In Review

Podcasts of the week: from healthy eating to oiled beefcakes

Featuring Welcome to Your Fantasy, The Food Medic, and The Bias Diagnosis

For some, lockdown has been an opportunity to take more exercise, and think more deeply about nutrition, fitness and general well-being, said Rosie Fitzmaurice in the London Evening Standard – and there are numerous podcasts that cater to those interests. In The Food Medic, the NHS doctor, nutritionist and author Dr Hazel Wallace discusses subjects such as the impact of plant-based diets on athletic performance, and dealing with impostor syndrome, with a range of specialists. The Doctor’s Kitchen, from London GP Dr Rupy Aujla, is similar, but has a more specific focus on healthy eating. It is full of useful information and “you’ll pick up some tasty recipes” along the way. In the TrainBrave Podcast, dietician Renee McGregor, who specialises in sports and eating disorders, joins personal trainer Kriss Hendy to “dissect common myths and misconceptions in the world of fitness”. 

The Documentary Podcast strand in BBC Sounds has recently been doing a sterling job of exploring (alongside other subjects) various aspects of global healthcare, said Charlotte Runcie in The Daily Telegraph. One outstanding recent edition on compassion fatigue was a “harrowing” examination “of the human capacity to care for others, and how emotionally expensive compassion in extreme circumstances can be”. From Audible, The Bias Diagnosis looks at racial inequalities in healthcare systems, said Hannah J. Davies in The Guardian. Ivan Beckley, a final-year medical student and clinical entrepreneur, interviews patients who received “wrong or late diagnoses because of centuries of myths and falsehoods in medicine”, or because of false assumptions by clinicians. “Far from your standard gory medical show, this is a sociological investigation – and a shocking one.” 

Welcome to Your Fantasy is a “brilliantly engaging” new podcast which takes the true-crime genre into the unlikely arena of male strip shows, said Miranda Sawyer in The Observer. Specifically, it’s the slightly “icky”, and ultimately very dark story of the Chippendales, those “oiled and bouffanted 1980s beefcakes who removed their outfits to reveal shiny pants, bow ties, collars and cuffs” – delighting audiences mainly made up of “screeching women”. From a basic strip show in late-1970s Los Angeles, the Chippendales became a slickly choreographed and vastly lucrative theatrical phenomenon, with multiple troupes touring the US and worldwide. But along the way, bitter wrangling between various parties built up to murder. The narrator is historian Natalia Petrzela, and her humour and interviewing skills give the series real zip. “Honestly, treat yourselves to this true-crime, high-camp show. It’s great.”

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