Melvyn hair extraordinaire gives a great interview. Some quotes:
I had about five or six rules. I’m not having people talk about different subjects; I’m having people talking about one subject the entire time. I’m having academics, but they’re going to be teaching academics, so they’re used to clarifying things—not dumbing them down.
I wanted to be eclectic, and I wanted to be collegiate. And I wanted to do things that I knew nothing about, because I could get an education on the sly.
I think it’s the first time the British academic intelligentsia has had their own program. This belongs to them. And they look after it, and we feel buoyed up by it.
I think the fascination of knowledge is an addiction. And I sometimes think the fascination of knowledge is the meaning of life. I really do. I mean, it saved me when I was a kid. It got me out of a really, really bad hole. And I’ve tried to keep out of it ever since.