Inside Stories

Guy Leschziner, Alastair Santhouse

Chair: Bidisha

03/03/2022 8:15 pm
Kings Place, Hall 2

A psychiatrist and a neurologist walk into a book festival. Not the start of a joke, but of a fascinating hour as two experts help us to make sense of the mind and to mind the senses. Radio 4 presenter and The Nocturnal Brain author Dr Guy Leschziner returns with The Man Who Tasted Words: Inside the Strange and Startling World of Our Senses. He explores how they construct our perception of the world around us, including case studies such as Bill Oddie’s musical hallucinations and Paul who has never felt pain. In Head First: A Psychiatrist’s Stories of Mind and Body Dr Alastair Santhouse, former Royal Society of Medicine psychiatry president, asks what does it mean to be well? Is it something in our body, or is it subjective, something of the mind? With brutal honesty, deep compassion, and a wry sense of humour the consultant psychiatrist at Guy’s and the Maudsley examines difficult cases that illuminate some of our most puzzling and controversial medical issues, as we start to grapple with the longer-term impact of the pandemic.

Click here to buy a copy of The Man Who Tasted Words by Guy Leschziner and Head First by Alastair Santhouse

Guy Leschziner

Dr Guy Leschziner is a consultant neurologist at Guy’s and St Thomas’ Hospitals, where he leads the Sleep Disorders Centre, one of the largest sleep services in Europe, and a reader in neurology at King’s College London. He also works at London Bridge and Cromwell Hospitals. Alongside his clinical work, he is the presenter of the Mysteries of Sleep series on BBC Radio 4, is editor of the forthcoming Oxford Specialist Handbook of Sleep Medicine (OUP), and is Neurology Section editor for the next edition of Principles and Practice of Sleep Medicine (Elsevier).

Alastair Santhouse

Alastair Santhouseis a consultant psychiatrist at both Guy's Hospital and the Maudsley Hospital in London. He was Vice Chair of the Royal College of Psychiatrists Faculty of Liaison Psychiatry between 2013 and 2017, and in 2016 was elected President of the Psychiatry Section of the Royal Society of Medicine. His clinical work focusses on the intersection of physical and mental health.


Bidisha is a broadcaster, journalist and film-maker. Her latest publication is The Future of Serious Art (Nov 2020) and her latest film series, Aurora, launched in 2020 and is ongoing. Bidisha specialises in international human rights, social justice and the arts and offers political analysis and cultural diplomacy tying these interests together. She writes for the main UK broadsheets and presents and commentates heavily for BBC TV and radio, ITN, CNN, ViacomCBS and Sky News. Her fifth book, Asylum and Exile: Hidden Voices of London (2015), is based on her outreach work in UK prisons, refugee charities and detention centres. Her first short film, An Impossible Poison, received its London premier in March 2018. It has been highly acclaimed and selected for numerous international film festivals. She is currently presenting the Hello Happiness audio series for Wellcome Collection, all about mental and physical health. Image cr Suki Dhanda