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Influential musicians, composers, directors and actors reveal secrets and insights around their favourite film and television music. Get your weekly dose of great music and great stories now! Hosted by Jodhi May.
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True Spies Teaser
Week by week, mission by mission, you’ll hear the true stories behind the world’s greatest espionage operations. You’ll meet the people who navigate this secret world. What do they know, what are their skills and what would you do in their position? This is True Spies.
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PO Box 1142
Join chief historian of the National Parks: Robert K Sutton, as he tells the story of Nazis on the Potomac, and those sworn to secrecy at Fort Hunt... From SPYSCAPE, the HQ of secrets. A Cup And Nuzzle production. Series producer: Joe Foley. Produced by Max Bower. Music by Nick Ryan.
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Operation Kronstadt
Former MI6 Officer Harry Ferguson tells the nail-biting story of an unlikely British spy in Bolshevik Russia - and the daring naval mission to bring him home. From SPYSCAPE, the HQ of secrets. A Cup And Nuzzle production. Series producer: Joe Foley. Produced by Louise Sinnerton. Music by Nick Ryan.
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The Woman Who Rescued Orwell
It's 1937. The Spanish Civil War is raging, and author George Orwell is fighting on the Socialist front. But as Orwell lives out his anti-Fascist adventure, his wife, Eileen O'Shaughnessy, is embroiled in a subtler conflict. At the headquarters of the Workers' Party of Marxist Unification in Barcelona, she's dealing with a brutal police force, Stalinist spies, and an atmosphere of political terror. And on top of all that, it's up to her to stop her husband falling into enemy hands... From SPYSCAPE, the HQ of secrets. A Cup And Nuzzle production. Series producer: Joe Foley. Produced by Louise Sinnerton. Music by Nick Ryan.
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The War on Terror, Part Two - From Khost to Compounds
Former CIA Operations Officer Aaron Brown joins Rhiannon Neads to discuss his role in two defining moments in the CIA's War on Terror. In Part 2, the aftermath of Khost informs the most dramatic operation in the history of the modern CIA. And Aaron has a seat at the table. From SPYSCAPE, the HQ of secrets. A Cup And Nuzzle production. Series producer: Joe Foley. Produced by Max Bower. Music by Nick Ryan.
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The War on Terror, Part One - From Cairo to Khost
Former CIA Operations Officer Aaron Brown joins Rhiannon Neads to discuss his role in two defining moments in the CIA's War on Terror. In Part 1, we follow Aaron's journey into the Agency's inner sanctum - and its' darkest hour. From SPYSCAPE, the HQ of secrets. A Cup And Nuzzle production. Series producer: Joe Foley. Produced by Max Bower. Music by Nick Ryan.
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Disinformation Warfare, Part 2 - America
Just how influential is the 'white noise' of information, and disinformation, emanating from Russia? In this second and final episode on the phenomenon of modern disinformation, hear from author and former Executive Director of the US Disinformation Governance Board: Nina Jankowicz. She shines a light on how small acts of manipulation, made on the other side of the world, can pit fellow Americans against themselves...
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Disinformation Warfare, Part 1 - The Troll Farm
Just how influential is the 'white noise' of information, and disinformation, emanating from Russia? In this first of two special episodes on the phenomenon of modern disinformation, Ukrainian-British journalist and author Peter Pomerantsev, reveals the evolution of the dark tactics the modern Russian state uses to cripple both neighbouring countries, and dissenters within its own borders.
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Kim Philby, Super Spy: Part 2, The Third Man
Born to the British upper-crust - devoted to the Revolution. Harold 'Kim' Philby was the ultimate Soviet superspy. For decades, Philby sold secrets to the Russians from inside the upper echelons of MI6. Inspired by an unpublished memoir recently acquired by Spyscape, we bring his fascinating story to life. In Part 2, Rhiannon Neads follows the trail of booze, bad luck and betrayal that brought Philby down. From SPYSCAPE, the HQ of secrets. A Cup And Nuzzle production. Series producer: Joe Foley. Produced by Justin Trefgarne. Music by Nick Ryan. Kim Philby voiced by Dominic Mafham.
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Kim Philby, Super Spy: Part 1, Codename Sonny
Born to the British upper-crust - devoted to the Revolution. Harold 'Kim' Philby was the ultimate Soviet superspy. For decades, Philby sold secrets to the Russians from inside the upper echelons of MI6. Inspired by an unpublished memoir recently acquired by Spyscape, we bring his fascinating story to life. In Part 1, Rhiannon Neads details Philby's rise to the top - and the fateful decisions that will lead to his undoing.
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Narcotopia, Part Two - Thy Will Be Done
Nestled in the mountains of Myanmar, there's a nation that you won't find on the map. The mysterious, controversial Wa State is what journalist Patrick Winn calls a 'Narcotopia' - a country whose main source of income is the international drugs trade. In Part 2, we learn more about Saw Lu's dangerous entanglement with the US Government. Listener discretion is advised.
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Narcotopia, Part One - Agent Superstar
Nestled in the mountains of Myanmar, there's a nation that you won't find on the map. The mysterious, controversial Wa State is what journalist Patrick Winn calls a 'Narcotopia' - a country whose main source of income is the international drugs trade. In Part 1, Patrick tells the story of his journey to Wa State, and his chance meeting with one of the most powerful figures in its history, Saw Lu - a man whose vision for the isolated nation led him to the door of the US Government.
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Agent Sniper
Bigamist. Fantasist. Betrayer. Betrayed. Known only as Agent Sniper, Polish double-agent Michal Goleniewski sold secrets to the US from behind the Iron Curtain. But this complex, ambitious man was no match for his American handlers. In this episode of True Spies, author Tim Tate reveals a life full of romance, tragedy and Cold War intrigue.
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The Strike on Saddam
It's 2003, and the US is on the brink of war. Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein has been issued a warning - leave the country, or face a full American invasion. In the event of his refusal, the CIA has a plan to strike Saddam's Dora Farms compound, potentially stopping the war in its tracks. The operation is overseen by the head of the Agency's Iraq Operations Group, Luis Rueda. In this episode of True Spies, the former CIA heavyweight shares candid insights into the fevered hours and days ahead of Operation Iraqi Freedom.
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The Last Honest Man
Two-time Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist James Risen details the life and work of Frank Church - the man who forever changed the US Intelligence Community. From humble Idaho beginnings through to his lofty Presidential ambitions, we delve into who Church really was and his tireless devotion to serving American ideals of transparency and accountability - culminating in the Church Committee. However, Church learned that you can't shine a light on the darkest corners of the FBI, CIA, and NSA without making some powerful enemies.
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The King's Secret
The Chevalièr d'Éon was an 18th-Century war hero, an indispensable spy, and a famous diplomat. But today, they're best known for their pioneering approach to gender boundaries. Historian Gary Kates pulls back the curtain on this fascinating True Spy. Hear the groundbreaking story of d'Éon's life - from undercover geopolitical manipulation in the Russian court and plotting Louis XV's French invasion of England to being recognized by both French and English courts as having the right to live as a woman.
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The Disappeared, Part 2 - Mother's Day
No one takes on the cartel and comes away unscathed. Miriam Rodriguez understood that from the start. In the second and final part of this extraordinary True Spies story, The New York Times’ Azam Ahmed picks up the story of the housekeeper who sought revenge on Mexico’s notorious Zetas. Having discovered the grim truth of what happened to her kidnapped daughter, Miriam Rodriguez makes it her life’s mission to bring down the criminals responsible for her murder, becoming increasingly adept at high-wire deep cover work in the process. She will not rest until the Zetas have been made to pay but her bold quest comes with an enormous personal price tag.
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The Disappeared, Part 1 - Parlor Games
In this two-part True Spies story, The New York Times’ Azam Ahmed tells the unbelievable tale of Miriam Rodriguez, a 56 year-old housekeeper turned rogue agent and thorn in the side of one of Mexico’s most feared gangs. In Part One, we meet Miriam as her world is turned upside down by news of her daughter’s kidnapping. Soon, she embarks on a quest for answers and for vengeance. It will bring her face to face with The Zetas - a powerful and dangerous criminal organization who terrorize Miriam’s native San Fernando with impunity. But in this grieving mother of three, they may have found their match.
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Diamond Hands
During the cryptocurrency boom of the 2010s, those who held their assets made huge fortunes. Among them was James Zhong - a young man who'd amassed an unbelievable virtual treasure trove. But he'd come across his fortune illegitimately by executing an audacious one-man heist against the most notorious black market on the Dark Web. Sophia Di Martino joins IRS criminal investigation agent Tyler Hatcher, whose digital detective work recovered millions in ill-gotten Bitcoin for the US government.
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The Silk Road Bust
The Silk Road was one of the most notorious black markets on the Internet. Run by the notorious, anonymous Dread Pirate Roberts, this online bazaar allowed its users to trade cryptocurrency for illegal drugs, items and services. But, buried beneath layers of digital proxies, the Silk Road was almost impenetrable to law enforcement. Almost. Sophia Di Martino joins former FBI Special Agent Chris Tarbell to tell the story of how a combination of cyber-savvy and old-school detective work brought down the biggest name on the Dark Web.
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Ten Episodes Not To Miss
Ready to unlock the secrets of the spying game? Here's a quick intro to our True Spies series.
Howard Hunt Unleashed, Part 1: The CIA & Animal Farm
In this special two-part True Spies miniseries, Daisy Ridley presents a dramatized encounter with Everette Howard Hunt Jr, based on our own historical research and Hunt's own writings. In Part 1, Hunt explains his role in one of the CIA's most unusual PsyOps - the backing of 1954's animated version of George Orwell's Animal Farm.
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HAVANA SYNDROME SPECIAL
Debilitating neurological symptoms have affected US officials worldwide. Former CIA officer Marc Polymeropoulos has been suffering since 2017 - he joins Russia expert and former CIA Station Chief John Sipher, and Dr. James Giordano to analyze Havana Syndrome.
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GRAY SUIT & THE GHOST
Eric O’Neill describes the hunt for the infamous FBI mole Robert Hanssen, who he was tasked with catching. Eric needs to get Hanssen into a hire car so his own car can be searched for evidence of his betrayal... but the hire car isn’t there and Hanssen is getting suspicious. What would you do in O'Neill's position?
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THE ILLEGAL
'Jack Barsky' was a New York computer programmer for a well-known insurance firm. In real life, he was Albrecht Dittrich, a highly-trained Soviet sleeper agent dropped behind enemy lines in 1970s America. When the KGB recalled him to Europe, Barsky had a difficult choice to make: Should he leave his wife and 18-month-old baby behind or betray his country?
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INSIDE NAMBLA
Bob Hamer had a colorful career as an undercover FBI agent but nothing prepared him for infiltrating Nambla, the North American Man/Boy Love Association. If he was going to put the pedophiles behind bars, Bob would have to hide his hatred and disdain - even if it ripped at the very fabric of his being. (Warning: This episode contains graphic details.)
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WHITE TRAITOR
Sue Dobson was a white woman who wanted to spy for the African National Congress - making her a minority within a minority in apartheid-era South Africa. Dobson spent seven months training in the USSR to learn her tradecraft. Now she wasn’t just a traitor, she was a turncoat with the training to kill.
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PSYCHIC SPIES
Dr. Edwin May is an unusual scientist, a physicist who researches psychic phenomena. For decades he worked with psychics who believed they could ‘foresee’ events like potential terrorist attacks, which raised an interesting question: If you can see the future, are you condemned to experience it?
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THE SOCIOPATHIC SPY
Working as a lawyer is one path to success, but Jim Lawler wanted adventure. He ditched his job in Texas and joined the CIA. On his first tour abroad, Jim had to recruit a spy working for a hostile government knowing she’d be killed if her cover was blown. That’s when Jim realized he was born with the type of sociopathic personality that would ensure success.
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ME AND THE MULLAH
Shawnee Delaney was a key part of the US team hunting Osama bin Laden in the wake of 9/11. One of her contacts was a Mullah with close ties to al-Qaeda but how could she win his trust? There was a language barrier and the Mullah refused to accept money for intelligence. This was shaping up to be Shawnee’s most challenging assignment yet.
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THE IRISHMAN
Sean Hartnett grew up in Ireland during the 'Troubles'. His family was Republican so they were shocked when Hartnett talked about joining the British Armed Forces. In fact, Hartnett went a step further. He joined the British Army’s most secretive covert counterterrorist unit in Northern Ireland, Joint Communications Unit Northern Ireland aka ‘The Det’.
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And, if you're into covert operations and intelligence gathering, check out these episodes:
EPISODE 71
RISE AND KILL FIRST
Ronen Bergman is an investigative journalist specializing in the dark arts of espionage and Mossad. In the early ‘80s, he stumbled on the scoop of a lifetime involving PLO chairman Yasser Arafat.
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TEAM ALPHA PART 1: THE TIP OF THE SPEAR
October 17, 2001. The dust of 9/11 has barely settled. America and the world are reeling. In Afghanistan, eight CIA officers - a crack team of linguists, tribal experts, and paramilitaries - are the first Americans to infiltrate Taliban territory after the attacks. Their mission is to ensure that al-Qaeda does not strike again.
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EPISODE 87
STALIN'S ROMEO SPY
As a young Soviet journalist, Emil Draitser stumbled on a story that changed his life. He was summoned by Dmitri Bystrolyotov to hear the deep secret that he was a ‘Stasi Romeo’ spying on Germany for Moscow, taking advantage of vulnerable women to steal state secrets. It was a fascinating tale, but it could also land Draitser in prison.
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ALDRICH AMES PART 1: THE ULTIMATE DOUBLE AGENT - SELLING SECRETS
The CIA is only as strong as the weakest link. And in the waning years of the Cold War, weak links were in ready supply. A number of trusted Agency officers were caught selling secrets to the Russian regime. And the most notorious traitor? Aldrich Hazen Ames.
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EPISODE 43
PUTIN'S PALACE?
Former Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny released a film in 2021 that sent shockwaves through the country. Part exposé, part-psychological portrait, his investigation claimed to reveal a culture of corruption within the Kremlin - with President Putin at its heart. The Kremlin and Putin deny everything.
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LISTEN TO ALL TRUE SPIES EPISODES Find us on Apple Podcasts
See all episodes here
Spy Sisters
See all episodes here
CIA Secrets
See all episodes here
FBI Secrets
See all episodes here
Russian Secrets
Teaser
FOR YOUR EARS ONLY
Influential musicians, composers, directors and actors reveal secrets and insights around their favourite film and television music. Get your weekly dose of great music and great stories now! Hosted by Jodhi May.
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EPISODE 17
LORNE BALFE
Lorne Balfe is one of the most prolific film composers working today. His brilliant work on the Mission: Impossible franchise makes him a perfect candidate to talk us through some of the best music from the world of espionage and beyond. The Scottish composer has scored films from the Terminator series, the Assassin's Creed Series, the Call of Duty video games, and the Netflix series The Crown. Here he discusses the music of Jerry Goldsmith, Hans Zimmer, Stuart Copeland, and his experience adapting the classic Lalo Schifrin theme to Mission Impossible for the sixth instalment in the series.
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EPISODE 16
JAMES GAY-REES
Senna, Amy, and Maradona are some of the most captivating and commercially successful documentary films ever made. This trilogy, directed by Asif Kapadia, uses archive footage to shed new light on iconic figures. Choosing the music this week is the Oscar winning producer behind all these and more. James Gay-Rees also produced the film Exit Through The Gift Shop which looked at the contemporary art world through the eyes of the artist Banksy. He produced the 2016 film Supersonic charting the rise of British band Oasis in the mid 90s. And most recently he distilled the music and politics of the early 70s into a documentary series for Apple - 1971: The Year That Changed Everything. Here he picks some of his favourite music from his own films and beyond.
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EPISODE 14
LESLEY BARBER
94% of the 250 top box office releases of 2018 were scored by men, according to the Centre for the Study of Women in TV and Film. As a member of the Alliance for Women Film Composers, Lesley Barber is working to make sure that stats like that become a thing of the past. The Canadian composer scored the 1999 Jane Austin adaptation Mansfield Park, the 2019 Mindy Kaling comedy Late Night, and the Oscar nominated Manchester by the Sea. Here she talks about her own compositions along with some of her favourites from others working in the field such as Thomas Newman, Angelo Badalamenti, and Oneohtrix Point Never.
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EPISODE 13
JAMES LAVELLE
James Lavelle adopted his musical moniker from the 1960s TV spy series The Man From UNCLE. UNKLE have been making music since the early 90s and have featured a rotating cast of musicians over the years - DJ Shadow, Josh Homme, Thom Yorke, Mike D, Michael Kiwanuka and more - but the man at the centre of it all is James Lavelle. Cinema has been a huge influence on James. The branding and merchandise around Star Wars inspired much of the output on his label Mo'Wax, which he founded aged 18, and his love of films such as Blade Runner, ET, and Close Encounters of the Third Kind led to him naming their debut album Psyence Fiction. The 2008 album End Titles… Stories For Film is a collection of work inspired by the medium. Here he guides us through the music of some of his favourite films.
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EPISODE 12
HANNAH PEEL
The Game of Thrones documentary The Last Watch began Hannah Peel's career as a soundtrack composer. Despite already being a BBC broadcaster, a producer, and a musician, it's in the world of TV and film that she has always wanted to reside. Hannah Peel creates unique soundscapes by weaving together elements of traditional folk, classical orchestration, electronic music, and found sounds, often inspired by science and nature. Space travel, our own neural networks, and the northern English countryside have all featured as themes for her work. It was the birds of Alfred Hitchcock’s 1963 horror that helped inspire her eerie soundtrack to the psychological thriller The Deceived. And in 2019 she received an Emmy nomination for her score to The Last Watch, a series shot largely in her native Northern Ireland. Her latest album Fir Wave was recently nominated for the prestigious Mercury Music Prize. Here she takes us through some of her favourite soundtracks from the likes of Clint Mansell, Thom Yorke, and Ennio Morricone.
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EPISODE 11
KEITH LOCKHART
Film composer John Williams conducted the Boston Pops Orchestra for 15 years before handing over the reins to today's host. Keith Lockhart has been at the helm of this storied American institution for over 25 years, bringing classical music and film scores to the masses via their concerts around the world. Keith has conducted at Super Bowl and NBA finals, at Queen Elizabeth's diamond Jubilee, and at the BBC Proms as chief guest conductor of the BBC Concert Orchestra. Here he takes us through a number of his favourite film scores, from the likes James Newton Howard, Alexandre Desplat, and of course John Williams - many of which he has performed over the years.
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EPISODE 10
BASEMENT JAXX
Felix Buxton is one half of the British dance music behemoth Basement Jaxx, and has been playing parties, club nights, arenas and festivals for more than 25 years. During that time Basement Jaxx have released number 1 dance singles, multi platinum selling albums, and some truly iconic videos. In 2011 they made their film soundtrack debut, working with composer Stephen Price to score the Joe Cornish sci-fi horror comedy Attack The Block, and in this episode Felix takes us through some of his favourite film music.
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EPISODE 9
PHOENIX
Laurent Brancowitz AKA Branco is one quarter of the two-time Grammy Award winning French band Phoenix. He was also at one stage in a band called Darlin' with two friends Thomas Bangalter and Guy-Manuel de Homem-Christo, a band Melody Maker described as "a daft punky thrash". After they disbanded Branco formed Phoenix and no one knows what became of the other two... Phoenix's music has featured in several films over the years, notably Lost In Translation and On The Rocks which were both directed by Sofia Coppola, who happens to be married to the band's frontman Thomas Mars. In this episode, Branco guides us through some of his favorite movie music from the likes of Ennio Morricone, Serge Gainsbourg, John Barry, and Philip Glass.
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EPISODE 8
ANNA MEREDITH
Anna Meredith composed the brilliant score to Bo Burnham's award winning 2018 coming of age drama Eighth Grade and in this episode talks through her process, along with some of her favourite tracks from film and TV. Classically trained but working largely within an electronic framework, Anna is one of the UK's most exciting contemporary musicians. She discusses the influence of Trainspotting on her as a Scottish teenager, her affection for action films, and the tv series Fargo.
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EPISODE 7
FRASER T SMITH
Adele, Stormzy, Sam Smith, Kano and Dave are just some of the British Pop artists that Fraser T Smith has worked with. So far, he has 8 UK number 1 singles to his name and, as you will shortly hear, is throwing his hat in the ring to produce the next James Bond theme. In this episode, he talks about his favorite Bond songs, working with Adele, and the classic soundtracks he loves.
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EPISODE 6
ANNE DUDLEY
Oscar winning composer Anne Dudley has scored The Full Monty, American History X, The Crying Game and several films for Dutch director Paul Verhoeven - Elle, Black Book and Benedetta. All this after a successful career in pop music as both a member of Art of Noise and writing for artists such as Debbie Harry, Tom Jones, Sting, Seal, Rod Stewart and Marc Almond. Here she talks about music from the thrillers that have influenced her own work and the reasons why they stand out.
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EPISODE 5
JOHN TAYLOR
Did you know Duran Duran's John Taylor is a James Bond super-fan? Here he provides a comprehensive guide to Bond music past and present, from pop songs to film cues, and talks about the influence of Bond on the band and how they came to write the hit song That Fatal Kiss for the fourteenth film in the series A View To A Kill. He calls it his 'Themes and Martinis James Bond Playlist'.
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EPISODE 4
NILE RODGERS
Nile Rodgers has shaped the sound of pop music for the past half century. Chic, Bowie, Madonna, Diana Ross, Daft Punk, Duran Duran, INXS, Lady Gaga, Bryan Ferry, Grace Jones... we could go on. However, alongside his pop successes came work for TV and film. This week, Nile Rodgers talks about Coming to America and a selection of other film music he either made or was inspired by.
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EPISODE 3
ANNA CALVI
Peaky Blinders soundtrack composer and multiple Mercury Music Prize nominated artist Anna Calvi is this week's guest, with a special focus on her love for the classic scores of Bernard Herrmann. She talks about the way films have inspired her work as a solo artist, and her desire to do more soundtrack work after the success of Peaky Blinders.
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EPISODE 2
LUDWIG GÖRANSSON
Tenet composer Ludwig Göransson talks about working with Christopher Nolan and Travis Scott on one of the biggest films of 2020, and presents a playlist of his favorite music of contemporaries and past masters working in the genre. The Swedish composer has worked on Marvel films such as Black Panther and Venom, has scored Rocky films Creed and Creed II, as well as hit series such as The Mandalorian, New Girl, and Community. He's produced music for Haim, Chance The Rapper, and Childish Gambino, including his Grammy Award winning single This Is America.
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EPISODE 1
PAUL EPWORTH
Five-time Grammy winner Paul Epworth - famed for his work with Adele, Florence & The Machine and Rihanna - is our guest this week, taking us on a journey from Hitchcock to Quincy Jones, and from James Bond to the outer reaches of the galaxy.
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EPISODE 1
PAUL EPWORTH
RELEASE MAY 14
EPISODE 2
LUDWIG GÖRANSSON
RELEASE MAY 20
EPISODE 3
ANNA CALVI
RELEASE MAY 28
EPISODE 4
NILE RODGERS
RELEASE JUN 4
EPISODE 5
JOHN TAYLOR
RELEASE JUN 11
EPISODE 6
ANNE DUDLEY
RELEASE JUN 18
EPISODE 7
FRASER T SMITH
RELEASE JUN 25
EPISODE 8
ANNA MEREDITH
EPISODE 9
PHOENIX
EPISODE 10
BASEMENT JAXX
RELEASE JULY 16
EPISODE 11
KEITH LOCKHART
RELEASE JULY 19
EPISODE 12
HANNAH PEEL
RELEASE JUL 23
EPISODE 13
JAMES LAVELLE
EPISODE 14
LESLEY BARBER
RELEASE AUG 6
EPISODE 16
JAMES GAY-REES
RELEASE AUG 20
EPISODE 17
LORNE BALFE
RELEASE AUG 27
Teaser
FOR YOUR EARS ONLY
RELEASE 05 MAY

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