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Melvyn Bragg

Melvyn Bragg presents In Our Time, a series where he and his expert guests discuss the history of ideas, and explore subjects in culture and science.

Writer and broadcaster Melvyn Bragg was born in Wigton, Cumbria, in 1939. He read modern history at Wadham College, Oxford, and then joined the BBC as a general trainee in 1961. Three years later, he was appointed editor of BBC2's first arts programme, New Release, and since then has become a leading figure in broadcasting - editing, producing and presenting a large number of innovative, award-winning arts television programmes and equally acclaimed radio programmes across the cultural spectrum.

In 1998 Melvyn Bragg was appointed to the House of Lords as a Labour life peer: Lord Bragg of Wigton.

For thirty-three years Melvyn Bragg was the editor and presenter of The South Bank Show and the controller of Specialist Factual and Arts programmes at ITV Studios in London; since May 2012 the programme has been broadcast on Sky Arts.

He has written several screenplays (including Isadora & The Music Lovers), works of nonfiction including The Adventure of English & the Biography of Richard Burton. His novels include The Soldier’s Return which won the WH Smith Award, The Hired Man which won the Time/Life Silver Pen Award and became an acclaimed musical with Howard Goodall. He has had three of his novels make the Man Booker longlist and Without a City Wall was winner of the John Llewellyn Rhys Prize. On BBC Radio 4, he presented Start the Week (1988 to 1998) and now presents In Our Time (1998 to present).

In June 2010 Melvyn was awarded a BAFTA Academy Fellowship, The Media Society Annual Award. He was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society and a Fellow of The British Academy. He is president of The National Campaign for the Arts.