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You should see us all in the studio - we gesticulate even more than in normal conversation!
We would be delighted, Neil, but obviously busy with the show!
In some countries, people can't drive their cars unless they are gesticulating. I think it has something to do with keeping the battery charged.
I am going to have a bash at this one... and this is just a guess ok. Body language accounts for a huge proportion of communication. We have evolved to use it alongside speech allowing us to communicate very effectively. It is only very recently, in the context of human evolution, since devices have been invented that allow us to communicate predominantly without visual contact with the intended recipient/s. I propose that because of this we subconsciously gesticulate when communicating. PS. Neilep, I look forward to hearing you on the naked scientists podcast as a well deserved guest on the show. 
I think it was Desmond Morris who pointed out that, during an argument, Venetians will stop another person from arguing by holding their wrists so they can't gesticulate (or other kinds of "atey" things.)
Marshall McLuhan pointed out that Arabs stand close enough to smell who they're talking to and start to gesticulate once they are out of olfactory range.
I spend most of my day on the phone (I am on it whilst I type this) and I do not gesticulate at all.