British athletics legend in inaugural Reading 2016 ‘An Audience With…’

British athletics legend, Sir Roger Bannister, will be the first Reading 2016 ‘An Audience Roger Bannister Image webWith…’ at Reading Town Hall on 18 January 2016.

Sir Roger’s sporting feats are written into British athletics history as the first person to break the 4 minute mile, an achievement which had previously been thought impossible.  In ‘An Audience With Sir Roger Bannister’ he will be looking back at his own personal achievements, including that sub-4 minute mile, his involvement in the European Championships, Olympics and other records, as well as his distinguished career in neurology. He will also reflect on British athletics then and now -  Sir Roger was the first chair of the Sports Council, which was a big factor in establishing community sports centres. In addition, Sir Roger will be talking about his experience of the Olympics, having been a torch bearer in 2012, he will touch on how he thinks that the GB team can keep the momentum going after the success of 2012.

Sir Roger’s recording breaking achievement took place on 6 May 1954 during a meet between British AAA and Oxford University at Iffley Road Track in Oxford. It was watched by about 3,000 spectators. Sir Roger ran the mile in 3 min 59.4 sec.

In recognition of his achievement, Sir Roger Bannister was made the inaugural recipient of the Sports Illustrated Sportsman of the Year award in 1955 and is one of the few non-Americans recognised by the American-published magazine. In a UK poll conducted by Channel 4 in 2002, the British public voted Sir Roger’s historic sub-4-minute mile as number 13 of the 100 Greatest Sporting Moments. In addition to his sporting achievements, Sir Roger has had a hugely successful career in neurology.

Sir Roger will be interviewed by TV sports presenter Steve Rider. Steve’s career includes anchoring five Olympics (1988-2004) for BBC, hosting Grandstand, BBC Sports Personality of the Year and the Boat Race, as well as the BBC’s rugby and motor sports coverage. For ITV he anchored the 2006 Football World Cup, 2011 Rugby World Cup and its Formula One coverage.

Mark Prescott, Creative Director for the Year of Culture had this to say about Sir Roger, We are hugely honoured to have Sir Roger as the first speaker in what will be a year-long lecture series to tie in with the 12 themes of Reading’s Year of Culture. What better than to have possibly the most famous name in British athletics join us for January’s ‘Get Fit For Culture’! As well as ‘An Audience With’ Sir Roger, there will be a number of events taking place across January, including Exercise Book, the world premiere of a brand new musical composition to exercise to, which will take place in Palmer Park on Saturday 30 January 2016.”

To book tickets to see Sir Roger Bannister go to or call 0118 960 6060. Tickets for the event are £10 and £8 concessions. There will also be an opportunity to purchase a signed copy of his book ‘Twin Tracks’ at the event. The event will take place in the Concert Hall on 18 January at 6:30pm.




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