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Loneliness and Inner Voices

Andrew Marr discusses the inner voice with Charles Fernyhough, Olivia Laing, Alistair McDowall and Frances Wilson.

On Start the Week Andrew Marr talks to the psychologist Charles Fernyhough about the inner speech in our heads. But what if it's a lone voice? The writer Olivia Laing explores what it's like to be lonely in a bustling city, while the playwright Alistair McDowall explores what happens when you're abandoned on a distant planet with no sense of time. The biographer Frances Wilson writes a tale of hero-worship, betrayal and revenge through the life of Thomas De Quincey, a man who modelled his opium-habit on Coleridge and his voice and writing on Wordsworth.
Producer: Katy Hickman.

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43 minutes

Frances Wilson

Frances Wilson is a critic, journalist and author.

Guilty Thing: A Life of Thomas De Quincey is published by Bloomsbury.

Olivia Laing

Olivia Laing is a writer and critic.

The Lonely City: Adventures in the Art of Being Alone is published by Canongate.

Charles Fernyhough

Charles Fernyhough is a writer and a part-time professor in psychology at Durham University.

The Voices Within: The History and Science of How We Talk to Ourselves is published by Profile Books in association with Wellcome Collection.

Hearing the Voice - Looking for Support?

Hearing the Voice - Frequently Asked Questions

Alistair McDowall

Alistair McDowall is a playwright.

X is on at the Royal Court Theatre in London until Saturday 7 May.


Role Contributor
Presenter Andrew Marr
Interviewed Guest Charles Fernyhough
Interviewed Guest Olivia Laing
Interviewed Guest Alistair McDowall
Interviewed Guest Frances Wilson
Producer Katy Hickman