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Pick of the Podcasts: 13 Minutes To The Moon, S-Town, Try Somewhere New

© NASA/LiaisonBuzz Aldrin on the moon
Buzz Aldrin on the moon

Homemade podcasts thrown together in someone’s bedroom are taking over the world – but that doesn’t mean there’s no room for high-quality productions like this,

This new podcast from the BBC takes you into outer space to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the moon landings.

Tomorrow, the BBC will be launching 13 Minutes To The Moon a 12-part series covering the Apollo programme through the final dramatic 13-minute descent of the Apollo 11 mission, when everything came close to going badly wrong.

Communication was breaking down, technology was failing and fuel was running out.

This new series tells the story of the scientists, engineers, programmers and astronauts whose work during those tense minutes – and for years beforehand – prevented failure.

In a sign of the quality of this show, the theme music is written by Oscar-winner Hans Zimmer – the first that the composer has ever created for podcast. The final episode will be recorded live at Houston’s Rice University, where U.S. President John F. Kennedy made his speech in 1962, famously announcing his ambition to take humankind to the moon.

It will be released on the 50th anniversary of the moon landing: July 20, 2019.

The podcast has secured revealing, in-depth interviews with some of the key figures who made it happen, including Charlie Duken and Michael Collins – the third astronaut with that historic Apollo 11 mission.

13 Minutes To The Moon (iTunes, BBC Sounds)


S-town (iTunes, Google Play)

A sad but fascinating tale from small-town America. It was sparked by an email from a clockmaker in Alabama, called John B. McLemore.

What followed is reporter Brian Reed’s developing relationship with McLemore. The story involves accusations of murder, a cover-up, but is, above all, a glimpse at the life of a fascinating character.


Try Somewhere New (iTunes, Google Play)

Ryanair has launched its first ever travel podcast, Try Somewhere New, and the first series is hosted by TV presenter and travel aficionado Julia Bradbury.

It features three 25-minute episodes covering popular destinations across Europe. Episode one focuses on the vineyards of Alentejo in Portugal.

Episode two explores the Spanish city of Murcia, while episode three goes on the trail of Vikings in Vestfold, Norway.