Best podcasts of the week: The adult actress who became the unwitting face of a thousand catfishing scams
Picks of the week
BBC Sounds, all episodes out now
Dan Ashby and Lucy Taylor’s 10-part investigation into the scandal surrounding UK waste disposal is explosively revelatory. It features deathbed confessions, gangs, an illegal Northern Irish site harbouring 1m tonnes of dumped recycling and the news that a fifth of all UK waste is handled by criminals. A shocking listen that’s a must for anyone who cares about our planet – not bad given episodes are only 15 minutes long. Alexi Duggins
The Tom Grennan Phone In
Widely available, episodes weekly
The chart-topping singer-songwriter’s new celebrity interview show is a cheeky, banter-packed chat-fest. He will talk to the likes of Vicky McClure, Roman Kemp and Zara McDermott, but the first episode is with YouTube prankster JaackMaate. It’s full of goofy anecdotes, from disaster-packed first dates to accidentally snubbing Stella McCartney. AD
Spotify, all episodes out now
The latest five-part series of this true-crime podcast involves chaos, kidnapping, a Louis Vuitton backpack, a dead body, a 75-year prison sentence – and an emerging rapper, Max D. The wider issue explored by host Brandon Jenkins is who the US justice system works for and against. Hollie Richardson
BBC Sounds, episodes weekly
Janessa Brazil is a successful adult entertainment star, but her stolen photos also make her the face and body of many global catfishing schemes. Hannah Ajala investigates how it happened, speaking to scammers and their victims who have heartbreaking stories of lost millions and shattered marriages as hope of a new romance turned to despair. Hannah Verdier
It’s Giving Fashion
Widely available, episodes weekly
With red carpet season in full swing, Shea Couleé and Tiger Lily unleash a podcast that straddles silly, snarky and serious fashion commentary. Why should you leave low-rise pants behind? Will Kim Kardashian ever stop wearing Balenciaga? And what trends do you need in your life? Your hosts would have given Joan Rivers a run for her money. HV
There’s a podcast for that
This week, Ann Lee chooses five of the best podcasts for film fans, from a podcast speaking to directors on their breakout hits to a behind the scenes show on Hollywood history
You Must Remember This
Critic and author Karina Longworth presents this meticulously researched series, a deep dive into Hollywood history that focuses as much on the secret stories behind classic films as it does tales forgotten over time. There are plenty of wild anecdotes and juicy eye-opening details, with each season examining a certain era or theme from Charles Manson’s ties with Hollywood to the impact of overlooked trailblazer Polly Platt. The most recent series looked at the erotic 80s, scrutinising how the decade delved into sex in a way that hasn’t been seen since. Compelling storytelling that’s informative too.
Blank Check with Griffin & David
Film critic David Sims and comedian Griffin Newman’s podcast is a collection of miniseries on directors who were essentially given a “blank cheque” to pursue their passion projects after scoring a box office hit early on in their careers. They’re usually joined by a guest (Lin-Manuel Miranda, Lulu Wang and Jamie Bell have all featured) who joins in with the debate about whether those “cheques” cleared or bounced. The episodes on Christopher Nolan, Tim Burton and Jane Campion are great starting points, demonstrating just how much fun it is to listen to two passionate and knowledgeable film buffs.
Screenwriters often don’t get enough applause in Hollywood, but – gladly – Script Apart features comprehensive interviews with a different one each week. Hosted by journalist Al Horner, it offers a brilliant insight into the creative process – as well as what got left on the metaphorical cutting room floor. Highlights include Edgar Wright on the parallels with Brexit in his film Last Night in Soho, and Tom Schulman revealing there was an alternative ending to Dead Poets Society where Robin Williams’s John Keating was put on trial. The perfect listen for cinephiles and writers alike.
How Did This Get Made?
There are many podcasts dedicated to terrible movies, but this is surely the best. Comedians/actors Paul Scheer, June Diane Raphael and Jason Mantzoukas get together with a special guest to talk about big-screen turkeys – some so bad they’re good, and others that are plain awful. But, rather than eviscerate them, the trio celebratehow weird and wonderful they are. The hosts have great chemistry and – as they try to work out how these projects got the green light – their conversations are genuinely hilarious. Be sure to seek out their takedown of Jean-Claude Van Damme’s martial arts epic Bloodsport.
The Director’s Cut
Created by the Directors Guild of America, this series features in-depth interviews with directors about their latest release, with the interviewing done by their fellow filmmakers. The pairings are all made up of serious heavy-hitters, among them Guillermo del Toro and James Cameron on the latter’s blockbuster sequel Avatar: The Way of Water; Greta Gerwig chatting to Todd Field about his Oscar-nominated psychological drama Tár; and Rian Johnson interviewing Parasite auteur Bong Joon-ho. A vital glimpse into what it takes to make a film, featuring some wonderful behind-the-scenes stories.
Why not try …
The murky tale of yoga’s “conspiracy queen” in Imperfect Paradise.
Abbey Clancy and Peter Crouch turn agony aunt and uncle in The Therapy Crouch.
The inside story of an indie phenomenon in Arctic Monkeys: Believe The Hype with Kate Nash.
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