Radio indie Made in Manchester has created two special commissions marking the 20th anniversary of the death of Princess Diana.
The production house has once again brought to life its occasional strand which remembers iconic figures through the first person stories of people who met them. Previous docs – all for BBC Radio 5 live – have included The Day I Met Bobby Robson, The Day I Met Mandela and The Day I Met The Queen.
Now The Day I Met Diana, which first aired on 5 live on Bank Holiday Monday (listen here fro 30 days), includes Charles Stonehill a friend of one of Diana’s flatmates in the days before she was a member of the Royal family, Mary Robertson – the woman who employed a teenage Diana as a part-time baby sitter, former HIV nurse John O’Reilly who met her when she kissed hands with an Aids patient in 1987 and land mines survivor Jerry White who was with Diana just weeks before she died.
Clothes designers Jacques Azagury and Paul Costello recall their first meetings with Diana while comedy actor Cleo Rocos talks about meeting Diana with Queen frontman Freddie Mercury and comedian and DJ Kenny Everett. There are also anecdotes from astrologer Russell Grant and original EastEnders’ star Anita Dobson. Others recalling their meetings with Diana include Nick Hardy from Gloucestershire who recounts a kiss he’s never forgotten and Annette Horner from East Yorkshire who met the Princess after giving birth to her first child.
Meanwhile MIM has produced a separate programme for BBC Radio Wales entitled The Day I Met Diana, Princess Of Wales which will air from 6pm-7pm on Thursday, August 31st – the actual anniversary of Diana’s death.
MIM Creative Director Ashley Byrne says: ‘It’s great to be able to make an exclusively Wales angled edition of the strand. Diana was after all the Princess of Wales and as you hear through the stories there seems to have been a special bond between her and the Welsh people.’
Among those recalling their meeting with Diana for the BBC Radio Wales programme, a man who served on the Royal Yacht Britannia during the couple’s honeymoon, a woman who sang in a choir on Diana’s first official visit as the Princess of Wales, and victims of the Towyn floods in 1990. Amateur photographer Colin Edwards from Ruthin in North Wales recalls his many meetings with the Princess and how they came to be on first name terms. Former lifeboat man Tony Jepps remembers painting a picture for Diana while Dale Miles from Merthyr Tydfil tells about a royal kiss he will never forget. Another story involves Sara Carr, who was nine years old at the time. She tells of a fairy tale meeting with the Princess on a narrow gauge railway in Wales in 1982.
Meanwhile, several famous figures remember the impact Diana had on them. Singers Bonnie Tyler and Bryn Terfyl, actor Ruth Madoc and Falklands War veteran Simon Weston are among those telling their stories in their own words.