June Brown, James Torme, Jo Bell, Dr Peter Sharrock

Jo Bell is the first Canal Laureate, appointed by the Poetry Society and the Canal and River Trust to encourage more people to appreciate their local waterways. She has lived aboard her 67ft narrowboat Tinker for a decade, mostly on the canals of the Midlands and North West. She is currently writing new verse inspired by her observations and collating work by other poets who have written about our canals and rivers.

Actor June Brown has played Dot Cotton in EastEnders for over 25 years. Her autobiography, Before the Year Dot, traces the first 30 years of her life from her childhood in Ipswich to her days as a gifted stage actor. Like her on-screen persona, June has suffered her share of tragedy including the deaths of her elder sister and her first husband. She trained at the Old Vic Company and her television career started with small parts in Coronation Street, Doctor Who and Minder before she joined the cast of EastEnders. Before the Year Dot is published by Simon and Schuster.

James Tormé is a jazz singer and son of the popular vocalist and composer Mel Tormé. James grew up surrounded by jazz legends including Bing Crosby, Peggy Lee, Duke Ellington and Ella Fitzgerald. As well as his own compositions, James pays tribute to his late father by performing songs from Mel Tormé's repertoire including the Christmas Song, written with Bob Wells. James Tormé is performing at The Hippodrome in Leicester Square.,

Dr Peter Sharrock is an art historian at SOAS, University of London. As a young news reporter, he covered the war in Vietnam during the 1970s. Although witness to a brutal war that decimated much of the region, the experience triggered his lifelong passion for the art and culture of South East Asia. He later became an academic and one of his former students recently donated £20m to SOAS to fund scholarships for students from South East Asia.

Release date:

Available now

43 minutes

Last on

Wed 4 Dec 2013 21:30

In the studio

In the studio
L-R: Dr Peter Sharrock, Jo Bell, James Torme, June Brown


Role Contributor
PresenterLibby Purves
Interviewed GuestJune Brown
Interviewed GuestJames Torme
Interviewed GuestJo Bell
Interviewed GuestPeter Sharrock
ProducerPaula McGinley