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Alexandra Feachem 11:20, Tuesday, 3 November 2009


This has proved much harder then we thought and thank you all for all your comments and suggestions. In the end we had well over 50 title suggestions, from listeners, Radio 4 bloggers, colleagues, presenters and random people we've simply accosted who didn't look like they had anything better to do. Favourites included 'Quips and Quarks', 'Brian and Robin's Multiverse', 'Schrödinger's Chat', and 'Here's Looking at Euclid'.

We considered them all very carefully, and took on board all your comments, hence our slight tardiness in getting back to you, but we do finally have a winning entry. And the title is... (insert drum roll here)... 'The Infinite Monkey Cage'. This was actually one of the earliest contenders, and came from our very own Robin Ince. It's inspired by the popular probability idea that suggests if monkeys were left with a typewriter for an infinite amount of time they would eventually type the complete works of Shakespeare. I'm not sure if Robin is suggesting that he and Brian are the monkeys in this scenario, but we all loved it the moment he suggested it, although there were concerns that it was perhaps not as straightforward as some of the Radio 4 titles around today, and whether this mattered? (see my previous blog post).

But the fact it is a bit offbeat and challenging is the very reason it fits the show so well, with its irreverent and quirky take on the world through scientists' eyes. I hope you will join us inside The Infinite Monkey Cage for our very first broadcast on Monday November 30th at 1630, and that we live up to our spankingly brand new title, and thank you for being part of the process.

Alexandra Feachem is a producer in the Radio Science Unit


  • Comment number 1.

    Arthur had jammed himself against the door to the cubicle, trying to hold it closed, but it was ill fitting. Tiny furry little hands were squeezing themselves through the cracks, their fingers were inkstained; tiny voices chattered insanely.

    "Ford!" he said, "there's an infinite number of monkeys outside who want to talk to us about this script for Hamlet they've worked out."

  • Comment number 2.

    Just noticed a new programme starting soon on Radio Four, it's called "The Infinite Monkey Cage", so I'll take it this programme will be about natural history and our closest cousin - the Ape and how we are related to them, yes?


  • Comment number 3.

    @Boilerplated: What about the ongoing Madonna documentary Material World, and weekly spendaholics show Costing The Earth?

  • Comment number 4.

    #3. At 5:30pm on 03 Nov 2009, Briantist wrote:

    "@Boilerplated: What about the ongoing Madonna documentary Material World, and weekly spendaholics show Costing The Earth?"

    Couldn't agree more, more examples of silly, largely meaningless programme names, Material World and Costing The Earth: without referring to the programme descriptions it's difficult to know what those programme are about just from their names, of course once one does know it starts to make sense, but that doesn't actually get people reading about, listening or watching the programme in the first place...

  • Comment number 5.

    "if monkeys were left with a typewriter for an infinite amount of time"

    Yes, everyone has heard of that.
    a) Where does the cage fit in?
    b)It's a probability question - i.e. Maths/Stats rather than general sciences
    c) I think it would fit better with a literary show!

    There were so many brilliant suggestions on the blog. What a waste!
    And does Mr. Ince get any Royalty payment when the title is used?


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