1. Marianna Spring
Radio 4/BBC Sounds
With her excellent investigative series Death by Conspiracy, War on Truth and Disaster Trolls, plus her regular slot on Americast, the BBC’s disinformation and social media correspondent has been tireless in her mission to debunk internet untruths and show the real harm that they cause.
2. Fallen Women
Tortoise Media; April
Tortoise Media has brought out consistently brilliant audio this year (Londongrad, Nazanin) but this is the show that stayed with me: Louise Tickle investigates the death of a woman who fell from a balcony and uncovers a frightening trend.
3. You, Me and the Big C
Radio 5 Live/BBC Sounds; May
The final episode, with producer Mike Holt interviewing Dame Deborah James for the last time before she died of bowel cancer, had the nation bawling, and proved yet again the power of this fantastic series.
4. Case 63
There was some brilliant drama in 2022 (Siege was great) but this is a must-listen: Julianne Moore and Oscar Isaac star in a gripping remake of South America’s most successful ever podcast. Twists and time travel, romance and reality shifts mean Case 63 enthrals from beginning to gasp-inducing denouement.
5. Global’s poaching
Big BBC beasts Andrew Marr, Emily Maitlis, Jon Sopel (plus their producers and the less feted but equally fine Lewis Goodall) all hopped over to Global this year, with initially mixed results. Now they’ve settled down and Maitlis, Sopel and Goodall’s The News Agents is riding high in the listener charts.
6. Sounds of Black Britain
The Black Curriculum; August
The charismatic and funny Julie Adenuga, plus a series of impressive guests, work through the UK’s black music scene with verve and insight.
7. Time Flies
Radio 4/BBC Sounds; May
Beautifully produced one-off doc about two brothers, Roman and Maz Piekarski, who run Cuckooland, a cuckoo clock museum. Funny and moving, plus magnificent sound (of course). Made by the always-great Falling Tree.
8. Fighting for Ukraine
Yuriy Matsarsky; November
Ukrainian journalist turned civilian fighter Yuriy Matsarsky brings short daily updates from the frontline. There are many admirable podcasts that explain the war in Ukraine, but this is one of the most immediate and honest available, full of revealing anecdotes, from a man unafraid of telling the truth.
9. 28ish Days Later
Radio 4/BBC Sounds; March
Astonishingly informative series of 15-minute episodes that take us through a month-long menstrual cycle. Presenter India Rakusen extracts life-changing revelations in a series “about power”.
10. Jane Garvey and Fi Glover
More moves away from the Beeb; in October, Garvey and Glover hopped over to Times Radio to host a funny, lively weekday afternoon programme. Plus, a new podcast, Off Air. Wonderful to hear these audio veterans doing it live.
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