Best podcasts of the week: The untold story of the UK’s queer nightlife scene

In this week’s newsletter: From Belfast to Birmingham, Damian Kerlin investigates the radical history of our under-threat LGBTQ+ clubbing culture and beyond. Plus: five podcasts to help you get fit

Picks of the week

FOGO: Fear of Going Outside
Widely available, episodes weekly from Monday
“How could someone claim they love nature, yet want to kill one of its creatures?” So asks reluctant naturalist Ivy Le in series two of the show that sends this city slicker into the wilderness – this time to try out hunting. It looks at why a seemingly pointless law letting you hunt feral hogs from a hot-air balloon exists and the astonishing cost of weaponry. Or in Le’s words: “They’re selling guns for more than rent with no return policy!” Alexi Duggins

You Didn’t See Nothin
Widely available, first three episodes available from Wed
“Brace yourself, because this shit is bananas.” Yohance Lacour (below) is a brilliant storyteller in this part investigation, part memoir as he revisits an incident in Chicago that left 13-year-old Lenard Clark beaten into a coma for being Black in a white community – a story that stuck with Lacour during his 10 years in prison. Hollie Richardson

A Prayer for Salmon
Widely available, episodes released in three fortnightly drops
This documentary profiles California’s Indigenous Winnemem Wintu people, who were flooded off their land by the building of the country’s eighth tallest dam. It’s eye-opening as it tells of their fight against plans for the dam’s expansion and campaign on behalf of the native salmon with which they once so neatly co-existed. AD

Memories from the Dancefloor
Widely available, episodes weekly
Fresh podcasting voice Damian Kerlin delves into the history of queer nightlife in the UK, in the audio equivalent of an epic evening out. First stop is London’s Heaven, where “naughtiness was in the air”, according to its founder Jeremy Norman. From escapism to reality, it captures the unique experience of a clubbing community. Hannah Verdier

Drink the Wild Air
Widely available, episodes weekly
From a glaciologist who buried herself alive to survive an Arctic storm to the wildfire expert who faced flames “as high as the Shard”, this series profiles extraordinary lives. It’s a detail-packed listen, with interviewees including the biologist whose attempts to fly with migratory birds has seen her branded “the human swan”. AD

There’s a podcast for that

This week, Charlie Lindlar chooses five of the best podcasts to help you get fit, from pep talks and practical tips from professionals, to the rituals and routines of celebs.

BarBend
One for more experienced gym-goers, BarBend explores the culture and personalities of weightlifting through chats with “the smartest minds in strength”. Here you’ll find advice from superstar strongwoman Inez Carrasquillo and fascinating insights from the researchers refining the scientific way to get swole. The free weight corner may be a famously toxic part of the gym, but host David Tao bucks the trend: his self-awareness of the sport’s image, combined with his genuine curiosity, makes this a must-listen for anyone passionate about what strength training can do for our bodies and our minds.

Hurdle
“My mission is simple: To inspire you to be your best self, move with intention – and have some fun along the way,” says journalist and coach Emily Abbate at the top of this show, which guides listeners through the barriers that exercise, not to mention life, can throw in your way. Episodes drop three times a week, with a balance of surprisingly diverse guests, plus confessional advice from Abbate’s own life. Each week’s Friday episode is simply a slimmed-down but heartfelt pep talk that will leave you inspired and ready to push for that personal best.

Another Mother Runner
Running might be the last thing you want to hear about while you’re already running, but Another Mother Runner is a gentle show that exists to keep you calm and focused on your training journey. Hosts Sarah Bowen Shea and Dimity McDowell cover everything from dream destination marathons to how to manage niggling injuries, alongside reader “call-in” episodes that offer practical, trustworthy advice. The pair are experienced runners but their easy rapport means every episode comes across less “PE teacher forcing you to do cross-country” and more like two friends keeping you company out there on the otherwise lonely roads.

Habits and Hustle
A focused mindset is key to long-term exercise success – and the subject of this podcast from “fitness personality” and writer Jen Cohen, which marked 200 episodes over the Christmas break. The show’s magic is in its one-to-one interviews not just with athletes such as basketball legend Dennis Rodman and gymnast Katelyn Ohashi (above), but all-round persevering people from billionaire Mark Cuban to Supernanny herself, Jo Frost. The rituals they stick to and stories of determination they share will help you push through a tough workout.

Beginner: the Guardian Guide to Running
It’s a deep cut, but this eight-week series from 2013 remains a fun, accessible and judgement-free way to begin your fitness journey. Designed to be listened to as you run, each week’s episode raises the stakes steadily but comfortably. You’ll start with 90-second sprints and recovery walks, but by week eight will be crushing whole 30-minute runs. “Don’t worry about the lycra, Vaseline and isotonic drinks just yet,” the first episode begins, “all you need for now is a pair of proper running shoes and a bit of determination and desire.”

Why not try …

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Contributors

Alexi Duggins, Hollie Richardson, Hannah Verdier and Charlie Lindlar

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