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A novelist, a botanist, a TV writer, a missionary and a composer

Obituary series. Mark Coles remembers writer Tom Sharpe, botanist Nigel Hepper, TV writer Anne Valery, composer Henri Dutilleux and missionary Molly Clutton-Brock.

Mark Coles on:

The writer Tom Sharpe, best known for his comic novels like Wilt and Porterhouse Blue.

The Kew Gardens botanist Nigel Hepper who foresaw the effects of global warming decades before anyone else.

Anne Valery, the co-writer of the hugely successful BBC World War 2 drama, Tenko.

The leading French classical composer, Henri Dutillieux. A man who believed in the magic of music.

And Molly Clutton-Brock, a British missionary who set up ground-breaking clinics to help disadvantaged children in former Rhodesia.

Available now

28 minutes

Tom Sharpe

Mark spoke to his friend, the critic Peter Preston and to John Sutherland, Professor of literature at UCL.

Born 30 March 1928; died 6 June 2013 aged 85.

Nigel Hepper

Mark spoke to Nigel’s friends and colleagues at Kew, Martin Cheek and Chris Collins.

Born 13 March 1929; died 16 May 2013 aged 84.

Molly Clutton-Brock

Mark spoke to her daughter Salley Rusinik and to her friends and colleagues Margaret and Daniel Chiwandamira.

Born 3 February 1912; died 27 April 2013 aged 101.

Henri Dutilleux

Last Word spoke to the presenter of Essential Classics on Radio 3, Rob Cowan.

Born 22 January 1916; died 22 May 2013 aged 97.

Anne Valery

Mark spoke to her friend Jill Hyem, with whom she co-wrote the famous WW2 series Tenko.

Born 24 February 1926; died 29 April 2013 aged 87.


Role Contributor
Presenter Mark Coles
Producer Neil George


  • Fri 7 Jun 2013 16:00
  • Sun 9 Jun 2013 20:30