Best podcasts of the week: How Covid conspiracists ‘killed off’ Tiffany Dover | Podcasts

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Picks of the week

Actor Jamie Dornan is the voice of Audible's new sleep aid podcast
Actor Jamie Dornan is the voice of Audible’s new sleep aid podcast Photograph: Thomas Cooper/Getty Images

Sleep Sound with Jamie Dornan
Audible, all episodes out now
Some might argue that listening to Jamie Dornan’s voice on a snooze-inducing podcast is something of a waste. A very sexy waste. But Dornan’s deep, Northern Irish tones transport you to a Mexico beach and a desert storm, complete with swooshy sound effects, as he works his sleepy witchcraft – and it does work. With six episodes to choose from, this is definitely not one to listen to in the middle of a meeting. Hannah Verdier

Typecast
Widely available, episodes weekly

Here’s a fun game: casting novels (mainly romcoms) for the big screen. From Rare Birds Book Club, each episode hears hosts Rachel, Roxane and Flodive into a book and make a passionate case for who should play the characters – while asking big questions such as “which Hollywood Chris is the hottest?”. This season: The Love Hypothesis and Fifty Shades of Grey. Hollie Richardson

Very Scary People
Widely available, all episodes out

True crime fans can binge all episodes of this no-holds-barred retelling of the infamous mass murder in Amityville and its subsequent ghostly legend. Host Donnie Wahlberg takes listeners back to a very grisly corner of 1974, where the DeFeo family were found dead in their beds. It’s graphic, so it’s not for the faint-hearted. H V

Will Be Wild
Widely available, episodes weekly

Was the January 6 insurrection just a practice run for a bigger protest? Trump Inc’s Andrea Bernstein and Ilya Marritz take an in-depth look at the attackers, the people who tried to prevent it and the victims of that violent day. Hearing a teenager makes the difficult decision to tip off the FBI about his father’s behavior is particularly chilling. H V

Tiffany Dover is Dead
Widely available, episodes weekly

Nurse Tiffany Dover fainted on camera after having her Covid jab, fueling a frenzy of anti-vaxxers who claimed she’d died (despite the fact that she got up again.) NBC News reporter Brandy Zadrozny investigates how the conspiracy theory spread, particularly after Dover disappeared off social media, fanning those misinformation flames. H V

There’s a podcast for that

Gizzi Erskine and Sydney Lima host the funny, frank and free-flowing Sex, Lies and DM Slides
Gizzi Erskine and Sydney Lima host the funny, frank and free-flowing Sex, Lies and DM Slides Photograph: David M Benett/Dave Benett/Getty Images

This week, She Hunt choose five of the best podcasts for those looking for lovefrom a strident defense of singledom to advice on sex in the age of social media

This Is Dating
“Come for the cringe, stay for the connection.” From the producers of Where Should We Begin? With Esther Perel, this podcast lets us listen in on a blind date. There’s some secondhand embarrassment and the occasional car crash, but judicious input from a team of experts behind the scenes – including behavioral scientist turned dating coach Logan Ury – elevates this beyond straightforward voyeurism. Each episode is an intimate and engaging study of how to fan the flames of connection (or not, as the case may be), perhaps to apply to your own first date.

Solo: The Single Person’s Guide to a Remarkable Life
There is lots of sensible advice here, whether you’re currently dating or not. Dr Peter McGraw – a behavioral economist, business school professor and lifelong bachelor – shares his advice for men and women of all ages seeking to transform themselves “from a single, to a solo: that is, to recognize the value of personal autonomy whether you ‘re single for now, or for ever. Some episodes bust myths about single living or solo parenting, or suggest approaches to finding love and connection outside a romantic relationship.

The Second Circle
The Second Circle bills itself as “the podcast that takes sex seriously”. Created and hosted by the journalist Franki Cookney, past episodes have explored how to approach sexual desire, habits and routines with a refreshingly pragmatic emphasis. Every sexual advice column stresses the importance of communication, she points out – “but very rarely do we acknowledge how freaking difficult it is”. In the podcast’s most recent fourth season, Cookney explores what makes sex good or bad, why we might not fancy it at all, and how we might go about having it more, and better.

Sex, Lies & DM Slides
In this Spotify podcast – started during the pandemic, when many people’s sex lives migrated online – TV cook Gizzi Erskine and writer and model Sydney Lima take on the “weird, wonderful and sometimes disturbing world of sex and love in the age of social media” , when Instagram can double as a dating app and a direct message could be a dick pic. Erskine and Lima invite their celebrity guests – from comedian Sofie Hagen and journalist Jon Ronson to the founders of some of the world’s most exclusive sex parties and clubs – to share choice morsels from their public inboxes. The result is a funny, frank and free-flowing discussion of the etiquette and ambiguities of dating in the digital age.

Dating While Gray
Writer Laura Stassi hosts this compassionate survey of later-in-life dating, informed by the experience of her marriage ending after nearly 30 years. “Dating is like a home-improvement project … it doesn’t go as smoothly as you thought it would,” she says. But Dating While Gray approaches the challenge with gentle pragmatism and good humour, and from an admirable range of angles, for listeners perhaps steeling themselves to dip a toe into unfamiliar waters. Too often discussions of dating can be limited to just apps: this podcast explores whether dating coaches are worth the money; how to approach sex with a new partner; the wisdom of reaching out to form old flames; and takes into account the paradigm shift of the pandemic.

Why not try…

  • From Harry and Meghan’s exit to Prince Andrew and the early years of Queen Elizabeth’s reign, there’s plenty for fans of The Crown in Vanity Fair’s Dynasty.

  • Sharp reality TV parody A House in History, starring Alistair Green

  • Climate of Change, a starry environmental podcast helmed by Cate Blanchett and featuring Don’t Look Up director Adam McKay

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