Melvyn Bragg, now Lord Bragg of Wigton, was born in Wigton in 1939, and studied modern history at Wadham College, Oxford.
He entered the media world through a BBC traineeship in 1961, taking over the editorship of BBC2’s first arts programme, New Release, three years later.
He is best known as the presenter of arts programs on television, especially ‘The South Bank Show’, in which he has made a sustained effort to present literature to a wide public in a popular and informal manner.
Over nearly four decades of pioneering broadcasting Melvyn Bragg has edited, produced and presented a wealth of award-winning documentaries and programmes across the cultural spectrum. He is a prodigious author, publishing the first of more than a dozen books, For Want of a Nail in 1965. He has also written a play, two musicals and several screenplays.
He is President of the National Campaign for the Arts and was made a Life Peer in 1998. He is Chancellor of the University of Leeds.
In his non-fiction book ‘Land of the Lakes’ Melvyn Bragg describes the geology of the Lake District from when it was desert and swamp, and tells of the people who have lived there for 4000 years. The legends, myths and folklore of the farmers and fishermen are included, and the types of people that populated the area, from the Norsemen and Romans to the Normans. Bragg also follows in the footsteps of writers and poets, such as Wordsworth, Coleridge, Sir Walter Scott and Beatrix Potter.
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