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The Lady behind the Legend
on 3 April 2013
This BBC audio book is a compilation of interview material recorded with Margaret Thatcher. The interview clips are taken from various BBC radio and television programmes recorded between 1975, the year when she was elected leader of the Conservative Party, and 1990, the year when she resigned as prime minister.
The interviews featured on this compact disc tend to be drawn mainly from entertainment shows rather than current affairs programmes. For example, we have a long extract from an appearance by Mrs Thatcher on Jimmy Young's BBC Radio 2 show in 1975, shortly after her election as Tory party leader, and a clip from Terry Wogan's BBC1 chat show recorded in January 1990. Consequently Mrs Thatcher rarely has to face any tough questioning in these interviews, although towards the end of the second disc there is an interesting extract from the BBC Radio 4 show, 'Woman's Hour', in which Margaret Thatcher has to field some hostile questions about the inadequate provision of childcare for working women, and the lack of women in her cabinet.
We get a lot of information about Mrs Thatcher's life style choices. So, we hear that she enjoyed reading Frederick Forsyth's novels, and that she liked watching 'The Two Ronnies' on TV. Sometimes, however, serious political matters do feature in these archive clips. For example, there is an interesting interview in which she talks at some length about her relationship with the Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev, ("a man I can do business with"), and the Falklands War of 1982 is discussed in some detail.
This is an interesting audio portrait of a remarkable woman. Margaret Thatcher was a lady who inspired both devoted loyalty and seething hatred in about equal measures. However, whether you were one of her admirers or one of her enemies, you could never ignore the woman. This audio book provides an intriguing, and at times quite insightful, look at the lady behind the legend.