Technology

Best podcasts of the week: How one of history’s biggest call centre scams was exposed


Picks of the week

Chameleon: Scam Likely
Apple Podcasts, episodes weekly

Most of us have answered an anxiety-inducing, if unconvincing, scam call – 82% of people in the UK, according to Ofcom. This gripping podcast series takes that fear to the next level, with host Yudhijit Bhattacharjee following a team unravelling one of the biggest call centre scams ever pulled – $300m stolen from tens of thousands of Americans. The hunt is on to peg down the shadowy multinational mob behind it all. Hollie Richardson

Fed Up
Wondery, episodes weekly

Casey Wilson throws an abundance of shade as she tells the story of warring wellness queens Tanya Zuckerbrot and Emily Gellis. When Gellis exposed the side effects of Zuckerbrot’s popular fibre-heavy F-Factor diet, it shook the money-making tree and kicked off a court case. Wilson balances a compelling trip into influencer culture with a little sarcasm. Hannah Verdier

Daniel Robinson, a 24-year-old geologist who went missing from a field site outside Phoenix, Arizona in June 2021, features in NBC’s compelling Dateline: Missing in America.
Daniel Robinson, a 24-year-old geologist who went missing from a field site outside Phoenix, Arizona in June 2021, features in NBC’s compelling Dateline: Missing in America. Photograph: AP

WikiListen
Widely available, episodes daily

This 10-minute daily podcast series is the audio equivalent of vanishing into a Wikipedia hole. It’s a digression-packed, bantery attempt to read through a different Wiki page every day, with topics ranging from “spontaneous human combustion” to “urine indicator dye”. Alexi Duggins

Proud Stutter
Widely available, regular episodes

Hosted by Maya Chupkov, “a proud woman who stutters”, this podcast aims to change the way that we understand how people speak. Each week she and a co-host “ally” conduct informative, honest and insightful interviews with people who stammer – starting in the first episode with Dr Cameron Raynes, a lecturer at the University of South Australia. AD

Dateline: Missing in America
Widely available, episodes weekly

There’s always something very intriguing about people who vanish, and Josh Mankiewicz and Andrea Canning peel off the layers of such stories in this podcast. Each episode focuses on one missing person, starting with Heidi Planck, a California mum whose ex-husband raised the alarm when she didn’t pick her son up from school. HV

There’s a podcast for that

England’s players celebrate during a victory party in Trafalgar Square in central London on 1 August 2022.
England’s players celebrate during a victory party in Trafalgar Square in central London on 1 August 2022. Photograph: AFP/Getty Images

This week, to celebrate England’s Women’s Euro 2022 win, Ella Braidwood chooses five of the best women’s football podcasts, from in-depth match analysis to a podcast inspired by the FA’s 50-year ban.

Their Pitch

Hosted by Swedish broadcasters Mia Eriksson and Amanda Zaza, Their Pitch made headlines in April for its interview with Iceland captain Sara Björk Gunnarsdóttir, in which she slammed the decision to play Women’s Euros 2022 games at Manchester City’s academy ground as “disrespectful to women’s football”. It’s testament to the quality of this podcast’s coverage, which features interviews with top flight players and coaching staff competing in Europe, the United States and Canada. There’s a big nod too to those from the Nordic countries, with star guests including Sweden and Chelsea defender Magdalena Eriksson, plus smile-inducing interviews with a couple of Lionesses, namely tournament heroes Ella Toone and Mary Earps. (The latter advises that a good way to remember the pronunciation of her surname is that it rhymes with “burps”.)

The Athletic Women’s Football Podcast

Offering methodical and thorough analysis, The Athletic’s Women’s Football Podcast has been running since late 2020 and is vital fodder for anyone looking to get stuck into the Women’s Super League (WSL). Hosts Kait Borsay and Lynsey Hooper dissect the ins and outs of England’s top tier, alongside the major tournaments across Europe. The treatment of the women’s game over the years is examined through a critical lens, while guest appearances have included Lioness royalty Kelly Smith, golden boot winner Beth Mead, and former England striker and current sporting director of Los Angeles’s Angel City FC, Eni Aluko.

Quite Unsuitable For Females

In 1921, the FA passed a motion declaring that “football is quite unsuitable for females”, banning women from playing on its grounds for half a century. This five-episode series by the National Football Museum explores the calamitous impact of the ban, alongside the harmful stereotypes and barriers faced by women and girls playing today, from the grassroots to the elite level. The LGBTQ+ inclusivity of the sport, and the golden age of the women’s game pre-ban, are also highlighted – in particular, with the legacy of Lily Parr and the team she played for: Dick, Kerr Ladies – while its four hosts are adept at balancing the informative with the engaging.

Goal Diggers Podcast

A black, female-led podcast by a group of fans who know their football, from transfer predictions to match round-ups: this show is refreshing, funny and smart. The banter is enough to make you smile even in the darkest depths of winter, while the discussions are insightful, informative and packed with witty one liners. The podcast mostly looks at the men’s game, but there are dedicated episodes on women’s football – also available as slickly produced videos on YouTube – including an edition on the WSL and one ahead of the Euros.

The Guardian’s Women’s Football Weekly

Relive the highs and lows of the Euro with the Guardian’s first women’s football podcast, which follows the tournament from start to finish. Hosted by sports broadcaster Faye Carruthers, it features in-depth match analysis with guests including ex-England internationals Anita Asante and Karen Carney. The Guardian’s football journalists Suzanne Wrack and Jonathan Liew also make regular appearances, providing their insights and, following England’s historic win, their sheer elation. Carruthers also heads up TalkSport’s Women’s Football Weekly podcast, which focuses on the WSL, including player interviews and discussions on the treatment of the sport: from the quality of refereeing, to the possible use of VAR in the WSL.

For even more, sign up to Moving the Goalposts, the Guardian’s women’s football newsletter

Why not try …

  • Abortion: The Body Politic, the legendary US broadcaster Katie Couric’s six-part history of reproductive rights in America.

  • The tenth season of Hollywood scandal show Disgraceland, focused on the real story of Britney Spears’ conservatorship case.

  • Lexx Education, in which standup comedian Laura Lexx tries to pass her science GCSE again, aided by her younger brother.

In last week’s newsletter we mistakenly provided a link to the audiobook of The Electricity of Every Living Thing, when we meant to link to the serialised dramatisation.



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