Marawa Ibrahim is a virtuoso of the hula hoop, dazzling audiences across the world with her unique brand of circus and cabaret. After a nomadic childhood, she graduated with a BA from the Melbourne National Institute for Circus Arts. She is currently spinning up to 60 hoops at a time, performing with La Clique at Camden's Roundhouse.

In the early 1970s, Vratislav Brabenec joined an underground rock band called The Plastic People of the Universe. Members of the band were routinely arrested and interrogated by the police and in 1976, an arrest for 'disturbing the peace' led to a year in prison for Vratislav and others. It was this event which triggered the formation of Charter 77 and, ultimately, changed the political scene in Czechoslovakia.

Actor Tim Pigott-Smith has worked extensively in theatre, television and film, most recently in the hit play Enron, which is about to transfer to the West End. He is still probably best known for playing the sinister Ronald Merrick in ITV's Jewel in the Crown. Enron is at the Noel Coward Theatre.

Val Doonican played clubs, dance halls and theatres all over Ireland, Britain and Germany for 17 years, but it took just one major TV appearance, from the London Palladium in 1964, to turn him into a star overnight. His television show on the BBC ran for 25 years, with his trademark rocking chair and colourful sweaters. His complete autobiography, My Story, My Life is published by JR Books.

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45 minutes

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Wed 16 Dec 2009 21:30