The Missing Cryptoqueen, BBC Sounds
I’m addicted to this documentary thriller on the trail of the mysterious Dr Ruja Ignatova. Ignatova was the glamorous frontwoman 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. Jamie Bartlett and Georgia Catt tell a perfectly paced, thrilling and strange story that’s also a groundbreaking piece of investigative journalism, involving beauty pageants, the Bulgarian mafia, and a birthday party featuring Tom Jones.
You’re Dead to Me, Radio 4
Greg Jenner works on the Horrible Histories TV series, well-known to kids and their parents for its sharp and funny (and often musical) take on the past. Now Jenner has made what is basically Horrible Histories as a podcast for grown-ups, with comedians and serious academics as guests, investigating various colourful characters and dramatic events from history. Topics include Stonehenge as explored by Richard Herring (with the help of an archaeologist); the history of football; the Spartans; and Boudica with comedian Sara Pascoe.
Have you heard George’s podcast? George the Poet
George the Poet, aka 28-year-old George Mpanga, was justifiably recognised for this powerful series at the British Podcast Awards in September where it won Podcast of the Year. It’s so broad that it’s hard to pin down what it’s about: there are so many loosely linked topics, from the Grenfell fire to education and law enforcement, via broader consideration of current affairs, poetry and music. All you need to know is that it’s beautiful, beguiling storytelling and a compelling portrait of modern Britain.