Mark Thomas - The Manifesto. Mark Thomas. Image credit: British Broadcasting Corporation.

Mark Thomas - The Manifesto

Radio show in which comedian-activist Mark Thomas compiles a Manifesto for the People which he goes on to campaign for

Mark Thomas Manifesto (Working Title)
2009 - 2013  (BBC Radio 4)
20 (5 series)
Mark Thomas
Mark Thomas
British Broadcasting Corporation

As a nation, we are drifting up a certain well-known creek, economically, politically, socially... er... totally. So where are the great ideas, theories and visions to help us in our hour of need?

In this show, comedian-activist Mark Thomas looks to create a People's Manifesto. The audience are asked to come up with their own policies, with the concept being that Mark includes some of them in a final manifesto which he will go on to campaign for.

Many ideas are considered on the recording nights, some are dismissed out of hand, some discussed with the kind of experts who know about these kinds of things, and some Mark actualy takes on to try to put into practice.

Following on from the two successful shows last summer, where policies included "MPs should be bound by law to tell the truth" and "Children's playgrounds should be less safe" - Mark Thomas returns to investigate suggestions such as "4x4s should be transparent"; "manifesto policies should be legally binding"; and "there should be a maximum wage".

Featuring interviews with experts, original research and audience discussion, Mark Thomas - The Manifesto attempts to re-engage the audience with the idea of democracy.

Here's some more examples of policies:

- Forcing Ofsted inspectors to teach.
- Monitoring investment bankers' testosterone levels.
- The legalisation of Viking-style funerals.
- Consolidating the United Kingdom's national debt into one easy-to-pay loan.

Our Review: This programme comes up with some good ideas (for those that like left wing politics), but the humour is variable. Unfortunately one can't help but compare it to the superior Genius, a show which was remarkably similar in format in that the audience is asked to pitch ideas to the presenter. Genius had the slight edge over this show because its ideas were slightly wackier and more amusing.

Mark Thomas is better when he is campaigning for important political things he really believes in... however to be fair this show it does still have some amusing moments, and a couple of the manifesto ideas are genuinely really good ideas.