Melvyn Bragg

Melvyn Bragg’s In Our Time is broadcast on Radio 4 at 9 a.m. on Thursday.

My lunch with Salman Rushdie

I have just come back from spending some days with David Hockney at his house in Normandy. We are making a film about him – the longest film about a single subject I have ever attempted. Like Monet’s, Hockney’s environment is his subject. The great sequence of ‘The Four Seasons’ is from his grounds. He

How McCartney and I helped put pop on the map

In 1977, when I set up the South Bank Show for ITV, I wanted Paul McCartney to be on the first programme. His unique talent apart, I thought he would be the key to unlocking one of my chief aims in the new programme, which was to disrupt the accepted order of play in which

My lockdown achievement? Getting shingles

The choir of Notre Dame made a recording of Howard Goodall’s beautiful version of Psalm 23. Unlike cathedral choirs here they are wholly adult. It is so well done. The hands of the pianist in the middle of the screen are surrounded by the faces of the performers singing the incomparable King James text in

Diary – 16 July 2015

I witnessed what was almost a violent fight to the death on Hampstead Heath the other morning. Broad flawless sunlight, the serenity of one of London’s greatest lungs and then, from the little pond opposite the mixed bathing pond, screams. A swan, its neck arched like a bow, yellow beak wide open, was shielding four

William carries on

This richly detailed and engrossing biography, a fine companion volume to William Hague’s life of Pitt, will still many arguments and feed others. Two hundred years ago the Act abolishing the slave trade was, as it remains, a beacon of humanitarian legislation, a defining moment when morality met commerce in open battle and won a