36 Facts About Melvyn Bragg


Melvyn Bragg is best known for his work with ITV as editor and presenter of The South Bank Show, and for the BBC Radio 4 documentary series In Our Time.


Melvyn Bragg was Chancellor of the University of Leeds from 1999 until 2017.


Melvyn Bragg was born on 6 October 1939 in Carlisle, the son of Stanley Melvyn Bragg, a stock keeper turned publican, and Mary Ethel, who worked alongside her husband in the pub.


Melvyn Bragg was given the name Melvyn by his mother after she saw the actor Melvyn Douglas at a local cinema.


Melvyn Bragg was raised in the small town of Wigton, where he attended the Wigton primary school and later The Nelson Thomlinson School, where he was Head Boy.


Melvyn Bragg was an only child, born a year after his parents married.


Melvyn Bragg's father was away from home serving with the Royal Air Force for four years during the war.


Melvyn Bragg's upbringing and childhood experiences were typical of the working-class environment of that era.


Melvyn Bragg's grandmother had been forced to leave the town owing to the stigma of her daughter being born illegitimately.


Melvyn Bragg read Modern History at Wadham College, Oxford in the late 1950s and early 1960s.


Melvyn Bragg began his career in 1961 as a general trainee at the BBC.


Melvyn Bragg was the recipient of one of only three traineeships awarded that year.


Melvyn Bragg spent his first two years in radio at the BBC World Service, then at the BBC Third Programme and BBC Home Service.


Melvyn Bragg joined the production team of Huw Wheldon's Monitor arts series on BBC Television.


Melvyn Bragg presented the BBC books programme Read All About It and The Lively Arts, a BBC Two arts series.


Melvyn Bragg then edited and presented the London Weekend Television arts programme The South Bank Show from 1978 to 2010.


Melvyn Bragg was Head of Arts at LWT from 1982 to 1990 and Controller of Arts at LWT from 1990.


Melvyn Bragg is known for his many programmes on BBC Radio 4, including Start the Week, The Routes of English, and In Our Time, which in March 2011 broadcast its 500th programme.


Melvyn Bragg's pending departure from the South Bank Show was portrayed by The Guardian as the last of the ITV grandees, speculating that the next generation of ITV broadcasters would not have the same longevity or influence as Melvyn Bragg or his ITV contemporaries John Birt, Greg Dyke, Michael Grade and Christopher Bland.


In June 2013 Melvyn Bragg wrote and presented The Most Dangerous Man in Tudor England, broadcast by the BBC.


Melvyn Bragg appeared on the Front Row "Cultural Exchange" on May Day 2013.


Melvyn Bragg nominated a self-portrait by Rembrandt as a piece of art which he had found especially interesting.


In 2015, Melvyn Bragg was appointed as a Vice President of the Royal Television Society.


Melvyn Bragg recognised that writing would not, initially at least, earn him a living, and he took the opportunity at the BBC that arose after he had applied for posts in a variety of industries.


Melvyn Bragg received a variety of reviews for his work, some critics declaring it outstanding and others suggesting it was lazy.


Melvyn Bragg's friends include the former Labour Party leaders Tony Blair, Neil Kinnock and Michael Foot, and former deputy leader Roy Hattersley.


Melvyn Bragg campaigned against it on the grounds that it could affect the livelihoods of Cumbrian farmers.


Melvyn Bragg married his first wife, Marie-Elisabeth Roche, in 1961, and in 1965, they had a daughter, Marie-Elsa Melvyn Bragg.


Melvyn Bragg's second wife, Cate Haste, whom he married in 1973, was a television producer and writer, whose literary work includes editing the 2007 memoir of Clarissa Eden, widow of Anthony Eden, and collaborating with Cherie Booth, wife of Tony Blair, on a 2004 book about the wives of British prime ministers.


The marriage between Haste and Melvyn Bragg was dissolved in 2018.


Melvyn Bragg's second daughter, Alice, read a lesson, whilst his son, Tom, was an usher.


Melvyn Bragg has publicly discussed two nervous breakdowns that he has suffered, one in his teens and another in his 30s.


Melvyn Bragg is a member of the Garrick and Chelsea Arts clubs.


Melvyn Bragg takes an interest in football, supporting both Carlisle United and Arsenal.


Melvyn Bragg is the vice president of the Carlisle United Supporters Club London Branch.


Melvyn Bragg presented a Radio 4 programme on the subject in August 2013.