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Pick of the podcasts: The Dropout, Song Exploder and At The Table

© HBOTheranos founder and inventor Elizabeth Holmes
Theranos founder and inventor Elizabeth Holmes

How did the world’s youngest self-made female billionaire lose everything?

How did the woman once heralded as “the next Steve Jobs” find herself facing criminal charges – to which she pleaded not guilty – and up to 20 years in jail?

How did her technology, meant to revolutionise healthcare, potentially put millions of patients at risk?

And how did so many smart people get it so wrong along the way?

The Dropout has been called the best podcast of 2019, and after listening to the series you’ll be able to hear why.

It is a seven-episode look at the Theranos saga – the rise and fall of would-be technology entrepreneur Elizabeth Holmes and her adventures in Silicon Valley.

Holmes’ blood-testing company Theranos promised a health care revolution – but instead delivered an alarming tale of corporate greed and ambition in America.

The series is part of a three-year investigation, and is aided by legal recordings with the staff of Theranos, along with interviews with family members.

Over the course of the series, tech reporter Rebecca Jarvis explores Holmes’ upbringing, how she established her company, and the company’s culture of paranoia.

“It seemed like the kind of story that podcast listeners would be into,” explained Rebecca.

“It had a lot of layers to it. It’s not totally straightforward, there is some nuance and meat.”

The Dropout (iTunes, Stitcher, Google Podcasts, Spotify)


Song Exploder (iTunes)

If you’ve ever wondered what makes a great song, then this podcast explains exactly what it is. Song Exploder dissects music with the help of sound engineers, producers, music buffs and is hosted by musician and composer Hrishikesh Hirway. Tracks range from the Game Of Thrones theme to Carly Rae Jepsen’s catchy pop hit, Call Me Maybe.

At The Table (iTunes, Spotify, Google Podcasts)

Hosted by Miranda York and Anna Sulan Masing, At The Table is a podcast about good food and great writing about food. It travels around the world, but Scottish foodies will be interested in one of the highlights from the first series, a reading by Marina O’Loughlin on working at Glasgow’s famous restaurant The Ubiquitous Chip. The best part of the series, however, is the quick-witted banter between the hosts.