James Plunkett

James Plunkett discusses with Ivan six things which he thinks should be better known.

James Plunkett has spent his career thinking laterally about the complicated relationships between individuals and the state. First as an advisor to Gordon Brown, then a leading economic researcher and writer, and then in the charity sector, helping people struggling at the front-line of economic change. James combines a deep understanding of social issues with an appreciation of how change is playing out not in the ivory tower, but in the reality of people’s lives.

James’ first book is End State.

  1. The gauge wars
  2. Blue Sky Maiden
  3. The World’s Fair fringe festivals on social reform
  4. Analog Sea Review
  5. Chengdu
  6. Malian music

Kehinde Andrews

Kehinde Andrews discusses with Ivan six things which he thinks should be better known.

Kehinde Andrews is Professor of Black Studies at Birmingham City University. Kehinde is an academic, activist and author whose books include The New Age of Empire: How Racism and Colonialism Still Rule the World (2021), Back to Black: Retelling Black Radicalism for the 21st Century (2018) and Resisting Racism: Race, Inequality and the Black Supplementary School Movement (2013). Kehinde is founder of the Harambee Organisation of Black Unity.

1. Birmingham

2. Universal Negro Improvement Association

3. British Empire

4. Race Relations Act 1965

5. Nanny of the Maroons

6. Makoko

Kerry Shale

Kerry Shale discusses with Ivan six things which he thinks should be better known.

Kerry Shale’s theatre appearances include Frost/Nixon, His Girl Friday, The Normal Heart and six self-written solo shows. Television work includes The Sandman (Netflix: 2022), Dr. Who and The Trip. Films include Angel Has Fallen, Little Shop of Horrors and Yentl. For BBC radio, he has recently read Jack London’s Call of the Wild and White Fang and has won three Sony Awards for acting and writing. He co-hosts Is It Rolling, Bob? Talking Dylan, one of the UK’s leading music podcasts. He wrote The Kubrick Test for BBC Radio 4.

1. Today! by Mississippi John Hurt

2. Swimming To Cambodia

3. Vietnamese Coffee (Premium Blend)

4. BrainDead

5. Canadian Football

6. The Parker novels

Rosita Boland

Rosita Boland was born in County Clare in 1965 and lives in Dublin where she is Senior Features Writer at the Irish Times. She has published two collections of poems, Muscle Creek (1991) and Dissecting the Heart (2003). She has travelled extensively, most recently in South East Asia and her travel books include Sea Legs: Hitch-hiking the Coast of Ireland Alone (1992), A Secret Map of Ireland (2005), Elsewhere: One Woman, One Rucksack, One Lifetime of Travel (2019) and due shortly Comrades: A Lifetime of Friendships. She won the Hennessy Award for First Fiction in 1997.

  1. Managing Oneself by Peter Drucker
  2. My Kitchen Rules Australia
  3. The Nazca Lines
  4. The Guinness Book of Records 1967
  5. The musical toy pig held at Greenwich Maritime Museum
  6. The Derrynaflan Chalice

David Benedict

David Benedict discusses with Ivan six things which he thinks should be better known.

David Benedict is a culture critic and broadcaster. He read drama at Hull University, spent ten years as an actor, singer and director and was artistic director of the U.K.’s national lesbian and gay theatre company, Gay Sweatshop. He joined The Independent in 1993, becoming a daily arts columnist and associate editor. The former arts editor of The Observer, he is the London critic of Variety and a weekly columnist for The Stage and divides his time between criticism, arts journalism and broadcasting. He is writing the authorised biography of Stephen Sondheim and also plays Tristram Hawkshaw on The Archers.

  1. Better Things
  2. Betty MacDonald
  3. The Cloud-Capp’d Towers
  4. It’s Only Fair Weather
  5. Dungeness
  6. The Robber Hotzenplotz

Beaty Rubens

Beaty Rubens discusses with Ivan six things which he thinks should be better known.

A BBC Radio producer for 35 years, Beaty Rubens has collaborated with some of the great names in broadcasting, the arts and academia. Her many documentaries have focussed on the arts, history and the lives of women and children. Some high-points include working with Lyse Doucet, Katya Adler and James Naughtie, Professor Mary Beard, Professor Emma Smith and Professor Thomas Dixon, dancers Akram Khan and Marianela Nunez, poets Seamus Heaney, Alice Oswald, Sean O’Brien and Sasha Dugdale, writers Michael Morpurgo, David Almond, Shirley Hughes and Anna Pavord. She has won the radio category of the prestigious One World Media Award, the Glenfiddich Award and The BP Arts Journalism Award. In 2021 she left the BBC and now works as an independent producer and writer. Particularly happy in the Aegean, Beaty is also a passionate three-season swimmer in the Thames near where she lives in Oxfordshire with her husband and daughter.

  1. Journey to the River Sea
  2. Celia Pym
  3. Charlotte Green giggling on air
  4. Wet-Sox
    5.Rameau’s Les Inde Galante – Les Sauvages – played on the cello by Christian Pierre La Marca
  5. A beach in the SE of the Peloponnese in Greece which I am not going to name

Alexei Sayle

Alexei Sayle discusses with Ivan both things which he thinks should be better known and a number of things which he thinks are terrible.

Alexei Sayle is a comedian and writer. He was the original MC of the Comedy Store in London when it opened in 1979 and was a central part of the alternative comedy circuit in the early 1980s. He is best known for his performances in the BBC TV programmes The Young Ones, The Comic Strip and Alexei Sayle’s Stuff. He has written three novels and two volumes of autobiography: Stalin Ate My Homework and Thatcher Stole My Trousers. He presents The Alexei Sayle Podcast.

The Bride

The Supergrass

Whoops Apocalypse

Lenin of the Rovers


Derry Girls


Louis CK

Predator 2

Movie sequels better than the original

Charles Spencer

Carry On Columbus

Francis Spufford

Author Francis Spufford discusses with Ivan six things which he thinks should be better known.

Francis Spufford’s novel Light Perpetual has been longlisted for the 2021 Booker Prize. His first novel Golden Hill was published in 2016 and won the Costa First Novel Award. He is the author of five celebrated books of non-fiction. The most recent, Unapologetic, has been translated into three languages; the one before, Red Plenty, into nine. In 2007 he was elected Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature. He teaches creative writing at Goldsmiths College, University of London.

  1. The leafy hills of South London
  2. The Pilot G-Tec C4 fine-line pen
  3. Crisp Green Williams pears sliced thin, and eaten with Italian blue cheese
  4. The works of Elizabeth Knox
  5. The Church of England
  6. The entire genre of science fiction

Virginia Ironside

Virginia Ironside discusses with Ivan six things which she thinks should be better known.

Virginia Ironside started off as a temporary secretary to Shirley Williams at the Fabian Society and then worked at Vogue, followed by the Sunday Telegraph, the Daily Mail (as a rock columnist), Woman magazine, the Sunday Mirror, Today (as an agony columnist) and now with a weekly column in the Independent and a monthly one in the Oldie.

  1. Anna Kavan
  2. Isle of Sheppey
  3. Hippodrome Circus, Yarmouth
  4. A House in Bayswater
  5. Anne Acheson
  6. Motherhood

Sam Gilbert

Sam Gilbert discusses with Ivan six things which he thinks should be better known.

Sam Gilbert is an affiliated researcher at the Bennett Institute for Public Policy at the University of Cambridge. An expert in data-driven marketing, he was employee number one and chief marketing officer at Bought By Many, an award-winning fintech start-up named as one of Wired’s hottest start-ups in Europe and ranked in the Sunday Times TechTrack100 list of the UK’s fastest growing companies. Previously, he was head of strategy and development at the data company Experian and head of consumer finance at Santander. He lives in Copenhagen.

1.  West Highland Line:


3.  Danish Summerhouses:

4.  The Zuckerberg Files:

5.  Judith Shklar’s Liberalism of Fear:

6.  Novels of Magnus Mills: