The Infinite Monkey Cage

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The Infinite Monkey Cage
Genre Comedy
Running time approx. 30 minutes
Country United Kingdom
Language(s) English
Home station BBC Radio 4
Starring Brian Cox
Robin Ince
Producer(s) Alexandra Feachem
Exec. producer(s) Deborah Cohen
Recording studio Radio Theatre, Broadcasting House, London
Air dates since 30 November 2009 (2009-11-30)
No. of series 10
No. of episodes 48[1]
Website The Infinite Monkey Cage website
Podcast xml feed
Robin Ince and Brian Cox, the hosts of the programme

The Infinite Monkey Cage is a BBC Radio 4 comedy and popular science series. Hosted by physicist Brian Cox and comedian Robin Ince,[2] The Independent described it as a "witty and irreverent look at the world according to science".[3][4] The show's eighth series was broadcast in June and July 2013 and the podcast, published immediately after the initial radio broadcast, features extended versions of most episodes starting with 1 July 2013 Glastonbury Special episode in Series 8.[5] The programme won a Gold Award in the Best Speech Programme category at the 2011 Sony Radio Awards.[6][7]

Each show has a particular topic up for discussion, with previous topics including the apocalypse and space travel. There are normally three guests; two of these are scientists with an interest in the topic of discussion, offering an expert opinion on the subject. The other guest is often a comedian, who takes a less serious view of the subject, and often makes the show more accessible by asking the 'stupid' questions that the other guests may have overlooked.

List of episodes[edit]

The following is an episode list of the BBC radio series The Infinite Monkey Cage. As of August 2014, there have been 54 episodes spanning 10 series. All episodes are available to stream via the series website and as podcast downloads.[8]

Since 2013, podcasts are longer than the broadcast episodes at around 45 minutes, frequently adding mild spats between Cox and Ince, and occasionally language unsuitable "for the 4:30pm school run slot" to the usual exasperated "who thinks that'll make the edit?" from either Cox or Ince, notably added to by Brian Blessed and Keith Jensen.

Series One[edit]

Total No. Title Guest(s) Original airdate
1 1 "Evidence vs. Uninformed Opinions" Dara Ó Briain and Dr Alice Roberts 30 November 2009 (2009-11-30)
2 2 "Conspiracy Theories and Extraterrestrial Visitors" Jon Ronson and Seth Shostak 7 December 2009 (2009-12-07)
3 3 "Quantum Physics & Astrology" Ben Miller 14 December 2009 (2009-12-14)
4 4 "Science and Religion" Chris Addison, Victor Stock and Adam Rutherford 21 December 2009 (2009-12-21)

Series Two[edit]

Total No. Title Guest(s) Original airdate
5 1 "Cheltenham Science Festival" Ben Miller and Robert Winston 14 June 2010 (2010-06-14)
6 2 "Trust Me I'm a Scientist" Ben Goldacre and Dave Gorman 21 June 2010 (2010-06-21)
7 3 "Science Fact and Science Fiction" Jonathan Ross, Alan Moore and Dr Brian Greene 28 June 2010 (2010-06-28)
8 4 "Things Can Only Get Better" Colin Blakemore and Mark Steel 5 July 2010 (2010-07-05)

Series Three[edit]

Total No. Title Guest(s) Original airdate
9 1 "Apocalypse" Adam Rutherford, Andy Hamilton and Dr Lucie Green 15 November 2010 (2010-11-15)
10 2 "Modern World" Paul Foot, Aleks Krotoski and Professor Tony Ryan 22 November 2010 (2010-11-22)
11 3 "Randomness, Probability and Chance" Tim Minchin, Alex Bellos, Matt Parker 29 November 2010 (2010-11-29)
12 4 "Is Philosophy Dead?" Alexei Sayle, Julian Baggini and Professor Raymond Tallis 6 December 2010 (2010-12-06)

Series Four[edit]

Total No. Title Guest(s) Original airdate
13 1 "What Don't We Know?" Paul Foot, Marcus Chown and Professor Steve Jones 30 May 2011 (2011-05-30)
14 2 "Six Degrees of Separation?" Stephen Fry, Simon Singh, and Aleks Krotoski 6 June 2011 (2011-06-06)
15 3 "So you want to be an astronaut?" Chris Riley, Dr Kevin Fong, and Helen Keen 13 June 2011 (2011-06-13)
16 4 "Is Cosmology really a science?" Alan Moore, Dallas Campbell and Professor Ed Copeland 20 June 2011 (2011-06-20)
17 5 "Glastonbury Special" Billy Bragg, Graham Coxon, Shappi Khorsandi and Professor Tony Ryan 27 June 2011 (2011-06-27)
18 6 "Science and the supernatural" Andy Nyman, Richard Wiseman and Bruce Hood 5 July 2011 (2011-07-05)

Series Five[edit]

Total No. Title Guest(s) Original airdate
19 1 "What's the North Ever Done for Us?
(Manchester Science Festival)"
Jon Culshaw, Jeff Forshaw and Matthew Cobb 28 November 2011 (2011-11-28)
20 2 "A Balanced Programme on Balance" Sir Paul Nurse, Katy Brand, Simon Mayo, and Professor Steve Jones 5 December 2011 (2011-12-05)
21 3 "The Origins of Life" Tim Minchin, Dr Nick Lane, and Adam Rutherford 12 December 2011 (2011-12-12)
22 4 "The Science of Sound" Tom Wrigglesworth, Professor Trevor Cox and Professor Chris Plack 19 December 2011 (2011-12-19)
23 5 "Physics vs Chemistry" Dara Ó Briain, Professor Tony Ryan, and Andrea Sella 26 December 2011 (2011-12-26)
24 6 "The Science of Christmas" Professor Richard Dawkins, Mark Gatiss and Roger Highfield 1 January 2012 (2012-01-01)

Series Six[edit]

Total No. Title Guest(s) Original airdate
25 1 "Oceans: The Last Great Unexplored Frontier?" Dave Gorman, Lloyd Peck and Bramley Murton 18 June 2012 (2012-06-18)
26 2 "Science Mavericks" Marcus Brigstocke, Professor Barry Marshall, Kevin Fong, and Aoife McLysaght 25 June 2012 (2012-06-25)
27 3 "Does Size Matter?" Andy Hamilton, Mark Miodownik and Eleanor Stride 2 July 2012 (2012-07-02)
28 4 "The Science of Symmetry" Marcus du Sautoy, Adam Rutherford and Alan Moore 9 July 2012 (2012-07-09)
29 5 "Parallel Universes" Professor Sir Martin Rees, Dr Lucie Green and John Lloyd 16 July 2012 (2012-07-16)
30 6 "Art v Science (Latitude Festival)" Al Murray, Sara Pascoe, Andrew Pontzen and Jon Butterworth. 23 July 2012 (2012-07-23)

Series Seven[edit]

Total No. Title Guest(s) Original airdate
31 1 "Space Exploration" Sir Patrick Stewart, Ben Miller and Monica Grady 19 November 2012 (2012-11-19)
32 2 "Improbable Science" Katy Brand, Matthew Cobb and Marc Abrahams 26 November 2012 (2012-11-26)
33 3 "Secret Science" Simon Singh, Sue Black and Dave Gorman 3 December 2012 (2012-12-03)
34 4 "Brain Science" Jo Brand, Sophie Scott, and Brian Butterworth 10 December 2012 (2012-12-10)
35 5 "Creating Life" Ed Byrne, Adam Rutherford, and Philip Ball 17 December 2012 (2012-12-17)
36 6 "Christmas Special" Mark Gatiss, Professor Steve Jones, Richard Wiseman, Victor Stock, and Jonny & The Baptists 24 December 2012 (2012-12-24)

Series Eight[edit]

Total No. Title Guest(s) Original airdate
37 1 "What is Death?" Katy Brand, Dr Nick Lane, and Sue Black 24 June 2013 (2013-06-24)
38 2 "Glastonbury" Marcus Brigstocke, KT Tunstall, Fay Dowker, and Jeff Forshaw 1 July 2013 (2013-07-01)
39 3 "Space Tourism" Brian Blessed, Kevin Fong, and Steven Attenborough 8 July 2013 (2013-07-08)
40 4 "What Makes a Science a Science" Ben Goldacre, Sophie Scott, and Evan Davis 15 July 2013 (2013-07-15)
41 5 "Alfred Russel Wallace" Steve Jones, Aoife McLysaght, and Tony Law 22 July 2013 (2013-07-22)
42 6 "Scientific Wonder" Neil deGrasse Tyson, Josie Long, Ian Blatchford, Richard Holmes and Doc Brown 29 July 2013 (2013-07-29)

Series Nine[edit]

Total No. Title Guest(s) Original airdate
43 1 "Risk" Graeme Garden, David Spiegelhalter, and Sue Ion 18 November 2013 (2013-11-18)
44 2 "Through the Doors of Perception" Claudia Hammond, Beau Lotto, and Alan Moore 25 November 2013 (2013-11-25)
45 3 "Science Rocks!" Hermione Cockburn, Ross Noble, and Eric Idle 2 December 2013 (2013-12-02)
46 4 "To Infinity and Beyond" John Lloyd, Colva Roney Dougal, and Simon Singh 9 December 2013 (2013-12-09)
47 5 "Should We Pander to Pandas?" Sandy Knapp, Simon Watt, and Sara Pascoe 16 December 2013 (2013-12-16)
48 6 "Science and Spin" Matthew Cobb, Sheena Cruikshank, Helen Keen, and James Burke 23 December 2013 (2013-12-23)

Series Ten[edit]

Total No. Title Guest(s) Original airdate
49 1 "Numbers Numbers Everywhere" Dave Gorman, Dr Vicky Neale, and Alex Bellos 7 July 2014 (2014-07-07)
50 2 "Are Humans Uniquely Unique?" Keith Jensen, Katie Slocombe, and Ross Noble 14 July 2014 (2014-07-14)
51 3 "Does Science Need War?" Katy Brand, Philip Ball, and Kevin Fong 21 July 2014 (2014-07-21)
52 4 "Can Science Save Us?" Stephen Fry, Dr. Lucie Green, Prof. Tony Ryan and Eric Idle 28 July 2014 (2014-07-28)
53 5 "Before the Big Bang" Carlos Frenk, Fay Dowker, Ben Miller and Richard Vranch 4 August 2014 (2014-08-04)
54 6 "Irrationality" Josie Long, Paul Foot, Richard Wiseman and Stuart Ritchie 11 August 2014 (2014-08-11)

References[edit]

  1. ^ "BBC Radio 4 - The Infinite Monkey Cage - Series". BBC. 2014. Retrieved 23 June 2014. 
  2. ^ Ince, Robin (27 August 2010). "A cat in a wheelie bin can help us ponder how the universe works". The Telegraph. 
  3. ^ Maume, Chris (21 November 2010). "The Infinite Monkey Cage, Radio 4, Monday; Take one boffin. Mix with comedy writers, and hear them gently fizz". The Independent. 
  4. ^ "Radio GaGa: Infinite Monkey Cage, Moyles & Bacon!". Tim Minchin. Retrieved 12 September 2011.  |first1= missing |last1= in Authors list (help)
  5. ^ "BBC Radio 4 - The Infinite Monkey Cage". BBC. 10 March 2014. Retrieved 23 June 2014. 
  6. ^ "Frank Skinner and Jason Byrne win at Sony Awards 2011". The British Comedy Guide. 9 May 2011. Retrieved 9 May 2011. 
  7. ^ "TV scientist scoops top radio award". Express & Star. 9 May 2011. Retrieved 9 May 2011. 
  8. ^ "BBC Radio 4 - The Infinite Monkey Cage - Episodes". BBC. Retrieved 23 June 2014. 

External links[edit]