Ever since he arrived on our screens in the early noughties, illusionist Derren Brown’s dramatic television stunts routinely generated controversy, with complaints originating from sources as diverse as the GMB union, church groups and on one occasion, the police. But they were never upheld. Derren speaks to James about the humanity at the heart of his craft and what led him to it. His latest stage performance, Showman runs from December 9 2022 – March 18 2023 and is his most personal show to date.
Broadcaster Terry Christian grew up in a large Irish Catholic family in Manchester where not attending mass or university was out of the question. After dropping out of a chemistry course he didn't want to start, a young Terry caught the eye of a TV producer, kickstarting his presenting career. His big break came in the form of The Word, a youth-led and often anarchic TV show for Channel 4.
1 hour 11 mins
2 February Finished
Blackadder legend Tony Robinson talks to James about the state of British politics, the power of meditation and the return of Time Team.
1 hour 3 mins
26 January Finished
Content warning: this episode contains descriptions of racial violence, racial slurs and suicidal feelings. By the time Matthew Collins was 15 years old, he was enthralled by the far-right and had joined the National Front. But after one particularly violent incident in South East London, Collins began passing on his secrets to the other side. Now an activist for the anti-fascist organisation, Hope Not Hate, he tells James his remarkable story.
1 hour 11 mins
19 January Finished
The internment of Japanese Americans across the U.S. during World War II is not an obvious subject on which to develop a musical, however it is exactly what George Takei, Star Trek legend and social media icon has done. Now in his mid-eighties, Takei brings a show inspired by events from his own childhood to London’s Charing Cross Theatre. Tickets for ‘George Takei’s Allegiance’ are available now until Saturday 8 April.
1 hour 5 mins
12 January Finished
Back in the day when she was best known as Tricia Armstrong in Coronation Street, Tracy Brabin did not shy away from national politics, appearing in Labour campaigns and using her stardom to generate interest in the political project. But it was the tragedy and brutal murder of her friend Jo Cox in Tracy's hometown which catapulted her into the Commons. Now the first Mayor of West Yorkshire, she speaks to James about her life and the shocking events in the aftermath of Jo's death.
1 hour 5 mins
5 January Finished
From union General Secretary, to Home Secretary to award-winning writer. By his own admission, Alan Johnson has lived a charmed life. He speaks to James about his tricky early years and political heroes. His book, One of Our Ministers is Missing is his latest spy thriller.
1 hour 1 min
22 December 2022 Finished