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Shereen's Sunday interview with Marc Abrahams

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Shereen Nanjiani Shereen Nanjiani | 10:00 UK time, Monday, 18 April 2011

We're getting to that stage where it's impossible to open a newspaper or watch a news bulletin without seeing a story about the election campaign or the Royal Wedding. In the studio with me this week were Robert Dawson Scott, David Torrance, and Severin Carrell. Despite the fact that they're losing the will to live with the saturation coverage, all the guys were able to bring fresh perspectives to the twists and turns of the political debate and even managed to find some amusement in the over the top wedding coverage. A top tip if you're trying to get publicity for anything at the moment: contrive to mention Kate and Wills in your Press Release and you're guaranteed.

David Cameron's speech on immigration generated some heated debate as did Judy Murray's call for more PE in schools. She said our children are drowning in a diet of chip fat. David said it was compulsory PE which had put him off exercise while Severin offered some solutions of his own.

To add a little class to the proceedings we had a poetry reading this week, from a former Python no less. I won't tell you who the reader is or the poet. Let's just say it'll make you smile and it has a connection to my special guest this week.

Marc Abrahams is the man behind the Ig Nobel Prize which rewards ideas that make you laugh and then think. He's got some great stories about wacky inventions and research which have won prizes . Did you know that cows with names produce more milk than cows that don't? Or that swearing makes pain easier to bear? You do now.

Finally, another peace of research (albeit non prize-winning) claimed that most of us can't tell the difference between a cheap bottle of plonk and a vintage wine. Severin comes from a family of publicans and has strong views on the public's "ignorance" of wine. I think that must include me. I spent £13 on a bottle of posh wine at the weekend and thought it was no better than the cheapo version. Ignorance or taste? Discuss.

Shereen is broadcast every Sunday on BBC Radio Scotland, 0900-1000



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