ATHEIST comedian Robin Ince made the horrible mistake last year of agreeing to participate in a debate staged by ITV’s London Talking. The subject was to be “Is Britain becoming more secular?”, but was changed at the last minute to “Who is taking the Christ out of Christmas?”
As a result, he later revealed, he almost burst a blood vessel.
The encounter did, however, have a positive outcome. Once he had cooled down, Ince, according to The Skepic Magazine, sat down to arrange a rational celebration of the Christmas season to prove that “he does enjoy this season of laziness, alcoholism and regret”.
It takes the form of a show called Nine Lessons and Carols for Godless People, featuring a host of entertaining guests, which will be staged at the Bloomsbury theatre on December 19 at 7.30om. Tickets are Â£20 and you can book online here, or call the box office on 020 7388 8822
Rather than talking of Jesus’s birth, acclaimed science author Simon Singh will talk about the birth of the universe. Instead of talking about gold, frankincense and myrrh, Bad Science Columnist Ben Goldacre will talk of alternative medicine and charlatans, while Josie Long will talk about the wonder of the stars.
So far other confirmed guests are Stewart Lee, Phil Jupitus, Mark Thomas (who might be bringing along his grandfather’s travelling harmonium for a carol sing-a-long), Natalie Haynes, Chris Addison, Christina Martin, Jo Neary and Richard Dawkins.
Music will be provided by, among others, Tim Minchin, Darren Hayman, Robyn Hitchcock, Phil Harris, Gavin Osborn, Colin Watson (aka Waen Shepherd) and the fabulous Martin White Orchestra.
The evening will also include projections of classic archive footage of Carl Sagan and Richard Feynman.
Says The Skeptic:
It’s not just for agnostics and atheists; hopefully it will be a night celebrating the wonder of the universe – so as long as you’re not a crazed fundamentalist you can enjoy it. If you are a crazed fundamentalist, then please come and hold a placard up outside and shout like a halfwit.