1 Jewel in the Crown (January 2008)
Dr Christopher Brown
The Director of The Ashmolean Museum who inspired the building of the New Ashmolean Museum.
2 Jim takes his Time (February 2008)
Dr Jim Bennett
Director of the world’s first Museum of the History of Science
3 Bill’s excellent adventure (March 2008)
The broadcaster from Illinois who became the voice of Radio Oxford, cinema entrepreneur and owner of the Headington Shark.
4 Glitter and the Gold (April 2008)
Professor Janet Beer
The first female vice-chancellor of Oxford Brookes University, the most successful of the new British universities.
5 Comics, Coca -Cola and childhood memories (May 2008)
The well-known illustrator, born and brought up in Zimbabwe, has drawn more than 25 Winnie the Witch books, as well as many other poetry anthologies and picture books. He has sold more than five million books worldwide.
6 Sir Peter’s Passions (June 2008)
Sir Peter Moores
As a teenager, Sir Peter’s encounters with great art changed his life. When he founded the beautiful Compton Verney gallery, he wanted to encourage art virgins to experience similar inspiring moments.
7 Arrowheads of desire (July 2008)
Dr John Ballam
Born in Blair Witch country, John escaped to England and became Director of the Diploma in Creative Writing at Oxford University’s Department of Continuing Education.
8 The archivist and the family silver (August 2008)
A former teacher John is historian of Blenheim Place and archivist to the Duke of Malborough.
9 A Literary Pilgrim’s Progress (September 2008)
Blackwell is a particularly loved bookshop in this city of academics and writers, Rita is the firm’s historian and visiting scholar at the Bodleian library.
10 The Bishop and Bede (October 2008)
Rt. Rev John Pritchard
John Pritchard ‘s father was a clergyman, but John was determined not to folowin his footsteps as “there was no money in it”. While studying law at Oxford Joh changed his mind, took a diploma in theology and entered the priesthood.
11 War and Peace. (November 2008)
Air Commodore Bob Martin
Bob is the former commanding officer of RAF Abingdon and a survivor of three wars, three aircraft crashes, three friendly fire incidents and the IRA Brighton bomb.
12 Jane and Dr Who — a brand new start. (December 2008)
When I interviewed her, Jane was head of drama at the BBC and lived near Henley. She has received a National Television Award for resurrecting Dr Who and is now executive vice-president of programming and production at BBC Worldwide in Los Angeles and a producer of Torchwood.
13 David’s fantastic comic (January 2009)
The award-winning editor is publisher of Philip Pullman and Mark Haddon, promoter of The Story Museum and a lover of comic books.
14 The insect champion (February 2009)
Dr George McGavin
For 25 years, George was the Assistant Curator of Entomology at The University of Oxford Museum of Natural History and is a well known television broadcaster. This enthusiastic champion of bugs, particularly of bees, has several insect species named in his honour and hopes they survive him.
15 The pagoda of dreams (March 2009)
Simonetta Angello Hornby
Simonetta was born near Agrigento in Sicily but, after marrying Martin Hornby, they settled for a while in Kennington (Oxford) where their two sons were born. In London, she trained as a solicitor and founded the first specialist child law firm (in the Borough of Brixton). Now a best-selling author in Italy, her books are translated into 24 languages.
16 Town and Gown united (April 2009)
Director of the Oxford Preservation Trust and the energy behind the Oxford Castle development, the restoration of the Martyr’s Memorial and the popular Oxford Open Doors event.
17 Lady Justice (May 2009)
At the time of my interview, Shami was the youngest castaway. She is Chancellor of Oxford Brookes University and director of the human rights organisation, Liberty.
18 Man on a Mission (June 2009)
Andrew once got lost in the Himalayas but survived to become education officer at the Pitt Rivers Museum.
19 A life well lived (July 2009)
Charles and Cecillie Swaisland
Their adventurous lives have taken them all over the world but notably Charles was the last district officer in Nigeria, staying on after independence. As Quakers, they went to South Africa as monitors of the first democratic election after the end of apartheid.
20 Master of Illumination (August 2009)
Director of Journalism at the Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism, Oxford. During his career with the Financial Times, John witnessed the end of the Cold War from Eastern Europe.
21 Blessed to be in the right place (September 2009)
Sister Frances Domenica
Her family tried to deter her from leaving nursing to join the Society of All Saints, an Anglican order. She went on to found the world’s first hospice for children, Helen House in Oxford.
22 Unforgettable fire (October 2009)
Colin is famous for creating Inspector Morse but one of the main characters in his best selling books and the TV series is the city of Oxford itself. At heart he remains a classicist and, in common with Morse, is a lover of crosswords.
23 Mightier than the sword. (November 2009)
Sir Christopher Ball
The former Master of Keble College is a poet and champion of continuing education. In his 60s, Sir Christopher took up long-distance running, eventually completing ten marathons in ten days.
24 Inspired by a golden pharaoh (December 2009)
The historian and broadcaster is a big fan of the Ashmolean Museum. In 2009 she was invited to speak at the academic opening of the museum’s new galleries.
25 Michael Stanley’s great adventure (January 2010)
Michael grew up in a small terraced house in Widnes, where he says it was unusual to have such a burning passion for art — football and rugby league was the common denominator. As a teenager, instead of spending his Saturdays on the terraces, Michael headed for the Walker Art Gallery or Tate Liverpool. He is the youthful director of the groundbreaking Modern Art Oxford.
26 Real people, real lives (February 2010)
Historian and best-selling writer of books on the Victorians, the last weeks of the Romanovs and biographies of Stalin and Lenin. After writing No place for Ladies she discovered the portrait of Mary Seacole. Her latest book is entitled Magnificent Obsession, about the impact of the death of Prince Albert on Victorian society.
27 Against the odds. (March 2010)
Dr Diana Sanders
A counselling psychologist at the John Radcliffe and Churchill hospitals. Often working with patients with chronic or terminal illness, this survivor of a heart lung transplant radiates serenity. She wrote about her experience in her book, Will I Still Be Me? Life, after a heart-lung transplant.
28 Parissien’s progress (April 2010)
Dr Steven Parissien
Art historian and director of the award winning Compton Verney gallery Steven was also a consultant for Elegance and Decadence, the Age of the Regency . His television work includes Kings in Waiting: George IV (BBC) and the Channel 5 series Buildings that Shaped Britian.
29 A lifelong love-affair with fossils (May 2010)
Professor Jim Kennedy
A castaway in the year of his retirement from the directorship of The Oxford University Museum of Natural History which also happened to be the 150th anniversary of the museum.
30 Inspired by ancient civilisations. (June 2010)
MG Harris or Maria Guadalupe
Maria Guadalupe was born in Mexico and came to Oxford via Germany. After graduating from St Catherine’s College, she started an IT business until an accident changed her life and she became a best -selling writer of thrilling adventures for children, including The Jericho Files
31 My beautiful careers (July 2011)
As a young man of 22, Ray founded the legendary Isle of Wight Festival with his brothers. He was the man who persuaded Bob Dylan and Jimi Hendrix to sing there and 600,000 fans crammed in to the 1970 festival. But his subsequent careers are no less inspiring.
32 Secrets and lies (August 2010)
The defence correspondent of The Sunday Times Michael is an ex- military intelligence officer and is champion of the code breakers and of Frank Foley, the spy who saved 10,000 Jews. Among his many books, is his best-selling Station X and Six: Murder and Mayhem, an unofficial history of MI6.
33 Champion of our Countryside (September 2010)
Dr Helena Whall
Campaign manager for the Oxfordshire branch of the Campaign to Protect Rural England. Helena has run successful campaigns to save Radley Lakes and Warneford Meadow. Before becoming an environmental campaigner, a career in international relations took her to Australia and Sri Lanka.
34 ‘One man in his time plays many parts’ (October 2010)
The dramatist and Director of the Broken Lace Theatre Company teaches his craft on the Diploma and Masters in Creative Writing at Oxford University Department of Continuing Education. Patrick is a devotee of Samuel Beckett.
35 Dragons and elephants (November 2010)
After a free ranging childhood in Africa, John could have played football for Everton but instead chose a career in teaching eventually becoming Headmaster of the famous Dragon School.
36 Mediterranean maestro (December 2010)
Marios is the founder, director and conductor of Oxford Philomusica. His glittering career as a concert pianist began in Limassol, Cyprus on a foot-wide toy piano!
37 Doctor in the house (January 2011)
Professor James Leonard
James started and ended his distinguished career in paediatrics at the world’s first specialist children’s hospital, Great Ormond Street. He and his wife, Halcyon, also a doctor, delivered twins on board a flight to the Gulf. That was just one of his working trips to over forty countries. When he and Halcyon retired they chose to move to Kennington, a village which has raised money for overseas development projects every year for 43 years.
38 Life of Brian (February 2011)
Brian is one of the world’s greatest science fiction writers and with C S Lewis founded The Oxford University Speculative Fiction Group. His writing career began by chance, after he walked into a shop in Oxford’s High Street.
39 Designs for living (March 2011)
Brigit is a successful designer, entrepreneur and enabler of other young designers.
40 Weimin’s incredible journey (April 2011)
Dr. Weimin He
Weimin was born in Manchuria during the Cultural Revolution, when western art was regarded as capitalist and criminal, and he never expected to leave China. But he found a home in Oxford via Belfast and is Artist in Residence at the Radcliffe Observatory Quarter, the largest building project in Central Oxford for 100 years. The book of his drawings and prints, The Building of the New Ashmolean was presented to Her Majesty the Queen.
41 World record and beyond (May 2011)
Sir Roger and Lady Moyra Bannister
Sir Roger is famous for running the first sub-four minute mile on Oxford’s Iffley Road track, in 1954, but those were less than four inspiring minutes in an altogether inspiring life. Moyra, his artist wife of 57 years, painted and sketched Roger and her children throughout those years. As the daughter of the first chairman of the International Monetary Fund, she received a letter of condolence from President JF Kennedy on the death of her father.
42 Dame Jessica’s passion for China (June 2011)
Dame Jessica Rawson
As a child Dame Jessica developed a passionate interest in China. Despite the discouragement of her school, she clung to her dream. Mao still ruled China on the first of her 60 visits as curator in the Oriental Department of the British Museum. She was one of the first women to become head of an Oxford college.
43 Poet in motion (July 2011)
Poet and teacher of creative writing, Jenny is a multi- talented friend of the Pythons. Her career began as a singer-songwriter, but she moved into advertising and children’s writing before a traumatic experience put poetry at the heart of her life.
44 Keep on truckin’ (August 2011)
Robin was an undergraduate reading English at Cambridge when he decided to leave, against his family’s advice and follow his passion for music.
45 Submarines and string quartets (September 2011)
Dr Christopher Watson
While Dr Watson was serving as a second lieutenant in the Royal Engineers during National Service when he became convinced that nuclear weapons could never be used. He is now chairman of British Pugwash, an organisation committed to disarmament. Music has been a life-long passion and, until recently, he was chairman of the Oxford Lieder Festival.
46 Stage Struck (October 2011)
Michelle was a teenager in the audience at the Birmingham Symphony Hall when she realised that it was someone’s job to organise the concerts. She was one of the first students from her state school to get a place at Oxford (Wadham). Since knocking on The Playhouse door asking for work experience, she has never looked back and now has the job of her dreams.
47 The Wright Stuff (November 2012)
Dr Chris Wright
Dr Wright, a chemist and former group operations director of AEA Technology is now a venture capitalist and catalyst for young inventive enterprises. Chris champions creativity and enterprise and reveals some surprising Oxford inventions.
48 From the front line to the home front (December 2011)
Marcus and Alix Hodges
The well-known portrait painter was commissioned to paint the Third Battalion Rifles while they were stationed in Helmand. That experience changed not only his life but that of his wife too.
49 The musician who came in from the cold (January 2012)
Hon. Nicola Blackwood MP
The talented musician looked set for a career as an opera singer until she spent some time as an intern at the House of Commons. The experience set her on the path to become Member of Parliament for Oxford West and Abingdon.
50 Citizen Smith (February 2012)
Hon. Andrew Smith MP for Oxford East
Labour MPs are a rare commodity in the south of England but, since 1987, Andrew Smith has held the Oxford East seat, often against the odds. When first chosen to represent the seat in 1982 he beat another young Labour Party hopeful, whose name was Tony Blair…