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Start the Week

BBC Radio 4

Weekly discussion programme, setting the cultural agenda every Monday

41:52 | May 20th

Dr Joshua Mezrich is a leading transplant surgeon. He tells Andrew Marr how death and life are intimately connected in his field of expertise. And he explains the extraordinary breakthroughs that have emerged in transplant surgery, along with the eth...Show More

42:06 | Apr 29th

'Life is not a problem to be solved, but a reality to be experienced', wrote the philosopher Soren Kierkegaard. His new biographer, Clare Carlisle, explores the life experiences that moulded Kierkegaard's ideas as he struggled to understand how to be...Show More

41:46 | Mar 4th

Andrew Marr discusses the complex interplay between language and culture. The prize-winning American author Jhumpa Lahiri has spent many years living in Italy immersing herself in the language. She has brought together 40 short story writers – many ...Show More

42:01 | Feb 11th

How far does evolution explain mental health? The psychiatrist Randolph Nesse tells Kirsty Wark that negative emotions make sense in certain situations but can become excessive. He argues that positioning disorders in light of natural selection helps...Show More

41:57 | Jul 1st

The playwright David Hare is adapting Ibsen’s Peer Gynt, an epic story of vanity and egotism. He tells Tom Sutcliffe his radical new working keeps the mountain of trolls but becomes a contemporary reflection of toxic masculinity in the age of the sel...Show More

42:17 | Jun 24th

Rowan Williams celebrates The Book of Taliesin – legendary Welsh poems of enchantment and warfare. The former Archbishop of Canterbury tells Andrew Marr how the collection of poems speak of a lost world of folklore and mythology, and the figure of Ta...Show More

42:03 | Jun 17th

Andrew Marr discusses money, from central banks to personal finances. The historian John Guy looks back to the emergence of London as the financial centre of the world. His latest biography focuses on the life and world of Sir Thomas Gresham, Elizabe...Show More

41:53 | Jun 10th

Diego Maradona was a footballer of unrivalled talent, but off the pitch his story is one of despair and betrayal. Chris King, the editor of a feature documentary on the player, tells Kirsty Wark that the film reveals the life of this flawed icon thro...Show More

42:17 | Jun 3rd

Jared Diamond explores how countries survive national crises. The Pulitzer Prize-winning author and polymath talks to Andrew Marr about the process seven countries went through at moments of huge upheaval – from Japan and Finland to Australia and Chi...Show More

42:04 | May 27th

In a special edition recorded live at the Hay Festival, Tom Sutcliffe discusses the impact of human ingenuity. From the myth of Frankenstein to geoengineering, he explores how normality and deviancy became entrenched in society. In her latest novel...Show More

42:00 | May 13th

Kerry Hudson grew up in all-encompassing and grinding poverty. She is now an acclaimed author, but tells Tom Sutcliffe why she returned home to explore the impact and trap of being lowborn. Howard Brenton’s latest play is loosely inspired by Thomas ...Show More

42:05 | May 6th

Chaucer is renowned as the father of English literature. But in a new biography Marion Turner argues he is a far more cosmopolitan writer and thinker than we might assume. She tells Andrew Marr how the 14th-century author of The Canterbury Tales move...Show More

42:07 | Apr 22nd

We underestimate how difficult it is to live in remote areas, says travel writer Dan Richards. He tells Kirsty Wark how he trekked to high mountain huts and distant snowy cabins for his new book, Outposts. Richards followed in the footsteps of Virgin...Show More

42:04 | Apr 15th

Ian McEwan talks to Andrew Marr about his new novel, Machines Like Us, and reflects, at the age of 70, on a career which began more than four decades ago. Machines Like Us is set in an alternative Britain in the 1980s, Margaret Thatcher has lost th...Show More

42:43 | Apr 8th

850,000 people in the UK are thought to be living with dementia. The writer Nicci Gerrard tells Andrew Marr about her father’s slow death from the illness. She explores issues around memory, language and identity, as well as asking how society will c...Show More

50:58 | Apr 1st

At the Free Thinking Festival at Sage, Gateshead Tom Sutcliffe presents a special edition exploring the art and science of communication. The American diplomat William J Burns played a central role in American foreign policy from the end of the Cold ...Show More

42:10 | Mar 25th

The prize-winning author Karl Ove Knausgaard explores the life and work of a fellow Norwegian artist, Expressionist Edvard Munch. He tells Tom Sutcliffe that Munch’s work extends far beyond his iconic painting The Scream. Knausgaard brings together a...Show More

42:07 | Mar 18th

The Chinese journalist and activist Xinran tells the story of China since the start of the 20th century through four generations of one family. She tells Andrew Marr how the family lived through enormous social upheaval, and reveals how traditional v...Show More

41:57 | Mar 11th

David Nott's holiday plans are not like most. For 25 years the surgeon has used unpaid leave to volunteer as a war doctor. His work has taken him from Sarajevo under siege to rebel-held Aleppo, and to the aftermath of natural disasters in Haiti and N...Show More

42:01 | Feb 25th

Amol Rajan explores how geology and demography have shaped the modern world. Paul Morland argues that we have underestimated the crucial impact of population changes on global events. He looks at how demography has had a major influence, from world w...Show More

41:24 | Feb 18th

We have been obsessed with the ideal body since Renaissance artists rediscovered nudity, says art historian Jill Burke. She tells Andrew Marr how artists including Botticelli, Leonardo da Vinci, Michelangelo, and Titian established rigid beauty stand...Show More

42:09 | Feb 4th

Society is at a turning point, warns Professor Shoshana Zuboff. Democracy and liberty are under threat as capitalism and the digital revolution combine forces. She tells Andrew Marr how new technologies are not only mining our minds for data, but rad...Show More

41:57 | Jan 28th

There is nothing new for chemistry to discover, says Bernie Bulkin. In Solving Chemistry: A Scientist's Journey, the former Head of Science at BP argues that an unprecedented event has happened: a branch of science has made all the major discoveries ...Show More

42:17 | Jan 21st

Andrew Marr on beauty and politics in art. Our idea of beauty was shaped by the great Victorian art critic John Ruskin. He thought all people deserved to see beauty every day, and compared, and founded a gallery in Sheffield for local industrial work...Show More

41:48 | Jan 14th

The prize-winning writer John Lanchester considers the political endgame of a fractious world in his new novel, The Wall. He tells Amol Rajan why he has written a dystopian fable in which the young distrust the old, and the world appears broken. But...Show More

42:00 | Jan 7th

Andrew Marr starts the year in search of happiness with the behavioural scientist and happiness professor Paul Dolan. Dolan has advised the government on how to measure wellbeing, and in his latest book Happy Ever After argues that we’ve been sold a ...Show More

42:12 | Dec 24th, 2018

On Christmas Eve, Andrew Marr explores the mysteries of snow and ice. Michelle Paver's novels dwell in the darkest places: an Arctic hut in midwinter haunted by ghosts, an isolated mountain peak, and a prehistoric frozen forest. She explains the appe...Show More

41:55 | Dec 17th, 2018

Kirsty Wark explores national stories and myths – from both inside and outside a country’s borders. Neil MacGregor discusses how Dickens, Monty Python and the Suez Crisis have influenced the way Britain is perceived abroad. He visits five different ...Show More

42:21 | Dec 10th, 2018

Trees may have vibrant inner lives and certainly appear to have individual personalities, claims the forester-cum-writer Peter Wollheben. In his bestselling book, The Hidden Life of Trees, he uncovers an underground social network of communication be...Show More

42:27 | Dec 3rd, 2018

Today's battle for political power began with Thomas Cromwell, argues Diarmaid MacCulloch. In a landmark new biography he tells Tom Sutcliffe how Henry VIII's chief reformer claimed power from Europe and the pope - and gave it to an English parliamen...Show More

42:00 | Nov 26th, 2018

The director Paulette Randall brings to the stage the ultimate tale of sacrifice in the pursuit of power: Doctor Faustus. She tells Andrew Marr how, in coveting fame, power and knowledge, he sells his soul to the devil. This bargain with the devil is...Show More

41:56 | Nov 19th, 2018

A stifling culture of safety is now spreading throughout Western academic institutions leading to a crisis in mental health, according to the social psychologist Jonathan Haidt. He tells Amol Rajan that the current obsession with ‘safe spaces’ and no...Show More

41:55 | Nov 12th, 2018

Poland turns 100 this November. The country had existed for a thousand years but it was only in 1918 with the Treaty of Versailles that an independent Poland was created. Amol Rajan explores its turbulent history. No nation's story has been so disto...Show More

41:49 | Nov 5th, 2018

Andrew Marr talks to the journalist Lindsey Hilsum about the extraordinary life of the war correspondent Marie Colvin. Throughout her career she travelled to the most dangerous places in the world, to bear witness to the suffering of ordinary people ...Show More

40:02 | Nov 5th, 2018

On Budget day, Andrew Marr discusses what is broken in our economic and social system, and how it could be mended - if only those in charge were bold enough. Oxford’s Paul Collier is an economist known around the world for his work on inequality. Hi...Show More

41:50 | Oct 22nd, 2018

Pirates come in many forms – from swashbuckling Captain Hook to today's poverty-stricken pirates off the coast of Somalia. It’s 400 years since one of the most charismatic and controversial figures in English history was executed. Sir Walter Ralegh...Show More

42:27 | Oct 15th, 2018

Francis Fukuyama once famously announced ‘the end of history’. He now turns his attention to what he sees as the great challenge to liberal democracy: identity politics. He tells Andrew Marr that today’s descent into identities narrowly focused on na...Show More

42:29 | Oct 8th, 2018

It’s nearly a century since the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator was first conceived. It has gone on to become a multi-million pound industry categorising people from thinking introverts to feeling extroverts. But the mother-daughter team who came up with...Show More

42:36 | Oct 1st, 2018

Yuval Noah Harari offers his 21 lessons for the 21st century. In a wide ranging discussion with Andrew Marr, Harari looks back to his best-selling history of the world, Sapiens, and forward to a possible post-human future. Technological disruption,...Show More

42:20 | Sep 24th, 2018

The prize-winning novelist William Boyd has set his latest novel, Love Is Blind, at the turn of the 20th century. He tells Amol Rajan how his young Scottish protagonist travels across Europe in a tale of obsession, passion and music. Lust and violen...Show More

42:02 | Sep 17th, 2018

It is 40 years since Sir David Attenborough told the story of Life on Earth, from its very first spark 4 billion years ago to the abundance of plants and animals today. He tells Andrew Marr how more pieces of the puzzle have fallen into place over th...Show More

41:36 | Sep 10th, 2018

The Vietnam War was a 30-year conflict in which three million people died and the reputations of successive US presidents were wrecked. Max Hastings tells Andrew Marr about the extraordinary political meddling, strategic failure and lack of compassio...Show More

52:00 | Aug 27th, 2018

Andrew Marr presents a special edition of Start the Week at the Edinburgh Festivals, weaving together ancient stories and contemporary fiction - from Scotland to Iceland via ancient Greece. He speaks to award-winning writers Pat Barker, Sjón and Jam...Show More

42:00 | Jul 2nd, 2018

Britain has imported its culture from Europe for generations. Andrew Marr presents a special edition from Hatchlands Park in Surrey, home to the Cobbe Collection of musical instruments including pianos owned by Chopin, Mahler and Marie Antoinette. F...Show More

42:40 | Jun 25th, 2018

Tina Brown was an Englishwoman barely out of her twenties when she arrived in New York. She transformed herself into a star magazine editor, at the helm of Vanity Fair and later the New Yorker. She tells Amol Rajan how the backstabbing and status-dri...Show More

41:50 | Jun 18th, 2018

One-third of the earth's surface is classified as desert. The writer William Atkins has travelled to eight of the world's hottest, driest places. He tells Andrew Marr about these forbidding, inhuman landscapes. The Arabian Desert lies mostly in Sau...Show More

42:03 | Jun 11th, 2018

Psychedelic drugs are once again being trialled to treat a range of psychological conditions. The writer Mike Pollan tells Kirsty Wark about the science of LSD and magic mushrooms: from the 1940s to the 1960s they promised to shed light not only on t...Show More

42:01 | Jun 4th, 2018

Booker Prize-winning novelist Arundhati Roy's latest book weaves together the lives of the misfits and outcasts from India's bustling streets. Roy is famous as an advocate for the most vulnerable and dehumanised in Indian society. She tells Andrew Ma...Show More

50:31 | May 28th, 2018

In a special edition at Hay Festival, Tom Sutcliffe explores success and failure, from Homer's epic poetry to global pandemics. The historian David Christian looks at the birth and development of the universe. He weaves together science, arts and h...Show More

41:50 | May 21st, 2018

Giant factories are at the centre of Joshua Freeman's history of mass production. From the textile mills in England that powered the Industrial Revolution to the car plants of 20th century America and today's colossal sweat shops in Asia, Freeman tel...Show More

41:42 | May 14th, 2018

Jordan Peterson, clinical psychologist and YouTube sensation, professes to bring order to chaos in his 12 Rules for Life. He tells Tom Sutcliffe about the importance of individual responsibility, using lessons from humanity's oldest myths and stories...Show More

41:45 | May 7th, 2018

Will we recognise the signs that democracy has ended? Cambridge professor David Runciman worries that we spend far too much time comparing today's politics with the 1930s, and that this blinds us to the frailties of democracy today. He tells Amol Raj...Show More

42:24 | Apr 30th, 2018

The Italian physicist Carlo Rovelli delves into the meaning of time. He tells Andrew Marr how we live in a timeless world but have evolved to perceive time's flow. The astrophysicist Carole Mundell is interested in the extragalactic. Her studies of ...Show More

42:01 | Apr 23rd, 2018

Tom Sutcliffe discusses free will and fate; dreams and reality. Jesmyn Ward's prize-winning novel Sing, Unburied, Sing, set in the American South, is haunted by the ghosts of the past. Ward writes of incarceration and freedom, and the strength - and ...Show More

42:10 | Apr 16th, 2018

Fifty years after radicals took to the streets of Paris and stormed campuses across the Western World, Andrew Marr unpicks the legacy of 1968. Historian Richard Vinen finds waves of protest across the western world in his book The Long '68: Radical ...Show More

41:26 | Apr 9th, 2018

Facebook co-founder Chris Hughes makes a case for cash handouts to the poor. He tells Andrew Marr that having become exceptionally wealthy he is looking for the most efficient way to give something back to society, and a Universal Basic Income is amo...Show More

42:08 | Apr 2nd, 2018

Amol Rajan discusses faith and doubt. Religion is a recurrent theme in Naomi Alderman's novels. Her first book, Disobedience, explored a Jewish girl's split with orthodox religion, while in Liar's Gospel she told multiple stories of Jesus through the...Show More

41:57 | Mar 26th, 2018

Sue Black spends much of her time with dead bodies. As one of the world's leading forensic anthropologists she has encountered death in many forms, leading British expeditions to Kosovo and to Thailand following the Boxing Day Tsunami. She tells Andr...Show More

40:44 | Mar 19th, 2018

We are drawn to wildness and disorder, argues historian Bettany Hughes. She tells Andrew Marr about the attraction of Bacchus, the god of wine and fertility, and the subject of a new BBC Four documentary. Bacchus (also known as Dionysus) has been a s...Show More

48:57 | Mar 12th, 2018

At the Free Thinking Festival at Sage Gateshead Lionel Shriver discusses her new collection of short stories Property with presenter Kirsty Wark. While Lionel Shriver explores our relationship with objects and places, and asks what the increasing ac...Show More

42:15 | Mar 5th, 2018

What is art - and why do we need it? Fifty years ago the landmark BBC Two series Civilisation set out to answer this question. Now historians Mary Beard, Simon Schama and David Olusoga take on this challenge of defining human civilisation through a...Show More

41:59 | Feb 26th, 2018

Brain damage can radically change a person's character - but does that mean they are no longer themselves? Consultant neurologist Jules Montague works with people suffering dementia and brain injuries. She tells Tom Sutcliffe what happens when the ...Show More

41:52 | Feb 19th, 2018

Humanity is flourishing and the Enlightenment has worked, declares Steven Pinker. The Harvard psychologist has looked across health, prosperity, safety, peace and happiness, and sees signs that all are improving. He tells Andrew Marr how Enlightenmen...Show More

42:06 | Feb 12th, 2018

What would the perfect city look like? Today more people live in cities than ever before and that shapes the way we think, says sociologist Richard Sennett. He lays out a vision for a city of the future based not on ancient Greece but on new 'open'...Show More

42:04 | Feb 5th, 2018

Andrew Marr discusses money, transformation and the obsession with growth with two leading economists: Diane Coyle and Dharshini David. Professor Coyle argues it's time to rethink the way we measure productivity, while the broadcaster Dharshini David...Show More

41:37 | Jan 29th, 2018

With millions of people on the move around the world, the novelist Mohsin Hamid has set his latest novel against the backdrop of the refugee crisis. He tells Kirsty Wark how he imagined those fleeing home passing through mysterious black doors into o...Show More

41:46 | Jan 22nd, 2018

Art was power for Britain's kings and queens. In a new BBC TV series, Andrew Graham-Dixon visits the paintings amassed by King Charles I, the first great royal collector in British history. He tells Andrew Marr why after Charles was executed his roya...Show More

41:51 | Jan 15th, 2018

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. ...Show More

42:21 | Jan 8th, 2018

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, ...Show More

41:49 | Dec 18th, 2017

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 las...Show More

41:37 | Dec 11th, 2017

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...Show More

42:38 | Dec 4th, 2017

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 banne...Show More

42:10 | Nov 27th, 2017

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, whi...Show More

42:29 | Nov 20th, 2017

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 transfo...Show More

41:48 | Nov 13th, 2017

'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 rating...Show More

42:01 | Nov 6th, 2017

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 ...Show More

42:04 | Oct 30th, 2017

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...Show More

41:44 | Oct 23rd, 2017

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 Li...Show More

42:00 | Oct 16th, 2017

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 gun...Show More

41:05 | Oct 9th, 2017

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. H...Show More

41:36 | Oct 2nd, 2017

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 ...Show More

42:09 | Sep 25th, 2017

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. Arm...Show More

42:18 | Sep 18th, 2017

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...Show More

41:51 | Aug 22nd, 2017

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. Dina...Show More

42:09 | Jul 3rd, 2017

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 ...Show More

41:58 | Jun 26th, 2017

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 polit...Show More

42:12 | Jun 19th, 2017

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 ...Show More

42:21 | Jun 12th, 2017

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. Fatherhoo...Show More

42:15 | Jun 5th, 2017

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 Qu...Show More

42:14 | May 29th, 2017

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, wh...Show More

41:04 | May 22nd, 2017

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 ...Show More

41:58 | May 15th, 2017

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 founda...Show More

41:46 | May 8th, 2017

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 trans...Show More

41:30 | May 2nd, 2017

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 consum...Show More

41:42 | Apr 24th, 2017

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 ...Show More

42:10 | Apr 17th, 2017

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 i...Show More

41:42 | Apr 10th, 2017

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 Lut...Show More

41:44 | Apr 3rd, 2017

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 li...Show More

41:59 | Mar 27th, 2017

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 posit...Show More

51:10 | Mar 20th, 2017

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 rh...Show More

41:36 | Mar 13th, 2017

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 d...Show More

42:02 | Mar 6th, 2017

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...Show More

41:41 | Feb 27th, 2017

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 Vul...Show More

42:18 | Feb 20th, 2017

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. ...Show More

44:16 | Feb 13th, 2017

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 Lit...Show More

42:08 | Feb 6th, 2017

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...Show More

41:55 | Jan 30th, 2017

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 o...Show More

41:58 | Jan 16th, 2017

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...Show More

41:53 | Jan 9th, 2017

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 Brita...Show More

41:41 | Dec 26th, 2016

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....Show More

42:20 | Dec 19th, 2016

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 Chris...Show More

42:09 | Dec 12th, 2016

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. ...Show More

42:43 | Dec 5th, 2016

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 cou...Show More

41:43 | Nov 28th, 2016

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 l...Show More

41:52 | Nov 21st, 2016

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 Cob...Show More

41:56 | Nov 14th, 2016

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 ...Show More

42:04 | Nov 7th, 2016

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...Show More

42:17 | Oct 31st, 2016

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 politi...Show More

42:03 | Oct 24th, 2016

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...Show More

42:08 | Oct 4th, 2016

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...Show More

42:33 | Sep 26th, 2016

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...Show More

42:22 | Sep 19th, 2016

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 argu...Show More

41:54 | Jul 4th, 2016

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 th...Show More

42:07 | Jun 27th, 2016

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 coun...Show More

41:49 | Jun 20th, 2016

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 h...Show More

42:11 | Jun 13th, 2016

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 dir...Show More

41:24 | Jun 6th, 2016

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...Show More

42:01 | May 30th, 2016

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 ...Show More

42:16 | May 23rd, 2016

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...Show More

42:02 | May 16th, 2016

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 look...Show More

41:55 | May 9th, 2016

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...Show More

41:03 | May 2nd, 2016

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...Show More

41:40 | Apr 25th, 2016

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 resea...Show More

42:09 | Apr 18th, 2016

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 Temelkur...Show More

42:02 | Apr 11th, 2016

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 Alist...Show More

42:17 | Apr 4th, 2016

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 Londo...Show More

41:45 | Mar 28th, 2016

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 - existenti...Show More

41:54 | Mar 21st, 2016

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 ...Show More

41:56 | Mar 14th, 2016

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 i...Show More

41:49 | Mar 7th, 2016

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 Scotla...Show More

41:52 | Feb 29th, 2016

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....Show More

42:21 | Feb 22nd, 2016

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 pr...Show More

41:53 | Feb 15th, 2016

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...Show More

41:21 | Feb 8th, 2016

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 sens...Show More

41:45 | Feb 1st, 2016

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 directo...Show More

41:53 | Jan 25th, 2016

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 Euroscepti...Show More

41:45 | Jan 18th, 2016

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 lo...Show More

41:57 | Jan 11th, 2016

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 hi...Show More

49:34 | Dec 28th, 2015

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 d...Show More

41:55 | Dec 21st, 2015

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 out...Show More

41:44 | Dec 14th, 2015

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 Bychko...Show More

43:30 | Dec 7th, 2015

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 th...Show More

42:12 | Nov 30th, 2015

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 h...Show More

41:53 | Nov 23rd, 2015

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 pragm...Show More

40:21 | Nov 16th, 2015

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 conv...Show More

50:20 | Nov 9th, 2015

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 Rank...Show More

41:29 | Nov 2nd, 2015

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...Show More

41:22 | Oct 26th, 2015

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 ...Show More

41:58 | Oct 19th, 2015

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 poin...Show More

41:55 | Oct 12th, 2015

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...Show More

41:58 | Oct 5th, 2015

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-us...Show More

41:57 | Sep 28th, 2015

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...Show More

42:06 | Sep 21st, 2015

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 ...Show More

41:59 | Jul 6th, 2015

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 ...Show More

42:17 | Jun 29th, 2015

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 ...Show More

41:47 | Jun 22nd, 2015

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 experiment...Show More

41:56 | Jun 15th, 2015

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 d...Show More

41:47 | Jun 8th, 2015

Tom Sutcliffe explores health and well-being from the musings of a 17th century doctor to the latest research into psychosomatic illness. The GP, Gavin Francis celebrates the marvels of the human body while Hugh Aldersey-Williams looks back at the li...Show More

42:17 | Jun 1st, 2015

On Start the Week Andrew Marr talks to Zachary Leader about the life and work of Saul Bellow, one of America's most famous novelists. Bellow's vivid prose and mix of high and low culture brought 20th century America to life. Linda Grant reflects on h...Show More

42:02 | May 27th, 2015

Start the Week is at the Hay Festival for a discussion about what has made homo sapiens so successful. The historian Yuval Noah Harari looks back a hundred thousand years ago when at least six human species inhabited the earth and explores why only o...Show More

42:23 | May 18th, 2015

On Start the Week Andrew Marr finds out if it's possible to create a world less impersonal and more equal. David Cameron's former senior adviser, Steve Hilton, believes our governments and institutions are too big, and he argues for a more human-focu...Show More

41:58 | May 11th, 2015

On Start the Week Mariella Frostrup talks to the academic Hamid Dabashi about his critique of European intellectual heritage and identity. In his polemic Can Non-Europeans Think? Dabashi argues that those outside the West are often marginalised and m...Show More

42:10 | May 4th, 2015

Tom Sutcliffe talks to the Indian writer Vikram Seth about his latest collection of poetry, Summer Requiem, which traces the dying days of summer and is haunted by loss and decay. The cuckoo's song may celebrate the arrival of spring, but as Nick Dav...Show More

41:53 | Apr 27th, 2015

On Start the Week Anne McElvoy discusses our obsession with violence. The historian Richard Bessel explores its past ubiquity, but argues that our modern attitudes towards it have changed. There's little change in the attitudes towards women in the a...Show More

42:08 | Apr 21st, 2015

On Start the Week Tom Sutcliffe explores life in the oceans. The biologist Luke Rendell studies the evolution of social learning in whales and dolphins, and seeks to define their culture beneath the waves. The seahorse is a creature with a rich mythi...Show More

42:00 | Apr 13th, 2015

On Start the Week Tom Sutcliffe asks whether altruism is best explained through evolutionary science or moral philosophy. David Sloan Wilson argues for the former and believes altruism is part of group dynamics and social behaviour. William MacAskill...Show More

42:07 | Apr 6th, 2015

On Start the Week Tom Sutcliffe talks to Adrienne Mayor about the Amazons, the legendary warrior women who glorified in fighting, hunting and sexual freedom. The Greeks described these wild barbarian archers, and Mayor reveals new archaeological disc...Show More

42:01 | Mar 30th, 2015

On Start the Week Andrew Marr talks to Robert Douglas-Fairhurst about the life of Lewis Carroll. Alice's Adventures in Wonderland has become an influential part of our cultural heritage but beneath the fairy tale lies the complex history of the autho...Show More

41:48 | Mar 23rd, 2015

On Start the Week Susan Pinker argues that face-to-face contact increases longevity and reduces the risks of illness. She tells Anne McElvoy that although new technology connects more people, it can often leave us more disconnected. However the write...Show More

42:00 | Mar 16th, 2015

On Start the Week Tom Sutcliffe discusses shame and betrayal. Jennifer Jacquet argues that modern-day shaming of corporations is a powerful tool to bring about change. However Jon Ronson believes too many lives have been devastated by public shaming ...Show More

42:04 | Mar 9th, 2015

On Start the Week Tom Sutcliffe finds out what goes on inside the mind of a mathematician. Cédric Villani explains the obsession and inspiration which led him to being awarded the Fields Medal, 'the mathematicians' Nobel Prize' in 2010. Zia Haider Ra...Show More

42:06 | Mar 2nd, 2015

On Start the Week Tom Sutcliffe explores the fracturing political landscape and the rise of anti-establishment parties. The politics lecturer Robert Ford explains the increasing support for the SNP, UKIP, and the Greens and what that means for the fo...Show More

41:59 | Feb 16th, 2015

Andrew Marr looks at what happens when political power fractures and how 'soft power' retains its influence. Peter Pomerantsev spent a decade working in Russia's fast-growing television industry and tells the story of a country changing from communis...Show More

41:59 | Feb 9th, 2015

Anne McElvoy talks to the novelist Adam Thirlwell about his latest book, described as 'suburban noir'; its setting "a kind of absence, without a focus or centre". The academic Nick Hubble takes issue with the cultural representation of suburbia and t...Show More

42:11 | Feb 2nd, 2015

Tom Sutcliffe talks to the journalist Patrick Cockburn about the rise of the Islamic State and the failure of the West's foreign policy in the Middle East. The academic Katherine Brown looks at the long-term strategy of IS by focusing on how it has p...Show More

42:07 | Jan 26th, 2015

Tom Sutcliffe is joined in the studio by Daniel Levitin, author of New York Times bestseller 'The Organized Mind'. Levitin dismisses the idea of multi-tasking and explores how we can counter information overload. But the poet Frances Leviston with he...Show More

42:02 | Jan 20th, 2015

Tom Sutcliffe's joined in the studio by Pulitzer Prize winning poet Paul Muldoon, Oxford professor of Russian Catriona Kelly, Philip Schofield who is a professor at UCL and director of The Bentham Project and by Canadian blogger and science fiction w...Show More

42:03 | Jan 12th, 2015

Tom Sutcliffe discusses the connection between the Tudors and modern times with author Lady Antonia Fraser, composer Claire van Kampen, director Peter Kosminsky and historian Dan Jones. Producer: Simon Tillotson.

42:06 | Dec 29th, 2014

Andrew Marr discusses why we react so strongly to some places, look for meaning in them and build up stories about them over time. Joining him in the studio are author and travel writer Philip Marsden who has been exploring Cornwall with Sense of Pla...Show More

41:50 | Dec 22nd, 2014

Tom Sutcliffe discusses hedonism, from the ultra-hedonists in ancient Greece to the seasonal impulse to indulge. Tom's joined by RSC artistic director Greg Doran who's looking at hedonism in Shakespeare, from Toby Belch to Falstaff; by Prof Julia Twi...Show More

41:51 | Dec 15th, 2014

Tom Sutcliffe discusses invention and reinvention in science. He is joined in the studio by Danielle George of the University of Manchester, where she is Professor in the Microwave and Communications Systems research group; by John Barrow, Professor ...Show More

41:37 | Dec 8th, 2014

Anne McElvoy's joined by Egyptian novelist Alaa Al Aswany, author of The Yacoubian Building, to discuss writing in the contemporary Arabic world and the continuing influence of stories from 1000 years ago. Joining him are Rose Issa, a Lebanese/Irania...Show More

42:03 | Dec 1st, 2014

Tom Sutcliffe discusses evolution and extinction with Jules Pretty, who's been travelling to meet "enduring people in vanishing lands" and is concerned about their future; with Andreas Wagner on solving what he calls evolution's greatest puzzle - how...Show More

41:48 | Nov 24th, 2014

Tom Sutcliffe explores our relationship with computer technology and the interplay of alien and familiar in science fiction. Tom's joined in the studio by writer William Gibson, novelist Michel Faber, LSE Professor Judy Wajcman and historian Dominic ...Show More

42:06 | Nov 17th, 2014

Self-portraits rarely fail to compel, but to what extent are they a true form of self-examination? James Hall maps the history of self-portraiture, from the earliest myths of Narcissus to the prolific self-image-making of contemporary artists. Rembra...Show More

41:50 | Nov 10th, 2014

Do we value longevity more than quality of life, towards our final years? That's the discussion Andrew Marr's having with surgeon Atul Gawande, who's giving this year's Reith Lectures. Joining them in the studio are the legendary editor, novelist and...Show More

41:57 | Nov 3rd, 2014

'Money talks' in a special edition of Start the Week recorded in front of an audience at Radio 3's Free Thinking Festival at Sage Gateshead. Anne McElvoy explores the language and morality of money, from the super-rich to zombie debt, with the writer...Show More

42:05 | Oct 27th, 2014

Russell Brand's calling for revolution now, to overthrow the system that he says supports extreme inequality. David Babbs, executive director of 38 Degrees, wants popular campaigns to bring about change and strengthen democracy. Juliet Barker re-exam...Show More

41:55 | Oct 20th, 2014

What was Napoleon's impact during his lifetime, in France and across Europe and how much of this can we see today? With Tom Sutcliffe, Andrew Roberts examines the man in his new biography, Jenny Uglow explores living in Britain through Napoleon's War...Show More

41:51 | Oct 13th, 2014

Why do we seek explanations for most mysterious events but prefer some when they're unresolved? That's the discussion with Anne McElvoy today, including Val McDermid who uncovers the secrets of forensic science, Susan Hill exploring suspense and atmo...Show More

41:55 | Oct 6th, 2014

Naomi Klein argues that the greatest contributor to global warming is not carbon and climate change, but capitalism. She tells Anne McElvoy that the market's addiction to growth and profit is killing the planet. But the economist Dieter Helm question...Show More

41:49 | Sep 29th, 2014

Karen Armstrong argues against the notion that religion is the major cause of war. The former nun tells Tom Sutcliffe that faith is as likely to produce pacifists and peace-builders as medieval crusaders and modern-day jihadists. But Justin Marozzi c...Show More

42:04 | Sep 22nd, 2014

Hilary Mantel takes a break from her award-winning series of novels charting the rise and fall of the Tudor fixer, Thomas Cromwell, to discuss her new collection of short stories. She talks to Tom Sutcliffe about why her latest work eschews the histo...Show More

41:57 | Jul 7th, 2014

Tom Sutcliffe talks to Michael Holroyd about why he put his own family in the spotlight in his late 50s novel A Dog's Life, only published in the UK after the death of his parents. Family secrets and a doctor's revenge are at the heart of Herman Koch...Show More

42:11 | Jun 30th, 2014

Andrew Marr discusses how far the brain can change and adapt with the neuroscientist Heidi Johansen-Berg. Decades ago it was thought that the adult brain was immutable but later research has shown that even brains damaged by stroke have the capacity ...Show More

41:50 | Jun 23rd, 2014

Tom Sutcliffe talks to the director Erica Whyman about a series of plays by the RSC which focus on the idea that 'well behaved women rarely make history'. The historian Helen Castor looks back at the Middle Ages to some of the earliest roaring girls,...Show More

42:01 | Jun 16th, 2014

Tom Sutcliffe discusses the history of pain with the historian Joanna Bourke, who explores how our attitude to suffering has changed through the centuries. The former Conservative MP, Norman Fowler, looks back at the public health campaign that revol...Show More

41:53 | Jun 9th, 2014

Tom Sutcliffe discusses whether Western states have anything to learn from countries like China and Singapore. Adrian Wooldridge argues that many governments have become bloated and there's a global race to reinvent the state. In the past Britain was...Show More

42:01 | Jun 2nd, 2014

Tom Sutcliffe talks to the commentator Rod Liddle about his assertion that modern Western society has become politically and socially stagnant. In his polemic, Selfish Whining Monkeys, Liddle argues that his generation are self-obsessed, deluded and ...Show More

42:17 | May 23rd, 2014

Picture taken by Axel Hesslenberg Start the Week is at the Charleston literary Festival with the novelists Tim Winton, Karl Ove Knausgaard, Nicola Barker and the poet and publisher Michael Schmidt. The death of the novel has been predicted since the...Show More

42:17 | May 19th, 2014

Anne McElvoy talks to the biologist Ken Thompson who dismisses attempts to control invasive species and questions the veracity of dividing plants and animals into 'native' and 'alien'. However the Director of the Kew Innovation Unit Monique Simmonds ...Show More

42:07 | May 12th, 2014

Tom Sutcliffe asks whether it's better to lead from the front, or advise from the side-line. The Deputy Chairman of Saatchi & Saatchi, Richard Hytner celebrates the latter: those who wield influence and authority away from the limelight. Heather Rabb...Show More

42:08 | May 2nd, 2014

Anne McElvoy talks to the poet Simon Armitage about his dramatisation of The Last Days of Troy. His play, based on Homer's epic, reveals how cycles of conflict and revenge, pride and self-deception continue throughout history. Greek myth is at the he...Show More

41:53 | Apr 28th, 2014

Anne McElvoy talks to the social theorist Jeremy Rifkin who foresees the gradual decline of capitalism and the rise of a collaborative economy. As new technology enables greater sharing of goods and services, Rifkin argues that it provides a challeng...Show More