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February 28, 2010: A Tour de Stephen Fry - Monica Parker and Sex, Pies and a Few Lies - Onward Christian Athletes - A Woman of No Consequence (Doc)

Today's guest host was Kevin Sylvester

Hour 1: A Tour de Fry - Kevin Sylvester admits that when he first encountered Stephen Fry it may have been when he saw Fry in the British TV series, Jeeves and Wooster - Mr. Fry played the valet, Jeeves, and his comedy partner Hugh Laurie played Bertie Wooster.

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Hour 2: Monica Parker and Sex, Pies and a Few Lies - Oscar Wilde once said that "nothing succeeds like excess". Elizabeth Taylor was once quoted as saying "there is no deodorant like success".Both axioms have probably been true at various times in Monica Parker's life which has been a big success story any way you look at it.

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Hour 3: Onward Christian Athletes - In 1892, when baseball legend Billy Sunday quit the game to devote all of his time to Christian ministry, he enumerated the irreconcilable contradictions between the values of his newfound religion and the values of his newly-forsaken sport. Baseball, he wrote "develops a spirit of jealousy and selfishness.

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Elsewhere on the show - We talked about God, politics and the Catholic Schism; We heard a compelling documentary called, A Woman of No Consequence; and we heard a few of your letters.

Music

Song: Caravan
Artist: The Rosenberg Trio
Album: Gipsy Jazz


A Tour de Fry

Kevin Sylvester admits that when he first encountered Stephen Fry it may have been when he saw Fry in the British TV series, Jeeves and Wooster - Mr. Fry played the valet, Jeeves, and his comedy partner Hugh Laurie played Bertie Wooster. But maybe it was Blackadder - another brilliant British series in which he played a part. And though Kevin could have, he tried his best not to just sit and sit in studio and gush endlessly about Stephen Fry the actor, the comedian, the writer, the novelist, the director and the host of one of my favourite TV programs - something you can't watch on Canadian television - a quiz show called QI.

Mr. Fry's most recent big project was a TV series and an accompanying book called Stephen Fry in America. It's a multimedia account of Mr. Fry's tour of all fifty States of the Union, traversed mainly in a black London Taxi cab driven by Mr. Fry himself. The series was shot from September 2007 to the following May - and aired in six parts on British TV. It's a remarkable program about a country that - no matter how else you describe it - is certainly remarkable.

This week, Stephen Fry was in a studio in Culver City, California - which was the 46th state on his comprehensive tour.

Music

Song: Confectionary Baby
Artist: Braithwaite & Whiteley
Album:
Night Bird Blues


Mail Pack #1


Last week on the Sunday Edition, Michael and his panel of Mediaphiles - a journalist, a criminologist and a chief of police - talked about crime reporting How is it, they asked, that violent crime has decreased in Canada, but people feel less safe? The answers weren't particularly kind to the media where crime is a hot commodity, the scarier, the more lurid, the better. That conversation prompted some thoughts - and suggestions - from you.

You can write to us about anything you hear on the program. Our email address is thesundayedition@cbc.ca or you can go to our website, www.cbc.ca/thesundayedition and click on contact us. You can also write a letter to us at The Sunday Edition, P. O. Box 500, Station 'A', Toronto, Ontario, M5W 1E6

Music

Song: Spy vs. Spy
Artist: Jake and The Fundamentals
Album:
Jake and The Fundamentals


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Music

Song: Sara
Artist: Alpha Yaya Diallo
Album: Imm
&eacut;


Monica Parker and Sex, Pies and a Few Lies


Oscar Wilde once said that "nothing succeeds like excess". Elizabeth Taylor was once quoted as saying "there is no deodorant like success".Both axioms have probably been true at various times in Monica Parker's life which has been a big success story any way you look at it. She was working as a fashion designer in Toronto in the 1970's when a chance encounter with director Ivan Reitman led to a new career as an actor and comedian. She wrote, produced and starred in the popular 1970's TV series Sweet City Woman for Toronto's City-TV. The show also introduced audience to a young Dan Akroyd.

Hollywood came next, not the easiest place to find steady work. But Monica Parker did. She has spent the last 25 years in Los Angeles acting, writing and producing for television and film. She is now back living and working in Canada.

When we say that Monica Parker is a big success, we mean it in more ways than one. For most of her life she has struggled with her weight, bouncing between loving and loathing her body and dealing with every actor's fear of being typecast. The battle has been often humorous, at times humiliating.

But the great thing about being a performer is that you get the chance to work this stuff out AND entertain people at the same time. This is what Monica Parker is doing with her latest endeavour, a one-woman show she created with director Pam Brighton. It's called, Sex, Pies and a Few Lies, and it opened this past week in Toronto.


Music

Song: Between the Shadows
Artist: Loreena McKennitt
Album:
The Visit


Listener Request

In recognition of Saint David's Day on March 1st. Listener Allen Pritchard requested Cwm Rhondda as sung by a Welsh Male Choir.

Music

Song: Cwm Rhondda (Guide me, O thou great Jehovah)
Artist: Bryn Terfel
Album:
We'll Keep a Welcome

God and Politics and the Catholic Schism

It is probably a mix of the ironic and the appropriate that last fall's Mann Booker prize went to Hilary Mantel for her magisterial Wolf Hall. The novel is a fascinating retelling of the reign of Henry the VIII, in particular the moment when Henry's need for a male heir changed the face of Christendom forever. When the Monarch decided he needed to have his previous marriage annulled, pressed his claim to the Vatican and was rebuffed for a combination of theological and continental power politics, Henry set England on the road to creating its own Christian Church, The Church of England, the heart of the World Anglican Communion.

If it is true that a week in politics is a long time, it is arguable that 500 years in terms of Church politics is but a blink of the eye.

Relations between the Church of England and the Vatican these days could be fairly described as testy. There was that whole thing last fall when the Pope invited Anglicans unhappy with the tendency in the Anglican World to contemplate homosexuals and women as equal partners to put aside their minor differences and rejoin the Universal Church. The fallout from that particular initiative is still being felt. Plus, earlier this month, Pope Benedict's made some comments on certain aspects of British law dealing with diversity and equality as being contrary to natural law and some might say it didn't go over well.

God and Politics and the Catholic Schism - The Debate

On Tuesday of last week, Spectator Magazine is, in its own cheeky fashion, throwing the cat among the pigeons with its much-publicized debate: England Should Be a Catholic Country Again. Rumour has it that the debate won't be confined to the august halls of the Royal Geographical Society.

And of course some might consider this to simply be the proper foreshadowing for Pope Benedict's planned Papal Visit to England this fall, the first such visit in 28 years. So are we witnessing a replay of the religious wars of 5 centuries ago?

Tina Beattie is a Professor of Catholic Studies at Roehampton University and a regular contributor to The Tablet and the on-line journal, Open Democracy;
George Pitcher is Religion Editor of Telegraph Media and an Anglican Priest at St. Bride's Church in London. This week they were both in our London Studios.

Music

Song: Greensleeves
Artist: John Coltrane
Album:
Standard


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Music

Song: Wachet auf, ruft uns die Stimme (Cantata)
Artist: Jacques Loussier
Album: Loussier Plays Bach: The 50th Anniversary Recording


Onward Christian Athletes

In 1892, when baseball legend Billy Sunday quit the game to devote all of his time to Christian ministry, he enumerated the irreconcilable contradictions between the values of his newfound religion and the values of his newly-forsaken sport. Baseball, he wrote "develops a spirit of jealousy and selfishness. One's whole desires are for personal success regardless of what befalls others." Here's another: "Because it is a life in which morality is not essential to success; one might be a consummate rogue and a first-class ball player."

More than a hundred years later, the clash between God and sports is nearly invisible, especially in the United States where His name is invoked nearly every time a running back crosses the goal line or a home-run hitter crosses the plate. The only question these days seems to be whether, on any given day, God will favour the Indianapolis Colts or the New Orleans Saints (there is a hint in there, by the way..) (something about the Olympics?).

So how did professional sports and religion - particularly evangelical Christianity - become so entwined with eachother?

In his new book, Onward Christian Athletes, writer Tom Krattenmaker traces this ever-closer relationship. And he finds that the influence of organized religion expands well beyond the playing fields - into the dressing rooms, the board rooms and the back rooms.

Tom Krattenmaker was in a studio in Portland, Oregon.

Music

Song: Jesu, Joy of Man's Desiring
Artist: Dawn Atkinson
Album:
The Bach Variations (A Windham Hill Sampler)

A Woman of No Consequence - Documentary

Born into a cultured Indian family, she read all the novels of Charles Dickens before she turned ten.Then she was forced to leave school to get married. At 15 she was a mother. And for most of her adult life, Sethu Ramaswamy was in the shadows, trying to find her place in the light.

Finally, at 80, her memoir - Autobiography of an Unknown Indian Woman - was published to great fanfare and acclaim.

This is the surprising third act in a drama full of surprises the story of a child bride whose husband was both her true love and the biggest obstacle to her freedom. The story of a woman who set out one fine day to make for herself the life she'd always wanted.

Sarmishta Subramanian's documentary about her grandmother first aired in January of last year. But we decided to air it again this week because it just won a prestigious Gracie, in the outstanding portrait and biography category. The Gracies are awarded by American Women in Radio and

Her documentary is called, A Woman of No Consequence.

Music

Song: Bourbon & Rosewater
Artist: Jerry Douglas
Album:
Bourbon & Rosewater

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