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Death Is a Bore

Can science offer us a realistic prospect of immortality and would it be desirable?

The transhumanist movement believes that science will soon find a cure for ageing and that immortality could be just around the corner. But is living forever really desirable?

Most of us are resigned to the fact that we won't escape death in the end. But there are people who have dedicated their entire lives to conquering death. This relatively new movement of 'transhumanists' believes that science is close to finding a cure for aging and that immortality may be just around the corner. Chloe Hadjimatheou asks whether it's really possible to live forever and whether it's actually desirable.

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Lord Adonis, Wera Hobhouse MP, Sherelle Jacobs, Sir Bernard Jenkin MP

Jonathan Dimbleby presents political debate from Worthing College in West Sussex.

Jonathan Dimbleby presents political debate from Worthing College in West Sussex with a panel including Lord Adonis, Wera Hobhouse MP, Sherelle Jacobs and Sir Bernard Jenkin MP.

Jonathan Dimbleby presents political debate and discussion from Worthing College in West Sussex with a panel including the Labour peer Lord Adonis; Wera Hobhouse, the Liberal Democrat's spokesperson on Communities and Local Government; the Daily Telegraph journalist Sherelle Jacobs; and Sir Bernard Jenkin, Chair of the Public Administration and Constitutional Affairs Committee in the House of Commons. The panel answer questions on protests by prison officers, Church of England investments in Amazon, whether technology can prevent a hard order in Ireland after Brexit?, Trade deals post-Brexit and Serena Williams' tennis row.

Producer: Lisa Jenkinson.

Sam Coates of The Times is behind the scenes at Westminster with reaction to the budget.

Sam Coates of The Times looks behind the scenes at Westminster.

Is the budget a legacy of George Osborne's? Plus the 'meaningful' vote on Brexit.

Sam Coates of The Times looks behind the scenes at Westminster.

To what extent do the austerity measures taken by George Osborne in 2010 impact on this week's budget? Why has the Labour front bench accepted the chancellor's tax cuts? And the "meaningful" vote on a Brexit deal - what lies in store?

The Editor is Marie Jessel.

Any Questions?

Yasmin Alibhai-Brown, Dan Hannan MEP, Lord Hennessy, Clive Lewis MP

Jonathan Dimbleby presents topical debate from the University of East London

Jonathan Dimbleby presents topical debate from the University of East London's Docklands campus with Yasmin Alibhai -Brown, Dan Hannan MEP, Lord Hennessy and Clive Lewis MP

Jonathan Dimbleby presents topical debate from the University of East London's Docklands Campus with the journalist and author Yasmin Alibhai-Brown, the Conservative MEP Dan Hannan, the crossbench peer and historian Lord Hennessy and Shadow Treasury Minister Clive Lewis MP.

Producer: Lisa Jenkinson

Any Questions?

Ken Clarke MP, Stella Creasy MP, Tim Montgomerie, Gisela Stuart

Jonathan Dimbleby presents political debate from Somerville College, Oxford.

Jonathan Dimbleby presents political debate from Somerville College, Oxford. Panellists include Ken Clarke MP, Stella Creasy MP, Tim Montgomerie and Gisela Stuart.

Jonathan Dimbleby presents political debate from Somerville College, Oxford, with a panel including the former Chancellor of the Exchequer Ken Clarke MP, the Labour backbench MP Stella Creasy, the political commentator Tim Montgomerie and Gisela Stuart who is Chair of Change Britain and the new Chair of Wilton Park, the executive branch of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office which provides a global forum for strategic discussion. The panel discuss a range of issues including Theresa May's brexit deal, free speech at Universities and is there a crisis in young women's mental health crisis?

Producer: Lisa Jenkinson

Steven Fielding draws on past party splits to assess what's happening in our politics now.

Historian Steven Fielding draws on the five big splits in the British political parties in the last 180 years to make sense of what's happening in our politics right now.

When do parties split and why? – and what happens next?

As the consequences of the creation of the Independent Group of breakaway MPs play out, Brexit continues to put extraordinary pressure on the cohesion of Labour and Conservative Parties alike.

Professor Steven Fielding draws on the few examples from our history of party splits to dissect what forces cause them, and why some are bigger and longer-lasting than others. He assesses the significance or otherwise of what’s happening now against the background not just of the birth of the SDP in 1981, but all the big splits since 1846.

With: Laura Beers, David Davis, Angus Hawkins, Clive Lewis, Martin Pugh, Chuka Umunna

Producer: Phil Tinline

Questions in the Welsh Assembly to First Minister Mark Drakeford on Tuesday 5 November.

Questions in the Scottish Parliament to Nicola Sturgeon on Thursday 30 January.

Highlights of the week's proceedings in Parliament.

BBC Parliament's programme looking back at the week in Westminster, presented by Alicia McCarthy.

Questions in the House of Commons to Boris Johnson on 29 January.

Live coverage of questions in the House of Commons to prime minister Boris Johnson on Wednesday 29 January.

Question Time

2020 26/03/2020

Fiona Bruce presents an hour of topical debate with questions from West London.

Fiona Bruce presents an hour of topical debate with questions from West London and live social media reaction.

Fiona Bruce presents an hour of topical debate with questions from West London and live social media reaction, live at 8:05pm on BBC 1. On the panel: Robert Jenrick MP, secretary of state for Housing, Communities and Local Government, Conservative; Emily Thornberry MP, shadow foreign secretary, Labour; Richard Horton, editor-in-chief of the medical journal The Lancet; and Humphrey Cobbold, chief executive officer of PureGym, the UK's leading gym provider.

Credits

Presenter
Fiona Bruce
Executive Producer
Nicolai Gentchev
Series Editor
Hilary O'Neill
Director
Rob Hopkin
Panellist
Robert Jenrick
Panellist
Emily Thornberry
Panellist
Richard Horton
Panellist
Humphrey Cobbold
Production Company
Mentorn Media

Questions in the Welsh Assembly to First Minister Mark Drakeford from Tuesday 17 March.

BBC Parliament's programme looking back at the week in Westminster.

BBC Parliament's programme looking back at the week in Westminster presented by Alicia McCarthy.

Any Questions?

Silkie Carlo, Baroness Professor Ilora Finlay, Andy McDonald MP, Nadhim Zahawi MP

Chris Mason chairs political debate from Broadcasting House London.

Chris Mason chairs political debate from Broadcasting House London with a panel including Silkie Carlo, Baroness Professor Ilora Finlay, Andy McDonald MP and Nadhim Zahawi MP.

Chris Mason chairs political debate from Broadcasting House London with the Director of the pressure group Big Brother Watch Silkie Carlo, Palliative care expert Baroness Professor Ilora Finlay, the Shadow Transport Secretary Andy McDonald, and the Business Minister Nadhim Zahawi.

Producer: Lisa Jenkinson

Any Questions?

Baroness Chakrabarti, Joanna Cherry QC MP, Paul Drechsler, Jacob Rees-Mogg MP

Jonathan Dimbleby presents topical debate from St John's Wood Church in London

Jonathan Dimbleby presents topical debate from St John's Wood Church in London with Baroness Chakrabarti, Joanna Cherry QC MP, Paul Drechsler and Jacob Rees-Mogg MP.

Jonathan Dimbleby presents topical debate from St John's Wood Church in London with a panel including the Shadow Attorney General Baroness Chakrabarti, Joanna Cherry QC MP the SNP's Home Affairs spokesperson, the chairman of London First business group Paul Drechsler and the Chairman of the European Research Group Jacob Rees-Mogg MP. The panel discuss a range of issues including the recent drones disruption at Gatwick Airport, homelessness and rough sleeping, Is "stupid woman" more of an insult than "stupid man"? and Brexit.

Producer: Lisa Jenkinson

A portrait of the Washington insider whose presidency proved turbulent and controversial.

George HW Bush was well qualified to become the 41st President of the United States, but David McNeil shows that his time in office was tumultuous abroad and exacting at home.

A special programme marking the political career of George HW Bush, the 41st president of the United States. It’s presented by the former BBC Washington correspondent, David McNeil, who spent reported from Washington from 1985 to 1993.

The programme shows how, when elected president in 1988, George HW Bush was the consummate political operator. He had previously served as Ronald Reagan’s vice-president for eight years, although his insider credentials stretched way back. Born the son of a US senator, he was first elected to Congress in the 1960s before moving to the heart of government, notably as director of the CIA.

If his ascent to the White House had looked predictable and straightforward, though, his time there was anything but. The collapse of communism in Eastern Europe and implosion of the Soviet Union in 1989 led President Bush to declare the end of the Cold War and the inauguration of "a New World Order". But achieving it proved both tricky - most obviously with German unification - and far from peaceful - as Saddam Hussein’s invasion of Kuwait a year later demonstrated. That pitched the United States into the first significant commitment of US troops abroad since Vietnam. Although successful in repelling Iraqi forces Bush chose to defer a reckoning with Saddam himself.

Meanwhile, at home, a sputtering economy forced George Bush to break a major campaign promise: “read my lips, no new taxes”. This, together with his problems articulating to voters what he described as “the vision thing” for how he saw the country's future, led to Bush’s defeat by Bill Clinton in 1992.

The programme considers why George HW Bush served only one term when American power and economic strength were unrivalled.

Producer Sue Ellis

Analysis

Love Island, dating apps and the politics of desire

Shahidha Bari explores the changing landscape of modern love.

The way we find love is changing. Shahidha Bari examines the shifting landscape of modern love and looks at the age-old question: what does Love Island tell us about love?

For centuries we have met our other halves through family, friends, work, or religious institutions. But they have all now been outstripped: meeting online is now the most common way to meet. Not long ago, finding love online was considered unconventional. Now the ping of dating apps is the soundtrack to many people's lives.

But what does this change mean for how we choose whom to date?

Shahidha Bari, author and academic at Queen Mary University of London, examines the changing landscape of modern love - its dating apps, its politics of sexual preference - and ultimately tries to answer the age-old question: what does Love Island tell us about love?

Producer: Ant Adeane

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Highlights of the week's proceedings in Parliament.

George Parker, political editor of the FT, looks back at a dramatic week at Westminster.

George Parker and guests on MPs standing down, the state of the Conservative party, the role of social media in campaigning and ten years of 2peaker Bercow.

George Parker looks back on another dramatic week as Westminster prepares for a general election. He is joined by MPs Ken Clarke, Vince Cable and Ann Clwyd to talk about their decision to step down from parliament. Former Conservative leader Iain Duncan Smith discusses how Brexit has changed his party.

Alex Krasodomski Jones, from Demos, explores the role of social media in political campaigns. And we discuss the highs and lows of John Bercow's tenure as Commons Speaker with BrexitCentral journalist Jonathan Isaby and Stefanie Bolzen of the German newspaper Die Welt.

Editor: Leala Padmanabhan

Analysis

Command and Control?

What would be different if 10 Downing Street rather than the Treasury ran economic policy?

Number Ten is said to want control of economic policy from the Treasury. Edward Stourton asks if this would be a good reform leading to clearer, quicker and better decisions.

When Sajid Javid resigned as Chancellor of the Exchequer in February rather than accept Boris Johnson's reported demand that he dismiss his own team of special advisers and accept a new one drawn up in 10 Downing Street, many saw the episode as a crude attempt by the Prime Minister to wrest control of economic policy from the Treasury. But would such a reform necessarily be a bad thing?

Edward Stourton considers the case for economic policy being driven from the very top of government. If decision-making, in arguably the most important government department, took place on the prime minister's terms rather than having to be negotiated with a powerful colleague leading a vast bureaucracy, would that make for quicker and more streamlined decision-making that gave clearer direction to the government overall? And has in any case the time come to clip the wings of the Treasury which too often determines policy on narrowly financial grounds rather than properly allowing for the potential benefits of government spending - and which has recently signed off such alarmingly over-budget projects as HS2 and London's Crossrail?

In seeking answers to those questions, Edward speaks to the former Chancellors, Alistair Darling and Norman Lamont; to former Chief of Staff to Tony Blair in Downing Street, Jonathan Powell; to former Treasury minister, David Gauke; and and to ex-officials, including former top Treasury civil servant, Nic Macpherson.

Producer Simon Coates

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