Broadcasting and Talks
In was in the early eighties, when Kitty was a toddler, that I began a parallel career presenting programmes for radio and television. While still in my twenties I had been a guest on programmes like The News Quiz, Start the Week, Stop the Week, Any Questions and Question Time, Woman's Hour and many more.
It was exciting to be part of the first ever season of Channel 4, in 1982. Producer Britt Allcroft (later to gain fame and fortune with the Thomas the Tank Engine programmes) asked me to present 'Mothers By Daughters' – a series of six intimate interviews with well-known women about their mothers and the whole mother-daughter relationship. Highlights were Maureen Lipmann and Barbara Windsor – and the series was also shown on PBS in the USA. After rave reviews we followed with 'Fathers By Sons' – and my favourite there was Denis Healey.
Other TV series included 'The Light of Experience Revisited' and 'Grief' (both BBC2). And I was especially pleased to be able to make two documentaries about great, radical spirits: Dora Russell and Ellen Wilkinson.
I presented many programmes for Radio 4, including six in the 'Down Your Way' slot, 'Something Understood,' 'Six American Authors,' 'Turning Points', 'Perspectives For Living,' 'Rites of Passage' – and then, of course, the long running 'Devout Sceptics.' This last was a recurring series in which (between 1995 and 2004) I talked to a wide range of well-known people about faith and doubt – a subject which preoccupies me greatly.
To me, Radio 4 is one of the greatest British institutions – and I feel proud to have interviewed extraordinary people like Seamus Heaney, Philip Pullman, Ben Okri, Isabel Allende…and too many more to list.
Over the years I have made many appearances in schools, at literary festivals, at charitable and other events – and love 'performing'! Since my Daily Mail column began I have found something of a new metier as an inspirational/motivational speaker.
If you are interested in getting in touch about a speaking engagement then contact is through the Daily Mail or Moon Media Ltd.