In this post, there are notes so that you can understand the BBC radio 4 Desert Island Discs interview with Esther Rantzen. Aggie and I are currently creating a podcast and it will be launched on 11th October!
You can hear the Desert Island Discs radio programme here:
- television career that spanned 5 decades
- presenter of ‘That’s Life’ household name
- an eclectic mix of consumer new and investigative pieces alongside talking dogs and indecently shaped vegetables
- pulling in 20 million viewers
1.38 - shows no signs of slowing down
1.58 Your diary sounds formidably packed
2.01- indefatigable (describing Esther)
2.24 Mother always got a round of applause by sending me up rotten’ (she was extremely energetic)
2.37- Were you aware of being a trailblazer (produced as well as present own TV show)
2.50 generation ‘very aware that if I didn’t do a job well I would make it much harder for the next generation of women’
3.13 ‘I was making things about post natal depression and things that affected people’s real lives
3.20 ‘I was trained by my late husband, Desmond Wilcox always to first hand experience”
3.34 I was not getting experts to tell me …..I was actual speaking to the people who had had that experience. I was aware that I had to do it justice.
That would lead to policy change …the introduction of things that we take for granted (3.46)…an increase in the number of organ donations (3.48)
Children were able to give evidence via video link in court (3.48)
I don’t like to contradict you but at our most it was 22.5 million viewers (4.05)
We were influential (4.15) - because they had so many viewers
The other stroke of luck was…(4.20 we were transmitting on Sunday night (MP’s watching TV)
I have my indiscreet moments (4.45) – party – ‘I will be Edith Piath
‘He looked at me like a snake looks at a rabbit that’s begging to be eaten’
5.04 If ever a song sums up what it feels like to be a woman in love
5.20 She sang it from the souls of her feet
5.27 That little vulnerable beggar who stood in the gutter singing for money
5.34 the whole of France came out into the streets to mourn her.
6.57 I love to know how they put them together (Celebrity get me out of her)
7.21 Celebrity get me out of here’ cameramen belching when they were hidden in rocks…
7.47 I used to wink at passersby (as a baby)
8.31 A fragment of butter (the war time diet)
8.44 everybody is saying that this is the way we should all nourish ourselves (a different diet)
8.47 “What about your cheeky, extrovert streak? Did it extend to performing?”
8.54 ….at family dos (see above)
9.00 I relied on being entertaining
9.20 It brought down a floor in broadcasting house – people leapt under a table.
9.35 Lord Reith was not anti semitic…we’re Jewish as a family
9.45 He wasn’t the most practical person….
9.52 He would mend something….always find that he had a screw or a washer left over…’
10.05 Mother – ‘she was anarchic….she was mischievous’
10.19 their aspirations for you weren’t typical of many parents of the time
10.30 it was all voluntary work (mother – what she did)
11.00 Nina Simone, I came to very late….
11.17 this song would immediately cheer me up (Nina Simone)
12.17 she’s just staggering
12.35 she had hair in a bun, she had sticky out teeth
12.44 she had a hat with a veil
12.59 she liked people who were a little off piste
13.17 she would call all of us into her study and reduce us to tears.
13.24 the sooner we broke down in tears, the sooner we’d get out
13.26 I was a bit stubborn
13.30 I didn’t burst into tears soon enough
13.44 she taught me about propaganda
13.49 I owe so much to Dame
14.02 it remained buried for a long
14.16 one of those creepy smiles – distant relative
14.21 he sexually abused me
14.51 it really didn’t occur to me
15.14 My mum cared about the social circle we moved in….
15.51 barbed wire - Safari
15.51 A hyena broke in and staggered around the kitchen
16.07 I was lying trembling in my tent visualising what would happen if he mashed me.
17.30 How diligent a student were you? (at Oxford)
17.47 I managed to drag in Oscar Wilde (in the play the next day)
18.15 I got into making sound effects
18.32 ‘she thought it would be flesh’
18.35 I had to fall over on a plank…
18.42 I limped up to the office
18.54 a satirical show…
19.02 the coolest cat in the building
19.35 the F word was first said on television
19.59 things have changed so much….have they changed for the better …..the jury is out
20.06 you were at the cutting edge
20.10 very male dominated
20.16 taken for granted that it was ok me being a researcher
you should have been promoted
20.41“I should really feel that you had that capacity’ – her boss told her when he didn’t give her
20.49 gender blind - Desmond Wilcox
21.10 sounds effortless
22.35 you have to wear thermals
23.08 how did you cope?
23.16 my challenge was to tempt people into watching
23.26 we wanted them to be cross with themselves for not having watched it
24.41 I suppose if he or I had been tougher….
25.03 When his marriage ended and your relationship became public it was you that bore the brunt of some very negative critism
23.12 it did feel like having your guts pulled out of your stomach and examined
25.22 it was inevitable price of being well known
25.41 I didn’t have these horrible anonymous trolls persueing people
28.03 ‘your guilt (about working so hard – children)
28.10 ‘her pride. (daughter)
29.17 Do I think my children missed out?
29.53 sexual abuse – the great taboo at the time
31.05 the horrendous revelations
31.13 we are all culpible (jimmy Saville)
31.16 that enabled him to go undetected…
33.42 did writing about it (Des’s death) help you to process it?
33.54 spontaneous, warm, generous, funny (Des)
24.16 It’s a thing you don’t get over (death)
34.36 those are the things that are tough (sailing memories)
35.06 I downsized
35.09 I’m an agnostic
35.33 I was inundated with responses
35.34 there’s a stigma attached to lonliness
36.20 there’s every reason to try and combat lonliness
36.30 I had my second light bulb moment
39.08 it is blissful (grandchildren)
39.29 Do you have any regrets?
39.59 You just pick yourself up and keep going
40.23 who wants to follow in your footsteps
40.39 don’t get disheartened - advice to women
40.59 Politics is so enticing at the moment
41.15 the demand outstrips what we can do
21.20 self –sustaining (wants Silverline to be …)
41.50 so much had happened in my life that I hadn’t anticipated
43.47 I’m going to cast you away
43.57 I’ve wrestled a bit trying to choose that
44.30 A luxury to soften the blow