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Elaine Morgan is 92 years old and is Wales's greatest living lady of letters. In her time, she has been one of our top writers of TV drama, a feminist icon, scientific rebel and award-winning newspaper columnist. Her latest book, Knock 'em Cold Kid, is her autobiography: the story of a truly inspirational life. This programme looks at that life, and at the people and places that helped shape it.
Elaine Morgan's life story reads like a history of the twentieth century. Born into a poor Rhondda mining family, she dated a GI and married an international Brigadier. Later, she started writing for television before she, or anybody she knew, owned a TV set. Smash-hit series like How Green Was My Valley, The Life and Times of Lloyd George and Testament of Youth saw her work with Siân Phillips and Stanley Baker, and scoop a host of awards.
Then, in the early 1970s, she changed tack, taking on the scientific establishment with a new theory of human evolution. The Descent of Woman made the housewife from Mountain Ash an unlikely feminist hero, and she toured America three times. Over the coming decades, she delved ever deeper into the science, gaining admirers like Sir David Attenborough, who pays tribute to her work in this programme. In her 80s, Elaine began to write a weekly column for the Western Mail - the paper where her writing career began in 1932. In 2012, she became Regional Newspaper Columnist of the Year - and she published her inspiring autobiography, Knock 'em Cold, Kid.
In this programme, we hear from Siân Phillips and Sir David Attenborough about what makes Elaine Morgan so special in so many different fields. Journalist Trevor Fishlock and historian Dai Smith place her work in context, and leading young feminist Kat Banyard tells us how Elaine's writing changed her life.