The triumphant return of Alan Partridge – podcasts of the week

Picks of the week

From the Oasthouse: The Alan Partridge Podcast
This 18-part podcast promises “unseen Alan” and really delivers, as he takes listeners on a real-time ramble, reading poetry, mooing at cows, and sharing his audition for the North Norfolk Milk Marketing Board (“You cannot market milk!”) It’s a triumphant return, with Partridge segueing from his own Blue Monday to a complaint about ravers ruining service stations, “the essential haven for the weary traveller”. Partridge is a man at the top of his game, along with his faithful assistant Lynn and a feast of episodes packed with very funny one-liners. Hannah Verdier

We Can’t Talk About That Right Now
Comic, illustrator, former Harry Potter actor and general creative polymath Jessie Cave and actor sister, Bebe, helm this new podcast that’s all about speaking their minds. Although the siblings discuss things like weight and pregnancy (Jessie’s currently on her third), it deftly swerves any feminist-lite energy. As Bebe says, lockdown has been an opportunity to see that their industries are “so much less glamorous”, and carve a bit of space of being silly, which is exactly what the Cave sisters do, tempered with a side of seriousness and empathy. Hannah J Davies

Sister act ... We Can’t Talk About That Right Now hosts Bebe and Jessie Cave.
Sister act … We Can’t Talk About That Right Now hosts Bebe and Jessie Cave. Photograph: PR Handout

Chosen by Danielle Stephens

True crime has become one of the largest podcast genres around in the last couple of years. Hometown: A Killing puts its own spin on the trend, offering true crime-meets-investigative journalism, with an added look at British Pakistani culture.

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In the beginning, the story seems simple. Journalist Mobeen Azhar heads back to his hometown of Huddersfield to cover the seemingly tragic shooting by police of local man Mohammed Yassar Yaqub. But not is all as it seems, and every episode of this six-part series brings with it another twist.

Areas covered include the murky world of drug dealing in Huddersfield, racism in the UK, shame in the British Pakistani community and everything in between.

As a journalist, I have to admire the access to characters that Mobeen and producer Peter Sale (who, for full disclosure, I’ve been working with recently) were able to secure. Anyone accustomed to Netflix documentaries on drug dealers will be used to dark shadow or masked coverings, with distorted voices and subtitles. Without the use of subtitles, some clever scripting fills in the gaps.

A binge-worthy series, it is both slightly terrifying, and a good example of why local, investigative journalism is as important as ever.

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