The Mark Steel Lecture

Mark Steel presents a series of lectures about people who changed the course of history

1999 - 2002  (BBC Radio 4)
16 (3 series)
Mark Steel, Melanie Hudson, Martin Hyder, Carla Mendonca, Debbie Isitt
Mark Steel
British Broadcasting Corporation

Mark Steel looks at some of the most important people in our history, from the ancients to those still with us today.

His lectures cover the likes of W. G. Grace, who Steel considers to be the first modern celebrity; Che Guevara, possibly the only revolutionary in history to also suffer from asthma; and Lord Byron, who once kept a pet bear at college.

Our Review: The Mark Steel Lecture is a great series, which some might consider surprising, and none moreso than Steel himself, who was expelled from school.

The appealing thing about these radio episodes is that not only are they educational but they're also funny. To achieve the humour, Steel chooses to look at some of the odder aspects of the greatest people in history, such as Oliver Cromwell's somewhat childish sense of humour and Napoleon Bonaparte's advisor - a little red genie. The show also contains Steel's usual range of left-wing satire.