The Mark Steel Lectures are a series of radio and television programmes. Written and delivered by Mark Steel, each scripted lecture presents arguments for the importance of a historical figure.
The lectures were originally broadcast on BBC Radio 4 over three series between 1999 and 2002. Many of the arguments were illustrated by miniature sketches. These sketches featured Mark Steel, Martin Hyder, Mel Hudson, Carla Mendonça, Femi Elufowoju Junior and Debbie Isitt. The first series was subtitled "A series of lectures about Englishmen who changed the course of history", with the remaining two changing this to "A series of lectures about people with a passion". The first series was produced by Phil Clark; the others by Lucy Armitage. The lecture on Ludwig van Beethoven was nominated for a Sony Radio Comedy Award.
The programme transferred to television in 2003, with an Open University series on BBC Four, which was later repeated on BBC Two. This variously featured:
⁕Gerard Logan as Lord Byron
⁕Martin Hyder as Isaac Newton, Sigmund Freud, Aristotle, Che Guevara, Oliver Cromwell, Ludwig van Beethoven and Charles Darwin
⁕Ainsley Harriott as Robert Boyle
⁕Linda Smith as Martha Freud