Former SAS Commander and head of the UN force in Bosnia, General Sir Michael Rose, is still making headlines: he believes the Iraq war is unwinnable. But his choice of a hero from history is a general who did win against the odds - George Washington. He discusses the "Father of the American Nation" with Washington expert Frank Grizzard and host Matthew Parris.
Elizabeth David 25 September 2007
'She could be so bitchy,' says Prue Leith of her chosen subject, 'but I worshipped her…She was the greatest food-writer of the twentieth century.' Prue discusses Elizabeth David's extraordinary life with Matthew Parris and with Mrs David's biographer Artemis Cooper.
Brian Clough 18 September 2007
Old Big 'Ed would have approved of a programme like this - football commentator John Motson proposing Brian Clough for Great Lives. Also taking part is biographer Duncan Hamilton, author of "Provided You Don't Kiss Me: 20 Years With Brian Clough." Matthew Parris presents.
Lord Denning 11 September 2007
David Rowntree, the drummer with Blur, joins Matthew Parris to discuss the life of Lord Denning, one of the great and controversial judges of the 20th Century. With Joshua Rozenberg, Legal Editor of the Daily Telegraph.
John Cage 4 September 2007
The conceptual artist Michael Craig-Martin joins Matthew Parris to discuss the life of the avant-garde composer, John Cage, and his influence on the visual arts.
Alec Issigonis 28 August 2007
The renowned engineer Dr. Alex Moulton, and the Earl of Snowdon, join Matthew Parris to discuss the life of the idiosyncratic designer of the Mini, Sir Alec Issigonis.
Rembrandt 21 August 2007
Artist and sculptor Maggi Hambling joins Matthew Parris to explain why she’s selected Rembrandt as her choice of a great life. They're joined by the novelist Sarah Emily Miano.
Elvis Presley 14 August 2007
Matthew Parris presents a special hour-long edition on Elvis Presley, to mark the 30th anniversary of his death. Former Leader of the Ulster Unionist Party (and Nobel Peace Prize Laureate) Lord Trimble owns every record Elvis ever made. He explains why to Matthew Parris. They're joined by Presley biographer Peter Guralnick.
Lilian Baylis 7 August 2007
Jude Kelly, artistic director of London’s Southbank Centre, tells Matthew Parris why she’s chosen the legendary Edwardian theatre producer Lilian Baylis as her choice of a Great Life, helped by Baylis’ biographer, Liz Schafer.
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Matthew Parris is a writer for The Times and The Spectator and a frequent broadcaster on television and radio. From 1977 until the 1979 General Election, he was a member of staff in Mrs Thatcher's Office.
He was elected as an MP for West Derbyshire in 1979, a seat he held until 1986 when he gave it up to become Presenter of LWT's political interview programme, Weekend World.
He has led expeditions to Mount Kilimanjaro, Peru and Bolivia as well as to Zaire and the Sahara.