Pop culture sage Stuart singles out the key songs shaping our nation in Letchworth session

Stuart Maconie will be visiting Letchworth to talk about his latest book

Stuart Maconie will be visiting Letchworth to talk about his latest book - Credit: Archant

All-purpose modern music and popular culture guru Stuart Maconie will be venturing out from his northern outposts later this month to pitch up at Letchworth’s Spirella Ballroom and spread the word about his latest book.

Stuart’s a familiar face from TV list shows that single out the highlights of recent decades, and has a devoted worldwide audience for the cult BBC Radio 6 music show he co-helms with Mark Radcliffe.

And in recent years he’s been pumping out thoughtful and funny books with a British social history theme which have been compared favourably with the work of Bill Bryson, Alan Bennett and John Peel.

That’s why he’ll be hosting a nostalgic and entertaining journey through the post-war years on Saturday, September 19, with particular reference to The People’s Songs: The Story of Modern Britain in 50 Records, a piece of work that has also provided the basis for a hit radio series.

He’ll be playing influential records – but not all 50, because it’s a one night only show – highlighting some of the dramatic events and social changes that have shaped our society.

Each single will trigger a commentary on how that piece of music encapsulated the feeling of that era or influenced society, with topics including football, Thatcher’s Britain and modern celebrity culture.

Letchworth Arts and Culture creative producer Marc Collett said: “We’re very excited to have Stuart here in Letchworth.

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“The music and the topics he’ll discuss, combined with his passion for social commentary will make this a great evening’s entertainment for all.”

The show starts at 8pm at the Bridge Road venue. Tickets are £17 and you can book online at www.letchwortharts.org or call into the Tourist Information Centre on Station Road.

This weekend in Letchworth celebrity chef Rick Stein will be talking about his work at the town’s Broadway Cinema.

Seafood expert Rick will be talking about his latest book, From Venice to Istanbul, from 3.15pm on Sunday afternoon.

Tickets – priced at £25 – can be bought at the cinema and online at www.broadway-cinema.com.

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