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Monty Don, Ian Hislop, Joanna Barker, Gethin Russell-Jones

Lively and diverse conversation. Libby is joined by garden writer and broadcaster Monty Don, journalist Ian Hislop, marine biologist Joanna Barker and pastor Gethin Russell-Jones.

Garden writer and broadcaster Monty Don; journalist Ian Hislop; marine biologist Joanna Barker and pastor Gethin Russell-Jones join Libby Purves.

Joanna Barker is a marine biologist who works for the Zoological Society of London and specialises in marine and mammal conservation. Her work includes carrying out annual population counts of grey and harbour seals in the Greater Thames Estuary and conserving the European eel population - London's iconic eel which is classified as critically endangered. There are 98% fewer elvers - juvenile eels - arriving in London than in the 1980s. Joanna also developed the Angel Shark Project in the Canary Islands to safeguard the future of endangered angel sharks.

Ian Hislop is a journalist and broadcaster. He is the co-writer - with Nick Newman - of a new play, The Wipers Times. Based on their award-winning film, the play tells the story of the satirical newspaper which originated in the spring of 1916. A group of soldiers of the 24th Division of the Sherwood Foresters, led by Captain Fred Roberts, discovered a printing press in the bombed out ruins of Ypres, or, as it was known by the Tommies unable to pronounce it, Wipers. It poked fun at the high command and saluted fallen comrades, using spoof advertisements, agony aunt columns and cod music-hall routines. The Wipers Times is at the Watermill Theatre.

Gethin Russell-Jones is a Baptist pastor and writer. In his book, Conchie - What my Father didn't do in the War, he tells the story of his pastor father John who chose to be a conscientious objector during World War Two. At the same time his fiancée was cracking German codes at Bletchley Park. As an adult Gethin investigated his father's story and discovered what led him to make his momentous decision. Conchie - What my Father didn't do in the War, is published by Lion Hudson.

Monty Don is a garden writer and broadcaster. His new book, Nigel - My Family and Other Dogs, is the story of his golden retriever and the other dogs who have shared his life over the years. Beloved by the public, Nigel receives fan mail and birthday cards and has inspired social media fan sites. The book is also a tribute to Longmeadow, the Herefordshire garden Monty has created over the last 25 years. Nigel - My Family and Other Dogs is published by Two Roads Books.

Producer: Paula McGinley.

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43 minutes


Role Contributor
Presenter Libby Purves
Interviewed Guest Monty Don
Interviewed Guest Ian Hislop
Interviewed Guest Joanna Barker
Interviewed Guest Gethin Russell-Jones
Producer Paula McGinley