As part of Radio 3's 2009 Free Thinking festival of ideas, Ken Livingstone goes to the North East of England to meet an audience at the Sage in Gateshead. What does the former Mayor of London have to say to a region which often feels itself sidelined and overlooked by the capital city and by the South East as a whole? In the past, Livingstone has said that 'the divide within cities is vaster than the divide between them'. But is that really true? Has the North-South divide faded?
In conversation with Night Waves presenter Anne McElvoy - who was born in County Durham and is a columnist on the London Evening Standard - Ken Livingstone has a chance to assert to a northern audience what he believes to be the challenges facing the modern metropolis. Is it possible that there are actually lessons that cities on the banks of the Tyne and Wear could learn from the big one by the Thames?