Great Lives

Great Lives

Biography series exploring the greatest people who ever lived. Matthew Parris interviews an eminent guest and an expert to reveal the truth behind their history heroes.

  • Updated:
    Weekly
  • Episodes available:
    Indefinitely help

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Recent episodes (10)

  • Michael Palin nominates Ernest Hemingway

    Tue, 27 May 14

    Duration:
    28 mins

    Michael Palin first came across his Great Life when he was studying for school exams, his love of Ernest Hemingway has never gone away. He along with expert Naomi Wood tell Matthew Parris why this twentieth century legend is a Great Life. Producer :Perminder Khatkar

    Download 13MB (right click & "save target as / link as")

  • John Craven on Brunel

    Tue, 13 May 14

    Duration:
    25 mins

    John Craven proposes engineer Isambard Kingdom Brunel. Should this creator of great machines be considered a great man or is his finest feat the engineering of his own reputation?

    Download 12MB (right click & "save target as / link as")

  • Isy Suttie on Jake Thackray

    Tue, 6 May 14

    Duration:
    28 mins

    Isy Suttie chooses Jake Thackray, Yorkshire's answer to Noel Coward. With Matthew Parris and Fake Thackray

    Download 13MB (right click & "save target as / link as")

  • Emma Kirkby on Henry Purcell

    Tue, 6 May 14

    Duration:
    25 mins

    Soprano Emma Kirkby discusses the life of English composer Henry Purcell with Matthew Parris. Despite dying at the age of 36, Purcell was arguably the first composer to become a national figure, as shown by his funeral at Westminster Abbey. Living through turbulent times, and through the reign of three monarchs, Purcell had to cope with shifting Catholic and Protestant regimes while producing a steady output of religious music. But he also did some of his most memorable and enduring work for the commercial theatre. Few composers have set the English language to music so felicitously. After his death, Britain produced few world class composers for 200 years. To discuss his legacy, Emma and Matthew are joined by Purcell scholar Michael Burden

    Download 12MB (right click & "save target as / link as")

  • Arnold Bennett

    Tue, 29 Apr 14

    Duration:
    28 mins

    Writer Deborah Moggach nominates the author Arnold Bennett whose work she thinks has been wrongly overlooked. Matthew Parris presents and Gyles Brandethn brings his enthusiasm and expertise.

    Download 13MB (right click & "save target as / link as")

  • Borges

    Tue, 22 Apr 14

    Duration:
    29 mins

    Mathematician Marcus de Sautoy chooses the blind Argentinian writer Jorge Luis Borges for Great Lives. He is fascinated by the connection between the creator of 'The Library of Babel' and science - did Borges really understand notions of infinity and space ? Biographer Jason Wilson adds colourful detail to the life of a great writer whom he insists was just being impish when it came to the weighty matters that have excited more than one mathematician over the years. The programme includes beautiful recordings of Borges in conversation in 1971. Marcus du Sautoy is the Charles Simonyi Professor for the Understanding of Science. The presenter is Matthew Parris, and the producer is Miles Warde

    Download 13MB (right click & "save target as / link as")

  • Great Lives: Hans Sloane

    Tue, 15 Apr 14

    Duration:
    28 mins

    Sir Mark Walport, the government's Chief Scientific Advisor champions the life of Sir Hans Sloane, founder of the British Museum. Along with expert Marjorie Caygill they tell Matthew Parris why they think Sloane is the mother and father of all collectors. Producer : Perminder Khatkar.

    Download 13MB (right click & "save target as / link as")

  • Dante

    Tue, 8 Apr 14

    Duration:
    28 mins

    "Whenever I have too much to drink, I bang on about Dante ...." Sarah Vine makes a choice from the heart - the great Italian writer Dante Alighieri, father of the Italian language and author of the Divine Comedy. Matthew Parris presents, the producer is Miles Warde.

    Download 13MB (right click & "save target as / link as")

  • Great Lives: Jacqueline Du Pre

    Tue, 1 Apr 14

    Duration:
    28 mins

    Evelyn Glennie, solo percussionist talks about her admiration for the cellist Jacqueline Du Pre with presenter Matthew Parris. Producer: Perminder Khatkar

    Download 13MB (right click & "save target as / link as")

  • Great Lives: Lisa 'Lefteye' Lopes chosen by Sara Cox

    Tue, 28 Jan 14

    Duration:
    28 mins

    Sara Cox nominates Lisa 'Left Eye' Lopes, a hip hop artist and rapper, the first on Great Lives. The presenter is Matthew Parris. Producer: Perminder Khatkar. Assistant Producer: Milly Chowles.

    Download 13MB (right click & "save target as / link as")

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