About

The Philosofa is a podcast that discusses the practical, real-world significance of abstract philosophical problems, balancing a fine-line between wit and wisdom along the way.  Its purpose – to let the grizzly philosophy bear out of its cage and unleash it on a frightened public.

The format is a playful yet penetrating parley between panellists.  Each episode the hosts, comedians Omar Hamdi and Helen Arney, introduce the philosophical quandary of the day.  They are joined in the studio by an academic philosopher, who offers his or her expertise, and at least two other guests from beyond the academy, who give their own perspectives and discuss the ways in which the topic is important and applies within their own fields.

Discussions are witty and off-the-cuff, whilst still being edifying and insightful.  No prior knowledge needed.  The podcast is aimed as much at the philosophical fledgling as at the most wise and wizened of initiates.  Whether you are donning a toga whilst writing your dissertation, or merely chopping the carrots, we hope you will be enlightened, challenged and entertained.

People

Presenter: Helen Arney

Helen Arney

Presenter and geek songstress Helen Arney thought she’d left her scientific past behind after graduating in Physics from Imperial College, but it wasn’t long before she found herself writing quirky stand-up and songs inspired by her days in the lab.  Since then she’s performed everywhere from Hammersmith Apollo to CERN in Geneva, toured the UK in “Uncaged Monkeys” with Robin Ince and Brian Cox, and taken her own award-winning solo show “Voice of an Angle” to the Edinburgh Fringe. Helen frequently pops up on our television and airwaves, including BBC2 “Coast”, Comedy Central “Stewart Lee’s Alternative Comedy Experience”, BBC Radio 5Live “Bacon’s Theory” and as a lead presenter in “You Have Been Warned” on Discovery Channel. Helen also makes up one third of science comedy phenomenon Festival of the Spoken Nerd and has filled several notebooks with rhymes for Uranus – none of which are printable here.

Presenter: Omar Hamdi

omar Hamdi 2

Fresh from a national tour supporting Russell Kane, various TV appearances, and presenting for Radio 2, Omar Hamdi is ‘just what the comedy scene has been crying out for’ (Daily Telegraph).

As a high-energy, affable Welsh-Egyptian comic, Omar makes the personal political and the political personal, with a disarming every-man charm.

Omar is currently preparing a brand new show for this year’s Edinburgh Fringe Festival, and is a headline act at clubs around the UK and overseas.

Founder/Producer: Gil Percival

Gil photo

Gil Percival completed his PhD in Philosophy at University College London, where he wrote his thesis on the nature of intention and taught Nietzsche and contemporary political philosophy.  After a period of wondering why he had done that, he went into radio and documentary production.  It was then that he had an epiphany  – to combine his love of philosophy, podcasting and stand-up to make a joyous union of wisdom and wisecracks that shows just how much philosophy matters! And lo The Philosofa was born…