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Paul Merton, Alison Balsom, Louise Cordingly, Jethro Lennox

Libby Purves meets comedian Paul Merton and trumpeter Alison Balsom.

Libby Purves meets trumpeter Alison Balsom; Louise Cordingly, daugther of a POW chaplain in Singapore; comedian Paul Merton and cartogragher Jethro Lennox.

Alison Balsom is a solo trumpeter. Three-time Classical Brit award winner and Gramophone Artist of the Year, her big break came when she was a concerto finalist in the BBC Young Musician competition in 1998. Last year she appeared at the Globe Theatre, in Gabriel, showcasing the valveless trumpet and featuring the works of Purcell. She is embarking on a UK tour - The Trumpet Sings Tour - and releases a new album, Paris, on Warner Classics.

Louise Cordingly is the daughter of Eric Cordingly MBE who as a young chaplain was held as a prisoner of war in the Far East during World War Two. During his years of captivity he wrote a diary which he kept hidden from his captors. When he returned from the Far East in 1945 he worked as rector of Stevenage and chaplain to the Queen. In 1963 he was consecrated Bishop of Thetford. He died in 1976 but it was not until his wife's death 35 years later that his children discovered his papers and published the book, Down to Bedrock, which features his writings and drawings by fellow prisoners. Down to Bedrock is published by Art Angels.

Paul Merton is a comedian, actor and presenter. After making his stand-up debut at London's Comedy Store in 1982, he became a regular with the Comedy Store Players, an improvised comedy group, team captain on Have I Got News For You and a regular on BBC Radio 4's Just A Minute. He has also made several documentaries about early cinema, including Paul Merton's Birth of Hollywood. His autobiography, Only When I Laugh, is published by Ebury Press.

Jethro Lennox is a cartographer and editor of the new edition of The Times Comprehensive Atlas of the World. The atlas contains 320 pages of maps and illustrations and depicts how the world has changed since the previous 2011 edition with 5000 place name changes. The Times Comprehensive Atlas of the World is published by HarperCollins.

Producer: Paula McGinley.

Available now

43 minutes

In the studio

In the studio
L-R: Jethro Lennox, Alison Balsom, Paul Merton, Louise Cordingly.


Role Contributor
Presenter Libby Purves
Interviewed Guest Alison Balsom
Interviewed Guest Louise Cordingly
Interviewed Guest Paul Merton
Interviewed Guest Jethro Lennox
Producer Paula McGinley


  • Wed 24 Sep 2014 09:00
  • Wed 24 Sep 2014 21:30