Guardian Podcast
Weekend: episode two of a new podcast
Fri, 01 Apr 2022 14:48:06 GMT

Ease into the weekend with our brand new podcast, showcasing some of the best Guardian and Observer writing from the week, read by talented narrators.

In this episode, Marina Hyde looks at the new additions to Downing Street (2m00s), Hadley Freeman interviews Hollywood actor Will Arnett (9m56s), Sirin Kale tries her hand at quiz show Mastermind (26m32s), and David Robson examines why we’re so stressed about stress (41m08s).

If you like what you hear, subscribe to Weekend on Apple, Spotify or wherever you get your podcasts.

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Weekend: episode one of a new podcast
Sat, 05 Feb 2022 05:00:03 GMT

Ease into the weekend with our brand new podcast, showcasing some of the best Guardian and Observer writing from the week, read by talented narrators.

In our first episode, Marina Hyde reflects on another less than stellar week for Boris Johnson (1m38s), Edward Helmore charts the rise of Joe Rogan (9m46s), Laura Snapes goes deep with singer George Ezra (18m30s), and Alex Moshakis asks, “Are you a jerk at work?” (34m40s).

If you like what you hear, subscribe to Weekend on Apple, Spotify or wherever you get your podcasts

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Comfort Eating with Grace Dent: episode one of a new podcast
Thu, 01 Jul 2021 10:00:06 GMT

Have you ever wondered what famous people actually eat? In our new podcast, Guardian restaurant critic Grace Dent does just that, asking well-known guests to lift the lid on the food they turn to when they’re at home alone – and what comfort foods have seen them through their lives.

In the first episode, screenwriter Russell T Davies tells Grace about his childhood in Swansea, the delights of Woolworth’s pork and egg pies, and how his husband’s death informed his latest TV series, It’s a Sin.

Future guests will include Nish Kumar, Rafe Spall and Aisling Bea. Episodes willl be released every Tuesday – search for it wherever you get your podcasts

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'Our climate crisis is a choice': Christiana Figueres on why we can change the future - books podcast
Tue, 21 Apr 2020 05:45:56 GMT

In 2009, the UN climate summit in Copenhagen ended in failure when governments around the world failed to reach an agreement on how to tackle the climate crisis. Then along came Christiana Figueres, the Costa Rican diplomat who spearheaded international talks and brought the world together to reach the historic Paris Agreement, where, just six years after “Brokenhagen”, 195 countries came to a consensus.

Now she has teamed up with her former strategy adviser, the environmental economist Tom Rivett-Carnac, to examine what the next 30 years will bring in their book, The Future We Choose. Richard sat down with Christiana and Tom in an interview recorded before the coronavirus outbreak.

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Why David Attenborough is famous but 'he isn't a celebrity' – books podcast
Tue, 14 Apr 2020 15:26:26 GMT

As a historical consultant on the BBC’s award-winning Horrible Histories, Greg Jenner’s enthusiasm for the past has made him a familiar figure on radio and television, with appearances on chatshows, documentaries, and as presenter of the You’re Dead to Me podcast. His latest book, Dead Famous is a joyous romp through the history of celebrity, from Edmund Kean to Gertrude Stein, from Grace Darling to WG Grace. But is a celebrity anything more than someone who is famous for being famous?

And we share what some of you have been reading during the coronavirus outbreak and talk to Adam Douglas, rare bookseller at Peter Harrington, about how some of the greatest philosophical and literary works have been created in isolation.

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From diseases to memes, how do things spread? - books podcast
Tue, 07 Apr 2020 08:59:08 GMT

When writing his book The Rules of Contagion: Why Things Spread - and Why They Stop, mathematician Adam Kucharski had no idea that it would come out during a pandemic. He speaks to Claire about the concept of “contagion” and the ways ideas, viruses, violence and misinformation spread in a population.

And Claire and Richard share some of your emails with tips for books to read in lockdown, and look over the International Booker prize shortlist.

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Hunting down the 42 paintings of Pieter Bruegel - books podcast
Tue, 31 Mar 2020 13:46:31 GMT

On this week’s show, we chat to Toby Ferris about his search for the master painter Pieter Bruegel. Ferris was 42 when he decided he would track down the 42 surviving paintings by the 16th-century great, a project he documents in his latest book Short Life in a Strange World.

And Claire and Sian chat to independent bookseller Sam Fisher about how he and his staff at Burley Fisher Books have been coping during the coronavirus outbreak, and to Hay literary festival director Peter Florence, who is attempting to keep the festival afloat with a public fundraiser after it was cancelled due to the pandemic.

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Glenn Patterson and what to read while self-isolating – books podcast
Tue, 24 Mar 2020 06:30:25 GMT

Glenn Patterson is a Northern Irish writer who made his debut in 1988 with Burning Your Own, an award-winning coming-of-age tale set at the start of the Troubles, in 1969. His most recent novel, Where Are We Now? tells the story of a bewildered divorcee who is trying to make a new life in a rapidly renewing Belfast.

And as the coronavirus dominates headlines and more people self-isolate, Sam Jordison, the person behind the Guardian’s Reading group and Tips, links and suggestions blog, talks to Claire and Sian about reading while stressed and whether this is the time to go for dystopias or comforting reads.

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Who was St Paul? With Christos Tsiolkas and Tom Holland – books podcast
Tue, 17 Mar 2020 06:00:48 GMT

Christos Tsiolkas’s career grew from being a well-respected figure in Australia’s literary scene, with his dark, funny and often brutal novels including Loaded and Dead Europe. Then his 2008 novel The Slap, set in Australian suburbia and following the fallout after a man hits a child who is not his own, became a worldwide bestseller.

His new book, Damascus, is markedly different: set at the birth of Christianity, it follows the life of St Paul as the battle to create the definitive account of Christ’s life becomes increasingly violent.

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'What if Gandalf joined The Sweeney?': Ben Aaronovitch on Rivers of London – books podcast
Tue, 10 Mar 2020 06:00:25 GMT

Ben Aaronovitch began his career in screenwriting, writing for TV juggernauts such as Casualty and Doctor Who. His novels are cut from similar cloth, with his bestselling Rivers of London series following the adventures of Peter Grant, a young police officer who winds up working for The Folly, a secret branch of the Met that handles the supernatural.

He spoke to Sian about the eighth book in the series, False Value, the vital role London plays in his fiction and what it is like adapting the books with Simon Pegg and Nick Frost.

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Inside the Brontës' fantasy world, and a Booker controversy – books podcast
Tue, 03 Mar 2020 10:11:29 GMT

Isabel Greenberg burst on to the scene in 2011, when she won the Observer/Cape graphic short story prize with Love in a Very Cold Climate. This short story of a man from the north pole and a woman from the south pole who fall in love was one of the myths at the heart of her first graphic novel, The Encyclopedia of Early Earth.

Her second, One Hundred Nights of Hero, returned to the same mythical territory. But now Greenberg is back with something very different: a graphic almost-biography of the Brontës, called Glass Town. She talks to Richard about why she wanted to explore Angria, the Brontës’ fictional childhood landscape.

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The surprising history of astrology – books podcast
Tue, 25 Feb 2020 06:00:43 GMT

On this week’s show, data scientist Alexander Boxer looks back over the history of astrology and reveals what it tells us about the past – and the future – of science. He tells Richard about the surprising history and science of astrology in his book A Scheme of Heaven: The History of Astrology and the Search for our Destiny in Data.

And at the trial of movie mogul Harvey Weinstein, his lawyer complained that a juror was reading “books on predatory older men” and reviewing them online on Goodreads during the proceedings. Claire and Sian talk about the ways our reading choices can signal who we are as people.

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Maaza Mengiste on the Ethiopian women who fought Italy – books podcast
Tue, 18 Feb 2020 07:00:20 GMT

The Italian invasion of 1935 is a pivotal moment in Ethiopia’s history. The novelist Maaza Mengiste explains how she discovered that women had been written out of this story, and why her novel The Shadow King circles around seen and unseen photographs.

And Aida Edemariam joins us to talk about her biography of her grandmother, The Wife’s Tale, and the recent flowering of authors with Ethiopian heritage writing in English.

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Sophie Hannah on the recipe for a perfect crime novel – books podcast
Tue, 11 Feb 2020 10:00:01 GMT

After taking on Agatha Christie’s mantle for three Poirot novels, Sophie Hannah is back in the 21st century with Haven’t They Grown. She joins us to talk about impossible premises, the secret of great crime fiction and why it’s such fun to step into Christie’s shoes.

Then we head to Colombia, where Margaret Atwood was just one of the literary stars appearing at the Hay festival in Cartagena.

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Adam Rutherford on how to tackle racist pseudoscience - books podcast
Tue, 04 Feb 2020 10:00:38 GMT

With social media giving a public platform to racists who make their case with pseudoscience, the geneticist Adam Rutherford joins us to explore how prejudice is based on error and wilful misreadings of the science. The human genome may be complicated, but Rutherford explains how early biologists were mired in colonialist thinking – and how modern genetics proves the intellectual titans of the Enlightenment were just plain wrong.

And after Nora Roberts’s declaration that she wants to keep writing novels until the day she dies, we discuss whether authors can ever really retire.

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Jonathan Coe and Sara Collins on their Costa-winning novels – books podcast
Tue, 28 Jan 2020 10:00:15 GMT

As the Costa prize judges gather to decide the winner of the 2019 book of the year, the winners of the debut fiction and novel categories read from their works and reveal their inspirations.

We also examine what it means for the Costa prizes to reward “the most enjoyable books of the year”. What exactly is it that makes a book enjoyable after all?

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Jeanine Cummins on her explosive new novel, American Dirt
Wed, 22 Jan 2020 11:04:57 GMT

This week, Claire talks to the controversial author Jeanine Cummins, whose thriller American Dirt – opening with a violent crime at a family barbecue and following Lydia and her son on their journey from Mexico to the US – is causing something of a stir.

We also celebrate Roger Robinson’s TS Eliot prize success, and look at how trauma has always been an inspiration for poetry, memoir and fiction.

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Samantha Harvey on her year without sleep – books podcast
Tue, 14 Jan 2020 06:00:27 GMT

On this week’s show, Richard sits down with Samantha Harvey. After four finely-crafted novels including The Western Wind (2018), Harvey suddenly found herself unable to sleep. Not sleeping badly, or sleeping a bit, but not sleeping at all. Her response is a restless, urgent memoir of the year she spent not sleeping: The Shapeless Unease.

And Sian, Claire and Richard celebrate the news that independent bookshops are on the rise again in the UK and Ireland, after 20 years of decline. They speak to Nic Bottomley, who runs the famous Mr Bs Emporium of Reading Delights in Bath.

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Eoin Colfer on returning to Artemis Fowl – books podcast
Tue, 07 Jan 2020 07:00:52 GMT

When Eoin Colfer’s novel Artemis Fowl was tearing up the bestseller charts in 2001, it seemed as if the author had cracked the recipe for getting reluctant boys to read. Take one part adventure, one part tech, mix in some fairies and add farts.

The eight-book series completed its arc in 2012, when the young villain Artemis found a kind of redemption. But Colfer has now returned to the Fowl universe with The Fowl Twins, following Artemis’s younger brothers, Myles and Beckett, as they go on the rampage with a troll and a fairy in training. He sits down with Sian to talk about comedy, how children’s literature has changed, and the forthcoming Disney adaptation of Artemis Fowl directed by Kenneth Branagh.

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Our favourite books of 2019, and the most exciting books of 2020 – books podcast
Tue, 24 Dec 2019 07:00:07 GMT

As families and friends gather for Christmas, we speak to Priya Basil about food, hospitality and the difficult subject of welcoming people into your home. After two novels, Basil has turned to non-fiction with Be My Guest, in which she explores the subtle dynamics of the dinner table.

And Claire, Richard and Sian share their favourite books of the year and what they’re looking forward to in 2020.

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