The best podcasts in October 2020—the Michelle Obama Podcast and the Missing Cryptoqueen

Plus get a grip on American politics in Left, Right, and Centre
September 2, 2020

The Michelle Obama Podcast, Higher Ground & Spotify

Podcasts are useful for people who want to be heard on their own terms, and that’s exactly what Michelle Obama is doing with the format: taking the microphone as her own. She doesn’t sidestep the reason she’s so famous—in fact, her first guest is her husband—but she quickly moves on to make this a very personal series, beautifully produced with music and a compelling pace, filled with Obama’s own thoughtful, generous perspectives as she interviews her guests. It’s warm, beguiling and edifying.

The Missing Cryptoqueen, BBC

Back for a second astonishing series is this addictive, jaw-dropping documentary thriller and piece of rapidly unfolding original journalism on the trail of the mysterious fugitive Dr Ruja Ignatova. It’s the story of OneCoin, which purported to be a major new cryptocurrency set to overtake Bitcoin, but turned out to have all the hallmarks of a scam. Co-writers and producers Jamie Bartlett and Georgia Catt tell one of the most bizarre true stories you’ll ever have heard, which just keeps getting bigger and darker.

Left, Right & Center, KCRW

Getting a grip on American politics from overseas in the run-up to the November election can be tricky, but this podcast from KCRW has a refreshing take. It’s an attempt at civilising the debate while still giving time and space to provocative opinions. Each week, the panel looks at what’s been happening in American politics, and presents a left-wing view of it, a right-wing view, and a centre-ground view, from different panellists of different political leanings, all in the same episode.