Cambridge Analytica Crisis, Alexander Litvinenko Poisoning Among Topics of Wondery’s ‘British Scandal’ Podcast

Global podcast publisher Wondery is launching its first U.K.-produced podcast, entitled “British Scandal,” with a trifecta of stories that rocked Britain and shocked the world.

The three seasons are narrated by co-host of the award-winning podcast “My Dad Wrote a Porno” and ex-Radio 1 presenter Alice Levine, alongside comedian, host of “The Political Party Podcast” and former political advisor Matt Forde.

“British Scandal” launches with the poisoning of Alexander Litvinenko, the Russian dissident who dared to take on the Kremlin and subsequently fled to the U.K., to be granted asylum in 2000. In November 2006, Litvinenko became extremely ill and was hospitalised in London; just over three weeks later, he became the first person in the world to be killed by lethal drug polonium-210, sparking a diplomatic crisis that dragged U.K. and Russia relations to their lowest point since the end of the Cold War.

The second season explores the story of David Kelly, the renowned British scientist and weapons expert who was found dead in an Oxfordshire wood in 2003. Kelly’s death — and subsequent fallout from a dossier that claimed Iraq had weapons of mass destruction which could be deployed in under an hour — led to a political crisis for Prime Minister Tony Blair and communications director Alastair Campbell.

The third season in the series looks at the 2018 Cambridge Analytica crisis in which the analytics firm was implicated in a data breach, harvesting the personal data of over 87 million Facebook users.

“Our mission is to provide entertainment and knowledge through our innovative, immersive and emotive podcasts and we’re excited to launch our U.K. originals and create our first ever international series,” said Declan Moore, head of international for Wondery. “‘British Scandal’ is a riveting journey through seismic crises, political outrage and public uproar, with questions, theories and themes from the scandals still resonating across the world today. Through the beautifully crafted and engaging narration of hosts Alice and Matt, we’re confident that ‘British Scandal’ will appeal to podcast fans and potential new listeners alike.”

Levine said: “‘British Scandal’ is an amazing chance to take a deep dive into some events that we all remember from the news, which really are stranger than fiction. Revisiting them with some distance, knowing what we know now, throws up some incredible surprises.”

Forde added: “I love a good scandal and I love talking to Alice Levine about scandals, so this show is perfect for me. The biggest British scandal of all is that this podcast didn’t exist already.”

The producer of “British Scandal” is Russell Finch, who was previously a senior executive at U.K. podcast production company Somethin’ Else.

“British Scandal” is available from April 27.