The New Elizabethans

The New Elizabethans

United Kingdom

James Naughtie profiles 60 public figures nominated to mark the diamond jubilee

Episodes

Queen Elizabeth II  

The New Elizabethans: Queen Elizabeth II who celebrates her Diamond Jubilee this year. As the longest-lived and second-longest-reigning monarch of the United Kingdom after Queen Victoria, she has been served by a total of twelve different Prime Ministers and has witnessed tremendous social, political and cultural changes, including the transformation of the British Empire into the Commonwealth of Nations. The Queen and her family have adapted to increased public scrutiny and media interest during that time, allowing cameras to film behind the scenes at Buckingham Palace, meeting ordinary people during the first walkabout in 1970 and even in 2012 participating in the opening ceremony of the Olympics where The Queen met her most famous spy, James Bond. Despite criticism after the death of Diana, The Queen's position has not weakened but strengthened. In an address to Parliament in 2012, she paid a rare public tribute to the Duke of Edinburgh, her "constant strength and guide" and in her Diamond Jubilee message said she hoped "this Jubilee year will be a time to give thanks for the great advances that have been made since 1952 and to look forward to the future with clear head and warm heart." The New Elizabethans have been chosen by a panel of leading historians, chaired by Lord (Tony) Hall, Chief Executive of London's Royal Opera House. The panellists were Dominic Sandbrook, Bamber Gascoigne, Sally Alexander, Jonathan Agar, Maria Misra and Sir Max Hastings. They were asked to choose: "Men and women whose actions during the reign of Elizabeth II have had a significant impact on lives in these islands and/or given the age its character, for better or worse.".

Simon Cowell  

Simon Cowell is today's New Elizabethan. Cowell started out on Pop Idol in 2001, before devising X-Factor and Britain's Got Talent. Franchised around the world, these programmes have helped Cowell into the top ten of the Sunday Times music rich list, estimated worth £200-million. Known for offering his blunt opinions to less than talented wannabes, he chose a mirror as his luxury item when he appeared on Desert Island Discs in 2006. The New Elizabethans have been chosen by a panel of leading historians, chaired by Lord (Tony) Hall, Chief Executive of London's Royal Opera House. The panellists were Dominic Sandbrook, Bamber Gascoigne, Sally Alexander, Jonathan Agar, Maria Misra and Sir Max Hastings. They were asked to choose: "Men and women whose actions during the reign of Elizabeth II have had a significant impact on lives in these islands and/or given the age its character, for better or worse." Producer, Sukey Firth.

Rupert Murdoch  

The New Elizabethans: Rupert Murdoch the global media magnate whose career began when he inherited newspapers from his father, founded Australia's first national daily paper, the Australian and then came to the UK to buy The News of the World, The Sun and eventually The Times and The Sunday Times. His influence spread to the USA where he acquired other papers, Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation and several independent television stations. He formed BSkyB in 1990 which has dominated the British pay-TV market ever since. At the age of 81, despite the damage done to his business due to the phone hacking scandal, his political influence and business skills elicit both fear and admiration and Forbes magazine lists him as the 24th most powerful person in the world. The New Elizabethans have been chosen by a panel of leading historians, chaired by Lord (Tony) Hall, Chief Executive of London's Royal Opera House. The panellists were Dominic Sandbrook, Bamber Gascoigne, Sally Alexander, Jonathan Agar, Maria Misra and Sir Max Hastings. They were asked to choose: "Men and women whose actions during the reign of Elizabeth II have had a significant impact on lives in these islands and/or given the age its character, for better or worse.".

Fred Goodwin  

The New Elizabethans: James Naughtie examines the legacy of banker Fred Goodwin. Having turned the Royal Bank of Scotland into a major player in global banking, he lost millions of pounds, a knighthood, and any public esteem. Just how much did the actions of "Fred the Shred" and other leading bankers jeopardise the global economy? The New Elizabethans have been chosen by a panel of leading historians, chaired by Lord (Tony) Hall, Chief Executive of London's Royal Opera House. The panellists were Dominic Sandbrook, Bamber Gascoigne, Sally Alexander, Jonathan Agar, Maria Misra and Sir Max Hastings. They were asked to choose: "Men and women whose actions during the reign of Elizabeth II have had a significant impact on lives in these islands and/or given the age its character, for better or worse.".

Tony Blair  

The New Elizabethans: Tony Blair James Naughtie considers the political legacy of Tony Blair, the youngest and longest serving Labour Prime Minister. Sweeping Labour to power in 1997, Blair enjoyed huge popularity, and his government, under the banner of "New Labour" was credited with policies improving schools and the health service, as well as brokering the Good Friday peace agreement in Northern Ireland. He was involved on more foreign conflicts than any other Prime Minister of the 20th Century, and remains controversial with the regards to the British military involvement in the war in Iraq. The New Elizabethans have been chosen by a panel of leading historians, chaired by Lord (Tony) Hall, Chief Executive of London's Royal Opera House. The panellists were Dominic Sandbrook, Bamber Gascoigne, Sally Alexander, Jonathan Agar, Maria Misra and Sir Max Hastings. They were asked to choose: "Men and women whose actions during the reign of Elizabeth II have had a significant impact on lives in these islands and/or given the age its character, for better or worse." Producer: Alison Hughes.

Alex Salmond  

The New Elizabethans: Alex Salmond Jim Naughtie considers the influence of Alex Salmond, one of the leading Scottish politicians of the Second Elizabethan age. Salmond's passion for an independent Scotland has changed the political geography of the British Isles and may yet change it even more radically. The New Elizabethans have been chosen by a panel of leading historians, chaired by Lord (Tony) Hall, Chief Executive of London's Royal Opera House. The panellists were Dominic Sandbrook, Bamber Gascoigne, Sally Alexander, Jonathan Agar, Maria Misra and Sir Max Hastings. Producer: Alison Hughes They were asked to choose: "Men and women whose actions during the reign of Elizabeth II have had a significant impact on lives in these islands and/or given the age its character, for better or worse.".

Diana, Princess of Wales  

The New Elizabethans: Jim Naughtie on Diana, Princess of Wales whose glamorous life and untimely death touched the lives of million, shook the nation and changed the Royal Family forever. The New Elizabethans have been chosen by a panel of leading historians, chaired by Lord (Tony) Hall, Chief Executive of London's Royal Opera House. The panellists were Dominic Sandbrook, Bamber Gascoigne, Sally Alexander, Jonathan Agar, Maria Misra and Sir Max Hastings. They were asked to choose: "Men and women whose actions during the reign of Elizabeth II have had a significant impact on lives in these islands and/or given the age its character, for better or worse.".

Tim Berners-Lee  

The New Elizabethans: Jim Naughtie on Tim Berners-Lee, inventor of the World Wide Web and unlikely hero of the Olympic opening ceremony. Berners-Lee is a key figure in the digital revolution that has re-fashioned social lives, working practices and the flow of information around the globe. The New Elizabethans have been chosen by a panel of leading historians, chaired by Lord (Tony) Hall, Chief Executive of London's Royal Opera House. The panellists were Dominic Sandbrook, Bamber Gascoigne, Sally Alexander, Jonathan Agar, Maria Misra and Sir Max Hastings. They were asked to choose: "Men and women whose actions during the reign of Elizabeth II have had a significant impact on lives in these islands and/or given the age its character, for better or worse." Producer Clare Walker Presenter James Naughtie.

Doreen Lawrence  

The New Elizabethans: Doreen Lawrence. Jim Naughtie considers the achievement of the mother of murdered teenager, Stephen Lawrence, whose campaign for justice revealed uncomfortable truths about British society. The New Elizabethans have been chosen by a panel of leading historians, chaired by Lord (Tony) Hall, Chief Executive of London's Royal Opera House. The panellists were Dominic Sandbrook, Bamber Gascoigne, Sally Alexander, Jonathan Agar, Maria Misra and Sir Max Hastings. They were asked to choose: "Men and women whose actions during the reign of Elizabeth II have had a significant impact on lives in these islands and/or given the age its character, for better or worse.".

John Hume/David Trimble  

Jim Naughtie on John Hume and David Trimble who shared the Nobel Peace Prize after the Good Friday Agreement and whose lives help to illuminate the complex politics of Northern Ireland. The New Elizabethans have been chosen by a panel of leading historians, chaired by Lord (Tony) Hall, Chief Executive of London's Royal Opera House. The panellists were Dominic Sandbrook, Bamber Gascoigne, Sally Alexander, Jonathan Agar, Maria Misra and Sir Max Hastings. They were asked to choose: "Men and women whose actions during the reign of Elizabeth II have had a significant impact on lives in these islands and/or given the age its character, for better or worse.".

Goldie  

The New Elizabethans: Goldie. James Naughtie considers the contribution of musician, artist, actor and DJ Goldie to the rise of dance music and club culture over the past 25 years. Goldie began as a graffiti artist but was interested in the breakbeat scene. After visiting America in the late 80's he turned his attention to music - particular jungle and drum & bass. He is well known for his innovations in these genres and indeed his debut album "Timeless" in 1995 is acknowledged as a classic. Goldie continues to DJ all over the world. The New Elizabethans have been chosen by a panel of leading historians, chaired by Lord (Tony) Hall, Chief Executive of London's Royal Opera House. The panellists were Dominic Sandbrook, Bamber Gascoigne, Sally Alexander, Jonathan Agar, Maria Misra and Sir Max Hastings. They were asked to choose: "Men and women whose actions during the reign of Elizabeth II have had a significant impact on lives in these islands and/or given the age its character, for better or worse.".

Charles Saatchi  

The New Elizabethans: Charles Saatchi James Naughtie reflects on the high flyer from the advertising world Charles Saatchi. The company he founded with his brother - Saatchi & Saatchi - was one of the most successful ad agencies in the 1980's. Saatchi is also a major art collector, known for his early sponsorship of Damien Hirst and Tracy Emin. He set up The Saatchi Gallery, which he donated to the public in 2010,along with over 200 pieces of art. The New Elizabethans have been chosen by a panel of leading historians, chaired by Lord (Tony) Hall, Chief Executive of London's Royal Opera House. The panellists were Dominic Sandbrook, Bamber Gascoigne, Sally Alexander, Jonathan Agar, Maria Misra and Sir Max Hastings. They were asked to choose: "Men and women whose actions during the reign of Elizabeth II have had a significant impact on lives in these islands and/or given the age its character, for better or worse.".

Norman Foster  

The New Elizabethans: Norman Foster. James Naughtie considers the significance of the British architect whose prolific output has transformed skylines and landscapes around the world. Foster's breakthrough was his innovative designs for the Willis Building in Ipswich in 1974, an office complex which now has listed status. He is probably best known for his iconic buildings and structures including Wembley Stadium, the Millau Viaduct in France, and 30 St Mary Axe in London, also known as "the Gherkin". The New Elizabethans have been chosen by a panel of leading historians, chaired by Lord (Tony) Hall, Chief Executive of London's Royal Opera House. The panellists were Dominic Sandbrook, Bamber Gascoigne, Sally Alexander, Jonathan Agar, Maria Misra and Sir Max Hastings. They were asked to choose: "Men and women whose actions during the reign of Elizabeth II have had a significant impact on lives in these islands and/or given the age its character, for better or worse.".

Anita Roddick  

The New Elizabethans: Anita Roddick. James Naughtie considers the influence of one of Britain's most successful businesswomen, Anita Roddick. She was the first to base a large High Street business on being socially and environmentally conscious. Her cosmetics company The Body Shop championed fair trade long before it became a buzz word. The New Elizabethans have been chosen by a panel of leading historians, chaired by Lord (Tony) Hall, Chief Executive of London's Royal Opera House. The panellists were Dominic Sandbrook, Bamber Gascoigne, Sally Alexander, Jonathan Agar, Maria Misra and Sir Max Hastings. They were asked to choose: "Men and women whose actions during the reign of Elizabeth II have had a significant impact on lives in these islands and/or given the age its character, for better or worse.".

Salman Rushdie  

The New Elizabethans: Salman Rushdie James Naughtie portrays the British Indian novelist Salman Rushdie, whose celebrated novel Midnight's Children takes the moment of India's Independence as its starting point and won him the Booker Prize. "The Satanic Verses" was more controversial. When it was published, Ayatollah Khomeini issued a fatwa against him. Copies of the novel were burned on British streets and Rushdie had to live under police protection for several years. The New Elizabethans have been chosen by a panel of leading historians, chaired by Lord (Tony) Hall, Chief Executive of London's Royal Opera House. The panellists were Dominic Sandbrook, Bamber Gascoigne, Sally Alexander, Jonathan Agar, Maria Misra and Sir Max Hastings. They were asked to choose: "Men and women whose actions during the reign of Elizabeth II have had a significant impact on lives in these islands and/or given the age its character, for better or worse." Producer: Clare Walker.

Amartya Sen  

The New Elizabethans: Amartya Sen the Nobel-winning laureate known as the Mother Theresa of economics for his work understanding and fighting the causes of poverty. Best known for his work on the causes of famine, his book Poverty and Famines: An Essay on Entitlement and Deprivation, argued that famine occurs not only from a lack of food, but from inequalities built into mechanisms for distributing food. Sen also helped to create the United Nations Human Development Index which is used to rank countries by standard of living or quality of life. Now working as Professor of Economics and Philosophy at Harvard University, he began at the tender age of twenty-three by setting up a new economics department at Jadavpur University in Calcutta, but he has also held professorships at Delhi University, the London School of Economics and the University of Oxford. When in 1998 he was appointed Master of Trinity College, Cambridge, he became the first Asian academic to head an Oxbridge college. In the same year he received the Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences for his work in welfare economics. The New Elizabethans have been chosen by a panel of leading historians, chaired by Lord (Tony) Hall, Chief Executive of London's Royal Opera House. The panellists were Dominic Sandbrook, Bamber Gascoigne, Sally Alexander, Jonathan Agar, Maria Misra and Sir Max Hastings. They were asked to choose: "Men and women whose actions during the reign of Elizabeth II have had a significant impact on lives in these islands and/or given the age its character, for better or worse." Producer: Clare Walker.

Ralph Robins  

The New Elizabethans. Ralph Robins James Naughtie on one of the foremost industrialists of the second Elizabethan age, Ralph Robins, who is credited with turning around the fortunes of Rolls-Royce. In 1971 Rolls-Royce was nationalised by Edward Heath's government in order to save the ailing company. Their fortunes improved and under the leadership and long term strategies of Ralph Robins, Rolls-Royce was privatised again and is now a hugely successful power systems company again and the world's second-largest maker of aircraft engines. The New Elizabethans have been chosen by a panel of leading historians, chaired by Lord (Tony) Hall, Chief Executive of London's Royal Opera House. The panellists were Dominic Sandbrook, Bamber Gascoigne, Sally Alexander, Jonathan Agar, Maria Misra and Sir Max Hastings. They were asked to choose: "Men and women whose actions during the reign of Elizabeth II have had a significant impact on lives in these islands and/or given the age its character, for better or worse.".

Billy Connolly  

The New Elizabethans. Billy Connolly James Naughtie considers the Scottish comedian Billy Connolly, who went from from the Clyde shipyards to being one of the UK's most popular and enduring stand up comedians. Connolly began as a folk singer in The Humblebums but realising his gift for humour, he changed direction to concentrate on comedy. He came to wide public attention with his first appearance on Parkinson in 1975 with the "bike joke", and never looked back. He's cited as one of the most influential stand up comedians of the era, has had much success in television as well as making his mark in Hollywood, and is often considered a Scottish national treasure. The New Elizabethans have been chosen by a panel of leading historians, chaired by Lord (Tony) Hall, Chief Executive of London's Royal Opera House. The panellists were Dominic Sandbrook, Bamber Gascoigne, Sally Alexander, Jonathan Agar, Maria Misra and Sir Max Hastings. They were asked to choose: "Men and women whose actions during the reign of Elizabeth II have had a significant impact on lives in these islands and/or given the age its character, for better or worse." Producer: Alison Hughes.

David Hockney  

Born in Bradford, artist David Hockney's work has been shown around the globe. Now 75, his recent exhibition at London's Royal Academy, 'The Bigger Picture' had people queuing round the block to look at his latest collection of Yorkshire landscapes - epic in scale and ambition. Accompanying his paintings, were a collection of pictures he'd drawn on an I-pad - still experimenting in his eighth decade. He launched on to the British Pop art scene in the sixties, left London to live in America and he enjoys a creative career which has seen him at the forefront on art and artistic technology. The New Elizabethans have been chosen by a panel of leading historians, chaired by Lord (Tony) Hall, Chief Executive of London's Royal Opera House. The panellists were Dominic Sandbrook, Bamber Gasgoigne, Sally Alexander, Jonathan AGar, Maria Misra and Sir Max Hastings. They were asked to choose: "Men and women whose actions during the reign of Elizabeth II have had a significant impact on lives in these islands and/or given the age its character, for better or worse". Producer Sarah Taylor.

Margaret Thatcher  

The New Elizabethans. Margaret Thatcher, politician. James Naughtie considers the lasting influence of Margaret Thatcher, the longest serving Prime Minister of the 20th Century and the only woman to hold the post. Her uncompromising policies and leadership style earned her the enduring nickname "The Iron Lady". Among her initiatives were the deregulation of the financial sector, the privatisation of state-owned companies, and the reduction of the power and influence of trade unions, policies that have become known as "Thatcherism". The New Elizabethans have been chosen by a panel of leading historians, chaired by Lord (Tony) Hall, Chief Executive of London's Royal Opera House. The panellists were Dominic Sandbrook, Bamber Gascoigne, Sally Alexander, Jonathan Agar, Maria Misra and Sir Max Hastings. They were asked to choose: "Men and women whose actions during the reign of Elizabeth II have had a significant impact on lives in these islands and/or given the age its character, for better or worse.".

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