Art and Culture Podcasts

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Michael Ignatieff – Finding Solace in Dark Times

Political leader, philosopher, historian, journalist, broadcaster, and Booker shortlisted literary novelist: Michael Ignatieff is a twenty-first century Renaissance man.

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Ken Liu – Storytelling is Our Most Important Technology

The award-winning novelist explores why speculative fiction is so bad at predicting the future — and so good as revealing hidden aspects of the present.

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Susan Cain – How Sorrow and Longing Make Us Whole

Susan Cain’s Quiet changed the way we think about introverts forever. Now she is back to challenge our thinking again, revealing the strength and power in vulnerability and pain.

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Colm Toibin and Terence Killeen – Ulysses Unbound

Celebrating the centenary of the novel widely regarded as the greatest ever written, Colm Toibin and Terrence Killeen untangle Joyce’s knotty classic to reveal the wonders beneath.

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Alice Roberts – Buried

Combining archaeological evidence with cutting edge DNA research, the bestselling anthropologist joins us with a bold new account of death in the so-called Dark Ages.

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John Cleese Meets Iain McGilchrist – On Consciousness, Culture, and Creativity

John Cleese meets preeminent neuroscientist Iain McGilchrist to explore the science of human consciousness and creativity.

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Minnie Driver – Managing Expectations

As one of our most loved actors, Minnie Driver has spent her life mostly telling other people’s stories. Until now.

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Robin Ince Meets Neal Stephenson – Termination Shock

‘Sometimes when you’re reading Neal Stephenson, he doesn’t just seem like one of the best novelists writing in English right now; he seems like the only one.’ – TIME magazine

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Ann Patchett – These Precious Days

‘I don’t think that there’s a book of hers that I haven’t put down at the end and been haunted by for weeks after’ (Gillian Anderson).

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Matthew Green – A Journey Through the Shadowlands

From Old Winchelsea to Skara Brae, Matthew Green transports us to Britain’s shadowlands – the once thriving towns and cities that are now lost to time and memory.

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Julia Samuel – Every Family Has a Story

What predicts family breakdown? Why do our families drive us mad? What is it the enables some families to thrive despite enormous adversity, when others fragment?

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Philip Oltermann – The Stasi Poetry Circle

The Guardian’s Berlin bureau chief reveals the strange but true story of the book club that tried to win the Cold War through lyrical verse.

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Max Porter – Why Art Should Challenge Us

The genre-defying author joins us to explore his lifelong obsession with Francis Bacon, the undefinable magic of language, and pushing readers outside their comfort zones.

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Alan Moore and B. Catling – The Power of Imagination

The comics legend and Oxford sculptor turned literary novelist come together to explore humanity’s greatest superpower: imagination.

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Salena Godden Meets Yrsa Daley-Ward – How To Know Yourself

Shot to fame in her early twenties as model and actor, Yrsa Daley-Ward quickly established a reputation as a poet and storyteller of rare honesty, vulnerability, and emotional power.

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Jameela Jamil and Michael Schur – How to Be Perfect

Jameela Jamil and Michael Schur join us to explore the question of their hit series The Good Place: how can we live a more ethical life?

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William Dalrymple and Sathnam Sanghera – British Imperialism in India

A story of powerful empires, covert political machinations and bloody resistance, Sathnam Sanghera and William Dalrymple join us with the history of the world’s first corporate power.

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Fi Glover and Jane Garvey – Did I Say That Out Loud?

At a time of constant anxiety and uncertainty, BBC radio legends Fi Glover and Jane Garvey joined us on stage in London to tell us that they haven’t got a clue what’s going on either.

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Claire Fuller – Unsettled Ground

Claire Fuller, author of the Costa Novel Award 2021 winner Unsettled Ground, explores folk music, memory, and the surreal everyday in this week’s episode of the How To Academy Podcast.  

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Pandora Sykes Meets Emily Ratajkowski

What does it mean to be a woman today? Pandora Sykes meets model, entrepreneur and activist Emily Ratajkowski for an investigation into feminism, sexuality and power.

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Philip Pullman Meets Iain McGilchrist – The Matter With Things

The award-winning novelist and acclaimed neuroscientist join us with a profound new story of what the world is and who we are.

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Greg Jenner – How to Find Comedy in History

What was the first recorded joke? When were Mondays invented? Who, or what, is “mellefied man”? We discover the answer to all of these questions from public historian Greg Jenner.

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Richard Powers – Why Stories Matter

The Booker Prize 2021 shortlisted author of Bewilderment and The Overstory explores the power of fiction to change our future.

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Kate Bowler – The Meaning of Life

At thirty-five, Divinity Professor Kate Bowler was diagnosed with colon cancer. She joins us to explore what life really means, as she approaches its close.

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Fiona Shaw – A Life on Stage and Screen

The BAFTA and Olivier award-winning Irish actor and director explores her life and career on stage and screen.

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Dennis Duncan – Index, a history of the

In this week’s podcast, literary scholar Dennis Duncan takes us into the secret world of the index and reveals how it transformed the way we read and process knowledge forever.

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Anish Kapoor – a Life in Art

An icon whose spectacular works occupy a liminal space between sculpture, engineering and architecture, Anish Kapoor is one of the world’s most ambitious living artists.

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Charles Yu – Interior Chinatown

Enter the genre-bending metafictional world of National Book Award winner Charles Yu, one of the most exciting young American novelists.

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Lisa Taddeo and Hadley Freeman – Madness, Transgression and Power

Lisa Taddeo’s THREE WOMEN changed how we think about desire. She returns to the podcast to explore what drives women to extremes and how they can take back power.

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John Higgs – William Blake vs the World

Join us for a wild journey through culture, philosophy and religion to better understand the mercurial genius William Blake in the twenty-first century.

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Sir David Hare – A Life in Theatre

The legendary playwright joins us to reflect on his life and career as the most prolific, influential and respected dramatist of his generation.

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Maggie O’Farrell – The Life of Hamnet Shakespeare

‘The story of Hamnet Shakespeare has been waiting in the shadows for over four hundred years. Maggie O’Farrell brings it dazzlingly, devastatingly, into the light’ – Kamila Shamsie

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Anna Ploszajski – Finding Meaning Through Making

Sitting at the intersection of art, science, and history, this week’s podcast reveals fresh perspectives and fascinating insights into our material world.

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George Saunders – Lessons in Writing and Life

What makes great stories work? What can they tell us about our world today? How can they make us better readers and how can we write them ourselves?

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Isabel Allende – The Soul of a Woman

One of the most acclaimed and beloved figures in world literature, legendary novelist Isabel Allende joined us for a meditation on feminism, activism and revolution.

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Ian McEwan – A Life in Literature

The country’s most prolific and celebrated novelist reflects upon a life in literature.

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Derren Brown – How To Be a Little Happier

Learn how to think differently and overcome anxiety in a difficult world with the legendary star of stage and screen.

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Owen Jones Meets Claudia Rankine

The first and only poet to write a New York Times bestseller, the winner of every significant literary prize in the United States, Jamaican-born Claudia Rankine is an icon of contemporary American letters.

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Elizabeth Gilbert Meets Julia Cameron – The Path to Higher Creativity

Julia Cameron’s The Artist’s Way has inspired millions to realise their passions – including Eat, Pray, Love author Elizabeth Gilbert. Coming together for this podcast, they show us the path to a creatively-fulfilling life.

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Sid Meier – The Rise of Civilization

As the inventor of an entirely new genre of entertainment, legendary video-game designer Sid Meier is a true creative pioneer, and godfather to a multi-billion dollar industry.

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Geoffrey Robertson – Who Owns History?

The question of whether Western nations must return the artefacts plundered under colonial rule is the most pressing issue in the art world today.

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Clive Woodward – How to Win

Sir Clive Woodward has spent a lifetime in high-performance environments, from the rugby field to the boardroom.

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Kiley Reid – Such a Fun Age

In this week’s podcast Hannah MacInnes meets Kiley Reid, whose Booker nominated debut SUCH A FUN AGE announces her as an extraordinarily astute new voice of a generation.

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Richard Eyre – How to Make Theatre

Join one of Britain’s most acclaimed directors of stage and screen for a masterclass in the art of making plays.

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Max Brooks – How to Survive a Global Catastrophe

How can we build resilient societies? Novelist Max Brooks writes about horrifying fictional catastrophes to teach us how to survive real ones.

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William Gibson – How to Create the Future

He coined the word ‘Cyberspace’ and envisioned the Internet and Virtual Reality before they ever existed. Now William Gibson turns his prophetic eye to the 21st century.

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How to Be a Polar Explorer

Two of the greatest living adventurers meet Hannah MacInnes to reflect on what motivates their journeys across the polar ice.

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Lisa Taddeo and Hadley Freeman On Sex and Desire

Lisa Taddeo’s Three Women is a world-wide sensation – forever changing how we think about women and desire.

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Speeches That Changed the World

Simon Sebag Montefiore and an all-star cast of actors take you on a journey from ancient times to the present day with the greatest speeches in history.