Libby Purves meets cloth merchants Philip Pittack and Martin White; cartoonist Annie Tempest; author Nicholas Shakespeare and singer and songwriter Dillie Keane.
Cloth merchants Philip Pittack and Martin White have 120 years of experience in textiles between them and run Crescent Trading. They have been working together as woollen merchants for 25 years and are based in London's Spitalfields which used to be the centre of Britain's rag trade. Last September a fire destroyed their entire stock but they are back in business in a new warehouse which brims with tweed, worsteds and silks - all woven in Britain.
Cartoonist Annie Tempest started writing her Tottering-By-Gently cartoons for Country Life magazine nearly 20 years ago. Her inspiration for Tottering Hall came from her family home, Broughton Hall in North Yorkshire. The characters including Dicky and Daffy, Lord and Lady Tottering, are based on family members - Lord Tottering is inspired by her father. Annie lived in the run-down Broughton Hall from the age of 12 and recalls the draughty hallways and idiosyncratic plumbing in her cartoons. Tottering-by-Gently: The First 20 Years is published by Frances Lincoln.
Nicholas Shakespeare is an award-winning novelist and biographer. His acclaimed biography of Bruce Chatwin was published in 1999. His latest book is a personal one and tells the story of his aunt who lived in occupied France during the war. The book investigates how she survived the war and whether she really was the heroine of family myth. Priscilla - The Hidden Life of an Englishwoman in Wartime France is published by Random House.
Dillie Keane is an actor and singer/songwriter. She founded the satirical cabaret trio Fascinating Aida in 1983. Now in their 30th year, Fascinating Aida are touring the country with their brand new show, Charm Offensive, which includes a long run at London's Southbank Centre.