show, start with the Vanessa Feltz episode, where they embrace the iconic presenter and she tells them all about her awe at attending a “fabulous lesbian fandango fiesta”. Elsewhere – with some lighthearted encouragement – Judas Priest’s Rob Halford gives them his philosophy on life, and a whole load of metal tales.

Why not try …

  • Tales of queer self-discovery, featuring guests including Tegan and Sara’s Tegan Quin in Come Out, Come Out.

  • Chilling true crime in 70s Yorkshire, as The Devil Within returns for a look at an exorcism – and a murder.

  • Radiolab’s kid-friendly spin-off, Terrestrials, looks at our weird and wonderful natural world.

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