The Mark Steel Lectures. Mark Steel
The Mark Steel Lectures

The Mark Steel Lectures

  • TV factual / stand-up
  • BBC Four
  • 2002 - 2006
  • 18 episodes (3 series)

Series telling the story of some of the world's greatest names, from Byron to Pankhurst, in an accessible, comic manner. Features Mark Steel and Martin Hyder.

Episode menu

Series 2, Episode 1 - Ludwig van Beethoven

The comedian takes a typically irreverent look at Ludwig van Beethoven's character flaws. Was he the only great composer to have pelted his housemaid with rotten eggs? He clearly had anger-management issues ...

Further details

Mark Steel turns up the volume on Beethoven with his tribute to a man who was the nearest eighteenth-century Vienna got to not only Jimi Hendrix, but also Captain Sensible. Unflinchingly exposing Ludwig's anger management issues and his dependence on Ceefax's 888 subtitle service, Mark Steel sets Beethoven in his revolutionary context and reveals the quirks of his character the history books gloss over.

Taking in the revolutionary nature of the Freemasons, Haydn's contractual similarity to Prince, Beethoven's unusual fondness for semi-hemidemisemiquavers and his love-hate relationship with Napoleon, The Mark Steel Lectures once again combines unique reconstructions with inventive graphics to bring Beethoven right up to the minute.

Broadcast details

Friday 5th November 2004
BBC Four
30 minutes

Cast & crew

Mark Steel Host / Presenter
Martin Hyder Ensemble Actor
Writing team
Mark Steel Writer
Pete Sinclair Writer (Additional Material)
James Serafinowicz (as James Sezchuan) Writer (Additional Material)
Production team
Michael Cumming Director
Jon Rolph Producer
Emma De'Ath Executive Producer
Graham Smith Executive Producer
Jon Plowman Executive Producer
Jon Blow Editor
Geoff Slack Costume Designer
Sarah Burrows Make-up Designer
Richard Lewis Composer

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