Melvyn Bragg was born in 1939 in Wigton, Cumbria - where many of his books are set. He won a scholarship to Oxford to read history, and in 1961 he gained a coveted traineeship with the BBC.
He presented Start the Week between 1988 and 1998. In his 1998 series On Giant's Shoulders he interviewed scientists about their eminent predecessors, and from 1999 to 2001 he presented The Routes of English, a series celebrating 1,000 years of the spoken language (on which The Adventure of English is based).
He currently presents In Our Time, a BBC Radio 4 series where he and his expert guests discuss the history of ideas, and explore subjects in culture and science. He also the Chancellor of the University of Leeds.
As well as presenting for Radio 4, he is Controller of Arts for London Weekend Television and presented of The South Bank Show till 2010. He has written various works of nonfiction and many novels including A Son of War, The Soldier's Return, Crossing The Lines, and Book of Books. He lives in London and Cumbria.
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