A Bit of a Stretch - The Podcast

Chris Atkins

A Bit of a Stretch - The Podcast


Critic Rating


Listener Rating

Chris Atkins is a documentary maker who went to prison for tax fraud in 2016. He spent nine months in HMP Wandsworth, one of the most dangerous prisons in the UK, and has written about his surreal experiences in his bestselling book A Bit of a Stretch. After his release he interviewed 20 ex-prisoners about their time in jail, and turned the recordings into season 1 of this podcast. Their stories are shocking, uplifting, heartbreaking, hilarious, and often downright weird, taking you headfirst into the biggest prison crisis in history. It reveals a collapsing system that is failing victims and wider society, and...

Critic Reviews

Score: 4

James Marriot • The Times UK Oct 1, 2020

"A Bit of a Stretch is mostly a good-humoured and entertaining listen. The details of prison life are deftly chosen...The serious message weaving through all this is that the prison system is underfunded and broken. Getting nice middle-class people to think about that is a commendable aim."

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Score: 5

Yvonne Roberts • The Guardian Feb 16, 2020

"...a surreal, darkly funny, at times horrifying but always humane account of what it’s like to be locked up in a dysfunctional institution..."

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Listener Reviews

Score: 4.5

Cara L. Dec 16, 2021

"A series of ten short (30 min) podcasts on doing prison time in the UK. Loads of really interesting interviews and insights into the prison service. I've been talking about each episode a lot which is always a good sign. The sound quality is pretty bad but you can forgive them that when the subject matter is so interesting."

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