Wednesday, 2 October 2013

Mummies, Jungles and Lost Properties

Last Monday (30th) the first episode in Series Five of The Museum of Curiosity was broadcast on BBC Radio 4. It featured presenter John Lloyd CBE and new curator Humphrey Ker with guests Egyptology Professor Joann Fletcher, explorer and altruist Colonel John Blashford-Snell, and comedian and environmentalist Mark Watson.

Photo copyright: Stevyn Colgan

Here's The Badger Hole of Ignorance podcast in which producers Dan Schreiber and Richard Turner discuss the episode with host Ken Plume:

Secondly, here's Jo Fletcher's extraordinary documentary - in full - telling the story of how she and her colleagues revived 2000 year old techniques to mummify a modern man. Mummifying Alan: Egypt's Last Secret is the fascinating, touching and respectful story of a very brave man facing his own death and of the dedicated scientists who worked hard to make his death something special and celebratory while also increasing the sum of human knowledge.

Next up, here's the documentary The Mission: A Grand Adventure in which 'Blashers' delivers a baby grand piano to the Wei Wei tribe in the middle of the Guyanese rain forest. Glorious British eccentricity at its best (sadly, the sound quality is a bit rough but quite watchable):

And here's Mark Watson in Australia doing some fantastic stand up (NSFW!):

More next week.

Tuesday, 1 October 2013

Badger Hole Special #1 - All about Series 1

In this episode of The Badger Hole of Ignorance, producers Dan Schreiber and Richard Turner discuss Series 1 of the show, recorded in 2006.

Aiding host John Lloyd in this first series was guest curator Bill Bailey.

The guests, and their donations, were as follows:

Show 1: Professor Richard Fortey (Curators of the Natural History Museum and the Giant Hornet of Chang Jiang), Sean Lock (The modern Scarf Knot) and Brian Blessed (The Yeti).

Show 2: Fran Beaumann (A Pineapple), Dr Gary Sheffield (Anderson Shelters) and Ben Elton (Privacy).

Show 3: Arthur Smith (Arthur Cravan), Professor Frank Close (Nothing) and Professor Ronald Hutton (Father Christmas).

Show 4: Victoria Finlay (Pliny the Elder), Kevin Day (The Battle of Waterloo) and Alastair Fothergill (the Hairy Angler Fish).

Show 5: Sir Jonathan Miller (Nottingham Alabasters), Dr Phillip Ball (Phlogiston) and Professor Marcus du Sautoy (The Monster).

Show 6: Dr John Gribbin (The Big Bang when it was the size of a Grapefruit), Alan Davies (Epping Forest) and Martha Reeves (Silence).

So here's the podcast hosted, as always, by the affable Ken Plume:

(All photos copyright Dan Schreiber)

Sunday, 29 September 2013

The Museum of Curiosity - Doomed to Succeed

Welcome to The Badger Hole of Ignorance, the official podcast of The Museum of Curiosity! Hosted by noted American broadcaster, film producer and owner of Fred Entertainment, the ever-affable Ken Plume, Badger Hole (as I like to call it, probably) will take you behind the scenes at the Museum. You'll hear how the show gets made, who makes the show and learn a little more about the people who make up the show's steering committee i.e. the guests and what they donate. Here's Podcast Zero, a kind of prequel podcast in which producers Dan Schreiber and Richard Turner explain the history of the show and how, against all the odds, it was born in 2009.

Saturday, 28 September 2013

Welcome to the Badger Hole of Ignorance

Hello! And welcome to this blog which accompanies the BBC Radio 4 series The Museum of Curiosity.

The premise of the show is simple: we own an extraordinary museum, a building of infinite size and complexity into which anything can be put. Every week we invite three guests - comedians, musicians, scientists, authors, philosophers, actors, even astronauts - to donate something to the museum that makes them go 'Wow!' Over the last six seasons, we've been given such diverse things as a yeti, a pineapple, Kepler's drinks dispenser, the universe when it was the size of a grapefruit, the urge to press red buttons (that you shouldn't), a cowpat, a P-51 Mustang fighter, a walrus penis bone, 10,000 tigers, silence, Helen of Troy and a single Shreddie displayed at an angle of 45°. The show takes the form of a round table discussion about all things interesting and curious, chaired by John Lloyd CBE and one of his guest curators, of which there have been six to date: Bill Bailey (Season 1), Sean Lock (S2), Jon Richardson (S3), Dave Gorman (S4), Jimmy Carr (S5) and Humphrey Ker (S6).

John Lloyd almost needs no introduction. He's the creator of such popular shows as QI, Not the Nine O'clock News, Have I got News for You and Spitting Image. He produced every single episode of Blackadder and helped to nudge both Mr Bean and Johnny English to life. He co-wrote two of the original episodes of The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy with his good friend Douglas Adams and they later wrote The Meaning of Liff together. Most recently, he has co-authored the bestselling QI Books of General Ignorance, Animal Ignorance, Book of the Dead, Book of Advanced Banter and 1227 Facts to Blow your Socks off. And to mark the 30th anniversary of The Meaning of Liff, he's recently published a sequel, Afterliff (with Jon Canter) and performed his first live shows at the Edinburgh Festival and at London's Bloomsbury Theatre.

Here he is discussing the The Museum of Curiosity with producer Dan Schreiber and revealing what he would donate if he was a guest:

So, welcome to the wonderful world of The Museum of Curiosity and its occasional podcast The Badger Hole of Ignorance.

We hope you find it curious.