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45 minutes
First broadcast:
Wednesday 02 February 2011

This week Libby Purves is joined by Sophie Thompson, Patrick Cockburn, Kevin Skelton and Fred Sirieix.

Sophie Thompson is the award-winning stage, film and television actor who is currently reprising her role in the critically acclaimed Clybourne Park, an hilarious satire which explores the fault line between race and property. Written in two parts, over two generations in 1959 and 2009, the company play a different role in each act. Clybourne Park has just transferred to the West End and is playing at Wyndham's Theatre.

Patrick Cockburn is Iraq correspondent for the Independent. Seven years ago he was halfway around the world in Afghanistan when he learned from his wife that their son Henry had been admitted to a hospital mental health ward having appeared to have suffered a mental breakdown. Ten days later, Henry was diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia. In their book, 'Henry's Demons', Patrick and Henry give their extraordinary account of Henry's rapid descent into mental illness and of Patrick's journey towards understanding the changes in his son. 'Henry's Demons: Living with Schizophrenia' is published by Simon & Schuster.

Kevin Skelton's wife Mena was one of the twenty-nine people killed in the IRA bombing of Omagh, the single worst atrocity in thirty years of violence in Northern Ireland. In the weeks and months that followed, Kevin found it difficult to cope. In his book 'Sent By An Angel', he tells how a year before his wife died, they had taken a young girl, Andreea, from a Romanian orphanage for a two-week holiday to their home. He was able to gain strength from continuing to support the orphanage and Andreea, organising charitable trips to Romania. 'Sent By An Angel' is published by Hay House.

Fred Sirieix is General Manager at one of London's top restaurants and can currently been seen in BBC Two's Michel Roux's Service, training and mentoring eight young people for a career in front-of-house. The idea for the programme came from an initiative 'Galvin's Chance' that Fred and Chris Galvin came up with two years ago to help disadvantaged young people aged 18 to 24 years old, to give them the chance to train to become world-class hospitality staff in the restaurant business.


Arts & Culture selection

Damian Lewis on reading A Delicate Truth

A selection of highlights from our arts and culture programmes.


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