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Free Thinking Festival - The Family Is Dead! Long Live the Family!

Writers Anne Fine and Tobias Jones, Professor Sarah Cunningham Burley and Dr Tom Shakespeare explore medical advances and social attitudes which are changing family life.

What is going on inside Britain's families? From three-parent families and surrogacy, to stepfamilies - the fastest rising type of home in the UK - the days of the 'traditional' family are apparently over. The divorce rate in the UK stands at 42%, the highest in the EU, yet nearly 75% of us apparently consider ourselves to be happy with our lives at home. So what are the new rules of family life?

Joining Free Thinking presenter Anne McElvoy are:

Anne Fine - the first Children's Laureate and an acclaimed author of books for adults and children including Madame Doubtfire and Telling Liddy.

Tobias Jones - a novelist and communalist who opened his home as a sanctuary for people in a period of crisis and explores the results in his new book, A Place of Refuge: an Experiment in Communal Living.

Professor Sarah Cunningham-Burley, Professor of Medical and Family Sociology, Centre for Population Health Sciences and founding co-director, Centre for Research on Families and Relationships, University of Edinburgh.

Dr Tom Shakespeare from the University of East Anglia researches disability studies, medical sociology and ethical aspects of genetics.

Recorded in front of an audience during the Free Thinking Festival at Sage Gateshead.

Producer: Luke Mulhall

Available now

44 minutes