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Women on Top: Inside Culture with Mary Beard on BBC Two

February 25 @ 7:30 pm

Historian Mary Beard talks to former Australian prime minister Julia Gillard about the history of women in Women on Top, the new episode of BBC Two's Inside Culture series

In the new episode of BBC Two’s Inside Culture series, historian Mary Beard talks to Julia Gillard AC, former Prime Minister of Australia, and other inspirational figures about how thousands of years of stories and images stereotyping women have shaped our thinking and what this means for women who are in positions of power today.

She is joined in her quest by a group of women who have smashed their glass ceilings and operated at the highest levels of political power, including Gillard, Baronesses Valerie Amos and Sayeeda Warsi, and presidential candidate and former secretary of state Hillary Clinton.

Mary also meets former MP and novelist Edwina Currie at the Pankhurst Centre in Manchester to discuss how art has treated women who either had or sought power throughout history – from Roman empresses to Elizabeth I and from suffragettes to Spitting Image.

In Newcastle, playwright Caroline Bird provides a sneak peak of Red Ellen, her new play about pioneering MP Ellen Wilkinson. And in London, Mary steps onto the stage with actor Adjoa Andoh to discuss the portrayal of power – including her performance as Lady Danbury in Bridgerton and her ground-breaking production of Richard II, featuring only women of colour.

On BBC Two, Friday at 7.30pm, then available on iPlayer