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London, United Kingdom




Radio 4's weekly obituary programme, telling the life stories of those who have died recently




David Shepherd, Nancy Hatch Dupree, Gordon Williams, Pat Albeck, Harry Dean Stanton

Matthew Bannister on David Shepherd, the artist who painted trains, aeroplanes and elephants and worked tirelessly to conserve wild animals. Nancy Hatch Dupree, the American born adventurer and writer who devoted her life to creating an archive of Afghan culture and history. Gordon Williams, the Booker prize shortlisted author whose novel The Siege of Trencher's farm became the controversial film Straw Dogs. Pat Albeck the designer known as "the queen of the tea towel" who produced popular...

Duration: 00:28:00

Sir Peter Hall, Kate Millett, Sir Edward du Cann, JP Donleavy

Matthew Bannister on Sir Peter Hall, the director who founded the Royal Shakespeare Company, ran the National Theatre and created many acclaimed theatrical and operatic productions. Kate Millett, the radical feminist whose 1970 book Sexual Politics suggested that men's institutionalised power over women is a social construct, rather than innate or biological. Sir Edward Du Cann, the Tory MP and businessman who chaired the 1922 backbench committee, fell out with Edward Heath, and went...

Duration: 00:27:55

Sir David Tang, Professor Dame Margaret Turner-Warwick, Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O'Connor, Walter Becker

Matthew Bannister on: The flamboyant businessman Sir David Tang who founded the fashion label Shanghai Tang and collected celebrity friends. Tracey Emin pays tribute. Professor Dame Margaret Turner-Warwick who became one of the world's leading authorities on thoracic medicine after suffering from tuberculosis as a child. Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O'Connor, the genial head of the Catholic Church in England and Wales. And Walter Becker - who teamed up with Donald Fagen to create the sophisticated...

Duration: 00:28:25

Dick Gregory, Jeannie Rousseau, Wayne Lotter, Sean O'Callaghan, John Abercrombie

Matthew Bannister on Dick Gregory, the African American comedian and civil rights activist who was also a dietician to stars like John Lennon and Mohammed Ali. Jeannie Rousseau who spied on the Nazis' secret weapons programme. Wayne Lotter, the South African elephant conservationist who has been shot dead in Tanzania. Sean O'Callaghan, the leading IRA member who turned informer. He helped to stop a bomb attack which would have killed the Prince and Princess of Wales. And the jazz guitarist...

Duration: 00:28:02

Abu Kifah, Sir Bruce Forsyth, Brian Aldiss, Blanche Blackwell, Jerry Lewis

Brian Aldiss - the gifted science fiction author who inspired the Hollywood movie AI artificial intelligence. Jerry Lewis the American comic who - with Dean Martin found fame as one of the most successful double acts of all time. Blanche Blackwell - the Jamaican society hostess who became Ian Fleming's lover and some believe - the inspiration for the Bond movie character Pussy Galore. Abu Kifah, the Syrian rescue worker who made headlines around the world after pulling a baby alive from the...

Duration: 00:28:00

Barbara Cook, Sister Ruth Pfau, Richard Gordon, Prof UR Rao

Kate Silverton on the "Broadway Diva" Barbara Cook, the American singer and actress who first came to prominence in the 1950s as the lead in the original Broadway musicals Plain and Fancy and Candide; Sister Ruth Pfau 'Mother Teresa' of Pakistan for her work in combating the spread of leprosy; Richard Gordon the anesthetist,whose medical work inspired him to write Dr in The House novels which were made into films and a TV series; Prof. U.R. Rao, Pioneer of India's Space Programme, who...

Duration: 00:28:13

Glen Campbell, Dame Helen Alexander, Prunella Briance, Clancy Sigal

Matthew Bannister on Glen Campbell - the singer and guitarist best known for hits like Galveston and Witchita Lineman. We talk to the man who wrote them - Jimmy Webb. Dame Helen Alexander, former Chief Executive of the Economist Group and the first woman to head the C.B.I. Clancy Sigal the American writer and activist who was blacklisted during the Communist witch hunts of the 1950s. Prunella Briance who founded the National Childbirth Trust after two traumatic experiences of giving birth.

Duration: 00:27:59

Robert Hardy, David Jones, Jeanne Moreau, Mark Wilkinson, Sam Shepard

Matthew Bannister on The actor Robert Hardy, best known for his roles in All Creatures Great and Small and the Harry Potter films and for playing Winston Churchill. David Jones who wrote the Daedalus column in New Scientist magazine and came up with an endless stream of inventive and challenging experiments. Jeanne Moreau the iconic French actress who was actually half English. Mark Wilkinson - the furniture designer once described as 'the Mozart of the kitchen cabinet' And Sam Shepard, the...

Duration: 00:27:56

Mary Turner, Chester Bennington, Scharlette Holdman, Orri Vigfusson and George A Romero

Matthew Bannister on Mary Turner the President of the GMB Union who started her campaigning life by organising her fellow dinner ladies at a North London school. Chester Bennington, lead singer of the band Linkin Park who sold more than seventy million copies of their nu-metal albums. Scharlette Holdman who cajoled lawyers into representing people on death row in American prisons and developed techniques for persuading the courts to mitigate their sentences. Orri Vigfusson the businessman...

Duration: 00:27:59

Chuck Blazer, Maryam Mirzakhani, Bryan Avery, Peter McHugh, Martin Landau

Matthew Bannister on Chuck Blazer who embezzled millions of dollars from the international football organisation FIFA, then turned whistle blower to incriminate his former colleagues. Maryam Mirzakhani, the Iranian mathematician who became the first woman to win the prestigious Fields Medal. The architect Bryan Avery who designed the drama school RADA and the London Imax cinema. Peter McHugh, the former Fleet Street journalist who helped to turn round the fortunes of TV-am and then became...

Duration: 00:27:56

Simone Veil, Graham Rose, Tom Isaacs, Liu Xiaobo, Ken Hirst

Matthew Bannister on Simone Veil, the Holocaust survivor who became a leading French politician and President of the European Parliament. Graham Rose who directed some of the best loved TV commercials, including the award winning Photo Booth for Hamlet Cigars. Tom Isaacs who was diagnosed with Parkinson's Disease at the age of 27 and raised hundreds of thousands of pounds for research by walking right round the coastline of Britain. The Chinese literary critic and dissident Liu Xiaobo who...

Duration: 00:28:15

Barry Norman, Gordon Wilson, Geri Allen, John Thompson, Jack O'Neill

Matthew Bannister on Barry Norman - best known for presenting the BBC television's Film programme,on radio he also fronted the Today Programme and the News Quiz. Gordon Wilson, the leader who re-built the Scottish National Party after electoral defeat and internal division. Jazz pianist and composer Geri Allen who played in a wide range of styles and was committed to the advancement of women in jazz. John Thompson, the regulator who presided over the introduction of independent local radio...

Duration: 00:28:00

Lord Joffe, Michael Bond, Ann Louise Gilligan, Carla Fendi, John Avildsen

Matthew Bannister on Lord Joffe, the lawyer who defended Nelson Mandela at the infamous Rivonia trial. He went on to co-found the Allied Dunbar insurance company and sat as a Labour peer in the House of Lords. Michael Bond who created Paddington Bear, the Herbs and the guinea pig Olga Da Polga. Ann Louise Gilligan the former nun who campaigned for her same sex marriage to be recognised in Irish law. Carla Fendi, one of five sisters who turned their family business in Rome into a global...

Duration: 00:28:05

Helmut Kohl, Anita Pallenberg, Professor Brian Bellhouse, Naseem Khan, Brian Cant

Julian Worricker on: Helmut Kohl, Chancellor of Germany at the time of the country's re-unification. Anita Pallenberg, artiste and muse to three of the Rolling Stones. Scientist, Brian Bellhouse, who invented the needle-free injection. Naseem Khan, a pioneering figure within the minority ethnic arts scene in Britain. Brian Cant, children's TV presenter, most famous for his twenty years on Play School.

Duration: 00:28:04

Adnan Khashoggi, Countess Mountbatten, Adam West, Kailash Puri, Vin Garbutt, Helen Dunmore

Matthew Bannister on Arms dealer Adnan Khashoggi, known for his lavish life style, he acted as a middle man between governments and arms suppliers. Countess Mountbatten, godmother to Prince Charles, she was badly wounded in the IRA bomb attack which killed her father, Earl Mountbatten of Burma, and her son Nicholas. Adam West, the actor best known for playing Batman on TV. Kailash Puri, the Indian born writer who became an agony aunt to thousands of Punjabi readers. And Vin Garbutt, the...

Duration: 00:28:07

Miriam Rodriguez Martinez, Lord Soulsby of Swaffham Prior, Peter Sallis, Lady Anne Piper, Jiri Belohlavek

Matthew Bannister on Miriam Rodríguez Martínez- the Mexican woman whose daughter was killed by drug cartels - and who led a campaign for justice for thousands of missing people. Lord Soulsby - the first vet to be made a peer. He was an expert on parasites nicknamed "Lord of the Worms." Peter Sallis the actor best known for his role as Norman Clegg in Last of the Summer Wine - and for being the voice of Wallace in Wallace and Gromit. Lady Anne Piper, the novelist who campaigned for nuclear...

Duration: 00:28:10

John Noakes, Manuel Noriega, Pat Stewart, Rex Sanders, Gregg Allman

Julian Worricker on: The broadcaster, John Noakes, who was famous for his daredevil exploits on Blue Peter for thirteen years.... Manuel Noriega, who flirted with the Americans as leader of Panama, and ended up being jailed by them.... The dancer for whom one photograph of her on railings on Blackpool promenade shot her to fame, Pat Stewart.... Wing Commander Rex Sanders, lead navigator on a series of top secret missions over the Soviet Union... And the American rock musician, Gregg...

Duration: 00:28:08

Rhodri Morgan, Michael Wearing, Dr Helen Szamuely, Ian Brady, Robert Miles

Matthew Bannister on Rhodri Morgan the former Welsh First Minister, known as the Labour Party's "Father of Welsh devolution". Michael Wearing the TV producer behind award winning series like "Boys From The Blackstuff" and "Edge of Darkness". Helen Szamuely who helped to start the Anti Federalist League - which became the UK Independence Party. The Moors murderer Ian Brady. And the DJ Robert Miles - best known for his international hit "Children". Producer: Neil George.

Duration: 00:28:06

Ueli Steck, Lord Williams of Baglan, Sylvia Moy, Captain James Dickson MBE, Jon Prinz

Matthew Bannister on The Swiss climber Ueli Steck, famous for his daring high speed ascents of the world's most challenging mountains without the use of oxygen. Lord Williams the human rights expert who advised three Labour Foreign secretaries. Sylvia Moy who co-wrote many of Stevie Wonder's best known songs, including "I Was Made To Love Her" and "My Cherie Amour." Captain James Dickson, the experienced seaman who was winched down onto the deck of the oil tanker Braer when it ran aground in...

Duration: 00:28:10

Robert Pirsig, Shobha Nehru, Michael Ballhaus, Leo Baxendale, Bruce Langhorne

Matthew Bannister on Robert Pirsig, author of the best selling book Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance. Shobha Nehru, the Hungarian woman who married into India's most powerful political dynasty - and used her position to confront Prime Minister Indira Ghandi about human rights abuses. Michael Ballhaus, the cinematographer who worked closely with Martin Scorsese. Leo Baxendale, the cartoonist and publisher who created the Bash Street Kids and Minnie the Minx. And Bruce Langhorne, the...

Duration: 00:28:08

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