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Mark Steel Lectures - Welcome From Mark Steel

Updated Thursday 21st October 2004

Mark Steel extends a warm welcome to the lectures, and explains why he believes Freud's theory about Oedipal complexes wouldn't get past discarded trainers and empty pizza boxes.

Mark Steel Copyrighted image Icon Copyright: Production team

Having read about Sigmund Freud, two things stayed in my memory above all else. The first was that Freud was terrified of the number 62. He became convinced it was following him around, and that this meant he would die at the age of 62. As a result he refused to stay in a hotel if it had more than 61 rooms. The other thought to occur was the implausibility of his theory that men have a desire to sleep with their mothers. Because even if there WAS an attraction, your mum would ruin it by saying "well alright then – but only if you tidy your room first."

This isn’t to deny that Freud, like the other characters in this series, was a genius who changed the world. But they were all wonderfully flawed and magnificently human. So the series is an attempt to portray just that, as well as the only way to show Lord Byron as Joe Strummer, Isaac Newton as Carol Vorderman and Darwin as the man who goes mad in


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