Matt Lucas on Freddie Mercury
Matt Lucas chooses Freddie Mercury Read more
Matt Lucas chooses Freddie Mercury
Shappi Khorsandi on Emma, Lady Hamilton
Shappi Khorsandi chooses Emma, Lady Hamilton, Lord Nelson’s mistress.
Catherine de Medici nominated by Helen Lewis
Helen Lewis chooses the so-called 'Black Queen' of France, Catherine de Medici.
Aethelflaed, Lady of the Mercians, chosen by Tom Holland
Tom Holland chooses Aethelflaed, Lady of the Mercians
Malcolm Lowry, writer, nominated by Ian McMillan
As a young man looking for a literary hero, poet Ian McMillan found writer Malcolm Lowry
Conductor and composer Ferruccio Busoni
Kirill Gerstein chooses conductor, composer and virtuoso Ferruccio Busoni.
Caroline Criado-Perez nominates Jane Austen
Feminist campaigner and writer Caroline Criado-Perez champions the life of Jane Austen.
Jeremy Deller on The Beatles' manager Brian Epstein
The Beatles' manager Brian Epstein, chosen by artist Jeremy Deller.
Shirley Collins on the American song-hunter Alan Lomax
Shirley Collins and Billy Bragg on the legendary American song-hunter Alan Lomax.
Kamila Shamsie chooses Asma Jahangir
Kamila Shamsie champions the life of the human rights lawyer Asma Jahangir.
Robinson Crusoe picked by Lucy Irvine, author of Castaway
Ed Balls nominates Herbert Howells
Ed Balls discusses the influence of 20th-century composer Herbert Howells on his life.
Laura Marling on the first woman psychoanalyst, Lou Andreas-Salome
Laura Marling on the first female psychoanalyst Lou Andreas-Salomé.
Caroline Quentin nominates Sir John Vanbrugh, playwright and architect
Actress and presenter Caroline Quentin nominates dramatist and architect Sir John Vanbrugh
First Labour Prime Minister Ramsay MacDonald
Ramsay Macdonald, Labour's first prime minister, chosen by Shaun Ley.
Philippa Perry on the Italian educator Maria Montessori
Psychotherapist Philippa Perry on the Italian educator Maria Montessori.
Fiona Shaw nominates actress Eleonora Duse
Eleonora Duse, pioneering nineteenth-century actress, is the choice of Fiona Shaw.
Comedian Sindhu Vee on Prince
Comedian Sindhu Vee nominates Prince, the musical superstar.
Constance Agatha Cummings-John
Author Chibundu Onuzo on the first elected female in Africa, Constance Cummings-John.
Just William / Richmal Crompton proposed by Peter Oborne with Martin Jarvis
William Brown, star of the Just William books, proposed by Peter Oborne
War photographer and model Lee Miller proposed by Lindsey Hilsum of Channel 4 News
Lindsey Hilsum on the extraordinary life of Lee Miller
Jeremy Paxman nominates Lord Shaftesbury
Jeremy Paxman nominates the Victorian social reformer Lord Shaftesbury.
Novelist Enid Blyton
How can Enid Blyton not be a great life?
Bill Bailey on his hero Alfred Russel Wallace
Bill Bailey and his love for Victorian naturalist Alfred Russel Wallace
Charlie Parker nominated by Ken Clarke
Charlie Parker - Bird - proposed by Ken Clarke
Kurt Vonnegut and Josie Long
Kurt Vonnegut on Kurt Vonnegut, with a little help from Josie Long
Andi Oliver on Nobel Prize-winning author Toni Morrison
Andi Oliver on Nobel Prize-winning author Toni Morrison.
Rick Stein on Jim Morrison
Chef, writer and presenter Rick Stein nominates Jim Morrison, lead singer of The Doors.
Frank Cottrell Boyce on Tove Jansson
Frank Cottrell-Boyce on Tove Jansson, creator of the Moomins.
Ursula Le Guin nominated by Kate Stables
Earthsea author Ursula le Guin
The amazing Maya Angelou
Maya Angelou, author of I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings.
Victoria Wood, creator of Dinnerladies, Acorn Antiques and As Seen on TV.
Sally Phillips on Hollywood star Myrna Loy
Sally Phillips nominates her comedy star, Myrna Loy.
Billy Bremner of Leeds United
Anand Menon chooses Leeds United captain, Billy Bremner.
Sybille Bedford, author of Jigsaw and A Legacy
Sara Wheeler nominates her literary hero, Sybille Bedford.
Dolly Alderton on Doris Day
Doris Day is the choice of Dolly Alderton, author, podcaster and columnist.
Benito Mussolini, founder of fascism and ruler of Italy 1922-1943
Frida Kahlo nominated by Author Jessie Burton
Artist Frida Kahlo nominated by Jessie Burton
Peter Frankopan on Konstantin Tsiolkovsky
The best-selling historian Peter Frankopan nominates Russia's "father of space travel"
Jessie Ware on Donna Summer
The singer and podcaster, Jessie Ware, chooses the Queen of Disco, Donna Summer.
Ernie Bevin, forgotten political giant
Frances O'Grady nominates Ernie Bevin
Tom Allen on Kenneth Williams
The comedian, presenter, and writer Tom Allen chooses the entertainer Kenneth Williams.
Sir David Adjaye on Okwui Enwezor
Curator and educator Okwui Enwezor championed by the architect Sir David Adjaye.
James Graham on John Maynard Keynes
The acclaimed playwright tells Matthew Parris why he's inspired by Keynes' life and work.
Xuanzang, Chinese monk and traveller
Michael Wood on the great Chinese Buddhist monk Xuanzang.
Katherine Parr, sixth wife of Henry VIII
Who would marry a serial killer? Katherine Parr, sixth wife of Henry VIII
David Spiegelhalter on Frank Ramsey
Statistician David Spiegelhalter champions the short, brilliant life of Frank Ramsey.
The Great Lives of Great Lives
After 450 episodes, Matthew Parris thinks it's time to find out what makes a great life.
Diane Morgan on Air Chief Marshal Hugh Dowding
Comedian and actor Diane Morgan chooses the life of Air Chief Marshal Hugh Dowding
Rob Rinder on Jessica Mitford.
Jessica Mitford is championed by Robert Rinder.
David Jonsson on Jean Michel Basquiat
Actor David Jonsson champions artist Jean-Michel Basquiat
Caroline Catz on Delia Derbyshire
The actor Caroline Catz chooses Delia Derbyshire, who realised the theme to Doctor Who.
Rights activist Cesar Chavez nominated by Cori Crider
Human rights lawyer Cori Crider explains why she is inspired by the life of Cesar Chavez.