Podcast Week: Howie Games Live + the star Howie really wants

• The Wellness Collective, Seven’s The Lady Vanishes re-opens case

Howie Games: Australia’s biggest sports podcast goes live

Mark Howard’s hugely popular sports podcast The Howie Games is holding a live recording on August 21 in Sydney with Sam Willoughby, an Olympic silver medallist and two-time BMX World Champion.

At the top of his game, the athlete tragically suffered a horrific spinal injury, putting an end to his racing career. Through perseverance and determination, Willoughby was able to walk down the aisle to marry the love of his life and fellow Olympic BMX representative Alise just over one year after his accident.

The recording will take place at the Darling Quarter Theatre in Sydney.

Ticket details here.

Howard told Mediaweek he is part-way through releasing interviews recorded for The Howie Games season six. So far there have been two-part podcasts with Aussie swimmers Cate and Bronte Campbell and tennis champ-turned coach and broadcaster, Boris Becker. Recorded via Skype while Becker was at Wimbledon recently, Howard managed to get over an hour with the tennis legend.

Fox Cricket’s The Big Break

The Howie Games is far and away Australia’s #1 sports podcast with over 20m downloads so far. The rest of season six should help push that number much higher. Still to come was former English cricket captain Michael Vaughan (released today), Supercars current champ Scott McLaughlin, Winx jockey Hugh Bowman, basketball great Andrew Gaze and Pakistani Australia cricketer, most recently playing T20 in Canada, Fawad Ahmed.

Howard is continuing to chase one particular guest he’s been hunting for two years – champion surfer Kelly Slater. They exchanged text messages when Slater last passed through Australia and Howard got close. But some big waves dragged him away at the last moment.

Howie with Scott McLaughlin

The next evolution of the podcast could be to get a few more big name international sports stars,” Howard told Mediaweek. He finds that just doing audio and not filming his guests, makes them more comfortable and forthcoming.

During the AFL season Howard continues to work with Triple M football on Friday night and Sunday. We last spoke to him before last summer’s cricket season when he had a punishing schedule working for Fox Cricket. “I hosted the Big Break lunchtime show and then got to roam around with a microphone almost like they do on the Formula One grid. It was so much fun.” The program rated well for Fox Cricket too.

Michael Vaughan on The Howie Games

Howard’s first date for Fox Cricket next season is the T20 International Australia v Sri Lanka on October 27. “I am going on holidays the day after the AFL Grand Final until the day before that T20,” said Howard.

Listen to The Howie Games here.

The Wellness Collective releases very personal episode

Mediaweek has recommended PodcastOne’s The Wellness Collective before and hosts Nat Kringoudis and Cecelia Ramsdale hosted a special guest recently in reality TV star, writer and social media influencer (with over 200k followers on Instagram) Tully Smythe (pictured).

Smythe bravely shared the story of her mother’s 23-year battle with dementia (she recently passed away) and how important it is for people to know that dementia and Alzheimer’s disease was the leading cause of death for females in Australia.

Speaking during the podcast, Smythe said: “For those who don’t know, my mum passed away last Monday after a 23 year-long battle with early-onset Alzheimers and I spent the last three days by her side. She was so thin, her eyes were sunken into her head, it was horrendous. That’s not a way to live, and she was like that for many, many, years, and it’s just not fair.”

Listen to The Wellness Collective episode here.

Seven podcast leads to missing persons case reopening

7News’ investigative journalism podcast, The Lady Vanishes, has prompted NSW police to reopen the investigation surrounding missing teacher, Marion Barter, who mysteriously vanished in 1997.

In a stunning vindication of the podcast’s investigation – and dedication of Marion’s daughter Sally Leydon – police say they will reopen the investigation, refer the case to the Coroner and put Marion on the Australian National Missing Persons Register.

The announcement comes as the podcast is set to hit four million listens and amasses a growing Facebook community of 9,000+ followers. It has also prompted a petition of 28,000 signatures campaigning to have Marion added to the Missing Persons List.

“This will actually be the first time in 22 years that mum will be on the national database… she’s never been on there,” Leydon said. “I’m so grateful for all of the support and public interest in the case.”

“This is a huge win for Australian podcast journalism, but more importantly it’s a win for Sally and the fight to find her mum,” added Alison Sandy, executive producer of The Lady Vanishes podcast. “We couldn’t have done this without the help of the Australian and global public following the case.”

The 7News podcast team behind The Lady Vanishes is investigative journalist and presenter Bryan Seymour and writer and producer Sally Eeles. Executive producer is Alison Sandy with sound design by Marc Wright.

Listen to The Lady Vanishes here.

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