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Last Word
Listen to the latest editionFriday   16:00-16:30
Sunday 20:30-21:00 (rpt)

Radio 4's weekly obituaries programme
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This week
Friday 2nd May 2008
(Rpt) Sunday 4th May
Matthew Bannister
Matthew Bannister tells the life stories of people who have died recently: Doug Hayward, William Frankel, Tristram Cary and Albert Hofman.
Doug Hayward
Tailor who has died aged 73

We start with the tailor who dressed the sharp suited stars of the swinging sixties. Michael Caine, Terence Stamp, Roger Moore, Peter Sellers, Rex Harrison, Michael Parkinson and Tony Bennett were all clients of Doug Hayward. Many of them also became his close friends.

He came from a working class background and left school at fifteen. After serving an apprenticeship as a tailor in West London, he tried to get a job in Savile Row. When he was rejected because he had the wrong accent, he set up in business for himself. At first he drove round to see his clients in a second hand Mini, but then Doug established himself in a shop in Mount Street in Mayfair. It quickly became a social hub.

Matthew Bannister talks to Doug Hayward's long serving assistant Audie Charles, Sir Roger Moore and David Cornwell, alias John Le Carre. There are also contributions from Sir Michael Caine.

Doug Hayward was born October 5th 1934. He died April 26th 2008.
William Frankel CBE
Former editor of The Jewish Chronicle  aged 91

William Frankel was the man who transformed The Jewish Chronicle  from a parochial journal focusing on what were known as “hatch, match and dispatch” – births, marriages and deaths in other words – to a newspaper with an international reputation. Yet when he joined the paper Frankel had no journalistic experience. His nineteen years at the helm – between 1958 and 1977 – were controversial and brought him into contact with many eminent people: Prime Ministers, Presidents, artists and scientists. He even had tea with Einstein, which gave him the title of his memoirs. 

In 1944, William Frankel was appointed British Correspondent for the American Jewish Committee. Visitors from the States frequently arrived at the AJC’s London office, some engaged on clandestine business as they attempted to infiltrate anti-semitic groups in Britain. 

After the war, William Frankel’s career changed direction once again. He began work at The Jewish Chronicle, first as General Manager and then as Editor.

Matthew Bannister talks to William Frankel's friend and successor at The Jewish Chronicle, Geoffrey Paul. Extracts from Frankel’s memoirs are read by John Rowe.

William Frankel CBE was born February 3rd 1917. He died  April 18th 2008.
Tristram Cary
Composer who has died aged 82

Tristram Cary was a pioneer of electronic composition. Perhaps best known for his soundtracks to Doctor Who  and films like Quatermass  and the Pit  and The Ladykillers, he also wrote many works for the concert hall.

Tristram Cary often combined conventional instrumentation with tape recorders and oscillators. He even invented a synthesiser which was used by Roxy Music and Pink Floyd.

He was born into a creative family. His father was the eminent novelist Joyce Cary and his mother Gertrude a talented pianist and cellist. Tristram took piano and oboe lessons and won a scholarship to Westminster School. He went up to Oxford to read classics, but his education was interrupted by wartime service as a radar specialist in the Royal Navy. This gave him the grounding in physics which helped him in his aspiration to create electronic music.

In the 1960s, he established the electronic music studio at the Royal College of Music.

Matthew Bannister talks to Howard Davidson who is now Professor of Screen Composition at the College and to the composer and commentator Andrew Ford.

Tristram Cary was born May 14th 1925. He died  April 23rd 2008.

Albert Hofmann
Inventor of LSD who has died aged 102

Albert Hofmann was the Swiss chemist who discovered LSD – and, in doing so, fuelled the hippy culture of the 1960s. Hofmann was convinced that LSD could have serious applications for investigating human consciousness – but as “acid” it became a popular street drug and was banned in many countries.

Hofmann’s influential experiment came in 1943, when he was employed by the drug company Sandoz in Basle. He had been working on ergot – a fungus found on cereals which has lysergic acid as one of its ingredients. On Monday April 19th he deliberately ingested a tiny quantity of the substance – and so became the first person ever to suffer a “bad trip”.

Albert Hofmann talked about his discovery to the BBC's Everyman  programme.

Albert Hofmann was born January 11th 1906. He died April 30th 2008.
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