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Last Word
Listen to the latest editionFriday 16:00-16:30

Radio 4's weekly obituaries programme
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This week
Friday 19th May 2006
Matthew Bannister
Matthew Bannister tells the life stories of people who have died recently. This week: Val Guest, Aleksandr Zinoviev, Lou Carrol, Colin Holt and Marie Hartley.
British Film director who has died aged 94.

Val Guest's 50 year career in film includes directing the films 'Hell is a City' (1960), 'The Day the Earth Caught Fire' (1961), 'The Quatermass Xperiment' (1955) and Expresso Bongo (1960) which starred Cliff Richard.  He began by writing and directing a wartime propaganda film 'The Nose Has It' as part of a government campaign to warn the nation about coughs and sneezes. In the 1970s he moved into television work with 'The Persuaders' (1971) starring Tony Curtis and Roger Moore.  

Actor Roger Moore and film historian Matthew Sweet remember Val Guest's career.

Val Guest was born on December 11th 1911 and died on May 10th aged 94.

Soviet philosopher and dissident has died aged 83.

In 1976, whilst he was a Professor of Logic at Moscow State University, Alexsandr Zinoviev, published a book whose title was translated as "The Yawning Heights". The patchwork narrative was a satire on Soviet society and led to his dismissal from his university job and following his next novel "Radiant Future", he was expelled.

For the next 20 years Zinoviev lived in exile in Germany. He was a fierce critic of Soviet communism and also attacked the reforms of Gorbachev and Yeltsin but in 1999 he returned to Russia saying he wished to be there to "struggle against the enemies of my country".

To discuss Zinoviev's writing and politics Matthew Bannister is joined by the writer and broadcaster Zinovy Zinik.

Alexsandr Zinoviev was born on October 29th 1922 and died on May 10th.

An American travelling salesman called Lou Carrol has died aged 83. In 1952 he heard that Richard Nixon's daughters wanted a dog, so he telegrammed the White House to get permission and packed up one of his Spaniel puppies for the President and his family. They named the dog Checkers. 

Two months later Nixon appeared on US television to make a speech responding to accusations he had improperly received $18,000 from supporters. That speech was credited with reviving his ailing position as Dwight D Eisenhower's running mate.   It became known as "The Checkers Speech" because of his statement:"The kids, like all kids, love the dog, and I just want to say this, right now, that regardless of what they say about it, we're going to keep it."

Mr Carrol is quoted as saying "I'd no idea she'd be such a big deal".


Barnsley based poet Ian Mcmillan pens a tribute to his home county as we reflect the lives of two campaigning Yorkshire residents: Marie Hartley and Colin Holt.

Together with her research partner Joan Ingilby, Marie Hartley, wrote a series of books based on interviews with local residents which included "Life and Traditions in the Yorkshire Dales".  They also amassed a collection of artefacts, documents and photographs relating to disappearing local traditions and these have been donated to the Dales Countryside Museum and to the Yorkshire Archaeological Society.

Colin Holt invented Yorkshire Day. As founder and chairman of the Yorkshire Ridings Society, his message was simple: that the sidelining of Yorkshire 's ancient North, West and East Ridings, under local government re-organisation in 1974, was a crime and an insult. He refused to pay bills addressed to "Fenwick, South Yorkshire " rather than "Fenwick, West Riding". Every August 1, with white roses in their buttonholes, society members make a clockwise circuit of York 's city walls and they read out the Yorkshire Declaration of Integrity - a specially-written statement of faith in the Yorkshireness of Yorkshire.

William R.Mitchell, former editor of the 'Dalesman' and Michael Bradford, member of the Yorkshire Ridings Society additionally pay tribute to their friends. 

Marie Hartley has died aged 100.
Colin Holt has died aged 61.
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