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A former Prime Minister, an IVF pioneer, a Corgi toy designer and a Muppets co-creator

28 minutes
First broadcast:
Friday 12 April 2013

Following a week of tributes to Baroness Thatcher, Matthew Bannister gives the Last Word to the other Dennis - the man who was her driver for fourteen years. And we hear how her father's Methodist sermons shaped her philosophy.

Also the Nobel prize winning pioneer of IVF Sir Robert Edwards, Lord Winston pays tribute.

Marcel Van Cleemput who designed all the Corgi toys so popular with children in the sixties and seventies including the James Bond Aston Martin DB5, the Batmobile and Chitty Chitty Bang Bang.

And Jane Henson who worked with her husband Jim to create the Muppets.

  • Baroness Thatcher

    Last Word spoke to her driver of 14 years, Dennis Oliver and to Dr Eliza Filby, Lecturer in Modern British History at Kings’ College London.

    Born 13 October 1925; died 8 April 2013 aged 87.
  • Sir Robert Edwards

    Last Word spoke to Grace MacDonald, mother of the second IVF baby, to the Chief Executive of Bourn Hall Clinic Mike Macnamee and to Professor Robert Winston.

    Born 27 September 1925; died 10 April 2013 aged 87.
  • Marcel van Cleemput

    Last Word spoke to his daughter Patrice van Cleemput and to his friend and colleague Barry Steer.

    Born 2 May 1926; died 15 March 2013 aged 86.

  • Jane Henson

    Last Word spoke to Bart P.Roccoberton, a professional puppet artist who works at the University of Connecticut, to puppeteer John Tartaglia and to puppet expert Jennifer Garlen. Born 16 June 1934; died 2 April 2013 aged 78.



Philip Sellars
Matthew Bannister



  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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