This week Libby Purves is joined by Segun Lee-French, Ray and Vi Donovan, Mary Coughlan and Simon Winchester.
Segun Lee-French is a Nigerian/Mancunian a singer, poet, composer, playwright and film-maker. His latest work is an autobiographical play 'Palm wine and stout' which tells of his journey, with his mother, to a small Nigerian village to meet his dad who he'd only met once before. 'Palm wine and stout' is on tour.
Ray and Vi Donovan's son Christopher was murdered in 2001. Since then they have done voluntary work visiting prisons to make offenders more aware of their effects on victims, through a programme called The Sycamore project, run by Prison Fellowship. They are among the curators of 'Art by Offenders', an exhibition organised by the Koestler Trust, in which people whose lives have been changed by crime curate art works by prisoners. Art by Offenders is on Spirit Level, Royal Festival Hall, Southbank Centre.
Mary Coughlan is the Galway born singer renowned for her ability to inhabit each song with a voice of lived experience. Since she rose to international fame in 1985 with her seminal album 'Tired and Emotional' she has battled with addiction, problems in her personal life and career ups and downs. But she's now back with a new single 'Your Angel' and an autobiography, 'Bloody Mary' published by Hatchette Books.
Simon Winchester OBE studied geology before becoming a journalist and writer. As a reporter he covered events from Bloody Sunday to the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan and the Falklands war. In his latest book, 'Atlantic' he tells the story of this great ocean from its birth to its eventual extinction millions of years in the future. "Atlantic: a vast ocean of a million stories" is published by Harper Press. He'll also be appearing at the Cheltenham Literary Festival.