The South African cricketer Basil D'Oliveira. whose selection to play for England on a tour of his homeland was seen as a turning point in the anti apartheid campaign.
The playwright Shelagh Delaney whose ground-breaking play "A Taste of Honey" was written when she was a teenager. Jeanette Winterson pays tribute.
The civil servant Sir Robin Mountfield. Under New Labour, he reviewed the government information service.
Sir David Jack was the scientific mind behind the success of the pharmaceutical company Glaxo.
The poet Peter Reading - we have a tribute from his admirer and fellow poet Ian Macmillan.
South African cricketer who has died aged 80.
Basil D’Oliveira was the South African cricketer whose selection to play for England was seen as a turning point in the campaign against apartheid. Basil was born in Cape Town. Under the apartheid system he was categorised as a so called “Cape Coloured” – that is someone of mixed race – which prohibited him from playing alongside white cricketers. When he went to play in England and became a Test player there, his eventual selection for the 1968-69 England tour to South Africa put him at the centre of one of the greatest sporting controversies of the century. As a result, South Africa was exiled from international cricket until the fall of apartheid in 1994.
We spoke to Basil’s biographer, the political commentator Peter Oborne, and to the England and Worcestershire batsman Tom Graveney.
Basil D’Oliveira was born 4 October 1931 and died 19 November 2011.
British playwright who has died aged 71.
The playwright Shelagh Delaney is best known for a work she wrote when she was just eighteen years old. “A Taste of Honey” portrayed Northern working class characters in a naturalistic way and influenced many artists who came afterwards. They included the Smiths front man Morrissey, who described Shelagh as “a genuine poet” and quoted her in his lyrics.
Last Word hears from the author Jeanette Winterson and the radio director Polly Thomas.
Shelagh Delaney was born 25 November 1939 and died 20 November 2011.
Sir Robin Mountfield
Permanent Secretary to the Cabinet Office who has died aged 72.
Sir Robin Mountfield was a career civil servant. Under Margaret Thatcher, he led the negotiations to bring the car manufacturer Nissan to the UK and under New Labour he reviewed the relationship between the government information service and the new breed of special adviser.
Last Word hears from the former head of the Civil Service, Lord Butler, from Lord Heseltine and from the political journalist Anne McElvoy.
Robin Mountfield was born 16 October 1939 and died 9 November 2011.
Sir David Jack
British scientist who has died aged 87.
Sir David Jack was the scientific brain behind the success of the British pharmaceutical company Glaxo. He was credited with the discovery of seven highly important drugs. One, Ventolin - transformed the lives of millions of asthmatics and another – Zantac - caused a revolution in the treatment of stomach ulcers.
Matthew spoke to his colleague Dr Patrick Humphrey and to the Chief Executive of Asthma UK, Dr Neil Churchill.
David Jack was born 22 February 1924 and died 8 November 2011.
British poet who has died aged 65.
The poet Peter Reading often wrote about the darker side of life. He was noted for his outspoken tone, compassion for human suffering and his belief that poetry could be a force for social change. And he was very prolific, producing one collection a year.
Peter’s fellow poet, Ian Macmillan, pays tribute.
Peter Reading was born 27 July 1946 and died 17 November 2011.
Radio 4’s obituary programme, marking the lives of significant figures who have died recently,…