Gossip magazines aren’t what they used to be. Thank heavens for podcasts, stepping into the celebrity-media breach...
That button on your phone lets you go behind the velvet rope with your favourite style icons, writers and characters in an intimate setting: it’s just you, your earbuds and your most famous friends. Words: Felicity Loughrey
Desert Island Discs
This BBC Radio 4 show is legend. It has been on air since 1942 and a good chunk of the archives are all there in the podcast app on your phone. Everyone! Everyone is on there! Theresa May, Piers Morgan, Hugh Grant, Nigella Lawson, Noel Gallagher, Caitlin Moran, Sheryl Sandberg, Morrissey, Stella McCartney, Martina Navratilova, Russell Brand, Jennifer Saunders, David Beckham. Think of your BFFF – best famous friend forever – chances are they’ve been on Desert Island Discs talking about the eight songs they would take with them to a desert island along with childhood memories and personal reflection.
RuPaul: What's the Tee?
Drag impresario RuPaul and his forever offsider Michelle Visage chat to celebrities like Tori Spelling, Chaka Khan, Broad City’s Ilana Glazer (and her brother Eliot), Pat Cleveland, Natasha Lyonne, Kelly Osbourne, Andie MacDowell, Joan Smalls. The show begins with banter between Ru and Michelle. What’s remarkable about their conversations is how suburban they are: their concerns around raising children, family values and friendship. The celebrities are a nice complement to their friendship.
WTF with Marc Maron
A dear New York City friend sold me on Marc Maron’s WTF podcast urging me to listen to his interview with Michael Keaton (side note: I love Mr Mom-era Michael Keaton). “He’s such a great interviewer,” my friend purred. “He draws so much out of people.” She was right. He barrages his guests with questions. He pushes and pushes them. From there I binged on interviews with Lena Dunham, Kim Gordon, Roseanne Barr, Sofia Coppola, Adam Goldberg, Alison Brie and get this, Barack Obama came by Maron’s Cat Ranch for an incredible tete-a-tete.
America’s Essence magazine promises: “At Black Girl Magic headquarters (aka our editorial offices), we’re marrying two things we love: podcasts and interviews with bold, brilliant and badass women of color.” Yes, Girl! delivers with interviews with career-inspiring ladies (see Uber’s chief brand officer Bozoma Saint John) along with plenty of famous friends like Halle Berry, Gabrielle Union, Jennifer Hudson and Mary J Blige. The hosts, Essence staffers Cori Murray and Yolanda Sangweni are infectious, honest and brilliant. Yes, girl! indeed.
How to be Amazing with Michael Ian Black
Before diving into How To Be Amazing with Michael Ian Black, take a detour and read his memoir, You’re Not Doing It Right: Tales of Marriage, Sex, Death and Other Humiliations. It will set the stage for the interviews to come. The themes that Michael Ian Black writes about are the same ones he explores in the podcast: money and fame and how did I get here. He gets memoirist David Sedaris to reveal how much he earns a year ($2 million from speaking tours and royalties). Catch up on How To Be Amazing episodes with Alyssa Milano, Katy Perry and Judd Apatow.
You Must Remember This
Get to know some historical famous friends. Los Angeleno Karina Longsworth has created an incredible aural landscape with You Must Remember This. She pulls together Old Hollywood stories into themes and characters. The research is deep, the Hollywood love is long and the production values high. My fave so far: the series on Jane Fonda and Jean Seberg. She charts these two women’s parallel lives. Am yearning for a really long car journey to deep dive on her archive. Road trip anyone?
Two New York-based beauty editors Jessica Matlin and Jennifer Goldstein start each episode of Fat Mascara kvetching on all things beauty. At the end, the pair raise a wand to their favourite product or industry moment of the week. In between, Jenn and Jess interview your most famous style crush. Actress Molly Ringwald (on having red hair), style icon Linda Rodin (on not having a plan) and makeup mogul Bobbi Brown (on leaving Estee Lauder). It’s a skin-deep chat that’s deeply revealing.
Head Ovary Heels
Felicity Loughrey has a podcast Head Ovary Heels where she interviews women about their lives and ambition. She also has an email newsletter, sent every second Wednesday night, where she lists links to love, things to buy and podcasts to adore. Holding image: Norman Jean Roy