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Colin Johnson/Maya Angelou

Episode 3 of 5

Colin Johnson has an imagined conversation with his late grandmother, Maya Angelou, and asks for her blessing on the many ways in which he seeks to continue her legacy.

Colin Johnson has an imagined conversation with his late Grandmother, Maya Angelou, and asks for her blessing on the many ways in which he seeks to continue her legacy.

Angelou's faith, her intellect and her boundless love envelop Johnson as he reminisces with her about family and professional life. His obvious affection and respect for his Grandmother add an intimate dimension to our knowledge of a public figure who died as recently as 2014. And Maya Angelou has some words of advice for her Grandson, spoken from the archive but affecting Colin as if she was there in person.

In 1991 Natalie Cole sang a duet with her long dead father, Nat King Cole - the result was Unforgettable. This is the radio equivalent. In each edition of the series, a different guest is invited to interact with someone, now dead, with whom they have, or have wanted to have, a connection. Using technology designed for musicians and DJs to spontaneously play out short musical clips, producer Adam Fowler facilitates a real-time conversation between the two participants, using conversational snippets of the deceased from past recordings.

The guest has no advance knowledge of the excerpts, and the conversation can take unexpected turns, occasionally leading to some emotionally charged interchanges, as living voices engage with those preserved in the archive.

Research: Philippa Geering
Producer: Adam Fowler
An Overtone production for BBC Radio 4.

Available now

15 minutes