From acting in Men Behaving Badly and Jonathan Creek to restoring dozens of period properties and touring India for TV, the actress Caroline Quentin loves variety. When she discovered the life of the playwright and architect Sir John Vanbrugh, she found a kindred spirit. Jonathan Glancey, architectural critic and broadcaster, joins Caroline and presenter Matthew Parris to explore the full and meandering life of this flamboyant figure, born over 350 years ago. Producer: Camellia Sinclair
society & culture,
Laura Marling on the first female psychoanalyst Lou Andreas-Salomé.
Robinson Crusoe picked by Lucy Irvine, author of Castaway
Ed Balls discusses the influence of 20th-century composer Herbert Howells on his life.
Kamila Shamsie champions the life of the human rights lawyer Asma Jahangir.
Shirley Collins and Billy Bragg on the legendary American song-hunter Alan Lomax.
The Beatles' manager Brian Epstein, chosen by artist Jeremy Deller.
Feminist campaigner and writer Caroline Criado-Perez champions the life of Jane Austen.
Kirill Gerstein chooses conductor, composer and virtuoso Ferruccio Busoni.
As a young man looking for a literary hero, poet Ian McMillan found writer Malcolm Lowry
Helen Lewis chooses the so-called 'Black Queen' of France, Catherine de Medici.
Tom Holland chooses Aethelflaed, Lady of the Mercians
Shappi Khorsandi chooses Emma, Lady Hamilton, Lord Nelson’s mistress.
Matt Lucas chooses Freddie Mercury
Matthew Parris profiles the inventor of the car that changed the face of Formula One
Neurologist and author Oliver Sacks is Suzanne O'Sullivan's hero, she tells Matthew Parris
The Great Gama, the strongest man in the world, championed by author Nikesh Shukla.
Author and journalist Sathnam Sanghera nominates Alexander Gardner as his great life.
Charlie Chaplin wasn’t funny but a political rebel. Mark Steel nominates him as his hero.
Tim Smit of the Eden Project talks about the life of the artistHumphrey Jennings.