Oliver James

Oliver James

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Oliver James is a clinical psychologist
Psychologist is a professional or academic title used by individuals who are either:* Clinical professionals who work with patients in a variety of therapeutic contexts .* Scientists conducting psychological research or teaching psychology in a college...

, journalist, bestselling book author, and television documentary producer. and presenter He also frequently broadcasts on radio and acts as a pundit on television. He was an adviser to Jack Straw
Jack Straw
Jack Straw , British politician.Jack Straw may also refer to:* Jack Straw , English* "Jack Straw" , 1971 song by the Grateful Dead* Jack Straw by W...

 during his time at the Home Office and was part of the Tory Well-Being Commission.

Education and career

He published several academic papers about the organization of therapeutic communities. He has since published papers in The Psychologist journal and in the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health.

In 1982 he made his first TV series, for Granada
Granada is a city and the capital of the province of Granada, in the autonomous community of Andalusia, Spain. Granada is located at the foot of the Sierra Nevada mountains, at the confluence of three rivers, the Beiro, the Darro and the Genil. It sits at an elevation of 738 metres above sea...

 for the ITV network, about childcare (Under Fives). He did two further educational series, one for Channel 4 (Sex With Paula, 1987), one for the ITV network (Men On Violence, 1988, for LWT). He originated, and was Associate Producer of, the ITV First Tuesday documentary about The Man Who Shot John Lennon.

He was the interviewer and producer of the 44 interviews in Room 113 for the two series of the BAFTA-award winning Network 7
Network 7 (TV series)
Network 7 was a short-lived but influential youth music and current affairs programme screened on Channel 4 over two series in 1987 and 1988...

 youth programme on Channel 4
Channel 4
Channel 4 is a British public-service television broadcaster which began working on 2 November 1982. Although largely commercially self-funded, it is ultimately publicly owned; originally a subsidiary of the Independent Broadcasting Authority , the station is now owned and operated by the Channel...

. Audience research revealed Room 113 was the most popular slot in the programme and the interviews were described by Chris Dunckley in the Financial Times as 'The most frank since John Freeman's Face-to-Face in the Fifties`.

In 1990 he produced a documentary for Channel 4 about the Mail on Sunday and in 1992 he contributed three films, two as Producer and one as Producer-Presenter, to the BBC2 Crime and Punishment season. Rape, for 40 Minutes, recorded the meeting of a rapist and a rape victim. Prisoner XYY/334422, also for 40 Minutes, plumbed the psychology of an imprisoned psychopath. Wot U looking at?, for the science strand Horizon, presented his highly influential explanation (from his monograph Juvenile Violence in a Winner-Loser Culture) for why the poor are more violent than the rich and why violence has been rocketing since 1987 in the UK.

In 1995 he produced, directed and presented a forty minute Late Show documentary for BBC2, Prozac Diary, in which artists took the drug to see how it affected their work. In 1997, he produced and presented The Chair, a 7-part interview series for BBC2, including one in which Peter Mandelson
Peter Mandelson
Peter Benjamin Mandelson, Baron Mandelson, PC is a British Labour Party politician, who was the Member of Parliament for Hartlepool from 1992 to 2004, served in a number of Cabinet positions under both Tony Blair and Gordon Brown, and was a European Commissioner...

 MP famously shed a tear.

In 1998 he was the presenter of a 2-part series about his book, New Britain on the Couch, for channel 4, followed in 2000 by presenting a one-off documentary about infidelity, Affairs of the Heart. In each of 2004, 2005 and 2006 he has presented a series of programmes about childcare for This Morning, titled Through The Eyes of the Child.

He has published six books, two of which (They F*** You Up and Affluenza) have sold over 100,000 copies each. Both have been highly influential of contemporary thought. His book Contented Dementia has sold over 35,000 and despite opposition of the Alzheimer's Society, it has become widely adopted by both professionals and carers managing people with dementia.

He currently writes a column every Saturday in the Family section of The Guardian.
He has written columns for The Sun
The Sun (newspaper)
The Sun is a daily national tabloid newspaper published in the United Kingdom and owned by News Corporation. Sister editions are published in Glasgow and Dublin...

, the Sunday Telegraph
Sunday Telegraph
The Sunday Telegraph is a British broadsheet newspaper, founded in February 1961. It is the sister paper of The Daily Telegraph, but is run separately with a different editorial staff, although there is some cross-usage of stories...

, the Sunday Express, The Independent
The Independent
The Independent is a British national morning newspaper published in London by Independent Print Limited, owned by Alexander Lebedev since 2010. It is nicknamed the Indy, while the Sunday edition, The Independent on Sunday, is the Sindy. Launched in 1986, it is one of the youngest UK national daily...

and most recently, The Observer
The Observer
The Observer is a British newspaper, published on Sundays. In the same place on the political spectrum as its daily sister paper The Guardian, which acquired it in 1993, it takes a liberal or social democratic line on most issues. It is the world's oldest Sunday newspaper.-Origins:The first issue,...

magazine. He has also written for several magazines, including Options, Family Circle, Adbusters
The Adbusters Media Foundation is a Canadian-based not-for-profit, anti-consumerist, pro-environment organization founded in 1989 by Kalle Lasn and Bill Schmalz in Vancouver, British Columbia...

and Business Life (British Airways). He is a regular contributor to Psychologies Magazine. He also contributes regularly to the Comment page of The Guardian
The Guardian
The Guardian, formerly known as The Manchester Guardian , is a British national daily newspaper in the Berliner format...

, as well as occasional articles for the other broadsheets, daily and Sunday. He has contributed articles to scientific journals including the Journal of Epidemiology, Community Health and The Psychologist .


He is a critic of the contention that ADHD and other mental disorders including schizophrenia
Schizophrenia is a mental disorder characterized by a disintegration of thought processes and of emotional responsiveness. It most commonly manifests itself as auditory hallucinations, paranoid or bizarre delusions, or disorganized speech and thinking, and it is accompanied by significant social...

 and depression
Depression (mood)
Depression is a state of low mood and aversion to activity that can affect a person's thoughts, behaviour, feelings and physical well-being. Depressed people may feel sad, anxious, empty, hopeless, helpless, worthless, guilty, irritable, or restless...

, are primarily genetic
Psychiatric genetics
Psychiatric genetics, a subfield of behavioral neurogenetics, studies the role of genetics in psychological conditions such as alcoholism, schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, and autism. The basic principle behind psychiatric genetics is that genetic polymorphisms, as indicated by linkage to e.g...

 in origin, and has endorsed Jay Joseph's criticism of twin studies in multiple articles.

External links