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    Description

    Well-known personalities pick their favourite entertainers for BBC Radio 4's Great Lives.

    One of the BBC's most acclaimed programmes, Great Lives has been a regular Radio 4 fixture for 20 years, presented by Joan Bakewell, Humphrey Carpenter, Francine Stock and Matthew Parris. Every week, a famous name is invited into the studio to nominate a figure from the past who has inspired them, and discuss their subject with the presenter and a guest expert.

    Included in this special collection, marking the programme's 20th anniversary, are the very best episodes featuring the lives of entertainers - artists, comedians, clowns, magicians, sporting heroes and stars of stage and screen. Among them, Julian Clary champions Noël Coward, Anthony Horowitz advocates Alfred Hitchcock, Penelope Keith puts forward Morecambe and Wise and David Bailey plumps for Pablo Picasso. Here, the lives of the celebrity guests are as intriguing as those of the people they pick: as is also the case with Alan Davies on Richard Beckinsale, Mica Paris on Josephine Baker, Ken Dodd on Stan Laurel, Mark Gatiss on Peter Cushing and many, many others.

    From Simon Callow on Orson Welles, to Fiona Shaw on Eleonora Duse, these engaging episodes put some of the world's best-known entertainers under the spotlight, examining their achievements and probing their personalities to find out what made them so inspiring, influential and extraordinary.

    List of episode and date of first broadcast on BBC Radio 4:

    Umm Kulthum 22.11.02

    Tommy Cooper 14.11.03

    Charles M Schulz 15.4.05

    Mae West 7.10.05

    Morecambe & Wise 4.4.06

    Noël Coward 18.4.06

    Johnny Weissmuller 9.5.06

    Tamara Karsavina 23.5.06

    Max Miller 15.8.06

    Joan Littlewood 5.1.07

    Richard Beckinsale 9.1.07

    Lilian Baylis 7.8.07

    Thora Hird 11.12.07

    Groucho Marx 15.1.08

    Peter Cushing 1.4.08

    Joyce Grenfell 20.5.08

    Richard Pryor 12.8.08

    Harry Houdini 22.9.09

    Gerald Durrell 27.9.11

    Stan Laurel 4.9.12

    Pablo Picasso 19.01.10

    John Ford 08.05.12

    Karel Reisz 11.09.12

    Dave Allen 14.01.14

    Lucille Ball 30.09.14

    Alfred Hitchcock 05.04.16

    Joseph Grimwaldi 31.05.16

    Gracie Fields 02.08.16

    Orson Welles 08.05.18

    Josephine Baker 15.05.18

    Eleonora Duse 10.09.19

    Presented by Humphrey Carpenter and Matthew Parris

    Produced by John Byrne, Christine Hall, Beatrice Fenton, Perminder Khatkar, Miles Warde, Toby Field, Mary Ward-Lowery, Lucy Lunt, Jolyon Jenkins, Sarah Langan, Tim Dee, Maggie Ayre, Peter Everett, Mark Smalley, Camellia Sinclair, Beth O'Dea

    ©2021 BBC Studios Distribution Ltd (P)2021 BBC Studios Distribution Ltd

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