Psychiatrist in the Chair: The Official Biography of Anthony Clare


Brendan Kelly & Muiris Houston 

19th October 2020

The first biography of the much-loved Irish psychiatrist, writer and broadcaster Anthony Clare (1942-2007). Featuring exclusive interviews with Clare’s friends, family and celebrity interviewees, and previously unpublished images from Clare’s personal papers.


Buy the eBook > ISBN:9781785373299
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Born in Dublin in 1942, Anthony Clare was the best-known psychiatrist of his generation. His BBC Radio 4 show, In the Psychiatrist’s Chair, which ran from 1982 to 2001, brought him international fame and changed the nature of broadcast interviews forever. Famous interviewees included Stephen Fry, Anthony Hopkins, Spike Milligan, Maya Angelou and Jimmy Savile, each of whom yielded to Clare’s inimitable, gentle yet probing style.

Clare made unique contributions to the demystification and practice of psychiatry, most notably through his classic book Psychiatry in Dissent: Controversial Issues in Thought and Practice (1976). This book, the first, official biography of this much-loved figure, examines the man behind these achievements: the debater and the doctor, the writer and the broadcaster, the public figure and the family man. Using extensive public and family records, we ask: Who was Anthony Clare, really? What drove him? And what is to be learned from his life, his career, and his unique, sometimes controversial legacy to our understanding of the mind? This is the remarkable story of a remarkable person.


  1. Introduction: Who Was Anthony Clare?
  2. Background and Education (1942-66)
  3. The Making of a Psychiatrist (1966-1976)
  4. Writer: Psychiatry in Dissent (1976)
  5. Psychiatrist, Scientist, Professor (1976-89)
  6. Broadcaster: In the Psychiatrist’s Chair (1982-2001)
  7. Return to Ireland (1989)
  8. Work, Life and the Crisis in Masculinity (1989-2007)
  9. The Psychiatrist in the Chair

About The Authors:

Brendan Kelly is a Professor of Psychiatry at Trinity College Dublin, Editor-in-Chief of the International Journal of Law and Psychiatry and author of Hearing Voices: The History of Psychiatry in Ireland (Irish Academic Press, 2016) and Coping with Coronavirus (Merrion Press, 2020).

Muiris Houston is a medical writer and health strategist, a specialist in occupational medicine, Adjunct Professor of Narrative Medicine at Trinity College Dublin, and writer-in-residence at Evidence Synthesis Ireland, at the National University of Ireland, Galway. He is a columnist with the  Medical Independent and The Irish Times. Muiris is a graduate of Trinity College Dublin and the University of Sydney. He is an honorary fellow of the faculty of pathology of the Royal College of Physicians in Ireland.

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Weight 0.53 kg


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