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Publisher's Summary

Major public figures go back to their beginnings and uncover where they really started

John Wilson (acclaimed arts and culture reporter and journalist, and presenter of Front Row, Newsnight Review and Pick of the Week) meets up with a variety of public figures from such diverse fields as food, mathematics, politics, writing and music, and takes them back to the influential schools, teachers and early workplaces they may have forgotten, but which have not forgotten them. 

His guests include the first Black trade union leader, Lord Bill Morris; classical violinist Tasmin Little; the late restaurateur and television chef, Gary Rhodes; Lord Digby Jones, former Minister of State for Trade and Investment; the late Women's Prize and Costa Book Award-winning author, Andrea Levy; veteran journalist, broadcaster and former politician Michael Portillo, and many more. The locations too are widely varied and richly formative—from car component manufacturers and specialist vocational institutions to grammar and private schools. 

Top of the Class is a fascinating look beneath the usual façade of a public figure, perfect for anyone wanting to see the human face behind a successful life story, as well as the teachers, mentors, best friends and rivals who helped them grow into the person they became.

Episode guide
First broadcast on BBC Radio 4 on the following dates:
Bill Morris 28 July 2008
Tasmin Little 4 August 2008
Lauren Child 11 August 2008
Gary Rhodes 18 August 2008
Marcus du Sautoy 28 December 2010
Rachel Portman 18 January 2011
Lord Digby Jones 25 January 2011
Michael Portillo 19 July 2011
Andrea Levy 26 July 2011

Production credits
Presented by John Wilson
Produced by Sarah Taylor 

©2022 BBC Studios Distribution Ltd (P)2022 BBC Studios Distribution Ltd

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