The Olympic rower Helen Glover is Matthew Parris' guest this week, choosing the life of the mountaineer Alison Hargreaves to discuss with the help of her biographer Ed Douglas. Alison Hargreaves' short life was defined by her love of the mountains. She became interested in climbing as a teenager and devoted her life to pursuing ever greater challenges. She was the first woman to climb Mount Everest without oxygen and unsupported before losing her life on the infamous K2 mountain in Pakistan in 1995.
Producer: Maggie Ayre.
Mark Carwardine on Douglas Adams
"Imagine a puddle waking up one morning and thinking, this is an interesting world I find myself in - fits me rather neatly, don't you think?"
Douglas Noel Adams wasn't even fifty when he died in 2001, but his imagination had already roamed far. He created The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, the Meaning of Liff and several episodes of Doctor Who, plus the Dirk Gently character and Last Chance to See.
Nominating him is his co-writer on Last Chance to See, the zoologist Mark Carwardine. Mark's role, Adams said later, was to be the one who knew what he was talking about. "My role was to be an extremely ignorant non-zoologist to whom everything that happened would come as a complete surprise."
Joining Mark Carwardine and Matthew Parris in the bar where this was recorded is Douglas Adam's biographer, Jem Roberts.
With archive of Stephen Fry, John Lloyd, Naomi Alderman, Griff Rhys Jones and Geoffrey Perkins.
The producer in Bristol is Miles Warde.
Cherie Blair on Dame Rose Heilbron
For Cherie Blair, leading barrister and QC, picking her great life was simple - her role model is Rose Heilbron, England's first woman judge.
When Cherie was growing up in Liverpool, Rose Heilbron was always the name that excited her grandmother the most. Rose was a barrister and when she was arguing a case before a jury in her home city, Cherie Blair's grandmother would follow her cases avidly, sometimes from the public gallery. Then she would come back and tell young Cherie all about what had gone on. And so Heilbron became a great example of what a Liverpool girl could achieve in the law.
And she had a remarkable career - first woman in silk, first to lead in a murder case, first woman treasurer of Gray's Inn.
Cherie is joined in the studio by Hilary Heilbron QC , daughter and the author of the biography: 'Rose Heilbron , Legal Pioneer of the 20th century'; plus Dr John Tribe - senior lecturer in law from the University of Liverpool.
The presenter is Matthew Parris and the producer is Perminder Khatkar.
Greg Jenner on Gene Kelly
Greg Jenner on the great song and dance man Gene Kelly, star of Singin' In The Rain. "He was so much better than he had any right to be."
Born in Pittsburgh in 1912, Gene Kelly was a broad-shouldered Irish American whose first love was ice hockey.
But according to his biographer, Ruth Leon, he revolutionised movie-making by making the camera dance.
Matthew Parris is impressed.
Kelly's great films also include On The Town and An American in Paris - with extracts and archive, this is a joyful celebration of the great age of Hollywood musicals.
Nominator Greg Jenner is historical consultant on Horrible Histories and author of Dead Famous: A History of Celebrity.
The producer in Bristol is Miles Warde.
Patricia Greene on Bess of Hardwick
Patricia Greene, the actress who plays Jill Archer, makes the case for Elizabeth, Countess of Shrewsbury, or Bess of Hardwick as she's more commonly known. Like her heroine, Patricia was born in Derby and was aware of the nearby grand stately home Hardwick Hall. 'More glass than wall' was the local saying; as the key feature of this 1590s house was the exuberant use of this rare material. Only recently did she discover that the initials 'ES', which are blatantly carved on the turrets, stood for a woman - Elizabeth Shrewsbury.
And so began Patricia Greene's admiration and obsession. Who was this woman born in Tudor times, when women had few if any rights at all? Bess ended up becoming the richest woman in the land after Queen Elizabeth I, but she was portrayed by some as a 'cold hearted shrew' who only became rich by marrying four husbands, Patricia's job is to defend her hero. The expert witness is Dr Nigel Wright, the House & Collections Manager with National Trust at Hardwick Estate.
The presenter is Matthew Parris and the producer is Perminder Khatkar .