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Famous fans choose their favourite writers for BBC Radio 4's Great Lives For 20 years, Great Lives has been a cornerstone of the Radio 4 schedules, presented by Joan Bakewell, Humphrey Carpenter, Francine Stock and Matthew Parris. Each week, a well-known personality is invited to select someone who has inspired them. They then discuss the 'Great Life' with the presenter and a guest expert to decide whether their hero really merits the accolade. This special collection, celebrating the programme's 20th anniversary, contains the very best episodes featuring authors' lives - from novelists to poets, playwrights to food writers. The eclectic selections include Armando Iannucci on Charles Dickens, Caroline Criado Perez on Jane Austen, and Rich Hall on Tennessee Williams. Two Prime Ministers, John Major and Boris Johnson, discuss the lives of Rudyard Kipling and Samuel Johnson respectively, while MP Rory Stewart champions Sir Walter Scott and Andrew Motion, Poet Laureate, nominates Alfred, Lord Tennyson. From Fay Weldon on H. G. Wells, to Prue Leith on Elizabeth David, the lives of the guests themselves are revealed to be just as fascinating as those of their chosen candidates for greatness. Illuminating and insightful, these gripping Great Lives episodes track the highs and lows of some of the most illustrious characters in the world of literature, sifting fact from fiction to show why they achieved so much and how they have inspired and influenced so many. List of episodes and date of first broadcast on BBC Radio 4: HG Wells 12.10.2001 George Eliot 7.6.2002 Lord Byron 19.7.2002 Charles Dickins 21.11.2003 Edith Wharton 14.5.2004 George Orwell 12.11.2004 Robert Burns 31.12.2004 Elizabeth Gaskell 20.5.2005 Robert Louis Stevenson 22.4.2005 George Sand 8.4.2005 Vasily Grossman 28.10.2005 Anton Chekhov 17.4.2007 George Bernard Shaw 29.5.2007 Elizabeth David 25.9.2007 Katherine Mansfield 22.1.2008 Charles Bukowski 8.4.2008 Dr Samuel Johnson 8.9.2009 Rudyard Kipling 29.9.2009 Alfred, Lord Tennyson 4.8.2009 Tennessee Williams 15.12.2009 Bertolt Brecht 06.04.2010 Michel de Montaigne 21.09.2010 Samuel Beckett 21.12.2010 DH Lawrence 14.12.2010 Lewis Carroll 3.5.2011 Simone de Beauvoir 19.04.2011 Hans Fallada 6.9.2011 William Shakespeare 30.08.2011 Sir Walter Scott 14.8.2012 John Updike 07.01.2014 Elie Wiesel 13.12.2016 CS Lewis 03.01.2017 Jane Austen 7.5.2019 Copyright © 2021 BBC Studios Distribution Ltd. (P) 2021 BBC Studios Distribution Ltd Presented by Matthew Parris, Francine Stock and Humphrey Carpenter Produced by Perminder Khatkar, Miles Warde, Jolyon Jenkins, John Byrne, Maggie Ayre, Toby Field, Alasdair Cross, Mary Ward Lowery, Peter Everett, Mark Smalley, Isobel Eaton, Jolyon Jenkins, Christine Hall, Lizz Pearson, Beth O'Dea, Paul Dodgson, Nicola Humphries, Chris Ledgard, Melvin Rickarby, Camellia Sinclair, Eliza Lomas, Beatrice FentonShow more
A celebration of adult literature and reading. The whole book industry, including booksellers, librarians and publishers were invited come togethere an pick out their favourite titles to be included the final list of 25 books by authors from the UK and Ireland. The final list inclueded fiction, poetry, memoirs among others. There were some bestsellers, classics and some lesser known. Interviews with Graeme Simsion, Lucy Fleming, Jojo Moyes, Lemn Sissay, Mark Haddon, Tracy Chevalier, Victoria Hislop, Rupert Thomson, Andrew MotionShow more
Sir John Betjeman's unique relationship with the BBC left a lasting legacy of poetry, readings and performances. A First Class Collection features a selection of some of his most memorable and best-loved poetry. Betjeman was one of the best-known and loved Poet Laureates and over a hundred years after his birth he continues to attract acclaim and admiration. Some of his fascinating BBC Archive recordings can be enjoyed again in this specially selected collection of poetry. A First Class Collection includes the poet's own readings of some of his most popular works, introduced by Andrew Motion, as well as readings specially commissioned for BBC Radio 4's Poetry Please and exclusive readings from actors Derek Jacobi, Miriam Margolyes, Stephen Fry, Susan Jameson and Samuel West.Show more