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Neil Armstrong, Meles Zenawi, Carlo Curley and Phyllis Diller

28 minutes
First broadcast:
Friday 31 August 2012

Matthew Bannister on

The first man to set foot on the moon, Neil Armstrong. We hear the story of that historic voyage plus his classmates at school, his fellow Korean war pilot and the Professor who taught alongside him after he left NASA.

Also: the flamboyant Carlo Curley who made it his mission to bring organ music to the widest possible audience.

Meles Zenawi, Prime Minister of Ethiopia, once a darling of the West, he lost international support after his violent crackdown on the opposition

And Phyllis Diller, said to be America's first female stand up comedian.

  • Neil Armstrong

    Matthew Bannister spoke to writer Andrew Smith, childhood friends Charles Brading and Doris Weber, former Air Force colleague Jerry Bell and teaching colleague Frank Tepe
    Born 5 August 1930; died 25 August 2012 aged 82

  • Meles Zenawi

    Matthew spoke to Sebastian Beyene, the great grandson of Haile Selassie and a leading figure in the British Ethiopian community.
    Born 8 May 1955; died 20 August 2012 aged 57

  • Carlo Curley

    Matthew spoke to Carlo’s friend and organ builder Edwin Robinson and to his manager Paul Vaughan.
    Born 24 August 1952; died 11 August 2012 aged 59.

  • Phyllis Diller

    Comedy critic and journalist Kate Copstick on the inspiration of America’s first female stand-up comedian.
    Born 17th July 1917; died 20th August 2012 aged 95.



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