The House I Grew Up In

The House I Grew Up In

A series that revisits the childhood homes and neighbourhoods of influential Britons. Presenter Wendy Robbins meets politicians, poets, scientists and entrepreneurs, and uncovers the experiences which shaped the lives of well-known public figures.

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    Weekly
  • Episodes available:
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All episodes (23)

  • R4H: Toby Young 25 Aug 11

    Thu, 25 Aug 11

    Duration:
    28 mins

    Writer Toby Young, son of Open University founder Lord Young of Dartington, visits his childhood, recalling how grammar school saved him where his progressive education failed.

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  • R4H: Jasvinder Sanghera 18 Aug 11

    Thu, 18 Aug 11

    Duration:
    28 mins

    Campaigner against forced marriage Jasvinder Sanghera returns to her Sikh childhood home of Derby. She ran away from home aged 15, causing a family rift which never fully healed.

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

  • R4H: Terry Waite 11 Aug 11

    Thu, 11 Aug 11

    Duration:
    28 mins

    Terry Waite, who was held hostage in Beirut for nearly five years in the late 1980s, returns to his childhood in the small Cheshire hamlet of Styal.

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

  • R4H: Shirley Williams 04 Aug 11

    Thu, 4 Aug 11

    Duration:
    28 mins

    British politician Baroness Shirley Williams returns to her childhood homes in London's Chelsea and the New Forest in Hampshire. Born in 1930 into privilege, she traces the roots of a life in politics.

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  • R4H: Peter Hitchens 28 JUL 11

    Thu, 28 Jul 11

    Duration:
    29 mins

    The writer and journalist, Peter Hitchens, grew up in Portsmouth. He takes Wendy Robbins back to the homes and haunts of his post-war childhood and explores the root of his teenage rebellion and the fractured relationship with his brother, Christopher Hitchens. This programme was first broadcast on BBC Radio 4 in July 2010.

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  • R4H: Series Highlights 21 JUL 2011

    Thu, 21 Jul 11

    Duration:
    29 mins

    The series which revisits the childhood homes and neighbourhoods of influential Britons, uncovering the experiences which shaped their lives. Ahead of the new Radio 4 series, presenter Wendy Robbins presents highlights from past programmes.

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  • R4H: Sir William Atkinson 16 Aug 2010

    Mon, 16 Aug 10

    Duration:
    29 mins

    School super-head, Sir William Atkinson, first came to the UK from Jamaica aged 7 in the 1950s. The family settled in Battersea, South London, a white working-class neighbourhood. Despite a difficult educational start, school became his saviour. He went into education to return the favour. He revisits his childhood home with presenter Wendy Robbins.

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  • R4H: Kay Mellor 09 Aug 2010

    Mon, 9 Aug 10

    Duration:
    28 mins

    TV screenwriter Kay Mellor was born into a working class Leeds household in the 1950s and brought up by her mother from the age of three. Money was tight, she did badly at school and was married with a child, at just sixteen. Kay takes presenter Wendy Robbins to her childhood home and haunts in Leeds.

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  • R4H: Julia Hobsbawn 02 Aug 2010

    Mon, 2 Aug 10

    Duration:
    29 mins

    Businesswoman Julia Hobsbawn was the daughter of the Marxist historian, Eric. She grew up amid the country's leading thinkers. She takes Wendy Robbins to childhood homes in Hampstead and rural north Wales.

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  • R4H: Colin Blakemore 26 Jul 2010

    Mon, 26 Jul 10

    Duration:
    29 mins

    Neurobiologist Professor Colin Blakemore was a war baby brought up in devastated Coventry. As an only child, his parents were able to cash in an insurance policy of £16 which enabled him to go to the local grammar school where he proved himself to be more of an artist and actor than a scientist. He takes Wendy Robbins back to his childhood home.

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  • R4H: Kwame Kwei-Armah 22 Sep 2009

    Tue, 22 Sep 09

    Duration:
    28 mins

    Playwright and actor Kwame Kwei-Armah takes Wendy Robbins back to his home in Southall in West London. Many of his plays draw directly on events and stories from his west-indian childhood home and the rapidly-changing community of Southall in the 1970s.

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  • R4H: Erin Pizzey 15 Sep 2009

    Tue, 15 Sep 09

    Duration:
    29 mins

    Erin Pizzey founded the women’s refuge movement in the 1970s and her name is synonymous with the plight of victims of domestic abuse. She returns to Dorset with Wendy Robbins and explains how events in her childhood helped to shape her campaigning zeal.

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  • R4H: Professor Steve Jones 08 Aug 2009

    Sat, 8 Aug 09

    Duration:
    28 mins

    The biologist, Professor Steve Jones, takes Wendy Robbins back to West Wales in the 1950s to uncover the childhood passions that led to his life of scientific discovery.

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  • R4H: Baroness Jane Campbell 01 Aug 2009

    Sat, 1 Aug 09

    Duration:
    28 mins

    The disability campaigner Baroness Jane Campbell takes Wendy Robbins back to her childhood home in New Malden, Surrey - where she remembers being dressed up as a Barbie doll and wanting to be no different from her able bodied friends.

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  • R4H: Baroness Mary Warnock 17 Sep 2008

    Wed, 17 Sep 08

    Duration:
    28 mins

    Philosopher, Baroness Mary Warnock has been a moral referee for over 30 years, whose judgement has often been relied on to steer a path through controversies such as human embryo research, the education of children with special needs and euthanasia. She takes Wendy Robbins back to her childhood home in Winchester.

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  • R4H: Joanna Briscoe 27 Aug 2008

    Wed, 27 Aug 08

    Duration:
    28 mins

    Novelist Joanna Briscoe takes Wendy Robbins to her isolated childhood home on Dartmoor.

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  • R4H: David Blunkett 20 Aug 2008

    Wed, 20 Aug 08

    Duration:
    28 mins

    David Blunkett takes Wendy Robbins to his childhood home in Sheffield and the schools where he boarded between the ages of 4 & 19.

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  • R4H: Mona Siddiqui 13 Aug 2008

    Wed, 13 Aug 08

    Duration:
    28 mins

    Mona Siddiqui, Professor of Islamic Studies at Glasgow University, takes Wendy Robbins back to her childhood home in Huddersfield. There she remembers growing up in a literary family and her mother’s insistence on living separately from the wider Muslim community.

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  • R4H: Sir Tom Farmer 06 Aug 2008

    Wed, 6 Aug 08

    Duration:
    28 mins

    Scottish entrepreneur and philanthropist, Sir Tom Farmer shows Wendy Robbins his boyhood stamping ground Leith.

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  • R4H: Jackie Kay 27 Aug 2007

    Mon, 27 Aug 07

    Duration:
    28 mins

    The Scottish poet Jackie Kay takes Wendy Robbins back to her unusual childhood in the suburbs of Glasgow.

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  • R4H: Jacqueline Gold 13 Aug 2007

    Mon, 13 Aug 07

    Duration:
    28 mins

    Ann Summers boss Jacqueline Gold takes Wendy Robbins back to the scene of her troubled childhood. The programme contains material about child abuse that some listeners may find disturbing.

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  • R4H: Professor Peter Hennessy 06 Aug 2007

    Mon, 6 Aug 07

    Duration:
    28 mins

    The historian and academic, Peter Hennessy takes Wendy Robbins back to the houses he grew up in in post-war London.

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