The official tie-in to the landmark new series on Radio 4, written and presented by one of the UK's leading commentators on social and political life - Jim Naughtie.
The perfect read for anyone who wants to gauge the depth and spread of creativity and genius in the British Isles over the past sixty years. To mark the Diamond Jubilee, Radio 4 has looked back over the span of Queen Elizabeth II reign thus far in order to identify and profile the people who have helped to define the era and whose achievements seem likely to stand the test of time.
From the broadcaster who brought A History of the World in 100 Objects to the radio, this new programme is a series of documentary profiles which celebrates the sixty New Elizabethans, from all walks of life in British society. It is a major portrait of most of the post-war period, highlighting its most significant figures and the most important areas of achievement in British life. With unique access to the Radio 4 scripts written by James Naughtie, it will be the perfect guide for anyone interested in our recent history, as well as those who wish to continue the Diamond Jubilee celebrations of HM The Queen.
Much as Jeremy Clarkson is able to elevate and popularize debate on the latest automobile to hit the British market, so Jim Naughtie's analysis and unique take on British life will bring this series, and book, to life. As Jim comments: "I was born just before the Queen's accession, so this history is mine too. The New Elizabethans have built the country that I live in, given it colour and life and, in part, made us all the people that we are."
James Naughtie presents the Today programme on BBC Radio 4 and is former chief political correspondent of the Guardian and, before that, the Scotsman. He presents Bookclub on Radio 4, music and opera on BBC radio and television. He is a former Laurence Sterne fellow on the Washington Post and Sony Radio Personality of the Year. James Naughtie and his family live in London.
As with all lists of this nature, there is a strong element of subjective judgement which allows for discussion and argument. But, as a representation of the past 60 years, I think it stands up to scrutiny. The series begins on June 11 and will be presented by James Naughtie, which can be the only explanation for why he wasn't on the list. - Simon Kelner, The Independent
Whatever you thought about the BBC's television coverage of the Jubilee, I defy you not to admit that some of the attendant radio has been exceptional. I loved The New Elizabethans (Radio 4), James Naughtie's 15-minute explorations of people who had changed the world under Elizabeth II. - Clare Heal, The Sunday Express