Four Thought


Series of thought-provoking talks in which the speakers air their thinking on the trends, ideas, interests and passions that affect culture and society

  • 19 minutes 53 seconds
    What I've Learned from Four Thought

    In the final episode of Four Thought, Sheila Cook reflects on what she has learned from producing it for eleven years.

    Sheila, who left the BBC in 2022, produced around 150 episodes on Four Thought, and in this reflection on the power of hope she looks back at some of the talks which have reminded her that - amidst bad news - we are often surrounded by remarkable people, doing remarkable things.

    Producer: Giles Edwards

    22 February 2023, 8:45 pm
  • 21 minutes 25 seconds
    Life Without Chilli

    Three years on from her first appearance on Four Thought, Dr. Dina Rezk returns to Four Thought. Her first talk was about the shocking and unexpected death of her mother; this time, as she describes another bereavement, the tone is unexpectedly positively, even exultant, as Dina reflects on the difference between the two experiences.

    Producer: Giles Edwards

    15 February 2023, 8:45 pm
  • 20 minutes 20 seconds
    Care to Care

    Farrah Jarral explains why she believes we need to put care at the centre of our society.

    Sharing a story about how her beloved grandmother's lifetime of caring for others - family members and others - meant many people wanted to care for her when the need arose, Farrah reflects on what care does for us as individuals.

    Producer: Giles Edwards

    8 February 2023, 8:45 pm
  • 21 minutes 53 seconds
    Turning to Art

    Ted Harrison argues that only art can truly capture the essence of spirituality.

    Ted is a former journalist who, close to turning sixty, decided to turn away from using words and instead chose art. It was, he says, because he realised the limitations imposed by words, and the way in which art can capture the ineffable, the spiritual.

    Producer: Giles Edwards

    1 February 2023, 8:45 pm
  • 22 minutes 5 seconds
    Stand Up for Irish Travellers

    Martin Warde is the first Irish Traveller to become a professional comedian. In this talk he recounts his early years travelling before his family settled down and he and his brothers attended school in Galway. His school days weren't easy, he and other traveller boys were treated differently. One teacher however inspired him to pursue his dream of being a performer. Now as a writer and comedian focussing on Traveller life Martin examines the surprising ways people in which respond to his material - both travellers and the settled community. Martin argues it's important to engage in comedy that can make you feel uncomfortable.

    25 January 2023, 9:00 pm
  • 18 minutes 47 seconds
    I'm not having children to save the planet

    Sarah Williams always wanted to become a mum. But the more she learnt about the climate crisis, the more she questioned her decision. In this talk Sarah explains why she's chosen not to have children in order to save the planet, and how she encourages others to think twice about it. She says that she is not anti-child but that overpopulation is something that should concern everyone. Sarah also points out there are more sustainable ways to start a family, like adoption.

    18 January 2023, 9:00 pm
  • 20 minutes 20 seconds
    Life after 'life-changing'

    Martin Hibbert's life changed forever in 2017. He survived the Manchester Arena bomb but was left with life-changing injuries. Now a wheelchair user, Martin says he doesn't dwell on his old life but instead embraces his new one. He says he's determined to turn an act of terror into a force for good, and now campaigns to make sure others with spinal injuries receive the support that they need.

    11 January 2023, 9:00 pm
  • 22 minutes 34 seconds
    I love gaming, but gaming doesn't always love me

    Meg Sunshine, a 21 year old professional gamer is dedicated to becoming one of the best in the industry. Gaming is her life. But her journey has not been an easy one. She’s experienced threats of sexual violence from male gamers and has frequently felt unsafe online. She’s determined to bring about change however. In this episode she argues gaming needs to tackle its toxic culture, encourage a more diverse range of players and keep girls gaming.

    4 January 2023, 9:00 pm
  • 20 minutes 19 seconds
    Moral Animals

    Philosopher Virginie Simoneau-Gilbert describes a change in how philosophers are beginning to think about the moral capacity of animals, and asks us to think differently about our pets. Beginning with her own pet dog showing compassion for her when she is injured, Virginie explains why new research may fundamentally affect some of what we have long held to be true about animals.

    Producer: Giles Edwards.

    21 December 2022, 9:00 pm
  • 20 minutes 34 seconds
    On Regret

    Author Rachel Genn describes her fascination with regret. Rachel tells stories of regret, beginning in her earliest childhood. “An early adopter of regret,” she says, “I was displaying the prodigy’s irritating flair for it.”

    Producer: Giles Edwards

    14 December 2022, 9:00 pm
  • 22 minutes 57 seconds
    After a Parent Dies by Suicide

    Anna Wardley argues that we should better support children whose parents kill themselves.

    Beginning her talk in the dark waters of the English Channel as she attempts to swim non-stop around the Isle of Wight, Anna describes darkness of a different kind as she explains the need for children whose parents kill themselves to be better supported. And that should start with counting them.

    Producer: Giles Edwards

    7 December 2022, 9:00 pm
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