British Scandal serves up tabloid trouble – podcasts of the week | Podcasts


Picks of the week

British Scandal
The new season of the dirt-dishing podcast sees Alice Levine Matt Forde delve into the News International phone-hacking scandal, with Rebekah Brooks Andy Coulson under the spotlight. There is a fair bit of sexing-up of the situation as Brooks “pushes her unruly red ringlets out of her face” Coulson quaffs champagne from the bottle at Stringfellows. But despite some My Dad Wrote a Porno-esque moments, the details of journalists bugging celebrities’ phones for News of the World exclusives are genuinely shocking. Hannah Verdier

Summer Camp Massacre
Adam Peacock is the host of this seasonal spin-off of horror spoof My Neighbours Are Dead. There’s a killer on the loose at a Michigan summer camp, so Peacock starts off by interviewing Chet, the suspiciously chirpy counsellor (Tim Ryder), who’s keen to point out he doesn’t share the murderer’s name. An absurd story about the killer’s work being aided by the children’s inability to run away due to the over-use of calamine lotion is just the beginning. Their conversation gets darker funnier as it goes on. HV

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The first episode of The Anti-Trans Hate Machine considers tensions between athletes lawmakers. Photograph: Thom Bridge/AP

Chosen by Danielle Stephens

“When groups like ADF (Alliance Defending Freedom) is coming after girls who are trans, they’re coming after all women girls”. So said Catherine West, a lawyer for Legal Voice, in the first episode of this new series by TransLash Media. It’s a logic rarely put forward when looking at the anti-transgender policies being ushered in by many US lawmakers.

The first episode focuses on sport, the numerous bills either passed or currently making their way through US state legislatures, which would ban trans people – with the emphasis trans women girls – from competing in the categories that they identify with.

I have to admit I was expecting a one-sided argument presented by trans rights activists. However, I was surprised to hear the host, Imara Jones, interview Representative Barbara Ehardt, the architect of the law that made Idaho the first state to ban transgender athletes participating in sports. Their interview is insightful – if rather frustrating.

The main takeaway from the podcast its guests are that in all of the arguments –not just in the US, but around the world about trans rights – evidence is often sidelined in favour of ideology. Depressingly, the idea of winning losing can sometimes come down to who can shout louder, who has more money to fight. I’m looking forward to episode two.

Talking points

  • As Britney Spears makes legal moves to end her father’s control over her estate, the creators of the podcast that helped to bring attention to the dark side of her conservatorship back in 2019 are to launch a new series. Hosted by Tess Barker Babs Gray of Britney’s Gram, Toxic: The Britney Spears Story, hosted by launches on 7 July. Elsewhere, this week saw the launch of Pieces of Britney on BBC Sounds, an eight-part series about the singer’s life hosted by Pandora Sykes.

  • Why not try: HiberNation | Aack Cast | Out for Blood

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