Emma Bridgewater

Emma Bridgewater discusses with Ivan six things which she thinks should be better known.

Emma Bridgewater grew up in Oxford, the eldest of a large family. After studying English at London University, she joined a small knitwear firm, but soon realised that what she really wanted to do was start her own company. Her ‘eureka moment’ came in 1985, when she was searching for a pretty cup and saucer for her mother’s birthday. Discovering that everything in the shops was either delicate and formal, or heavy and clunky, she realised there was a gap in the market for pottery that was both beautiful and practical, and that reflected the relaxed, colourful, mismatched home she’d grown up in.

Emma sketched out a mug, bowl and jug, and found a pottery in Stoke-on-Trent, the home of British ceramics to make them up. She then set about decorating them using cut-out sponges – a traditional technique that was to become her signature style. The designs were snapped up by Liberty, Harrods, and The General Trading Co, and Emma Bridgewater Ltd was born. The company now has a turnover of over £20m a year, and Emma Bridgewater products are sold worldwide.

As the company grew, Emma was determined to keep production of the pottery in Stoke-on-Trent, and in 1996, bought a Victorian factory there. Emma Bridgewater Ltd is now one of the largest employers of potters in the area. In recognition of her work championing manufacturing in Stoke-on-Trent, Emma has honorary degrees from the University of Staffordshire and Keele University, and in 2013, she was awarded a CBE for Services to Industry.

1. Country Music https://www.theguardian.com/music/country

2. Holy Wells http://www.davidfurlong.co.uk/holywellslond.htm

3. Neglected English towns https://www.telegraph.co.uk/travel/destinations/europe/united-kingdom/england/articles/forgotten-english-villages-2020/

4. Winter Savoury and Lovage http://www.herbexpert.co.uk/forgotten-herbs-grow-sorrel-lovage-summer-savory-angelica.html

5. Chimomanthus https://www.rhs.org.uk/Plants/29215/Chimonanthus-praecox/Details

6. Lardy cake https://www.bbc.co.uk/food/recipes/lardy_cake_80839

Andrew Lownie

Andrew Lownie discusses with Ivan six things which he thinks should be better known.

Andrew Lownie was educated at Magdalene College, Cambridge, where he was Dunster History Prizeman and President of the Union, before taking his Master’s and doctorate at Edinburgh University. A Fellow of the Royal Historical Society, he later returned to Cambridge as a visiting fellow at Churchill College.

He has been a bookseller, publisher and journalist, writing for the Times, Telegraph, Wall Street Journal , Spectator and Guardian, and since 1988 has run his own literary agency specialising in history and biography.

He is President of the Biographers Club, sits on the advisory board of Biographers International Organisation and is a Trustee of the Campaign for Freedom of Information.

1. The author John Buchan and his writing https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/profiles/2lWTsMM9FyLFMSTgCtrl91k/john-buchan

2. Ave Maria https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ave_Maria_(Vavilov)

3. Haggis https://www.bbcgoodfood.com/howto/guide/what-haggis

4. The Campaign for Freedom of Information https://www.cfoi.org.uk/

5. The Writers Museum in Edinburgh https://www.edinburghmuseums.org.uk/venue/writers-museum

6. House histories http://www.londonhousehistories.co.uk/index.php?lang=en- 

Viv Groskop

Viv Groskop discusses with Ivan six things which she thinks should be better known.

Viv Groskop is a writer, critic, broadcaster and stand-up comedian. She is the author of How to Own the Room: Women and the Art of Brilliant Speaking, also a Top 10 iTunes podcast, now in its 8th series, featuring guests like Hillary Clinton, Margaret Atwood, Nigella Lawson, Julie Andrews, Sarah Hurwitz (Michelle Obama’s speechwriter). Her latest book is Au Revoir Tristesse: Lessons in Happiness from French Literature. She has presented Front Row and Saturday Review on BBC Radio 4, is a regular on BBC1’s This Week and has hosted book tours for Graham Norton, Jo Brand and Jennifer Saunders.

1. Saturday Night Live’s The Californians https://www.dailycal.org/2019/12/06/why-the-californians-skit-from-snl-is-the-best-of-all-time/

2. The poetry of Anna Akhmatova https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poets/anna-akhmatova

3. Lipcote https://www.lipcote.com/   

4. The music of Janis Ian https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-QPF-duKQro

5. Vermouth and vermuterias https://vinepair.com/wine-blog/youre-probably-drinking-storing-and-making-cocktails-with-your-vermouth-wrong/

6. “Yes and” as a verb — the improv concept https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yes,_and

Tom Barber

Tom Barber discusses with Ivan six things which he thinks should be better known.

Tom Barber was a journalist for many years, writing for GQ, the Evening Standard and Tatleramong others before founding the award-winning travel company Original Travel with two friends in 2003. Original Travel has gone on to win a number of industry awards, and specialises in tailormade trips to original destinations around the world, with particular expertise in adventurous and educational family holidays, sabbaticals and sustainable travel, including a new portfolio of train-only trips from the UK. He is currently also Travel Contributing Editor for Esquire, Conde Nast Traveller’s only recognised family travel expert, and Glorious Leader of the No Fruit Out of Context Party. Tom lives in Norfolk with his wife and four children.

1. Paddy Leigh Fermor books A Time of Gifts and Between the Woods and the Water https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/A_Time_of_Gifts and https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Between_the_Woods_and_the_Water

2. Transylvania https://www.originaltravel.co.uk/europe/romania/transylvania

3. Chateau Musar https://chateaumusar.com/

4. Philantourism https://www.originaltravel.co.uk/collections/philanthropic-travel

5. Picture This app https://www.picturethisai.com/

6. Sabbaticals https://www.originaltravel.co.uk/collections/sabbaticals

Madeleine Bunting

Madeleine Bunting discusses with Ivan six things which should be better known.

Madeleine was a journalist on the Guardian and held a number of positions including columnist 1999-2012. She wrote on a wide range of subjects including politics, social affairs, faith and global development.

Her book Love of Country was shortlisted for the Wainright and the Saltire Prizes 2017, and she won the Portico Prize for The Plot in 2010 which was also shortlisted for the Royal Society of Literature’s Ondaatje Prize.Her first novel, Island Song, won the Waverton Good Read Award in 2020.

Her new book is Labours of Love: The Crisis of Care.

1. Mindfulness https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2014/may/06/mindfulness-hospitals-schools

2. Care https://unherd.com/2020/10/care-workers-are-not-saints/

3. Ana Silvera https://anasilvera.bandcamp.com/

4. Scarborough https://www.telegraph.co.uk/travel/destinations/europe/united-kingdom/england/yorkshire/articles/postcard-from-scarborough/

5. How to do nothing by Jenny Odell https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2019/apr/02/jenny-odell-how-to-do-nothing-attention

6. Alison Crowther https://www.alisoncrowther.com/

Marty Jopson

Scientist Marty Jopson discusses with Ivan six things which he thinks should be better known.

Marty Jopson has been making science television for over twenty years. He has worked behind the camera as a researcher, prop builder, director, producer, executive and company manager. His career as a presenter spans over ten years as the science reporter on the BBC1 flagship programme, The One Show. He has written The Science of Everyday Life, The Science of Food and The Science of Being Human. Find out more about Marty at www.martyjopson.co.uk.

1. Jane Marcet http://www.rsc.org/diversity/175-faces/all-faces/jane-marcet/

2. The Kirkaldy Testing Works http://www.testingmuseum.org.uk/

3. The origin and manufacture of marmite https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-37646193

4. The best limestone pavement in the Yorkshire Dales https://www.yorkshiredales.org.uk/about/wildlife/habitats/limestone/limestone-pavements/

5. Small things down a microscope https://www.theatlantic.com/technology/archive/2016/02/microscope-history-data/462234/   

6. Denis Papin http://www.stbrides.com/news/2016/07/more-fascinating-history.html

Kavita Puri

Journalist Kavita Puri discusses with Ivan six things which she thinks should be better known.

Kavita Puri is an award-winning journalist, executive producer and broadcaster for the BBC. She is also the author of the critically acclaimed book Partition Voices: Untold British Stories.

Kavita is a regular presenter of The Inquiry on the BBC World Service and Radio 4. Her landmark three-part series, Partition Voices, on Radio 4 marked the 70th anniversary of the partition of India. It was awarded The Royal Historical Society’s Best Radio and Podcast prize and its overall Public History Prize. Partition Voices: Untold British Stories, based on the series, was published in 2019 by Bloomsbury. She presents Three Pounds in My Pocket, a social history of South Asians in post-war Britain, on Radio 4. For more information about Kavita, please go to https://www.kavita-puri.com/.

  1. Partition https://www.nybooks.com/articles/1997/10/23/india-the-imprint-of-empire/
  2. Southern Spain https://theculturetrip.com/europe/spain/articles/the-most-beautiful-towns-and-cities-to-visit-in-southern-spain/
  3. Letter-writing https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2016/nov/26/from-me-with-love-lost-art-letter-writing
  4. Cast Courts https://www.standard.co.uk/go/london/arts/v-and-a-cast-courts-replicas-rome-a4002336.html
  5. Dance https://www.seattletimes.com/life/wellness/late-bloomers-adult-ballet-classes-bring-the-joy-of-dance-at-any-age/
  6. Recording your family history https://www.familysearch.org/blog/en/family-history-2/

Johnnie Boden

Johnnie Boden, the founder of Boden, discusses with Ivan six things which he thinks should be better known.

Johnnie Boden founded Boden in 1991 with eight menswear products, sold through a catalogue hand-drawn on his kitchen table. As ambitious as he was, he couldn’t have imagined that the fashion line bearing his name would become a multi-million-pound global business producing a huge range of clothes for every member of the family.

The success of the business – which last year chalked up 2.5 million customers worldwide and sales of over £350 million – is all the more impressive given that Johnnie started out with no fashion training. He had, however, spent much of his teens hunting down vintage tweed overcoats and Converse high-tops in Portobello Road, and cut his teeth as Men s Fashion Editor of Harpers & Queen s teenage edition in August 1977.

After graduating from Oxford, Johnnie fell into a job as stockbroker. An overseas posting to New York in 1988 opened his eyes to how well Americans operated in the mail-order market for top-quality basics – and, more importantly, how the UK was failing to compete.

In 2017, Boden opened its first central London flagship shop on the King’s Road. Boden’s stylish range of clothing and accessories are available to buy via catalogue in the UK, USA, Germany, France, Australia and Austria, and online – trading in over 60 countries with more than 1000 employees across all markets.

1. Greek wine https://www.botilia.gr/en/botilia/greek-wine

2. Fashion illustration https://www.vogue.co.uk/article/importance-of-fashion-illustration

3. Antique buying in regional sale rooms https://antique-marks.com/antique-auction-houses.html

4. Lemon juice and olive oil https://www.seloolive.com/blogs/olive-oil/olive-oil-and-lemon

5. Choral music https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wLkX3g58vT8

6. Majella national park in Italy https://www.theguardian.com/travel/2013/apr/19/walking-majella-national-park-italy

Caroline Eden

Caroline Eden discusses with Ivan six things which she thinks should be better known.

Caroline Eden is a writer and critic contributing to the Guardian, Financial Times and the Times Literary Supplement. In 2020, she was awarded the prestigious Art of Eating Prize. She is the author of two food and travel books, Samarkand (2016) and Black Sea (2018). Her new book, Red Sands, looking at the food and culture of Central Asia, will be out in November 2020. You can follow her @edentravels on Twitter and Instagram.

1. Kazakhstan as a destination https://www.journalofnomads.com/places-to-visit-in-kazakhstan/

2. Cornucopia magazine http://www.cornucopia.net

3. Sea buckthorn as an ingredient http://www.missfoodwise.com/2018/10/sea-buckthorn-berries-various-ways-kitchen.html/

4. Sanmao https://www.bloomsbury.com/au/stories-of-the-sahara-9781408881880/

5. Roz Chast https://www.newyorker.com/contributors/roz-chast

6. Gaye Su Akyol https://www.theguardian.com/music/2018/nov/02/gaye-su-akyol-istikrarli-hayal-hakikattir-review-turkish-star-deserves-big-things

Adam Hart-Davis

Adam Hart-Davis discusses with Ivan six things which he thinks should be better known.

Adam Hart-Davis is a freelance writer and lecturer – former presenter on television of Local Heroes, Tomorrow’s World, What the Romans (and others) Did for Us, How London was Built, and many other series. He has collected various awards for both television and radio, as well as four medals and 14 honorary doctorates.

He has read several books, and written about 35, most of them about science and history.He spends a lot of time hacking at green wood, making chairs, tables, bowls, and spoons

He is a member of many associations, including the Association of Pole-lathe Turners, and the British Toilet Association.

He lectures on diverse subjects, from Toilets and history to Are we alone in the universe? and has given more than 100 talks, to audiences ranging from The Royal Society, The Royal Institution, and the American Society of Mechanical Engineers to schools, small local history groups, and the captive audiences on cruise ships.

He lives in south Devon with his wife Sue Blackmore, two cats, and four chickens.

1. Sandy Bain and the fax machine https://electronics.howstuffworks.com/gadgets/fax/history-of-fax.htm

2. Colin Pullinger and his mousetrap https://www.inventricity.com/local-heroes-colin-pullinger

3. The skating stones of Racetrack Playa https://www.livescience.com/37492-sailing-stones-death-valley-moving-rocks.html

4. The short stories of Somerset Maugham https://www.lrb.co.uk/the-paper/v31/n24/miranda-carter/no-more-alimony-tra-la-la

5. Fibonacci’s rabbits https://plus.maths.org/content/fibonacci-sequence-brief-introduction

6. If you haven’t tested it, it doesn’t work https://www.kguttag.com/2013/08/10/if-you-havent-tested-it-it-doesnt-work/