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MELVYN BRAGG published his first novel For Want Of A Nail in 1965. He has since written over 20 books, mainly novels, most recently Crossing the Lines (2003), the third installment following the highly acclaimed A Son of War (2001) and The Soldier's Return (1999) for which he won the WH Smith Literary Award. Bragg has also written books on a number of different subjects including a biography of Richard Burton, an oral history of the twentieth century called Speak For England and On Giants' Shoulders, a history of science based on his BBC radio series.

Bragg has worked in broadcasting since 1961, and has been editing and presenting The South Bank Show since 1978. In his capacity as Controller of Arts and Features for LWT, he has produced several signature series, the most recent being The Adventure of English - an eight part series for ITV1 with the final four episodes to be screened this Autumn '03 - which follows on from the success of his Radio 4 series The Routes of English.

He introduced Start The Week on Radio 4 on Monday mornings, and hosted The Sundays on Channel 4, and now writes and presents In Our Time on Radio 4 on Thursday mornings. He is President of The National Campaign for the Arts and President of MIND, the mental health charity. In 1998 he was made Lord Bragg of Wigton and in 1999 became Chancellor of Leeds University.

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