Join Donate

Ariane Sherine’s “Thought for the Afternoon”, 2009

As a consequence of the Atheist Bus Campaign, comedy writer and now-Patron of Humanism, Ariane Sherine, was asked to give a “Thought for the Afternoon” on BBC Radio 4’s iPMprogramme on the 10th January 2009.


This one-off concession to campaigners like Humanists UK calling for the Today programme’s Thought for the Day slot to be opened up to non-religious “thoughts” reached the national media (see GuardianBBC Radio 4 to broadcast its first atheist ‘Thought for the Afternoon’). Andrew Copson,Humanists UKdirector of Education and Public Affairs, was quoted as saying:

Reflective thoughts on the events of the day do not come only from people with ‘a faith’ so it is wrong for the BBC – which has obligations to its many humanist listeners just as to its religious ones – to exclude non-religious contributors from Thought for the Day.

The slot could only be enhanced by the inclusion of perspectives from the rich tradition of humanist thought and reflection.

Ariane Sherine added:

I’m really pleased and excited to be asked to give the first humanist ‘Thought for the Afternoon’. I hope this is just the first of many from different humanist speakers, and that the Today programme will let humanists on very soon.

Download the audio of “Thought for the Afternoon” (MP3 format, 2:18, file size < 1MB)

Search Humanists UK