Barbara Scully

Barbara Scully discusses with Ivan six things which she thinks should be better known.

Barbara Scully is a freelance writer, columnist and broadcaster – her fifth career to date. She is frequently published in the national press and is a familiar voice on the airwaves – both on TV and radio. Her writing appears most often in the Irish Independent, but she has been published in all the national newspapers and most Irish magazines.

Barbara has a weekly slot on the Moncrieff Show on Newstalk, an independent national radio station in Ireland and is a regular contributor across various stations both on TV and radio, including RTE. She presents a weekly webcast called How To Stay Sane In A Pandemic which is broadcast live every Wed at 4:15pm on Twitter (@barbarascully) and is posted afterwards on her website

An experienced public speaker, Barbara is married to photographer Paul Sherwood, they have three daughters, two grandchildren, four cats and a family of foxes at the bottom of their suburban garden.

  1. Sheep’s Head
  2. The Last Waltz
  3. Puerto de la Cruz
  4. John O Donohue
  5. Donegal Airport
  6. Wild Ireland

Jim Al-Khalili

Jim Al-Khalili discusses with Ivan six things which he thinks should be better known.

Jim Al-Khalili OBE FRS is a theoretical physicist at the University of Surrey where he holds a Distinguished Chair in physics as well as a university chair in the public engagement in science. He received his PhD in nuclear reaction theory in 1989 and has published widely in the field. His current interest is in open quantum systems and the application of quantum mechanics in biology.

Jim is a prominent author and broadcaster. He has written 14 books on popular science and the history of science, between them translated into twenty-six languages. His latest book, The World According to Physicswas shortlisted for the Royal Society Book Prize. Other books include Sunfall and Pathfinders: The Golden Age of Arabic Science. He is a regular presenter of TV science documentaries, such as the Bafta nominated Chemistry: a volatile historyand he hosts the long-running weekly BBC Radio 4 programme, The Life Scientific

Jim is a past president of the British Science Association and a recipient of the Royal Society Michael Faraday medal and the Wilkins-Bernal-Medawar Medal, the Institute of Physics Kelvin Medal and the Stephen Hawking Medal for Science Communication. He received an OBE in 2007 for ‘services to science’.

1. The scientific method

2. The contribution of the Medieval Arabic world to science and mathematics

3. The Bohr-Einstein debate on the nature of reality

4. Information literacy

5. Gertrude Bell

6. The British Countryside

Alex Christofi

Alex Christofi discusses with Ivan six things which he thinks should be better known.

Alex Christofi is Editorial Director at Transworld Publishers and the author of the novels Let Us Be True and Glass, winner of the Betty Trask Prize for fiction. He has written for numerous publications including the Guardian, the London Magazine and The White Review. Dostoevsky in Love is his first work of non-fiction.

  1. Redding Hunter
  2. Hyde Park pet cemetery
  3. Kabaddi
  4. Roko’s Basilisk’s_basilisk
  5. The Broomway
  6. House of the Dead

Anjula Mutanda

Anjuna Mutanda discusses with Ivan six things which she thinks should be better known.

Anjula is a highly respected relationship and clinical therapist, mental health expert, psychologist, presenter, author, social scientist, and media consultant.

Most recently, Anjula presented Sextape, a major four-part relationship series on Channel 4. Anjula was the behavioural expert on season 2 of Make or Break (My5 April 2019). She was the resident psychologist on 50 Ways to Kill your Lover. She makes regular guest appearances on programmes such as Good Morning Britain, Lorraine, BBC Breakfast, and The Alan Titchmarsh Show. She was the resident psychologist on ITV’s This Morning for five years.

Her first self-help book Celebrity Life Laundry was published by John Blake Publishing in 2007 and her second self-help book How to do Relationships was published by Vermillion in 2013 which she wrote for RELATE, the number 1 relationship charity.

She is Vice President for RELATE, and has worked alongside Ruby Wax and Prof Tanya Byron to represent the brand. She is also the Media and Diversity ambassador for The National Counselling Society.

She is a senior practitioner and holds the status of MBACP. She is registered with The British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy and the NCS where she is a Fellow.

  1. Shinrin-Yoku
  2. Drs Mamie Phipps Clark and Kenneth Clark
  3. The fawn response
  4. National Civil rights museum in Memphis
  5. A fantastic fear of everything
  6. Queen of Katwe

Alice Clark-Platts

Novelist Alice Clark-Platts discusses with Ivan six things which she thinks should be better known.

Alice Clark-Platts is the author of the best-selling The Flower Girls, published by Bloomsbury Raven in 2019.

Her crime novels Bitter Fruits and The Taken are published by Penguin Random House. The Taken was also shortlisted for the Dead Good Reader Awards for Best Police Procedural.

Alice’s short fiction has been published in numerous works. She is the founder of the Singapore Writers’ Group. Alice conducts regular writing workshops and teaches creative and non-fiction writing at La Salle College of the Arts. She teaches a regular online novel writing course Telling Yourself the Story.

Her new novel, Fire Mountain, will be published by Bloomsbury in 2022.

1. Dorothy Whipple

2. Chilli Crab

3. Durham Cathedral online masses

4. Eastern & Oriental hotel in Penang

5. Island of Bawah

6. Mary Westmacott

Richard Bradford

Mandatory Credit: Photo by Geraint Lewis / Rex Features (1326971gx) Richard Bradford Oxford Literary Festival, Christchurch College, Oxford, Britain – Apr 2011

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

Richard Bradford is Professor of English and Senior Distinguished Research Fellow at Ulster University. He is the author of six highly acclaimed literary biographies Lucky Him: The Life of Kingsley Amis (2001), The Life of a Long-Distance Writer: A Biography of Alan Sillitoe (2008), First Boredom, Then Fear: The Life of Philip Larkin (2009), Martin Amis: The Biography (2011), The Man Who Wasn’t there: A Life of Ernest Hemingway (2019) and Orwell: A Man of Our Times (2020). His Devils, Lusts and Strange Desires: The Life of Patricia Highsmith is out in 2021.

1. George Orwell Predicted Brexit

2. Hemingway the Compulsive Liar

3. What is High Quality Literature?

4. Why Kingsley Amis and Philip Larkin Fell Out

5. Nasty Writers

6. How Patricia Highsmith was a very peculiar individual

Guy Leschziner

Guy Leschziner discusses with Ivan six things which he thinks should be better known.

Guy Leschziner is a consultant neurologist and sleep physician, broadcaster and author. He heads the Sleep Disorders Centre at Guy’s Hospital, one of Europe’s largest and busiest clinical sleep services. He is presenter of Mysteries of Sleep and The Compass: The Senses on BBC World Service and Radio 4, and is author of The Nocturnal Brain: Nightmares, Neuroscience and the Secret World of Sleep (Simon and Schuster, 2019). The Compass: The Senses is available on BBC Sounds and will be broadcast in December on BBC Radio 4.

  1. Storytelling in medicine
  2. The Thames
  3. Sleep and the brain
  4. Sherry
  5. Joy of creation with hands
  6. Scientific literacy

Eleanor Fitzsimons

Eleanor Fitzsimons discusses with Ivan six things which she thinks should be better known.

Eleanor Fitzsimons is a writer and researcher who lives in Dublin. She is the author of Wilde’s Women (Duckworth, 2015), which won the silver medal in the Biography category of the 2018 Independent Publisher (IPPY) Awards. She is an honorary patron of the Oscar Wilde Society and a member of the editorial board of society journal The Wildean. Her second book, The Life and Loves of E. Nesbit (Duckworth, 2019), was a Sunday Times Book of the Year 2019, and was included in the Washington Post Top 50 Non-Fiction Books of 2019. In 2020, she was shortlisted for the Dalkey Emerging Writer Award and won the Rubery Book Award for Non-Fiction. She has worked as a television researcher for the Irish national broadcaster RTÉ and was a contributor to The Importance of Being Oscar (BBC2, April 2019).

1. The Diaries of George Bernard Shaw

2. The Tetrapod imprints on Valentia Island, County Kerry

3. The Short Fiction of Maeve Brennan

4. The ancient Japanese art of Kintsugi

5. The Trier Amphitheater

6. The Vaughan Bequest at the National Galleries of Scotland and Ireland

Alex Wheatle

Novelist Alex Wheatle discusses with Ivan six things which he thinks should be better known.

Alex Wheatle was born in London of Jamaican parents. His first book,Brixton Rock (1999), tells the story of a 16-year old boy of mixed race, in 1980s Brixton. 

His most recent novels, Liccle Bit (2015), Crongton Knights (2016) – winner of the Guardian Children’s Fiction Prize – and Straight Outta Crongton (2017), are novels for young adult readers, focusing on the lives of teenagers and families on the fictional South Crongton council estate.

In 2010, he wrote and toured the one-man autobiographical performance, Uprising. His play, Shame & Scandal, had its debut at the Albany Theatre, Deptford in October 2015. He was awarded an MBE for services to literature in 2008.

1. Right Time by the Mighty Diamonds

2. The Black Jacobins by CLR James

3. Exodus by Bob Marley and the Wailers

4. Babylon

5. Huckleberry Finn

6. Moss Side Massive by Karline Smith

Tom Chivers

Science writer Tom Chivers discusses with Ivan six things which he thinks should be better known.

Tom Chivers is science editor at His second book, How To Read Numbers: A Guide to Statistics in the News (and Knowing When to Trust Them), will be published by Weidenfeld & Nicolson in March 2021. He is a two-time winner of the Royal Statistical Society’s Statistical Excellence in Journalism award, and was once told by Terry Pratchett that he was “far too nice to be a journalist”.

1. Goodhart’s Law

2. Kill Team and

3. Selection bias

4. Red kite

5. Coordination games

6. Naomi Novik’s Temeraire series