Comedy and Cryptography

Not the sort of pairing I normally think of, but:

Robin Ince and Brian Cox are joined on stage by comedian Dave Gorman, author and Enigma Machine owner Simon Singh and Bletchley Park enthusiast Dr Sue Black as they discuss secret science, code-breaking and the extraordinary achievements of the team working at Bletchley during WW II.

Audio here.

Posted on December 6, 2012 at 10:59 AM8 Comments


Chris December 6, 2012 3:20 PM

Nice. Shame they omitted mention of the semantic failure of PKI. The mathematical challenge is but one aspect.

Clive Robinson December 6, 2012 4:01 PM

@ Bruce,

You might not know but Prof Brian Cox OBE was in a past life a “pop/rock god” 😉 playing keyboards in D:ream, Dare and Jimmy Page Band. For his misfortunes the UK Political party Labour adopted D:ream’s song “It can only get better” as it’s election tour anthem several years ago. He is still involved with music and is a regular contributor to BBC 6 breakfast show.

He also is a regular on comedy radio shows on BBC Radio 4 and pops up in various quiz shows such as QI.

Oddly there is also a cross the other way a comedian calle Dara O’brien has a couple of shows involving maths and space science.

Oh and you should also know that Rock Legend and lead guitarist for Queen Brian May is a regular on the longest running television series in the world Sir Patric Moores “Sky at Night” which I think Brian Cox has also appeared on from time to time.

As some people know to be a success at entertaining people in comedy requires not just talent but brains as well and for some types of stand up very keen observational skills.

kingsnake December 6, 2012 4:30 PM

Brian May also got his doctorate in physics a few years ago, after putting aside his studies for the best part of four decades …

Marc December 6, 2012 6:24 PM

Funny – I just listened to this episode (via Doggcatcher on my phone) this morning. I enjoyed it tremendously, and wondered what Bruce would think of it. And now I know.

Leave a comment


Allowed HTML <a href="URL"> • <em> <cite> <i> • <strong> <b> • <sub> <sup> • <ul> <ol> <li> • <blockquote> <pre> Markdown Extra syntax via

Sidebar photo of Bruce Schneier by Joe MacInnis.