Margaret Thatcher: From MP to PM | Mrs Thatcher's journey from Finchley to Downing Street
WRITTEN DOCUMENTS 1970
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6 July 1970
Your colleague Gerry Mogridge may have told you about a brief talk we had on the
telephone this afternoon). As we then agreed, I now very briefly set out the
request I discussed with him, and I should be most grateful for any help you can
It seems to us at Panorama that it would be both useful and interesting to make
a film about the new Secretary of State, and the new policies she is setting in
train. Ideally we should like to do three things. First, to talk (on film) to
Mrs. Thatcher about her plans and ideals for education. Second, to film Mrs.
Thatcher in some personal or domestic situation, to show the kind of person she
is. Third, to film Mrs. Thatcher performing some part of her official duties -
ideally visiting a school, talking to children, teachers, parents etcetera.
Our aim would be a film lasting about 25 minutes, which would introduce both
the personality and the political ideas of the Secretary of State.
Perhaps you would be kind enough to put this idea to Mrs. Thatcher? I do fully
realise she must be extremely hard-worked at the moment, so perhaps it would be
helpful to indicate roughly the sort of demands we would make on her time if she
were to agree.
First, an off-the-record interview of about half an hour, without film or
recording apparatus, to agree the shape of the programme with Mrs. Thatcher
herself. Second, two hours filming with her in an informal situation. Third,
facilities to film her during a visit to a school, or some such official occasion.
Fourth, about an hour, in any place convenient to Mrs. Thatcher, in which to
record the filmed interview which would be the centrepiece of the film. (This
last could, of course, be combined with either part two or part three above).
From our point of view there is no particular urgency about making this film - we
would rather make it right than make it fast - but naturally we should like to
show Mrs. Thatcher visiting a school, and that would have to be
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done either in the next two weeks or after the summer holidays; and we would, if
possible, like to have the film for showing during August or September. (It would,
for obvious reasons, be best to show it before the party conference season comes
round in September.)
I should add that the Panorama producer with whom I should be working on this
film, if it comes off, is Peter Cole.
Perhaps you could get an answer from the Secretary of State fairly soon after her
hard day's Parliamentary work on Wednesday is over? It would in any case be
pleasant to see you again after my period away from the world of Curzon Street,
With all best wishes,
Noel Cowen Esq.,
Chief Information Officer,
Department of Education and Science,
[Handwritten] David Tanner: PS to S of S [Secretary of State]
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Document Type | Letter
06 July 1970
Producer Nicholas Harman details plans to make a television profile of Margaret Thatcher for a feature broadcast in Panorama. This feature, Panorama: Margaret Thatcher, follows a typical day in her new role as Secretary of State for Education. Rather than writing directly to Thatcher, Harman addresses the Chief Information Officer of her new ministry.
Margaret Thatcher evidently agreed to the making of the profile very quickly, since it was broadcast on 'Panorama' only three weeks after the date of this letter.
An early and witty performance by Margaret Thatcher on this political panel show.
The first profile of Margaret Thatcher as Minister for Education.
Why Margaret Thatcher was dubbed 'Thatcher, Thatcher Milk Snatcher'.
Nice hats - the truth behind the 'Tory lady' stereotype.
How important are cosmetics to women in public life?
An exploration of the experiences of women in domestic politics.
School children interrogate Margaret Thatcher.
Anthony King talks politics, history and poetry with Margaret Thatcher.
'Do you think the country is ready for a woman Prime Minister?'
The battle for leadership intensifies as the party prepares for a second ballot.
Margaret Thatcher's first interview after becoming Conservative Party leader.
Margaret Thatcher outlines her policies for running the country.
The launch of the Conservative manifesto for the 1979 general election.
Who will win? The eve of the general election in 1979.
Margaret Thatcher has an overall majority in Parliament.
The results come in from Margaret Thatcher's Finchley constituency.
'Where there is discord, may we bring harmony': Margaret Thatcher becomes Prime Minister.
A letter asking Margaret Thatcher to take part in a radio programme.
A memo to the producer of 'Any Questions?' about Margaret Thatcher.
Production notes from an interview with Margaret Thatcher on 'Woman's Hour'.
Production notes from a discussion about punishment of offenders with Margaret Thatcher.
A memo on the suitability of Margaret Thatcher for television appearances.
Nicholas Harman outlines plans for a profile of Margaret Thatcher on 'Panorama'.
The Controller of Educational Broadcasting gives a rundown of Margaret Thatcher's interests in the BBC.
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