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James Dean with the Roth's cat. Photo: Sanford Roth Copyright: Francesca Robinson Sanchez

Made in Manchester will tonight remember the Hollywood film star James Dean 60 years after his untimely death at the age of just 24.

MIM has made a special documentary James Dean: The Last Ten Weeks, presented by Hollywood legend and contemporary, Robert Wagner which examines the friendship between Dean and photographer, Sanford Roth. The pair became friends on the set of Giant in the summer of 1955, just before he was killed in a car crash.

The production is based on a number of essays which have been locked away for 50 years.

“Roth and Dean built up a bond which saw the young actor explore new interests. 60 years on, these essays and hundreds of photographs help us to conjure up a new impression of this Hollywood legend in his last days and to imagine what he might have done had he lived,” said producer Ashley Byrne.

Robert Wagner will present the programme, with the essays brought to life by 2 x Olivier nominated actor actor Michael Xavier. Listeners will also hear from James Dean’s younger cousin Marcus Winslow Jnr, Giant co-stars Carroll Baker and Jane Withers; film maker David Puttnam; Dean’s best friend Lew Bracker; former Monkees director Bruce Kessler and Francesca Robinson Sanchez who was left Roth’s essays and unique collection of photographs.

Francesca says: ‘It’s a fabulous collection of essays and photographs which shed a fresh light on Dean and i would one day may be like them to go to a good home.’

Co Producer Ashley Byrne adds: ‘As well as the Sanford Roth material, it’s also lovely to hear from Marcus Winslow Jnr, Jimmy’s little cousin and from Lew Bracker, his best friend who gives us a rounded picture of those last few months and his life more generally. Of course we’ll never know everything about Jimmy Dean but as Marcus says in the programme, who else would still be getting so much attention 60 years after they’d gone? There was and is something unique about this young man who was taken from the world so cruelly six decades ago’

The programme was written and produced by Ashley Byrne and Hollywood journalist Barbra Paskin.

Ashley adds: ‘Barbra has been tremendous as she always is. She conducted many of the interviews including those with his Giant co-stars and with Lew Bracker and Bruce Kessler’. Liam Starkey interviewed Marcus Winslow Jnr while Ashley met David Puttnam.

Francesca Robinson Sanchez is the Programme Consultant with thanks to Nick Nolan.

The Executive Producer is Phil Collinge.

Editors were Iain Mackness and Kev Bailey with research by Andrew Edwards, Liam Starkey and Richard Murie.

Thanks also goes to Jonathan Davies from LJD Productions for his research and advice on this project.

James Dean: The Last Ten Weeks will air on BBC Radio 2 at 10pm tonight Wednesday 30th September 2015 and will be available via the BBC iplayer for 30 days after it is broadcast.

Nichi Hodgson presents Can Porn Be Ethical? on BBC Radio 4

Made in Manchester has been commissioned to make a documentary investigating whether an ethical code of conduct could be introduced for the making of adult films online and DVD.

The one off programme Can Porn Be Ethical? is presented by former dominatrix turned journalist, broadcaster and author Nichi Hodgson.

Nichi specialises in writing about sex and sexuality issues, She says: ‘Porn has become something of a media obsession of late especially around fears that more children are getting access to extreme pornography online’.

But Nichi adds: ‘This programme is about the making of porn, by and for consenting adults and whether a code could be formulated to ensure standards and to prevent exploitation.’

During the programme, Nichi, who has long been an advocate of an ethical code herself, tours the UK meeting porn actors and producers as well as those vehemently opposed to the production of porn.

Among other things she visits a feminist porn shoot in Brighton and meets a male porn actor turned gay porn producer in Manchester who tells Nichi how he safeguards his performers. Meanwhile anti-porn feminists argue that porn can never be ethical.

Nichi adds: ‘It’s good to be taking part in a programme which moves the porn debate on a bit. This is a very direct adult conversation.’

Can Porn Be Ethical? will be broadcast on Radio 4 next Monday evening, September 28th at 8pm.

Made in Manchester has produced an edition of the BBC World Service documentary strand Witness about the first inter-racial wedding in South Africa.
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Producer Ashley Byrne says: ‘The [...]

Made in Manchester has made an edition of the long running BBC World Service history strand Sporting Witness about the life and times of transgender tennis star Renee Richards.
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Made in Manchester has been commissioned to make a 26 part series for CBeebies Radio which brings the phonic alphabet to life for young children.
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Jean Darling, one of the few people still alive who worked with Laurel and Hardy, has been speaking to Made in Manchester about her role in the premiere on Broadway of the legendary musical Carousel.
Jean, who is now 92, was just 22 when she got her big theatre break in April 1945.
She’d been working [...]