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Lord Ashley, Levon Helm, Wendy Grant, Charles Colson, Val May

28 minutes
First broadcast:
Friday 27 April 2012

Matthew Bannister on

Lord Ashley, who as the Labour MP Jack Ashley, overcame deafness to become a champion of disabled people's rights

Also, Levon Helm, the drummer and singer of The Band - who backed Bob Dylan and recorded acclaimed albums of their own.

Wendy Grant - the neuropathologist who came out of retirement to warn that Mad Cow Disease could affect humans

Charles Colson - special counsel to Richard Nixon - who carried out dirty tricks against the President's opponents, but later found God.

And Val May, the theatre director who established the reputation of the Bristol Old Vic.

  • Lord Ashley of Stoke

    Last Word spoke to his daughter Jane Ashley, to David Blunkett MP, and to the former Editor of the Sunday Times, Sir Harold Evans.

    Born 6 December 1922; died 20 April 2012 aged 89.

  • Levon Helm

    Last Word heard from music critic Barney Hoskyns

    Born 26 May 1940; died 19 April 2012 aged 61.

  • Wendy Grant

    Matthew spoke to her friend and former colleague Professor Peter Lantos

    Born 11 May 1922; died 14 March 2012 aged 89.

  • Charles Colson

    Matthew spoke to Professor Melvin Small who wrote a book about the Nixon years, to the former MP Jonathan Aitken former and to the writer Jeffrey Archer.

    Born 16 October 1931; died 21 April 2012 aged 80.

  • Val May

    Matthew spoke to the actor Timothy West, to James Barber who is Director of the Yvonne Arnaud theatre in Guildford and to the Director of the Bristol Old Vic Tom Morris.

    Born 1 July 1927; died 6 April 2012 aged 84.



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    Last Word

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