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Douglas Noël Adams (1952–2001) by Brian Griffin, 1986 © Brian Griffin; collection National Portrait Gallery, London

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Adams, Douglas Noël (1952–2001), writer, was born on 11 March 1952 at the maternity hospital in Cambridge, the son of Christopher Douglas Adams (d. 1985) and his wife, Janet Dora Sydney, née Donovan.

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(Wilfred) Robert Adams (c. 1900–1965) by Frank Lilley, 1949 Getty Images – Frank Lilley

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Adams, (Wilfred) Robert (c. 1900–1965), actor, was born in Georgetown, British Guiana, the son of Robert Adams, boat builder. He was educated at St Stephen's Scots School, later St Joseph's Intermediate. In 1920 he won a government scholarship to be trained as a teacher at ...

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Allan, Elkan Philip (1922–2006), journalist and television producer, was born Elkan Philip Cohen at 16 Hoveden Road, Cricklewood, London, on 8 December 1922, the son of Allan Cohen, (d. 1952), furrier, later an owner of printing presses, and his wife, Rose, née...

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Allen, James John [Jim] (1926–1999), playwright and scriptwriter, was born on 7 October 1926 at 31 Higher Duke Street, Miles Platting, Manchester, the second child of John (Jack) Allen, a railway labourer, and his wife, Catherine (Kitty) Lee. The family was of Irish descent. After attending local Roman Catholic schools, ...

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Gerald Alexander Anderson (1929–2012) by Dave Finchett, 2001 © Anderson Entertainment 2001 and 2015

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Anderson, Gerald Alexander [Gerry] (1929–2012), television producer, writer, and director, was born Gerald Alexander Abrahams on 14 April 1929 at the Elizabeth Garrett Anderson Hospital, London, the second son of Joseph Abrahams, commercial clerk, the son of east European Jewish immigrants, and his wife, ...

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Eamonn Andrews (1922–1987) by Godfrey Argent, 1970 © National Portrait Gallery, London

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Andrews, Eamonn (1922–1987), radio and television broadcaster, was born on 19 December 1922 at 11 Synge Street, Dublin, Ireland, the second of five children and elder son of William Andrews, carpenter, and his wife, Margaret Farrell. He was educated at a Dublin convent and the ...

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Ashbridge, Sir Noel (1889–1975), broadcasting engineer, was born on 10 December 1889 in Wanstead, Essex, the fourth son and youngest child of John Ashbridge, solicitor, of Wanstead, and his wife, Sylvia Moore. He was educated at Forest School, Snaresbrook, Essex, and King's College, London...

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John Logie Baird (1888–1946) by Howard Coster, 1935 © National Portrait Gallery, London

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Baird, John Logie (1888–1946), television engineer, was born on 13 August 1888 at The Lodge, West Argyle Street, Helensburgh, Dunbartonshire, Scotland, the youngest of the four children of the Revd John Baird, minister of the West Parish Church, Helensburgh, and his wife, Jessie Morrison Inglis...

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Baker, George Morris (1931–2011), actor and author, was born on 1 April 1931 in the British embassy in Varna, Bulgaria, the second of five children of Francis Pearson (Frank) Baker (1884–1943), honorary British vice-consul, and a businessman in the import–export trade, and his wife, ...

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Barker, Ronald William George [Ronnie] (1929–2005), actor and comedian, was born on 25 September 1929 at 70 Garfield Street, Bedford, the only son and second of the three children of Leonard William Barker, a clerk for Shell, and his wife, Edith Eleanor, née...

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Ronald William George Barker (1929–2005) by unknown photographer, 1975 Getty Images

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Barkworth, Peter Wynn (1929–2006), actor, was born at 26 Madeira Road, Margate, Kent, on 14 January 1929, the son of Walter Wynn Barkworth, a sales manager in the motor trade, of 56A High Street, Margate, and his wife, Irene May, née Brown. When his father took up a post in ...

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Sir George Reginald Barnes (1904–1960) by Howard Coster, 1954 © National Portrait Gallery, London

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Barnes, Sir George Reginald (1904–1960), radio and television director and college head, was born in Byfleet, Surrey, on 13 September 1904, the son of Sir Hugh Shakespear Barnes (1853–1940), lieutenant-governor of Burma, and his second wife, Edith Helen, sister of Sir Kenneth Barnes...

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Barnetson, William Denholm, Baron Barnetson (1917–1981), newspaper proprietor and television executive, was born in Edinburgh on 21 March 1917, the eldest child in the family of three sons and one daughter of William Barnetson, estate agent, of London and Edinburgh, and his wife, ...