Jenny Kleeman

Jenny Kleeman discusses with Ivan six things which should be better known.

Jenny Kleeman is a journalist, broadcaster and documentary-maker. She hosts the weekend Breakfast show on Times Radio and writes for the Guardian, the Sunday Times and The New Statesman. She has reported for BBC One’s Panorama, Channel 4’s Dispatches and VICE News Tonight on HBO, as well as making 13 films from across the globe for Channel 4’s Unreported World. Her first book, Sex Robots & Vegan Meat, was published in 2020. She’s currently working on her second book, The Price of Life, which will be published by Picador.

1. The Journalist and the Murderer by Janet Malcolm

2. The art of Oron Katz and Ionat Zurr

3. King of Kong

4. Here My Dear by Marvin Gaye

5. John Frusciante

6. Redwood trees in Kew Gardens

Nicola Horlick

Nicola Horlick discusses with Ivan six things which should be better known.

Nicola Horlick is CEO of Money&Co. She has been a leading fund manager in the City of London for over thirty years. During that time, she has set up and managed several investment businesses. She now chairs a private equity business, is CEO of a film-development company, and is a director of an NHS Foundation Trust.

1. Black Comedy by Peter Shaffer

2. Joseph II of Austria

3. Many Lives, Many Masters by Dr Brian Weiss

4. Pictures at an Exhibition

5. Orlanda Broom

6. La Perriere

James Runcie

James Runcie discusses with Ivan six things which should be better known.

James Runcie is an award-winning film-maker, playwright and literary curator. He is the author of twelve novels that have been translated into twelve languages, including the seven books in the Grantchester Mysteries series. He has been Artistic Director of the Bath Literature Festival, Head of Literature and Spoken Word at the Southbank Centre, London, and Commissioning Editor for Arts on BBC Radio 4. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature. He lives in Scotland and London. His latest novel is The Great Passion.

1. Bach’s Cantata 22

2. Ladi Kwali ceramics

3. Lydia Davis’ short stories

4. The Lacemaker

5. The Photos by The Photos

6. Fernet Branca

Lias Saoudi

Musician Lias Saoudi discusses with Ivan six things which should be better known.

Lias Kaci Saoudi is a writer, artist and musician, and the front man of genre-bending iconoclasts Fat White Family. Born to a British mother and Algerian father, he grew up in the Republic of Ireland, Scotland and Northern Ireland, before moving to London and gaining a Fine Art degree from Slade School of Art. 

During the first UK lockdown, Lias began contributing a series of unflinching autobiographical pieces entitled Life Beyond the Neutral Zone to the online cultural hub, The Social Gathering. He is published in The New Frontier: Reflections From the Irish Border(New Island Books, 2021) – an anthology of new writing from some of Ireland’s greatest contemporary authors marking the centenary of partition. He is also the debut guest editor of Ambit Pop, a new annual issue of the venerable quarterly arts magazine.

His first book, Ten Thousand Apologies: Fat White Family and the Miracle of Failure, co-written with Adelle Stripe (Black Teeth and a Brilliant Smile, Bloomsbury, 2019), is described by Miranda Sawyer in The Observer as “the story of a band that’s always on the brink: of stardom, of madness, of brilliance, of disgrace”.

1. It’s me, Eddie by Eddie Limonov

2. Limits to Medicine by Ivan Illich

3. Macho Music by Peter Gordon

4. The Grass Arena by John Healy

5. A feast of snakes by Harry Crews

6. Ratfucker by Armand Schaubroek

Justine Waddell

Justine Waddell is a writer, producer and actor.  Through her production company, Asterisk Films, she has just picked up the 2021 Golden Prague Czech Television Award for her documentary feature film Janine Jansen: Falling for Stradivari. She has also produced Force of Nature Natalia, directed by BAFTA and Grierson-winning filmmaker, Gerry Fox, about prima ballerina, Natalia Osipova.  

Virginia Woolf’s Night & Day, which Justine has developed with the British Film Institute and Piccadilly Pictures, is Justine’s debut screenplay. 

After graduating from Cambridge University, Justine’s film work as an actress includes lead roles in Alexander Zeldovich’s Target (Telluride Film Festival, 2011), where she learnt from Russian from scratch. She has also played leading roles in period dramas Wives and Daughters, Great Expectations and Tess of the D’urbevilles. 

Justine is also the founder and CEO of Launched in 2021, Klassiki is the world’s first streaming platform to deliver classic and contemporary film content from Russia, the Caucasus and Central Asia.

1. Naoshima Art Island

2. Abbotsford

3. Russian language female filmmaking tradition

4. Cecilia Payne Gaspochkin

5. African craft

6. Constance Spry

Roisin Kiberd

Roisin Kiberd discusses with Ivan six things which should be better known.

Roisin Kiberd’s essays have been published in the Dublin Review, the White Reviewthe Stinging Fly and Winter PapersShe has written features on technology and culture for publications including the New York Times, the Guardian, Vice and Motherboard, where she wrote a column about internet subcultures. Having spent some time in London as the online voice of a cheese brand, she now lives between Dublin and Berlin. Her first book is The Disconnect.

1. Ologies

2. The Surgeon’s Hall Museums, Edinburgh

3. VALIS by Philip K Dick

4. The OA

5. This tweet: (also as a bizarre, unintentional riff on this even more iconic tweet).

6. The Conservatism of Emoji

Angela Saini

Science journalist Angela Saini discusses with Ivan six things which should be better known.

Angela Saini is an award-winning British science journalist and broadcaster. She presents science programmes on the BBC, and her writing has appeared in New Scientist, The Sunday Times, National Geographic and Wired. Her latest book, Superior: The Return of Race Science, was a finalist for the LA Times Book Prize and named a book of the year by The Telegraph, Nature and Financial Times. Her previous book, Inferior: How Science Got Women Wrong, has been translated into fourteen languages. Angela has a Masters in Engineering from the University of Oxford and was a Fellow at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. In 2020 she was named one of the world’s top 50 thinkers by Prospect magazine.

1. GenderSci Lab at Harvard University

2. Lux Magazine

3. Retraction Watch website

4. Nirmal Purja

5. How to repair things

6. Too Good to Go app

Jesse Norman

Jesse Norman discusses with Ivan six things which should be better known.

Jesse Norman has been Conservative MP for Hereford and South Herefordshire since 2010. He was Financial Secretary to the Treasury from 2019 to 2021. Before entering politics Jesse was a Director at Barclays, researched and taught philosophy at University College London, and ran a charitable project in Communist Eastern Europe. His book Edmund Burke: politician, philosopher, prophet was listed for the Samuel Johnson Prize, the Political Book Awards and the George Orwell Prize. His book Adam Smith: What he thought, and why it matters was published in 2018.

1. My Life in New Orleans by Louis Armstrong

2. Wild swimming

3. Heroes

4. “I don’t understand”

5. The Burgers of Hereford

6. The perils of diminishing marginal utility

Vladimir Alexandrov

Vladimir Alexandrov discusses with Ivan two things which should be better known: both men who lived in Russia in the early part of the twentieth century.

Vladimir Alexandrov taught courses in Yale’s Slavic Department on nineteenth and twentieth-century Russian literature and culture from 1986 to 2018.

While preparing to teach a graduate seminar on Russian émigré culture, he discovered Frederick Bruce Thomas, which resulted in the 2013 biography The Black Russian, which is now being developed into a dramatic TV series. In 2021, he published To Break Russia’s Chains: Boris Savinkov and His Wars against the Tsar and the Bolsheviks, which is the biography of a remarkable revolutionary terrorist, political activist, government minister, and writer who has been described as “James Bond as written by Kafka.” Vladimir’s current project is a book about Russia’s little-known support for the Union during the American Civil War.

1. Frederick Bruce Thomas

Further reading

2. Boris Savinkov

Further reading

Gaia Vince

Gaia Vince discusses with Ivan six things which should be better known.

Gaia Vince is a science writer and broadcaster interested in the interplay between humans and the planetary environment. She is a Senior Honorary Research Fellow at University College London in the Anthropocene Institute. She has held senior editorial posts at Nature and New Scientist, and her writing has featured in newspapers and magazines including the Guardian, The Times and Scientific American. She also writes and presents science programmes for radio and television. In 2015, she became the first woman to win the Royal Society Science Book of the Year Prize solo for her debut, Adventures in the Anthropocene: A Journey to the Heart of the Planet We Made. She is author of TRANSCENDENCE: how humans evolved through fire, language, beauty & time and ADVENTURES IN THE ANTHROPOCENE: a journey to the heart of the planet we made. Her next book Nomad Century: How to Survive the Climate Upheaval is published in August 2022.

1. Hungarian sour cherry soup

2. Mangosteen

3. Friedensreich Hundertwasser

4. The Secret History of Writing

5. Heath Robinson

6. Cassawary