The Infinite Monkey Cage

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
The Infinite Monkey Cage
Robin Ince and Brian Cox, the hosts of the programme
Genre Comedy
Running time approx. 30 minutes
Country of origin United Kingdom
Language(s) English
Home station BBC Radio 4
Starring Brian Cox
Robin Ince
Produced by Alexandra Feachem
Executive producer(s) Deborah Cohen
Recording studio Radio Theatre, Broadcasting House, London
Original release 30 November 2009 (2009-11-30) – present
No. of series 16
No. of episodes 95[1]
Website The Infinite Monkey Cage website
Podcast XML Feed

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] and it won the best Radio Talk Show at the 2015 Rose d'Or awards.[8] The name is a reference to the infinite monkey theorem.

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 usually 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.

Ince and Cox headed an Uncaged Monkeys live tour in 2011, and toured the United States in 2015.[9]

Humour[edit]

The programme features a number of running themes and gags. Robin Ince regularly pokes fun of Brian Cox's hair, good looks, and former career as a rock musician. Ince often imitates and quotes Carl Sagan. Cox often ridicules chemistry, astrology, Creationists and occasionally returns to the subject of how and when a strawberry can be considered dead.[10]

Theme song[edit]

The programme's theme song was written by Eric Idle and recorded by Idle and Jeff Lynne.[11] Idle and his band performed the song live on the show when it toured in Los Angeles in 2015 and it appears in the 2016 TV show "The Entire Universe".

List of episodes[edit]

The following is an episode list of the BBC radio series The Infinite Monkey Cage. As of February 2017, there have been 89 episodes spanning 15 series plus 5 specials; two responding to viewers questions and Christmas Specials in 2014, 2015 and 2016. All episodes are available to stream via the series website and as podcast downloads.[12]

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".

In addition to the regular programmes, a special entitled "An Infinite Monkey's Guide to General Relativity" was broadcast in two half-hour episodes on December 8 and 15 2015.[13]

Series One[edit]

Total No. Title Guest(s) Original airdate
1 1 "Science and Comedians" Dara Ó Briain and Dr Alice Roberts 30 November 2009 (2009-11-30)
2 2 "Extraterrestrial Life" Jon Ronson and Seth Shostak 7 December 2009 (2009-12-07)
3 3 "Quantum Physics" 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 "Popular Science (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 Fiction, Science Fact" 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 with Matt Parker 15 November 2010 (2010-11-15)
10 2 "Modern World" Paul Foot, Aleks Krotoski and Professor Tony Ryan with Matt Parker 22 November 2010 (2010-11-22)
11 3 "Randomness" Tim Minchin and Alex Bellos with Matt Parker 29 November 2010 (2010-11-29)
12 4 "Philosophy" Alexei Sayle, Julian Baggini and Professor Raymond Tallis with Matt Parker 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" Stephen Fry, Simon Singh, and Aleks Krotoski with Matt Parker 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, Professor Ed Copeland and Helen Arney 20 June 2011 (2011-06-20)
17 5 "Is There Room for Mysticism in a Rational World? (Glastonbury Special)" Billy Bragg, Graham Coxon, Shappi Khorsandi and Professor Tony Ryan 27 June 2011 (2011-06-27)
18 6 "Science vs the Supernatural: Does Science Kill the Magic?" 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 21 November 2011 (2011-11-21)
20 2 "A Balanced Programme on Balance" Sir Paul Nurse, Katy Brand, Simon Mayo, and Professor Steve Jones 28 November 2011 (2011-11-28)
21 3 "The Origins of Life" Tim Minchin, Dr Nick Lane, and Adam Rutherford 5 December 2011 (2011-12-05)
22 4 "The Science of Sound" Tom Wrigglesworth, Professor Trevor Cox and Professor Chris Plack 12 December 2011 (2011-12-12)
23 5 "I'm a Chemist Get Me Out of Here" Dara Ó Briain, Professor Tony Ryan, and Andrea Sella 19 December 2011 (2011-12-19)
24 6 "The Science of Christmas" Professor Richard Dawkins, Mark Gatiss and Roger Highfield with Helen Arney 26 December 2011 (2011-12-26)

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 "Science v Art (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 "Science Museum" 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)
49 7 "Brian & Robin’s Infinite Inbox" None 9 March 2014 (2014-03-09)

Series Ten[edit]

Total No. Title Guest(s) Original airdate
50 1 "Numbers Numbers Everywhere" Dave Gorman, Dr Vicky Neale, and Alex Bellos 7 July 2014 (2014-07-07)
51 2 "Are Humans Uniquely Unique?" Keith Jensen, Katie Slocombe, and Ross Noble 14 July 2014 (2014-07-14)
52 3 "Does Science Need War?" Katy Brand, Philip Ball, and Kevin Fong 21 July 2014 (2014-07-21)
53 4 "Can Science Save Us?" Stephen Fry, Dr. Lucie Green, Prof. Tony Ryan and Eric Idle 28 July 2014 (2014-07-28)
54 5 "Before the Big Bang" Carlos Frenk, Fay Dowker, Ben Miller and Richard Vranch 4 August 2014 (2014-08-04)
55 6 "Irrationality" Josie Long, Paul Foot, Richard Wiseman and Stuart Ritchie 11 August 2014 (2014-08-11)
56 7 "2014 Christmas Special" Rev. Richard Coles, Chris Hadfield, Professor Francesca Stavrakopoulou, Brian Blessed 25 December 2014 (2014-12-25)

Series Eleven[edit]

Total No. Title Guest(s) Original airdate
57 1 "Deception" Richard Wiseman, Sophie Scott, and David Aaronovitch 19 January 2015 (2015-01-19)
58 2 "Fierce Creatures" Steve Backshall, Lucy Cooke, and Andy Hamilton 26 January 2015 (2015-01-26)
59 3 "Solar System" Monica Grady, Jo Brand, and Carolyn Porco 2 February 2015 (2015-02-02)
60 4 "When Quantum Goes Woo" Ben Goldacre, Jeff Forshaw, and Sara Pascoe 9 February 2015 (2015-02-09)
61 5 "What's The Point of Plants" Jane Langdale, Jim Al-Khalili, and Ed Byrne 16 February 2015 (2015-02-16)
62 6 "Serendipity" Lee Mack, Simon Singh, and Andrea Sella 23 February 2015 (2015-02-23)

Series Twelve[edit]

Total No. Title Guest(s) Original airdate
63 1 "The Infinite Monkey Cage USA Tour: New York" Bill Nye, Janna Levin, Tim Daly, and Lisa Lampanelli 6 July 2015 (2015-07-06)
64 2 "The Infinite Monkey Cage USA Tour: Los Angeles" Sean Carroll, Joe Rogan, David X. Cohen, and Eric Idle 13 July 2015 (2015-07-13)
65 3 "The Infinite Monkey Cage USA Tour: Chicago" Peter Sagal, Julia Sweeney, Paul Sereno, and Jerry Coyne 20 July 2015 (2015-07-20)
66 4 "The Infinite Monkey Cage USA Tour: San Francisco" Dr Seth Shostak, Dr Carolyn Porco, Greg Proops, and Paul Provenza 27 July 2015 (2015-07-27)
67 5 "Speed" Alexei Sayle, Andy Green and Professor Danielle George 3 August 2015 (2015-08-03)
68 6 "Forensic Science" Professor Sue Black, Dr Mark Spencer and Rufus Hound 10 August 2015 (2015-08-10)
69 7 "2015 Christmas Special" Ross Noble, Paul Franklin, Simon Guerrier and Victor Stock 25 December 2015 (2015-12-25)

Year-end specials[edit]

To commemorate the 100th anniversary of Albert Einstein's theory of General Relativity, two special episodes were added in December 2015:

Total No. Title Guest(s) Original airdate
Special 1 "Episode 1: An Infinite Monkey's Guide to General Relativity" Ben Miller, Dara Ó Briain, Richard Vranch, and Carlos Frenk 8 December 2015 (2015-12-08)
Special 2 "Episode 2: An Infinite Monkey's Guide to General Relativity" Sean Carroll, Richard Vranch, Tim O'Brien, Sarah Bridle, and Carlos Frenk 15 December 2015 (2015-12-15)

Series Thirteen[edit]

Total No. Title Guest(s) Original airdate
70 1 "Artificial Intelligence" Jo Brand, Anil Seth, and Alan Winfield 11 January 2016 (2016-01-11)
71 2 "What is Race?" Shappi Khorsandi, Adam Rutherford, and Mark Thomas 18 January 2016 (2016-01-18)
72 3 "Invisible Universe" Jon Culshaw, Sarah Bridle, and Tim O'Brien 25 January 2016 (2016-01-25)
73 4 "What is Reality?" David Eagleman, Sophie Scott, and Bridget Christie 1 February 2016 (2016-02-01)
74 5 "Maths of Love and Sex" Paul Foot, Hannah Fry, and David Spiegelhalter 8 February 2016 (2016-02-08)
75 6 "Climate Change" Dara Ó Briain, Professor Tony Ryan, and Dr Gabrielle Walker 15 February 2016 (2016-02-15)
76 7 "Brian & Robin's Infinite Inbox" None 22 February 2016 (2016-02-22)

Series Fourteen[edit]

Total No. Title Guest(s) Original airdate
77 1 "The Sound of Music (Glastonbury)" Matt Kirshen, KT Tunstall, Nitin Sawhney, Lucy Cooke, and Trevor Cox 4 July 2016 (2016-07-04)
78 2 "The Recipe to Build a Universe" Rufus Hound, Andrea Sella and Lucie Green 11 July 2016 (2016-07-11)
79 3 "Science of Sleep" Russell Foster, Richard Wiseman and Katy Brand 18 July 2016 (2016-07-18)
80 4 "Battle of the Sexes" Sophie Scott, Steve Jones and Sara Pascoe 25 July 2016 (2016-07-25)
81 5 "200 Years of Frankenstein" Noel Fielding, Nick Lane and Sir Christopher Frayling 1 August 2016 (2016-08-01)
82 6 "The Universe: What Remains to Be Discovered?" Ben Miller, Charlotte Church, Paul Abel and Tim O'Brien 8 August 2016 (2016-08-08)
83 7 "2016 Christmas Special" Neil deGrasse Tyson, Mark Gatiss, Deborah Hyde and Nick Baines 27 December 2016 (2016-12-27)

Series Fifteen[edit]

Total No. Title Guest(s) Original airdate
84 1 "The Science of Everyday Life" Russell Kane, Helen Czerski and Danielle George 16 January 2017 (2017-01-16)
85 2 "How to Beat the House and Win at Games" Hannah Fry, Alex Bellos, Richard Wiseman and Helen Zaltzman 23 January 2017 (2017-01-23)
86 3 "Science's Epic Fails" Rufus Hound, Professor Alice Roberts and Dr Adam Rutherford 30 January 2017 (2017-01-30)
87 4 "Oceans: What Remains to Be Discovered?" Andy Hamilton, Professor Jon Copley and Helen Scales 6 February 2017 (2017-02-06)
88 5 "The Human Story: How We Got Here and Why We Survived" Ross Noble, Professor Danielle Schreve and Chris Stringer 13 February 2017 (2017-02-13)
89 6 "Making the Invisible Visible" Katy Brand, Carlos Frenk and Matthew Cobb 20 February 2017 (2017-02-20)

Series Sixteen[edit]

Total No. Title Guest(s) Original airdate
90 1 "What Particles Remain to be Discovered?" Eric Idle, Jon Butterworth and Catherine Heymans 3 July 2017 (2017-07-03)
91 2 "Astronaut Special" Sandra Magnus, Terry Virts, Claude Nicollier and Charlie Duke 10 July 2017 (2017-07-10)
92 3 "Oxygen: A Matter of Life or Death" Sara Pascoe, Andrea Sella and Dr Gabrielle Walker 17 July 2017 (2017-07-17)
93 4 "Will Insects Inherit the Earth?" Dave Gorman, Tim Cockerill and Amoret Whitaker 24 July 2017 (2017-07-24)
94 5 "Are We Living in a Simulation?" Phil Jupitus, Nick Bostrom and Anil Seth 31 July 2017 (2017-07-31)
95 6 "The Mind v the Brain?" Katy Brand, Uta Frith and Sophie Scott 7 August 2017 (2017-08-07)

References[edit]

  1. ^ "BBC Radio 4 - The Infinite Monkey Cage - Series". BBC. 2014. Retrieved 30 August 2015. 
  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. 
  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. ^ "54th Rose D'Or Awards Honour the Best in TV and Radio Entertainment". www.rosedor.com. December 9, 2015. Retrieved 2017-02-26. 
  9. ^ "Uncaged Monkeys, New Theatre Oxford & touring, review". Telegraph.co.uk. 3 May 2011. 
  10. ^ "Infinite universes and dead strawberries: an interview with Brian Cox and Robin Ince". theverge.com. March 4, 2015. 
  11. ^ http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b04bn0gp The Infinite Monkey Cage, season 10, episode 4. Eric Idle states that Jeff Lynne played all the instruments on the recording.
  12. ^ "BBC Radio 4 - The Infinite Monkey Cage - Episodes". BBC. Retrieved 23 June 2014. 
  13. ^ "BBC Radio 4 - The Infinite Monkey Cage - Episodes 2010s > 2015 > December". BBC. Retrieved 19 July 2016. 

External links[edit]