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Grayson Perry on the descent of man

Grayson Perry discusses his book The Descent of Man, asking what would happen if we rethought conventional ideas of manhood. What might be in it for men?

Grayson Perry has started a national conversation about masculinity. In his latest book, the Descent of Man, he asks what would happen if we rethought conventional ideas of manhood. What might be in it for men? Image Credit: Jamie Stoker

We also hear from Keegan Hirst, 18 months ago he became the first British rugby league player to come out as gay while still playing professionally. He was then the captain of the Batley Bulldogs, the team of his home town. How did this hyper masculine environment affect his own view of his sexuality?

And we discuss where increasing gender equality leaves masculine identity with the novelist and director Neil Bartlett, the rapper and beatboxer Testament and the novelist and columnist Tim Lott. If gender roles are becoming more fluid, what does this mean for our most intimate relationships and how are expectations of men shifting in the home?

What do today's 14 year old boys think it means to be a man? Grayson describes this as the most guarded and conservative of ages, so were the group of teenagers we took him along to meet able to surprise him?

Presented by: Jenni Murray
Produced by: Helen Fitzhenry.

Available now

45 minutes


  • Grayson Perry

    Duration: 11:01

  • Keegan Hirst

    Duration: 08:23

  • Neil Bartlett

    Duration: 03:59

  • Equality: A Cost-Benefit Analysis

    Duration: 10:09

  • Teenagers on their idea of what it is to be a man

    Duration: 09:05


Role Contributor
Presenter Jenni Murray
Producer Helen Fitzhenry
Interviewed Guest Grayson Perry
Interviewed Guest Keegan Hirst
Interviewed Guest Tim Lott
Interviewed Guest Neil Bartlett
Interviewed Guest Testament


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