Kavita Puri

Journalist Kavita Puri discusses with Ivan six things which she thinks should be better known.

Kavita Puri is an award-winning journalist, executive producer and broadcaster for the BBC. She is also the author of the critically acclaimed book Partition Voices: Untold British Stories.

Kavita is a regular presenter of The Inquiry on the BBC World Service and Radio 4. Her landmark three-part series, Partition Voices, on Radio 4 marked the 70th anniversary of the partition of India. It was awarded The Royal Historical Society’s Best Radio and Podcast prize and its overall Public History Prize. Partition Voices: Untold British Stories, based on the series, was published in 2019 by Bloomsbury. She presents Three Pounds in My Pocket, a social history of South Asians in post-war Britain, on Radio 4. For more information about Kavita, please go to https://www.kavita-puri.com/.

  1. Partition https://www.nybooks.com/articles/1997/10/23/india-the-imprint-of-empire/
  2. Southern Spain https://theculturetrip.com/europe/spain/articles/the-most-beautiful-towns-and-cities-to-visit-in-southern-spain/
  3. Letter-writing https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2016/nov/26/from-me-with-love-lost-art-letter-writing
  4. Cast Courts https://www.standard.co.uk/go/london/arts/v-and-a-cast-courts-replicas-rome-a4002336.html
  5. Dance https://www.seattletimes.com/life/wellness/late-bloomers-adult-ballet-classes-bring-the-joy-of-dance-at-any-age/
  6. Recording your family history https://www.familysearch.org/blog/en/family-history-2/

Johnnie Boden

Johnnie Boden, the founder of Boden, discusses with Ivan six things which he thinks should be better known.

Johnnie Boden founded Boden in 1991 with eight menswear products, sold through a catalogue hand-drawn on his kitchen table. As ambitious as he was, he couldn’t have imagined that the fashion line bearing his name would become a multi-million-pound global business producing a huge range of clothes for every member of the family.

The success of the business – which last year chalked up 2.5 million customers worldwide and sales of over £350 million – is all the more impressive given that Johnnie started out with no fashion training. He had, however, spent much of his teens hunting down vintage tweed overcoats and Converse high-tops in Portobello Road, and cut his teeth as Men s Fashion Editor of Harpers & Queen s teenage edition in August 1977.

After graduating from Oxford, Johnnie fell into a job as stockbroker. An overseas posting to New York in 1988 opened his eyes to how well Americans operated in the mail-order market for top-quality basics – and, more importantly, how the UK was failing to compete.

In 2017, Boden opened its first central London flagship shop on the King’s Road. Boden’s stylish range of clothing and accessories are available to buy via catalogue in the UK, USA, Germany, France, Australia and Austria, and online – trading in over 60 countries with more than 1000 employees across all markets.

1. Greek wine https://www.botilia.gr/en/botilia/greek-wine

2. Fashion illustration https://www.vogue.co.uk/article/importance-of-fashion-illustration

3. Antique buying in regional sale rooms https://antique-marks.com/antique-auction-houses.html

4. Lemon juice and olive oil https://www.seloolive.com/blogs/olive-oil/olive-oil-and-lemon

5. Choral music https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wLkX3g58vT8

6. Majella national park in Italy https://www.theguardian.com/travel/2013/apr/19/walking-majella-national-park-italy

Caroline Eden

Caroline Eden discusses with Ivan six things which she thinks should be better known.

Caroline Eden is a writer and critic contributing to the Guardian, Financial Times and the Times Literary Supplement. In 2020, she was awarded the prestigious Art of Eating Prize. She is the author of two food and travel books, Samarkand (2016) and Black Sea (2018). Her new book, Red Sands, looking at the food and culture of Central Asia, will be out in November 2020. You can follow her @edentravels on Twitter and Instagram.

1. Kazakhstan as a destination https://www.journalofnomads.com/places-to-visit-in-kazakhstan/

2. Cornucopia magazine http://www.cornucopia.net

3. Sea buckthorn as an ingredient http://www.missfoodwise.com/2018/10/sea-buckthorn-berries-various-ways-kitchen.html/

4. Sanmao https://www.bloomsbury.com/au/stories-of-the-sahara-9781408881880/

5. Roz Chast https://www.newyorker.com/contributors/roz-chast

6. Gaye Su Akyol https://www.theguardian.com/music/2018/nov/02/gaye-su-akyol-istikrarli-hayal-hakikattir-review-turkish-star-deserves-big-things

Adam Hart-Davis

Adam Hart-Davis discusses with Ivan six things which he thinks should be better known.

Adam Hart-Davis is a freelance writer and lecturer – former presenter on television of Local Heroes, Tomorrow’s World, What the Romans (and others) Did for Us, How London was Built, and many other series. He has collected various awards for both television and radio, as well as four medals and 14 honorary doctorates.

He has read several books, and written about 35, most of them about science and history.He spends a lot of time hacking at green wood, making chairs, tables, bowls, and spoons

He is a member of many associations, including the Association of Pole-lathe Turners, and the British Toilet Association.

He lectures on diverse subjects, from Toilets and history to Are we alone in the universe? and has given more than 100 talks, to audiences ranging from The Royal Society, The Royal Institution, and the American Society of Mechanical Engineers to schools, small local history groups, and the captive audiences on cruise ships.

He lives in south Devon with his wife Sue Blackmore, two cats, and four chickens.

1. Sandy Bain and the fax machine https://electronics.howstuffworks.com/gadgets/fax/history-of-fax.htm

2. Colin Pullinger and his mousetrap https://www.inventricity.com/local-heroes-colin-pullinger

3. The skating stones of Racetrack Playa https://www.livescience.com/37492-sailing-stones-death-valley-moving-rocks.html

4. The short stories of Somerset Maugham https://www.lrb.co.uk/the-paper/v31/n24/miranda-carter/no-more-alimony-tra-la-la

5. Fibonacci’s rabbits https://plus.maths.org/content/fibonacci-sequence-brief-introduction

6. If you haven’t tested it, it doesn’t work https://www.kguttag.com/2013/08/10/if-you-havent-tested-it-it-doesnt-work/

Jini Reddy

Jini Sweden Bohuslan coast. taken by emelie persson

Author Jini Reddy discusses with Ivan six things which she thinks should be better known.

Jini Reddy’s most recent book Wanderland has been shortlisted for the 2020 Wainwright Prize. The prize celebrates the best in UK travel and nature writing. Her first book Wild Times was published in 2016. It won the book prize at the British Guild of Travel Writers Awards 2017. You can follow her @Jini_Reddy on Twitter and @jinireddy20 on Instagram.

Wanderland book cover high res

  1. Time Travel novels https://www.hive.co.uk/Product/Octavia-E-Butler/Kindred–The-ground-breaking-masterpiece/21900895
  2. Slow cycling https://canalrivertrustwaterfront.org.uk/nature/slow-cycling/
  3. Inspiring ways to support refugees and asylum seekers https://www.fencesandfrontiers.org/https://justbreadlondon.com/www.journeysfestival.comwww.choose.love and https://www.migrateful.org/
  4. ASMR www.bbc.co.uk/bitesize/articles/z2jytrd?xtor
  5. The unconventional journey https://www.bloomsbury.com/uk/wanderland-9781472951939/
  6. The view from Richmond Hill https://www.gardenvisit.com/gardens/terrace_gardens_richmond

Office Party


As a bonus episode, in a surprising turn of events, Ivan gets invited to an office summer party via Zoom and is asked to provide some entertainment for the benefit of a group of bewildered colleagues. He discusses with Jacob Cunningham, Angharad Hopkinson and Ezekiel Jacob three things which they think should be better known.

This episode was recorded in front a live audience, but unfortunately they were all on mute.

1. Fidel Castro’s milk obsession https://medium.com/war-is-boring/fidel-castro-s-bizarre-obsession-with-milk-27ce5c258de2

2. The joy of walking around cemeteries https://www.wanderlust.co.uk/content/5-cemeteries-you-should-visit-in-london/

3. Folk metal https://www.villagevoice.com/2013/12/18/the-10-best-folk-metal-bands/

Kris Hollington


Kris Hollington discusses with Ivan six things which he thinks should be better known.

Kris Hollington is a bestselling non-fiction author and ghost-writer of over twenty books, mostly covering crime, several of which have been adapted for TV dramas and documentaries and nominated for various awards. In 2017 he won the People’s Book Prize for non-fiction and his latest book, Corrupt Bodies, written with Peter Everett, is currently long-listed for the Crime Writers’ Association prize for non-fiction. Kris is also a dedicated street photographer (www.shootitagain.com and @krishollington) and freestyle BMX-er.

  1. The Essays of David Foster Wallace https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8CrOL-ydFMI and https://harpers.org/wp-content/uploads/2008/09/HarpersMagazine-1996-01-0007859.pdf
  2. The joy of extreme sports in middle age https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m28nJEevCZw and https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2NcOSK6q8Oc
  3. The assassinations of Alfred Herrhausen and Detlev Rohwedder https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alfred_Herrhausen and https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Detlev_Karsten_Rohwedder
  4. The Anti-snore backpack https://www.independent.co.uk/news/silent-night-ordered-as-army-attacks-snorers-1120249.html
  5. Hawksley Workman http://hawksleyworkman.com/
  6. Harold Feinstein https://www.haroldfinstein.com/documentary/

Dorian Lynskey


Author Dorian Lynskey discusses with Ivan six things which he thinks should be better known.

Dorian Lynskey is an author and journalist who writes about music, politics, film and books for publications including the Guardian, the Observer, GQ, Billboard and the New Statesman. He is the author of 33 Revolutions Per Minute: A History of Protest Songs (Faber, 2011) and The Ministry of Truth: A Biography of George Orwell’s 1984 (Picador, 2019). He also hosts the Remainiacs and Bunker podcasts. Find out more at http://www.dorianlynskey.com.

1. EL Doctorow https://www.nybooks.com/articles/2012/05/24/faulkner-as-i-lay-dying/

2. Regina Spektor https://www.newyorker.com/goings-on-about-town/night-life/regina-spektor

3. Quiz Show https://www.theguardian.com/film/filmblog/2012/dec/14/quiz-show-robert-redford

4. The 1910s magazine The Masses https://onlinebooks.library.upenn.edu/webbin/serial?id=themasses

5. Broad City https://www.theguardian.com/tv-and-radio/tvandradioblog/2014/apr/14/broad-city-comedy-genius

6. Hiroshima as a destination https://www.planetware.com/tourist-attractions-/hiroshima-jpn-cg-hiro.htm

Jack Gilpin


Actor Jack Gilpin discusses with Ivan six things which he thinks should be better known.

Jack Gilpin is an American actor and Episcopal priest. He currently stars in television drama series Billions and has previously performed in Succession and Law & Order. He has acted in many films including Quiz Show, Mulan and Adventureland.

  1. The Bible https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Sheep_and_the_Goats
  2. Modern poetry https://www.poetryfoundation.org/collections/152025/an-introduction-to-modernism
  3. The importance of diet https://www.nutrition.org.uk/healthyliving/healthydiet/healthybalanceddiet.html
  4. The plays of Lanford Wilson https://www.nytimes.com/2011/03/26/theater/lanford-wilson-a-playwright-with-compassion-for-his-characters.html
  5. The music of Arvo Pärt https://www.theguardian.com/music/tomserviceblog/2012/jun/18/arvo-part-contemporary-music-guide
  6. Guidelines for Mutuality https://www.episcopalct.org/Beliefs-and-Practices/guidelines-for-mutuality/

Richard Askwith


Author Richard Askwith discusses with Ivan six things which he thinks should be better known.

Richard Askwith is author of six books, including the award-winning Feet in the Clouds (about fell-running); Today We Die A Little (an acclaimed biography of the Czechoslovak runner Emil Zátopek); and, most recently, Unbreakable: The Countess, the Nazis and the World’s Most Dangerous Horse Race, which won Biography of the Year at the 2020 Telegraph Sports Book Awards. A former executive editor of The Independent, he has been a journalist for forty years and continues to earn much of his living from freelance feature-writing.

  1. Milada Horáková https://www.independent.co.uk/independentpremium/long-reads/milada-horakova-czech-republic-communist-era-show-trial-a9517401.html
  2. La Commune https://www.nytimes.com/2003/07/03/movies/film-review-it-s-paris-in-1871-and-you-are-there.html
  3. The rich recreational potential of mud https://www.amazon.co.uk/Running-Free-Runners-Journey-Nature/dp/0224091964
  4. Sortition https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sortition
  5. Frances Horovitz https://www.bloodaxebooks.com/ecs/category/frances-horovitz
  6. Lata Brandisová https://www.telegraph.co.uk/racing/2019/03/03/greatest-sports-story-never-told-woman-defied-nazis-win-toughest/

Bubbling under: Charles Webb https://www.theguardian.com/books/2020/jul/06/charles-webb-obituary