You can listen to the current show online at any time or download it automatically as a podcast. I think that the programme was one of the first in the UK to get podcasting. You can listen again to any show on the archive, or sign up to Melvyn Bragg's newsletter.
The latest newsletter begins as follows:
As usual, the cries in the Green Room were full of "oh why didn't we include this, or that?" Angie Hobbs was concerned that we had not talked about masturbation. This, she thought, expressed a great deal of the Cynics' attitude in early Greece. It expressed their belief in self-sufficiency, ie: spermal satisfaction did not need a partner. It was not a form of hedonism: Miriam Griffin said the Cynics reasoned that if they could remove hunger by rubbing their stomachs they could - so masturbation was acceptable because it was a simple way to fulfil a need. Done in public, it showed their shamelessness and their intention to shame others into behaving "naturally".
It does give another perspective.
This week's discussion will be on "Samuel Johnson and his Circle", which will be interesting to me because Johnson and the Streatham Worthies used to gather, very near to where I am sitting and writing, at Streatham Park the home of Henry Thrale, a wealthy brewer with a taste for literary company.
Although Streatham Park unfortunately is no more, it would have been just around the corner from the house where Cynthia Payne used to throw her celebrated parties. What with Madam Cyn and Max Clifford's Colliers Wood sex parties, it does make you wonder what's in the water round here.