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Humphrey Lyttleton – the untrumpeted hero of architecture

Among the manifold talents of jazz trumpeter and radio comedy host Humphrey Lyttelton, none of the obituarists have mentioned his role as the champion of architects.

But former AJ editor Peter Carolin, has recalled how the magazine once made Humph its man of the year, after he championed the architect of his proposed house, who was going through the horrors of the planning system.

Lyttelton wrote in the AJ on 15 January 1959 about his battles, saying: 'No sooner did I start putting it about that I was building my own house than people asked “Are you having an architect?” Frankly, I had never thought about it. Once I had decided to build, it was almost a reflex action to engage an architect. To this day, I’m not quite sure what the alternative is, short of designing the house myself and having it collapse about my ears…'

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