Podcasts of the Week: From Motivational Speakers to Vegas Magicians

Motivational podcasters “may just be the Billy Graham-esque evangelical leaders” of our secular age, said Patricia Nicol in The Sunday Times. One of the leaders of this group is 29-year-old business tycoon Steven Bartlett, who recently became BBC1’s youngest investor. The dragon’s lair.

Bartlett, who co-founded digital marketing company Social Chain when he was 21, has a “paradoxical” public persona: inspiring but inevitably “cheeky.” He is a man who gave his memoir and self-help book the title happy, sexy, millionaire. Yet get past that and you’ll find that his podcast – A CEO’s Diary with Steven Bartlett – is impressive: he is a “skilled and knowledgeable investigator who, by listening intently and not interrupting, often achieves genuine insight”.

Are also recommended in the motivational genre The High Performance Podcast sports broadcaster Jake Humphrey and professor Damian Hughes, organizational psychologist; Fearne Cotton’s happy place; At Dr. Rangan Chatterjee’s Feel better, live more; and Elizabeth Day how to fail.

Another emerging star in the podcast world is Florence Given, Miranda Sawyer said in The Observer – the 23-year-old illustrator and author of Women don’t owe you pretty, a quick guide to modern intersectional feminism. Her writing is “hard-hitting, feminist, sexual and funny”, and she has gained an Instagram following of 600,000 made up mostly of other young women. “You might be pretentious about it…but some people are born to be seen by the public, and Given is one of them.”

The topics she discusses in Exactly. With Florence Donnée range from sex and social media to feminism and body image — and its first guest is Erica Storm, a dominatrix who also runs sexual empowerment classes. Together they are “loud, funny and resolutely positive”. The podcast needs a few tweaks, but it’s a “good blast; a slap of upbeat enthusiasm” and sex positivity.

The captivating new podcast wild things tells the bizarre story of Siegfried (Fischbacher) and Roy (Horn), the German-American illusionists who became Las Vegas’ biggest magic act in the 1990s, only to have their hugely lucrative careers cut short in 2003, when a white tiger called Mantecore attacked Roy on stage, nearly killing him.

In his “excellent” eight-part series, Emmy-winning filmmaker Steven Leckart goes deep into that fateful night, Alexi Duggins says in The Guardian, and also walks through the pair’s “scandalous careers in compelling detail.” Think cheetah smuggling, tigers in swimming pools, and the most bizarre police investigation you’ve ever heard of.

Brian L. Hartfield