He began his career in broadcasting, as a BBC production assistant in 1961, working on the TV arts slot Monitor and has gone on to become a well-respected writer and broadcaster.
Melvyn Bragg has written a number of novels, some of them set in his home town of Wigton (which is referred to in his writings as Thurston).
Melvyn Bragg has been married to his wife, the writer Cate Haste, since 1973. They now live in London.
Melvyn Bragg presented his TV series Twelve Books That Changed the World in 2006 and also published the book to go with the series. His list of 12 books is quite controversial but if you want to know more, this link will take you to the Observer Review of the series.
Melvyn Bragg fulfils a number of public roles. In 1998, he was appointed to the House of Lords as a Labour life peer under the title of Baron Bragg of Wigton. Other positions held are as Presidents of the National Campaign for the Arts (since 1986), the mental health charity MIND and, since 1999, Chancellor of Leeds University.
He has also written the screenplay for a number of film and TV productions including Jesus Christ Superstar (1973) and Ken Russell's Classic Widows (1995).
Bragg has been Controller of Arts for LWT since 1990, and a regular presenter of programmes on BBC Radio 4, including Start The Week, which he presented for over ten years. He has won several BAFTA Awards - for Best Programme (The South Bank Show) in 1980, Best Documentary (Lawrence Olivier: A Life) in 1983 and Best Arts Programme (An Interview with Dennis Potter) in 1995.
He is best known as the writer, editor and presenter of London Weekend Television's arts programme The South Bank Show, which has run since 1978. The show is the longest, continuously running, arts show on TV with its high-profile Sunday night slot on ITV1.
Melvyn Bragg was born in Carlisle in 1939 and grew up in the small town of Wigton, Cumbria, where his parents ran a pub. He went to the Nelson Thomlinson School in Wigton before going on to Wadham College, Oxford to read Modern History.
In 2004, Bragg published his history of the English language The Adventure of English to accompany his TV series.
These include The Hired Man (1969), The Maid of Buttermere (1987) based on the true story of Mary Robinson, A Time to Dance (1990) which he adapted for TV in 1992 (some of the sequences were set, and filmed, in Wigton), and The Soldier's Return which won the WH Smith Literary Award in 1999.
12 Books That Changed the World
Melvyn Bragg signed my copy of
Melvyn Bragg is the Chancellor of
Melvyn Bragg's A Time To Dance
Melvyn Bragg is a familiar voice
Dervla Kirwan & Ronald Pickup in
on Radio 4
I met Melvyn Bragg in April 2006 after he had given a talk about his TV series 12 Books that Changed the World. He signed my copy of the book, and also my autograph book which you can see him doing below.
Melvyn Bragg signing my autograph book
Some of Melvyn Bragg's 19 novels
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