Best podcasts of the week: Jon Snow swaps news broadcasts for his ‘Snowcast’

In this week’s newsletter: The giant of British journalism starts his post-Channel 4 career with his new interview show. Plus: five of the best podcasts for women in midlife

Picks of the week

Snowcast
From Tues 7 Feb, widely available, episodes weekly
After three decades anchoring Channel 4 News, the formality is gone and Jon Snow is finding his way in the world of podcasting with endearing hesitancy. The first in his new interview series sees him meet Jon Ronson, confess his nerves and even ask his guest if you’re allowed to swear in a podcast. “I’ve been part of a regulated broadcaster for 50 years!” he exclaims on discovering you can. “I can’t manage!” Very charming. Alexi Duggins

I Am America
Widely available, episodes weekly

This new series from Black-ish star Tracee Ellis Ross (below) profiles people of colour whose unconventional success stories are “redefining … the possibility of our country”. Interviewees largely tell their own stories, but it’s Ellis-Ross’s weirdly profound intro and outro that’s most affecting: “These stories are beautiful, heavy and light. They are the best of us.” AD

Shrink the Box
Widely available, episodes weekly

What happens when you put Fleabag, Ross Geller and Don Draper into therapy? The affable and smart Ben Bailey Smith teams up with psychotherapist Sasha Bates to find out what issues fictional characters have – and how viewers can learn from them. It’s a good introduction to the magic of therapy, with entertainment mixed in. HV

Deep Cover: Never Seen Again
Widely available, episodes weekly

When two young women at opposite ends of the US went missing in 1999, a small-town detective sprang into action in true podcast style. Now Pulitzer prize-winning journalist Jake Halpern looks at the truth behind the inaccurate and misogynistic assumptions made when women disappear – and lets the missing speak for themselves. HV

Stolen Hearts
Widely available, episodes weekly from
Monday
“My taste in men? It was all over the shop.” Twice-divorced Welsh police offficer Jill Evans thought she found love when businessman Dean walked into her life – but he turned out to have one hell of a skeleton in his closet. Here, she tells Kerry Godliman (After Life) the full story. Hollie Richardson

There’s a podcast for that

This week, Hannah Verdier picks five of the best podcasts for women in midlife, from “queenagers” dishing out straight-talking advice on hormones and more to a guide to making the most of your 40s

Menopause Whilst Black
“Now that women are beginning to be heard, where are the women who look just like me?” asks fashion creative and all-round inspirational ball of fabulousness Karen Arthur. The last couple of years has seen a boom in rich and famous white women becoming louder about menopause, so it’s refreshing to hear other voices. Arthur is warm and friendly, bringing reassurance to Black British women who might have hidden their symptoms. She’s keen to celebrate their lives, too, and there’s so much to be learned from the discussions that often run deep.

Now You’re Asking with Marian Keyes and Tara Flynn
Listening to author Marian Keyes and actor Tara Flynn is like wrapping yourself in a Dryrobe after the obligatory cold water swim. (OK, even if you’re not a walking cliche of a midlife woman, you get the idea.) The two friends play agony aunts to readers, giving advice on receiving hideous gifts, dealing with the school run after a one-night stand with one of the dads and what to do if you’re invited to a swingers party. It’s not all lighthearted chat, with fear, grief and overwhelming problems all addressed with so much wit and warmth.

The Shift with Sam Baker
Author Sam Baker is open about coming unstuck in her forties and how she found her purpose. She’s joined by some very impressive women of a similar age on her podcast and they’re happy to share their experiences. Ruth Jones talks about her teenage self’s perception of “old women”, Sheila Hancock looks back on getting her big break in a cast full of posher men and Anita Rani describes the “power decade” that is her forties. A wise antidote to the defeatist “women over 40 are invisible” mantra.

The Dr Louise Newson Podcast
If you think hearing women banging on about the struggles of menopause is about as interesting as listening to people talk about their dreams/hilarious drug tales/word of the year, then you probably just want the facts. And the don of dishing them out is Dr Louise Newson, GP and founder of the Balance app. Newson is not messing about, addressing general issues such as exercise and nutrition as well as medical concerns – and she’s very straightforward about her pro-HRT stance, using strong evidence to clear up misinformation as she goes.

Postcards From Midlife
Queens of the middle Trish Halpin and Lorraine Candy aren’t afraid to tell it like it is, with a to-do list that includes juggling teenage children, work and wellness. The duo realise that advice on buying makeup should be treated with the same gravitas as guidance on how to get your finances in order, with plenty of humour too. Their friendship is tight and their chat is fast-flowing, but they expertly step back and let guests including interior design guru Michelle Ogundehin, face of the 90s Patsy Kensit and beloved comedian Ruby Wax tell their own stories.

Why not try …

  • Cannabis Cowboys, revealing how investors lost anywhere from thousands to millions on a medicinal marijuana scheme.

  • A postmortem of postwar Britain’s broken promise of a better society, in Jam Tomorrow.

  • Not Lost, a travel show with a twist: what if you explored new places, with total strangers?

If you want to read the complete version of the newsletter please subscribe to receive Hear Here in your inbox every Thursday

Contributors

Alexi Duggins, Hannah Verdier and Hollie Richardson

The GuardianTramp

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