The Guardian has today launched ‘Can I tell you a secret?’ a new six-part podcast series exploring the case of Matthew Hardy, a man who for over a decade stalked women online, wreaking havoc in their lives, and the lives of their friends and families.
Hardy’s harassment, the Guardian says, would often start in the same way, a fake profile posing as a young woman with a simple message: “Hey hun, can I tell you a secret?”
The Guardian's first ever standalone true-crime podcast series, hosted by Guardian journalist Sirin Kale, examines Hardy’s relentless campaign of fear, through exclusive and deeply personal interviews with his victims and people who know him.
Sirin Kale, Guardian journalist and podcast host, Can I tell you a secret? said: “I’ve written about stalking throughout my career and thought, probably naively, that there was very little that could shock me. The case of Matthew Hardy is one I still struggle to wrap my head around, even now. How did Hardy manage to go on for so long and torment so many people? What motivated him to do it? And - most importantly for his victims - is he likely to stop? We explore all of these questions and many more, in Can I tell you a secret?”
Nicole Jackson, head of audio, Guardian News & Media, said: “Podcasting is integral to the Guardian and how we tell our stories. We produce hit shows every day while always experimenting with new ideas and genres. Can I tell you a secret? is a great example of original Guardian journalism being shared in a new and impactful way. The podcast will tell listeners the story of what happened to some of the women cyberstalked by Mattthew Hardy, the impact it is still having on them as well as trying to understand why Hardy behaved the way he did and whether more could have been done to stop him.”
Can I tell you a secret? is based on original investigative journalism by Guardian journalist Sirin Kale, the Guardian continued.
According to the Guardian, global monthly listens to Guardian podcasts have increased by over 60% in the last two years (Feb 2020-March 2022). So far this year, they say they have launched brand new podcasts - Weekend and Women’s Football Weekly, a refresh of Politics Weekly UK and Politics Weekly US and a third series of Comfort Eating with Grace Dent.
Can I tell you a secret? is reported by Sirin Kale. The series has been produced by Lucy Hough, and executive produced by Charlotte Pritchard and India Rakusen. Original music and sound design is by Axel Kacoutié, the Guardian’s creative director of sound. The commissioning editor is Nicole Jackson, the Guardian’s head of audio.
All six podcast episodes are available for listening from 23 September at theguardian.com/audio, Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Acast and all other podcast apps of choice.
If you or someone you know has been affected by the issues raised in this podcast there are services available to offer advice and support including Paladin, Protection Against Stalking and the National Stalking Helpline.Keep up-to-date with publishing news: sign up here for InPubWeekly, our free weekly e-newsletter.