Heresy (radio series)

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GenreComedy talk show
Running time30 minutes
Country of originUnited Kingdom
Home stationBBC Radio 4
StarringDavid Baddiel (series 1–4)
Victoria Coren (series 5–)
Created byDavid Baddiel
Original release31 December 2003 – present
No. of series11 and a pilot
No. of episodes60
Opening theme"Beers, Steers, And Queers" by Revolting Cocks
WebsiteBBC website

Heresy is a comedy talk show on BBC Radio 4, created and originally hosted by David Baddiel, now hosted by Victoria Coren Mitchell. In the show, the presenter and a panel of guests commit "heresy" by challenging people's most deeply received opinions on a subject, in front of a studio audience.

For example, received wisdom is that New Labour is all about spin, so the panel will try to argue that New Labour is not all about spin, and the guests have to try to make the audience change their minds.

Other assumptions challenged have included, "We should never negotiate with terrorists", "Television is dumbing down" and "We are on the brink of an environmental catastrophe".

The pilot and first series had four guests on each episode, but this has since been reduced to three.

In the fifth series, Baddiel handed over the host's chair to Coren, although he appeared on the first show as a guest, where he made jokes referring to his previous time in the chair.


Episode Air Date Guests Subjects
Pilot and Series 1 - 2003-2004
1. Pilot 2003-12-31 Armando Iannucci, Peter Bradshaw, David Walliams, Victoria Coren "The Atkins diet is bad for your health", "Rugby players are saints, football players are sinners", "David Blaine's 44 days of starvation was a magician's trick", "The royal family is being destroyed by scandal", "Gigli was a turkey"
2. 1-1 2004-12-02 Sue Perkins, Fi Glover, Simon Hoggart, Michael Bywater "Women are better than men at expressing their emotions", "The Labour party's seven years in power has been built on spin", "We are too obsessed with celebrity"
3. 1-2 2004-12-09 Alan Davies, David Walliams, Peter Bradshaw, Jenny Colgan "Public figures should be allowed to have a private life", "There is something intrinsically naff about being middle class", "The Libertines are at the cutting edge of popular music"
4. 1-3 2004-12-16 Victoria Coren, Peter Bradshaw, Zoë Williams, Michael Bywater "Reality TV and talent shows are bringing down television standards", "Pornography degrades women", "The Olympic Games would be great for Britain"
5. 1-4 2004-12-23 Armando Iannucci, John O'Farrell, Zoë Williams, Victoria Coren "People should be encouraged to believe that they can achieve their dreams", "An organic turkey is a happy turkey", "Christmas has become too commercialized"
Series 2 - 2005
6. 2-1 2005-06-22 John O'Farrell, Peter Bradshaw, Victoria Coren "There should be more bobbies on the beat", "Education is a good thing", "You can't believe what you read in the papers"
7. 2-2 2005-06-29 John O'Farrell, Jonathan Ross, Michael Bywater "The Beatles are the best band in pop music ever", "Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes' relationship is a publicity fiction", "The honor system is outdated and irrelevant"
8. 2-3 2005-07-06 Peter Bradshaw, Chris Langham, Sanjeev Bhaskar "Britain will never produce a great tennis player until the middle classes let other people play", "Starbucks is a bad thing", "It's OK to legalize cannabis as it is a soft drug"
9. 2-4 2005-07-13 Michael Bywater, Sue Perkins, Hugh Dennis "The Olympic Games would be great for Britain (Revisited)", "Voter apathy is a bad thing", "The Da Vinci Code is a rubbish book", "The sandwich is the best convenience food there is"
10. 2-5 2005-07-20 Sue Perkins, Armando Iannucci, Frank Skinner "Genius is often closely related to madness", "There was something suspicious about Princess Diana's death", "Some things are so bad, they're good"
11. 2-6 2005-07-27 John O'Farrell, Matt Lucas, David Walliams "We are not afraid (because of the London 2005 bombings)", "Choice is a good thing", "There is no such thing as bad publicity"
Series 3 - 2006
12. 3-1 2006-05-10 Richard Herring, Sue Perkins, Peter Bradshaw "It doesn't matter what you look like, it's what's underneath that counts", "We must look to our children", "Margaret Thatcher was a bad thing"
13. 3-2 2006-05-17 Stewart Lee, Reginald D. Hunter, Joanna Scanlan "The views of religious people must be respected", "We are all brothers/sisters under the skin", "The new Doctor Who is much better than the old one"
14. 3-3 2006-05-24 Jonathan Ross, Michael Bywater, Ed Byrne "Heather Mills just married Paul McCartney for his money", "James Blunt is a middle class ponce whose music is just for big girls", "Hollywood films are just box office tat"
15. 3-4 2006-05-31 Lee Mack, Ruby Wax, Russell Brand "Cosmetic surgery only makes you look worse", "The secret of happiness is to live in the moment", "Flaunting your wealth is common and vulgar"
16. 3-5 2006-06-07 Jimmy Carr, Chris Addison, Rhys Thomas "We would have resisted the German occupation more bravely than the French", "Prog rock was overblown pretentious nonsense", "Gingers are the last bastion of politically incorrect humor"
17. 3-6 2006-06-14 Frank Skinner, Lee Mack, Sean Lock "Football used to be a game played by real men, now it's all just about money", "Women don't understand the offside rule or anything about football, really", "England can't win this World Cup without Wayne Rooney"
Series 4 - 2007
18. 4-1 2007-05-16 Germaine Greer, Stewart Lee, Harry Enfield "Men who deal with midlife crisis by buying a flash car and going out with much younger women are pathetic", "Classical music and opera is elitist", "Political correctness has gone mad"
19. 4-2 2007-05-23 Sue Perkins, Phil Hammond, Jo Brand "The size 0 culture is a bad influence on women", "Children are better off with two parents", "The NHS is a good thing"
20. 4-3 2007-05-30 Jon Culshaw, Matt Lucas, Henning Wehn "Germans have no sense of humor", "Men who are big fans of musicals are generally gay", "Sleeping with someone famous should not make you a celebrity"
21. 4-4 2007-06-06 Victoria Coren, Peter Bradshaw, Arthur Smith "Militant feminism is a thing of the past", "There is such a thing as the British establishment and it is in control", "The England manager is an impossible job"
22. 4-5 2007-06-13 Fay Ripley, Sanjeev Bhaskar, David Aaronovitch "Money can't buy you love", "You can be anti-zionist without being anti-semitic", "4x4's are a bad thing"
23. 4-6 2007-06-20 Jonathan Ross, Russell Brand, Michael McIntyre "The Godfather is the best film ever", "There is a God", "Man-made global warming is the biggest thread to our planet"
Series 5 - 2008
24. 5-1 2008-05-15 David Baddiel, Richard Coles, David Mitchell "The queen is marvelous, but the other Royals are a waste of space", "We spend too much time on social networking sites at the expense of real friendship", "Barbara was the sexy one in The Good Life"
25. 5-2 2008-05-22 Sue Perkins, Euan Ferguson, Richard Herring "If you want to get dates you should join an evening class", "To succeed in politics you must be media-savvy", "The Scots are tougher than the English"
26. 5-3 2008-05-29 Peter Bradshaw, Caitlin Moran, Jo Caulfield "Daniel Day-Lewis is a better actor than Christopher Biggins", "There is nothing more beautiful than the innocence of a child", "The free nations of the world should use the 2008 Olympics to show their disapproval of China"
27. 5-4 2008-06-05 Dave Gorman, Clive James, Mark Steel "Travel broadens the mind", "There are too many repeats on TV", "We are lucky not to live in a dictatorship"
28. 5-5 2008-06-12 Simon Evans, Richard Coles, Andrew Collins "If the Church of England wants to survive, it needs to get off the mat and start fighting", "The Rolling Stones are too old to keep touring", "We are safe because we have gun control"
29. 5-6 2008-06-19 David Mitchell, Michael Bywater, Arthur Smith "Radio 4 is too geared towards middle aged, middle class Middle England", "Rising sea levels will prove disastrous for mankind", "Short men look silly with tall wives"
Series 6 - 2009
30. 6-1 2009-04-07 Rufus Hound, David Baddiel, Germaine Greer "Obama has given the world hope", "WAGs are bad role models for young women", "Book awards make it easier to choose good books in a bookshop"
31. 6-2 2009-04-14 Mark Steel, Matthew Norman, Richard Coles "The bankers are to blame for getting us into this mess", "People who go to psychics are gullible", "British cuisine is better now than it was in the nineteen seventies"
32. 6-3 2009-04-28 Lucy Mangan, Arthur Smith, Frank Skinner "We should save Britain's art treasures from being sold abroad", "The smoking ban has worked out rather well", "A shell suit is inappropriate attire for a court appearance"
33. 6-4 2009-05-05 Euan Ferguson, Tanya Gold, David Mitchell "There's something slightly unpleasant about women's boxing", "It's hard to admire Gary Glitter", "Dogs make good pets"
34. 6-5 2009-05-12 Dave Gorman, Sue Perkins, Jeremy Hardy "One Third World Baby should be enough for any celebrity", "There are too many students around these days", "It's better to regret something you've done than something you haven't"
35. 6-6 2009-05-19 David Mitchell, Euan Ferguson, Clive James "It's unpatriotic of Lewis Hamilton to live as a tax exile in Monte Carlo", "It's annoying how ill-equipped we are to deal with snowfall", "You can't trust what you read online"
Series 7 - 2010
36. 7-1 2010-05-19 Rufus Hound, Grayson Perry, Julia Hartley-Brewer "The Large Hadron Collider is a massive waste of money", "Women look better in men's clothes than men do in women's", "An artist who doesn't make his own work is a fraud"
37. 7-2 2010-05-26 Marcus Brigstocke, Natalie Haynes, Richard Coles "Transport strikes are bad for commuters", "Kate Middleton should get a job", "Atheism is a more rational position than faith"
38. 7-3 2010-06-02 David Baddiel, Dave Gorman, Polly Vernon "Ashley Cole is a bad person", "British comedy is more offensive than ever", "Catwalk fashion is unwearable for normal people"
39. 7-4 2010-06-09 Richard Herring, Mark Steel, Janet Street-Porter "Cameron and Osborne are too posh by half", "If it doesn't involve running about, it's not a sport", "We might as well just stop listening to the weather forecast"
40. 7-5 2010-06-16 Matthew Norman, David Schneider, David Mitchell "The TV shouldn't be used as a baby-sitter", "You shouldn't eat animals that are kept as pets", "Twitter is an act of massive collective narcissism"
41. 7-6 2010-06-23 Clive Anderson, Rufus Hound, Fern Britton "It's ok to download a bit of film and music without paying", "There are too many celebrity chefs", "Jordan's marriage won't last"
Series 8 - 2011
42. 8-1 2011-11-30 Mark Steel, Jessica Berens, Christopher Biggins "Panto is an outdated art form", "Drunken displays on British high streets are a matter of national shame", "It would be nice to live in a house like Downton Abbey"
43. 8-2 2011-12-07 David Baddiel, Lucy Porter, Richard Osman "The economy is up the creek without a paddle", "The innocence of children is snatched away too fast these days", "Britain is better off without the News of the World"
44. 8-3 2011-12-14 David Mitchell, Richard Coles, Diane Abbott MP "The Labour Party chose the wrong Miliband", "You should not go to church just to get your kids in the local faith school", "If a friend is doing something for charity you should sponsor them"
45. 8-4 2011-12-21 Rufus Hound, Phil Hammond, Germaine Greer "You should not self-diagnose using the Internet", "The Sixties were a great time to be young", "The best Christmas presents are the ones you make yourself"
46. 8-5 2011-12-28 Dave Gorman, Matthew Parris, Julia Hartley-Brewer "I don't want celebrities telling me how to vote", "It's good news that sales of chick lit have slumped", "Princess Beatrice wore a terrible hat at the Royal Wedding"
47. 8-6 2012-01-04 Sue Perkins, Cerys Matthews, Maureen Lipman "The world would be a better place if it were run by women", "It's more fun to be a pop star than a classical violinist", "Internet dating has lost its stygma"
Series 9 - 2013
48. 9-1 2013-05-16 Lee Mack, David Schneider, Germaine Greer "Andy Murray is a lot more likeable than he used to be", "Foxes are a pest", "Maths is more worthwhile than Media studies"
49. 9-2 2013-05-23 David Mitchell, Alex Horne, Germaine Greer "There shouldn't be horse meat in a beef lasagna", "The voyage to Mars is a credit to human endeavor", "Video games should not be an Olympic sport"
50. 9-3 2013-05-30 Mark Steel, Bridget Christie, Matthew Norman "Chris Huhne and his ex-wife got what they deserved", "Customer service should be better than it is", "It's time for Bruce Forsyth to retire"
51. 9-4 2013-06-06 Julia Hartley-Brewer, Richard Coles, Giles Coren "Skyfall is not just a Bond movie, it's a proper film", "The Thatcher death parties were in bad taste", "It's sexy for men to be funny"
52. 9-5 2013-06-13 Miles Jupp, Sue Perkins, Richard Osman "Prisons are too soft", "Lindsay Lohan would not be a good mother", "Nobody in a city needs a Four by four"
53. 9-6 2013-06-20 Katy Brand, David Baddiel, Richard Osman "Crack cocaine ruined Whitney Houston's career", "It's not romantic to have a Prenup", "Paolo di Canio should not have done a fascist salute"
Series 10 - 2016
54. 10-1 2016-05-18 LLoyd Langford, Katy Brand, Grayson Perry "French Style", "God", "Adolf Hitler"
55. 10-2 2016-05-25 Alex Horne, Jonny Woo, Richard Osman "Money", "Dress Codes", "Sexy TV Dramas"
56. 10-3 2016-06-01 Lee Mack, Konnie Huq, Dave Gorman "CGI", "Airbnb", "Rupert Murdoch's Marriage"
57. 10-4 2016-06-08 Julia Hartley-Brewer, Richard Osman, Giles Coren "David Bowie", "Iceberg Houses", "The Great British Bake Off"
58. 10-5 2016-06-15 Lee Mack, David Baddiel, Andrew Hunter Murray "Katie Hopkins", "Netflix", "father figures"
59. 10-6 2016-06-22 David Mitchell, Katy Brand, Sathnam Sanghera "Self-service checkouts", "George Clooney's wedding", "Ed Miliband"
Series 11 - 2019
60. 11-1 2019-06-11 Rufus Hound, Matt Johnson, Jo Brand People are divided about Brexit; woman are obsessed with make-up, Joke shouldn't be made about Obsessive–compulsive disorder

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