Record label boss Suge Knight launches a podcast from jail | Podcasts

One of the greatest joys of podcasting is that anyone can have a go. This week Suge Knight, the record label boss that signed Tupac, Snoop Dogg and Dr Dre, launched his own series from prison, while serving 28 years for killing a man with a car. Collect Call With Suge Knight is a crackly recording of phone conversations from San Diego’s RJ Donovan correctional facility. Might this year’s hottest new podcasting genre involve 90s rap moguls settling scores from behind bars? Probably not, judging by this meandering episode. But it’s certainly a colourful addition to the world of podcasts.

In other, less incarceration-based retro thrills, we’ve got a look at the best nostalgic podcasts out there, from odes to 90s pop culture to a homage to the neon glitz and glamour of the 80s. It’s joined by a review of Jason Derulo’s new romantic thriller podcast (yes, really) and a new series from Alexi Mostrous, the host of our favourite podcast of 2022. It’s another diverse week.

Alexi Duggins
Deputy TV editor

Picks of the week

Alexi Mostrous.
Alexi Mostrous. Photograph: Tom Pilston

Widely available, episodes weekly
Jason Derulo and Alexandra Shipp lead this romantic thriller set in a glamorous island resort. It starts with Nico alluding to an intriguing past, and he’s soon distracted by Anna (Shipp) and her cocktail-making skills. But a mysterious phone call suggests it’s not a chance meeting. It’s glossy, sexy and Derulo has the right level of swagger for the role. He also debuts new music – yes, there is a trademark “Jason Deruuuuulo” or two. Hannah Verdier

Dr Anti-vax
Tortoise Media, all episodes out now
How did anti-vaxxers become so mainstream? Alexi Mostrous (pictured above) (Sweet Bobby and Hoaxed) looks at the story of Dr Andrew Wakefield, the “firestarter” of a worldwide vaccine panic 25 years ago. Criticism from the establishment only fuelled his mission, which is just one thing he has in common with the campaigners of today. HV

Missing Pages
Widely available, episodes weekly
Bethanne Patrick’s podcast about the intricacies of the literary world is back for season two, with banned books, ghostwriters and feuds. Patrick tells a compelling story, opening with the tale of Colleen Hoover, who kickstarted a stellar career with self-publishing. Was it a blueprint for the future or a lucky break? HV

BBC Sounds, episodes weekly
BBC Asian Network’s Poonam Taneja shows immense bravery and skill in this gripping podcast, which starts out as a search for a missing three-year-old in Syria. The story takes a twist when she builds up a rapport with Dure Ahmed, the wife of Islamic State “Beatle” El Shafee Elsheikh, who gives an insight into life in a detention camp. HV

There’s a podcast for that

Cynthia Nixon, Kristin Davis, Kim Cattrall and Sarah Jessica Parker of Sex and the City.
Cynthia Nixon, Kristin Davis, Kim Cattrall and Sarah Jessica Parker of Sex and the City. Photograph: Craig Blankenhorn/AP

This week, Ammar Kalia chooses five of the best nostalgic podcasts, from understanding how food has influenced our childhood memories to a pod dissecting the 90s sitcom Sex and the City.

Every Outfit
TV shows are a treasure trove of nostalgia and series are almost guaranteed to bring back a flood of memories. Chelsea Fairless and Lauren Garroni’s excellent, long-running Sex and the City podcast dissects the haute couture and chaotic storylines of the New York show, while also delving into its context and 90s fixations. From Carrie getting $5 per word at Vogue to Miranda dreading her move to Brooklyn, the series is a perfect time capsule and an ideal companion to those still watching And Just Like That.

With more than 300 episodes to delve into, host Garry Vander Voort’s personal archive of retro phenomena is an engaging blend of thorough historical research and his own recollections. None of the episodes are scripted which makes for unexpected and fascinating tangents, such as Voort recounting how he overcame bullying in high school while explaining his love of the 1980 film My Bodyguard, or explaining the enduring appeal of chicken McNuggets in 80s America. The specificity of the films, foods and TV shows covered make for a great gateway into remembering our own experiences.

Super 90s Bros
There is much to be nostalgic about when it comes to the TV shows, movies and games that filled our screens in the 90s. Hosts Brennon and Adam talk through the decade’s formative releases in this irreverent series, from The Lion King to The Matrix and Super Smash Bros, charting how they planted the seeds for many of the franchises we still see today. From the endless stream of live action Disney films to the Mrs Doubtfire musical that is now playing in the West End, the series is as much an appreciation for the blockbuster hits of the 90s as it is a lament for the lack of experimentation we have today.

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Everything 80s
Heading further back in time, the neon glitz and glamour of the 80s is the focus of this much-loved series. Currently running for more than 200 episodes, host Jamie Logie writes his series as a general history podcast, dedicating episodes to a synopsis of each year throughout the decade, as well as analysing individual trends, from toys to cartoons, video stores and pizza franchises. Logie excels when it comes to the weird niches of 80s culture, telling the story of the corporate battle between the LaserDisc and VHS formats, the groundbreaking visuals of the short film Captain EO, and more.

Desert Island Dishes
Sometimes all it takes is a taste or the faintest smell to transport us right back to our childhoods or the key moments of our lives. Riffing on the Radio 4 Desert Island Discs format, chef Margie Nomura hosts this nostalgia-fuelled food podcast where celebrity guests are invited to pick the seven dishes that have shaped their lives. With a distinctly British roster of small-screen faces, highlights include MasterChef’s John Torode on the simple joys of a salad sandwich, critic Jimi Famurewa’s dish that changed his life, and chef Ravinder Bhogal’s idea of storytelling cuisine.

Why not try …

  • Each week, US comedians and besties Benito Skinner and Mary Beth Barone get together to discuss their musings on life and culture in Ride.

  • Violation, explores America’s opaque parole system through the 1986 murder case of Jacob Wideman.

  • Hosted by chef James Golding, Always in Season, provides inspiration around eating seasonally through the voices of chefs, artisan producers, farmers and more.


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