Episodes

First
Broadcast
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20041228

3/6. Jon Ronson explores ideas surrounding positive thinking with extra-ordinary stories illuminating the human condition. Ian Haworth talks about his experience of making a break from a cult.

20050104

4/6. Going West.

Journalist and broadcaster Jon Ronson hears a collection of extra-ordinary stories illuminating the human condition from people who have all decided to 'go west'. This week he hears from Tom Fremantle who followed in his ancestors' footsteps across America, and writer Chris Ettridge who battled with the bureaucracy of US customs.

20050111

5/6. The Comfort of Strangers

Journalist and broadcaster Jon Ronson hears a collection of extra-ordinary stories illuminating the human condition from people who have taken comfort in strangers.

Jon talks to Abdullah Redpath who found, then lost, the love of his life in a remarkable 12 hour period. And Miranda Sawyer interviews Mark Pilkington who hitch-hiked and found himself in the company of helpful strangers who turned out to be criminals.

20050118

5/6: Magical Moments.

Journalist and broadcaster Jon Ronson hears a collection of extra-ordinary stories illuminating the human condition from people who have decided to provide magical moments to others.

Jon talks to Jeremy Dyson who's father changed his life by providing a trip to a Blackpool joke shop and Danny Wallace who takes it upon himself to perform random acts of kindness.

20060117

Living in the Past

Journalist and broadcaster Jon Ronson looks at the human condition with the help of interviewees and reporters from the world of writing and performance.

This week he asks why he can't seem to leave a particular incident in the past behind when he was thrown into a lake by school friends. Jon confronts his bullies at his school reunion as Father Ted writer Graham Linehan remembers his own bully. Comedians Dan Tetsell and Robert Popper also discover they have parallel stories one has a Nazi as a grandfather, the other a Jewish evacuee as a grandmother.

20060124

Journalist and broadcaster Jon Ronson looks at the human condition with the help of interviewees and reporters from the world of writing and performance

...Irrational Thoughts

Jon asks why his inner conversations spiral into irrationality and discovers he isn't alone. Actress Jessica Stevenson created a whole imaginary world for her boyfriend, while comedian Danny Robbins can't stop himself singing 'hopefully not' after the chorus of American Pie.

20060131

Jon Ronson On...

Journalist and broadcaster Jon Ronson looks at the human condition with the help of interviewees and reporters from the world of writing and performance.

3/6. Lying

This week Jon confronts his compulsive lying disorder with the help of Danny Wallace who tries to get him out of his funk by teaching how to say yes more. Danny Robbins visits a town in the US Midwest where lying has got so bad that the mayor has banned it and James Rawlings recounts how his whole life turned into one great lie.

20060207

Friendship

Journalist and broadcaster Jon Ronson looks at the human condition with the help of interviewees and reporters from the world of writing and performance.

4/6. Jon asks whether friendship is over if the power balance becomes skewed. Lawrence Howarth recounts how a relationship ended because his girlfriend wouldn't reveal her date of birth for two years, Caitlin Moran discusses a moment when friendship was challenged over the bird flu vaccine, and Jon visits a party held by a woman who has 25,000 'friends' in her contacts book.

20060214

Waiting

Journalist and broadcaster Jon Ronson looks at the human condition with the help of interviewees and reporters from the world of writing and performance.

5/6. Jon asks what happens in the space while we wait. He talks to Richard Thomas who has spent his professional career waiting to record events such as his stomach on Christmas Day and eggs frying.

He also talks to comedian Janey Godley on why she pretended to be ill in order to avoid waiting in queues at a theme park, and he meets the world's leading 'waiting' scientist.

20060221

Building Bridges

Journalist and broadcaster Jon Ronson looks at the human condition with the help of interviewees and reporters from the world of writing and performance.

6/6. Jon asks why and how we learn to build bridges. He talks to Tom Hart Dyke who was kidnapped by Colombian rebels when out orchid hunting. He spent nine months trying to build bridges with his captors.

Jon also hears how writer Jesse Armstrong remembers failing to build bridges while working in politics.

20070612

...Uncontrollable Responses

Jon Ronson continues his look at human behaviour by finding the moments where we respond in an uncontrollable way.

Comedian Robert Popper couldn't stop his drunken friend from putting their lives at risk while at a wedding in Israel. Another interviewee who survived the 7/7 terrorist attacks found herself uncontrollably joining in with message boards accusing her of being a government plant on one of the bombed trains.