Hot right now

  • 19th Feb 20
Hot right now


The world of podcasting has revolutionised the way we consume news, interact with celebrities and are entertained. The ease in which we can listen to a podcast – on the move, in the bath, cooking dinner, etc – has made this medium grow in popularity. New for 2020, there are a number of excellent podcasts on a wide range of subjects.

This City – hosted by BBC Radio 1 presenter Clara Amfo, who interviews a number of guests about their life and their favourite parts of London. Guests include Louis Theroux, Dina Asher-Smith and Jade Thirlwall.

How Did We Get Here? – Claudia Winkleman and her good friend, clinical psychologist Professor Tanya Byron, meet members of the public who are willing to share their stories. With topics ranging from parental estrangement, gender identity, toddlers and tantrums, domestic violence and family dynamics, each episode offers a moving insight into other’s experiences with clear outcomes and practical steps to take.

So Lucky – writer Dawn O’Porter meets celebrity guests to talk about the premise of luck in their life while covering some pretty relatable subject matter such as dieting culture, online dating and pregnancy. Guests include Matt Haig, Giovanna Fletcher and Sara Pascoe.

RuPaul: What’s The Tee?  With Michelle Visage – fans of RuPaul’s Drag Race will be delighted with this new podcast which sees the hosts dive into pop culture, beauty and general advice. The podcast also gives a sneaky peek behind the scenes of the hit TV show.

Happy Place by Fearne Cotton – TV and radio presenter Fearne Cotton has been steadily growing this podcast for a number of years and now also has a Happy Place festival. Powerful and thought-provoking interviews on a range of subject matters to do with a healthy mind.

 Table Manners with Jessie Ware – A perfect combination of food, fun and interesting celebrity guests. Singer Jessie shares this with her mum Lennie who is becoming a star in her own right. It’s a bit like being a fly on the wall at a really interesting dinner party and the dynamic between mother and daughter is hilarious. 

How To Fail with Elizabeth Day – from authors to actors, journalist Elizabeth Day discusses the concept of failure and how it teaches us what we really need to know.

Fortunately, with Fi and Jane – not a new one but one that has been a surprise hit amongst all ages. A frank look behind the scenes with broadcasters Jane Garvey and Fi Glover as guests from radio, TV and podcasting share their stories. One of the most captivating parts is the general chit chat between the hosts – smart, funny and feel good all in one.


If you pledged to read more in 2020, this lot will make that one resolution a bit easier to keep. 

Uncanny Valley: A Memoir ​by Anna Wiener -  Anna Wiener’s reveals a world of casual sexism and technology addiction after leaving her job in publishing for a tech start-up in San Francisco.

Grown Ups by Marian KeyesPopular Irish author Marian Keyes seems to speak to people from all ages and backgrounds. In her latest novel, she delves into a family whose secrets start to spill after one member gets concussed.

Here We Are by Graham SwiftA period piece set in Brighton in 1959 that tells of the off-stage drama between a magician, his assistant and a compère.

The Mirror & the Light by Hilary Mantel - Fans of the Wolf Hall trilogy will be delighted with this long-awaited conclusion that traces the final years of Thomas Cromwell.

Our House is on Fire by Malena and Beata Ernman, Svante and Greta Thunberg - Revealing the thoughts and feelings of Greta Thunberg along with her sister, opera singer mother and actor father. The events which led a family to confront a crisis.

My Dark Vanessa by Kate Elizabeth Russell - The protagonist reflects on her relationship with her English teacher 17 years later when he's accused of sexual assault by another former student.

Clothes and Other Things That Matter by Alexandra Shulman​ - If you are a fashion lover, then this read from the former British Vogue editor on the meaning of clothes and why we wear them, will be a page turner


Escape from real life for a few hours with a movie on the big screen.  From musicals to biopics, there is something for all the family with some big hitters due out this year. 

Respect - Jennifer Hudson stars in this Aretha Franklin biopic, featuring the great lady herself.  Also stars Mary J Blige with Forest Whitaker playing her father, a civil rights activist preacher.

Ironbark - Benedict Cumberbatch stars in this thriller directed by former Royal Court supremo Dominic Cooke.  The film focusses on the cold war spy Greville Wynne - whose intelligence helped end the Cuban missile crisis.

In the Heights – we may have to wait a little longer for the Hamilton movie, but this is Lin-Manuel Miranda’s previous hit. Music and dance combine for an uplifting look at the upper Manhattan streets of Washington Heights and the people that live there.

Everone's Talking About Jamie -this big-screen transfer of the West End hit musical about a Sheffield teenage boy with a talent for drag.

News of the World - movie favourite Tom Hanks plays Captain Jefferson Kyle Kidd, a travelling newspaper reader who must take an orphaned girl across the country to live with her remaining living relatives in the aftermath of the US civil war.

Mulan - Disney's latest live-action reboot is inspired by a Chinese poem about the female warrior Hua Mulan featuring impressive martial arts scenes.

The Secret Garden - Colin Firth stars in this evergreen Children's classic about an orphan who arrives at a Yorkshire home.


From dramas to comedies, it’s going to be hard to drag yourself away from the TV this decade.

 The Pale Horse - Agatha Christie is back on the BBC with this sumptuous supernatural two-part mystery set during the Sixties. Expected in February on BBC One.

Noughts+Crosses - an adaptation of Malorie Blackman’s young adult novels in which black Africans (known as “Crosses”) have achieved dominance over white Europeans (“Noughts”). Notable for grime star Stormzy making his acting debut. Expected in March on BBC One.

The Mandalorian - Star Wars fans are eagerly awaiting Disney’s new streaming service to launch in the UK, because it brings the chance to watch the sci-fi franchise’s first-ever live-action TV spin-off. The show’s impossibly cute Baby Yoda has already gone viral. Expected in March on Disney Plus.

Belgravia – a lavish six-part series about the upper echelon of London society in the 19thcentury created by Julian Fellowes, screenwriter and producer of Downton Abbey. Expected in spring on ITV.

The North Water – a four-part adaptation of Ian McGuire’s harrowing novel about a whaling expedition to the Arctic. Expected this spring on BBC Two.

Norma Peoplethis popular book by Sally Rooney about two Irish teenagers has been turned into a 12-episode series starring Cold Feet's Daisy Edgar Jones and TV debutant Paul Mescal. Expected this spring on BBC Three.

USTom Hollander and Saskia Reeves are the couple at war in David Nicholls's four-part adaptation of this bestselling novel.  Expected in summer on BBC One.

Culture vulture

Get out and about and enjoy some of this year’s most stunning exhibitions, events and theatre.

Modern painting: Radical Figures at Whitechapel Gallery – how does painting still provide relevance in a world of video and technology? Whitechapel Gallery tackles this with a range of painters who look at major social concerns. 

RHS Garden Bridgewater – the historic grounds at Worsely New Hall in Salford will be home to a stunning new 154-acre garden created by the Royal Horticultural Society. It will be the largest gardening project in Europe and will include an Orchard Garden, Wellbeing Garden, Kitchen Garden, Paradise Garden, a Learning Garden and community teaching allotments. 

25 years an artist: Steve McQueen at Tate Modern – the man behind the Oscar-winning film 12 Years A Slave, this exhibition takes us through his career as an artist and filmmaker.

Dippy the Diplodocus comes to Rochdale - The Natural History Museum’s superstar dinosaur will be visiting in February as part of his record-breaking UK tour. The Rochdale stint is his only stop in the North West of England. Accompanying the dinosaur in Rochdale will be a major family-friendly exhibition at Touchstones Rochdale where children can explore all aspects of the natural world.

Cosmic art: Mars & Beyond at OXO Bargehouse – art, film, music and virtual and augmented reality image the future of our world.

Science and Industry Museum - Manchester’s Science and Industry Museum is having a full redevelopment, and will include the creation of a major special exhibitions gallery. The first exhibit, dubbed Top Secret, will be a large exhibition exploring over a century’s worth of communications intelligence. Set to open in Autumn 2020.

Back to the Future the Musical – the world-premiere of this hotly tipped show based on the 1985 movie will open at the Manchester Opera House in February 2020.

The Linda McCartney Retrospective – at Walker Art Gallery in Liverpool. This will feature more than 200 extraordinary images that reveal what a prolific photographer Linda was, and how her love for the natural world, her surreal sense of humour, and an exceptional eye for capturing the spontaneous, gave her work an inimitable style.

Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art – this Edinburgh centre will feature Ray Harryhausen’s innovative work in special effects including his work on films such as Jason and the Argonauts (1963) and the Sinbad series.


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