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In Our Time (radio series)

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In Our Time (radio series)
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{{Use dmy dates|date=September 2012}}{{Use British English|date=September 2012}}







factoids
In Our Time is a live BBC radio discussion series exploring the history of ideas, presented by Melvyn Bragg since 15 October 1998.BBC In our time. It is one of BBC Radio 4's most successful discussion programmes, acknowledged to have "transformed the landscape for serious ideas at peak listening time".WEB,weblink Login, timesonline.co.uk, 12 March 2015, As of 21 June 2018, 808 episodes have been airedWEB,weblink Episodes, In Our Time, BBC Radio 4, 2017-08-19, 1998 - 2017, and the series attracts a weekly audience exceeding two million listeners.

Programme

The series, devised and produced by Olivia Seligman (with others) and currently produced by Simon TillotsonWEB,weblink The Gin Craze, In Our Time - BBC Radio 4, BBC, with Victoria Brignell,WEB,weblink Victoria Brignell - Anglia Ruskin University, anglia.ac.uk, runs weekly throughout the year on BBC Radio 4, except for a summer break of approximately eight to ten weeks between July and September. Each programme covers a specific historical, philosophical, religious, cultural or scientific topic. In a November 2009 interview, Bragg described how he prepares for each show: "It's not easy, but I like reading. I enjoy what was called swotting in my day. I get the notes late Friday afternoon for the following Thursday morning. I find all the spare time I can for reading, get up very early on a Thursday morning, have a final two hours of nervousness, and away we go."WEB,weblink Interview: Melvyn Bragg - Man out of time, 9 November 2009, The Scotsman, Chitra, Ramaswamy, 2009-11-09, Bragg hosts discussion of the week's subject featuring what he has characterised as "three absolutely top-class academics" on the subject. The programme is normally broadcast live and unedited on Thursday mornings at 9{{nbsp}}am, lasting around 42 minutes, and is then available online. He begins each episode with a short summary of the week's topic, then introduces the three guests. He guides the discussion along a generally chronological route, then either concludes the programme himself or invites summation remarks from one of the specialists.}}

History

{{See also|List of In Our Time programmes}}In Our Time was conceived for Bragg in 1998 after he was forced to quit his decade-long role as presenter for Start the Week due to a perceived conflict of interest arising from his appointment as a Labour life peer. He was offered the Thursday "death-slot" and decided he would "do what [he] always wanted to do," and "hastily battered out a simple idea" with producer Olivia SeligmanWEB, Who says Britain is dumbing down?,weblink 10 Mar 2011, Melvyn, Bragg, The Daily Telegraph, The Telegraph, 2011-03-10, expecting the show would only last a few months. By September 1999, he had taken a time slot that was previously attracting an audience of 600,000 and grown it to 1.5 million.NEWS, Television lacks `intellectual ambition', says Bragg,weblink The Independent, 2 September 1999, 2009-11-09, London, Paul, McCann, By 2000, the half-hour show was expanded to 45 minutes and to include three guest speakers.WEB, In Our Time reaches its 500th episode,weblink 9 Mar 2011, Ed, Cumming, The Telegraph, 2011-03-10, In 2004,WEB,weblink The Archers tops podcast list, www.belfasttelegraph.co.uk, the programme was made available as a podcast from the BBC website and iTunes for one week after broadcast. Until July 2014,WEB,weblink In Our Time, The Sun, Radio 4 Blogs, listeners could also sign up for weekly email newsletters from Bragg, where he mentioned any additional information relating to the programme, along with snippets from his own personal and intellectual life. In 2009, selected transcripts of episodes from the programme were compiled in the book In Our Time: A Companion to the Radio 4 series, edited by Bragg.BOOK, In Our Time: A Companion to the Radio 4 series, Hodder & Stoughton, Melvin, Bragg,weblink 978-0-340-97750-7, 608, 2009, Since 2010, every episode of the programme has been available from its website as streaming audio,WEB,weblink In Our Time - Listen Again From the Archives, BBC Radio 4, making it one of the first BBC programmes to have its entire archive released.NEWS, Melvyn Bragg history show In Our Time to go online in BBC archive,weblink The Guardian, PDA: The Digital Content Blog, 19 November 2009, 2009-11-20, London, Mercedes, Bunz, Since 2011, the entire archive has been available to download as individual podcasts.NEWS, The complete In Our Time now available as podcasts,weblink Radio Times, 15 September 2011, 2015-10-25,

Cultural impact

The programme is considered one of the BBC's most successful projects, acknowledged to have "transformed the landscape for serious ideas at peak listening time".WEB,weblink Melvyn Bragg: 'Life has a way of biting you on the ankles', Emine Saner, the Guardian, 12 March 2015, Frequent contributors to the programme since 1998 include A. C. Grayling, Angie Hobbs, Ian Stewart, Simon Schaffer, Martin Palmer, John Mullan, Steve Jones and Carolin Crawford.In 2005, listeners were invited to vote in a popularity contest for the "greatest philosopher in history" with the winner selected as the subject of the final programme before the summer break. With 30,000 votes cast,WEB,weblink Marx wins BBC In Our Time's Greatest Philosopher vote, brandrepublic.com, 12 March 2015, the contest was won by Karl Marx with 27.9% of the votes. Other shortlisted figures were David Hume (12.7%), Ludwig Wittgenstein (6.8%), Friedrich Nietzsche (6.5%), Plato (5.6%), Immanuel Kant (5.6%), Thomas Aquinas (4.8%), Socrates (4.8%), Aristotle (4.5%) and Karl Popper (4.2%).In Our Time's Greatest Philosopher Result from the BBC Radio 4 website The poll was controversial but led to widespread reporting, and a boost in the programme's overall listenership, as various UK celebrities and news outlets championed their favourites.WEB,weblink Proles and polls; Philosophy.(Britons seem about to vote Marx history's greatest philosopher), highbeam.com, 12 March 2015, WEB,weblink Login, timesonline.co.uk, 12 March 2015,

References

{{Reflist|2}}

External links

{{Commons category|In Our Time}} {{BBC Radio 4}}

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