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Tag: BBC Radio 4

September 6, 2018

Fame & The Beeb

by Matthew Steeples

John Stoddart exhibition of silkscreen prints of his iconic works at Chelsea Arts Club attracts the attention of some BBC heavyweights   On Tuesday, at the Chelsea Arts Club in London, photographer John Stoddart illustrated his versatility as an artist in exhibiting silkscreen prints created from his works.   Present at the preview were a … Continue reading “Fame & The Beeb”

December 4, 2016

SM:)E

by Matthew Steeples

Dying ‘The Archers’ star Sara Coward urges people to smile and “try to make the world a better place”   With all the doom and gloom we have in our world currently and with Trump headed to The White House and Brexit in Britain, many feel disheartened. One woman, 68-year old actress Sara Coward – … Continue reading “SM:)E”

May 12, 2016

Pricking Bonneville

by Matthew Steeples

Hugh Bonneville shares his views on the self-satisfied classes

March 3, 2015

The hypocrisy of England

by Matthew Steeples

Playwright Alan Bennett chooses ‘hypocrisy’ as Britain’s best achievement

September 19, 2014

Sensible Scotland

by Matthew Steeples

Scotland has taken the right decision   Yesterday the Scottish came out in force and voted ‘no’ to independence. Though the ‘Better Together’ campaign’s win is by a relatively small margin and though their campaign was poorly orchestrated, it is a victory nonetheless and we should all celebrate the common sense of this decision.

July 28, 2014

Investigating Tulisa

by Matthew Steeples

In the wake of the collapse of the Tulisa Contostavlos drugs trial, we examine the merits of investigative journalism   Tulisa Contostavlos declared she’d had a “rollercoaster of a week” after she was convicted of assault in one case yet saw off another after it was thrown out due to the “serious misconduct” on the part … Continue reading “Investigating Tulisa”

November 6, 2013

Anton Lesser

by Matthew Steeples

He’s played everyone from Robin Carrow in BBC Radio 4’s Ambridge Extra to Dr Karl Crabb in BBC One’s Ripper Street. “One of Britain’s leading classical actors”, Birmingham born Lesser has also starred in Game of Thrones, Miss Potter and Pirates of the Caribbean. His distinct accent is indeed one of great gravitas.

October 12, 2013

A Rolls-Royce goes West

by Matthew Steeples

1960 Rolls-Royce Silver Cloud II formerly owned by Prince Chula Chakrabongse of Siam for sale for just £55,000   Prince Chula Chakrabongse of Siam (1908 – 1963) – the “Little Prince” – was well known for his White Mouse Racing team in the 1920s, 30s and 40s. He spent much of his later life with … Continue reading “A Rolls-Royce goes West”

September 7, 2013

Graham Seed: “What’s on your mantelpiece?”

by Matthew Steeples

20 questions with Graham Seed, best known for having played Nigel Pargetter in BBC Radio 4’s ‘The Archers’   The Steeple Times shares “wit and wisdom”. What’s your guiding force? My wife, of course.   “Don’t get even, get medieval” is, in our humble opinion, a great motto. What’s yours? “Success and failure are irrelevant. … Continue reading “Graham Seed: “What’s on your mantelpiece?””

August 24, 2013

Henry Pryor: “What’s on your mantelpiece?”

by Matthew Steeples

20 questions with property market expert Henry Pryor   The Steeple Times shares “wit and wisdom”. What’s your guiding force? “Cheering the underdog”.   “Don’t get even, get medieval” is, in our humble opinion, a great motto. What’s yours? “There are only two types of ‘expert’ when it comes to predicting house prices – those … Continue reading “Henry Pryor: “What’s on your mantelpiece?””

August 1, 2013

Baroness Doreen Lawrence OBE

by Matthew Steeples

The Jamaican mother of Stephen Lawrence, who was tragically murdered in a racist incident in 1993, has done huge amounts of community work in her son’s name since. A tireless campaigner for justice, Baroness Lawrence became a Labour peer in July 2013 and was also a guest on the BBC’s Desert Island Discs in June … Continue reading “Baroness Doreen Lawrence OBE”

July 8, 2013

A true sporting great

by Matthew Steeples

Andy Murray’s place in history is much deserved   If he’d lost he’d have been remembered as a “Scottish nearly man” but with his historic victory yesterday at Wimbledon, Andy Murray OBE became a “British superstar”.

May 10, 2013

Martha Kearney

by Matthew Steeples

This “avid bee-keeper” is the main presenter of BBC Radio 4’s World At One. When interviewed by The Guardian in 2011, Oxford educated Kearney stated: “I wouldn’t think of myself as a Loose Woman”. We’re glad to hear it. This voice of reason is indeed far from that.

May 4, 2013

Libby Purves OBE

by Matthew Steeples

This British radio presenter, journalist and author is a much respected and reassuring voice of reason. Whilst at Oxford she was the librarian of the Oxford Union and then wrote a travel book, One Summer’s Grace, based on a 1,700 mile sailing journey she made around Britain with children aged three and five in 2002. … Continue reading “Libby Purves OBE”

May 1, 2013

John Challis: “What’s on your mantelpiece?”

by Matthew Steeples

The Steeple Times asks actor John Challis, best known for playing Boycie in “Only Fools and Horses”: “What’s on your mantelpiece?”   The Steeple Times shares “wit and wisdom”. What’s your guiding force? Marlene is my guiding force at all times. Listen to your wife. She knows best.   “Don’t get even, get medieval” is, … Continue reading “John Challis: “What’s on your mantelpiece?””

March 17, 2013

Sandi Toksvig

by Matthew Steeples

In 2013, this Danish-British former Liberal Democrat author and presenter stated: “The Duchess of Cambridge lacks a single [relevant] opinion”. The nation were far from impressed. “Toxic Toksvig”, as some refer to her, is a Cambridge educated lesbian and mother of three whose works number Hitler’s Canary and Heroines & Harridans. She started her career … Continue reading “Sandi Toksvig”

March 15, 2013

Kathy Clugston

by Matthew Steeples

Belfast born Clugston is known as “The Posh Radio 4 Lady” or “The PR4L” and is BBC Radio 4’s continuity announcer. This witty lady’s voice is familiar to millions as a result of this but she’s also the female Irish voice for TomTom satellite navigation systems and the creator of the “Radio4minus1letter” Twitter based game. … Continue reading “Kathy Clugston”

November 12, 2012

John Gaze (1947 – 2011)

by Matthew Steeples

A gent who operated by routine, whisky and 40 cigarettes a day. This clubman’s knowledge of London history was phenomenal and he was dedicated to his role as parish clerk at St. Michael’s Cornhill. Gaze, a Russian icon dealer with a shop in the Piccadilly Arcade, lived a life full of dramas that included being … Continue reading “John Gaze (1947 – 2011)”

November 6, 2012

Derek Paravicini

by Matthew Steeples

This echolaliac prodigy has absolute pitch and has been described as “the human iPod.” His abilities as a musician are amazing given that he’s both blind and autistic. The cousin of The Duchess of Cornwall’s children, Tom Parker Bowles and Laura Lopes, Paravicini unexpectedly played Big Spender to the then Chancellor of the Exchequer, Alistair … Continue reading “Derek Paravicini”

October 31, 2012

Gaby Hinsliff

by Matthew Steeples

We’ve got nothing against this respected journalist and writer, but when we heard that the fashion mag Grazia had a “Political Editor at Large” we thought it was April Fool’s Day. Hinsliff also blogs at usedtobesomebody.blogspot.com and states that she resigned as political editor of The Observer to go “in search of a life.” She’s … Continue reading “Gaby Hinsliff”

October 28, 2012

Redefining Rachman

by Matthew Steeples

A different side to Peter Rachman is revealed   Whenever the name Rachman is mentioned, the first things that come to mind are greed, extortion and intimidation. The word is so engrained in such that “Rachmanism” now features in the dictionary, defined as:   “The exploitation of tenants of slum properties by unscrupulous landlords.”   … Continue reading “Redefining Rachman”

October 23, 2012

Twittering S-Pam

by Matthew Steeples

Pam Ayres makes a poem of Matthew Steeples   Yesterday, I found myself listening to a self-proclaimed “writer, broadcaster and entertainer” named Pam Ayres on BBC Radio 4.   An example of her style numbers:   “I am sittin’ on the sofa. By the fire and stayin’ in. Me head is free of comfort. And … Continue reading “Twittering S-Pam”

June 17, 2012

Susan Hill CBE

by Matthew Steeples

Best known for her chilling novel The Woman in White, this writer also did a stint on the BBC’s The Archers and runs a small publishing house named Long Barn Books. Married to the Shakespeare scholar Professor Stanley Wells, Hill lives in a farmhouse with 50 acres of woodland in the Cotswolds and describes ghosts … Continue reading “Susan Hill CBE”

June 4, 2012

Virginia McKenna OBE

by Matthew Steeples

This British actress is best known for playing Joy Adamson in the true-life film Born Free alongside her real-life husband, Bill Travers (1957 – 1994).  She’s also starred in the Ring of Bright Water, The Camomile Lawn and Swallows and Amazons but it is for her work as a wildlife campaigner that McKenna is best … Continue reading “Virginia McKenna OBE”

May 22, 2012

Captain Simon Mann

by Matthew Steeples

This former army officer boldly led a coup d’état in Equatorial Guinea in 2004. He was imprisoned for 34 years but received a presidential pardon from President Teodoro Obiang Nguema in 2009. This Old Etonian’s account of the episode, Cry Havoc, is a great read and he now lives peacefully in Hampshire with his wife … Continue reading “Captain Simon Mann”

May 13, 2012

Nicholas “Nick” Witchell

by Matthew Steeples

This newscaster and royal correspondent reports for the BBC daily. He’s lesser known these days for having sat on a lesbian protestor who invaded his studio in 1988 and for having written a book, The Loch Ness Story, in which he declares his belief in the existence of the creature to be “quite unshakeable.” There’s … Continue reading “Nicholas “Nick” Witchell”

Vidal Sassoon CBE (1928 – 2012)

by General

He created the “wedge bob” hairstyle and liberated women from the “tyranny of the salon.” Four times married and a Sephardi Jew, Sassoon sold his brand in 1993 to concentrate on philanthropy. The Daily Telegraph once described him as an “anti-fascist warrior-hairdresser” and he will indeed be remembered as a man who led a revolution.

May 7, 2012

The Rt. Hon. The Lord Archer

by Matthew Steeples

Jeffrey’s invented a lot of tales but is rightly renowned for spinning them brilliantly. This former politician wrote some brilliant diaries whilst in prison and now is mostly likely to be found doing charitable deeds. His shepherd’s pie and Krug parties are still the stuff of legends.

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