Hamming it up: Woman's Hour

Jenni Murray explores the mystery of Mad Men's Don Draper on Radio 4.

“Because of a change in schedule due to industrial action by the National Union of Journalists," apologised continuity at 8am on Radio 4, "we can't bring you our scheduled programme. So, here's a programme on the Wash." And then after the (very relaxing) programme on the Wash, he said: "And that visit to the Wash was in place of our scheduled programme." No mention of the scheduled programme's name - Today was on the naughty step while a parent bustled past with shopping from the car ("Well, if a certain person wants to play tennis in white togs in November . . .").

Alas, the schedule was soon righted. "We're back on track now!" sang continuity, "where we'll be heading off to the African plains to examine the secret agility of the mind of the elephant! But first: Woman's Hour!" Straight into Jenni Murray tackling Stephen Fry's assertion that women have sex to secure craft objects about the home. "Philip," checked Jenni, in conversation with a psychoanalyst called Philip, "is it an antiquated thought?"

“I think it is," he agreed.

“Let's get down to it: women want decent sex," insisted an agony aunt called Rachel.

Philip nodded, adding - like he'd personally underwritten the idea around the time Fay Weldon said "Go to work on an egg" - "Foreplay starts at breakfast."

Jenni leant into the microphone, helplessly following her inclinations, no matter how ultimately injurious to her career they might be. She is the Frances Farmer of Radio 4. "There's a very curious phenomenon at the moment," she started, "Mad Men, and Dan Draper." "Don," corrected Philip.
“Don," dismissed Jenni. "Bound to get his name wrong. Now, he's clearly the kind of man who has 'dangerous' across his forehead and yet women seem to be incredibly attracted to him. Why?"

There was a pause as both guests considered Jon Hamm, his immaculate side parting and dead smile emitting seexxxxxx like an electronic beeper. Rachel gripped the bed and closed her eyes. "It's a female version of the erm, erm - when men have arm candy," she says. "Oh, you know, the other thing, the whatsit . . . ?"

Antonia Quirke is an author and journalist. She is a presenter on The Film Programme and Pick of the Week (Radio 4) and Film 2015 and The One Show (BBC 1). She writes a column on radio for the New Statesman.