iPlayer Radio What's New?
On Now : Thinking Allowed
A History of Tennis, Talking Treatments
Image for How extraordinary is Ye Shiwen?

Listen now 30 mins

Listen in pop-out player

How extraordinary is Ye Shiwen?

30 minutes
First broadcast:
Friday 03 August 2012

In this week's programme:

How extraordinary is Ye Shiwen?

There was controversy this week after Ye Shiwen, a young Chinese swimmer, won the 400 metre individual medley in fine style. A US swimming coach called the performance "disturbing", implying that she may have cheated. More or Less investigates the numbers and finds there's no statistical smoking gun.


Does the news that homelessness has risen by 25% mean that homelessness has risen by 25%? The simple answer is yes. But that word "homeless"; in the words of the great Inigo Montoya, I do not think it means what you think it means.

How many songs could ever be written?

TV's Yan Wong answers this listener's question: "I'm always amazed by the number of songs one can recognise on hearing the first second or two of music. Is it possible to calculate the total number of potential opening bars? Surely it must be finite?"

The crime capital of television

We look for the most dangerous place in TV crime drama. Why? Because we can.

Presenter: Tim Harford
Producer: Richard Knight.


Free downloads

  1. Image for More or Less: Behind the Stats

    More or Less: Behind the Stats

    Tim Harford investigates numbers in the news. Numbers are used in every area of public debate. But…

  2. Image for Tim Harford: Pop-Up Ideas

    Tim Harford: Pop-Up Ideas

    Tim Harford – in the company of Malcolm Gladwell, David Kilcullen and Gillian Tett – uses key…

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.

Added. Check out your playlist Dismiss