Season 1
Lord Melvyn Bragg & Joanna Lumley
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Contributors - Season 1

Lord Melvyn Bragg & Joanna Lumley

This episode of Living the Dream brings together the… illustrious television broadcaster, author and champion of the arts, Lord Melvyn Bragg with Joanna Lumley the Absolutely Fabulous television actress, movie-star, presenter and human rights activist.


Lord Bragg – is at the forefront of British current affairs and culture partly due to his phenomenally successful work on the South Bank Show. He began his career as a trainee with the BBC with whom he has worked on numerous shows and broadcasts, both for television and radio. He is also a prolific writer of novels, screenplays and non-fiction material.

He is a prestigious figure for arts and literature, where amongst other positions he is president of the National Academy of Writing, a member of the Arts Council Literature Panel and Honorary fellow of the Royal Society. He has given generously of his time to many charities including MIND, where his own experiences of illness have connected him to the cause.


Joanna Lumley – is best known for her iconic role as Patsy in Absolutely Fabulous, a towering comedy performance which gained her a global fan base. Many others though have loved, and identified with her earlier incarnations as Purdy in the New Avengers or as Sapphire in Sapphire and Steel. During her highly successful career Joanna and played a diversity of roles in film, on television and on the stage.

In recent years she has had a strong political presence campaigning for animal rights and most famously for the rights of Ghurkhas living in Britain, something which has resonated within the hearts of the British public, thereby solidifying her status as a national treasure. A single mother back in the 60’s Joanna’s strength of character has underpinned her work and during filming of Living the Dream, the similarly shared experiences of both her and Lord Bragg unfolded into an amazingly intimate and revealing conversation.


Watch out for Lord Bragg and Joanna talking during the show about:

  • How Melvyn suffered his first nervous breakdown at the age of 13, and how he coped with a subsequent one in his twenties and then managed to ‘get through it’ and still forge such an illustrious career.
  • How Joanna suffered a similar ‘wobble’ fleeing from a West End stage to retreat from the limelight for six months.
  • How Melvyn came to be ennobled and what his maiden speech entailed for his induction into the House of Lords.