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Tim Hayward discovers how different cultures - today and back into history - have had very different attitudes to the human gut.

Tim Hayward journeys through the bowels of history, exploring our changing relationship with the human gut.

Food writer and restaurant owner Tim Hayward lives by his gut. But his interest extends far beyond filling it up with delicious things. The gut microbiome is one of the most fertile and exciting new fields of scientific enquiry - the vast ecosystem of microbes we now know live inside us and the medical, psychological and dietary ways they affect us. But there is a deeper story to tell.

In this five-part series, Tim explores the complex human relationship with its gut - from how we talk about it to how we have reacted to its ills, and from obsession to veneration via constipation.

In episode one, Tim discovers how different cultures - today and back into history - have had very different attitudes to the human gut. Featuring comedian Anuvab Pal, writer Louise Foxcroft, Egyptologist Richard Parkinson and historian of Christianity Diarmaid MacCulloch.

Written and presented by Tim Hayward
Produced by Rich Ward
Series consultant: Elsa Richardson
A Somethin Else’ production for BBC Radio 4

Available now

14 minutes