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The best new podcasts of Spring 2023

best new podcasts released in 2023 new podcasts for Spring


The best new podcasts of Spring 2023

Hello again Pod Bible disciples! Believe it or not, it’s been a hot minute since the last ‘New Pods’ article – or to be more accurate, around 394,200 minutes (I just asked my smart speaker).

As much as I love sharing my weekly recommendations in the Pod Bible newsletter, I’ve missed the chance to share a more in-depth analysis of the podcasts I’ve been enjoying. So, like all the best franchises, I’m rebooting our ‘new podcasts’ feature. And like any superhero reboot, it’s going to look every-so-slightly different. Coming to a screen near you in time for Spring – my essential list of the best new podcasts to add to your queue…

The Last Soviet

I’ve noticed several podcasts have – consciously or not – been analysing the history of the Soviet Union recently. The Last Soviet does this through the story of Sergei Krikalev, the cosmonaut on the Mir space station at the time the Soviet Union collapsed. Krikalev is told he can come back to Earth, but doing so would risk Russia’s claim on Mir. So he’s asked if he could stay in space – alone – until further notice. This story would be thrilling in itself. But add to that NSYNC’s Lance Bass as a narrator telling his own story of becoming a trained cosmonaut… I’m obsessed. Don’t skip ‘The Lance Files’. Whilst not strictly part of the narrative, it had so many nuggets of amazement. Listen on your favourite podcast app >>


Synthetic Stories

Listening to the first episode of this show gave me a sense of things being not-quite-right. It might have something to do with the storyline (a young woman becomes obsessed with a new app called Horror World) but it’s probably more to do with the fact that This Is Distorted has made an entire podcast using AI. From the artwork, to the script, title and even the Press Release we were sent, Synthetic Stories is a podcast, about a podcast, made by… the podcast? The first episode works well as a horror genre, but the heart-warming tale of the second episode doesn’t quite land – perhaps because the writer doesn’t have a heart. Listen on your favourite podcast app >>


Pilot Season 2023

With more and more worthy podcast ideas vying for funding and attention, Pilot Season is a fantastic idea from award-winning production company Unedited. Described as ‘a mixtape of formats’, the feed showcases five new shows by letting people listen to ‘pilot episodes’ before the series is commissioned. The first episodes cover a wide range of topics, from hidden statistics of curry houses, to Reading Festival. In the first pilot, ‘Facts That Matter’, journalist, writer and broadcaster Gary Younge explains why the UK has more jobs in Indian restaurants than in industries like shipbuilding, steel, and coal – something I would never have thought about, but that is a symptom of underlying aspects of UK society. Listen on your favourite podcast app >>


Where’s Home Really?

When uttered by strangers it can have the effect of making people feel unwelcome, but in Where’s Home Really? journalist, restaurant critic, and Masterchef judge Jimi Famurewa flips the question to focus on the ‘home’ in the question. He asks his guests to reveal a person, a phrase, a place and a plate that best represent what home means to them. In the first episode, comedian Stephen K Amos gives us a suitably comedic take involving the News at 10 gong, whilst touching on some topics like racism – all in a refreshingly brisk 28 minutes. Listen on your favourite podcast app >>



This is another show that thinks about the relationship between food and our deepest memories. Like many food shows, it asks guests to share a profound moment in their lives involving an evocative meal. But unlike many food shows, the guests’ stories are interlaced with mini-memoirs from the creator Natasha Miller (founder of Miller Libertine, a taste branding consultancy that has won several Great Taste Awards.) Bitter/Sweet is the perfect name for these narrations – the first episode hits you in your gut as she talks about Sunday lunch and her mother. With short episodes the length the need to be, there’s no excuse not to listen to this one! Listen on your favourite podcast app >>


Tony Robinson’s Cunningcast

Tony Robinson has been entertaining us for more than 50 years in various forms – and now he has a podcast talking about various different things. The launch episodes pulled us straight into Tony-territory with one episode focused on Blackadder (featuring the always enteratining Miriam Margolyes) followed by one on Stonehenge, Tony’s favourite ancient landmark. Whether you love him most as Baldric in Blackadder or himself on Time Team, this podcast is going to please you. And it quite clearly pleases Tony as well – he obviously enjoys speaking to the friends and experts he has on, and has lost none of the passion for his chosen subjects, even after 50 years of being connected to them. Listen on your favourite podcast app >>


My Ramadan

An Australian podcast perfect for tuning into right now, My Ramadan features experiences of Ramadan and Eid through five specially themed episodes. Sarah Malik (investigative journalist, author and television presenter) chats with her guests about aspects like navigating work while fasting, slowing down and how Ramadan connects to spirituality and self. Some of the guests are famous, others and regular Australians, but what’s worth listening to hear is the affinity Sarah and her interviewees share. In ‘The hipsterfication of Ramadan’ despite the generational gap, you can hear the joint passion behind their favourite Iftar food traditions and the frustrations of micro (and macro) aggressions. The series will culminate in a special Eid episode (21st-22nd April). Listen on your favourite podcast app >>


High Strange

Can we have sensible conversations about the possibility of intelligent life beyond our planet? Perhaps more pertinently, could a podcast be the perfect place to do that? In High Strange, Payne Lindsey (creator of Ambie-winning podcast Up and Vanished) attempts to break the stigma surrounding the topic of UFOs. Each episode, a story of unidentified activity is interspaced with news clips, speeches from presidents and interviews with experts and skeptics. The variety of references makes the argument for intelligent life more compelling, but the dramatic score underneath does make this seem more like the storytelling than a ‘conversation’. If you want to believe, but are slightly concerned about the company you’d be keeping, I’m not convinced this will change your mind – yet. Listen on your favourite podcast app >>


Bear Brook

A man is serving life in prison for a murder he says he didn’t commit. A woman’s last moments are painted out in your ears. Chilling tapes from police interrogations. We’ve been here before with podcasts right? But something about Bear Brook has captured people. Claire Jones at Lemonada called it “gobsmacking”, Hannah Veridier at the Guardian says it’s a “thoughtful podcast”. I say – it’s worth a listen if you like crime podcasts, and especially if you want to think about why you like crime podcasts. Following in the footsteps of The Trojan Horse Affair, we get a meta podcast that explains itself as it goes. After a reveal that did get me gasping, host Jason Moon talks through the narrative devices he just used “I did it, and I’m telling you I did it as a demonstration”. This is about the power of storytelling, not just in podcasts but in the murder investigations themselves. Wherever that makes the show more ethical or thoughtful, I’m unsure. But it is certainly more interesting. Listen on your favourite podcast app >>



This ten part series has made it into my ‘most-recommend’ over the past few months, with a few friends thanking/blaming me for the things they now know from it. Husband and wife investigative journalists Dan Ashby and Lucy Taylor dig into the illegal dumping of waste across the UK and beyond. From a deathbed confession, to Mafia connections and possible carcinogenic soil, Buried reminds us we don’t have to look to the US for stories of corruption to unearth. Made for BBC Radio 4, the episodes have a strict run-time of 15 mins or less, making this very easy to storm through, or fit in around other listening. Listen on your favourite podcast app >>


The Rewild Podcast

Wildlife filmmaker James Shooter teams up with Rewilding Europe to create this podcast as he travels across the continent. He talks to the people and highlights the initiatives in various countries that are working to return landscapes to less human-managed forms. As shows like Wild Isles highlight rewilding to a wider audience, this podcast provides a good insight to the wider picture. Monthly episodes look at different countries – the episode on ‘Seawilding’ brings to the surface (ahem) an area that is often out of sight and out of mind, but close to my own Network’s heart. Listen on your favourite podcast app >>


Bust of Trust: A Kid’s Mystery Podcast

Small Wardour bring out a podcast for curious kids’ – and adults – who’d like to investigate some of the biggest world mysteries. Bust or Trust asks for help to uncover the truth behind Big Foot, the Lost City of Atlantis and more with their very own Mulder and Scully hosts, “Myth Truster” Tiernan Douieb and “Myth Buster” Athena Kugblenu. It’s great fun, but also a great way to start teaching critical thinking. Listen on your favourite podcast app >>


Other podcasts for your list:

From Gay to Ze – Lotte Jeffs and Stu Oakley broke new audio-ground with their first podcast, Some Families. From Gay to Ze continues the story by celebrating the messy reality of modern families and the intersection of queer culture. We caught up with Lotte and Stu recently to talk about the show. Listen on your favourite podcast app >>

Dwelling – As standard housing in the UK is becoming unobtainable, Marnie Woodmeade investigates alternative homes, from abandoned buildings to lost rivers. And as restrictions on alternative lifestyles tighten, she questions what the future will hold of the people choosing – or forced into – those lifestyles. Listen on your favourite podcast app >>

This Little Light – Flea, founding member and bassist of the Red Hot Chili Peppers, talks to other musicians about their music education and evolution. First guest are Rick Rubin and FINNEAS. Listen on your favourite podcast app >>

Made With Love – With an obligatory reference to his love of knitting, champion diver Tom Daley speaks to a much loved celebrity about doing what they love. Listen on your favourite podcast app >> 

Black Prose – Black writers talk amongst themselves in conversations that are revealing and so necessary. Journalist Yolanthe Fawehinmi speaks to writers of all regards – from journalists, and authors to songwriters and rappers — about their careers, top tips and writing rituals. Listen on your favourite podcast app >>

Francesca Turauskis

Francesca Turauskis is an award-winning podcast producer, Digital Editor for Pod Bible magazine and the Founder and Lead Producer of Tremula Network, a group of podcasts focused on unheard stories within adventure and outdoors. She has worked with Broccoli Productions, Stripped Media, and Ochenta. She’s been a judge for the International Women’s Podcast Awards, has spoken at the International Women’s Podcast Festival and runs workshops on How to Podcast for individuals and small businesses.

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