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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 17th October 2008
(Rpt) Sunday 19th October
John Wilson
John Wilson tells the life stories of people who have died recently: Joerg Haider, Ray Lowry, Jim Eyre, Terry Fincher and Neal Hefti.
Joerg Haider
Austrian politician who has died aged 58

Joerg Haider divided opinion in his native Austria and provoked outrage abroad. Haider led the far right Freedom Party to second place in the General Election of 1999, ending decades of political dominance by Austria’s two main parties.

Haider’s anti-immigration and anti-EU agenda brought him into government, sharing power in a coalition with the centre right. The EU responded with unprecedented diplomatic sanctions against a member state. It’s said that Haider relished the attention.

Since 2000 Joerg Haider's political fortunes had been mixed. His party split in two although his most recent political venture – the Alliance For The Future of Austria – saw a resurgence in polls just two weeks ago.

Joerg Haider died when the car he was driving came off the road near his home in Carinthia.

John Wilson talks to BBC’s Vienna correspondent Bethany Bell and to political consultant and journalist Thomas Hofer about Joerg Haider's life and legacy. 
Joerg Haider was born January 26th 1950. He died October 11th 2008.
Ray Lowry
Cartoonist and artist who has died aged 64

Punk band the Clash made it their mission to capture the moment in music, with energy, passion and spontaneity. And in Ray Lowry the band found an artist who shared their rock’n roll ideals. Ray Lowry joined the Clash on the road as band artist, documenting life on and offstage in scratchy pen and ink drawings. He also designed the iconic sleeve of the classic album London Calling.

Ray Lowry also drew for Private Eye, The Spectator and Punch. In recent weeks he’d staged an exhibition of his paintings and drawings at a small gallery near his home in the Rossendale Valley.

He will perhaps be best remembered for his role in creating a classic album sleeve – the Clash’s London Calling.

Last Word was given a tour of the exhibition by Ray’s friend and fellow artist Liam Spencer and John Wilson talks to Johnny Green – the tour manager of The Clash.

Ray Lowry was born in 1944. He died October 14th 2008.
Jim Eyre
Caver who has died aged 82 

Jim Eyre earned a living as a painter and decorator in the north west of England. But he pursued his real mission in life, not up a ladder, but deep underground. He was a world renowned caver, an explorer who discovered and mapped underground caverns around the world.

Born in Kent, Jim moved to Lancashire as a child and began exploring caves in the 1940s. After the war he founded two caving clubs and later led rescue teams underground. Jim Eyre also wrote several books about his subterranean explorations.

John Wilson talks to Jim Eyre's caving colleagues Kevin Millington and Dr John Frankland, and to the publisher of Jim Eyre’s autobiography, Chris Howe.

Jim Eyre was born October 9th 1925. He died September 17th 2008.

Terry Fincher
Photographer who has died aged 77

Terry Fincher was one of the greatest of Fleet Street photojournalists. He won the press photographer of the year award an unprecedented four times.

He went on five tours of Vietnam, sending shocking images from the frontline to his paper the Daily Express. He also covered the Suez crisis, the Biafran war and the troubles in Northern Ireland. But it wasn’t all death and despair. Terry Fincher also trained his lens on the rich and the famous, producing iconic images of Charlie Chaplin, Marilyn Monroe, Bing Crosby and the Royal Family.

John Wilson visits the Getty gallery in central London to take a closer look at the work of Terry Fincher. He is joined by the photojournalist Tom Stoddart and by Matthew Butson, vice president of the Hulton Archive at Getty Images.

Terry Fincher was born July 8th 1931. He died October 6th 2008.
Neal Hefti
Composer who has died aged 85

Neal Hefti scored several Hollywood films in the mid sixties – including Barefoot in the Park  and The Odd Couple, after arranging and producing classic Sinatra albums.

In 1966 he won a Grammy Award for what was arguably his simplest musical composition - The Batman music - a television theme tune that earned dozens of cover versions over the years that followed.
Neal Hefti was born October 29th 1922. He died October 11th 2008.
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