Intrigue: Murder in the Lucky Holiday Hotel is a podcast that is Agatha Christie meets House of Cards with an Oriental twist. It tells the story of the downfall of Bo Xilai, a once powerful and charismatic politician, who could have eclipsed current President Xi Jingping as a future leader of China if the cards fell his way. Despite the challenges of reporting in China, BBC China Editor Carrie Gracie is able to explain with clarity the tale of money, sex and power than unravelled Bo Xilai.
Gracie guides us through her five-part series with clear knowledge of her beat of 25 years. She is upfront about the many restrictions and hardships involved in reporting on an important tale from one of the world’s most repressive superpowers. Despite the seriousness of the subject matter, Gracie is a charismatic, jovial presenter, who delivers the story with zest. This podcast is very different listening to the straight-laced reportage from the BBC’s network of correspondents around the world. Considered in a broader journalist context, Murder in the Lucky Holiday Hotel offers foreign correspondents based in bureaus around the world a blueprint for what is possible in terms of creative podcasting. It’s refreshing to see a foreign correspondent dive deep and explain an important chapter of Chinese politics with simplicity and flair.