A novelist, a racehorse trainer, a swimmer and film star, a key figure in the Warsaw Pact and 'the fastest granny on water'

Matthew Bannister on

The Scottish novelist Iain Banks - author of The Wasp Factory and The Crow Road - who also wrote science fiction

Sir Henry Cecil - one of the most successful flat racing trainers of recent times. Willie Carson pays tribute.

Hollywood's swimming superstar Esther Williams,

Marshall Viktor Kulikov - one of the last of the Soviet military commanders. He played a key role in the crisis that led to martial law being imposed in Poland.

And the Countess of Arran - a powerboat racer known as the fastest woman on water. She reached 103 miles per hour in a rocket-like boat on Lake Windermere in 1980.

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28 minutes

Last on

Sun 16 Jun 2013 20:30

Iain Banks

Matthew spoke to the playwright Maxton Walker and live in the studio to Nick Barley, Director of Edinburgh International Book Festival.

Born 16 February 1954; died 9 June 2013 aged 58.

Sir Henry Cecil

Matthew spoke to the former jockey Willie Carson and to the BBC’s horse racing correspondent, Cornelius Lysaght.

Born 11 January 1943; died 11 June 2013 aged 70.

Esther Williams

Film writer Karen Krizanovich pays tribute.

Born 8 August 1921; died 6 June 2013 aged 91.

Viktor Kulikov

Matthew spoke to The Independent’s former Moscow correspondent Rupert Cornwell.

Born 5 July 1921; died Moscow 28 May 2013 aged 91.

The Countess of Arran

Last Word spoke to her son, the Earl of Arran and to power boat expert John Puddifoot.

Born 20 July 1918; died 16 May 2013 aged 94. 


Rory Morrison

Born 5 August 1964; died 11 June 2013 aged 48.


Role Contributor
PresenterMatthew Bannister