Art and Culture Podcasts
Series 7, Episode 7
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.
Series 7, Episode 6
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.
Series 7, Episode 5
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.
Series 7, Episode 3
1hr 18 mins
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.
Series 7, Episode 2
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.
Series 6, Episode 29
1hr 10 mins
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.
Series 6, Episode 28
1 hr 10 mins
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.
Series 6, Episode 26
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
Series 6, Episode 24
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).
Series 6, Episode 20
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.
Series 6, Episode 19
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?
Series 6, Episode 18
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.
Series 6, Episode 16
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.
Series 6, Episode 15
1hr 4 mins
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.
Series 6, Episode 9
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.
Series 6, Episode 8
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?
Series 6, Episode 6
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.
Series 6, Episode 5
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.
Season 6, Episode 3
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.
Season 5, Episode 26
1 hour 7 mins
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.
Series 5, Episode 24
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.
Season 5, Episode 21
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.
Season 5, Episode 19
1 hour 7 mins
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.
Season 5, Episode 17
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.
Series 5, Episode 13
1 hour 3 mins
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.
Season 5, Episode 12
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.
Season 5, Episode 9
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.
Season 5, Episode 7
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.
Season 5, Episode 5
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.
Season 5, Episode 3
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.
Series 4, Episode 20
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.
Series 4, Episode 18
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
Season 4, Episode 16
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.
Series 4, Episode 15
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?
Series 4, Episode 13
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.
Series 4, Episode 12
1hr 7 mins
Ian McEwan – A Life in Literature
The country’s most prolific and celebrated novelist reflects upon a life in literature.
Series 4, Episode 10
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.
Season 4, Episode 5
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.
Season 3, Episode 16
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.
Series 3, Episode 11
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.
Series 3, Episode 10
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.
Season 3, Episode 6
Clive Woodward – How to Win
Sir Clive Woodward has spent a lifetime in high-performance environments, from the rugby field to the boardroom.
Series 3, Episode 4
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.
Season 1, Episode 1
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.
Season 2, Episode 19
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.
Series 2, Episode 10
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.
Series 2, Episode 6
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.
Series 2, Episode 5
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.
Series 1, Episode 18
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.