The Spark (and other radio work)

What’s the big idea? In BBC Radio 4’s The Spark, Helen Lewis talks to leading thinkers, activists and researchers about how to change the world. From evidence-based parenting to abolishing prisons, from Karen Stenner on authoritarianism to Henry Marsh on assisted dying, discover the people – and the ideas – shaping our world.

The first four series of the Spark are now available as an audiobook

Great Wives graphic

Why did Mrs Nabokov carry a gun? Why didn’t Mrs Tolstoy believe her husband was serious about his vow of celibacy? And why did Mrs Gertrude Stein – also known as Alice B. Toklas – not even get to write her own autobiography?

Great Wives explores the pain – and joy – of living with a genius. Meet the women who knitted socks, cooked dinners, posed in bathtubs, typed manuscripts and wrangled wombats – all for their more well-known, and well-rewarded, husbands.

Barack Obama condemned it. Black American activists championed it. Meghan Markle brought it to the Royal Family. “Wokeness” has become a shorthand for one side of the culture wars, popularising concepts like “white privilege” and “trigger warnings” – and the idea that “language is violence”.

In Radio 4’s The Roots of Woke Culture, Helen Lewis is on a mission to uncover the roots of this social phenomenon.