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The BBC Collection - Biography

From Curtis Mayfield to Mahondas Gandhi, Terry Wogan to George Orwell, we've got an array of extraordinary lives and exceptional true stories for you to choose from.



  • David Attenborough's New Life Stories
    by David Attenborough
    Narrated by David Attenborough
    4.80 (83 ratings)
    The complete second BBC Radio 4 series written and presented by Sir David Attenborough, featuring all 20 episodes about some of the strangest insects and creatures from around the world. One of the nation’s most popular presenters examines 20 marvels of the natural world from his extraordinary and pioneering experiences. How did Sir David track down a giant earthworm? Why does he respect rats? What was the first bribe in nature? Why do well known foods often have two names?
  • A Man Like Curtis
    by Sue Clark Productions
    Narrated by Lenny Kravitz
    0.00 (0 ratings)
    Lenny Kravitz, a lifelong fan of Curtis Mayfield, celebrates his life and musical achievements in this four-part series. Curtis was a prolific songwriter whose career was cut short following a tragic accident in 1990. He died in 1999, aged only 57. His songs influenced millions and he was an inspiration to musicians including Bob Marley, Jimi Hendrix, Bruce Springsteen, Stevie Wonder, and Aretha Franklin.
  • J.R.R. Tolkien: An Audio Portrait
    by Brian Sibley
    Narrated by Brian Sibley
    5.00 (2 ratings)
    J.R.R. Tolkien: An Audio Portrait is a compilation of radio and TV archive material from the '60s and '70s featuring interviews with J.R.R. Tolkien, his relatives, and his colleagues in which he talks about The Lord of the Rings, his other Hobbiton books, life as an academic, correspondence received from fans, and his views on the 20th century. This audiobook is presented by Brian Sibley.
  • Blind Man's Bete Noire
    by Peter White
    Narrated by Peter White
    5.00 (1 ratings)
    In Blind Man's Bete Noire, Peter White explores some of the things that annoy him most about his blindness. The four programmes include 'The Countryside', 'Holidays', 'Being Introduced to Other Blind People', and 'Going Slowly'. Produced by Cheryl Gabriel.
  • Bob Servant: Hero of Dundee
    by Neil Forsyth
    Narrated by Cameron Stewart
    4.20 (24 ratings)
    Cyber hero Bob Servant became a cult classic in the best-selling Delete This At Your Peril. Now this much-anticipated sequel tells the life story of one of Scotland's unsung heroes. From his days in the Merchant Navy to his creation of a window-cleaning round and his time as a cheeseburger magnate, Bob Servant has lived life to its fullest. With touching bravery, he takes the listener on a fearless romp through the hilarious, whimsical and impassioned memories that surely make him the undisputed Hero of Dundee.
  • Conversations with Gandhi
    by Mark Whitaker
    Narrated by Mark Whitaker
    5.00 (1 ratings)
    For most of the time between 1906 and 1914 a young Englishwoman by the name of Millie Graham Polak, together with her husband, shared the same house in South Africa as Mahatma Gandhi and his family; she and Gandhi talked about everything under the sun, and Millie wrote down their conversations, later publishing them in a small book. This programme recreates those revealing exchanges.
  • Daughters of Britannia
    by Katie Hickman
    Narrated by Katie Hickman
    4.70 (3 ratings)
    In this fascinating BBC Radio series, Katie Hickman examines the lives of 'diplomatic women' through their letters and diaries. From the first exploratory expeditions into foreign lands, through the heyday of the British Empire and still today, the foreign service has been shaped and run behind the scenes by the wives of ambassadors and minor civil servants.
  • David Attenborough - Life on Air: Memoirs of a Broadcaster
    by David Attenborough
    Narrated by David Attenborough
    4.70 (2024 ratings)
    His career as a naturalist and broadcaster has spanned nearly five decades and there are very few places on the globe that he has not visited. In this volume of memoirs David tells stories of the people and animals he has met and the places that he has visited. Over the last 25 years he has established himself as the world's leading Natural History programme maker with several landmark BBC series.
  • David Attenborough's Life Stories
    by David Attenborough
    Narrated by David Attenborough
    4.70 (189 ratings)
    One of the nation's most popular presenters examines twenty marvels of the natural world from his extraordinary and pioneering experiences. What was Sir David's first pet? Which animal would he most like to be? What creature lays 'the biggest egg in the world'? How do you communicate with an ancient nomadic community in Fiji? And what did Sir David do when confronted by a ten-foot-long reptile?
  • David Dickinson: The Duke - What a Bobby Dazzler
    by David Dickinson
    Narrated by David Dickinson
    5.00 (1 ratings)
    David Dickinson is a household name, the king of the catchphrase, undisputed darling of daytime TV and a rising star. He's a respected antiques expert and exudes a taste for the finer things in life. But the road to his success has not been as smooth as his patter and he's learnt a lot at the school of hard knocks. David was first introduced to showbiz when he travelled the world as the manager of his international cabaret star wife, Lorne.
  • Free at Last!: The Diaries 1991-2001
    by Tony Benn
    Narrated by Tony Benn
    4.50 (73 ratings)
    Tony Benn's diaries began in 1940, and have been compared to those of Pepys in their detail, scope, and accuracy. This volume brings them right up to date, covering the Gulf War, the rise of New Labour, international repercussions of American foreign policy, and reactions against it.
  • Hoffnung at Large
    by Gerard Hoffnung
    Narrated by Humphrey Lyttleton
    4.50 (6 ratings)
    Gerard Hoffnung was an artist, musician, broadcaster, raconteur, and genius. A true Renaissance Man, the multi-faceted Hoffnung crammed a great deal into his tragically short span. Using much previously unreleased archive material, this audio biography, presented by Humphrey Lyttelton, looks at every aspect of his life and career.
  • Hoffnung: A Last Encore
    by Gerard Hoffnung
    Narrated by Charles Hoffnung
    3.10 (8 ratings)
    Gerard Hoffnung was not only a gifted cartoonist but also a ground-breaking musician, best known for his wildly humorous concerts at the Royal Festival Hall, which featured such bizarre compositions as a concerto for three vacuum cleaners and an electric floor polisher.

    Here, in a selection of interviews and speeches, Hoffnung talks about his life of hilarity with all the gravity and seriousness he can muster.

  • Homage to Catalonia
    by George Orwell
    Narrated by Joseph Millton
    4.30 (18 ratings)
    George Orwell's classic account of his experiences during the Spanish Civil War, dramatised for radio by Mike Walker. Produced by Kate McAll.
  • Is It Me? Terry Wogan: An Autobiography
    by Terry Wogan
    Narrated by Terry Wogan
    4.60 (40 ratings)
    Terry Wogan is one of Britain's most popular and successful broadcasters. Witty, charming, and relaxed, he has undoubtedly captured the nation's heart. Here, for the first time, he tells his story, from his beginnings in Limerick to incredible success as a national celebrity, in his own delightfully laconic fashion.
  • John Peel Remembered: Margrave Of The Marshes & Home Truths
    by John Peel
    Narrated by Michael Angelis, Carolyn Pickles
    4.40 (22 ratings)
    John Peel Remembered includes the Radio 4 Book of the Week serialisation of Margrave of the Marshes, Peel's part-written autobiography completed by his wife, Sheila Ravenscroft. Also included is a Home Truths Special programme to mark the anniversary of John Peel's death, in which Tom Robinson visits Peel Acres to meet John's wife and their four children.
  • Joyce Grenfell Requests the Pleasure
    by Joyce Grenfell
    Narrated by Joyce Grenfell
    4.50 (27 ratings)
    Joyce Grenfell was known and loved all over the world for her monologues, her songs, and her comic writing. Her career, which spanned more than 30 years, saw her work in many different areas. From wartime entertainment tours to performances on radio, stage, and screen, all were graced with Joyce's usual charm, humour, and talent.
  • Moondust
    by Andrew Smith
    Narrated by Andrew Smith
    4.00 (21 ratings)
    The Apollo moon programme has been called the last optimistic act of the twentieth century: over an intensive three-year period between 1969 and 1972, twelve men made the longest and most incredible of journeys. All were indelibly marked by it. Of the astronauts who walked on the moon, only nine are still alive. One day in the near future there will be none; soon no-one on earth will have known the unique feeling of gazing back at us from another world.
  • Noel Coward: An Audio Biography
    by Sheridan Morley
    Narrated by Sheridan Morley
    4.10 (20 ratings)
    Sir Laurence Olivier, Lord Mountbatten, and Joyce Carey are just some of the voices heard paying tribute to the elegant star in this audio biography, which is linked by the broadcaster and critic Sheridan Morley.

    Extracts from interviews with Coward himself, several of his songs and moments from his plays come together to form a fascinating picture of one of the 20th century's theatre greats.

  • Sir David Frost's Hollywood Greats: Michael Caine
    by David Frost
    Narrated by David Frost
    0.00 (0 ratings)
    In this absorbing series, veteran broadcaster Sir David Frost talks to a selection of his favourite film stars. This career-defining interview sees him talking to Michael Caine, who starred in Alfie, The Ipcress File, The Italian Job, and most recently as Alfred in Christopher Nolan's Batman films. Caine speaks candidly about his life both on and off screen.