My history hero: JB Priestley (1894–1984)

Chosen by Stuart Maconie, broadcaster and author

The English writer and radio broadcaster JB Priestley at home on the Isle of Wight, 1933. (Photo by Fox Photos/Getty Images)

This article was first published in the March 2010 issue of BBC History Magazine

John Boynton Priestley was a man of many vocations: playwright, novelist, broadcaster, essayist and social commentator. Best known for his play An Inspector Calls, he was an extraordinarily prolific writer, publishing scores of plays and books, both novels and non-fiction. He also found time to make regular broadcasts on the BBC during the Second World War; these Postscript broadcasts attracted audiences of over 15 million, second only in popularity to Churchill’s addresses to the nation. A co-founder of both the Common Wealth Party and the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament, Priestley unsuccessfully stood for parliament in 1945 as an Independent Progressive candidate.

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