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45 minutes
First broadcast:
Wednesday 18 November 2009

Libby Purves is joined by Desmond Fforde, Mariatu Kamara, Richard Williams and Graham Poll.

Desmond Fforde is a former chief officer in the Merchant Navy, who has gathered together some of his favourite nautical stories in a new collection, A Seaman's Book of Sea Stories. They are the stories that inspired him to spend 23 years travelling the world in the Merchant Navy. Now semi-retired, he works as a boat safety examiner and delivery skipper and owns his own 70-ft Dutch barge moored in London's Canary Wharf. A Seaman's Book of Sea Stories is published by Accent Press, with all profits going to The Prostate Cancer Charity.

Mariatu Kamara was born and raised in Sierra Leone. At the age of 12, she became a victim of the country's civil war when rebels attacked her village; she was tortured and during a brutal attack had both her hands cut off. However, she miraculously survived and eventually arrived in Toronto where she has rebuilt her life. Now a student, she is also a UNICEF Special Representative for Children in Armed Conflicts and speaks to groups about her experiences. Her book, Bite of the Mango (with Susan McCelland) is published by Bloomsbury.

Richard Williams is a world renowned animator. Over a career spanning more than 50 years, he has won three Oscars and three British Academy Awards and was the creative mind behind classic films such as Who Framed Roger Rabbit, The Return of the Pink Panther and A Christmas Carol. Known as one of the true innovators in the world of animation, a new edition of his best-selling book The Animator's Survival Kit, has just been published.

Graham Poll is probably Britain's highest profile football referee. In a period of 20 years, he has taken charge of more than 300 top flight games involving more than 15 million spectators and has been involved in two World Cups. He became a referee in 1980 and turned professional in 2001. Poll retired from top level refereeing in 2007, following the infamous 'three yellow cards incident' and is now a radio and television pundit and football writer for the Daily Mail. His book, Geoff Hurst, The Hand of God and the Biggest Rows in the World of Football, is published by Harper Sport.


Arts & Culture selection

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