I was contacted this week by the producer for the BBC debate show ‘The Big Questions’, Edwina Madden-Egan, who asked me to draw attention to an upcoming edition in which the programme will be discussing the legacy of William Shakespeare to mark 400 years since the playwright’s death.
‘The Big Questions’ is the BBC1’s flagship live moral, ethical and religious debate show presented by Nicky Campbell. Each week three topics are discussed – these are ethical or moral questions, often linked to topics in the news or other topics of mainstream debate. We broadcast Sunday morning’s at 10am on BBC1 from a different location each week. We are also the production company behind ‘Question Time’ and ‘Free Speech’.
On the 3rd of April we will be recording a one hour prerecord special in York (for broadcast on the 10th of April) where we will be discussing the legacy of Shakespeare. We will be gathering a panel (approx. 8-10) of experts on the subject; academics, historians and people of faith, to discuss issues of Shakespeare and belief, and looking at asking a question something like ‘Is Shakespeare a better moral guide than the Bible?’ or ‘Is there more truth in Shakespeare than the Bible?
We have just started looking at this debate, but subjects likely to be discussed within this hour include Shakespeare in the religious context of his time, Shakespeare’s views on timeless issues such as gender, race, religion, power, etc, and also his relevance in the world today.
We are very keen to hear atheist viewpoints on this topic, and I wondered would this be of any interest to yourself or any of your contributors who might have an interest in this subject?
We would require our guests from around 1 pm on the day, to record from 2-3 pm. We record as live with no stops or breaks. We would make all necessary arrangements regarding transport and/or accommodation if you were interested in taking part.
If you are interested in participating, please let me know ASAP. E-mail email@example.com with your contact details, marking you message “Shakespeare” and I will forward them to Edwina.
Note: In April 2014 Slate carried a feature entitled “Much Ado About Nothingness: was Shakespeare an atheist? Or more of a secular humanist?”