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Plastic Surgery; The Turn of the Screw; Tandems

Jenni Murray looks at the reasons for having plastic surgery, an all-female production of Britten's opera The Turn of the Screw, and the joy of riding a tandem.

What drives people to go under the knife to change their looks? Seastar Opera present an all-female production of Benjamin Britten's opera The Turn of the Screw. Caz Graham discovers the joys of riding a tandem. Why - from this September - is 16 no long the age at which you are free of education or training? Presented by Jenni Murray.

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30 minutes


  • 'Blurred Lines'

    Is the hit music video for Robin Thicke and Pharrell Williams’ ‘Blurred Lines’ sexist?

    Duration: 09:43

  • Tandems

    The increasing popularity of tandems.

    Duration: 09:06

  • The Turn of the Screw

    An all-female production of Benjamin Britten's opera The Turn of the Screw.

    Duration: 12:17

  • Plastic surgery

    Does cosmetic surgery improve people’s lives?

    Duration: 10:38

Plastic surgery

Last year, there was a considerable rise in the number of people in the UK going under knife to have cosmetic facial surgery. Nine out of ten were women although more and more men are also visiting the aesthetic plastic surgeons nowadays. In his new book – In Your Face – Dr Bryan Mendelson, past president of the International Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgery, says that the need to improve or perfect facial appearance is a universal aspect of human nature. It’s the reason people wear makeup. But that someone born with a face that doesn’t reflect their personality can being constantly misjudged. He believes that his work as an aesthetic plastic surgeon relieves suffering and improves people’s lives. Dr Felicity Mehendale – Consultant Plastic and Reconstructive Surgeon at the Royal Hospital for Sick Children in Edinburgh – disagrees with Dr Mendelson. She does not agree that the solution to a person’s unhappiness with their appearance lies in cosmetic surgery. The two doctors debate whether or not aesthetic plastic surgery is a necessity.

The Turn of the Screw

Almost three quarters of operatic characters are men and yet there are infinitely more women training to become opera singers. To address this imbalance, Seastar Opera is mounting an all-female production of Benjamin Britten's chamber opera The Turn of the Screw and so they have cast women in the two male roles. Jenni Murray talks to Seastar Opera’s Musical Director Susie Self – who will be singing the role of Peter Quint. They are joined by music critic David Nice to discuss this production and the role of cross gender performances. 

Benjamin Britten’s opera The Turn of the Screw will be performed by Seastar Opera at Wells-next-the-Sea in Norfolk from July 25th – 28th.



Cycling is booming like it hasn’t for years.  At the weekends we’ve seen a noticeable increase in  lycra clad figures of both genders  spinning  along  our  roads  but it still remains a rare  sighting  to spot  a tandem -  a man and a woman pedalling together in synchronised harmony. But they are becoming more popular too.   So does double the pedal power mean double the fun? And are there gender politics at play on the bicycle made for two? Ruth Hargreaves and her husband John have been an item for 24 years and riding a tandem for almost as long. They run a tandem shop in Gargrave in the Yorkshire Dales and Caz Graham went to meet them.

'Blurred Lines'

The music video for Robin Thicke and Pharrell Williams’ ‘Blurred Lines’ has become a massive hit worldwide. It’s back at No 1 in the UK and Stateside and has sold a million copies.  But the explicit version of the video features fully clothed men alongside women who are completely naked apart from nude coloured thongs.  But before everyone cries ‘It’s sexist!’, wait. It’s been directed by a woman who never intended it that way.  Music journalist, Jacqueline Springer, joins Jenni to discuss.


Role Contributor
Presenter Jenni Murray
Interviewed Guest Caz Graham
Producer Helen Lee
Editor Alice Feinstein


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