Could An Ancient Athenian Fix Britain?

Episodes

EpisodeTitleFirst
Broadcast
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01Episode 1: Know Thyself2019111120191230 (R4)

Comedian and classicist Jon Harvey explores modern British democracy through an ancient Athenian lens. If there's one thing we can all agree on it's that our state is in a state - could the world’s original democrats help us right the ship?

Democracy was born in ancient Athens and lasted for nearly 200 years. Not all Athenians were democrats - perhaps the most famously outspoken anti-democrat Socrates ended up sentenced to death, ironically by a vote of the people. But if an Athenian democrat time-travelled to 2019, what would he make of what's going on in Britain? Could he fix the chaos?

Jon is a politician of sorts, having recently challenged Boris Johnson at the general election as his alien alter-ego Count Binface.

Written and presented by Jon Harvey
Produced by Polly Thomas and Eloise Whitmore
Executive Producer: Dixi Stewart

A Naked production for BBC Radio 4

Jon Harvey discovers why the essence of 21st Century democracy would horrify the Greeks

Comedian and classicist Jon Harvey explores modern politics through an ancient lens.

Comedian and classicist Jon Harvey, who challenged Theresa May in the 2017 general election as Lord Buckethead, explores modern British democracy through an ancient Athenian lens. If the one thing we can all agree on is that our state is in a state, could the world’s original democrats could help us right the ship?

02Episode 2: Lots Of Potential2019111220191231 (R4)

Comedian and classicist Jon Harvey, explores modern British democracy through an ancient Athenian lens. If the one thing we can all agree on is that our state is in a state - could the world’s original democrats help us right the ship?

Democracy was born in ancient Athens and lasted for nearly 200 years. Not all Athenians were democrats - perhaps the most famously outspoken anti-democrat Socrates ended up sentenced to death, ironically by a vote of the people.
In this episode, Jon explores how ancient democrats in classical Athens played the political lottery. Could it be our lucky charm too?

Jon is a politician of sorts, having recently challenged Boris Johnson at the general election as his alien alter-ego Count Binface.

Written and presented by Jon Harvey
Produced by Polly Thomas and Eloise Whitmore
Executive Producer: Dixi Stewart

A Naked production for BBC Radio 4

Jon Harvey explores how ancient democrats played the lottery. Could it be our lucky charm?

Comedian and classicist Jon Harvey explores modern politics through an ancient lens.

Comedian and classicist Jon Harvey, who challenged Theresa May in the 2017 general election as Lord Buckethead, explores modern British democracy through an ancient Athenian lens. If the one thing we can all agree on is that our state is in a state, could the world’s original democrats could help us right the ship?

Democracy was born in ancient Athens and lasted for nearly 200 years. Not all Athenians were democrats - perhaps the most famously outspoken anti-democrat Socrates ended up sentenced to death, ironically by a vote of the people. But if an Athenian democrat time-travelled to 2019, what would he make of what's going on in Britain? Could he fix the chaos?

Written and presented by Jon Harvey
Produced by Polly Thomas and Eloise Whitmore
Executive Producer: Dixi Stewart

Comedian and classicist Jon Harvey explores modern politics through an ancient lens.

02Lots Of Potential20191112
03Episode 3: How Much Is Too Much?2019111320200101 (R4)

Comedian and classicist Jon Harvey, explores modern British democracy through an ancient Athenian lens. If the one thing we can all agree on is that our state is in a state - could the world’s original democrats help us right the ship?

Democracy was born in ancient Athens and lasted for nearly 200 years. Not all Athenians were democrats - perhaps the most famously outspoken anti-democrat Socrates ended up sentenced to death, ironically by a vote of the people. Jon travels back in time to discover what kind of issue classical Athenians voted on, how they did it, and why they loved a referendum.

Jon is a politician of sorts, having recently challenged Boris Johnson at the general election as his alien alter-ego Count Binface.

Written and presented by Jon Harvey
Produced by Polly Thomas and Eloise Whitmore
Executive Producer: Dixi Stewart

A Naked production for BBC Radio 4

What did classical Athenians vote on? Or rather, what didn't they? Jon Harvey investigates

Comedian and classicist Jon Harvey explores modern politics through an ancient lens.

04Episode 4: Carrot And Stick20191114
04Episode 4: Troubleshooting2019111420200102 (R4)

Comedian and classicist Jon Harvey, explores modern British democracy through an ancient Athenian lens. If the one thing we can all agree on is that our state is in a state, could the world’s original democrats help us right the ship?

Democracy was born in ancient Athens and lasted for nearly 200 years. Not all Athenians were democrats - perhaps the most famously outspoken anti-democrat Socrates ended up sentenced to death, ironically by a vote of the people. But if an Athenian democrat time-travelled to 2019, what would he make of what's going on in Britain? Jon investigates how classical Athens kept their politicians in check, and how they brought miscreants to book. Can we learn from them?

Jon is a politician of sorts, having recently challenged Boris Johnson at the general election as his alien alter-ego Count Binface.

Written and presented by Jon Harvey
Produced by Polly Thomas and Eloise Whitmore
Executive Producer: Dixi Stewart

A Naked production for BBC Radio 4

Jon Harvey asks how classical Athens kept politicians in check. Could we learn from them?

Comedian and classicist Jon Harvey explores modern politics through an ancient lens.

05Episode 5: Leading Questions2019111520200103 (R4)

Comedian and classicist Jon Harvey, explores modern British democracy through an ancient Athenian lens. If the one thing we can all agree on is that our state is in a state, could the world’s original democrats help us right the ship?

Democracy was born in ancient Athens and lasted for nearly 200 years. Not all Athenians were democrats - perhaps the most famously outspoken anti-democrat Socrates ended up sentenced to death, ironically by a vote of the people. But if an Athenian democrat time-travelled to 2019, what would he make of what's going on in Britain? Could he fix the chaos?

In this final episode, Jon explores leadership. Is it a paradox that democracy needs good leaders? Compared to ancient Athens, how well do our leaders stack up?

Jon is a politician of sorts, having recently challenged Boris Johnson at the general election as his alien alter-ego Count Binface.

Written and presented by Jon Harvey
Produced by Polly Thomas and Eloise Whitmore
Executive Producer: Dixi Stewart

A Naked production for BBC Radio 4

Jon Harvey explores ancient and modern political leaders. How well do our ones stack up?

Comedian and classicist Jon Harvey explores modern politics through an ancient lens.