The author Chibundu Onuzo nominates the first elected female in Africa, Constance Agatha Cummings-John.
Chibundu discovered the remarkable story of Constance while studying for her PhD. Born into the Sierra Leonean Krios elite in 1918, Constance was brought up in colonial Freetown, with a lifestyle which most resembled English gentility. But everything changed for her when she travelled to England and America as a teenager. She experienced racism and segregation for the first time, and returned to Sierra Leone determined to fight the colonial rule of the British. At just twenty years old she became the first female elected councillor in Africa, and later the mayor of Freetown. But following independence, she would find herself in exile in London.
Matthew Parris is joined in the studio by Chibundu and Constance's grandson, Dennis Cummings-John, to discuss prejudice, class and colonialism, through the inspirational story of a woman ahead of her time.
Produced in Bristol by Polly Weston
Comedian Sindhu Vee on Prince
The comedian Sindhu Vee has loved Prince ever since she was a young girl in India - when her sister gave her illicit cassettes recorded from U.S. radio. Hearing his music changed her life forever, and seeing him perform influenced her career as a comedian.
Sindhu is joined by BAFTA-winning investigative journalist Mobeen Azhar (who's seen Prince live 54 times) and presenter Matthew Parris, to discuss the life of Prince Rogers Nelson - a pop polymath and global superstar, who was also a man of extreme contradictions and multiple personas.
Produced by Eliza Lomas in Bristol.
Fiona Shaw nominates actress Eleonora Duse
Fiona Shaw, BAFTA award-winning star of Killing Eve, joins Matthew Parris to explore the life of one of history's most remarkable actresses whose name has slipped from public memory. She inspired Stanislavski's 'method', changed Chekhov's mind about acting, and took Chaplin's breath away - the nineteenth-century performer, Eleonora Duse. Kirsten Shepherd-Barr, professor of English and Theatre Studies at St Catherine's College, Oxford, helps Fiona and Matthew uncover the drama of Duse's life, both on and off the stage.
Producer: Camellia Sinclair
Philippa Perry on the Italian educator Maria Montessori
Psychotherapist Philippa Perry nominates the Italian educator and doctor Maria Montessori, who revolutionised children's education.
Montessori schools exist today in over 170 countries. They are defined by a child-centred approach to learning, nurturing independence and individuality in children as young as three years old. In Philippa Perry’s work as a psychotherapist, she finds deep connections with Montessori’s philosophy, which is about believing the person has the power to develop within them.
Philippa is joined by the executive director of Association Montessori International Lynne Lawrence. It’s presented by Matthew Parris.
Produced in Bristol by Eliza Lomas.
First Labour Prime Minister Ramsay MacDonald
Ramsay Macdonald, Labour's first Prime Minister, chosen by Shaun Ley.
In 1931 Ramsay MacDonald went to see the king in order to resign. George V persuaded him to stay, and a story of party betrayal began. Broadcaster Shaun Ley and journalist Anne Perkins pick though events that have a contemporary ring as the political class of the thirties struggled to cope with fast moving events. MacDonald's own story and background is remarkable too - illegitimate son, born in Lossiemouth in Scotland, he is remembered as one of the early founding fathers of the Labour party, and a man who bravely spoke out against the First World War.
The presenter is Mathew Parris, the producer in Bristol is Miles Warde.