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A table tennis champion, a zoo vet, a make-up artist, a radio presenter and a trombonist

28 minutes
First broadcast:
Friday 15 February 2013

Matthew Bannister on the table tennis champion Zhouang Zedong - who played a key role in the ping pong diplomacy between China and the USA.

Also the zoo vet David Taylor who treated killer whales, elephants and other wild animals and inspired the TV series One By One.

The make up artist Stuart Freeborn who brought us the apes at the start of 2001 A Space Odyssey and modelled Yoda's face in Star Wars on his own.

Patricia Hughes - the radio presenter with a warm voice and perfect diction who became associated with Radio 3.

And Paul Tanner - trombonist with the Glenn Miller Orchestra - who played the electro theremin on the Beach Boys' Good Vibrations.

  • Zhuang Zedong

    Last Word spoke to table tennis historian Tim Boggan and to Dr Yangwen Zheng of Manchester University. Born 25 August 1940; died 10 February 2013 aged 72.  
  • David Taylor

    Matthew spoke his daughter Lindsey Bowen to the actor Rob Heyland.

    Born 11 February 1934; died 29 January 2013 aged 78.

  • Stuart Freeborn

    Born 5 September 1914; died 5 February 2013 aged 98.

  • Patricia Hughes

    Last Word spoke to her daughter Emma Weston and to former Radio 3 announcer Tony Scotland.

    Born 26 January 1923; died 8 February 2013 aged 90.

  • Paul Tanner

    Last Word spoke to Gary Gray, clarinet professor at the UCLA Herb Albert School of Music.

    Born 15 October 1917; died 5 February 2013 aged 95.



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    Last Word

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

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