editorial Archive

The Political School
Timandra Harkness designs a new curriculum to give our politicians an upgrade - re-educating Westminster with the revolutionary performance enhancing techniques honed by data savvy scientists, leadership gurus and Silicon Valley CEOs.
Episodes:3
Run Time:28 mins
Hijacked Histories
We’ve all heard of fake news, but what about fake history? Dominic Sandbrooke unpicks a host of historical half-truths from the madness of Nero to the myth of the Blitz. Dominic reveals that when it comes to history, separating fact from fiction isn’t always easy, with widely held beliefs about our past often based on a web of lies.
Episodes:6
Run Time:Various Lengths
The Burnt Notebook
Writer Ross Sutherland reveals a suite of writing techniques to get your creative juices flowing. Learn how people watching can spark your next short story and try out the “cut up” method to forge wild new poems. Through a series of playful exercises, Ross encourages you to experiment and to fall in love with the written word.
Episodes:6
Run Time:Various
Friends & Foes: A Narrative History of Diplomacy
Professor David Rothkopf charts the role of diplomacy throughout recent history. From the high stakes stand off of the Cuban Missile Crisis to the Good Friday Agreement, Rothkopf highlights seminal events where the fine art of diplomacy has evolved and ultimately been transformed.
Episodes:10
Run Time:14 mins
A Very John Kearns Christmas
A programme about home, memory and ritual. John Kearns pulls up his sleigh to share genuine audio recordings of his family’s Christmas dinners gone by. Listen as his festive family picks over the bones of Midnight Mass, dissects jokes with abandon, and pays its respects to discontinued bus routes.
Episodes:1
Run Time:28 minutes
The Sympathy of Things
Turner Prize-winning architecture collective Assemble explore the designed and manufactured world. These programmes examine the way that mass production has utterly transformed our relationship with the material world, and explain how the advent of digital technologies will do so again in the future.
Episodes:2
Run Time:28 mins
The Quran Rescuing Monk of Timbuktu
Father Columba Stewart travels to Timbuktu in Mali with a team of experts trying to persuade the Imams of the City’s three great Mosques to allow them to digitise their endangered manuscript collections. These priceless documents are under threat from Islamic militants intent on destroying them.
Episodes:1
Run Time:28 minutes
Fallout
Mary Ann Sieghart and a panel of experts discuss the long-term impact of the coronavirus pandemic and the many ways it will reshape the world. Across four episodes, we delve into the consequences of the virus on the relationship between citizens and the state, the future of the global economy, developments in healthcare and the environment.
Episodes:4
Run Time:43 Minutes
The Purity Spiral
Gavin Haynes heads into the eye of two seemingly unlikely moral storms. He discovers bitter rows over diversity and racism within the world of Young Adult literature and Instagram knitting. You might think knitting and teen fiction would be innocuous cosy communities. However both scenes have become embroiled in what Gavin calls The Purity Spiral.
Episodes:1
Run Time:28 minutes
Five Green Bottles
In this series, five of the world’s leading critics offer insightful reflections on the personal, political and historical stories of iconic bottles of wine. We hear about the world’s most powerful (and controversial) wine critic, the wine Napoleon asked for on his deathbed and sample the oldest wine ever to have been tasted.
Episodes:5
Run Time:14 mins
Angels of the Bayou
Kenny Hill was a bricklayer who arrived in the small town of Chauvin, Louisiana in 1988. Over the course of 13 years, he created a sculpture park filled with angels, self-portraits, and Americana icons that has been hailed as one of America’s great works of ‘outsider art’. Then, one day, he vanished without trace, never to be seen again.
Episodes:1
Run Time:28 mins
Girl Power RIP
Journalist and author Ella Whelan asks if feminism is still relevant or whether the fight for women’s liberation has spawned a culture of victimhood that’s damaging a new generation of women. Drawing upon a wealth of archive material, Ella questions the value of feminism and concludes that it is failing to empower those it claims to speak for.
Episodes:1
Run Time:57 minutes
Right Click - The New Online Culture Wars
On the internet, a new political movement is taking shape. Some are calling it classical liberalism or the intellectual dark web. The phenomenon has US roots, but a UK contingent has found massive online support. Gavin Haynes goes in search of this new wave of political thought and discovers a never-ending culture war.
Episodes:1
Run Time:28 mins
A Cure at What Cost
What should our strategy be for getting out of lockdown? The world braces itself for an economic crisis set to dwarf 2008, how do we emerge from the coronavirus pandemic saving as many lives as possible now without causing long-lasting damage? Science writer Tom Chivers asks whether the cure is worth the cost.
Episodes:1
Run Time:28 minutes
Our Daily Bread
Rachel O’Connell invites us to experience life within a secretive community of nuns who live high on a Greek mountainside. This spiritual oasis, filled with ritual and reflection. We are transported by the mesmerising Byzantine chanting of the sisters and the musical bells of mountain goats, to a world far removed from the frenzied pace of modern life.
Episodes:1
Run Time:26 mins
William Sieghart's Poetry Pharmacy
William Sieghart welcomes you into his Poetry Pharmacy where he serves up poetic prescriptions to soothe the soul. William dips into his library and selects a poem perfectly suited to advise and console his patient. Through this process poetry leaps off the page, revealing its vital curative properties.
Episodes:1
Run Time:28 minutes
Economics 101
Martin Wolf argues that if we truly aim to be a democratic and prosperous society, we need a comprehensive new movement devoted to public engagement with economics. He challenges the prevalent view that our economy should be managed and maintained by a small group of technocrats.
Episodes:1
Run Time:28 mins
Dying Whispers
Sahar Zand travels to Belarus and discovers one of the world’s oldest, strangest spiritual traditions - the occult practice of “breathing whispers”. Sahar meets the last remaining whisperers keeping their belief systems alive in the face of countless obstacles, healing the sick when modern medicine has failed.
Episodes:1
Run Time:28 mins
A Hack's Progress
Writer Jonathan Freedland looks at how journalists and newspapers have been depicted in fiction from the advent of the mass popular press to the present day, examining the changing public image of the fourth estate. Jonathan explores the literary combat conducted by writers on the disputed boundaries between literature and journalism.
Episodes:1
Run Time:57 mins
Istanbul's Factory of Tears
Writer Isobel Finkel takes us to Istanbul, where art and censorship are never too far apart. She discovers a vibrant city with a rich musical tradition that has been frequently oppressed. Now the kitsch, melancholy and forbidden sounds of the 70s are being rediscovered by a new generation of young people.
Episodes:1
Run Time:28 mins
The Strange Case of the Arab Whodunit
Jonathan Guyer discovers an unlikely blossoming of noir fiction in the Middle East. He reveals that this classic American literary genre is uniquely well suited to the dissection of the oppressive governments, failed revolutions, corrupt police and persistent jihadism in Egypt and beyond.
Episodes:1
Run Time:28 mins
Goliath - How Monopolies Came to Be
Political economist and journalist Will Hutton considers the tensions central to modern monopolies, tracing the story of monopolies and public attitudes towards them. This journey through our political history allows Hutton to ask fundamental questions about the ideologies underpinning our economic system.
Episodes:1
Run Time:28 mins
The Rise and Fall of the Meritocracy
Toby Young asks if the Brexit and Trump votes signal the death knell for the popular political vision of the modern meritocracy. We learn that meritocracy itself is a term coined in 1958 by Toby’s father, a pioneering sociologist. Toby asks whether his dad’s vision has become a reality.
Episodes:1
Run Time:28 mins
The Crisis Inside
Three years before Usman Khan stabbed two people to death, Ian Acheson warned that the way the justice system treated violent extremists was a shambles. Here he explores Khan’s journey through the criminal justice system and asks what more could have been done to prevent Khan from carrying out his murderous rampage in 2019.
Episodes:1
Run Time:28 minutes
It’s Obscene
Matthew Syed explores the vexed role of money at the pinnacle of contemporary sport and challenges the popular notion that leading sportsmen’s pay is obscene. He argues that saying it’s obscene for a footballer to be earning a lot of money, working in the most fiercely meritocratic environment imaginable is nothing more than prejudice.
Episodes:1
Run Time:28 mins
Slaughter of the Innocents
Tim Montgomerie reflects on the largely forgotten Collect for Holy Innocents Day. Tim traces this melancholy commemoration back Herod’s massacre of the innocents. This religious holiday calls us to remember the violence and injustice of our world. Yet, despite its contemporary relevance, it has fallen into obscurity.
Episodes:1
Run Time:28 mins
Murad Subay - The Walls Remember
The story of the radical mural painter and activist Murad Subay who paints on the shelled and bullet-marked buildings of Yemen. Journalist Sumaya Bakhsh traces Murad’s journey as he leaves Yemen for Britain before ultimately returning to war-torn Yemen to continue his resistance to the forces of oppression, armed only with a can of spray paint.
Episodes:1
Run Time:26 mins
The Believers in Trump
The huge role that the white evangelical Christians played in putting Donald Trump in the White House was a key part of 2016’s extraordinary electoral story. Why did 80% of these defenders of biblical values vote for a man criticised for blatant sexism? Katie Harrison heads to the US in search of answers.
Episodes:1
Run Time:32 mins
Real Pretenders
Film critic Antonia Quirke investigates the evolution of acting and asks - what makes a perfect performance? Antonia meets some of the leading talents in British theatre and film, charting the making of British acting, from the greats like Laurence Olivier and John Gielgud to the impact of Method and of playwrights like Pinter.
Episodes:1
Run Time:57 mins
The Forgotten Victims of Communism
Author Douglas Murray explores why the communist ideology that killed many more people than Nazism – and in many more parts of the world, from Russia to China and to Cambodia – is so poorly remembered when compared to the Hitler’s national socialism.
Episodes:1
Run Time:34 mins
Awkward Conversations about Money
Writer Alexandre Holder is on a mission - to smash the taboo surrounding money talk. This series goes deep exploring mental health, breakups, social pressure, housing and death, offering vital tips to help you to take back control of your finances and start having the honest and awkward financial conversations that we all spend so long avoiding.
Episodes:6
Run Time:Various