Picks of the week
Our Plague Year
Welcome to Night Vale’s Joseph Fink is the king of the offbeat podcast and his new offering is a real antidote to the “don’t panic” mantra. “It’s a scary time right now,” he says. “But it doesn’t have to be scary alone.” His anxiety is raw in the first episode, as his thoughts move swiftly from handwashing to panic-buying and through to isolation. Not only is it reassuring to hear stories of other people waking up in the middle of the night in a panic, but the podcast has small ways to help yourself and others. Hannah Verdier
Bitch Bitch Bitch
Comedian, actor and soon-to-be Bake Off co-host Matt Lucas hosts this new series looking at the not-so-glamorous side of seemingly thrilling jobs, from West End actor to top chef. First up, a gear-shift from the current crisis, as he meets cabin crew who have withstood emergency landings, run-ins with the mile-high club and earfuls from rude passengers. With foreign travel a distant, rose-tinted luxury, it is sure to make you remember the actual hell that is going anywhere near a plane. Hannah J Davies
Chosen by Max Sanderson
During these turbulent times, like many people, I have turned to comfort. For me, that means Kaitlin Prest. And more specifically, The Heart. After a bit of a hiatus, the series has returned. But producer-presenter Prest has handed over the baton to a new generation. I cannot wait to listen, but now is not the time to be shaking things up even more, so I head back into the archive. And specifically to the 2016 mini-season Ghost.
Immediately, I am reminded of why The Heart so bowled me over when I first heard it. The way it walks the line between fact and fiction, the simple but engrossing sound design and the wonderfully dry but hard-hitting scripts. Add to these juxtapositions the painfully personal nature of the likes of Bobby (my favourite episode) and it is hard to not be fully absorbed. Which is exactly what I need right now.