Libby Purves meets poet and artist Frieda Hughes; composer Christopher Gunning; puppeteer Ronnie Le Drew and horticulturalist and gardening judge Jim Buttress.
Ronnie Le Drew is a puppeteer. Over his long career he has operated Muffin the Mule, Sweep and Zippy from the children's television series Rainbow. He discovered puppetry as a small boy, performing glove puppet shows for his friends on the south London council estate where he grew up. His biography Zippy and Me, written with Duncan Barrett and Nuala Calvi, will be published by Unbound. Ronnie is performing the Snitchity Titch Show at the Little Angel Theatre, London.
Christopher Gunning is an award-winning composer, best known for his theme music to Agatha Christie's Poirot as well as Porterhouse Blue and La Vie en Rose. He started out writing music for commercials and early on in his career he worked as assistant to the late Dudley Moore, who became a regular pianist on a variety of Christopher's jingles and documentary scores. Christopher's latest work is a violin and cello concerto, inspired by his love of Wales. Violin Concerto/Cello Concerto/Birdflight is released on Discovery Records.
Frieda Hughes is a poet and artist. The daughter of Ted Hughes and Sylvia Plath, Her book, Alternative Values, is the story of her life told through a series of abstract paintings which accompany her poetry. Frieda wrote and painted from an early age and for many years has been a children's writer. She is talking about her life and work at the Salisbury International Arts Festival. Alternative Values is published by Bloodaxe Books.
Jim Buttress is a gardener, horticulturalist and RHS judge, known for his trademark bowler hat and clipboard. He has presided over flower shows including Chelsea and Hampton Court and the Britain in Bloom competition for over 25 years. In his memoir, The People's Gardener, he recounts his garden memories including his ten years as superintendent of the Central Royal Parks - on one occasion looking after some elephants which had taken up residence in Hyde Park. His memoir, The People's Gardener, is published by Sidgwick And Jackson.
Producer: Paula McGinley. Show less