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5 speakers 15 minutes each
Wed 4th May 2011
Mick Hucknall is a singer and songwriter. He was the lead singer of the hugely successful British band Simply Red. The band have all-time worldwide sales of over 50 million and 30 top 40 UK hits to their credit in addition to having played over a 1,000 concerts to more than 10 million people. Born in Denton in 1960, his interest in the music scene led to the launch of his career in the late 1970s, when he was part of the formation of the band, the Frantic Elevators. The Frantic Elevators released four singles, including a version of Holding Back the Years, which Mick later recorded with Simply Red. Hucknall is also one of the founders of the successful reggae label Blood and Fire and also manages the record label simplyred.com. On 19 May 2008 Hucknall released his first solo album Tribute to Bobby, a tribute to the blues musician Bobby Bland. In 2009 Simply Red split up and in October that year, Mick appeared at a charity performance as vocalist for a reformed version of Faces, replacing Rod Stewart.
Anna Pavord is the gardening correspondent for the Independent and the author of eight books, including the bestselling The Tulip. She contributes to a number of magazines, both in the US and the UK and regularly fronts programmes for BBC Radio 3 and 4. She chairs the Gardens Panel of the National Trust and sits on the Parks and Gardens Panel of English Heritage. She lives in Dorset, England, where she spent thirty years restoring the garden of an old rectory. She has recently moved to a new house and started another garden. She is married and has three daughters. The Curious Gardener, published by Bloomsbury in November 2010, brings together in 12 chapters - one from each month of the year - 72 pieces on all aspects of gardening.
Hugo Vickers is a writer and broadcaster, who has written biographies of many twentieth century figures, including the Queen Mother, the Baron de Rede, Gladys, Duchess of Marlborough, Cecil Beaton, Vivien Leigh, a study of Greta Garbo, and Alice, Princess Andrew of Greece. His book, The Private World of The Duke and Duchess of Windsor was illustrated with pictures from their own collection. The Kiss - The Story of an Obsession won the 1996 Stern Silver Pen Award for Non-Fiction. Elizabeth, The Queen Mother, was the first major biography since her death, and was published in October 2005. His most recent book is Behind Closed Doors, The Tragic, Untold Story of the Duchess of Windsor.
Melvyn Bragg is an author and broadcaster. He is best known for the programme The South Bank Show, which he edited and presented from 1978-2010. He is also known for his many programmes on BBC Radio 4, including Start the Week, The Routes of English, (mapping the history of the English language), and In Our Time (1998 to present). Bragg is a novelist and writer of non-fiction, and has written a number of television and film screenplays. He has written 20 novels, 13 non-fiction books and 2 children’s books. His 36th book is The King James Bible: The Book that Changed the World. Bragg was appointed to the House of Lords as Baron Bragg, of Wigton in the County of Cumbria, in 1998. In 2013 he released his novel Grace and Mary, which was inspired by his mother.