Libby Purves meets actor Emma Thompson; record breaker Richard Noble OBE; singer-songwriter Linda Thompson and astronomer Dr Paul Abel.
Emma Thompson is an actor and screenwriter. She won an Oscar for her role in Howard's End and as screenwriter for Sense and Sensibility. She grew up in a theatrical family - her father Eric Thompson was an actor, director and writer of The Magic Roundabout. In 2012 she wrote The Further Tale of Peter Rabbit to commemorate the 110th anniversary of the publication of Beatrix Potter's The Tale of Peter Rabbit. Her follow-up book The Christmas Tale of Peter Rabbit is published by Frederick Warne.
October 4th marks the 30th anniversary of Richard Noble's momentous drive in which he set the world land speed record. Driving Thrust 2, a British jet-propelled car, he reached 633.468 mph. In 1997 he led the team of Thrust SSC which holds the current record. His new project is Bloodhound SSC - a global education initiative which will attempt to break the land speed record again by reaching 1,000 mph in a jet and rocket-powered car.
Linda Thompson is a British folk singer, whose new album, Won't Be Long Now, is her first since 2007. Following her divorce from guitarist Richard Thompson in 1982, she spent a decade away from the music scene after suffering from hysterical dysphonia, a form of stage fright. The Grammy-nominated songwriter began to record again in 2002. Won't Be Long Now features collaborations with her son Teddy and a duet with her former husband, Richard. Won't Be Long Now is released on Topic Records.
Dr Paul Abel is an astronomer, mathematician and a co-presenter on the BBC's The Sky at Night. He was interested in astronomy from a young age, an enthusiasm fuelled by Sir Patrick Moore with whom he communicated from the age of 12. It was at Sir Patrick's request that Paul joined The Sky at Night team in 2009. His new book, the Stargazer's Notebook, is published by Frances Lincoln.
Producer: Paula McGinley.