265 episodes

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

Last Word BBC

    • Personal Journals
    • 4.9, 20 Ratings

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

    John Hume, Stan Mellor MBE, Paulette Wilson, Sir Alan Parker

    John Hume, Stan Mellor MBE, Paulette Wilson, Sir Alan Parker

    Pictured: John Hume

    Matthew Bannister on:

    John Hume, the politician widely credited with driving through the Northern Ireland peace process.

    Stan Mellor, who became the first jump jockey to ride one thousand winners.

    Paulette Wilson, who was wrongly threatened with deportation and went on to campaign for justice for others affected by the Windrush scandal.

    And the film director Sir Alan Parker, who brought us 'Bugsy Malone', 'Fame' and 'Midnight Express'. His friend and colleague Lord Puttnam pays tribute.

    Interviewed guest: Denis Murray OBE
    Interviewed guest: Barry Turley
    Interviewed guest: Brough Scott MBE
    Interviewed guest: Patrick Vernon
    Interviewed guest: Lord David Puttnam CBE

    Producer: Paula McGinley

    Archive clips from: The Signing of the Good Friday Agreement April 1998, Irish Foreign Ministry 16/01/2014; Northern Ireland Peace Agreement, BBC Sound Archive 10/04/1998; Bill Clinton on John Hume, The Pat Kenny Show, Newstalk 04/08/2020; When I'm 64: John Hume, Radio 4 21/08/2001; Londonderry Riots 1969, Pathe News 13/04/2014; Bono introduces Hume and Trimble, AP Archive 21/05/2015; 1966 Hennessy Gold Cup, The Racing Post 01/08/2020; Paulette Wilson’s Visit to Jamaica, The Guardian 07/10/2019; Midlands Today, BBC News 26/10/2017; Theresa May Apologises to Caribbean Leaders, ITV News, 17/04/2018; Desert Island Discs, Radio 4 09/07/2000; Melody, directed by Waris Hussein, Hemdale Productions 1971; Bugsy Malone, directed by Alan Parker, The Rank Organisation 1976.

    • 28 min
    Stuart Wheeler, Josephine Cox, Miloš Jakeš, Peter Green

    Stuart Wheeler, Josephine Cox, Miloš Jakeš, Peter Green

    Pictured: Stuart Wheeler

    Matthew Bannister on

    Stuart Wheeler, the spread betting tycoon who used his millions to fund anti-EU political parties and campaigns.

    Josephine Cox, the multi-million selling author whose novels often drew on her working class childhood in Blackburn.

    Miloš Jakeš, the General Secretary of the Czech Communist Party at the time of the Velvet Revolution.

    Peter Green, the revered guitarist who founded Fleetwood Mac, but later suffered severe mental health problems.

    Interviewed guest: Philip Collins
    Interviewed guest: Kimberley Young
    Interviewed guest: Professor Mary Heimann
    Interviewed guest: Bernie Marsden

    Producer: Steven Williams

    Archive clips from: HARDtalk, BBC News 24 11/10/2019; General Election, ITN 24/05/2001; Nigel Farage on Stuart Wheeler, VoteLeaveMedia 02/04/2009; A Woman’s Fortune by Josephine Cox, read by Carole Boyd, Audible/HarperCollins 2018; Woman's Hour, Radio 4 02/09/1999; Woman’s Hour, Radio 4 09/10/2001; The Lion’s Den by Josephine Cox, read by Robert Glenister, Radio 4 Extra 24/04/2011; The Soviet Invasion of Czechoslovakia 1968, BBC News 21/08/2018; Miloš Jakeš speech, Radio Free Europe 17/07/1989; People’s Century: 1989: People Power, BBC One 16/02/1997; BBC News, BBC One 10/12/1989; Peter Green: Man of the World, BBC Four 04/02/2011; The Works: Peter Green: A Hard Road, BBC Two 03/10/1996.

    • 28 min
    John Lewis, Tony Elliott CBE, Wendy Cooling, Dr Alan Howard

    John Lewis, Tony Elliott CBE, Wendy Cooling, Dr Alan Howard

    Matthew Bannister on

    John Lewis, the leading American civil rights campaigner who was beaten and imprisoned in the 1960s when he marched with Martin Luther King and later served as a Congressman.

    Tony Elliott CBE, who founded the listings magazine Time Out and oversaw its transformation into a global brand.

    Wendy Cooling, the former teacher who, through the Bookstart scheme, gave millions of babies and toddlers their first books.

    Dr Alan Howard, the nutritionist who came up with the Cambridge Diet which became an international commercial success.


    Producer: Neil George

    Interviewed Guest: Bob Harris
    Interviewed Guest: Alan Yentob
    Interviewed Guest: Michael Carlson
    Interviewed Guest: Justin Somper
    Interviewed Guest: Jon Howard
    Interviewed Guest: Julio Bruno

    Archive clips from: Tomorrow's People, BBC 15/04/1972; Woman's Hour, Radio 4, 01/02/2008; The Perfect Diet?, BBC 2 28/11/1987

    • 27 min
    Jack Charlton, Zindzi Mandela, Charles Webb, Ida Haendel

    Jack Charlton, Zindzi Mandela, Charles Webb, Ida Haendel

    Pictured: Jack Charlton

    Matthew Bannister on

    The footballer Jack Charlton, who went from a pit village in Northumberland to become a Leeds United stalwart and member of England’s 1966 World Cup winning team – and then a successful manager of the Republic of Ireland.

    Zindzi Mandela, the youngest daughter of Nelson Mandela who was an anti-apartheid activist and later South Africa’s ambassador to Denmark.

    Charles Webb, the author of the novel The Graduate which became a classic film starring Dustin Hoffman. Charles was anti-materialism and gave away his royalties and even his homes.

    Ida Haendel, the Polish-born violinist known for her interpretations of Walton, Britten and Sibelius, who appeared at the BBC Proms 68 times.

    Interviewed guest: John Murray
    Interviewed guest: Milton Nkosi
    Interviewed guest: Jack Malvern
    Interviewed guest: Norman Lebrecht

    Producer: Neil George

    Archive clips from: Football Daily, 5 Live 11/07/2020; England v Scotland, BBC Sound Archive 10/04/1965; Desert Island Discs: Jack Charlton, Radio 4 20/10/1996; Ireland pays tribute to Jack Charlton, RTE Sport 11/07/2020; Sports Personality of the Year, BBC One 14/12/2008; Talk to Al Jazeera: Zindzi Mandela, Al Jazeera 18/07/2008; Zindzi Mandela reads her father’s speech in 1985, BBC News Africa 13/07/2020; Book at Bedtime: The Graduate, Radio 4 05/06/2000; Front Row, Radio 4 29/05/2007; The Graduate, directed by Mike Nichols, Lawrence Truman Productions 1967; Woman's Hour, Radio 4 22/06/2000; EBU Interval Talk: Ida Haendel, Radio 3 26/11/1973; BBC Proms, Radio 3 1994.

    • 28 min
    Ennio Morricone, Sir Everton Weekes, Baroness Maddock, Earl Cameron CBE

    Ennio Morricone, Sir Everton Weekes, Baroness Maddock, Earl Cameron CBE

    Pictured: Ennio Morricone

    Matthew Bannister on:

    Ennio Morricone, the Italian composer best known for his scores for films like The Good, The Bad and the Ugly and The Mission, but keen to be remembered also for his avant garde classical works.

    Sir Everton Weekes, the outstanding batsman who played a key role in West Indian cricket’s success in the 1940s and 50s.

    Baroness Maddock, the Liberal Democrat politician who won a stunning victory in the Christchurch by-election in 1993.

    Earl Cameron, the Bermuda-born actor whose long career included roles in many hit TV series as well as films like Pool of London, Thunderball and Guns at Batasi.

    Interviewed guest: David Willey
    Interviewed guest: David Temple
    Interviewed guest: Donna Symmonds
    Interviewed guest: BC Pires
    Interviewed guest: Lord Alan Beith
    Interviewed guest: Baroness Jenny Randerson

    Producer: Neil George

    Archive clips from: Outlook, World Service 07/01/2015; Everton Weekes in his own words, Sky Sports January 2019; England v West Windies 1950 Test Match, Pathe News; England v West Indies at Lords 1950, BBC News; British Politics, Radio 4 30/07/1993; Black on Screen, Radio 4 08/01/2001; Front Row, Radio 4 14/10/2016; Pool of London, directed by Basil Dearden, Ealing Studios 1951; The Heart Within, directed by David Eady, Penington Eady Productions 1957; Guns at Batasi, directed by John Guillermin, Twentieth Century Fox 1964; Thunderball, directed by Terence Young, Eon Productions 1965.

    • 28 min
    Milton Glaser, Terry Dicks, Professor Tom Arie, Else Blangsted

    Milton Glaser, Terry Dicks, Professor Tom Arie, Else Blangsted

    Pictured: Milton Glaser

    Matthew Bannister on

    The graphic designer Milton Glaser who came up with the iconic “I heart New York” logo – but didn’t make a penny from it.

    Terry Dicks, the controversial right wing Tory MP who went out of his way to challenge political correctness.

    Professor Tom Arie, the psychiatrist who helped to transform mental health treatment for older people.

    Else Blangsted, the Hollywood music editor whose own life story reads like the script for a dramatic film.

    Interviewed guest: Christopher Bonanos
    Interviewed guest: Arianne Wack
    Interviewed guest: Julia Langdon
    Interviewed guest: Dr Claire Hilton
    Interviewed guest: Angie Errigo

    Producer: Neil George

    Archive clips from: I Heart Milton Glaser, Radio 4 10/02/2011; File on Four, Radio 4 24/07/1984; Sound Archive: Libyan Terrorism and U.K. Deportations, Radio 4 22/04/1986; File on Four, Radio 4 09/06/1993; The Week in Westminster, Radio 4 24/02/1990; Looking for Else, directed by Sandy Kopitopoulos and Daniel Maurer, Amka Films 2007; The Bonfire of the Vanities, directed by Brian De Palma, Warner Bros 1990; Olympic Sports in Berlin 1936, British Pathe 13/04/2014; Samson and Delilah, directed by Cecil B. DeMille, Paramount Pictures 1949.

    • 28 min

Customer Reviews

4.9 out of 5
20 Ratings

20 Ratings

Top Podcasts In Personal Journals

Listeners Also Subscribed To

More by BBC