This week, Kanye West hit the headlines for all the wrong reasons when he sent models down the catwalk at Paris fashion week in “White Lives Matter” T-shirts. Meanwhile, his ex-wife Kim Kardashian was launching an altogether different venture: a true crime podcast centered on an African American man convicted of a triple homicide, and the possibility of miscarriage of justice (see more in our picks below). If this seems like a strange reversal of fortune, I suggest you rewatch early episodes of Keeping Up With the Kardashians – as I recently did – to fully grasp the laser-focused entrepreneurial zeal of the reality star turned aspiring lawyer.
The series marks the Kardashians out as the master of the SCS (subtle career shift). Indeed, podcasts are great for a horizontal career move, whether it’s Jameela Jamil’s I Weigh series – which marked her move from acting to activism – Fearne Cotton’s rebrand as a mental health advocate, or any of the number of celebrities who have gone from performing to presenting via the means of an audio show. The SCS is, in this case, merely another string to Kardashian’s bow (see: crypto, shapewear, etc).
It’s not the best true crime podcast you’ll ever hear (and is, of course, heavy with vocal fry), but that isn’t really the point. This is Kim Kardashian’s big rebrand as a legal expert, and she … kind of pulls it off. I wouldn’t normally praise celebs coming after yet more of the podcast ecosystem, but in this case more attention on the flaws of the US justice system surely cannot be a bad thing. In any case, it’s much more welcome than “White Lives Matter”.
Hannah J Davies
Deputy editor, newsletters
picks of the week
Kim Kardashian’s The System: The Case of Kevin Keith
Spotify, weekly episodes
“I think you’ll be surprised by what you hear,” says Kim Kardashian. But she’s not talking about her impressive podcasting chops de ella and clear passion for justice. The focus is on Kevin Keith, who stood trial for a brutal 1994 triple murder in Ohio and was convicted by an all-white jury. There’s a lot about it that doesn’t add up, and our host is set on bringing the case to a global audience. Hannah Verdier
Clear the Air With Sadiq Khan
Global Player, weekly episodes
When the mayor of London developed asthma while training for the marathon, he kicked off his campaign for cleaner air. His new podcast by him could be preaching to the converted, but it does not dilute the arguments raised. First up is Ed Miliband, talking about how governments should work together to fight the climate crisis. Lily Cole and Richard Curtis also feature. HV
British Scandal: Queen of Clean
Widely available, episodes weekly
Mary Whitehouse’s quest to wield her morality broom at the nation’s telly lends itself perfectly to Alice Levine and Matt Forde’s scandalous style. Levine takes the lead, exploring Ella’s Whitehouse’s early experiences that sparked her shame around sex and inspired her life’s work. The woman beneath the famous cardigan wasn’t a straightforward caricature … HV
Jools and Jim’s Joyride
Widely available, episodes weekly
Although this podcast is pegged as a series about transport and travel, Holland and Moir (AKA Vic Reeves) end up having a good old ramble with guests – which is no bad thing. Marc Almond kicks off this second series by chatting about fish and chips and the secrets of jackdaw ownership. Future guests include Melanie C and Shaun Keaveny. Holly Richardson
Black British Lives Matter
Widely available, episodes weekly
What does it mean to be Black in today’s Britain? It’s a complicated question that Lenny Henry and Marcus Ryder, who also published an anthology on the subject, are ready to answer. There’s much to be proud of, but also undeniable racism. BLM “wasn’t just a moment,” says Henry, who is joined by guests such as Ozwald Boateng and Afua Hirsch. HV
There’s a podcast for that
This week, Charlie Lindlar chooses five of the best podcasts on moneyfrom a show centered on women’s finance to an exploration of the link between money and mental health
In Her Financial Shoes
Money expert Catherine Morgan is the brains behind this podcast devoted to women’s personal finance. Where the realm of consumer advice can sometimes feel a bit blokey, Morgan is on a mission to help women gain confidence and become “financially resilient.” Aside from the overarching theme of learning the tricks of the financial trade, there’s also a steady stream of accessible, usable advice. Tune in for guides on how to teach your kids about money, managing financial differences within friendship groups, and the interesting idea of “financial trauma” – that bad experiences with money in the past can plague us throughout our lives.
Money to the Masses
For a practical, tips-led podcast, financial whiz Damien Fahy is your man. Fahy – who left the City after he became, in his own words, “disillusioned with the way the public were left to fend for themselves” because of the expense of financial advice – set up the website Money to the Masses to help demystify stocks and investment. The site’s accompanying podcast now runs to nearly 400 episodes, with plenty of explanations on common scams, financial concepts, and the jargon that locks so many out of making the most of their money.
The Last 3 Digits
This millennial and Gen Z-focused show – which centered Black creators and entrepreneurs – ended in January after a two-year run. However, there’s plenty of thought-provoking listening to be had in its back catalogue. Rapper Nego True and financial experts Bola Sol and Disunomics are your hosts as they explore how money shapes our relationships and the way we live. The ethics of side hustles, the merits of the 9-5 v self-employment, how the pandemic has changed our spending habits, the ideals of “Black capitalism” – this conversational show will make you reevaluate how your money dictates your life.
If you’re looking for a guide to wider economic principles, NPR’s Planet Money is as authoritative as it gets. There is a lot of US news analysis, but in recent months alone the show has gone deep on everything from the economics of the desk lunch to buying property with cryptocurrency. Special mention is reserved for its studies of the individual characters who tell us something real about the economy: episodes on how the Simpson family’s middle class existence became an unachievable dream for so many and the story of Vincent Kosuga, a farmer whose “quest to dominate the onion market” changed trading for ever, are perfect places to start.
Money can’t buy happiness, but how do we learn to be happy with what we have? Financial planner Chris Budd and actor David Lloyd give it a go in the Financial Wellbeing podcast, in which they empathically confront “happiness, money and how to use one to make the other”. Alongside tips for good money habits – delivered in a charmingly blunt segment named for their producer: #TightAssTommo – the duo ponder the limits of philanthropy, the uselessness of measuring your self-worth on your self’s literal worth, and trends such as the “great resignation”. The two are helped in their quest with a roster of often surprising but always excellent guests.
Why not try…
George is Digismak’s reported cum editor with 13 years of experience in Journalism