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Naughtie to profile 60 public figures

BBC Radio 4 presenter James Naughtie is to profile 60 public figures who have made the greatest impact in the UK during The Queen’s 60 year reign.

The profiles will be scheduled on the network during the summer.

Radio 4 listeners will be invited to suggest people who have defined the past six decades and illuminated the character of the age. These will be passed to a panel of historians who will add their own suggestions before debating and deciding on the final list of The New Elizabethans.

James Naughtie says: “This is going to be an exciting journey into our recent past. Trying to find the 60 people who’ve left the most indelible marks on the second Elizabethan age is going to be a challenge, but fun. We hope listeners will deluge us with suggestions and we’ll try to reflect all the diversity of our last six decades – men and women in politics, entertainment, the arts, sport, business, science, academe, and anywhere else who’ve helped to make us who we are.

“Writing 60 profiles of these people is going to be an adventure. Some names will be obvious, and I hope some will be obscure. But they will all tell a story – about ingenuity or courage, brilliance or sheer luck. They’ll help to explain us to ourselves. The result will be a radio portrait of our age. I can’t wait to get started.”

Gwyneth Williams, Controller, BBC Radio 4, says: “The search is on at Radio 4 for the brightest and best among us; for those who have made a lasting impact on the way we live now. I am delighted to broadcast, in the Diamond Jubilee year, The New Elizabethans, which will examine the last 60 years through exceptional individuals chosen by our listeners and a panel of eminent historians.”

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