Sir Richard Stilgoe has spent fifty years as a performer and writer. On television he appeared on Nationwide, That’s Life and several series of his own. On stage he toured with his one-man show and subsequently his two-man show with Peter Skellern. He wrote lyrics for Cats, Starlight Express and The Phantom of the Opera. His broadcasting work has earned him the New York Radio Festival Gold Award, three Monaco Festival Prizes and the Prix Italia. In 1997 he founded the Orpheus Centre in Surrey, where taking part in performing arts helps to prepare young disabled people for independent living. Richard was High Sheriff of Surrey in 1998, during which year he was awarded the OBE. In the Jubilee honours list of 2012 Richard was knighted for charitable service through the Alchemy Foundation.
Alistair McGowan is a cherished household name, a master impressionist, a stand-up comic, an actor, a pianist, a writer of sketches, articles, stage and radio plays but is still probably best known to British audiences for The Big Impression which was, for four years, one of BBC1’s top-rating comedy programmes – winning numerous awards, including a BAFTA. In 2017 Sony Classical released Alistair McGowan The Piano Album’which went to Number One in The Official Classical Charts and no 2 in the Classic FM chart and was John Brunning’s Album of The Week. He released his second piano album last year.
Garry Richardson joined the BBC in 1974 and “here’s Garry with the sport” has been heard on Radio 4’s Today programme since 1981, making him the longest serving member of the team and giving him a wealth of hilarious “behind the scenes” stories to tell. He is infamous for his racing tips which never win and once famously got David Cameron to select two horses on his first day as Prime Minister. Garry is also the regular presenter on 5 Live’s Sportsweek, and has interviewed some of the world’s most famous names, including an impromptu 15 mins with President Bill Clinton, live from Wimbledon’s centre court.
Newsreader Charlotte Green was once voted the nation’s favourite voice in a Radio Times poll, and is one of the country’s most recognisable and cherished voices. Farmous for her warm tones, her diction and her poise, her fit of giggles live on air made her a national treasure, with even Prince Charles, as he was then, thanking her for her “impossibly infectious giggling”! With appearances on News Quiz and The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, Charlotte is a great raconteur. She has written about her life in broadcasting in an autobiography, The News is Read, available at all fine bookstores.
Dame Joanna Lumley DBE is an English actress, former model, author and activist. She is the recipient of three BAFTA Awards, a Tony Nomination for Best Featured Actress in a Play, the Special Recognition Award at the 2017 National Television Awards and the BAFTA Fellowship Award for her work on screen and stage. In her many stage appearances she has worked with Harold Pinter, Alan Ayckbourn, Trevor Nunn and Jonathan Miller. She played the legendary character Patsy Stone in Absolutely Fabulous until 2012 and stepped back into the role in Absolutely Fabulous: The Movie in 2016. Her other film credits include On Her Majesty’s Secret Service, Shirley Valentine, James and the Giant Peach, Ella Enchanted, The Wolf of Wall Street and Paddington 2 among many others; and on TV, The New Avengers, Sapphire and Steel, Coronation Street along with numerous travel documentaries which have her criss-crossing the globe. Lumley is also known as the ‘daughter of Nepal’ for her continuing work with the Gurkhas.