Hooked on Freddie

5.0/5

Critic Rating

Did one man’s friendship with a dolphin go way – way – too far? It’s 1987 and the British seaside town of Amble has seen much better days. So when a wild bottlenose dolphin nicknamed Freddie appears in the harbour, it feels like a miracle. Everyone wants to swim with him. But Freddie chooses one person above all others: Alan Cooper, a dedicated animal rights activist committed to freeing captive dolphins. Then Alan’s friendship with Freddie is turned against him and a devastating accusation spirals out of control.Binge all episodes of Hooked on Freddie exclusively and ad-free by joining Wondery+ i...


Critic Reviews

Score: 4.9

Fiona Sturges • Financial Times Oct 1, 2023

"Veering between comedy and tragedy, Hooked on Freddie tells of a tabloid storm...It’s a terrific story that at times feels stretched; this would have made a perfect three-part mini-series. I’m also not keen on podcasts carrying warnings about contributors’ accents, as this does, presumably with American listeners in mind. The best part of Hooked on Freddie, beyond its WTF premise, is the underwater soundscaping, courtesy of sound designer Volkan Kiziltug, which wonderfully evokes the delight and disorientation of plunging into the sea and being carried along at high speed (this is a podcast best heard through headphones)."

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Score: 5

Miranda Sawyer • The Guardian Sep 30, 2023

"Sounds fairly run of the mill, you’re thinking. Nothing we haven’t heard before. Well, I’m here to inform you that Hooked on Freddie is different. Sure, it uses familiar true crime podcast techniques to tell its tale – but that tale is exceptional. ...she(Milligan) does this within the punchy setup of a true crime series, this seemingly slight narrative given status and warmth through great reporting and dramatic dynamics.Milligan’s script, written as though for a political scandal or a serial murder case, keeps Hooked on Freddie fun, but devastatingly human."

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Score: 5

Stephen O. • Podcast Delivery Sep 25, 2023

"It’s safe to say we know a thing or two about extraordinarily absurd audio but even Hooked on Freddie took us by surprise. Hooked on Freddie is an enthralling treasure of a podcast – it takes the pacing of your standard issue true crime but applies it to a nationwide scandal involving Cooper who ends up flippantly accused of some pretty lewd behavior."

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Score: 5

Alexi Duggins • The Guardian Sep 21, 2023

"It’s funny, tragic and gripping all at once."

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