Susan Calman Is Convicted

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Episodes

SeriesEpisodeTitleFirst
Broadcast
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0101Equal Marriage2013021220140821
20140828 (BBC7)
20160114 (BBC7)

In a brand new series for Radio 4, News Quiz favourite Susan Calman explores issues on which she has strong opinions. This week, she examines the current hot political topic of Equal Marriage from a personal perspective.

When Susan was younger, she thought marriage was silly. A patriarchal institution which she would never buy into. That was until she grew up, fell in love and wanted more than anything to get married - except she couldn't.

Susan relates her own personal experiences on this matter; including the minutiae of the legislation governing her recent civil partnership ceremony, as well as examining the well-trodden arguments against the issue.

Produced by Lyndsay Fenner.

Susan Calman examines the topic of equal marriage, from a personal perspective.

0102Death Penalty2013021920140828
20140904 (BBC7)
20160121 (BBC7)

In a brand new series for Radio 4, Susan Calman explores issues on which she has strong opinions. This week, she examines the issues surrounding the Death Penalty from the perspective gained whilst working on Death Row.

Susan was always stoically against capital punishment - because that was the expected position for a liberal student to take - and thought that she knew all about it. But it's very easy being so liberal when you're sitting in a country that doesn't have the death penalty. Then, as a law student, she travelled to North Carolina and worked on Death Row for a time. What she experienced whilst there persuaded her absolutely that she thought Capital Punishment was utterly wrong.

This is a story about the transition from casually adopting received opinion to developing your own belief system.

Produced by Lyndsay Fenner.

How working on death row convinced Susan that she was absolutely against the death penalty

0103Depression2013022620140904
20140911 (BBC7)
20160128 (BBC7)

In a brand new series for Radio 4, Susan Calman explores issues on which she has strong opinions.

When Susan was younger (and more than a little self-obsessed), she thought that the brooding, silent type was the best way to be. Then, whilst trying to deal with depression, she went on a journey of counselling, self-help. even writing poetry - you name it, she did it all. Now she is convinced that bottling things up makes things worse and that we should all talk about everything all the time. Well, not quite. But nearly.

But does counselling help or does it encourage self-pity? Should we all just pull ourselves together?

Produced by Lyndsay Fenner.

How trying to overcome her own depression has convinced Susan we all need to talk more.

0104 LASTNationality20130305

What does it mean to be Scottish? In the 1960s, television's 'The White Heather Club' was the ultimate representation of Scottishness. But it wasn't how Susan thought of herself, and to be honest she wasn't that bothered about it. But then she watched Austin Powers, and realised that the character 'Fat Bastard' was what people thought the Scots were - deep fried mars bar eating, drunken, daft jocks.

So she started to really evaluate what it has meant to be Scottish throughout history, and now believes that national identity is crucial, but that you have to take control of it to be proud of it.

But is nationalism still a dirty word, or have events like the Olympics allowed us to reclaim who we are without shame? Is national identity simply an excuse to be parochial and defensive? What's the difference between patriotism, nationalism and national identity and has the latter been tainted with the former two?

Produced by Lyndsay Fenner.

0201Children2014040220140409 (BBC7)
20160204 (BBC7)

In a new series for Radio 4, Susan Calman explores issues on which she has strong opinions. This week, she explains that she has never been interested in having children, and why they frighten her.

Produced by Lyndsay Fenner.

Susan Calman explains that she has never been interested in having children.

0202Appearance2014040920140416 (BBC7)

Susan explores society's obsession with appearance and her own insecurity with her looks.

Susan Calman explores issues on which she has strong opinions. This week, she looks at society's obsession with appearance and explains why it has taken her so many years to feel happy with the way she looks.

Produced by Lyndsay Fenner.

0203Intellectual Snobbery2014041620140423 (BBC7)

Susan explains why she's an evangelist for embracing a broad spectrum of cultural pursuits

Susan Calman explores issues on which she has strong opinions. This week, she explains why she is an evangelist for embracing the broadest possible spectrum of cultural pursuits, and why intellectual snobbery is the one thing that makes her angry enough to HULK SMASH in public.

Produced by Lyndsay Fenner.

0204 LASTWhat Makes Humans Human?2014042320140430 (BBC7)

Susan asks if you can really describe a person by simply stating their genetic code.

Susan Calman explores issues on which she has strong opinions. This week: What makes humans human?

In the 1990's Susan worked at the United Nations in Geneva on the Human Genome project. It was a project which looked at the increasing genetic databases that were being set up all over the world. It got her thinking - can you really encapsulate people in one scientific code?

Susan thinks that the answer is no. Science is making great advances in coding human beings, but that's not what we are. Siblings share a genetic code but can be incredibly different. Everyone is made up of people we meet, books we read and experiences we have. Science is wonderful but we should also consider the human soul.

Produced by Lyndsay Fenner.