Summer Nights

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Episodes

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0120130812

In a world of Brazilian waxes, sexting and Fifty Shades of Grey what drives our sexual desire and how well do we understand it? A huge majority of us still aspire to the stability and companionship of monogamous relationships. So are we confused, embarrassed or plain indifferent to sex? Jane Garvey asks her guests how our understanding of sex has changed.

0220130813

Being cynical about politics has become a national sport - but is it with good cause? The media regularly captures public anger at politicians, who are 'only out for themselves', and a political process where nothing ever changes. So, for those who believe politics can make a real difference to people's lives - what can be done? With electoral participation and party membership in long term decline, Hardeep Singh Kohli wonders if we've reached the end of the road with the political classes.

0320130814

Evan Davis explores whether the temperature of the green movement is hotting up as much as global warming. In a late night discussion he finds out why Mark Lynas went from trashing GM crops in the 90s to powerful advocate of both GM and nuclear power a decade later. And how such treachery plays out in the Green Party, and with its one MP, Caroline Lucas. His other guests Roger Scruton, Solitaire Townsend and Mario Petrucci discuss the dangers of allying green issues with the left; whether environmentalism should abandon the ideological for the practical, and whether it's really seeking to save our souls, or the planet.

0420130815

When should we laugh? And are there occasions when it is inappropriate? Laurie Taylor asks what is fair game for comedy and whether what we laugh at should be governed by aesthetic or political considerations. Guests including Howard Jacobson and Martin Rowson join him to explore humour, the offensive and taking offense.

0520130816

What is addiction, does it exist, and is it the same for everyone? Are some of us predisposed to overindulge, be it alcohol, drugs or food? And if there is a genetic explanation, does it mean the individual can evade responsibility? Is addiction a medical or a moral question? Mariella Frostrup asks whether we can control our impulses and how we might go about it.

0620130819

Britain has become an elite sporting nation. The triumph of Team GB and ParalympicsGB at London 2012 has been followed by British winners of the Tour de France, Wimbledon, the US Open and a first Lions series win for 16 years. England are heading for a third straight Ashes win and we have the most commercially successful football league in the world. But some of us still have a problem with athletic excellence, be it through disliking competitive sport or preferring the amateur ethos. So why, Jane Garvey asks, do we still get sniffy about sport?

0720130820

How important are the groups that we belong to and how free are we to choose between them? Race, class, gender, nationality and religion are all powerful labels - but how important are they really? And in the age of all-consuming social media, is deciding where we belong now something we do on our own? Hardeep Singh Kohli asks his guests what challenges our sense of identity in Britain today.

0820130821

They caused this' was the common cry against the bankers and the politicians who presided over the crisis of 2008. So have we let our financial and political elites off the hook? And can we trust those who apparently let us down with our economy again. Evan Davis asks who the elite are, how they operate and what, if anything, should be done to check the behaviour of those who continue to enjoy the greatest share of wealth and power in society.

0920130822

Just how attached are we to our privacy? We're often told that social media is eroding our private lives, but many of us are happy to share our lives online, from photos to personal confessions. Today we are unwilling to let the law stop short of our front doors and the abuse that occurs in private homes is now open to scrutiny. Mariella Frostrup explores how we have set the boundaries between intimate and public spaces.

10 LASTDo We Fear Boredom?20130823

What lies behind our urge to fill our days with activity, noise and excitement? We seem to flee from boredom: from parents who constantly seek to keep their children occupied to TV executives who over-stimulate their audiences so they don't switch channels. So why do we stay busy rather than spend more time alone with our thoughts? Giles Fraser wonders why we're so scared of being bored.

Presenter: Giles Fraser

Producer: Ruth Watts.

0105Can We Control Addiction?20130816

0105Can We Control Addiction?20130816

What is addiction, does it exist, and is it the same for everyone? Are some of us predisposed to overindulge, be it alcohol, drugs or food? And if there is a genetic explanation, does it mean the individual can evade responsibility? Is addiction a medical or a moral question? Mariella Frostrup asks whether we can control our impulses and how we might go about it.

Presenter: Mariella Frostrup

Producer: Andrea Kennedy

Interviewed guest: Sally Marlow

Interviewed guest: James Nicholls

Interviewed guest: Andrew Samuels

Interviewed guest: Tim Stampey

Interviewed guest: Richard Graham

Interviewed guest: Sam Willets.

0105Can We Control Addiction?20130816

What is addiction, does it exist, and is it the same for everyone? Are some of us predisposed to overindulge, be it alcohol, drugs or food? And if there is a genetic explanation, does it mean the individual can evade responsibility? Is addiction a medical or a moral question? Mariella Frostrup asks whether we can control our impulses and how we might go about it.

Presenter: Mariella Frostrup

Producer: Andrea Kennedy

Interviewed guest: Sally Marlow

Interviewed guest: James Nicholls

Interviewed guest: Andrew Samuels

Interviewed guest: Tim Stampey

Interviewed guest: Richard Graham

Interviewed guest: Sam Willets.

0106Does Sport Matter?20130819

0106Does Sport Matter?20130819

Britain has become an elite sporting nation. The triumph of Team GB and Paralympics GB at London 2012 has been followed by British winners of the Tour de France, Wimbledon, the US Open and a first Lions series win for 16 years. England has recently retained the Ashes and we have the most commercially successful football league in the world. But some of us still have a problem with athletic excellence, be it through disliking competitive sport or preferring the amateur ethos. So why, Jane Garvey asks, do we still get sniffy about sport?

Presenter: Jane Garvey

Producer: Ruth Watts

Interviewed guest: Katherine Grainger

Interviewed guest: John Amaechi

Interviewed guest: Emma John

Interviewed guest: Matthew Syed

Interviewed guest: Jonathan Overend

Interviewed guest: Carrie Dunn.

0106Does Sport Matter?20130819

Britain has become an elite sporting nation. The triumph of Team GB and Paralympics GB at London 2012 has been followed by British winners of the Tour de France, Wimbledon, the US Open and a first Lions series win for 16 years. England has recently retained the Ashes and we have the most commercially successful football league in the world. But some of us still have a problem with athletic excellence, be it through disliking competitive sport or preferring the amateur ethos. So why, Jane Garvey asks, do we still get sniffy about sport?

Presenter: Jane Garvey

Producer: Ruth Watts

Interviewed guest: Katherine Grainger

Interviewed guest: John Amaechi

Interviewed guest: Emma John

Interviewed guest: Matthew Syed

Interviewed guest: Jonathan Overend

Interviewed guest: Carrie Dunn.

0201Social Media - Does The Retweet Empower Us?20140725

Social media has connected us to each other throughout the day in ways that we could not have previously imagined. Now our smartphones don't just ring in our ears, they buzz with a constant feed of words and images. Through a stream of tweets, retweets, updates and selfies, we think of ourselves as more emotionally, socially and politically engaged than ever - but are we?

In a week where graphic images from the site of a plane shot down in Ukraine and the casualties in Gaza have been shared in cyberspace, without inhibition - are we now learning that just because we can do something, that it doesn't mean we should? Can we dispense graphic and horrific images without facts, filtering or empathy? And what does it do to us when we do?

Presenter: Jane Garvey

Series Producer: Ruth Watts

Producer: Jane Thurlow

Interviewed guest: Alex Massie

Interviewed guest: Felicity Morse

Interviewed guest: Eamonn O'Neill

Interviewed guest: Alison Phipps.

0202Do All Conflicts Have More In Common Than We Might Think?20140801

Conflict is everywhere and always with us, from the conflicts we have witnessed this week in Gaza, Syria, Northern Iraq and Ukraine to those we might experience in our daily lives. But from battles over territory to divorce, do all conflicts have more in common than we might at first suspect? Two sides argue over a fault line; be it a national border, a religious or ethnic tension, an economic interest or a relationship. Each becomes entrenched, fixated with their version of events, and unable to listen to the other. Are we too stubborn to avoid conflict? And, if it is an inevitable part of life, can we learn how to manage and resolve them?

Presenter: Evan Davis

Series Producer: Ruth Watts.

020320140808

Presenter: Aleks Krotoski

Producer: Ruth Watts.

0203Ebola - 'Keep calm and carry on'?20140808

0203Ebola - 'Keep calm and carry on'?20140808

Pandemics, panics and is it a help or a hindrance that we're so fascinated by contagious diseases?

The World Health Organisation has declared the outbreak of Ebola which began in West Africa a public health emergency. It is an horrific disease that kills up to 90 per cent of those it infects. The images of its victims are tough to watch on our television screens, but the story only got our full attention when a woman with a suspected case landed at Gatwick earlier this week. Though she did not have Ebola, it brought the panic surrounding the virus closer to home. But is panic always an unhealthy response to a crisis? Can it make us feel solidarity with others and spur us into action, be it scientific, medical or political? Or does the urge to panic betray our own selfish instinct to survive?

Presenter: Aleks Krotoski

Producer: Ruth Watts.

020420140815

Presenter: Jane Garvey

Producer: Ruth Watts.

0205Is it better to be a big country or a small one?20140822

0205Is it better to be a big country or a small one?20140822

Live late-night discussion with Evan Davis.

0206 LASTDo We Need Darkness In Our Lives?20140829

From reports of massacres and atrocities including beheadings in the Middle East to Ebola in West Africa the news has been full of horrific images. But such images and stories of despair and devastation hold our attention. And contemporary culture is saturated with violent imagery, from crime fiction to horror films. So what lies behind our fascination with the dark needs of our fellow men, both real and imagined: sensation, catharsis, the opportunity to sharpen our moral instincts - or something altogether darker?

Presenter: Jay Rayner

Producer: Ruth Watts

Interviewed guest: Val McDermid

Interviewed guest: Stewart Purvis

Interviewed guest: Adnan Sarwar

Interviewed guest: Cleo Van Velsen.