Podcast Corner: Tune into Michelle Obama and Joe Wicks 

Podcast Corner: Tune into Michelle Obama and Joe Wicks 
Michelle Obama's first podcast features a chat with her husband Barack. 

As first guests on upstart podcasts go, it's hard to do better than Barack Obama. 

It helps that the show he's appearing on is his wife's: The Michelle Obama Podcast

A Spotify Original, it follows her memoir Becoming, the audiobook version of which won multiple awards, so fans will already relish her tone and tales - and this episode feels familiar as it charts their rags to riches story. 

What sets it apart is how the conversation is peppered with old American pop culture references, including Barack cajoling her for a Lost in Space catchphrase that will pass younger listeners by. 

"You could have done anything," Michelle tells him when they're reminiscing about their college days, but adds, "you were running away from the money! I was like, 'What is wrong with this Negro?'"

Michelle sets out her mission statement at the end of the episode: "Once we start the conversation, there's no telling where it will go." 

One gets the feeling this is the start of a journey for Michelle that leads right back to the White House for the Obamas.

Michelle Obama is undoubtedly one of the biggest names to have started a podcast in recent times - and maybe it's the lockdown effect (usually busy stars have nothing to do; have a Rolodex of famous friends to call on; podcasts can be recorded remotely) but it seems like there's an array of celebrities with new podcasts to their name - sadly they come with rather stale ideas.

Sophie Ellis Bextor is building on the success of her Instagram kitchen discos. Picture: Zak Hussein/PA Wire
Sophie Ellis Bextor is building on the success of her Instagram kitchen discos. Picture: Zak Hussein/PA Wire

Spinning Plates with Sophie Ellis-Bextor: One of the success stories of lockdown thanks to her Instagram kitchen discos, the popstar's podcast finds her speaking to "busy working women, who also happen to be mothers, about how they make it work". 

It's been done before - and indeed, Myleene Klass on episode four is most interesting when talking about Hearsay and "trying to fit in".

Joe Wicks welcomes Gordon Ramsey as his first guest on his new podcast, The Joe Wicks Podcast
Joe Wicks welcomes Gordon Ramsey as his first guest on his new podcast, The Joe Wicks Podcast

The Joe Wicks Podcast: Another pandemic go-getter, the Body Coach "asks some of his inspiring mates about their secret to physical and mental happiness". 

It features such hard-hitting questions as this posed to first guest Gordon Ramsey: "Of all the things you've achieved, Gordon - from TV shows to restaurants, Michelin stars all over the world - what is the thing you're most proud of?" 

Ramsey: "Thing I'm most proud of? Really good question..." 

Is it though?

We might gravitate towards such stars' podcasts because we like them and want to get even more content out of them, but with similar guests (Fearne Cotton appears on both), yawnsome ideas, and back-patting interviews, they're very much in the easy-listening MOR genre of the podcast world.

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