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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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We welcome your comments and suggestions contact us
This week
Friday 14th September 2007
(Rpt) Sunday 16th September
Matthew Bannister
Matthew Bannister tells the life stories of people who have died recently. This week: Dame Anita Roddick, Ian Porterfield, Lord Bethell, Joe Zawinul and Sir John Compton.
Anita Roddick
Entrepreneur and activist who has died aged 64.

The founder of the Body Shop was born Anita Perilli in a bomb shelter at Littlehampton in Sussex. Her Italian-Jewish parents - Gilda and Donny - had moved to Britain before the war and opened a café where Anita was to work at weekends. When Anita was eight, her parents divorced and Glida married Donny’s cousin Henry. It was only when Anita was eighteen that she discovered that Henry was in fact her real father.
Since her death was announced, many friends and colleagues of Anita Roddick have paid tribute to her achievements as a businesswoman and a campaigner. So Last Word brings you Anita Roddick in her own words.
Anita Roddick was born October 23rd 1942. She  died September 10th 2007.
John Ian Porterfield
Footballer and manager who has died aged 61. 

The FA Cup Final of 1973 was the scene of one of the most spectacular upsets in footballing history. Leeds United had a team of eleven internationals and had just secured their fifth successive top three placing in the old first division. Their opponents - Sunderland – were literally in a different league. They had narrowly avoided relegation to the third division at the end of the preceding season. But – thanks to a goal by Ian Porterfield – Sunderland became the first second division side for forty two years to win the FA Cup.

After retiring as a player, Porterfield began a managerial career that took him to Sheffield United, Aberdeen and Chelsea, who he led into the premiership era before his dismissal in 1993. He then set off on a journey around the globe that involved stints as manager of the national sides in Saudi Arabia, Zimbabwe, Oman and Trinidad and Tobago. His first international management job presented a considerable challenge. He was tasked with re-building the Zambian national team after eighteen players and his pre-decessor as coach were killed in a plane crash in 1993.

Matthew bannister talks to Sunderland fan, Paul Dobson, who was sixteen and a half on that fateful Wembley day and to Zambian team’s captain, Kalusha Bwalya, who was not on the plane.

John Ian Porterfield was born February 11th 1946. He died September 11th 2007.

Lord Bethell
Politician and writer who has died aged 69.

Lord Bethell was a hereditary peer, a Conservative member of the European Parliament and one of Britain’s leading experts on Eastern Europe. Writing under the name Nicholas Bethell, he published a number of books and campaigned energetically for the release of Soviet dissidents. In 1981 he supported the physicist Andre Sakharov, then on hunger strike in a Soviet prison. Nicholas Bethell was pursuing a successful career as a freelance writer when his cousin Guy – the third Lord Bethell – was found dead aged 39 at a guest house in Tenby. Nicholas succeeded to the title, becoming the fourth Lord Bethell and taking his seat on the Conservative benches in the Upper House.

Matthew Bannister talks to former Soviet dissident Vladimir Bukovsky and Edward Lucas of the Economist.

Lord Bethell was born July 19th 1938. He died September 8th 2007.
Sir John Compton KCMG, OCC, PC.
Three times Prime Minister of St Lucia who has died aged 82.

Sir John Compton was St Lucia's first Prime Minister after independence in 1979. Those early months of his premiership were  volatile and Sir John was defeated in the general election of that year but re-elected in 1982, and served as Prime Minister for the next fourteen years until his retirement in 1996. He campaigned passionately for workers’ rights, and steered the island away from its reliance on the seasonal crop sugar cane, to the production of bananas which provided a regular income for farmers. Islanders regarded him as the father of the nation and he was known as “Daddy Compton” or simply “PaPa”. Sir John was born on the tiny island of Canouan, part of St Vincent and the Grenadines, but his family moved to St Lucia when he was ten.

Matthew Bannister talks to Sir John’s lifelong friend, the former Prime Minister of St Vincent and the Grenadines, Sir James Mitchell.

Sir John Compton was born April 29th 1925. He died September 7th 2007.
Joe Zawinul
Composer, jazz keyboardist and bandleader who has died aged 75.

Joe Zawinul was a true musical pioneer. Through his own band Weather Report, through the music he wrote for artists like Miles Davis and Cannonball Adderley and through collaborations with African and Indian musicians, he was always experimenting. Weather Report – which he started with the sax player Wayne Shorter – was a huge commercial and critical success, bringing together jazz, funk and even contemporary classical styles.

Joe Zawinul was born in Vienna, the son of a clerk with the local gas company.

Last Word has an interview  he recorded in March with music critic Kevin LeGendre.

Josef Erich Zawinul was born July 7th 1932. He died September 11th 2007.
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