Manual London: The real city guide (Guardian Shorts Book 14)

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Like attending the ultimate starry cocktail party.

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BT See also: Lore — true tales from the twisted side of history. Bim Adewunmi, formerly of this parish, turns up in another.

A local’s guide to Porto, Portugal

Better than it sounds, honest. It has an unfair advantage: one of the blokes is Bob Mortimer, of Vic and Bob fame. This fortnightly series is all about words, from the 5,year history of the emoji to the smallest language in the world. She chats with experts from crime reporters and CBT therapists to her brother, standup Andy Zaltzman. The Detonating The C-Bomb episode has proved predictably popular, while one titled Post-Love finds listeners sharing their worst breakup lines.

Imagine Dictionary Corner playing the Edinburgh festival fringe. So we hear from the former NFL player who has fallen out of love with the sport, the Sesame Street star battling memories of her own childhood and the sex worker trying to support her family. Sale is a fine interviewer, warm and empathetic but always willing to push forward with questions that some might leave unasked.

How to survive after Fleabag: a cultural guide | Television & radio | The Guardian

Exploring the intricacies of standup, from writing methods to internal struggles, what might come across as a specialist series turns out to be an education in creativity that even outsiders will enjoy. Both a great way of learning what drives major-league acts Jimmy Carr, David Cross et al and a an introduction to comics unnoticed by the mainstream. HG See also: The Fear — funny types discuss their darkest terrors. But first, I shall give each and every botanist in here a good thrashing! A gag-packed script — think Jules Verne redone by Yonderland — is finessed with lavish production and great music.

A weekly spinoff from journalism curation site Longform, this pod lines up in-depth conversations with non-fiction writers that go deeper than your average interview.

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Statistician Nate Silver discusses his shift from analysing baseball to US presidential campaigns, foreign correspondent Kelly McEvers gives an insight into the life of the war reporter, and Adrian Chen talks about his New York Times profile on Megan Phelps-Roper, former member of the virulently homophobic Westboro Baptist Church.

Tales of true crime, once banished to a shelf at the back of WH Smith, are flourishing online. Criminal approaches the genre from a thoughtful angle, privileging curious tales and quirks of jurisprudence over anything overly grisly.

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In an episode titled The Finger, host Phoebe Judge interviews a man defending his legal right to flip off the cops, while Jolly Jane is the tale of a nurse operating in 19th-century Boston who eased her patients to an early death via an injection of morphine. Cheerful stuff! The master of offbeat wit infused with a humble, home-made quality, Dr Buckles transfers his skills into a new, interview-based podcast.

Worth a five-star rating for the DIY jingles alone. Pink Custard, an 80s synthpop duo, are blasted into space by mistake. So far only three episodes are on iTunes — each one is crowdfunded and when they reach their total, they make another — so treat yourself to the lot.

TV & radio

Comedy Bang! Mouth Time! Call Chelsea Peretti The Brooklyn Nine-Nine star does verbal battle with comics and bemused members of the public in this send-up of phone-in shows. The podcast will only stop when — or if — Trump fails in his unlikely bid to be president. Invisibilia An NPR series that sees Alix Spiegel and Lulu Miller explore the imperceptible internal details that govern our behaviour, with fascinating results. The Urbanist Scoff all you like at those chaps at Monocle right , but their podcast on the future of cities is never less than enlightening.

Radiolab Covering everything from science to philosophy, the WYNC series remains a beguiling exploration of both sound and storytelling. Melanin Millennials Lively show tackling the under-representation of women of colour in the UK media. Reply All The baffling world of internet culture is broken down in this engaging pod. Without a doubt, In at the Deep End , by Kate Davies, is the afterparty book for anyone looking to extend their Fleabag fun.

On the stage, Betrayal is currently on at the Harold Pinter Theatre in London , starring Tom Hiddleston and Zawe Ashton, and while not exactly heavy on the laughs, its sense of impending self-inflicted doom has a certain Fleabag tang.

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The defining feature of this season of Fleabag is yearning — a lost art in a world where every desire can be pretty much instantaneously gratified. Muriel Spark was high priestess of flawed, funny, female first-person narrators. Few novels could be quite as quick or filthy, sexy or soapy as the second series of Fleabag, but this is a good place for those in mourning to find refuge — it even comes with lashings of Catholic angst. Stay with me.

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A dead mother and a reclusive father. Middle-class trappings, attempted suicide. It has a bittersweet tone, switching between ironic detachment and genuinely heartrending scenes. Two and a bit decades before Waller-Bridge swaggered into the historically blokey terrain of primetime TV comedy, Liz Phair did something similar in the male-dominated dive bars and DIY venues of US alternative rock. Her tale of taking ayahuasca in New York could comprise a perfect Fleabag episode — middle-class white people acting bizarrely, lots of potential for physical comedy and just a dash of pathos.

On the lighter end of the scale, Conversations With Friends and Normal People by Sally Rooney also depict women struggling with the balance of power in their sexual and romantic lives.

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While lightyears ahead of the character in terms of emotional transparency, she articulates the turbulence of yearning for a rotten relationship and the thorny reality of adult life with similar fervour.