The Radio 3 Arts and Ideas Podcast is usually a selection of prime interviews from their daily Nightwaves. They’ve started doing occasional Landmark single-topic programmes – perhaps a British equivalent to Studio 360’s American Icons (19th and 20th century authors, novels and so on). This first topic from Radio 3 is a 1960s and 70s TV show. Beat that, Americans!

The show is The Avengers. Us sub-40 years olds who didn’t watch telly for most of uni may know little about it beyond the them tune and the faces of the lead characters – John Steed with his bowler hat and cane, and Mrs Peel with her general… eye-catchingness.

So it turns out Mrs Peel and her predecessor Cathy Gale were in a way a feminist breakthrough figures, strong women, for the time.

The guests Bea Campbell and Sarah Dunant spoke so movingly not just about Mrs Peel’s influence their lives, but also to those of other generations present and the writer Brian Clemens, that this is a great listen. There’s only one cut-away interview, and just a few slices of sound from the TV show, yet you’ll stay engaged for the full 45 minutes. Charm, harmony and contrast. All rounded off delightfully.

And Now The Me Bit: The Arts and Ideas Podcast is the most intellectually satisfying weekly I know. Much as I complain about the Radio 4 listener’s conceit of “loving In Our Time” without actually learning from it, Arts & Ideas may well fit that role for me. I love how the presenters can match and go somewhere new and satisfying with such fine interviewees. And it’s the only BBC outlet I can think of where I can never criticise their China coverage.

After listening last night I had little choice but to YouTube The Avengers. Here’s the episode I watched (piecemeal, on the iPhone!)

The Avengers 4×01 Part 1/5