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Will Gompertz

1 hour, 28 minutes
First broadcast:
Saturday 18 January 2014

Suzy Klein and JP Devlin with BBC Arts Editor Will Gompertz who talks about his unpromising beginnings in the arts and a project to find the Art of the Nation. Appropriately they also hear the Inheritance Tracks of popular artist Jack Vettriano and why the mandolin is so widespread from musician Simon Mayor. Zoe Lemon tells what happened to a message in a bottle she threw into the sea twenty three years ago and Brian Conaghan explains how the late diagnosis of Tourette's syndrome affected his life. Princess Michael of Kent reveals a secret passion for singing and Jan Prebble reveals her secret passion - a married man whose his clandestine mistress she was for over forty years. And there are the unspoken thanks of listeners, spoken at last.

Producer: Harry Parker.

  • Will Gompertz

    Will Gompertz is the BBC’s Arts Editor, a post he’s as surprised about as anybody-  his first job was an assistant in a record shop. He left school without any A-Levels, and after a series of directionless jobs, he had a surprising revelation in an art museum that changed his life and set him on course to a career in the arts. He tells us about his fascination for modern art and his latest project: discovering the stories behind the art in peoples’ homes.

    'Art of the Nation' will broadcast on BBC Radio 4 in July.

  • Secret Mistress for 42 years, Jan Prebble

    Jan Prebble

    Jan Prebble had a long and varied career but throughout, for 42 years in fact, she was the secret mistress of author John Prebble, who was married with children. They eventually married and, now in her eighties, she reflects on a lifetime of being the other woman.

  • Secret Life: HRH Princess Michael of Kent

    HRH Princess Michael of Kent

    HRH Princess Michael of Kent tells us about her love of singing.


    The Queen of Four Kingdoms by HRH Princess Michael of Kent is published by Constable. 

  • Travel: Simon Mayor

    Simon Mayor

    Musician Simon Mayor  talks about his travels playing the mandolin and the people around the world he has met who make, play or love this underrated instrument.

    Simon's new album ' The Art of Mandolin' is out now.



  • Living With Tourettes: Brian Conaghan

    Brian Conaghan

    Brian Conaghan describes what it was like to be diagnosed with Tourette’s Syndrome in his late 30s.


    When Mr Dog Bites by Brian Conaghan is published by Bloomsbury



    Tourettes Action


  • Inheritance Tracks: Jack Vettriano

    Jack Vettriano

    Artist Jack Vettriano chooses Little Things Mean A Lot by Kitty Kallen and ‘My Father’ by Judy Collins.


    The Jack Vettriano Retrospective is currently open at Kelvingrove Art Gallery & Museum, Glasgow.

  • Message In a Bottle

    Zoe Averianov

    "I am 10 years old and I like ballet, playing the flute and the piano. I have a hamster called Sparkle and fish called Speckle."

    This was part of a message in a bottle which Zoe Averianov threw into the North Sea in 1990. 23 years later, she received a reply after it was discovered by a couple in the Netherlands.

  • Studio picture

    Studio photo
    Will Gompertz, Brian Conaghan, Suzy Klein, JP Devlin, Hilary James, Simon Mayor, Jan Prebble


Richard Coles
Suzy Klein
Interviewed Guest
Will Gompertz
Interviewed Guest
Jack Vettriano
Interviewed Guest
Simon Mayor
Interviewed Guest
Zoe Lemon
Interviewed Guest
Brian Conaghan
Interviewed Guest
Princess Michael of Kent
Interviewed Guest
Jan Prebble
Harry Parker


Listeners say thank you

Boys cuddling in a field

Saturday Live listeners express their gratitude for good deeds done.


  1. Image for Inheritance Tracks

    Inheritance Tracks

    Celebrating the music that special guests cherish and would like to bestow to future generations.

  2. Image for Inheritance Tracks 2008-2011

    Inheritance Tracks 2008-2011

    Celebrating the music that special guests cherish and would like to bestow to future generations.

  3. Image for Saturday Live

    Saturday Live

    Real life but not as you know it. Radio 4's Saturday morning show is full of the stuff that matters,…

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