Episodes
The colorectal surgeon and comedian Jenan Younis wants to get to the bottom of a taboo subject, that everyone has struggled with at some stage. Farts. James Ward introduces another curious talk about a subject that may seem boring, but is actually very interesting.... maybe.
Published 04/28/21
Published 04/28/21
It started with a 'Regency Wedding Scene' puzzle purchased for £2 in a charity shop. Now Anya Driscoll is a jigsaw junkie. In this edition of The Boring Talks she discussions her obsession, and pieces together the history of jigsaws, the art of jigsaws and whether or not they could save your life (spoiler – they can't really). James Ward introduces another curious talk about a subject that may seem boring, but is actually very interesting... maybe.
Published 07/06/20
From Anglo-American differences, to escaping kidnappers and celebrating the classic car boot sale. In this Boring Talk the automotive journalist Hugo Griffiths climbs inside the 'space of temporariness' that is the car boot. James Ward introduces another curious talk about a subject that may seem boring, but is actually very interesting.... maybe.
Published 06/01/20
Family holidays for the artist Louise Ashcroft meant one thing - variety pack cereals. Would it be cornflakes? or Frosties? Coco pops or Ricicles? Through this multi-grain multiple choice Louise realised she could be anyone..... kind of. Join her for a creative, personal journey through her favourite corn-syrup infused, inflated grain. James Ward introduces another curious talk about a subject that may seem boring, but is actually very interesting.... maybe.
Published 05/04/20
Gouging, scraping and chopping. The reporter Chloe Veltman shows us the painstaking art of making an oboe reed, and how it can be the difference between sounding like a singing nightingale, or a belligerent duck. James Ward introduces another curious talk about a subject that may seem boring, but is actually very interesting.... maybe.
Published 04/20/20
Where does the word 'Window' derive from? And what does it have to do with a Norwegian architectural historian and a bohemian Austrian poet? On a lyrical journey from death to inspiration, Anne Ulrikke Andersen takes a look through the windows in the life of Christian Norberg-Schulz. James Ward introduces another curious talk about a subject that may seem boring, but is actually very interesting.... maybe.
Published 04/06/20
They are either 12, 14 or 16 inches wide, they live just outside our doors, and they come in a variety of striking designs. So why has no one heard of coal holes? Local historian Amir Dotan explores the streets of London to find the small metal discs you may not have noticed before, but may well have stepped over thousands of times. James Ward introduces another curious talk about a subject that may seem boring, but is actually very interesting.... maybe.
Published 03/30/20
What do we all use, but never visit? The sound artist Matt Parker takes us inside the bizarre world of remote Data Centres, where our wireless world is powered by rows and rows of computers running all day, everyday. But what is the true cost of these centres to our planet? What do they sound like? And why does one have an empty white room with an executive leather armchair and a faceless portrait hanging on the wall? James Ward introduces another curious talk about a subject that may seem...
Published 03/23/20
It began as an image of Victorian femininity, became a 1920s style icon, and perhaps ended as a 1970s toilet roll cover. Dr Kathryn Ferry looks at the curious history of the Crinoline Lady, exploring the growth of suburbia, Gone With The Wind and 'crinolinemania'. James Ward introduces another curious talk about a subject that may seem boring, but is actually very interesting.... maybe.
Published 03/16/20
James Ward introduces another curious talk about a subject that may seem boring, but is actually very interesting.... maybe. From Bamboozle, to being switched off, and now being salvaged for the digital age. James O'Malley looks at the life, death and resurrection of Teletext.
Published 03/09/20
One day while breaking down a box in a corridor, Joyce Smith noticed a box certificate. Quickly followed by a second one. Now Joyce had 2 of them, and 2 of anything is the start of a collection. James Ward introduces another curious talk about a subject that may seem boring, but is actually very interesting.... maybe.
Published 03/02/20
If you hit your thumb with a hammer, what swear word would you immediately scream? Charvy Narain asked her friends and family this question, which lead to a personal journey from the 'buffalo's eye' to New York City cops and the her surprising Mausi. In this edition of The Boring Talks Charvy Narain takes a very foul mouthed and personal look at swearing in Hindi and English. James Ward introduces another curious talk about a subject that may seem boring, but is actually very interesting.......
Published 02/24/20
James Ward introduces another curious talk about a subject that may seem boring, but is actually very interesting.... maybe. The clunk and click of the datasette machine. The white noise of the tape loading. The strange and compelling soundtrack of the loading music. The author and video game Keith Stuart remembers the forgotten whirrs and clicks that made up the soundtrack of his youth. Presenter: James Ward Contributor: Keith Stuart Producer: Luke Doran
Published 02/17/20
James Ward introduces another curious talk about a subject that may seem boring, but is actually very interesting.... maybe. In 2011, comedian Rosie Wilby was dumped by email. (Though she did feel better about it after correcting her ex’s spelling and punctuation). Obsessing ever since about whether technology has enabled abrupt endings to relationships, she discovered an entire new language. But what are ghosting, breadcrumbing, submarining, pocketing, benching and curving? Rosie Wilby is...
Published 02/10/20
James Ward introduces another curious talk about a subject that may seem boring, but is actually very interesting.... maybe. Brian Mackenwells is passionate about pencils. In this Boring Talk he shares his passion for good pencils. He talks us through their history, and explains why having a good pencil gives you a pleasurable 'small pivot point that can change your whole mind set'. He also talks us through his favourite pencils, and shares the very personal reason that he can't part with...
Published 02/10/20
James Ward says thank you for listening to series two and chooses the best numbers from each of the talks. Presenter: James Ward Producer: Luke Doran
Published 02/27/19
Can a doormat actually increase the value of your property by £30k? Alex Baxevanis explains all in his study of the doormats from his block of flats. Presenter: James Ward Contributor: Alex Baxevanis Producer: Luke Doran
Published 02/25/19
Just off the Markham Exit on the A1 motorway lies an architectural wonder. Ed Carter shares his love for an unusual roadside roof, with help from a whistle or two. Presenter: James Ward Contributor: Ed Carter Producer: Luke Doran
Published 02/18/19
The neuroscientist Sophie Scott takes a close listen to the long 'silent' gap on the Watergate Tapes. Buzz. Click. Buzz. Click. Buzz. Presenter: James Ward Contributor: Sophie Scott Producer: Luke Doran
Published 02/11/19
From the 'eye of Sauron' building, to a deserted London town. The designer Hannah Cameron takes a walk back through the buildings that shaped her time living in China's biggest city. Presenter: James Ward Contributor: Hannah Cameron Producer: Luke Doran
Published 02/04/19
Who is taller, Robbie Williams, David Duchovny or the chef James Martin? And what does being ‘solid tall’ actually mean? The writer Greg Stekelman (same height as Emilio Estevez) explores the world of online celebrity measurements. Presenter: James Ward Contributor: Greg Stekelman Producer: Luke Doran
Published 01/28/19
The squelch of the white line marking machine, the crack of the ball against the crossbar, the shrill cry of the full time whistle. Sound researcher Paul Whitty captures the sounds of grassroots football. Presenter: James Ward Contributor: Paul Whitty Producer: Luke Doran
Published 01/21/19
Are you sick of getting too many coins in your change at the supermarket? Can British coins be better? Fear not people, Adam Townsend has the fix. Presenter: James Ward Contributor: Adam Townsend Producer: Luke Doran
Published 01/14/19
A Brixton block of flats, an oddly-angled building in Piccadilly and a park that 'smells like bins'. Road enthusiast Chris Marshall explores how London has been quietly shaped by roads that don't actually exist. Presenter: James Ward Contributor: Chris Marshall Producer: Clara Nissen
Published 01/07/19