The New Elizabethans

The New Elizabethans

To mark Queen Elizabeth’s Diamond Jubilee, James Naughtie introduces the 60 new Elizabethans who reflect and define her reign. The 60 have been chosen by a panel of historians. The programmes are broadcasting on BBC Radio 4 from 11 June for 12 weeks.

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All episodes (61)

  • Queen Elizabeth II

    Fri, 7 Sep 12

    Duration:
    12 mins

    Queen Elizabeth II celebrates her Diamond Jubilee this year. As the the longest-lived and second-longest-reigning monarch of the United Kingdom after Queen Victoria, she has been served by a total of twelve different Prime Ministers and has witnessed tremendous social, political and cultural changes, including the transformation of the British Empire into the Commonwealth of Nations.

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  • Simon Cowell

    Thu, 6 Sep 12

    Duration:
    12 mins

    Simon Cowell started out on Pop Idol in 2001, before devising X-Factor and Britain's Got Talent. Franchised around the world, these programmes have helped Cowell into the top ten of the Sunday Times music rich list, estimated worth £200-million.

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  • Rupert Murdoch

    Wed, 5 Sep 12

    Duration:
    12 mins

    Rupert Murdoch, the global media magnate. Despite the phone hacking scandal, his political influence and business skills elicit both fear and admiration.

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  • Fred Goodwin

    Tue, 4 Sep 12

    Duration:
    12 mins

    James Naughtie examines the legacy of the loathed banker Fred Goodwin. Having lost millions of pounds, a knighthood, and any public esteem, just how much did the actions of "Fred the Shred" and other leading bankers jeopardise the global economy?

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  • Tony Blair

    Mon, 3 Sep 12

    Duration:
    12 mins

    James Naughtie on the Labour Prime Minister who swept to power in 1997 but will be most remembered for the war in Iraq.

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  • Alex Salmond

    Fri, 31 Aug 12

    Duration:
    12 mins

    Jim Naughtie considers the influence of Alex Salmond, one of the leading Scottish politicians of the Second Elizabethan age. Salmond's passion for an independent Scotland has changed the political geography of the British Isles and may yet change it even more radically.

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  • Princess Diana

    Thu, 30 Aug 12

    Duration:
    12 mins

    Jim Naughtie on Diana, Princess of Wales whose glamorous life and untimely death touched the lives of million, shook the nation and changed the Royal Family forever.

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  • Tim Berners-Lee

    Wed, 29 Aug 12

    Duration:
    12 mins

    Jim Naughtie on Tim Berners-Lee, inventor of the World Wide Web and unlikely hero of the Olympic opening ceremony. Berners-Lee is a key figure in the digital revolution that has re-fashioned social lives, working practices and the flow of information around the globe.

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  • Doreen Lawrence

    Tue, 28 Aug 12

    Duration:
    12 mins

    Doreen Lawrence. Jim Naughtie considers the achievement of the mother of murdered teenager, Stephen Lawrence, whose campaign for justice revealed uncomfortable truths about British society.

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  • John Hume and David Trimble

    Mon, 27 Aug 12

    Duration:
    12 mins

    Jim Naughtie on John Hume and David Trimble who shared the Nobel Peace Prize after the Good Friday Agreement and whose lives help to illuminate the complex politics of Northern Ireland.

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  • Goldie - musician, DJ and artist

    Fri, 24 Aug 12

    Duration:
    12 mins

    James Naughtie considers the contribution of musician, artist, actor and DJ Goldie to the rise of dance music and club culture over the past 25 years. Goldie began as a grafitti artist but was interested in the breakbeat scene. After visiting America in the late 80's he turned his attention to music - particular jungle and drum & bass. He is well known for his innovations in these genres and indeed his debut album "Timeless" in 1995 is acknowledged as a classic. Goldie continues to DJ all over the world.

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  • Charles Saatchi - advertising and art collector

    Thu, 23 Aug 12

    Duration:
    12 mins

    James Naughtie reflects on the high flyer from the advertising world Charles Saatchi. The company he founded with his brother - Saatchi & Saatchi - was one of the most successful ad agencies in the 1980's. Saatchi is also a major art collector, known for his early sponsorship of Damien Hirst and Tracy Emin. He set up The Saatchi Gallery, which he donated to the public in 2010,along with over 200 pieces of art.

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  • Norman Foster

    Wed, 22 Aug 12

    Duration:
    12 mins

    Norman Foster. James Naughtie considers the significance of the British architect whose prolific output has transformed skylines and landscapes around the world. Foster's breakthrough was his innovative designs for the Willis Building in Ipswich in 1974, an office complex which now has listed status. He is probably best known for his iconic buildings and structures including Wembley Stadium, the Millau Viaduct in France, and 30 St Mary Axe in London, also known as "the Gherkin".

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  • Anita Roddick

    Tue, 21 Aug 12

    Duration:
    12 mins

    James Naughtie considers the influence of one of Britain's most successful businesswomen, Anita Roddick. She was the first to base a large High Street business on being socially and environmentally conscious. Her cosmetics company The Body Shop championed fair trade long before it became a buzz word.

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  • Salman Rushdie

    Mon, 20 Aug 12

    Duration:
    12 mins

    James Naughtie portrays the British Indian novelist Salman Rushdie, whose celebrated novel Midnight's Children takes the moment of India's Independence as its starting point and won him the Booker Prize. "The Satanic Verses" was more controversial. When it was published, Ayatollah Khomeini issued a fatwa against him. Copies of the novel were burned on British streets and Rushdie had to live under police protection for several years.

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  • Amartya Sen

    Fri, 17 Aug 12

    Duration:
    12 mins

    Amartya Sen the professor and Nobel-winning laureate known as the Mother Theresa of economics for his work understanding and fighting the causes of poverty.

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  • Ralph Robins

    Thu, 16 Aug 12

    Duration:
    12 mins

    James Naughtie on one of the foremost industrialists of the second Elizabethan age, Ralph Robins, who is credited with turning around the fortunes of Rolls-Royce

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  • BILLY CONNOLLY

    Wed, 15 Aug 12

    Duration:
    12 mins

    James Naughtie considers the Scottish comedian Billy Connolly, who went from from the Clyde shipyards to being one of the UK's most popular stand up comedians

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  • David Hockney

    Tue, 14 Aug 12

    Duration:
    12 mins

    David Hockney. James Naughtie considers the artist who has been at the forefront of British art since his early years as a member of the Pop Art movement.

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  • Margaret Thatcher

    Mon, 13 Aug 12

    Duration:
    12 mins

    James Naughtie considers the lasting influence of Margaret Thatcher, the longest serving Prime Minister of the 20th Century and the only woman to hold the post. Her uncompromising policies and leadership style earned her the enduring nickname "The Iron Lady".

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  • David Attenborough

    Fri, 10 Aug 12

    Duration:
    12 mins

    David Attenborough Britain's well-known broadcaster and naturalist whose landmark Life series changed the way we watched TV and attracted record audiences. He received more public votes to be a New Elizabethan than anyone else.

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  • Stuart Hall

    Thu, 9 Aug 12

    Duration:
    12 mins

    Stuart Hall, a Jamaican born sociologist whose writing and ideas have influenced politics and public debate across the Second Elizabethan Age.

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  • Jayaben Desai

    Tue, 7 Aug 12

    Duration:
    12 mins

    Jayaben Desai, the life of an immigrant sewing machinist who went on to lead one of the most infamous strikes of the 1970s which led to a respect for immigrant workers.

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  • Vivienne Westwood

    Mon, 6 Aug 12

    Duration:
    12 mins

    Vivienne Westwood has won British Designer of the year three times and her subversive and quirky style has been influencing young designers round the world since early 70s. James Naughtie considers her life and career.

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  • Roy Jenkins

    Fri, 3 Aug 12

    Duration:
    12 mins

    Lord Jenkins of Hillhead. Jim Naughtie considers the politician, Roy Jenkins who left the Labour Party to set up the Social Democratic Party.

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  • Jocelyn Bell Burnell

    Thu, 2 Aug 12

    Duration:
    12 mins

    Jocelyn Bell Burnell the astrophysicist who discovered pulsars, the beams of radiation emitted by rapidly spinning neutron stars.

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  • Talaiasi Labalaba

    Tue, 31 Jul 12

    Duration:
    12 mins

    James Naughtie uncovers the little-known tale of SAS hero Talaiasi Labalaba and his heroism in the secret Battle of Mirbat, in Oman in 1972.

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  • David Bowie

    Mon, 30 Jul 12

    Duration:
    12 mins

    Bowie first came to public attention in 1969 with his song "Space Oddity", and then exploded onto the music scene in the early 70's with his glam rock, androgynous alter ego, Ziggy Stardust. James Naughtie considers his musical influence.

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  • Roald Dahl

    Fri, 27 Jul 12

    Duration:
    12 mins

    A writer whose dark irreverent tales have appealed to generations of children, Roald Dahl.

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  • Jack Jones

    Thu, 26 Jul 12

    Duration:
    12 mins

    James profiles Jack Jones, the Trade Union stalwart who was believed to be more powerful than the government of the time.

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  • Robert Edwards

    Tue, 24 Jul 12

    Duration:
    12 mins

    James Naughtie considers Nobel Prize winning scientist Robert Edwards, who with colleague Dr Patrick Steptoe, was the pioneer of In Vitro Fertilisation.

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  • Germaine Greer

    Mon, 23 Jul 12

    Duration:
    12 mins

    James Naughtie presents an assesment of the feminist who influenced a whole generation, Germaine Greer.

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  • George Best

    Fri, 20 Jul 12

    Duration:
    12 mins

    One of the greatest footballers of all time, yet destined for self-destruction, the enigmatic George Best.

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  • Basil D'Olivera

    Thu, 19 Jul 12

    Duration:
    12 mins

    James Naughtie remembers the cricketer from South Africa who became British and was incidentally instrumental in the fight against apartheid, Basil D'Olivera.

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  • Cicely Saunders

    Tue, 17 Jul 12

    Duration:
    12 mins

    James Naughtie profiles Dame Cicely Saunders, the founder of the modern hospice movement who revolutionised palliative care and helped people to die with dignity, free from fear and pain.

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  • Enoch Powell

    Mon, 16 Jul 12

    Duration:
    12 mins

    For more than half his Parliamentary career he was defined in the minds of many people by one speech about immigration made at a Birmingham hotel in 1968. James Naughtie presents the tumultuous and controversial life of Enoch Powell.

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  • Terence Conran

    Fri, 13 Jul 12

    Duration:
    12 mins

    Still working at 80, Terence Conran's career spans a revolution in the restaurant world, including the founding of the Design Museum, his home retail and style makeover with the Habitat and Conran stores together with his many books on food and lifestyle.

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  • Peter Hall

    Thu, 12 Jul 12

    Duration:
    12 mins

    Peter Hall was responsible for the development, success and longevity of both the RSC and The National Theatre. James Naughtie considers Peter Hall, colossus of English theatre.

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  • Margot Fonteyn

    Tue, 10 Jul 12

    Duration:
    12 mins

    Dame Margot Fonteyn is widely considered to be one of the greatest classical dancers of the 20th century. She spent her whole career with the Royal Ballet and was appointed prima ballerina absoluta by The Queen. James Naughtie looks at her life and legacy.

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  • Lennon/McCartney

    Mon, 9 Jul 12

    Duration:
    12 mins

    John Lennon and Paul McCartney were two young men from Liverpool whose dazzling talent created first a band, then a cultural phenomenon and finally became a short hand for vast social change. James Naughtie assesses the pair at the creative heart of the Beatles.

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  • Francis Bacon

    Fri, 6 Jul 12

    Duration:
    12 mins

    Francis Bacon - the haunting artist of suffering, pain and death most famous for his triptychs of the crucifixion and images of the screaming Pope Innocent X.

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  • Paul Foot

    Thu, 5 Jul 12

    Duration:
    12 mins

    Paul Foot. Although he was born into a political family, Paul Foot chose not to go down the Parliamentary route. Instead, he was a lifelong, unapologetic campaigning journalist of the political left, fighting miscarriages of justice and corruption.

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  • Lord Denning

    Wed, 4 Jul 12

    Duration:
    12 mins

    Lord Denning was one of the most outstanding judges of the 20th century, whose love of liberty and passion for justice stayed with him throughout his exceptionally long, and occasionally controversial, career. His impact on the shaping of common law was unrivalled during his lifetime, principally due to his unwillingness to adhere to precedent and 'common-sense' approach. He is fondly remembered as 'the people's judge'.

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  • Barbara Windsor

    Tue, 3 Jul 12

    Duration:
    12 mins

    Barbara Windsor - the actress, whose life both on and off screen is a very British combination of grit and naughtiness. James Naughtie looks at the star of the BBC's long-running soap Eastenders as well as of the popular "Carry On..." film series.

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  • Philip Larkin

    Mon, 2 Jul 12

    Duration:
    12 mins

    Philip Larkin is one of the great English poets, famous also for his day job as Librarian at the University of Hull. In 2003 he was chosen as the nation's best-loved poet of the last 50 years, according to a survey by the Poetry Book Society.

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  • Tony Hancock

    Fri, 29 Jun 12

    Duration:
    12 mins

    Tony Hancock, comedy actor and star of radio and TV. James Naughtie looks at the life and career of a comedian best known for Hancock's Half Hour which epitomised the little man's struggle against the world.

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  • Richard Doll

    Thu, 28 Jun 12

    Duration:
    12 mins

    Richard Doll: epidemiologist who linked smoking with lung cancer. James Naughtie looks at Sir Richard's life and work which also included health effects of asbestos and the contraceptive pill.

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  • Harold Pinter

    Wed, 27 Jun 12

    Duration:
    12 mins

    Harold Pinter. James Naughtie considers one of modern Britain's most influential dramatists, whose writing career spanned 50 years, and earned him a Nobel Prize in Literature.

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  • Dorothy Hodgkin

    Tue, 26 Jun 12

    Duration:
    12 mins

    Dorothy Hodgkin was one of the most successful chemists of the twentieth century, discovering the structures of penicillin, insulin, and vitamin B12 through her ground-breaking approach to crystallography. She was the first woman to receive the Royal Society's Copley medal and a winner of Nobel Prize.

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  • Benjamin Britten

    Mon, 25 Jun 12

    Duration:
    12 mins

    Benjamin Britten is one of the greatest musicians of the 20th century who founded the Aldeburgh Festival. James Naughtie looks at the life and career of the composer who was also a conductor and pianist of gifted brilliance.

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  • Laurence Olivier

    Fri, 22 Jun 12

    Duration:
    12 mins

    Laurence Olivier is possibly the 20th century's most revered actor whose stage and film career spanned more than 60 years with 12 Oscar nominations.James Naughtie examines his life and his genius.

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  • Alfred Hitchcock

    Thu, 21 Jun 12

    Duration:
    12 mins

    With films like Psycho and North by Northwest, Alfred Hitchcock proved himself a master of suspense, obsession and terror. James Naughtie examines the career of one of the most influential British film directors and his voyeuristic use of the camera and the screams of his vulnerable blonde heroines have resonated with film goers down the ages.

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  • Alan Sainsbury

    Wed, 20 Jun 12

    Duration:
    12 mins

    Alan Sainsbury - the champion of the self-service supermarkets, politician, businessman. James Naughtie considers his life and career.

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  • Doris Lessing

    Tue, 19 Jun 12

    Duration:
    12 mins

    Doris Lessing, a spirited, straight-talking novelist has been praised for her ability to inhabit different fictional worlds. She was awarded The Nobel Prize for Literature in 2007 and described as "That epicist of the female experience, who with scepticism, fire and visionary power has subjected a divided civilisation to scrutiny".

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  • Francis Crick

    Mon, 18 Jun 12

    Duration:
    12 mins

    Today - Francis Crick, a famous molecular biologist. James Naughtie peers down the microscope at the talkative and incisive Nobel prize-winning scientist who helped discover the structure of DNA. As the principal author of the 1953 paper in the journal Nature, Crick, alongside Jim Watson, established how messages might be carried by DNA, the memory system in our genes.

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  • Vladimir Raitz

    Fri, 15 Jun 12

    Duration:
    12 mins

    Vladimir Raitz, the pioneer of the package holiday. James Naughtie considers how Raitz, broadened the horizons of the British holidaymaker and set the ball rolling for mass tourism in the Mediterranean.

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  • Michael Young

    Thu, 14 Jun 12

    Duration:
    12 mins

    Michael Young was a social reformer bursting with ideas, who challenged conventional thinking and was one of the leading minds behind the 1945 Labour manifesto. James Naughtie looks at the energetic and innovative founder of Which?, the Consumers' Association and the Open University.

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  • Graham Greene

    Wed, 13 Jun 12

    Duration:
    12 mins

    Graham Greene was among the foremost novelists of the Second Elizabethan age. James Naughtie tells the story of a master of moral guilt and cold war intrigues.

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  • Elizabeth David

    Tue, 12 Jun 12

    Duration:
    12 mins

    Elizabeth David, the cook and the writer who brought European cuisine to British tables. James Naughtie tells her story and how she persuaded her readers that food was one of life's great pleasures, and that cooking should not be a drudgery but an exciting and creative act.

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  • Edmund Hillary

    Mon, 11 Jun 12

    Duration:
    12 mins

    The New Elizabethans: Edmund Hillary. Edmund Hillary was the first man to set foot on the summit of Mount Everest.James Naughtie assesses the mountaineer whose most famous achievement was announced on the day of the Coronation of Queen Elizabeth II.

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  • Welcome

    Wed, 6 Jun 12

    Duration:
    1 min

    Welcome to this new BBC podcast. If you subscribe to the podcast feed, you should receive the first episode of this series automatically within the next seven days. To find other podcasts from the BBC, visit www.bbc.co.uk/podcasts

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  • Barbara Windsor

    Sun, 3 Jun 12

    Duration:
    12 mins

    Barbara Windsor is a very British combination of grit and naughtiness - James Naughtie looks at the star of the long-running BBC soap, Eastenders and the popular "Carry On..." films.

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