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The Independent Culture
Alistair Cooke Thur

Waterstone's, Tunbridge Wells

It's no exaggeration to say that Alistair Cooke is a radio legend. For over half a century his Letter From America has been broadcast on the BBC "purveying word-pictures of his home back to the land of his birth". Born in 1908 in Salford, Alfred Cooke changed his name by deed poll to Alistair on his 22nd birthday, then redefined his identity again by setting sail for America in 1932. The journalist Nick Clarke was not the first to approach Cooke with the idea of writing his biography, but he was the first to succeed in persuading him to cooperate - but only after six months of dogged research into his roots. Cooke concluded that if Clarke was determined to be his biographer, he might as well ensure, "as far as possible, that the biographer had his facts straight".

Nick Clarke will be discussing `Alistair Cooke: the biography' and screening his interview with Alistair Cooke at Waterstone's, 32-40 Calverley Road, Tunbridge Wells (01892 535446) on Thur 7pm, free