The Infinite Monkey Cage
The Infinite Monkey Cage is a BBC Radio 4 comedy and popular science series. Hosted by physicist Brian Cox and comedian Robin Ince, The Independent described it as a "witty and irreverent look at the world according to science". The show's eighth series was broadcast in June and July 2013 and the podcast, published immediately after the initial radio broadcast, features extended versions of most episodes starting with 1 July 2013 Glastonbury Special episode in Series 8. The programme won a Gold Award in the Best Speech Programme category at the 2011 Sony Radio Awards, and it won the best Radio Talk Show at the 2015 Rose d'Or awards. The name is a reference to the infinite monkey theorem.
|Running time||approx. 30 minutes|
|Country of origin||United Kingdom|
|Home station||BBC Radio 4|
|Produced by||Alexandra Feachem|
|Executive producer(s)||Deborah Cohen|
Radio Theatre, Broadcasting House, London|
RADA Studios, London
|Original release||30 November 2009– present|
|No. of series||17|
|No. of episodes||103 + 2|
Each show has a particular topic up for discussion, with previous topics including the apocalypse and space travel. There are normally three guests; two of these are scientists with an interest in the topic of discussion, offering an expert opinion on the subject. The other guest is usually a comedian, who takes a less serious view of the subject, and often makes the show more accessible by asking the 'stupid' questions that the other guests may have overlooked.
Ince and Cox headed an Uncaged Monkeys live tour in 2011, and toured the United States in 2015.
In April 2018 a book titled "Infinite Monkey Cage - How to Build a Universe" was released. Its audiobook was read by Brian Cox and Robin Ince.
The programme features a number of running themes and gags. Robin Ince regularly pokes fun of Brian Cox's hair, good looks, and former career as a rock musician. Ince often imitates and quotes Carl Sagan. Cox often ridicules chemistry, astrology, Creationists and occasionally returns to the subject of how and when a strawberry can be considered dead.
The programme's theme song was written by Eric Idle and recorded by Idle and Jeff Lynne. Idle and his band performed the song live on the show when it toured in Los Angeles in 2015 and it appears in the 2016 TV show "The Entire Universe".
List of episodesEdit
The following is an episode list of the BBC radio series The Infinite Monkey Cage. As of July 2018, there have been 103 episodes spanning 18 series plus 6 specials; two responding to viewers questions and Christmas Specials in 2014, 2015, 2016 and 2017. All episodes are available to stream via the series website and as podcast downloads.
Since 2013, podcasts are longer than the broadcast episodes at around 45 minutes, frequently adding mild spats between Cox and Ince, and occasionally language unsuitable "for the 4:30pm school run slot".
In addition to the regular programmes, a special entitled "An Infinite Monkey's Guide to General Relativity" was broadcast in two half-hour episodes on 8 and 15 December 2015. Their 100th Episode (according to their own manner of counting which differs from the one listed on Wikipedia), simply titled "Monkey Cage 100", was also recorded on Video and is currently watchable on the BBC iPlayer.
|1||1||"Science and Comedians"||Dara Ó Briain and Dr Alice Roberts||30 November 2009|
|2||2||"Extraterrestrial Life"||Jon Ronson and Seth Shostak||7 December 2009|
|3||3||"Quantum Physics"||Ben Miller||14 December 2009|
|4||4||"Science and Religion"||Chris Addison, Victor Stock and Adam Rutherford||21 December 2009|
|5||1||"Popular Science (Cheltenham Science Festival)"||Ben Miller and Robert Winston||14 June 2010|
|6||2||"Trust me, I'm a Scientist"||Ben Goldacre and Dave Gorman||21 June 2010|
|7||3||"Science Fiction, Science Fact"||Jonathan Ross, Alan Moore and Dr Brian Greene||28 June 2010|
|8||4||"Things Can Only Get Better?"||Colin Blakemore and Mark Steel||5 July 2010|
|9||1||"Apocalypse"||Adam Rutherford, Andy Hamilton and Dr Lucie Green with Matt Parker||15 November 2010|
|10||2||"Modern World"||Paul Foot, Aleks Krotoski and Professor Tony Ryan with Matt Parker||22 November 2010|
|11||3||"Randomness"||Tim Minchin and Alex Bellos with Matt Parker||29 November 2010|
|12||4||"Philosophy"||Alexei Sayle, Julian Baggini and Professor Raymond Tallis with Matt Parker||6 December 2010|
|13||1||"What Don't We Know?"||Paul Foot, Marcus Chown and Professor Steve Jones||30 May 2011|
|14||2||"Six Degrees"||Stephen Fry, Simon Singh, and Aleks Krotoski with Matt Parker||6 June 2011|
|15||3||"So You Want To Be an Astronaut?"||Chris Riley, Dr Kevin Fong, and Helen Keen||13 June 2011|
|16||4||"Is Cosmology Really a Science?"||Alan Moore, Dallas Campbell, Professor Ed Copeland and Helen Arney||20 June 2011|
|17||5||"Is There Room for Mysticism in a Rational World? (Glastonbury Special)"||Billy Bragg, Graham Coxon, Shappi Khorsandi and Professor Tony Ryan||27 June 2011|
|18||6||"Science vs the Supernatural: Does Science Kill the Magic?"||Andy Nyman, Richard Wiseman and Bruce Hood||5 July 2011|
|19||1||"What's the North Ever Done for Us?|
(Manchester Science Festival)"
|Jon Culshaw, Jeff Forshaw and Matthew Cobb||21 November 2011|
|20||2||"A Balanced Programme on Balance"||Sir Paul Nurse, Katy Brand, Simon Mayo, and Professor Steve Jones||28 November 2011|
|21||3||"The Origins of Life"||Tim Minchin, Dr Nick Lane, and Adam Rutherford||5 December 2011|
|22||4||"The Science of Sound"||Tom Wrigglesworth, Professor Trevor Cox and Professor Chris Plack||12 December 2011|
|23||5||"I'm a Chemist Get Me Out of Here"||Dara Ó Briain, Professor Tony Ryan, and Andrea Sella||19 December 2011|
|24||6||"The Science of Christmas"||Professor Richard Dawkins, Mark Gatiss and Roger Highfield with Helen Arney||26 December 2011|
|25||1||"Oceans: The Last Great Unexplored Frontier?"||Dave Gorman, Lloyd Peck and Bramley Murton||18 June 2012|
|26||2||"Science Mavericks"||Marcus Brigstocke, Professor Barry Marshall, Kevin Fong, and Aoife McLysaght||25 June 2012|
|27||3||"Does Size Matter?"||Andy Hamilton, Mark Miodownik and Eleanor Stride||2 July 2012|
|28||4||"The Science of Symmetry"||Marcus du Sautoy, Adam Rutherford and Alan Moore||9 July 2012|
|29||5||"Parallel Universes"||Professor Sir Martin Rees, Dr Lucie Green and John Lloyd||16 July 2012|
|30||6||"Science v Art (Latitude Festival)"||Al Murray, Sara Pascoe, Andrew Pontzen and Jon Butterworth.||23 July 2012|
|31||1||"Space Exploration"||Sir Patrick Stewart, Ben Miller and Monica Grady||19 November 2012|
|32||2||"Improbable Science"||Katy Brand, Matthew Cobb and Marc Abrahams||26 November 2012|
|33||3||"Secret Science"||Simon Singh, Sue Black and Dave Gorman||3 December 2012|
|34||4||"Brain Science"||Jo Brand, Sophie Scott, and Brian Butterworth||10 December 2012|
|35||5||"Creating Life"||Ed Byrne, Adam Rutherford, and Philip Ball||17 December 2012|
|36||6||"Christmas Special"||Mark Gatiss, Professor Steve Jones, Richard Wiseman, Victor Stock, and Jonny & The Baptists||24 December 2012|
|37||1||"What is Death?"||Katy Brand, Dr Nick Lane, and Sue Black||24 June 2013|
|38||2||"Glastonbury"||Marcus Brigstocke, KT Tunstall, Fay Dowker, and Jeff Forshaw||1 July 2013|
|39||3||"Space Tourism"||Brian Blessed, Kevin Fong, and Steven Attenborough||8 July 2013|
|40||4||"What Makes a Science a Science"||Ben Goldacre, Sophie Scott, and Evan Davis||15 July 2013|
|41||5||"Alfred Russel Wallace"||Steve Jones, Aoife McLysaght, and Tony Law||22 July 2013|
|42||6||"Science Museum"||Neil deGrasse Tyson, Josie Long, Ian Blatchford, Richard Holmes and Doc Brown||29 July 2013|
|43||1||"Risk"||Graeme Garden, David Spiegelhalter, and Sue Ion||18 November 2013|
|44||2||"Through the Doors of Perception"||Claudia Hammond, Beau Lotto, and Alan Moore||25 November 2013|
|45||3||"Science Rocks!"||Hermione Cockburn, Ross Noble, and Eric Idle||2 December 2013|
|46||4||"To Infinity and Beyond"||John Lloyd, Colva Roney Dougal, and Simon Singh||9 December 2013|
|47||5||"Should We Pander to Pandas?"||Sandy Knapp, Simon Watt, and Sara Pascoe||16 December 2013|
|48||6||"Science and Spin"||Matthew Cobb, Sheena Cruikshank, Helen Keen, and James Burke||23 December 2013|
|49||7||"Brian & Robin’s Infinite Inbox"||None||9 March 2014|
|50||1||"Numbers Numbers Everywhere"||Dave Gorman, Dr Vicky Neale, and Alex Bellos||7 July 2014|
|51||2||"Are Humans Uniquely Unique?"||Keith Jensen, Katie Slocombe, and Ross Noble||14 July 2014|
|52||3||"Does Science Need War?"||Katy Brand, Philip Ball, and Kevin Fong||21 July 2014|
|53||4||"Can Science Save Us?"||Stephen Fry, Dr. Lucie Green, Prof. Tony Ryan and Eric Idle||28 July 2014|
|54||5||"Before the Big Bang"||Carlos Frenk, Fay Dowker, Ben Miller and Richard Vranch||4 August 2014|
|55||6||"Irrationality"||Josie Long, Paul Foot, Richard Wiseman and Stuart Ritchie||11 August 2014|
|56||7||"2014 Christmas Special"||Rev. Richard Coles, Chris Hadfield, Professor Francesca Stavrakopoulou, Brian Blessed||25 December 2014|
|57||1||"Deception"||Richard Wiseman, Sophie Scott, and David Aaronovitch||19 January 2015|
|58||2||"Fierce Creatures"||Steve Backshall, Lucy Cooke, and Andy Hamilton||26 January 2015|
|59||3||"Solar System"||Monica Grady, Jo Brand, and Carolyn Porco||2 February 2015|
|60||4||"When Quantum Goes Woo"||Ben Goldacre, Jeff Forshaw, and Sara Pascoe||9 February 2015|
|61||5||"What's The Point of Plants"||Jane Langdale, Jim Al-Khalili, and Ed Byrne||16 February 2015|
|62||6||"Serendipity"||Lee Mack, Simon Singh, and Andrea Sella||23 February 2015|
|63||1||"The Infinite Monkey Cage USA Tour: New York"||Bill Nye, Janna Levin, Tim Daly, and Lisa Lampanelli||6 July 2015|
|64||2||"The Infinite Monkey Cage USA Tour: Los Angeles"||Sean Carroll, Joe Rogan, David X. Cohen, and Eric Idle||13 July 2015|
|65||3||"The Infinite Monkey Cage USA Tour: Chicago"||Peter Sagal, Julia Sweeney, Paul Sereno, and Jerry Coyne||20 July 2015|
|66||4||"The Infinite Monkey Cage USA Tour: San Francisco"||Dr Seth Shostak, Dr Carolyn Porco, Greg Proops, and Paul Provenza||27 July 2015|
|67||5||"Speed"||Alexei Sayle, Andy Green and Professor Danielle George||3 August 2015|
|68||6||"Forensic Science"||Professor Sue Black, Dr Mark Spencer and Rufus Hound||10 August 2015|
|69||7||"2015 Christmas Special"||Ross Noble, Paul Franklin, Simon Guerrier and Victor Stock||25 December 2015|
|Special||1||"Episode 1: An Infinite Monkey's Guide to General Relativity"||Ben Miller, Dara Ó Briain, Richard Vranch, and Carlos Frenk||8 December 2015|
|Special||2||"Episode 2: An Infinite Monkey's Guide to General Relativity"||Sean Carroll, Richard Vranch, Tim O'Brien, Sarah Bridle, and Carlos Frenk||15 December 2015|
|70||1||"Artificial Intelligence"||Jo Brand, Anil Seth, and Alan Winfield||11 January 2016|
|71||2||"What is Race?"||Shappi Khorsandi, Adam Rutherford, and Mark Thomas||18 January 2016|
|72||3||"Invisible Universe"||Jon Culshaw, Sarah Bridle, and Tim O'Brien||25 January 2016|
|73||4||"What is Reality?"||David Eagleman, Sophie Scott, and Bridget Christie||1 February 2016|
|74||5||"Maths of Love and Sex"||Paul Foot, Hannah Fry, and David Spiegelhalter||8 February 2016|
|75||6||"Climate Change"||Dara Ó Briain, Professor Tony Ryan, and Dr Gabrielle Walker||15 February 2016|
|76||7||"Brian & Robin's Infinite Inbox"||None||22 February 2016|
|77||1||"The Sound of Music (Glastonbury)"||Matt Kirshen, KT Tunstall, Nitin Sawhney, Lucy Cooke, and Trevor Cox||4 July 2016|
|78||2||"The Recipe to Build a Universe"||Rufus Hound, Andrea Sella and Lucie Green||11 July 2016|
|79||3||"Science of Sleep"||Russell Foster, Richard Wiseman and Katy Brand||18 July 2016|
|80||4||"Battle of the Sexes"||Sophie Scott, Steve Jones and Sara Pascoe||25 July 2016|
|81||5||"200 Years of Frankenstein"||Noel Fielding, Nick Lane and Sir Christopher Frayling||1 August 2016|
|82||6||"The Universe: What Remains to Be Discovered?"||Ben Miller, Charlotte Church, Paul Abel and Tim O'Brien||8 August 2016|
|83||7||"2016 Christmas Special"||Neil deGrasse Tyson, Mark Gatiss, Deborah Hyde and Nick Baines||27 December 2016|
|84||1||"The Science of Everyday Life"||Russell Kane, Helen Czerski and Danielle George||16 January 2017|
|85||2||"How to Beat the House and Win at Games"||Hannah Fry, Alex Bellos, Richard Wiseman and Helen Zaltzman||23 January 2017|
|86||3||"Science's Epic Fails"||Rufus Hound, Professor Alice Roberts and Dr Adam Rutherford||30 January 2017|
|87||4||"Oceans: What Remains to Be Discovered?"||Andy Hamilton, Professor Jon Copley and Helen Scales||6 February 2017|
|88||5||"The Human Story: How We Got Here and Why We Survived"||Ross Noble, Professor Danielle Schreve and Chris Stringer||13 February 2017|
|89||6||"Making the Invisible Visible"||Katy Brand, Carlos Frenk and Matthew Cobb||20 February 2017|
|90||1||"What Particles Remain to be Discovered?"||Eric Idle, Jon Butterworth and Catherine Heymans||3 July 2017|
|91||2||"Astronaut Special"||Sandra Magnus, Terry Virts, Claude Nicollier and Charlie Duke||10 July 2017|
|92||3||"Oxygen: A Matter of Life or Death"||Sara Pascoe, Andrea Sella and Dr Gabrielle Walker||17 July 2017|
|93||4||"Will Insects Inherit the Earth?"||Dave Gorman, Tim Cockerill and Amoret Whitaker||24 July 2017|
|94||5||"Are We Living in a Simulation?"||Phil Jupitus, Nick Bostrom and Anil Seth||31 July 2017|
|95||6||"The Mind v the Brain?"||Katy Brand, Uta Frith and Sophie Scott||7 August 2017|
|96||7||"2017 Christmas Special: The Science of Magic"||Andy Nyman, Diane Morgan, Richard Wiseman and Francesca Stavrakopoulou||25 December 2017|
|97||1||"When Two Stars Collide"||Dara Ó Briain, Sheila Brown and Nils Andersson||8 January 2018|
|98||2||"The Secret Life of Birds"||Katy Brand, Steve Backshall, Professor Tim Birkhead and special guest Brann the Raven||15 January 2018|
|99||3||"Antibiotics"||Chris Addison, Chief Medical Officer, Dame Sally Davies and Martha Clokie||22 January 2018|
|100||4||"Teenage Brain"||Rory Bremner, Professor Sarah-Jayne Blakemore and Professor Matthew Cobb||29 January 2018|
|101||5||"How Animals Behave"||Rufus Hound, Lucy Cooke and Professor Rory Wilson||5 February 2018|
|102||6||"Volcanoes"||Jo Brand, Tamsin Mather and Clive Oppenheimer||12 February 2018|
|103||TV & Radio Special||"Infinite Monkey Cage 100"||Katy Brand, Brian Blessed, Eric Idle, Dave Gorman, Andy Hamilton, Alice Roberts, Neil DeGrasse Tyson, Sue Black, Fay Dowker, David Spiegelhalter, Richard Wiseman, Professor Tony Ryan and Andrea Sella||11 July 2018|
|104||1||"Big Data"||Danny Wallace, Hannah Fry and Timandra Harkness||16 July 2018|
|105||2||"Invasion!"||Phill Jupitus, Kate Jones and Mark Spencer||23 July 2018|
|106||3||"Immune System"||Shappi Khorsandi, Professor Dan Davis and Professor Steve Jones||30 July 2018|
|107||4||"The Human Voice"||Beardyman, Professor Trevor Cox and Professor Sophie Scott||6 August 2018|
|108||5||"GCHQ"||Katy Brand||13 August 2018|
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- Maume, Chris (21 November 2010). "The Infinite Monkey Cage, Radio 4, Monday; Take one boffin. Mix with comedy writers, and hear them gently fizz". The Independent.
- "Radio GaGa: Infinite Monkey Cage, Moyles & Bacon!". Tim Minchin. Retrieved 12 September 2011.
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- http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b04bn0gp The Infinite Monkey Cage, season 10, episode 4. Eric Idle states that Jeff Lynne played all the instruments on the recording.
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