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Rodney King, Teofilo Stevenson, Gitta Sereny and Victor Spinetti

28 minutes
First broadcast:
Friday 22 June 2012

Matthew Bannister on:

Rodney King whose beating by police sparked the LA riots. In an interview recorded three weeks ago he talks about his troubled childhood and battles with alcoholism.

Also the Cuban boxer Teofilo Stevenson who won three Olympic Gold Medals and turned down millions of dollars to fight Muhammed Ali because he preferred the adulation of the Cuban people.

Gitta Sereny who wrote controversial but acclaimed books about evil.

And Victor Spinetti, raconteur and actor who appeared in all three films made by the Beatles. His friend Barbara Windsor pays tribute.

  • Rodney King

    Rodney spoke to Matthew in an interview last May.

    Born 2 April 1965; died 17 June 2012 aged 47.

  • Teofilo Stevenson

    Matthew spoke to the boxing historian John McDonald and to the journalist and former boxer Hugh Russell.

    Born 29 March 1952; died 11 June 2012 aged 60.

  • Gitta Sereny

    Last Word spoke to her publisher Stuart Proffitt and to her friend the journalist and broadcaster Isabel Hilton.

    Born 13 March 1921; died 14 June 2012 aged 91.

  • Victor Spinetti

    Matthew spoke to Victor's friends the actresses Barbara Windsor and Adrienne Corrie; to Barry Burnett who was Victor’s agent for twenty years and to Hunter Davies who wrote the official biography of the Beatles.

    Born 2 September 1929; died 18 June 2012 aged 82.



  1. Image for Last Word

    Last Word

    Radio 4’s obituary programme, marking the lives of significant figures who have died recently,…

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