Six Men And Four Minutes


200404302004100550 years after the first sub-four-minute mile, Charlie Brooks tracks down the six athletes who ran in that momentous race.

At Iffley Road on the 6th May 1954, Roger Bannister became the first man to break the four minute mile.

His achievement was seen as a 'win for Great Britain' - giving a much needed lift to a country living under the strain of post-war austerity.

Charlie Brooks interviews Bannister and his two pacemakers, Chris Chataway and Chris Brasher (his last ever interview, recorded the week before his death) and considers whether the four minute mile was the spark that ignited their illustrious careers.

The programme also tracks down the other runners in the race - Tom Hulatt, George Dole and Alan Gordon, as well as Norris McWhirter, who made the track announcement at Iffley Road.


20041005Fifty years after the first four minute mile, Charles Brooks discovers what became of the six athletes who ran in that momentous race.

As well as catching up with Roger Bannister and his pacemakers, Chris Brasher (in his last interview) and Chris Chataway, Charlie Brooks talks to the two oxford undergraduates who found themselves trailing in their wake and learns how a Derbyshire ratcatcher called Tom Hulatt found himself in third place. He also tracks down Nigel Miller, the seventh man whose name was down on the programme but who still regrets the fact that he never made it to the starting line.