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Arts and Drama
FRONT ROW - TOP INTERVIEWS
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PROGRAMME INFO
Weekdays 19:15-19.45
Radio 4's daily live magazine programme reporting on the world of arts, literature, film, media and music.
John Le Carré - 31 August 2004
Mark Lawson talks in an extended interview to the writer John Le Carré. The Spy Who Came in From The Cold, a disguised confession of his own career as a spy, was the book that made him famous 40 years ago...
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David Lodge - 30 August 2004
Mark Lawson interviews David Lodge who's new novel Author, Author journeys back to the 1880s to explore Henry James' middle years...
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Julian Barnes - 2 March 2004
Mark Lawson talks to Barnes in his London home about his writing career, why his Who's Who entry is so enigmatically brief, and why he shrugs off the label of Francophile despite an enduring attraction to all things French.
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Muriel Sparks - 26 February 2004
Dame Muriel Spark talks to Mark Lawson at her home in Tuscany about her disastrous teenage marriage, the boyfriend who tried to sell her back her own letters and her conversion to Catholicism.
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Joanna Trollope - 4 February 2004
Author, Joanna Trollope talks to Francine about her latest novel Brother and Sister which looks at on the effect of adoption on several generations.
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Brian Aldiss - 2 February 2004
Venerated as one of the most important science fiction writers today, Brian Aldiss discusses his latest work with Mark Lawson.
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John le Carré - 1 January 2004
Mark Lawson talks in a rare extended interview to writer John le Carré. As his latest book Absolute Friends is published, le Carré looks back at his childhood and his relationship with his father; at how his writing was influenced by his time in the British foreign service; and the current international political situation.
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Minette Walters - 13 November 2003
Mark Lawson talks to Minette Walters on winning the 2003 Gold Dagger Award for the best crime novel.
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Robert Hughes - 6 October 2003
Robert Hughes, art critic and author of a new book Goya, explains to Mark Lawson how the artist changed art forever.
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Martin Amis - 1 September 2003
Mark Lawson talks to author Martin Amis, whose latest novel Yellow Dog has divided the critics.
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Mark Lawson talks to Martin about his book, Koba the Dread 02/09/02.
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Listen to the 15 min. extended interview

Crime Writing Special - 25 July 2003
Mark Lawson at the first annual Crime Writing Festival in Harrogate with Val McDermid, Jeffery Deaver, Alexander McCall Smith, Peter Robinson and Leif Davidson discussing how to create an original investigator, their moral responibility in portraying violence, and their nationalistic differences.
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Walter Mosley - 15 July 2003
John Wilson speaks with crime novelist and activist Walter Mosley, famously Bill Clinton's favourite author, of The Devil In A Blue Dress.
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Thom Gunn/Beryl Bainbridge - 27 March 2003
In a Front Row exclusive, Mark Lawson talks to the shared 2003 Winners of the David Cohen Literary Prize, novelist Beryl Bainbridge and poet Thom Gunn.
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Barry Humphries - 9 December 2002
Mark Lawson talks to Barry Humphries about his love-hate relationship with Australia and his alter-egos, Dame Edna and Les Patterson.
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Donna Tartt - 28 October 2002
Mark Lawson talks to author Donna Tartt about her work and latest book, The Little Friend
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Claire Tomalin - 30 September 2002.
Mark Lawson talks to author Claire Tomalin about her book Samuel Pepys: The Unequalled Self, a full-scale biography of naval administrator Samuel Pepys.
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Zadie Smith - 20 September 2002.
Francine Stock talks to novelist Zadie Smith about her novel, The Autograph Man.
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Peter Ustinov - 09 September 2002.
Mark Lawson talks to actor, playwright, director and novelist Peter Ustinov in light of a new biography written by John Miller.
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Irvine Welsh - 22 August 2002.
John Wilson talks to author Irvine Welsh about his work and new book, Porno.
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Terry Pratchett - 12 July 2002.
Francine Stock talks to author Terry Pratchett about winnning the 2002 Carnegie Medal for his childrens book, The Amazing Maurice and His Educated Rodents.
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John Updike - 18 March 2002.
In a special programme to celebrate his 70th birthday, Front Row spoke to John Updike in Boston about his career and early life.
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Jonathan Demme - 21 October 2004
Mark Lawson talks to director Jonathan Demme about The Manchurian Candidate.
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Mike Leigh - 19 October 2004
Film director Mike Leigh talks to Mark Lawson about his new film, Vera Drake. Set in 1950s London, it tells the story of a woman who works as a back-street abortionist.
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Kevin Costner - 15 March 2004.
Kevin Costner talks to Francine Stock about westerns, the dual role of both acting and directing, and his latest film Open Range
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Tim Burton - 19 January 2004
Francine Stock talks to Tim Burton, director of Beetlejuice, Batman and Edward Scissorhands, about his latest film Big Fish, in which family drama meets fairy tale.
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Peter Weir - 21 November 2003
Director, Peter Weir, joins Francine Stock to talk about his latest film, Master and Commander - The Far Side of the World which stars Russell Crowe
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Quentin Tarantino - 02 October 2003
Mark Lawson speaks to director Quentin Tarantino, well known for his love of kung-fu, noir and blaxploitation films, on his latest release, Kill Bill.
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Ridley Scott - 12 September 2003
Francine Stock talks to director Sir Ridley Scott about how he re-invented the historical epic with his film Gladiator, his new project based on the Crusades and his latest film Matchstick Men which stars Nicolas Cage as an obsessive-compulsive con man.
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Stephen Daldry - 3 February 2003
Director Stephen Daldry talks about The Hours, his David Hare scripted portrayal of novelist Virginia Woolf, which has been critically acclaimed in the USA and tipped for a host of Oscar nominations.
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George Lucas - 14 May 2002.
George Lucas talks to John Wilson about his latest film, Star Wars, Part II - The Attack of the Clones
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Peter Jackson - 27 March 2002
Front Row met Peter Jackson, the director of the blockbuster film, Lord of the Rings
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George Michael - 12 March 2004
With the release of his first original album in 8 years, George Michael talks to Francine Stock about the loss of both his mother and lover, his depression, the spectacular circumstances of his coming out and why he's thinking of quitting the music industry.
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The Funk Brothers - 30 January 2004
The Funk Brothers are the band responsible for the fabled 'Motown Sound'. As their story Standing in the Shadows of Motown is released on DVD, Francine talks to the band about their remarkable contribution to pop music.
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Elliott Carter - 23 January 2004
Mark Lawson talks to 95-year-old American composer, Elliott Carter, about the UK premiere of Dialogues for piano and orchestra, and his 10 decades of creativity; a feat unparalleled in the history of music.
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Franz Ferdinand - 16 January 2004
Francine Stock talks to two members of the Glasgow funk rock band Franz Ferdinand, who are widely tipped as the new act to follow in 2004 after an impressive debut album of the same name.
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Sir Bob Geldof - 31 December 2003
Mark Lawson talks in an extended interview to the musician and campaigner Sir Bob Geldof, covering a quarter of a century from The Boomtown Rats to Live Aid. Bob Geldof looks back at his musical career and talks revealingly about the impact of public exposure on his private life.
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Sting
Francine Stock talks to Sting about Broken Music his recently published memoirs chronicling his life from childhood up to the eve of his success with the Police
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Jonny Greenwood- 23 October 2003
Radiohead's Jonny Greenwood has taken time out from the band to write the soundtrack for the film, Bodysong. He talks to John Wilson about what compelled him to take on this ambitious project.
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Courtney Pine - 10 October 2003
Jazz saxophonist Courtney Pine talks to Francine Stock about the importance of being a British musician playing an American form and explains why he's no longer working for a major record label.
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Nigel Kennedy - 25 September 2003
Passionate and sometimes controversial virtuoso violinist, Nigel Kennedy, talks to Mark Lawson about his new interpretation of Vivaldi's Four Seasons and how it differs from his landmark recording in the late 1980s.
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Joan Baez - 22 August 2003
Joan Baez talks to Front Row on the release of her first album in six years Dark Chords on a Big Guitar which features contributions from songwriters Steve Earle, Ryan Adams, and David Rawlings.
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Evelyn Glennie - 15 August 2003
Even though profoundly deaf, Evelyn Glennie is the most critically acclaimed solo percussionist in the world.
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Kraftwerk - Ralf Hütter - 4 August 2003
In a rare interview, John Wilson talks to Ralf Hütter, founder member of the German avant-garde group Kraftwerk, about the group's considerable influence on contemporary music.
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Lang Lang - 17 July 2003
Mark Lawson speaks with the talented young Chinese pianist Lang Lang who at just 21 has signed an exclusive recording deal.
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Nicky Wire - 14 July 2003
Mark talks to Nicky Wire from The Manic Street Preachers about their new album Lipstick Traces - A Secret History, how the band continue towards a marriage of politics and music as well as the difficulties a group of close friends faced over the disappearance of Richie in 1995.
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Yo-Yo Ma - 13 June 2003
Francine Stock talks to the world famous cellist Yo-Yo Ma about the Brazilian & Latin-American music on his latest CDs.
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Lou Reed - 12 May 2003
Lou Reed talks to John Wilson about his new album NYC Man, the impact of New York City on his music and his growing passion for the latest music technology.
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Damon Albarn - 25 April 2003
John Wilson speaks to Blur band member Damon Albarn about his life in the indie group and their latest album Think Tank.
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Mark-Anthony Turnage - 9 January 2003
Mark Lawson talks to composer Mark-Anthony Turnage about the relationship between classical music and jazz, and how it feels to have a retrospective before the age of 50.
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Philip Glass - 6 January 2003
Mark Lawson speaks to the composer best known for his operas and music-theatre pieces such as Einstein On The Beach. Philip Glass has just written the score for Stephen Daldry's latest film, The Hours, and his fascination for the cinema is shown in Philip Glass on Film Live, a celebration of 25 years of his film music.
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Sir Simon Rattle - 29 November 2002
Francine Stock talks to Sir Simon Rattle, Britain's foremost conductor, about the world premiere of Nicholas Maws' opera, Sophie's Choice.
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Alfred Brendel - 14 October 2002.
In a Front Row special - Alfred Brendel talks about the history, technique, emotions and interests which make his fingers move as they do. Plus why he stays out of the kitchen..
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Nitin Sawhney - 25 July 2002.
Mark Lawson talks to one of Britainís leading young composers about his musical influences.
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David Bowie - 7 June 2002
On the eve of the release of his twenty-sixth studio album, he talks to John Wilson about the a, b, c of his album formats, living in New York, his fears for the future, his love for his daughter, and his concerns about growing old.
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Steven Bochco - 14 October 2003
Mark Lawson talks to writer Steven Bochco, creator of NYPD Blue and LA Law, about the secret of TV success and why he's branching out into novel writing.
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Stanley Baxter - 22 December 2003
Mark Lawson talks to Stanley Baxter about his career in radio, tv and forces entertainment as four half hour radio dramas, A Brush with Change mark his return from retirement.
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Jerry Springer - 7 November 2003
Jerry Springer, talk show host and actor, meets Mark Lawson as Jerry Springer: The Opera, the genre-breaking operatic tale of triumph, tragedy and trailer trash transfers to the West-End.
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The Pub Landlord - 30 September 2003
Comedian Al Murray, aka 'The Pub Landlord' and general expert on bar room philosophy, British thinking, and the common man's reasoning, talks to Mark Lawson about his forthcoming tour, Giving It Both Barrels.
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Dave Gorman - Edinburgh Festival - 8 August 2003
An Edinburgh Special, with comedian Dave Gorman joining John Wilson to explain the term googlewhack and why he's travelled the world in pursuit of them. Plus Richard Dormer and a review of Bill Bailey, Ed Byrne & Jo Brand.
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The Goodies - 24 April 2003
Mark Lawson speaks to The Goodies the classic 1970s comedy team of Bill Oddie, Graeme Garden & Tim Brooke Taylor.
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Jackie Mason - 11 July 2003
Ahead of a three-night UK tour, veteran American comic Jackie Mason talks to Francine Stock.
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David Nobbs - 7 April 2003
Mark Lawson talks to David Nobbs, creator of Reginald Perrin about his memoir of television comedy, I Didn't Get Where I Am Today.
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Ricky Gervais - 23 September 2002.
Mark Lawson talks to comedian Ricky Gervais about the second series of the award winning BBC TWO comedy, The Office.
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Matt Groening - 4 June 2002.
Matt Groening discusses how he formed his cartoon style, The Simpsons, Futurama, and how far you can push political satire.
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How does Matt feel making billions of dollars when he originally started out as a radical subversive cartoonist? 25/04/02
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Warren Mitchell - 08 September 2003.
Mark Lawson talks to actor Warren Mitchell, who is starring in Arthur Miller's The Price at the Tricycle Theatre, London and transfers this week to the Apollo Theatre in the West End.
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Sam Mendes - 11 September 2002.
In a special edition of Front Row, Sam Mendes talks to Mark Lawson about the art of directing, dealing with actors and coping with gossip columns.
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Grayson Perry - 17 October 2003
John Wilson talks to Grayson Perry in his studio about his Turner prize exhibits
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Robert Hughes - 6 October 2003
Robert Hughes, art critic and author of a new book Goya, explains to Mark Lawson how the artist changed art forever.
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Damien Hirst - 2 September 2003
Mark Lawson talks to the enfant térrible of the art world, Damien Hirst, who is about to open another exhibition, Romance In The Age of Uncertainty at the White Cube gallery.
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David Hockney - 15 January 2003
John Wilson talks to the artist David Hockney about his move to watercolours.
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Sam Taylor-Wood - 23 April 2002.
Sam Taylor-Wood often confronts the viewer with anguish or places them in the centre of a drama that unfolds on screens around them. she spoke about her new exhibition at the Hayward Gallery.
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