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Great Lives

Podcast Great Lives
Podcast Great Lives

Great Lives


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  • Bonnie Greer on the Women of the Morant Bay Rebellion
    The playwright Bonnie Greer nominates the women of the Morant Bay Rebellion in Jamaica.
  • George Lascelles, 7th Earl of Harewood nominated by Lesley Garrett
    As Grandson of George V, George Lascelles was a first cousin to Queen Elizabeth II and with his distinguished beard and Nero style jackets, he was the very image of aristocracy, moving in the highest of royal circles, yet it was in the Royal Circles of Britain's opera houses that he felt most at home. It was at English National Opera North (now Opera North) that Lesley Garrett first met George. With their shared love of all things musical, and both proudly from Yorkshire, they developed a friendship that was to last a lifetime. Having survived capture during the Second World War (deepening his knowledge of opera whilst interned as a prisoner of war), he dedicated much of his time to making opera accessible to all. He strove to deliver the best of opera for everyone, with a genuine passion and commitment that inspired all those he worked with. During his career he served as Director of The Royal Opera House, Chairman of the Board of The English National Opera, Managing Director of the ENO, Managing Director of English National Opera North (now Opera North) and outside of opera he served as a Governor of the BBC and President of the British Board of Film Classification. His other great passion was football. He served as President of Leeds United Football Club from 1961 until his death and was President of the Football Association from 1963 to 1972. As Lesley recalls, he believed that both music and sport were 'levelling', that in these worlds there were no kings or paupers. Throughout his life he supported both of these passions, opening doors for everyone, instilling values of accessibility that live on till this day. He died on 11th July 2011 aged 88. Lesley is joined by Professor Alexandra Wilson, a musicologist, author and cultural historian, specialising in Italian opera and British operatic culture from the 1920's to the present day. Presented by Matthew Parris Produced by Nicola Humphries for BBC Audio Bristol
  • Romy Gill on poet Amrita Pritam
    Chef Romy Gill remembers her Mother reading Amrita Pritam's poems to her when she was growing up. Romy was drawn to Amrita's fierce independent spirit and began to learn about her importance as a Panjabi writer whose work was heavily influenced by Partition, and in particular the experiences of women during this period. Romy's joined by the poet Rupinder Kaur who performs extracts of Amrita's work and says her work and influence still resonates today. Amrita Pritam's own voice is heard, speaking about the train journey she took after Partition when she and her family fled to safety in Delhi, inspiring her most famous work 'Ajj Akhan Waris Shah Nu'. Produced for BBC Audio in Bristol by Toby Field
  • Rosalind Franklin picked by Kate Bingham, former head of the UK government's vaccine taskforce
    Rosalind Franklin was born in 1920 and studied Natural Sciences. After working in Paris at the Laboratoire Central - where she became an x-ray crystallographer - she moved to King's College London. Here she helped to take the famous Photograph 51 which led to the discovery of the double helix shape of DNA. Her contribution was famously and disgracefully downplayed by the men who won the Nobel Prize. Later at Birkbeck College she undertook pioneering work of the structure of viruses before dying of ovarian cancer, aged just 37. Nominating Rosalind Franklin is Kate Bingham. She chaired the UK government's Vaccine Taskforce, and she also attended the same school as Rosalind Franklin - St Paul's Girls' School in London. Further contributions from Dr Patricia Fara of Clare College, Cambridge, and Howard Bailes, archivist of St Paul's School. Archive contributors include Francis Crick, Maurice Wilkins and Colin Franklin. The producer in Bristol is Miles Warde
  • Dame Kathleen Ollerenshaw, Educationalist
    Dame Kathleen Ollerenshaw was born Kathleen Timpson in 1912. Deaf from an early age, she went on to have a brilliant career and is best known for her contribution to pandiagonal magic squares. She was also heavily involved in the establishment of the Royal Northern College of Music and was an advisor to Mrs Thatcher's government on education. She died aged 101. Nominator Sir John Timpson is chairman of the high street shoe repair shop that bears his family name and knew Dame Kathleen extremely well. Her spirit and determination shine through. Also in studio is Dr Ems Lord, research fellow at Clare Hall and director of NRICH. The producer in Bristol by Miles Warde

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