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Darwin's Dangerous Idea written and presented by Andrew Marr begins tonight on BBC2

5th March 2009

In his new three-part series, Andrew Marr explores the legacy and contemporary influence of Charles Darwin’s theory of evolution by natural selection. Each week Andrew will combine incisive and witty story-telling with archive and stills to bring the unfolding of Darwin’s idea and its legacy to life. It is his animated way of speaking that has made him such a popular speaker and conference facilitator.

Darwin's Dangerous Idea is a fascinating exploration of perhaps the biggest idea of them all, evolution by natural selection. This is a theory so potent and divisive that it was immediately hijacked by godless intellectuals such as Karl Marx and Friedrich Nietzsche, the latter memorably declaring "God is dead", while being denounced by fundamentalist Christians.

Andrew explores key moments in Darwin’s life-changing voyage on HMS Beagle in Argentina, Chile and Brazil, as well as visiting locations in the United States, Turkey, Belgium and Berlin that are central to the epic story of the development and impact of Darwin’s "dangerous idea".

Each programme explores the ways in which Darwin’s idea broke out from the world of science and took on a life of its own. The series shows how Darwin's Theory of Evolution still has the power to inspire, challenge and disturb us.

Worth the price of admission alone is the delightful sequence in a zoo where Andrew receives an old-fashioned look from a very knowing orangutan as the pair admire their reflections in a mirror!

The first episode will be shown tonight at 9pm on BBC2, entitled Flesh an Faith, Andrew will explore how Darwin's challenge to religion raised questions of body and soul.

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