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Preview: Start the Week with Andrew Marr

Start the Week



Weekly discussion programme, setting the cultural agenda every Monday



 



Peter Carey on legacies of the past

Mon, 15 Jan 2018 11:40:00 +0000

The prize-winning novelist Peter Carey tackles head on for the first time the legacies of colonialism in his native Australia in his latest book, A Long Way From Home. He talks to Tom Sutcliffe about the damage and loss for the Stolen Generations. The writer and broadcaster Afua Hirsch believes Britain is also a nation in denial about the past and present, and argues it's time to talk more openly about race and identity. The Dutch journalist Geert Mak once travelled the breadth of Europe to explore what it meant to be European at the end of the 20th century. He found countries struggling to understand the wrongs they had committed during the Holocaust, the Second World War and decades of dictator rule.


Media Files:
http://open.live.bbc.co.uk/mediaselector/5/redir/version/2.0/mediaset/audio-nondrm-download/proto/http/vpid/p05txjgx.mp3




Votes for Women

Mon, 08 Jan 2018 10:24:00 +0000

British women first got the vote a century ago this year. The social historian Jane Robinson tells Andrew Marr the suffrage movement is known for the actions of its militant wing and their call for 'deeds not words'. But thousands of ordinary women, known as suffragists, campaigned successfully to have their voices heard too. Political theorist Christopher Finlay asks whether violent political protest is ever justified, while the artist Peter Kennard explains how he was inspired by the protest movements in Europe in 1968 to infuse his works with politics. The writer Mary Shelley was born into a politically radical family, with an anarchist father and her mother the feminist Mary Wollstonecraft. On the 200th anniversary of her novel Frankenstein, the poet Fiona Sampson looks back at Shelley's radical life. Producer: Katy Hickman.


Media Files:
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Who governs Britain?

Mon, 18 Dec 2017 10:20:00 +0000

The former President of the Supreme Court, Lord Neuberger, questions how senior judges became cast as 'enemies of the people' last year. He tells Andrew Marr how the judiciary has grown more powerful and ready to challenge the government over the last half century - while professor of politics Tim Bale explores whether parliament has at the same time become weaker. Cicero was proscribed as an enemy of the people in the 1st century BC. Robert Harris's Cicero trilogy has now been dramatized for the stage, and is a timely reminder of earlier collisions of politics, the law and the people. Barbara Hosking understands the workings of politics and the media, having served under two Prime Ministers - Harold Wilson and Edward Heath - and pioneered breakfast television. She reflects back on her life travelling from a Cornish village to the corridors of power. Producer: Katy Hickman.


Media Files:
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The power and beauty of objects.

Mon, 11 Dec 2017 10:24:00 +0000

A mysterious doll's house is at the centre of Jessie Burton's novel The Miniaturist, now dramatised for television. Burton tells Tom Sutcliffe about the claustrophobic world she created amidst the wealthy merchant traders of 17th century Holland. The economist Jonathan Haskel points to the quiet revolution that has taken place since then, as developed countries now invest more in intangible assets like design and software, than in tangible goods like machinery and computers. He asks what impact this has had on economic inequality and low productivity. And then two objects that tell stories far beyond themselves: the umbrella and the Ferrari. Marion Rankine looks at the humble brolly, now a simple object to protect you from the rain, but once a powerful symbol of class and power. And 70 year after Enzo Ferrari brought out his first car, the guest curator at the Design Museum Andrew Nahum looks back at the creation of an iconic brand. Producer: Katy Hickman Picture courtesy of Ferrari.


Media Files:
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Russia, religion and the Middle East

Mon, 04 Dec 2017 10:17:00 +0000

Totalitarianism has reclaimed Russia. So journalist Masha Gessen tells Andrew Marr. Her book 'The Future is History' follows four figures born as the Soviet Union crumbled and whose new-found freedom is being slowly eradicated. The Soviet Union banned religion but ranked citizens by "nationality" - with Jews near the bottom and ethnic Russians at the top. Dominic Rubin explores the country's relationship with religion in 'Russia's Muslim Heartlands', while Oxford professor Roy Allison unpicks Russian involvement in the Arab world. Putin is influential as far away as Libya and Egypt, and is a key ally to the Assad regime in Syria. And just as Putin has mastered the art of propaganda at home, Moscow-born Liwaa Yazji looks at the role of propaganda in the Syrian civil war through her new play 'Goats'.


Media Files:
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Finland at 100

Mon, 27 Nov 2017 10:28:00 +0000

It is a hundred years since Finland declared independence following the Russian Revolution. Amol Rajan asks what is unique about Europe's most sparsely populated country. The conductor Sakari Oramo celebrates Finland's greatest composer Sibelius, while the curator Sointu Fritze looks at the work of Tove Jansson, famed for her cartoon creatures the Moomins as well as her daring political cartoons and images of the sea. The writer Horatio Clare travels around the frozen seas of Finland on board a government icebreaker, discovering stories of its history and character, while the economist Martin Sandbu evaluates a region seen as a capitalist utopia. Producer: Katy Hickman.


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Blood, guts and swearing robots

Mon, 20 Nov 2017 10:20:00 +0000

Victorian hospitals were known as 'houses of death' and their surgeons, who never washed their hands, were praised for their brute strength and speed. Lindsey Fitzharris tells Andrew Marr about the pioneering British surgeon Joseph Lister who transformed his profession. Anaesthesia was discovered in the 1840s but Professor Lesley Colvin says we're still learning about the complex relationship between the brain and the perception of pain, as well as understanding the potential harm of the increased use of strong opiates. Pain is common to all humans, but could - and should - robots feel pain? This is the question Dr Beth Singler poses in a new film exploring the limits of Artificial Intelligence. And if they are programmed to feel pain, should they also be taught to swear? Dr Emma Byrne looks at the science of bad language and why it can also be harnessed to reduce pain. Producer: Katy Hickman.


Media Files:
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Anger and deprivation

Mon, 13 Nov 2017 10:03:00 +0000

'I'm mad as hell, and I'm not going to take it anymore'. These are the words of the news anchor-man in the film Network, now adapted for the stage. The director Ivo van Hove tells Francine Stock how this satire on global capitalism and chasing ratings with populist rants has such relevance today. Composer Nico Muhly also looks to Hollywood, adapting Hitchock's film Marnie - and the novel that inspired it - for the English National Opera. Born into poverty, Marnie becomes trapped in a web of lies and angrily claws her way out. Anger pervades Darren McGarvey's book, Poverty Safari, as he takes the reader on a journey into Britain's deprived communities to give voice to people who feel misunderstood and unheard. He explores how stress pervades the streets where he was brought up, while the scientist Caroline Relton studies how stress and other environmental factors can be passed down through generations, affecting our genetic make-up. Producer: Katy Hickman.


Media Files:
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Heart of Darkness: Conrad and Orwell

Mon, 06 Nov 2017 10:32:00 +0000

Andrew Marr discusses the work of Joseph Conrad with his biographer Maya Jasanoff. Conrad wrote about the underbelly of colonialism, terrorism, immigration and isolation and Jasanoff looks at the turn of the twentieth century through the lens of his life and work. While Conrad's Nostromo reflected the changing world order with the emerging dominance of the US and global capitalism, the FT columnist Gideon Rachman looks at the decline of the West amidst the growing power of the East, as well as reflecting on Britain's imperial amnesia. A young George Orwell was also part of the British colonial system in its slow death throes in Burma and the academic Robert Colls explores how these experiences shaped his later work. Ishion Hutchinson has been called a post-colonial poet and his latest collection is haunted by Jamaica's fractured past. Producer: Katy Hickman.


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Animals: tamed, exploited and resurrected

Mon, 30 Oct 2017 11:08:00 +0000

Amol Rajan discusses the uneasy interaction between the animal kingdom and humans. The anthropologist Alice Roberts looks back to the moment hunter-gatherers changed their relationship with other species and began to tame them, paving the way for our civilisation. Gaia Vince visits the Pacific Coast of Costa Rica where local people have found a way to both exploit and protect a natural resource, the olive ridley sea turtle. Re-introducing native species can be fraught with difficulties: John Ewen was part of the team who successfully re-introduced the hihi bird to New Zealand, but can lessons learnt with songbirds help with schemes to bring back wolves, lynx and beavers? And resurrection science may be the stuff of films like Jurassic Park, but it is also an exciting - and potentially dangerous - new field of study. Britt Wray offers a warning about the risks of de-extinction. Producer: Katy Hickman.


Media Files:
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Living with the Gods

Mon, 23 Oct 2017 09:26:00 +0000

Are humans distinguished not just by a capacity to think, but by our need to believe - where the search is not so much for my place in the world, but for our place in the cosmos? Neil MacGregor, the former Director of the British Museum, discusses Living with the Gods, his Radio 4 series, in which he focuses on the expression of shared beliefs, across thousands of years, and around the globe, through objects from the Museum's collections and beyond. The curator Jennifer Sliwka looks at a world in black and white, in a celebration of the monochrome in art across the centuries, from medieval sacred works, where the elimination of colour was thought to focus the mind, to contemporary paintings. The historian Dan Jones tells the story of the ultimate holy warriors, the Knights Templar, a story of power, politics and fanaticism. The writer Caspar Henderson takes a step back to consider the awe-inspiring - from divine visions to transcendent moments - and to ask whether we are in danger of losing our sense of wonder in the modern world. Presenter Andrew Marr Producer Katy Hickman Photograph: (c) The Trustees of the British Museum.


Media Files:
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The End of War?

Mon, 16 Oct 2017 09:21:00 +0000

War became illegal in 1928 with the Paris Peace Pact that created a new world order, according to the lawyer and academic Oona Hathaway. She tells Andrew Marr how this pivotal moment launched a new international system in which sanctions replaced gunboat diplomacy. Although inter-state wars have fallen since World War Two, intra-state conflicts have risen: Elisabeth Kendall explains the dire situation of one of the Arab's poorest countries, Yemen. The Norwegian ambassador to the UK Mona Juul talks about the art of international diplomacy. She played a key role in the secret talks which led to the Oslo Accords in the 1990s - the first ever agreement between Israel and the Palestine Liberation Organisation. And Phillip Collins looks at the speeches that have shaped the world and inspired generations, especially at moments of war and conflict. Producer: Katy Hickman.


Media Files:
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Russian Revolution a hundred years on

Mon, 09 Oct 2017 09:45:00 +0000

The Russian Revolution a hundred years on. To mark the centenary Tom Sutcliffe is in Moscow to discuss the forces that led to the Revolution, and to find out how far Russians today embrace or reject such a pivotal moment in their country's history. He talks to a senior member of President Putin's political party, Konstantin Kosachev. And he is joined by the journalists Mikhail Zygar and Arkady Ostrovsky and the Director of the Tretyakov Gallery, Zelfira Tregulova. Producer: Katy Hickman.


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Power, the People and the Party

Mon, 02 Oct 2017 09:28:00 +0000

Live from Salford, during the Conservative Party conference in neighbouring Manchester, Sir David Cannadine argues that Victorian Britain was never far from revolution. He tells Andrew Marr how a century seen as conservative was actually troubled by political upheaval. Britain may have been the world's greatest empire but it was riven by self-doubt. Novelist Anthony Powell depicted the turbulence of the 20th century in his series A Dance to the Music of Time. Powell is seen as the arch-conservative, but biographer Hilary Spurling argues that he was fascinated by power and people at every level of society. Jane Green tracked the 2017 General Election as co-director of the British Election Study. She explains how the public judges those in power, and why political reputations are hard to shake. And Phillip Blond, director of the think tank ResPublica, helped shape recent Conservative ideas including the "big society" and the "northern powerhouse". He fears the Conservative Party could become irrelevant unless power is shared out. Producer: Hannah Sander.


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Hard work and sweet slumber

Mon, 25 Sep 2017 09:27:00 +0000

Francine Stock talks to the sleep scientist Matthew Walker whose latest book is a clarion call to get more sleep, as the latest research confirms that sleeping less than six or seven hours has a devastating impact on physical and mental health. Armed with proof that shift work is detrimental for workers, political strategist and chief executive of the RSA Matthew Taylor considers what responsibility companies have to their staff in making sure they get enough sleep and whether since industrialisation modern working practices militate against this. Concerns about lack of sleep and remedies for improving it are nothing new: the historian Sasha Handley looks back to early modern sleep patterns and advice, and wonders why so many of our forebears slept in two distinct phases with an hour in the early hours set aside for sex, housework or reading. The latest exhibition at the National Gallery, Reflections, co-curated by Susan Foister, shows how the medieval painter van Eyck had a huge influence on the Pre-Raphaelite painters, whose work stood in opposition to creeping industrialisation and harked back to a by-gone era of knights and sweet slumber. Producer: Hannah Sander.


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Orhan Pamuk on competing myths

Mon, 18 Sep 2017 09:42:00 +0000

Andrew Marr talks to the Nobel Prize-winning author Orhan Pamuk about his latest novel, The Red-Haired Woman. Set in Istanbul in the 20th century, it's a family drama which weaves together competing foundation myths of patricide and filicide and pits tradition against modernity; east and west. There are more competing ideologies in Jon Sopel's 'Notes from Trump's America' which paints a picture of a country riven by divisions between black and white, rich and poor, the urban and the rural. Reality and fantasy play a part in the choreographer Shobana Jeyasingh's critique of the orientalist ballet La Bayadere. She looks back to the moment in the 19th century when genuine Indian dancers were rejected in favour of the idealised exotic version of the temple dancer in the Western imagination. 'What Shadows' is a play that tells the story of Enoch Powell's famous 'rivers of blood' speech from 1968, and its impact on the country decades later. The play's director Roxana Silbert says the play shows how prejudice can be found across the political spectrum. Producer: Katy Hickman.


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Les Misérables: novel of the century?

Tue, 22 Aug 2017 13:27:00 +0000

On Start the Week Andrew Marr talks to David Bellos about Victor Hugo's Les Misérables. Bellos argues that this 19th century masterpiece is the novel of the century, which demonstrates the drive to improve human life both morally and materially. Dinah Birch compares what was happening in literature on the other side of the channel, reflecting the breadth of society in Britain. Simon Callow makes the case for the composer of the century, Richard Wagner, while the singer Barbara Hannigan explains how a 12th century legend has been given a contemporary twist in the opera Written On Skin. Producer: Katy Hickman.


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From Darwin to Big Data with Richard Dawkins

Mon, 03 Jul 2017 09:17:00 +0000

On Start the Week Andrew Marr asks whether scientists have failed in their task to communicate their work to the wider public. The 'passionate rationalist' Richard Dawkins has spent his career trying to illuminate the wonders of nature and challenge what he calls faulty logic. But he wonders whether Darwin would consider his legacy now with 'a mixture of exhilaration and exasperation'. The child psychologist Deborah Kelemen has been working with young children to find out what they make of adaptation and evolution with the storybook, How the Piloses Evolved Skinny Noses, and is encouraged by the sophistication of their understanding. The mathematician Cathy O'Neil says it's time people became more aware of the mathematical models and algorithms that dominate everything we do online and in finance, and yet are increasingly opaque, unregulated and left unchallenged. While Alex Bellos looks to improve numeracy with puzzles and brainteasers which have been entertaining and frustrating people for centuries. Producer: Katy Hickman.


Media Files:
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Power: Fleet Street and Whitehall

Mon, 26 Jun 2017 10:31:00 +0000

On Start the Week Tom Sutcliffe talks to the former Conservative MP and last Governor of Hong Kong, Chris Patten, on the eve of the 20th anniversary of the handover of Hong Kong from Britain to China. In a candid memoir Patten looks back at his political life. He lost his seat in the 1992 election, despite the Sun newspaper claiming the Tory landslide with the headline, "It's The Sun Wot Won It". James Graham's new play goes back to the birth of this ruthless 'red top' tabloid, when a young and rebellious Rupert Murdoch burst on to Fleet Street, to launch a newspaper devoted to giving the people what they want. Fleet Street is no more and following this month's general election some critics have questioned the continuing influence of the mainstream media. Kerry-Anne Mendoza is the Editor-in-chief of the left-wing political blog, The Canary, and believes new forms of media online are disrupting the status quo in the UK. Baroness Tessa Blackstone was regarded as a kaftaned radical in the 1970s by the Whitehall establishment when she was part of a review of Central Policy which challenged the very workings of Britain's powerful diplomatic corps. Producer: Katy Hickman Image: The Sun daily newspaper on June 14, 2016, with a headline urging readers to vote 'Leave' in the June 23 EU referendum. Credit: DANIEL SORABJI /AFP/ Getty Images.


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Health Inequality: TB, Trauma and Technology

Mon, 19 Jun 2017 09:41:00 +0000

On Start the Week Andrew Marr explores killer diseases and the health of the world. Kathryn Lougheed focuses on one of the smartest killers humanity has ever faced - TB. It's been around since the start of civilisation and has learnt how to adapt to different environments, so today more than one million people still die of the disease every year. As with many diseases it's the poor who are most at risk. But Sir Michael Marmot explains how it's not just those at the bottom who are adversely affected, as health and life expectancy are directly related to where you are on the socio-economic ladder. The psychiatrist Lynne Jones also explores how far mental well-being is connected to human rights and the social and political worlds in which we live. She trained in one of Britain's last asylums and has travelled the world treating traumatised soldiers and civilians. Professor John Powell is interested in how far the digital world can help improve health and access to health care - from interventions for heart attacks to the treatment of depression. There are more than two hundred thousand health apps on the internet, but just how effective are they? Producer: Katy Hickman.


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Crossing the Boundaries of Gender, Race and Class

Mon, 12 Jun 2017 09:15:00 +0000

On Start the Week Kirsty Wark asks what it is to be a man, and to belong to a tribe. Thomas Page McBee has sought answers as he's transitioned from female to male, and explored how far the violent men of his youth are models of masculinity. Fatherhood and aggression take centre stage in Gary Owen's play, Killology, in which he's created a video game that allows players to live out their darkest fantasies. The poet Kayo Chingonyi moved to Britain when he was a child and in his debut collection he translates the rites of passage of his native Zambia to his new home. In the TV drama Ackley Bridge, filmmaker Penny Woolcock imagines a new school that throws together two communities, segregated along ethnic lines, in a fictional Yorkshire mill town. Producer: Katy Hickman Image: Missy (Poppy Lee Friar) and Nasreen (Amy Leigh Hickman) in Ackley Bridge on Channel 4 Photographer: Matt Squire.


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Inventing the Self: Fact and Fiction

Mon, 05 Jun 2017 09:43:00 +0000

On Start the Week, Andrew Marr explores where truth ends and invention begins in the story of the self. The theatre director Robert Lepage has spent decades creating other worlds on stage; now his one-man show recreates his childhood home in 1960s Quebec, with truth at the mercy of memory. Rebecca Stott has written the story of her family that her father left unfinished, including the Christian cult that inspired their devotion, until doubt led them astray. Miranda Doyle casts doubt on the veracity of memoir itself, by writing a series of lies to get at the truth of her family story. Andrew O'Hagan has examined three lives existing more fully online than offline: the Wikileaks founder Julian Assange; the fabled inventor of Bitcoin, Satoshi Nakamoto and 'Ronald Pinn'- an experiment in identity theft that disrupts the very notion of the self. Producer: Katy Hickman Image: Robert Lepage on stage in 887 by Ex Machina/ Robert Lepage Photographer: Eric Labbé.


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Live from the Hay Festival

Mon, 29 May 2017 09:02:00 +0000

Tom Sutcliffe presents Start the Week live from the Hay Festival. He is joined by award winning authors Colm Tóibín, Sebastian Barry and Meg Rosoff to discuss how they breathe new life into stories from the past, from Greek tragedy to civil war, while the psychologist Jan Kizilhan explains how a history of trauma and genocide has been woven into the story of his Yazidi community. Producer: Katy Hickman.


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India's Rise?

Mon, 22 May 2017 09:31:00 +0000

On Start the Week Andrew Marr discusses India. The Indian MP Shashi Tharoor looks back at the history of the Raj in Inglorious Empire, a searing indictment of the British and the impact on his country. The journalist Adam Roberts travels from Kerala to the Himalayas to find out whether a resurgent, vibrant India is about to realise its potential, and whether the belief in future prosperity will cover over the cracks which have divided the nation in the past. The Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, is at the centre of India's reinvention, and has galvanised Hindu nationalists, but the academic Kate Sullivan de Estrada argues that he's a controversial figure both at home and abroad. And the writer Preti Taneja retells Shakespeare's great tragedy, King Lear, set in Delhi and Kashmir, in her exploration of contemporary Indian society. Producer: Katy Hickman Image: Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi participates in a mass yoga session to mark the International Day of Yoga on 21st June, 2016 in Chandigarh, India. Credit: Getty Images.


Media Files:
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Post-Truth and Revolution

Mon, 15 May 2017 09:36:00 +0000

On Start the Week Amol Rajan seeks the truth in a post-truth world. The political columnist Matthew D'Ancona paints a dystopian picture in which trust has evaporated, conspiracy theories thrive, and feelings trump fact. He argues that the very foundations of democracy are under threat. Claire Wardle is hoping her organisation First Draft will equip users to verify the sources of stories and tackle misinformation online. But what happens when the peddlers of misinformation are state-sponsored? The Chinese writer Lijia Zhang spent a decade working in a rocket factory and her memoir, Socialism is Great!, reflects the great social transformation in China since the 1980s, and the shifts in trust and truth which mirrored such changes. The writer China Miéville, who is best known for his stories of urban surrealism, turns his attention to the story of the Russian Revolution. Producer: Kirsty McQuire.


Media Files:
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Kate Tempest: Everyday Epic

Mon, 08 May 2017 09:12:00 +0000

On Start the Week Andrew Marr talks to the writer and performer Kate Tempest about her desire to bring out the epic in everyday lives, and to show the poetry in lived experience. Tracy Chevalier has taken the themes of Shakespeare's Othello and transported them to a US elementary school, while Hanif Kureishi mines the dark world of jealousy and revenge in his latest novel. Lewis Hyde looks back to mythical mischief makers from Hermes to Loki to celebrate modern day rule breakers as the shapers of culture. Producer: Katy Hickman Image: Kate Tempest Photographer: Hayley Louisa Brown.


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Wendell Berry: The Natural World

Tue, 02 May 2017 07:24:00 +0000

On Start the Week Andrew Marr talks to the American writer, poet and farmer Wendell Berry. In his latest collection of essays, The World-Ending Fire, Berry speaks out against the degradation of the earth and the violence and greed of unbridled consumerism, while evoking the awe he feels as he walks the land in his native Kentucky. His challenge to the false call of progress and the American Dream is echoed in the writing of Paul Kingsnorth, whose book Confessions of a Recovering Environmentalist eschews the grand narrative of a global green movement to focus on what matters - the small plot of land beneath his feet. Kate Raworth calls herself a renegade economist and, like Berry and Kingsnorth, challenges orthodox thinking, as she points to new ways to understand the global economy which take into consideration human prosperity and ecological sustainability. Producer: Katy Hickman Image: Wendell Berry Photographer: James Baker Hall.


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Eliza Carthy and Nicholas Hytner: Art for All

Mon, 24 Apr 2017 09:33:00 +0000

On Start the Week Kirsty Wark asks whether it's possible to produce art for all. She's joined by the former Director of the National Theatre Nicholas Hytner who looks at the balancing act between art and show business but argues for the power of a national theatre to become part of the cultural bloodstream. The designer Lucienne Day made the link between mass production and fine art, and the curator of an exhibition of her fabrics, Jennifer Harris, says her abstract designs could be seen in households across the country. Singer-songwriter Eliza Carthy is a member of one of British folk's great dynasties, and has helped popularise folk music for new generations, combining tradition with innovation. Nietzsche suggested that 'art raises its head where religions decline' and the philosopher Jules Evans who studies human ecstasy, asks whether art galleries and theatres can really help us come together, lose control and connect with something beyond ourselves. Producer: Katy Hickman Image: Eliza Carthy and The Wayward Band Photographer: Steve Gullick.


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The Age of Spectacle?

Mon, 17 Apr 2017 08:45:00 +0000

On Start the Week Andrew Marr explores the fashions and fads in architecture and food over the last fifty years. In 'The Age of Spectacle' the design critic Tom Dyckhoff explores how consumer culture has impacted on the building of our cities, from iconic architecture on a grand scale to soulless shopping centres and designer homes. The average life span of a family home in Japan is just 25 years: although the architect Takeshi Hayatsu regrets the destruction of so much of Japan's architectural heritage, he reflects that it's created a boon in innovate designs on a small scale. Innovations also abound in food technology and the experimental psychologist Charles Spence reveals how chefs can use science to influence diners and their taste buds, but the food writer Anissa Helou asks for a return to simplicity, away from the latest trends of 'molecular' techniques and foraged ingredients. Producer: Katy Hickman Image: Kiko Mozuna's model of 'Anti-Dwelling Box', late 1970s. Photo by Keizo Kioku. Collection of Norihito Nakatani.


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Christianity: Luther's Legacy

Mon, 10 Apr 2017 09:31:00 +0000

On Start the Week Andrew Marr looks back 500 years to the moment Martin Luther challenged the power and authority of the Catholic Church. Peter Stanford brings to light the character of this lowly born German monk in a new biography. Prior to Luther, for a thousand years the Catholic Church had been one of the greatest powers on earth, but in her study of the Italian Renaissance the writer Sarah Dunant reveals how bloated, corrupt and complacent it had become. Dunant also explores the role of the Church in the home, in a new exhibition at the Fitzwilliam Museum, Madonnas and Miracles, before the Reformation swept away such iconography. The historian Alec Ryrie charts the rise of the Protestant faith from its rebellious beginnings to the present day, while the sociologist Linda Woodhead asks whether the defining characteristics of Protestant Britain, such as the freedom of the individual, national pride and a strong work ethic are still relevant today. Producer: Katy Hickman Image: Boy falling from a window, 1592 (c) Museo degli ex voto del santuario di Madonna dell'Arco.


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Dissecting Death

Mon, 03 Apr 2017 09:19:00 +0000

On Start the Week Tom Sutcliffe delves into the world of transhumanism, a movement whose aim is to use technology to transform the human condition. The writer Mark O'Connell has explored this world of cyborgs, utopians and the futurists looking to live forever. Raymond Tallis seeks to wrest the mysteries of time away from the scientists in his reflections on the nature of transience and mortality. Laura Tunbridge listens to the late works of Beethoven, Schumann and Mahler to ask whether intimations of mortality shape these pieces, while the mortician Carla Valentine uncovers what the dead reveal about their past life. Producer: Katy Hickman.


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Sayeeda Warsi: Muslims in Britain

Mon, 27 Mar 2017 09:29:00 +0000

On Start the Week Amol Rajan talks to Sayeeda Warsi about how far Britain's Muslim community is viewed as 'the enemy within'. As the child of Pakistani immigrants who became Britain's first Muslim Cabinet Minister, Baroness Warsi is in a unique position to explore questions of cultural difference, terrorism, and 'British values', and to explore how society can become more integrated. The economist Paul Collier has spent his career looking for solutions to seemingly intractable problems: in his latest book he focuses on the Syrian refugee crisis and argues for the establishment of special economic zones where displaced Syrians could work and benefit their host countries. The philosopher Roger Scruton develops his ideas of human nature by concentrating on our relations with others, bound together in a shared world. Producer: Katy Hickman.


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The Free Thinking Festival at Sage Gateshead

Mon, 20 Mar 2017 11:53:00 +0000

Start the Week is at the Free Thinking Festival at Sage, Gateshead where Tom Sutcliffe explores the pace and rhythm of life - from the heart-stopping moments to the sleep of the innocent. His guests include Russell Foster whose work on circadian rhythms sheds light on the mechanisms of our body clocks and sleep. The crime writer Denise Mina is more interested in counting the bodies than counting sheep, as she revels in the psychological undercurrents in her latest thriller. The cardiac surgeon Stephen Westaby understands the delicate balance between life and death: he has saved hundreds of lives, holding each heart in his hand and feeling its beat. The mathematician Eugenia Cheng considers what it means when that beat goes on forever, with her study of the infinite. Producer: Katy Hickman.


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Britain Divided: 1642-2016

Mon, 13 Mar 2017 10:15:00 +0000

On Start the Week Andrew Marr discusses the future of politics with David Goodhart and Oliver Letwin MP. In his latest book Goodhart looks at the fractious state of the west and the rise of populism, while Oliver Letwin asks what the government can do to reach those who feel marginalised. The playwright Richard Bean reaches back to another time of internal conflict, the beginning of the English Civil War, and finds humour in the desperate attempts of one man to retain power. Machiavelli is always associated with unscrupulous scheming, but his latest biographer Erica Benner argues that he was a man devoted to political and human freedom. Producer: Katy Hickman IMAGE: Rowan Polonski as Prince Rupert and Martin Barrass as Mayor Barnard in The Hypocrite by Richard Bean, a Hull Truck, Hull 2017 and RSC co-production. Photograph by Duncan Lomax (c) RSC.


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Paul Auster and the American Dream

Mon, 06 Mar 2017 10:36:00 +0000

Andrew Marr talks to Paul Auster about his latest work, 4 3 2 1, which weaves together four versions of his hero's life alongside the monumental events of mid-twentieth century America. The turbulence of the last six decades in US history, from JFK's assassination to Vietnam, to the AIDS crisis, racism and gender politics, is also presented through artists' prints in a new exhibition at the British Museum, co-curated by Catherine Daunt. In the 1960s and 70s, Robert Evans became one of the most powerful figures in Hollywood only to fall spectacularly from grace a decade later. In The Kid Stays in the Picture, the theatre director Simon McBurney brings his rise and fall to the stage. Producer: Katy Hickman IMAGE: Jasper Johns (b. 1930), Flags I. Colour screenprint, 1973. Gift of Johanna and Leslie Garfield, on loan from the American Friends of the British Museum. (c) Jasper Johns/VAGA, New York/DACS, London 2016. (c) Tom Powel Imaging.


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'Build That Wall': Barriers and Crossings

Mon, 27 Feb 2017 10:52:00 +0000

On Start the Week Kirsty Wark explores what it means to live either side of a wall, and whether barriers are built to repel or protect. Supporters of the US President urge him to 'build a great wall' along the Mexican border but the journalist Ed Vulliamy points out that there is already a wall and border guards, supported and funded by US Presidents for decades. And yet still drugs, guns, money and people continue to move north and south. Israel has been building its own separation barrier since the turn of the century, but Dorit Rabinyan is more interested in psychological barriers that drive Palestinians and Israelis apart. The map-maker Garrett Carr travels Ireland's border to explore the smugglers, kings, peacemakers and terrorists who've criss-crossed this frontier, and asks what it will become when the United Kingdom leaves the EU. The historian Tom Holland looks back at the successes and failures of wall-building from Offa's Dyke to Hadrian's Wall and asks whether they work more as statements of power than as insurmountable barriers between people. Producer: Katy Hickman.


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Sidney Nolan: Life and Work

Mon, 20 Feb 2017 11:28:00 +0000

On Start the Week Andrew Marr talks to the poet Elaine Feinstein about her work from over half a century of writing, from her early poems of feminist rebellion to reflections on middle age and marriage, to wry amusement on the fallibility of memory. The curator Rebecca Daniels looks back at the life and work of one of Australia's most celebrated modern painters, Sidney Nolan, and challenges the audience to look beyond his early depictions of the outback and the outlaw Ned Kelly, to see a world artist. The theatre director Trevor Nunn finds the comedy in pitting idealistic Hamlet-esque youth against a wealthy businessman in his production of Rattigan's Love in Idleness. The composer Ryan Wigglesworth has produced a new operatic interpretation of The Winter's Tale, Shakespeare's study of love, loss and reconciliation. Producer: Katy Hickman IMAGE: A section of 'Myself' by Sidney Nolan, 1988.


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Play and Creativity

Mon, 13 Feb 2017 12:11:00 +0000

On Start the Week, Tom Sutcliffe considers the relationship between play and creativity. Steven Johnson examines how the human appetite for amusement has driven innovation throughout history. Writer and theatre maker Stella Duffy has revived Joan Littlewood's 1960s concept of The Fun Palace- a 'laboratory of fun' for all. The economist Tim Harford advocates embracing disorder in every area of our lives, from messy desks to messy dating. Journalist and former cricketer Ed Smith believes that creativity in sport is a combination of skill and luck. Producer: Kirsty McQuire.


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Paul Abbott: finding comedy in the tragic

Mon, 06 Feb 2017 10:37:00 +0000

On Start the Week Andrew Marr explores how childhood experiences affect later life. The screenwriter Paul Abbott famously put his early life into the television series Shameless. Although his later work, including his latest police drama No Offence, moves far beyond his own experiences, he excels at finding the comedy in the tragic. In France the writer Édouard Louis has caused a storm with his brutal autobiographical novel about class, violence and sexuality. The book is his attempt to bury his childhood. The psychiatrist Gwen Adshead spent years working at Broadmoor Hospital studying the nature of human violence and looks at the moral choices people make. The poet Paul Farley is interested not in the early life of poets but in their dying. From Shelley's drowning to Sylvia Plath's desperate suicide their deaths have become the stuff of myth casting a backward shadow on their work, creating a skewed image of the poet's life as doomed and self-destructive.


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Turkey: Past and Present

Mon, 30 Jan 2017 11:34:00 +0000

Amol Rajan discusses Turkey past and present with the authors Elif Shafak and Kaya Genç, Chatham House's Fadi Hakura and the historian Bettany Hughes. Shafak's new novel, The Three Daughters of Eve, moves between Turkey and Britain, and is a tale of friendship, faith and betrayal. It portrays Turkey as a country riven by deep divisions in society, politics and religion. Kaya Genç reports from across Turkey, exploring the lives of the country's angry young people on both sides of the political divide, while Fadi Hakura from Chatham House considers Turkey's changing relations with the outside world amid increasing nationalist feeling and isolationism. Bettany Hughes's biography of Istanbul is the story of three cities - Byzantium, Constantinople and Istanbul - and reveals a city that's been at the heart of political life between the East and the West for the last eight thousand years. Producer: Katy Hickman.


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Sara Khan: The Battle within Islam

Mon, 16 Jan 2017 10:23:00 +0000

On Start the Week Tom Sutcliffe discusses what Islam means in the modern world. Graeme Wood has spent his career getting to know Islamist fundamentalists to try to understand the apocalyptic ideology and theology at the heart of the so-called Islamic State. Sara Khan campaigns to reclaim her faith from extremism, while Ziauddin Sardar argues that Islam demands reason and critical inquiry from its believers. Loretta Napoleoni 'follows the money' to uncover the millions made by those exploiting the destabilisation of Syria and Iraq and the rise of ISIS. Producer: Katy Hickman Photo: Sara Khan Credit: Joe McGorty.


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Chibundu Onuzo and Martin Sixsmith on corruption and family drama

Mon, 09 Jan 2017 11:21:00 +0000

Andrew Marr talks to the best-selling author Martin Sixsmith about his latest book which tells the story of a daughter's search for the truth about her beloved father. Secrets, corruption and political intrigue are uncovered as they travel from Britain to Pakistan. There's more political scandal and family drama from the Nigerian author Chibundu Onuzo in her latest novel, Welcome to Lagos, and the playwright Oladipo Agboluaje imagines a political revolution in 21st century Nigeria and the moral compromises made in the pursuit of power and political change. Laurence Cockcroft is the co-founder of Transparency International in the UK and in his latest work turns his attention to the flavour of corruption in the West. Producer: Katy Hickman.


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Maps, Music and Medieval Manuscripts

Mon, 26 Dec 2016 10:00:00 +0000

Andrew Marr visits the Parker Library at Corpus Christi College in Cambridge to meet the oldest non-archaeological artefact in England, which is the oldest surviving illustrated Latin Gospel in the world - the sixth century Gospel of Saint Augustine. The Librarian Christopher de Hamel tells the stories of rare and beautiful manuscripts which have crisscrossed Europe for hundreds of years at the whim of power politics, religion and social change, but even now have secrets that are yet to be discovered. The musician and broadcaster Lucie Skeaping has also turned detective in her study of the Elizabethan jig - a popular and bawdy play set to music - where only fragments of parchment and clues to the tunes remain. Edward Brooke-Hitching uncovers the myths, lies and blunders which have plagued the cartographers of old, with his book of early maps. Mythical sea monsters, fabled mountain ranges, even phantom islands have all been written into the atlas of the world. Producer Katy Hickman.


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Scientific Discoveries: from the mind to the cosmos

Mon, 19 Dec 2016 12:26:00 +0000

On Start the Week Andrew Marr looks back at lost heroes of science, and forward to cutting-edge experiments. Saiful Islam, Professor of Materials Chemistry, recreates Michael Faraday's famous 19th century experiments for the Royal Institution's Christmas lectures before exploring the latest materials being invented to boost clean energy. More Christmas fare as Brian Cox attempts to explain the birth of the entire universe with music, dance and comedy. Andrea Wulf celebrates the Victorian naturalist, geographer and explorer Alexander von Humboldt, whose name although mostly forgotten lives on through his research - from the Humboldt Current to Humboldt penguins. Michael Lewis has turned his attention from the financial crisis and his bestselling Liar's Poker and The Big Short to the birth of the Nobel-prize winning theory of behavioural economics, and the remarkable scientific partnership at its heart. Producer: Katy Hickman.


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The Bolshoi and Culture Wars

Mon, 12 Dec 2016 09:44:00 +0000

Tom Sutcliffe talks to the academic Simon Morrison about the remarkable story of the Bolshoi ballet: a 250 year history that encompasses being the pride of Tsarist Russia to state control by Stalin to the scandal of acid attacks in the 21st century. Ismene Brown explores the different styles which set apart the Russian corps de ballet from its British counterpart. Art and politics are also at the forefront of Nigel Cliff's story of the Texan pianist Van Cliburn, who for a short time bridged the divide between the two superpowers during the Cold War, and the curator Edith Devaney explains how the CIA used Abstract Expressionism to promote the US. Producer: Katy Hickman Photo: The Bolshoi Ballet perform for Prince Charles & the Duchess of Cornwall on a royal tour of Bahrain on 11th November, 2016 Credit: Chris Jackson/ Getty Images.


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Popular Protest and Patriotism

Mon, 05 Dec 2016 15:25:00 +0000

On Start the Week Kirsty Wark explores the history of protest. The Levellers were revolutionaries who brought 17th century England to the edge of radical republicanism. In his biography, John Rees argues the Levellers are central figures in the country's history of democracy. The original soldier-turned-saint and nationalist protester Joan of Arc takes centre stage in Josie Rourke's revival of Bernard Shaw's play, Saint Joan. The Labour MP, Rachel Reeves, finds inspiration in her fellow parliamentarian Alice Bacon, who she says helped usher in a new era of social justice post-war, while the political commentator James Frayne looks at the era post-Brexit and considers whether provincial England is now in revolt. Producer: Katy Hickman Photo: Alice Bacon elected as the first female MP for Leeds, in 1945 Credit: The Yorkshire Post.


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AIDS Activism and Surviving a Plague

Mon, 28 Nov 2016 10:28:00 +0000

On Start the Week Tom Sutcliffe looks at what happens during a health epidemic and its aftermath. The US activist Peter Staley was instrumental in forcing scientists and pharmaceutical companies to develop life-saving HIV/AIDs drugs. Thirty years later and with drugs now readily available, the concern is that the rate of new cases of HIV remains constant. Professor Anne Johnson was involved in the biggest-ever-official investigation of Britain's sexual habits, which was vetoed at the time by Margaret Thatcher. She says continuing to understand people's attitudes and behaviour is vital to the nation's health. More than eleven thousand people died during the Ebola outbreak in West Africa. When the crisis hit its peak in 2014 there were no effective drugs and Professor Peter Horby was one of a team of scientists who conducted a drugs trial in the midst of the epidemic. He explains how what they discovered can be used for future health scares. The author Louise Welsh is completing a trilogy of novels in which a killer disease has devastated the world. She explains why plague literature has proved so popular and enduring. Producer: Katy Hickman Photo: ACT UP activists at the International AIDS Conference in San Francisco, 1990 Credit: Rick Gerharter.


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Rewriting the Past: from Empire to ivory

Mon, 21 Nov 2016 10:39:00 +0000

On Start the Week Andrew Marr looks back to the end of Empire when government officials systematically destroyed the records of imperial rule, and he explores the impact of outside organisations on a nation's ability to govern. The journalist Ian Cobain has uncovered details of the mass bonfires of sensitive official papers across Africa, which subverted the legal obligation to preserve important historical records. Edna Adan Ismail first came to Britain in the 1950s to train as a nurse before championing women's rights and health at the WHO and in her native Somaliland. She explains how the self-declared independent state of Somaliland, once a British protectorate, has been fighting for international recognition for the last 15 years. Baroness Amos has worked in international affairs both for the government and the UN. Now as the head of SOAS University she says it's vital to think about the world differently, from the perspective of the countries themselves. Keith Somerville has investigated the illegal ivory trade in Africa and argues that regulation - not prohibition - is the best way to stop uncontrolled poaching and smuggling. Producer: Katy Hickman.


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Island Mentality

Mon, 14 Nov 2016 16:54:00 +0000

On Start the Week Amol Rajan considers the making of the British landscape and an island mentality. The President of the Royal Geographical Society Nicholas Crane looks back over the last 12 millennia to understand how we have shaped our habitat but also how the landscape has shaped our lives. Madeleine Bunting travels through the Hebrides to see what the furthest reaches of these isles can tell us about the country as a whole. David Olusoga re-tells the story of the relationship between Britain and the people of Africa, which reaches back to the Romans, to demonstrate how black history has shaped our world, and the poet Imtiaz Dharker reflects on displacement and belonging. Producer: Katy Hickman.


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Virtue and Vice

Mon, 07 Nov 2016 10:33:00 +0000

On Start the Week Andrew Marr hears stories of virtue and vice. Lucy Bailey is directing Milton's Comus, a masque in honour of chastity, in which a Lady, lost in the woods, is tempted by pleasure. In Berg's opera Lulu the eponymous heroine appears to be the epitome of seductive pleasure, an amoral seductress, but William Kentridge's production questions how much she is the real victim. The academic Simon Goldhill charts the transition from the high Victorian period into modernity through one family's relationship with sex, psychoanalysis and religion, while the very modern preoccupation with therapy is laid bare, as Susie Orbach reveals what happens behind the therapist's door. Producer: Katy Hickman.


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Alan Bennett

Mon, 31 Oct 2016 10:00:00 +0000

On Start the Week Andrew Marr talks to the writer Alan Bennett about his life and work. As he publishes his third and, he says, final selection of his diaries, Keeping On Keeping On, Bennett reflects on his reputation for tweeness, his radical politics and sexuality. He writes, "Nothing is ever quite so bad that one can't write it down or so shameful either, though this took me a long time to learn with my earliest diaries reticent and even prudish." Producer: Katy Hickman.


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Microbes, Genes and Human Endeavour

Mon, 24 Oct 2016 09:26:00 +0000

On Start the Week Andrew Marr looks at winners and losers - from microbes and genes, to athletes and adventurers. Ed Yong seeks to expand our understanding of microscopic microbes which inhabit every corner of the earth, and influence our bodies more than we know. Each person's DNA is unique but Adam Rutherford reveals how collectively it tells the story of the history of our species - the successes and the failures. When one's own genetic make-up and hard work aren't enough, there's always chemical enhancement - Jonathan Maitland looks at doping in sport for his latest play, Deny, Deny, Deny. The polar scientist Felicity Aston was the world's first woman to ski alone across the Antarctic and knows what it's like to push your body to the limits. She's now off to Canada's frozen North in search of gold. Producer: Katy Hickman.


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Soldiering on: the British Army, Lenin and Putin

Tue, 04 Oct 2016 09:21:00 +0000

On Start the Week Tom Sutcliffe talks to the former Chief of the General Staff Richard Dannatt about the history of the British Army, its role in present conflicts and relations with NATO. The writer Ben Macintyre reveals the wartime antics of one of the most secret regiments, the SAS and the historian Catherine Merridale recreates Lenin's journey across Europe in the midst of the Great War. John Lough was NATO's first representative based in Moscow and explores the tensions on Russia's borders. Producer: Katy Hickman.


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Radical Liverpool

Mon, 26 Sep 2016 12:09:00 +0000

In a special edition of Start the Week Andrew Marr is at the Bluecoat Gallery in Liverpool. He's joined by the writer Phil Redmond, historian John Belchem and journalists Gary Younge and Kajsa Norman to discuss historical myth-making, segregation and assimilation - from Liverpool's radical past, to the US and its obsession with guns and race, to the Transvaal and the survival tactics of the Afrikaner community. With the Labour party conference in full swing in Liverpool Andrew Marr will also be discussing how far people will go to retain their cultural identity and what happens when splits appear. Producer: Katy Hickman.


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Political Drama: Robert Harris and Margaret Hodge

Mon, 19 Sep 2016 09:45:00 +0000

On Start the Week Andrew Marr talks to the MP Margaret Hodge who challenged multinational companies to explain their tax affairs and shone a light on the billions wasted by government every year. The former Chair of the Public Accounts Committee argues that it's time Ministers and Civil Servants learnt from their mistakes. Sir John Armitt masterminded the successful delivery of the 2012 London Olympics and explains why big projects are notorious for budget overspends. MPs will have to decide soon on a multi-billion pound proposal to renovate the Palace of Westminster which would involve them moving out for several years: the political journalist Philip Webster reflects on working in the House of Commons for four decades and how the building influences the business of politics. The best-selling novels of Robert Harris reveal the machinations behind the closed doors of those in power, or seeking it - from Ancient Rome to New Labour. His latest book centres on the intrigue in the corridors of the world's smallest state, the Vatican, as they vote for the next Pope.


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Love, Loss and Scandal

Mon, 04 Jul 2016 09:52:00 +0000

On Start the Week Andrew discusses love, loss and scandal. Carrie Cracknell is directing Rattigan's The Deep Blue Sea, the story of an overpowering, self-destructive love affair set in post-war Britain. Michel Faber's collection of poetry explores the loss and grief at the death of his beloved wife, Eva. AE Housman wrote a series of poems at the end of the 19th century - A Shropshire Lad - which were hugely popular and came to encapsulate the nostalgia for an unspoilt pastoral idyll, but the writer Peter Parker says they're also shot through with unfulfilled longing for a young man. Homosexuality only became legal in the late 1960s and John Preston retells the story of the MP Jeremy Thorpe - a tale of sex, lies, murder and scandal at the heart of the establishment. Producer: Katy Hickman.


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Food: From Bread Riots to Obesity

Mon, 27 Jun 2016 09:44:00 +0000

On Start the Week Andrew Marr explores food and politics. Churchill charged Lord Woolton with the daunting task of feeding Britain during WW2. The food writer William Sitwell looks at the black markets and shop raids Woolton had to battle as the country teetered on the edge of anarchy. Economist Jane Harrigan argues that it was rising food prices that sowed the seeds for the Arab Spring Uprisings, and food historian Bee Wilson asks what governments can do now to control what we eat. Producer: Hannah Sander.


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A Theory of Everything?

Mon, 20 Jun 2016 10:05:00 +0000

On Start the Week Tom Sutcliffe asks if one day we might know everything. The mathematician Marcus du Sautoy and the physicist Roger Penrose explore the far reaches of knowledge, questioning whether certain fields of research will always lie beyond human comprehension. They ask how much fashion and faith shape scientific theories. The experimental physicist Suzie Sheehy attempts to build machines to test the latest theories, while Joanna Kavenna plays with a philosophical Theory of Everything in her latest novel A Field Guide to Reality. Producer: Katy Hickman.


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New Artistic Director of the ENO, Daniel Kramer

Mon, 13 Jun 2016 09:38:00 +0000

On Start the Week Andrew Marr explores the state of the arts. The English National Opera has lost £5 million of funding and its chorus recently went on strike, but the newly appointed Artistic Director Daniel Kramer, hopes to turn it around. He's directing a new production of Wagner's Tristan and Isolde, and the philosopher Roger Scruton celebrates the mastery of Wagner to express truths about the human condition. The biographer Franny Moyle looks at the life and career of Britain's most famous landscape painter, JMW Turner. Born as the Royal Academy was founded and British art was deemed inferior to its Continental counterpart, his work pushed the boundaries of what was accepted as art at the time. Julia Peyton-Jones looks back at a quarter of a century at the Serpentine Gallery in London, and makes a case for London as the centre of the art world. Producer: Katy Hickman.


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Genes: Our medical inheritance

Mon, 06 Jun 2016 10:13:00 +0000

On Start the Week Andrew Marr traces the quest to decipher the human genome. The idea of a 'unit of heredity' first emerged at the end of the 19th century: cancer physician Siddhartha Mukherjee recounts the history of the gene and the latest research into genetic heredity and mutation. Giles Yeo looks at what genes can tell us about body weight, while Aarathi Prasad explores how India practises medicine - from cutting-edge science to traditional healing. The historian Emily Mayhew traces the medical breakthroughs that have emerged from the battlefield, from World War I to the conflict in Afghanistan. Producer: Katy Hickman.


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Hay Festival: Spooks, war and genocide

Mon, 30 May 2016 08:45:00 +0000

Start the Week is at Hay Literary Festival this week discussing war and intelligence. Michael Hayden is a former Air Force four-star general who became director of the US National Security Agency and then the CIA. He talks to Tom Sutcliffe about the decisions made during America's war on terror: from rendition and interrogation to widespread surveillance. Harry Parker was in his twenties when he signed up to join the British Army - he uses the paraphernalia and weaponry of war to tell the story of conflict; while the journalist Janine di Giovanni reports on ordinary people caught up in the fighting in Syria. The human rights lawyer Philippe Sands looks back at his own family's history to make sense of crimes against humanity. Producer: Katy Hickman.


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Lost and Found: Ancient Egypt to Modern Art

Mon, 23 May 2016 15:13:00 +0000

On Start the Week Andrew Marr talks to the artist Cornelia Parker about the secrets revealed in found objects. Parker's latest exhibition at the Foundling Museum is inspired by the 18th Century tokens left with babies by their mothers. Simon Armitage finds a new way of telling the medieval poem Pearl, an allegorical story of grief and lost love. Archaeologist Cyprian Broodbank explains how Must Farm, the first landscape-scale investigation of deep Fenland, is transforming our understanding of Bronze Age life, while British Museum curator Aurelia Masson-Berghoff celebrates the finding of two lost Egyptian cities submerged at the mouth of the Nile for over a thousand years. Producer: Katy Hickman.


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World on the Move

Mon, 16 May 2016 10:12:00 +0000

World on the Move: on Start the Week Andrew Marr explores how the mass movement of people has changed societies, in a special edition broadcast in front of an audience as part of a day of programmes on BBC Radio 4. The historian Sir Hew Strachan looks back at the largest single influx of people into Britain when 250,000 Belgians arrived during the Great War, while Frank Dikötter explores the biggest forced internal migration as tens of millions of young Chinese were sent to work in the countryside during the Cultural Revolution. The poet Patience Agbabi humanises the mass movement of people with her tale of one refugee's story. And what of those who return? The Bangladeshi author Tahmima Anam looks at what happens when you try to go back home. Producer: Katy Hickman.


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Technology in Education

Mon, 09 May 2016 09:29:00 +0000

On Start the Week Andrew Marr explores the use of technology in education. Professor Sugata Mitra has installed an internet-connected PC in a slum in India and watched how curiosity leads children to learn together. Digital technology is increasingly used in schools but the educationalist Neil Selwyn questions whether this is a positive step. The writer Lynsey Hanley looks at how class is embedded in the education system and the former Headmaster at Eton, Tony Little, on his vision for the future of schooling. Producer: Katy Hickman.


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Cross-dressing and masculinity with Grayson Perry

Mon, 02 May 2016 08:45:00 +0000

On Start the Week Grayson Perry discusses the concept of masculinity in modern Britain with Mary Ann Sieghart. The new artistic director at the Globe Theatre, Emma Rice, explains how she is playing with gender in Shakespeare's Midsummer Night's Dream, and the celebrated mezzo-soprano Alice Coote talks of her career in 'breeches', singing the male role. The former artists' model, Kelley Swain reveals what it's like being the object of a work of art. Producer: Katy Hickman.


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Anish Kapoor on Light and Dark

Mon, 25 Apr 2016 09:48:00 +0000

On Start the Week the sculptor Anish Kapoor talks to Andrew Marr about his fascination with voids and black holes, and his excitement at the latest technological advances in deepest black: vantablack. The astrophysicist Martin Ward explains his research into supermassive black holes and why we're finding more of them, while the solar physicist Lucie Green journeys to the centre of the sun where each photon takes hundreds of thousands of years to reach the surface, but just eight minutes to shine as light on the Earth. Writer Ann Wroe walks on the Downs to experience how light affects Nature, and she turns to the artists to meditate on the nature of light. Producer: Katy Hickman Picture credit: Anish Kapoor.


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Reporting War and Conflict

Mon, 18 Apr 2016 09:31:00 +0000

On Start the Week Tom Sutcliffe discusses the writing of war and conflict. The journalist Patrick Cockburn looks back at his years covering crises in the Middle East, especially the rise of the so-called Islamic state. The Turkish writer Ece Temelkuran looks at the difficulty of reporting in a country where press freedoms are severely curtailed and asks whether fiction and poetry are a way of telling a more truthful story. The legendary American investigative reporter Seymour Hersh first gained recognition in the 1960s for exposing the My Lai massacre and its cover-up during the Vietnam War and has spent his career uncovering wrong-doing at the highest level. But reporting is changing and the academic Charlie Beckett celebrates the rise of citizen journalism. Producer: Katy Hickman.


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Loneliness and Inner Voices

Mon, 11 Apr 2016 14:42:00 +0000

On Start the Week Andrew Marr talks to the psychologist Charles Fernyhough about the inner speech in our heads. But what if it's a lone voice? The writer Olivia Laing explores what it's like to be lonely in a bustling city, while the playwright Alistair McDowall explores what happens when you're abandoned on a distant planet with no sense of time. The biographer Frances Wilson writes a tale of hero-worship, betrayal and revenge through the life of Thomas De Quincey, a man who modelled his opium-habit on Coleridge and his voice and writing on Wordsworth. Producer: Katy Hickman.


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Greece and the Eurozone with Yanis Varoufakis

Mon, 04 Apr 2016 09:38:00 +0000

On Start the Week Andrew Marr discusses the state of the Eurozone and the politics of austerity with the economist and former Greek finance minister Yanis Varoufakis, the Director of the Institute of Global Affairs Erik Berglof and the Mayor of London's Chief Economic Advisor, Gerard Lyons. Yanis Varoufakis tracks the problems of the Eurozone to its woeful design and its continued reliance on debt and austerity, rather than reform. The classicist Paul Cartledge explores the history of democracy back to its birthplace in Athens and traces the long slow degradation of the original Greek concept. Since the crisis in 2008 Greece has been in economic and political turmoil but there has also been a cultural renaissance. The academic Karen Van Dyck has brought together the best of contemporary Greek poetry by multi-ethnic poets in a new anthology. Producer: Katy Hickman Presenter: Andrew Marr.


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Existentialism and Ways of Seeing

Mon, 28 Mar 2016 09:00:00 +0000

On Start the Week Kirsty Wark asks how we make choices about freedom and authenticity - questions that preoccupied Paris intellectuals in the 1930s. Sarah Bakewell looks back at one of the twentieth century's major philosophical movements - existentialism - and the revolutionary thinkers who came to shape it. Sartre and de Beauvoir may have spent their days drinking apricot cocktails in café's but Bakewell believes their ideas are more relevant than ever. The historian Sunil Khilnani reveals the Indian thinkers who didn't just talk about philosophy but lived it, and the photographer Stuart Franklin, famous for the pictures of the man in Tiananmen Square who stopped the tanks, discusses the impulse to record and preserve these moments of action. The art historian Frances Borzello looks at the female artists who chose the freedom to present themselves to the world in self-portraits. Producer: Katy Hickman.


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Is Faster Better?

Mon, 21 Mar 2016 10:43:00 +0000

On Start the Week Andrew Marr looks at the pace of life with the writer Robert Colvile who celebrates today's accelerating flow of change and argues that we are hard-wired to crave novelty, speed and convenience. But Carl Honoré challenges this cult of speed in his praise of slowness. The scientist Steve Jones looks back at another period of history where the pace of change was revolutionary impacting scientifically, socially and politically - the French Revolution. And the writer Sarah Dunant focuses on 16th century Italy at a time when ideas in politics, religion and art were gathering pace. Producer: Katy Hickman.


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The Easter Rising: 100 Years On

Mon, 14 Mar 2016 11:14:00 +0000

On Start the Week Tom Sutcliffe looks back a hundred years to Easter Rising of 1916. Ruth Dudley Edwards explores the lives of Ireland's founding fathers and questions how they should be remembered, while Heather Jones places this historical moment in the context of the Great War. David Rieff praises forgetting in his study of the uses and abuses of historical memory, and its often pernicious influence on the present. And the Irish commentator Fintan O'Toole examines the present fortunes of a country once famed as the Celtic Tiger. Producer: Katy Hickman.


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Scotland

Mon, 07 Mar 2016 13:47:00 +0000

Start the Week comes from Glasgow this week. As the debate over the EU Referendum continues Kirsty Wark looks back at the Scottish Referendum with the historians Tom Devine and Chris Whatley. How much did the history of the union from 1707 and Scotland's sense of identity play a role in the public vote and imagination? The poet Kathleen Jamie wrote a poem a week to mark the momentous changes taking place in Scotland last year. Jamie is well-known for her celebration of the country's wild landscape, but the artist Angus Farquhar is focused on transforming a very different piece of Scottish heritage - the 60s modernist ruin, St Peter's Seminary. Producer: Katy Hickman.


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Nature or Nurture?

Mon, 29 Feb 2016 10:56:00 +0000

On Start the Week Mary-Ann Sieghart asks why some people succeed while others fail. She talks to the journalist Helen Pearson about the Life Project, a study of the health, wellbeing and life chances of thousands of British children, started in 1946. The television producer Joseph Bullman also charts a series of families back to the Victorian times to look at social mobility through the generations. The psychologist Oliver James wades into the nature/ nurture debate by arguing that we are the result of our environment and upbringing, but the scientist Marcus Munafò says there is increasing evidence of genetic links to who we are and what we do. Producer: Katy Hickman.


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Future Economies

Mon, 22 Feb 2016 10:30:00 +0000

On Start the Week Andrew Marr looks ahead to a future dominated by automation, cyber security, the 'sharing economy' and advanced life sciences with the innovation expert Alec Ross, computer scientist Steve Furber and the journalist Paul Mason who predicts such changes heralding a post-capitalist world. But cutting-edge advances in robotics and computers will have a huge but uneven impact on working lives: while previous industrial revolutions affected blue collar workers, in the future traditionally middle class jobs will be under threat. The journalist Hsiao-Hung Pai focuses on the most marginalised sector of the white working class - the British far right. Producer: Katy Hickman.


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Who Owns Culture?

Mon, 15 Feb 2016 11:36:00 +0000

On Start the Week Tom Sutcliffe discusses who owns culture. The writer Tiffany Jenkins tells the story of how western museums have come to acquire treasures from around the world, but dismisses the idea of righting the wrongs of the past by returning artefacts. The Zimbabwean writer Tendai Huchu believes the west shouldn't underestimate the impact of colonisation on cultural identity. Ellen McAdam, Director of Birmingham Museums Trust, discusses the pressures regional museums are under. While the art critic Waldemar Januszczak eschews traditional views of Renaissance art, arguing that far from a classical Italian form, its roots are in the 'barbarian' lands of Flanders and Germany. Producer: Hannah Robins.


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Mind and Body

Mon, 08 Feb 2016 10:30:00 +0000

On Start the Week Andrew Marr talks to Jane McGonigal, a designer of alternate reality games, about her latest innovation SuperBetter. Designed to aid her recovery from a brain injury and subsequent depression, the game reportedly gives people a sense of control over their own health. Harnessing the mind in the fight against chronic illnesses is the subject of Jo Marchant's book, Cure, which looks at the latest research into the science of mind over body. Rational thought and magic went hand in hand in the Renaissance period and the philosopher AC Grayling looks back at the life of John Dee - mathematician, alchemist and the Queen's conjurer. The actor Simon McBurney tests the limits of perception and human consciousness as he recreates what it feels like to be lost in the remote part of the Brazilian rainforest. Producer: Katy Hickman.


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Language and Reinvention

Mon, 01 Feb 2016 10:26:00 +0000

On Start the Week Tom Sutcliffe talks to the violinist Edward Dusinberre about interpreting Beethoven's string quartets. The sixteen quartets are challenging to play and appreciate alike, and have been subject to endless reinterpretation. The director, Mariame Clément, puts her own spin on the rarely performed comic opera L'Etoile, introducing two actors - one English, one French - to comment on the action. A missing interpreter is at the heart of Diego Marani's new novel, which combines the author's promotion of multilingualism with an interest in the relationship between language and identity. While the poet Vahni Capildeo, who moved from her native Trinidad to Britain, explores the complexity of identity and exile and finds herself drawn to words: "Language is my home, I say; not one particular language." Producer: Katy Hickman.


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Migration and Citizenship

Mon, 25 Jan 2016 15:56:00 +0000

On Start the Week Andrew Marr explores the question of citizenship. While immigration issues dominate political debate, little attention is paid to the big increase in the number of people becoming British. The academic Thom Brooks and the Eurosceptic MEP Daniel Hannan look at the relationship between the two and the challenges for modern UK citizenship. Ben Rawlence spent four years reporting the stories of those who are stateless, living in the largest refugee camp in the world, while Frances Stonor Saunders explores the increasing complexity of today's border regimes and the obsession with the verified self. Producer: Katy Hickman.


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Alaa Al Aswany on Egypt

Mon, 18 Jan 2016 10:24:00 +0000

On Start the Week Tom Sutcliffe talks to the Egyptian writer Alaa Al Aswany about his latest novel which charts the country's social upheaval through the prism of Cairo's elite Automobile Club of Egypt. The foreign correspondent Wendell Steavenson looks back at the Egyptian revolution as the crowds gathered in Tahrir Square in 2011. The political economist Tarek Osman explores how Islamism has spread through the Middle East, and what its future prospects mean for the region, while Professor Hugh Kennedy charts the rise of the Caliphate and how the so-called Islamic State uses the iconography of early Islam as propaganda.


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Russia: Tsars to Putin

Mon, 11 Jan 2016 10:55:00 +0000

On Start the Week Andrew Marr looks at Russia from the heyday of the Soviet Empire to its transformation under Putin. The historian Simon Sebag Montefiore writes about the Romanovs, the most successful dynasty of modern times, while Amanda Vickery highlights a moment of defiance and triumph during WW2's siege of Leningrad. The journalist Arkady Ostrovsky charts the huge changes that have taken place, from Perestroika to corporate state. And David Aaronovitch explores the emotional pull of communism in Britain through the story of his family and their ties to The Party. Producer: Katy Hickman.


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Shakespeare's Late Plays - recorded at the Globe's Playhouse

Mon, 28 Dec 2015 10:00:00 +0000

Andrew Marr presents a special edition of Start the Week, celebrating the later life and works of William Shakespeare. Recorded at the Globe's candle-lit Sam Wanamaker Playhouse, the actor Simon Russell Beale and Artistic Director Dominic Dromgoole discuss the late romances. The writer Jeanette Winterson explores her personal connection to The Winter's Tale, and the academic Katherine Duncan-Jones questions whether Shakespeare ever gave up on life in London to retire to Stratford-upon-Avon, and the relevance of his will that left his wife their 'second-best bed'. Producer: Katy Hickman.


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Space Survival and Exploration

Mon, 21 Dec 2015 11:12:00 +0000

On Start the Week, as the first Briton heads into space for two decades, Andrew Marr explores the future of space travel. Kevin Fong is an expert in space medicine and in this year's Royal Institution Christmas Lectures looks at how to survive in outer space. The Astronomer Royal Martin Rees questions whether human space travel is worth the money or the risk, while the astrophysicist Carole Haswell searches distant galaxies for habitable exoplanets. Stephen Baxter is a writer of hard science fiction who, as a member of the British Interplanetary Society, investigates star ship design and extra-terrestrial liberty. Producer: Katy Hickman.


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Cultural Lifespans

Mon, 14 Dec 2015 10:46:00 +0000

On Start the Week Tom Sutcliffe picks through the remains of vanished buildings with the writer James Crawford. In his book, Fallen Glory, Crawford looks at the life and death of some of the world's most iconic structures. The conductor Semyon Bychkov explores why some music fades, and the enduring appeal of Tchaikovsky's Eugene Onegin. Julia Sallabank studies endangered languages and whether it's possible to revive indigenous languages on the verge of extinction. And it is origins which feature on Peter Randall-Page's latest sculpture: a naturally eroded glacial boulder carved with stories of creation myths from cuneiform to text speak. Producer: Katy Hickman.


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Reforming Saudi Arabia

Mon, 07 Dec 2015 11:06:00 +0000

On Start the Week Andrew Marr looks at the fortunes of Saudi Arabia. The academic Madawi Al-Rasheed challenges pre-conceived ideas about divine politics and uncovers the religious leaders, intellectuals and activists who are looking at modernising the country. William Patey is the former UK ambassador in the region and argues that although the House of Saud is resilient, strains are starting to appear. The American economist Deirdre McCloskey sees fault lines elsewhere in the country's failure to promote and encourage innovation; she believes that although Saudi Arabia has capital accumulation and oil, without creativity and ideas it will not flourish. The historian Ian Morris takes the long view as he studies 20,000 years of international relations and argues that each age and region gets the great powers it needs, and what that means for Saudi Arabia. Producer: Katy Hickman.


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Augustine, Desire, Doing good

Mon, 30 Nov 2015 15:37:00 +0000

On Start the Week Andrew Marr explores goodness and its uneasy relationship with pleasure. The historian Robin Lane Fox looks to the work of Augustine and what is thought to be the first autobiography detailing the sinful excitement of youth before his anguished and hesitant conversion to Christianity. The philosopher Clare Carlisle explores Augustine's views on the link between desire and habit, while the psychoanalyst Adam Phillips asks why pleasure is more highly prized when it's perceived to be forbidden and guilty. Larissa MacFarquhar looks at the lives of those who have dedicated themselves to others and asks why do-gooders provoke deep suspicion in Western culture. Producer: Katy Hickman.


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Jonathan Coe on Satire

Mon, 23 Nov 2015 15:08:00 +0000

On Start the Week Mary Ann Sieghart takes a satirical look at the world with the novelist Jonathan Coe. His latest book is a state-of-the-nation satire which takes aim at politics, social media and inequality. It's the battle between ideals and pragmatism in the cynical world of the political elite of the 1920s which takes centre stage in the play Waste, famously banned when it was first written, now revived and directed by Roger Michell. The Times' political cartoonist, Peter Brookes, celebrates the power of the visual image to lampoon the country's leaders and the playwright Mia Chung explores whether satire can do justice to the questions raised by a regime like North Korea and talks about her latest play about two sisters fleeing the country. Producer: Katy Hickman.


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France Special

Mon, 16 Nov 2015 11:39:00 +0000

Andrew Marr was in Paris on Friday to record a special edition of Start the Week about France. Hours later the Paris attacks happened. This programme is not about these attacks or Islamic State or the French role in the war in Syria, but it is a conversation about the political, cultural and religious fault lines in France from the 19th century to today. As BBC Radio 4 plans to broadcast a retelling of Emile Zola's 20 novel cycle, Les Rougon-Macquart, the journalist Anne-Elisabeth Moutet explores whether Zola is a 19th century gateway into understanding modern France. The novelist Agnès Desarthe has set her latest novel at the beginning of the 20th century and mixes the intimate with the great events of French history. The French Resistance is one of France's heroic myths and is central to the country's identity, but the historian Robert Gildea says the reality is far more complex. And contemporary France in all its complexity is represented in Karim Miské's thriller set among the radical Islamic preachers, Christian fundamentalists and corrupt police officers in one of the poorest suburbs of Paris. Producer: Katy Hickman.


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Claudia Rankine at the Free Thinking Festival

Mon, 09 Nov 2015 17:26:00 +0000

Anne McElvoy presents a special edition of Start the Week at the Free Thinking Festival at Sage, Gateshead, exploring injustice, myth and the role of the poet 'to name the unnameable, to point at frauds, to take sides'. The American poet Claudia Rankine exposes the ever-present racial tensions in contemporary society, while the Syrian poet Amir Darwish, having arrived in the UK hanging underneath a lorry on a cross-channel ferry, writes of love, loss, exile and demonisation. The historian Catherine Fletcher looks at the stories told about Alessandro de'Medici, the 16th century duke of Florence who was believed to be mixed-race, and what those stories tell us about attitudes to race, while the philosopher Jules Holroyd tackles the thorny issue of implicit and unconscious bias. Producer: Katy Hickman.


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Embracing Failure and Uncertainty

Mon, 02 Nov 2015 10:24:00 +0000

On Start the Week Tom Sutcliffe discusses the importance of uncertainty and failure. The former head of the European Research Council Helga Nowotny argues research is fed by uncertainty and that any form of scientific inquiry may produce results that are ambiguous. She criticises policy makers for focusing on easy short-term solutions, but the former conservative MP and Minister for Universities and Science, David Willetts, understands the difficulty for governments in dealing with uncertainty. In his role at the think tank Resolution Foundation he's attempting to use analytical research to improve policy on living standards. Matthew Syed examines how a positive attitude to failure can lead to success in areas as diverse as sport, business, politics and healthcare. The failure of governments to come to an agreement on climate change will be discussed next month at a UN conference in Paris and Oliver Morton looks at whether the radical, yet uncertain, strategies of geo-engineering are the answer. Producer: Katy Hickman.


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Social Class and Cultural Capital

Mon, 26 Oct 2015 13:40:00 +0000

On Start the Week Andrew Marr talks to the playwright Ben Power whose latest work interweaves three of DH Lawrence's dramas to evoke a lost world of manual labour and working class pride. The sociologist Mike Savage proposes a new way to think about class in Britain which not only looks at economic and social issues, but cultural preferences. Meanwhile the American writer Siri Hustvedt questions the cultural misogyny at play in the world of art, and Peter Davies celebrates the artists inspired by the northern industrial landscape. Producer: Katy Hickman.


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Power and Corruption with Stephen Frears and Mary Beard

Mon, 19 Oct 2015 12:01:00 +0000

On Start the Week the classicist Mary Beard tells Tom Sutcliffe that Ancient Rome matters: its debates about citizenship, security and the rights of the individual still influence our own debates on civil liberty. The Magna Carta is the starting point for the playwright Timberlake Wertenbaker's latest play which draws parallels between the King's abuse of power in 1215 and the global business elite today. The film director Stephen Frears tells the story of the meteoric rise and fall of one of the most celebrated and controversial sportsmen in recent history, Lance Armstrong, and of the journalist who was vilified when he tried to expose him. Lurid headlines take centre stage in the play Clarion, directed by Mehmet Ergen, which takes a satirical look at nationalism and the state of the British media. Producer: Katy Hickman.


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http://open.live.bbc.co.uk/mediaselector/5/redir/version/2.0/mediaset/audio-nondrm-download/proto/http/vpid/p035mzp4.mp3




Kissinger

Mon, 12 Oct 2015 10:02:00 +0000

On Start the Week Andrew Marr talks to historian Niall Ferguson about his biography of Henry Kissinger. Reviled and revered in equal measure Kissinger was the statesman at the heart of American foreign policy for decades, and Ferguson argues that far from being a Machiavellian realist he was driven by idealism. Jane Smiley's trilogy of novels chart a hundred years of American life through the lives of one family. She shows clearly how the big political and social upheavals of the time were reflected in the day-to-day. The personal and political come together in the extraordinary diaries of Ivan Maisky, the Russian ambassador to London before WWII. Gabriel Gorodetsky has compiled the diaries which document Britain's drift to war during the 1930s. Producer: Katy Hickman.


Media Files:
http://open.live.bbc.co.uk/mediaselector/5/redir/version/2.0/mediaset/audio-nondrm-download/proto/http/vpid/p0350lpy.mp3




Jonathan Franzen

Mon, 05 Oct 2015 12:49:00 +0000

On Start the Week Tom Sutcliffe talks to the American writer Jonathan Franzen about his latest novel, Purity. One of Franzen's characters compares the internet with the East German Republic and he satirises the utopian ideas of the apparatchik web-users. The head of the Oxford Internet Institute Helen Margetts counters with her research on the success and failure of political action via social media. The artist Tacita Dean laments the ubiquity of digital at the expense of film, and the financial journalist Gillian Tett roots out tunnel vision - both personal and business - in her new book on silos. Producer: Katy Hickman.


Media Files:
http://open.live.bbc.co.uk/mediaselector/5/redir/version/2.0/mediaset/audio-nondrm-download/proto/http/vpid/p034f0vd.mp3




Celts and Romans

Mon, 28 Sep 2015 12:35:00 +0000

On Start the Week Mary Ann Sieghart explores how far leaders and governments have shaped our world. Matt Ridley dismisses the assumption that history has been made by those on high, whether in government, business or religion, and argues for a system of evolution in which ideas and events develop from the bottom up. The historian Tom Holland revels in the antics of the house of Caesar, from Augustus to Nero, and how this imperial family greatly influenced the ancient world. Barry Cunliffe tells the story of the beginnings of civilisation across Europe and the Far East over the course of ten millennia while the curator Julia Farley concentrates on one of those groups - the Celts - and celebrates their distinctive stylised art in a new exhibition at the British Museum. Producer: Katy Hickman.


Media Files:
http://open.live.bbc.co.uk/mediaselector/5/redir/version/2.0/mediaset/audio-nondrm-download/proto/http/vpid/p033sdm4.mp3




Edmund de Waal on Porcelain

Mon, 21 Sep 2015 10:25:00 +0000

Start the Week returns for a new series with a discussion about cultural exchange. Andrew Marr talks to the potter Edmund de Waal about his fascination with porcelain. De Waal's journey to understand the history and secrets of 'white gold' takes him from China to Europe and the USA. From white pots to multi-coloured: the contemporary Chinese artist Ai Weiwei mounts an exhibition at the Royal Academy; co-curator Tim Marlow explores his cultural significance. The poet Annie Freud takes inspiration from shards of pottery found in her garden for her collection, The Remains. Producer: Katy Hickman.


Media Files:
http://open.live.bbc.co.uk/mediaselector/5/redir/version/2.0/mediaset/audio-nondrm-download/proto/http/vpid/p0332clt.mp3




Harmony and Balance

Mon, 06 Jul 2015 15:27:00 +0000

Mary Ann Sieghart discusses harmony and balance, in the universe and on a smaller scale. She is joined by Nobel Prize winning physicist Frank Wilczek, whose new book examines whether beauty is one of the organising principles of the universe, and by the choreographer Shobana Jeyasingh, who uses dance to explore our relationship with science and technology. The mathematician and standup comedian Matt Parker outlines things you can make and do in the fourth dimension, and the Canadian baritone opera singer and keen amateur astronomer Gerald Finley brings his perspective to bear. Producer: Katy Hickman.


Media Files:
http://open.live.bbc.co.uk/mediaselector/5/redir/version/2.0/mediaset/audio-nondrm-download/proto/http/vpid/p02wfwyn.mp3




Alan Watts and the Way of Translation

Mon, 29 Jun 2015 09:43:00 +0000

On Start the Week Andrew Marr discusses the legacy of the philosopher Alan Watts with the writer Tim Lott and psychotherapist Mark Vernon. Watts popularised Buddhism and Eastern philosophy in the West and in Tim Lott's latest coming-of-age novel set in the 1970s he reflects on the power of self-discovery, while Mark Vernon questions how therapy has appropriated Buddhist ideas. The writer and translator Maureen Freely looks back at her itinerant upbringing in America, Turkey and Greece, and explores how she became the translator of other people's words and worlds, including the Nobel-prize winning author Orhan Pamuk. It's a 150 years since the first Welsh settlers established a community in Patagonia in Argentina, and the theatre director Marc Rees looks at how his countrymen retained their welsh identity in an alien landscape. Producer: Luke Mulhall.


Media Files:
http://open.live.bbc.co.uk/mediaselector/5/redir/version/2.0/mediaset/audio-nondrm-download/proto/http/vpid/p02vwgcj.mp3




Architecture and power - from Stalinist structures to model villages

Mon, 22 Jun 2015 10:41:00 +0000

On Start the Week Tom Sutcliffe looks at the landscapes of communism with the writer Owen Hatherley whose new book reflects how power transformed the cities of the twentieth century. Jacqueline Yallop looks back at one of the most enduring experiments of Victorian philanthropy - the utopian 'model' village. The architect Graham Morrison is involved in a model village of his own, the regeneration and development of the 67 acre site at Kings Cross, and the artist Doug Aitken, famous for his large scale outdoor film installations which he's called 'liquid architecture', is creating a 30-day happening, Station-to-Station. Producer: Katy Hickman.


Media Files:
http://open.live.bbc.co.uk/mediaselector/5/redir/version/2.0/mediaset/audio-nondrm-download/proto/http/vpid/p02vb58w.mp3




The Value of Art with Grayson Perry and Hannah Rothschild

Mon, 15 Jun 2015 14:41:00 +0000

On Start the Week Andrew Marr discusses the value and authenticity of art. In her novel The Improbability of Love, Hannah Rothschild satirises the art world from the Russian oligarchs and sheiks ready to spend excessive amounts, to the unscrupulous dealers and politicians, as she explores what a painting is really worth. The artist Grayson Perry has never been slow to laugh at the art world and question the role of the artist, and in his latest exhibition he brings Provincial Punk to Margate. Xavier Bray is a curator at the Dulwich Picture Gallery which earlier this year placed a cheap Chinese copy among its collection to see if visitors could spot the difference, and the filmmaker Patrick Mark tells the story of the iconic luxury brand from the 19th century - Fabergé. Producer: Katy Hickman.


Media Files:
http://open.live.bbc.co.uk/mediaselector/5/redir/version/2.0/mediaset/audio-nondrm-download/proto/http/vpid/p02tsfct.mp3