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Back to work: Perfect podcasts for your commute

A nice season for a podcast: Take inspiration from Euronews Culture's list for autumn
A nice season for a podcast: Take inspiration from Euronews Culture's list for autumn Copyright Euronews/Canva
Copyright Euronews/Canva
By Saskia O'Donoghue
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Euronews Culture presents its recommendations from some of our favourite podcasts for your listening pleasure, whether you're out and about or seeking reflective thoughts about life, love and all things in-between.

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September means back to work - or school - and, for many of us, back to the office.

But as the journey sometimes counts as much if not more than the destination why not entertain and educate yourself by listening to our carefully curated list of podcasts; there's something for everyone.

McCartney: A Life in Lyrics

Release date: 20 September

It’s not often such a huge celebrity chooses to dive into their career in a podcast format, but Paul McCartney is doing just that.

The Beatle will reveal the fascinating stories behind some of his best known work, from the Fab Four’s iconic songs, to his band Wings, up to his solo career.

Kevin Winter/Getty Images
Paul McCartney, pictured here in 2016, will look back at his career in his new podcastKevin Winter/Getty Images

Each episode will focus on a single song, including musical masterpieces Let It Be, Eleanor Rigby and Live and Let Die.

In a trailer for the upcoming podcast, McCartney explains, “I wanted to become a person who wrote songs and wanted to be someone whose life was in music.

Throughout the episodes, McCartney will be in discussion with poet and Beatles fan Paul Muldoon, who wrote the foreword to McCartney’s bestselling book, The Lyrics: 1956 to the Present.

Season 2 is already in the works. Featuring 12 more episodes focusing, once again, on individual songs, it’ll be out in February 2024.

Peter and the Acid King

Release date: 18 September

If you’re into true, unsolved crimes and real life stories, this could be the podcast for you this autumn.

In the early 1980s, an experimental music show was broadcast, very briefly, on Los Angeles local television.

George Rose/Getty
Podcast star: Peter Ivers poses on the roof of his LA apartment in 1981George Rose/Getty

Called New Wave Theater, the show was hosted by influential host Peter Ivers and featured up-and-coming acts like Bad Religion and the Dead Kennedys.

The show had a cult following but came to an abrupt end in March 1983, when Iver was found bludgeoned to death at his home.

His murder remains unsolved to this day.

Narrated by Wayne’s World director Penelope Spheeris, this podcast takes listeners on a journey through Iver’s life, New Wave Theater and the Los Angeles punk scene in the 1980s.

The Dream: Season 3

Release date: 13 September

Podcasts and documentaries exploring the growing influence of multilevel marketing schemes and the wellness industry are big business - almost as big as the business itself.

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In this season of The Dream, Jane Marie and Dann Gallucci continue their quest by investigating the fascinating world of life coaching.

The third iteration of the ever-popular podcast will dive further into why people are so drawn into spending sometimes vast amounts of money with the aim of ‘self improvement’.

Believe in Magic

Out now

Jamie Bartlett’s previous podcast, The Missing Cryptoqueen, was a huge hit and fans are loving his latest release.

The mysterious real life story on offer looks at the life of one Megan Bhari who launched a charity at just 16 years old after she was diagnosed with cancer.

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While she gained support from the likes of One Direction, sceptics didn’t believe she was actually sick. The podcast meets some of them and explores what actually caused her death at the age of 23. It provides a fascinating insight the world of armchair detectives.

Buried

Out now

The waste disposal industry might not sound like the best basis for a podcast, but Buried manages to be gripping while tackling that topic.

Following a deathbed discovery, two reporters dive into one of the worst environmental crimes in British history - a previously hidden, vast toxic dump.

It reveals the shocking truth behind the UK’s rubbish disposal industry, with visits to the Northern Irish Mobuoy site and cover ups aplenty.

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Plus, if your attention span is as short as ours, this is the perfect podcast for you - each episode is just 15 minutes long.

I’m Not a Monster: The Shamima Begum Story

Out now

Shamima Begum is an endlessly fascinating figure, going from London teenager to Islamic State bride.

Sam Tarling/Getty Images
Not a monster? Shamima Begum's life is explored in this popular podcastSam Tarling/Getty Images

This award-winning podcast meets Begum herself whose recruitment to the terrorist group in 2015 has seen her crowned by some tabloid newspapers as the 'most hated woman' in Britain. Even the UK government has weighed in - revoking her citizenship in 2019, meaning she can no longer enter her home country.

The host, Josh Baker, seeks to get to the bottom of Begum’s motivations, her difficult life in conflict-torn Syria and whether her actions will ever be forgiven.

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Love, Janessa

Out now

Catfishing stories are always jaw dropping - but this one is particularly astonishing. Janessa Brazil is an famous adult star but her fame goes further than the average actor in that field.

In fact, it’s estimated that her image has been used on more than 100,000 social media accounts to scam unwitting marks.

Stolen photos of Janessa have made her the inadvertent face of a global romance catfishing operation and the podcast explores her reaction to the scheme as well as meeting people who have lost millions and had their hearts broken.

Paul Warner/Getty Images
Inadvertent catfish: Adult star Janessa Brazil (L) at the EXXXOTICA Chicago eventPaul Warner/Getty Images

Cotton Capital

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Out now

Slavery is a topic never far from our minds and The Guardian’s podcast takes an interesting approach to the history of the practice.

Put together by Maya Wolfe-Robinson, the series explores the newspaper’s connections to slavery in this intense, but highly enjoyable six-part podcast.

Cotton Capital investigates how the transatlantic trade shaped The Guardian, the UK and the wider world, starting with the publication’s founder's own links to slavery and looking at its legacies which endure to this day.

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