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A Point of View: A Point of View: Clive James Podcast Cover
A Point of View: A Point of View: Clive James Podcast Profile

A Point of View: A Point of View: Clive James Podcast

English, Public-Community, 1 seasons, 61 episodes, 10 hours 5 minutes
Clive James presents reflections on topical issues ranging from politics to pop culture in this award-winning series of BBC Radio 4's A Point of View. These programmes were first broadcast between 2007 and 2009.
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Clive James: Clams are Happy

Following the death of the brilliantly funny Clive James - one of the first presenters of "A Point of View" - this is one of his early talks for the series. In this programme - first broadcast in 2007 - Clive ponders what makes us happy. In his own pursuit of happiness, he sits on a bench in Central Park, relives his first slice of watermelon and considers the wise words of Lawrence of Arabia. Producer: Adele Armstrong Originally produced by Rosie Goldsmith
29/11/20199 minutes 46 seconds
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Talking About Their Generation

Clive James reflects on the human condition and the need for liberal democracy to spread to allow future generations to enjoy the fruits of progress.
25/12/200910 minutes 20 seconds
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Clive James: Option Swamp

Clive James vents his frustration at automated customer systems and finds them a poor substitute for dealing with real people.
18/12/200910 minutes 15 seconds
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Hermie's Ghost

A weekly reflection on a topical issue. Clive James reflects on the media coverage of man-made global warming and the need for minds to be open.
11/12/20099 minutes 50 seconds
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Clive James reflects that in a democracy we must never be complacent about any government initiative and warns of the dangers that a new plan for calculating funding for universities may pose to academic freedom.
04/12/200910 minutes 6 seconds
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Spirit of the Game

A weekly reflection on a topical issue from Clive James. The spirit in which the game is played determines whether he likes or loathes the sport.
27/11/20099 minutes 38 seconds
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Blog de Jour

Clive James reflects on the revelation of the identity of Belle de Jour, the author of The Diary of a London Call Girl.
20/11/200910 minutes 7 seconds
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The Man on the Fourth Plinth

Clive James celebrates the honouring of Battle of Britain commander Sir Keith Park with a temporary statue on Trafalgar Square's fourth plinth.
13/11/200910 minutes 11 seconds
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High Road to Xanadu

Clive James reflects on the seductive allure of illegal narcotics, and lays the blame for their attractions at the door of Samuel Taylor Coleridge and his trip to Xanadu.
06/11/200910 minutes 13 seconds
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On Strike

Clive James reflects on the postal workers' dispute and gives his personal view of the modern history of labour relations.
30/10/200910 minutes 8 seconds
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Clive James: The Golf Ball Potato Crisp

Clive James reflects on the importance of scepticism in every walk of life, and he criticises extreme reactions to those who are sceptical about man-made global warming.
23/10/200910 minutes 9 seconds
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Newsflash from the Far East

Clive James observes that while democracy is the right system for governing a country, it's the wrong system for choosing a professor of poetry.
29/05/200910 minutes 7 seconds
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Feminism and Democracy

A weekly reflection on a topical issue from Clive James.
22/05/20099 minutes 52 seconds
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Expensive Mistakes

Clive James reflects on democracy, MPs' expenses and the furore over the Oxford Poetry Professorship.
15/05/20099 minutes 43 seconds
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Sheer Poetry

Clive James wonders what it says about the British attitude to poetry that we have the institution of the Poet Laureateship.
08/05/200910 minutes 9 seconds
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London Underground

Loft extensions are for ordinary citizens. When the property market gets tough, the wealthy dig down to create the ultimate den, says Clive James – but he thinks it’s a worrying sign that rich people living in London are developing a bunker mentality.
01/05/20099 minutes 58 seconds
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Britain has Talent

Clive James wonders what the reaction to Susan Boyle’s performance on a television talent show has to tell us about the progress of feminism, and how far appearance still matters – even in the world of serious singing.
24/04/200910 minutes 2 seconds
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Reputational Damage

Clive James reflects on what it takes to make – and break – a good reputation in public life. He concludes that the government’s latest euphemism ‘reputational damage’ to describe the fallout concerning Gordon Brown’s special adviser Damian McBride, after he plotted to smear an opposition politician, is fooling no-one.
17/04/200910 minutes 10 seconds
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Bright Side of the Cane Toad

The cane toad was brought to Australia for pest control - since when an army has marched across the continent, multiplying as it goes. But surely its own example questions the logic of trying to wipe out this gamekeeper turned poacher, says Clive James.
10/04/20099 minutes 39 seconds
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High-Priced Porn

After years of watching late-night porn in anonymous hotel rooms - for research - its purpose is clear, says Clive James: to keep one's mind off sex while one's partner is absent.
03/04/20099 minutes 57 seconds
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The Speeding Judge

Clive James reflects on the downfall of a distinguished Australian judge, who was jailed for perjury after lying about a speeding offence.
27/03/200910 minutes 5 seconds
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New Year Prediction

Clive James makes a prediction for the New Year – that from now on, the era of silly-money is over and getting rich quick will no longer be something to admire. Getting rich for its own sake, says Clive, will look as stupid as bodybuilding does at that point when the neck gets thicker than the head and the thighs and biceps look like four plastic kit-bags full of tofu.
02/01/200910 minutes 1 second
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Whatever you believe in when it comes to the birth of Christ, even if you believe in nothing at all, no one can doubt the personal force of Jesus says Clive James, as he reflects on life beyond the grave, Shakespeare’s beliefs and the man and spirit of Jesus Christ.
26/12/20089 minutes 45 seconds
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It’s a Wrap

The hardest part of Christmas is not socialising with family, nor hauling coal or peeling potatoes - it's wrapping the presents, says Clive James, as he anticipates with some dread the seasonal tasks awaiting him as he uncovers the deeper meaning of gift wrapping.
19/12/20089 minutes 21 seconds
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National Identity

Forget proud traditions and cultural exports - a nation's identity is bolstered if Americans know about it. Just ask the Canadians, says Clive James, as he explores the question of national identity and why it really is preferable to see Santa and his elves in Lapland rather than in the New Forest.
12/12/20089 minutes 49 seconds
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Writers Room

Are we naturally able to think clearly when surrounded by mess, asks Clive James, because chaos is inherent in all our minds - even those of the great writers and thinkers. He reveals why he is glad the chaos of his own office is not featured in a new exhibition called ‘Writers’ Rooms’.
05/12/200810 minutes 8 seconds
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Glamourising Terror

Clive James discusses the glamorisation of terror in the movie industry. As a new film on the notorious Baader Meinhof gang is released, Clive argues that the movie version of history is often now in danger of replacing the real historical event.
28/11/20089 minutes 43 seconds
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Bad Language

The odd expletive escapes most people's mouths in times of stress, but when we fall back on swear words just for effect have we really just run out of ideas? Clive James turns his attention to swearing and argues that bad language used constantly is no language at all.
21/11/20089 minutes 37 seconds
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Robin the Hood

Rational choices, reasoned discussions, respect for lawful institutions: that's what Clive James wants from his action heroes as he argues that the days of mindless Hollywood action are over. Clive says a new climate of reason prevails - and it extends well beyond Hollywood.
14/11/20089 minutes 49 seconds
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Changing the Government

Clive James reflects on the aftermath of the US election. As President-elect Barack Obama prepares to take office he examines the significance of the word ‘election’ and its relationship with democracy depending on the country you happen to live in.
07/11/200810 minutes 5 seconds
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How Rich is Rich?

Forget super-rich baddies who seek to destroy the world with a death ray. Boring! Clive James reflects on how money is losing its cachet, but failing to recycle properly is what leads to accusations of destroying the world.
31/10/200810 minutes 17 seconds
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Clive James explores the world of the political gaffe – past and present. He argues that it isn’t always the elegant speaker who has the competence for office, and at the end of the day he prefers the verbal bumblers.
09/05/200810 minutes 12 seconds
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Snoop and Amy

Clive James explores the concept of talent and reflects on why gifted artists such as Amy Winehouse are so hell-bent on destroying their talent - and themselves.
02/05/20089 minutes 31 seconds
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Instructions to the Sea

Clive James turns his attention to political intervention and Zimbabwe, arguing that Robert Mugabe’s time is up. All the world has to do, he says, is to get him to agree.
25/04/20089 minutes 59 seconds
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Legal Dilemmas

Clive James asks why at a time when Iraqis who have risked their lives for Britain in Basra need a newspaper campaign to be allowed into the UK, radical cleric Abu Qatada apparently can’t be allowed out.
18/04/20089 minutes 48 seconds
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Right on the Money

Clive James turns his attention to the Royal Mail’s decision to redesign the coinage. The old coins, he says, did nothing except tell you what they were worth - and what’s the point in that!
11/04/20089 minutes 50 seconds
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Terminal Terminal

Clive James gets hot under the collar at the prospect of mobile phones on planes but shares his joy over the disastrous opening of Heathrow’s Terminal 5 – and tells us why it’s the most fun he’s had since the night the Millennium Dome opened.
07/04/20089 minutes 48 seconds
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Pedal Power

Clive James ponders David Cameron’s latest faux-pas: cycling the wrong way up a one way street and pedalling through a red light. He sets Mr Cameron’s wrong-doing in a rather unexpected historical context.
28/03/200810 minutes 9 seconds
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State of Law

Clive James discusses the virtues of a court decision about a man and a grape - a decision which brought back memories of a painful moment in his own life. He reflects on just how much money is spent on cases that common-sense suggests should never have gone to court.
21/03/20089 minutes 37 seconds
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Private Life

Clive James argues that ‘private life’ – an institution once regarded as vital to civilization – is now in danger of collapse. As amorous emails sent to a friend by an aide to the Mayor of London are published verbatim, he asks can it ever be right to help yourself to the private emails, phone calls or text messages of politicians, footballers… or your next door neighbour?
14/03/20089 minutes 32 seconds
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Princes into Battle

Clive James reflects on Prince Harry’s time in Afghanistan and delves into the history books to find another warrior prince who found himself in a very similar situation.
07/03/20089 minutes 7 seconds
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Clams Are Happy

Clive James ponders what makes us happy. In his own pursuit of happiness he sits on a bench in Central Park, relives his first slice of watermelon and considers the wise words of Lawrence of Arabia.
24/08/20079 minutes 40 seconds
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Click on the Icon

Clive James considers the role of the icon – ancient and modern – and focuses on film icons. Who are they? Why do we elevate them to icon status? And what is their reaction to the role?
17/08/200710 minutes 10 seconds
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Desirable Devices

Clive James considers the environmental impact of plastic bags, hip hop music and shopping trolleys and applies his imagination to devising some unusual technological devices to deal with them.
10/08/20079 minutes 30 seconds
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Smoking the Memory

Clive James explains how he, reluctantly, became a non-smoker. Once an 80-a-day chain smoker, today he just dreams of smoking.
03/08/20079 minutes 41 seconds
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Harry Potter Envy

Clive James considers ‘JK Rowling Envy’ – a psychological condition suffered by many writers, he claims, when confronted with the millions of books sold, and the millions of pounds earned, by the author of Harry Potter.
27/07/20079 minutes 43 seconds
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Helplessly Advanced

Clive James reflects on the conundrum of living in a technologically advanced world. As life is made easier, with machines doing our thinking for us, will our intellect suffer and eventually slow future advancement as we no longer have the brain power to build new technology?
20/07/20079 minutes 43 seconds
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Wimbledon Wisdom

Clive James enjoys the wisdom of former Wimbledon tennis champions, whose insights as commentators, he says, double as a philosophy for life.
13/07/200710 minutes
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Glider Shoes

Clive James marvels at the sight of children gliding in shoes with wheels fixed into the heels, and reckons the secret of happiness is to think how much fun you would have had at the same age.
06/07/200710 minutes 2 seconds
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Reflections on a Diamond Skull

Clive James gives his personal reaction to Damien Hirst’s diamond-encrusted skull and considers its significance as a work of art. It might worth £50m, but, he says, it is nevertheless ‘art for all’. Why? Because it's glittering, hollow and perfectly brainless - so you can talk about it to anyone, just like you can Paris Hilton.
29/06/200710 minutes 7 seconds
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Man-Made Beauty

There are lots of reasons to be cheerful about the world - many the result of human creativity. Clive James reminds himself of the need to celebrate the good things in life and to show others – especially the young – that life really is worth living, while remembering at the same time not to be miserable.
22/06/20079 minutes 59 seconds
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The thing with hoaxes is that they work – and that’s a good reason for not liking them, says Clive James. Although, he has himself performed his own convincing hoax in the past – as have writers Virginia Woolf and Evelyn Waugh – Clive says there is a streak of the self-congratulation in every hoaxer, which he finds hard to admire.
06/04/20079 minutes 57 seconds
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Torture on 24

Clive James considers the problem of torture and whether television dramas, like the American series 24, encourages its use in the fight against terrorism.
30/03/200710 minutes 10 seconds
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Black Destiny

Clive James considers the extra burden we are in danger of placing on the shoulders of outstandingly successful young, black Britons to be representatives for their race.
23/03/200710 minutes 3 seconds
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Going for Gold

Clive James criticises the high spending planned for the London 2012 Olympics. It would be much better, he argues, to think in terms of television coverage and forget all the expensive new buildings.
16/03/200710 minutes 9 seconds
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Because She’s Worth It

Clive James takes a wry look at the world of the paparazzi after the publicity surrounding the wedding of the actress Elizabeth Hurley. Their antics may be justified when their quarry welcomes the attention but the hounding of others in the public eye is a different matter altogether.
09/03/200710 minutes 5 seconds
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Nob Voices, Yob Voices

As Helen Mirren carries off her Oscar for sounding like the Queen, Clive James comments on the way we speak English today. Regional accents on radio and television reflect and reinforce the breach of the class divide, but a new noisy voice is less easy on the ear.
02/03/200710 minutes 9 seconds
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Flying People, Flagrant Piffle

From Bruce Lee to Jean-Claude Van Damme to Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, Clive James reflects on the martial arts movie, and says meaningless violence is still meaningless no matter how you dress it up.
23/02/20079 minutes 39 seconds
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Fidgets on the March

Clive James rails against changes to the names of things we rely on - such as railways and the Royal Mail - as a type of costly and annoying ‘fidgeting’. He points to other disturbing developments in what he sees as a growing misuse of language.
16/02/200710 minutes 10 seconds
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The Mind’s Construction in the Face

Taking as his cue the reported growth in cosmetic surgery, Clive James applauds the work of surgeons who repair the ravages of disease or damage to faces from accidents, but he wonders what drives people who don’t obviously need to alter their appearance.
09/02/20079 minutes 33 seconds
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Attack of the Wheelie Bins

Clive James reflects on man-made climate change from the standpoint of a sceptic, discussing the power of language to sway opinions when, he says, we have neither the time nor the talent to weigh the evidence for ourselves.
02/02/200710 minutes 2 seconds