show episodes
 
Oxford is a wonderful city in which to live, and If you have the good fortune to call yourself a resident you are probably here because you value its incredible mix of people and cultures. However, whether local or visitor, your own personal network of friends and colleagues can only touch a small proportion of the fascinating people who call this place home. We set up this podcast to seek out some of the individuals that we find interesting and explore their lives and stories. They are not ...
 
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show series
 
In this episode of Oxford Lives, we talk to former Lord Mayor Craig Simmons about his time in office, his years as a councillor representing the Green Party, and his work as a sustainability consultant advising high profile companies on how to reduce their carbon footprint. An erudite and committed environmentalist, Craig is full of wisdom and prac…
 
Host Jeremy Allen and Lee Woodward talk about their new theatre project, Analyse Thou, a Zoom-based drama that puts Shakespearean characters on the therapist’s couch. This original piece of work has been produced in conjunction with Response and Oxfordshire MIND, two leading Oxford-based mental health organisations, over a series of writers’ worksh…
 
Korky Paul is a world-famous children’s book illustrator whose Winnie the Witch series has sold millions of copies all around the world. In a highly engaging interview, Korky reflects on his childhood in Zimbabwe, college years spent in apartheid South Africa, and his European and American travels before settling here in Oxford and getting his big …
 
Dr Mary Miller is a Consultant in Palliative Medicine, specialising in end-of-life care. Mary qualified from University College Cork in 1988 and has practised around the work, coming to Oxford in 1998. Here Mary discusses the challenges of caring for the terminally ill and how her role perhaps requires a different philosophical attitude to that com…
 
Anand Menon is Professor of European Politics and Foreign Affairs at King's College Londin and director of UK in a Changing Europe, an initiative promoting independent research into UK-EU relations. An authority and leading speaker on the subject, Anand has numerous television and radio appearances under his belt. Anand also lives in Oxford and tou…
 
What is the Census? How did it evolve? What is all that information used for? And why is it so important we complete it? Here Census Engagement Manager Sinead Leach tells us everything we need to know, how to get help if we need it, and allays our fears about data security. Don’t forget that the Census will be here on March 21st and it's crucial we…
 
Tim Wraith is Corporate Partnerships Manager for Sobell House. But he’s more than that. Much more. Tim is a true force for good in our community, uniting individuals and organisations in the common cause of kindness. Here Tim talks about the vital role Sobell plays in the lives of so many in our city. He also talks Park Runs, half-marathons, charit…
 
In this latest edition of Oxford Lives we welcome back author and comedian, Richard O Smith. Richard is here to talk about three new projects he’s been involved in, each with a distinctly Oxford flavour: The Best Ladled Pans of Rice and Penne- “62 Snapshots of Oxford Life”; Oxford Z-A, in collaboration with Korky Paul; and his intriguingly titled E…
 
In 1971, Chris Heap moved from the riot-torn streets of Derry to the tranquillity of Oxford. Here he talks about growing up in a city dominated by the car industry and dwells at length on the glory days of East Oxford, from Irish social clubs to Silvester's hardware store. He also reflects on his time working for Oxford Instruments, a company with …
 
Today we talk to Jane Cranston, Chair of Oxford Homeless Movement. Homelessness has been a growing problem in Oxfordshire over recent years, due to a variety of factors, many of which Jane outlines here. Jane destroys many of the misconceptions we might have about what it means to be homeless and how people fall into it. We also talk about why prev…
 
Today’s guest is a familiar sight for regular visitors to the centre of Oxford. His name is Alasdair de Voil, but you will probably know him as The Mad Hatter. Here, Alasdair talks about his lively character-based tours and his relationship with our great city. We also discuss his political career as a candidate for the Monster Raving Looney (Tea) …
 
Welcome back to Oxford Lives- in Lockdown! It’s been a while since our last outing, so here we launch a series of fresh interviews with fascinating Oxonians via video platform du jour,Zoom. We start with producer Graeme Fry. With a background in engineering, Graeme has carved out a career in management consultancy, and independent filmmaking. Here …
 
Larry Sanders is a living legend. New York born and raised, Larry moved to Oxford fifty years ago and can now safely call himself an Oxonian. Health Spokesperson for the Green Party of England and Wales, Larry's extensive career spans academia, social work and politics. He has recently been heavily involved with Democrats Abroad, supporting his bro…
 
Nobody embodies the spirit of Oxford more than Andrew Manson AKA Mani AKA The Big Orange M. You’ll recognise his distinctive art work from around the city: Cowley Road, Covered Market, New Theatre, to name a few. Painter, street artist, accomplished sketcher, Mani embodies the concept of a community artist. Here he waxes lyrical about his life in O…
 
Jerome Arab is a Zimbabwean rapper, singer, songwriter and entertainer with a following in 40 countries. He spends his summers in Oxford and was kind enough to pop into Oxford Lives to share with us his creative message and plans for the future, which include a forthcoming album and the release of 52 tracks (one per week) in the New Year. A fountai…
 
Liz Woolley (MSc Dist.) is a highly acclaimed local historian with a wealth of knowledge about Oxford and its multifaceted past. She is particularly interested in the “town” side of the city, as opposed to the “gown”, and her many talks reflect this with subjects as diverse as industrial architecture, rural life, and the rise of the suburbs. Here L…
 
Part Two of this fascinating interview with Oxford-based artist, biochemist and teacher Jamal Ibrahim. Here we pick up where we left off, with Jamal telling us an interesting story about a Samurai sword he once owned. He also talks about his time in Malaysia and lets us into the secrets of his trailblazing artistic techniques.…
 
Jamal Ibrahim has a fascinating story. As a scholarship student back in the early seventies, he was plucked from a working class Malaysian background to win a place at an English public school. From there he progressed to New College, Oxford and then a career as a Biochemist, conducting cutting edge research into HIV at the Sir William Dunn School …
 
An integral part of the Oxford cultural landscape for the last five decades, Modern Art Oxford is renowned for its diverse and progressive artistic programme. Here Director Paul Hobson recounts the history of the gallery, expands upon its remit and tells us about the range of recent community engagement projects. A fascinating discussion that refer…
 
Our one-year anniversary special continues with plenty of juicy topics dissected by our panel of four. Conversation veers from contentious statues, the Steve Bannon Oxford Union protests, privileged politicians, Dragon School actors, the X90, rotting play parks and whether it's really worth young people moving to Oxford. We discuss personal highlig…
 
Oxford Lives is one year old. In this anniversary special, we invite back two of our most popular guests, poet Steve Larkin and comedy writer Richard O Smith, here to give their take on events in Oxford over the last twelve months. Producer Graeme Fry also joins us for this lively panel discussion covering a range of locally-related topics from hom…
 
Following on from our Remember Them event at Oxford Town Hall we caught up with David Juler, Museum Development Assistant at the Museum of Oxford. The museum is in the process of refurbishment with many exciting developments planned for the re-opening. A micro-museum currently houses a Windrush exhibition and various community projects and events a…
 
A special live edition of the podcast recorded at Oxford Town Hall in conjunction with The Museum of Oxford. To coincide with The Armistice commemorations, Oxford Lives hosted a panel discussion to explore the city’s role in The Great War. Our guests were Margaret Bonfiglioli, Caroline Roaf (previous OL guests) and Sue Smith, local expert on Consci…
 
In the 1960s, a series of letters were found in an attic, chronicling the WW1 experiences of Pleasance Walker, a volunteer nurse who left Oxford to join the French Red Cross. Caroline Roaf discovered the letters a decade later and diligently made photocopies. Now, inspired by The Centenary, Caroline has edited and published them in book form. Here …
 
Bill Spectre's award-winning Oxford Ghost Trail has been named as one of the ten best ghost tours in the world by Trip Advisor. Here we ask Bill (real name Bill Ritchie) the secrets of a successful ghost tour and why people are so drawn to ghost stories. We address some deep themes - the supernatural, human consciousness and life after death. Bill …
 
In this podcast we visit the MINI plant in Cowley to interview Jason and Tanya Field. Jason started as an apprentice on the plant thirty years ago and still works there as an IT/Telecoms engineer. It was here he met Tanya and both share a passion for the MINI brand, not to mention other classic cars. Here we learn about the history of the factory, …
 
Stephen Hosking is facilitator for the Oxford OCD Support Group which meets twice a month at the Restore Centre in Manzil Way. Here Stephen discusses the nature of the illness, its treatment and the many misconceptions surrounding it. Stephen also tells us how the group works and outlines his responsibilities as group leader. For those who think th…
 
Harley Evans and Susie Barker are a pair of East Oxford creatives who have lived and worked in the city for many years. As professional photographers and designers they have worked with many celebrity clients and photographed the weddings of the rich and famous. They are also successful business people having renovated and restored properties in Ox…
 
Margaret Bonfiglioli has lived in Oxford all her life. A few years ago, Margaret discovered that a Luis Vuitton trunk on her landing contained hundreds of family letters, most dating back to The First World War. The letters were published in book form as ‘Full of Hope and Fear- The Great War Letters of an Oxford Family’ (OUP). Here Margaret talks a…
 
One of folk music's most enduring icons, Peggy Seeger settled in Iffley Village in 2010. She has since been involved in local politics, most notably the campaign to save Temple Cowley Pool. Here, Peggy talks candidly about her life- her musical upbringing, involvement in the Folk Revival, marriage to Ewan MacColl, groundbreaking radio documentary w…
 
Internationally acclaimed slam poet, dramatist, musician, educator, force of nature. Steve is president of poetry slam competition heavyweights Hammer & Tongue, has toured two hugely successful one-man shows (N.ON.C.E. , TES) and advocates for Cyc du Soleil, a mobile pedal-powered/solar-powered sound and light system. Always amusing and insightful,…
 
Don Flanagan grew up in Ireland but moved to London in 1940. He experienced the Blitz and then served as a stoker with The Royal Navy in the Far East. After the war, he worked with the legendary Unity Theatre before moving to Oxford in 1964, serving as a lab technician at Brookes University until the late-Eighties. In this gripping podcast, Don pro…
 
Melrose Fernandes has been teaching at Kings Oxford for 24 years. In a warm and lively interview, Melrose recollects her early years, fleeing with her family from Idi Amin’s Uganda, then settling in Rose Hill. We hear how she delivered papers to Graham Greene’s wife, went to school with Martin Keown and met the Amish community. Finally, Melrose ref…
 
Benji Ming is a man with many strings to his bow. Actor, author, model, tree surgeon, gardener…the list goes on. Here he talks about his early life and career, reflecting on football hooliganism and the Oi! Scene. He discusses his lengthy acting career, working with experimental director Andrew Kötting, appearing in panto with Bobby Knutt and worki…
 
Author, tour guide, businessman, traveller. Rob is a fascinating man with a strong Oxford presence. Here he reminisces on his idyllic Gloucestershire childhood, apprenticeship as a telephone engineer and work with the telecoms industry. Real ale, shoe shining. Catalonia’s bid for independence are just some of the topics discussed. Rob also reflects…
 
Drama theorist, theatre producer, film maker, translator, tour guide: Simon possesses a vast knowledge of art, culture and social structures. On this must-listen podcast, Simon waxes lyrical on several subjects close to his heart from Italian playwright Luigi Pirandello’s romantic obsessions to the ethos of the British public school system to the e…
 
Lizzy is director at Oxford-based theatre company UnderConstruction, specialising in site-based performance. Lizzy is also an associate artist with the Old Fire Station, directing Hidden Spire, a project combining Crisis members and professional actors. Here, Lizzy reflects on her Oxfordshire childhood and lifelong love of the arts. We learn why Ox…
 
Jeremy is the director of Arts at the Old Fire Station. Here, Jeremy tells us the ethos behind the OFS, explaining its remit to combine creative arts and support for the homeless community under one roof. Jeremy addresses the ongoing issue of funding and the constant balancing act of showcasing innovative theatre whilst covering costs. He also prov…
 
Bob Price is Oxford’s longest serving councillor, becoming leader of the City Council in 2008. In May of this year, he retires after 35 years of public service. Here, Bob reflects on his time in local government, his motivation for becoming a councillor and the role of a progressive council. An erudite and cultured man, Bob is involved heavily with…
 
Richard is a comedy writer for Radio 4’s The Now Show, The News Quiz and Dara Ó Briain’s Science Club. He recently wrote the screenplay for Foosball The Movie. His books have included Oxford Examined- Town and Clown, Oxford Student Pranks and Britain’s Most Eccentric Sports. Richard has written for publications as diverse as The Guardian, The Indep…
 
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