This radio programme from the BBC is one I make a point of listening to, regardless of what else I need to do. The format is simple but highly effective. Three guests are invited to suggest an exhibit for inclusion in the virtual museum. John Lloyd presides with a different comedian per series at his side acting as the curator.
The mix of guests makes a difference. As with all BBC panel shows, there is the usual line up of comedians who have made an appearance. Of more interest, though, are the scientists, authors, historians and other academics who also appear.
There standard format is comforting. Each programme is divided into two parts: in the first John Lloyd interviews the guests and draws out interesting information about their careers; part two is when the guests make their donation and explain why they are presenting it for inclusion in the museum. Unlike other panel games, all donations are accepted so the guest does not have to convince the curator. The energy comes from the interaction between all three guests, everyone has something to say about the other contributions.
Of most interest to me are the exhibits which could not possible be placed in a physical museum: the singer Suggs donated The Great Exhibition; Richard Herring suggested Rasputin; Sandy Toksvig donated the alphabet; and Jo Brand put in childhood.
‘The Museum of Curiosity’ is in my hinterland. What’s in yours?