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We've got a new programme in the works. It's an irreverent, witty, unashamedly opinionated science show with physicist and former pop sensation Brian Cox and comedian and science enthusiast Robin Ince. But what shall we call it?

Less than two months until first transmission and even more alarmingly, only one week until our first publicity deadline and still no title - ahh! How, in just a few words, do you convey all that the comedy genius of Brian Cox and the physics know-how of Robin Ince (or is that the other way round?) will bring to the greatest science show you'll ever hear... and I'm not biased obviously, I'm just the producer.

The Science Unit have been mulling hard and it turns out that we are a lot funnier then we thought - or at least we think we are - it is very hard to tell now. Early favourites included several plays on already established titles including I'm sorry I Haven't a Clone and Drop the Dead Dolly. Some truly terrible puns emerged including The Abi Titmus Test (vetoed for fairly obvious reasons), and Here's looking at Euclid which is so bad it's almost brilliant.

Well known science phrases have been put to good use: Particle Zoo, Periodically Funny (we could shoot ourselves in the foot with that one - suppose we aren't?!), and The Infinite Variables have all made the short-list. And our working title of Top Geek, a sneaky nod to our ambition to do to science what Jeremy Clarkson has done for cars, and never meant as a serious consideration, has turned out to be a surprise contender, although it does seem to be the Marmite of titles - loved or hated (more candidate names here). Robin came up with the genius title of The Infinite Monkey Cage. It's so weird its sort of perfect and is certainly a favourite amongst the production team and the Science Unit... but does it tell us what the programme is about and does it matter?

And Mohit Bakaya, who commissions science programmes for Radio 4, adds:

More generally, the issue of titles is an interesting one. In the age of podcasting and iPlayer it makes sense for titles to have that 'Ronseal' quality - to do exactly what they say on the tin. That way people searching for business programmes, for example, know what they're in for when they come across In Business. But what about The Bottom Line? Would they know that that would be of interest too?

Yet sometimes purely descriptive titles can seem a little prosaic. How does one convey attitude, wit, something new and different and be recognisable in the age of the internet? That's the challenge!

Comments

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  • Comment number 55. Posted by herding_snails

    on 23 Oct 2009 16:46

    hallooooo!!!!!!

    *peers into the black hole that this thread has become*

    anyone going to tell us the final decision???!!!

    *taps fingers impatiently*

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  • Comment number 54. Posted by Dashblog

    on 20 Oct 2009 12:11

    Science Programme - You already have a good selection but "Magical Science Roundabout" or "The Science Lab at the End of the Universe" fits in with my goonish mind.

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  • Comment number 53. Posted by ravaged-not-ruined

    on 19 Oct 2009 11:03

    Yeah.... Have you decided yet?

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  • Comment number 52. Posted by herding_snails

    on 16 Oct 2009 12:28

    have you decided yet?!!!

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  • Comment number 51. Posted by ravaged-not-ruined

    on 8 Oct 2009 11:09

    Science is Fun with Robin Ince and Brian Cox

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  • Comment number 50. Posted by RacingPuma2

    on 8 Oct 2009 09:41

    "Carry on Cloning"

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  • Comment number 49. Posted by poppyMagda

    on 7 Oct 2009 08:50

    Witty Creativity
    My propositions:

    Am I funny?

    Hands up!Shoot.

    Why do we laugh?

    Count to infinity and search.

    Where do we go?
    People in this country laugh.

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  • Comment number 48. Posted by russen91

    on 6 Oct 2009 15:46

    The 64 Million Dollar Answer.

    That's the one we're all after, isn't?

    or

    Wonderlust

    (Aristotle's "Man by nature desires to know..".and all that)

    or

    The Curiosity Cats

    or

    Strictly for the Curious

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  • Comment number 47. Posted by Snafu_labour

    on 6 Oct 2009 07:31

    How about "I'm too thick to understand so it must be elitist"?

    That reminds me I was going to check out some of Brian Cox's papers to find out exactly why the University of Manchester decided to give a Professorship to a pop star. Still keeping an open mind. Trying to be objective.

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  • Comment number 46. Posted by cheesescientist2009

    on 5 Oct 2009 16:52

    The Debunkanators or
    The Debunkers

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