Margaret Thatcher: From MP to PM | Mrs Thatcher's journey from Finchley to Downing Street

Letter proposing a television profile of Margaret Thatcher, 1970

Nicholas Harman outlines plans for a profile of Margaret Thatcher on 'Panorama'.

BBC ARCHIVES
WRITTEN DOCUMENTS 1970

Page 1 of 2

6 July 1970

Dear Noel,

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
give.

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

[page 2 of 2]

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,

Yours sincerely,


(Nicholas Harman)

PANORAMA

Noel Cowen Esq.,
Chief Information Officer,
Department of Education and Science,
Curzon Street,
London W.1.

[Handwritten] David Tanner: PS to S of S [Secretary of State]


ABOUT THE BBC ARCHIVE
The BBC Archive - sharing pictures, documents and programmes from the last 75
years of the BBC's broadcasting history. To find out more, visit:
www.bbc.co.uk/archive


Document Type | Letter

06 July 1970

Document version

Writtenin

1970

Synopsis

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.

Did you know?

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.

Contributors

Associated subjects

More like this...

A picture of Woodrow Wyatt from 1956.

Any Questions?

BROADCAST 1960
5 MINUTES

An early and witty performance by Margaret Thatcher on this political panel show.

Margaret Thatcher at her desk in 1970.

Panorama | Mrs Thatcher

BROADCAST 1970
19 MINUTES

The first profile of Margaret Thatcher as Minister for Education.

Margaret Thatcher in 1970.

Panorama | Free School Milk

BROADCAST 1971
22 MINUTES

Why Margaret Thatcher was dubbed 'Thatcher, Thatcher Milk Snatcher'.

Margaret Thatcher in a large hat.

The World This Weekend | Women in the Conservative Party

BROADCAST 1971
6 MINUTES

Nice hats - the truth behind the 'Tory lady' stereotype.

Margaret Thatcher receiving a caricature of herself in 1977.

Analysis

BROADCAST 1971
5 MINUTES

How important are cosmetics to women in public life?

Margaret Thatcher recording 'Woman's Hour' in 1976.

Women in Politics

BROADCAST 1972
43 MINUTES

An exploration of the experiences of women in domestic politics.

Margaret Thatcher talking to children.

Val Meets the VIPs | Rt Hon Mrs Margaret Thatcher

BROADCAST 1973
24 MINUTES

School children interrogate Margaret Thatcher.

Margaret Thatcher being interviewed in 1977.

Talking Politics

BROADCAST 1974
29 MINUTES

Anthony King talks politics, history and poetry with Margaret Thatcher.

Margaret Thatcher talking to Edward Heath.

News | Tory Leadership Vote

BROADCAST 1975
2 MINUTES

'Do you think the country is ready for a woman Prime Minister?'

Margaret Thatcher electioneering in 1975.

Panorama | Tory Leadership Contest

BROADCAST 1975
49 MINUTES

The battle for leadership intensifies as the party prepares for a second ballot.

Margaret Thatcher with Jimmy Young in 1975.

The Jimmy Young Show

BROADCAST 1975
58 MINUTES

Margaret Thatcher's first interview after becoming Conservative Party leader.

Margaret Thatcher receiving a cake in the shape of the key to 10 Downing Street in 1978.

Panorama | The Alternative Prime Minister

BROADCAST 1977
50 MINUTES

Margaret Thatcher outlines her policies for running the country.

Margaret Thatcher being interviewed on the election trail in 1979.

News | Thatcher Begins Conservative Party Campaign

BROADCAST 1979
45 SECONDS

The launch of the Conservative manifesto for the 1979 general election.

Margaret Thatcher campaigning in 1979.

News | Election

BROADCAST 1979
16 MINUTES

Who will win? The eve of the general election in 1979.

Robin Day.

General Election '79 | Results: Official Announcement of Win

BROADCAST 1979
11 MINUTES

Margaret Thatcher has an overall majority in Parliament.

Margaret Thatcher on election day 1979.

General Election '79 | Results: Thatcher Wins Seat

BROADCAST 1979
5 MINUTES

The results come in from Margaret Thatcher's Finchley constituency.

Margaret Thatcher outside 10 Downing Street in 1979.

News | Thatcher Arrives at Downing Street

BROADCAST 1979
6 MINUTES

'Where there is discord, may we bring harmony': Margaret Thatcher becomes Prime Minister.

Documents

Document - Letter to Margaret Thatcher about the General Election in 1959.

Letter to Margaret Thatcher about the general election, 1959.

WRITTEN 1959
1 Page

A letter asking Margaret Thatcher to take part in a radio programme.

Document - Memorandum about Margaret Thatcher in 1959.

Memorandum about Margaret Thatcher, 1959

WRITTEN 1959
1 Page

A memo to the producer of 'Any Questions?' about Margaret Thatcher.

Production notes about Margaret Thatcher in 1962.

Producer's comments on Margaret Thatcher in 1962.

WRITTEN 1962
2 Pages

Production notes from an interview with Margaret Thatcher on 'Woman's Hour'.

Document - Production notes about Margaret Thatcher in 1966.

Producer's comments on Margaret Thatcher, 1966

WRITTEN 1966
2 Pages

Production notes from a discussion about punishment of offenders with Margaret Thatcher.

Document - The earliest memorandum from the BBC Archives on Margaret Thatcher.

Memo from Joanne Symons on Mrs Thatcher

WRITTEN 1967
1 Page

A memo on the suitability of Margaret Thatcher for television appearances.

Document - Letter about a 'Panorama' profile of Margaret Thatcher.

Letter proposing a television profile of Margaret Thatcher, 1970

WRITTEN 1970
2 Pages

Nicholas Harman outlines plans for a profile of Margaret Thatcher on 'Panorama'.

Document - Memorandum about Margaret Thatcher's interests in broadcasting as Secretary of State for Education.

Memorandum discussing Margaret Thatcher's areas of interest, 1973

WRITTEN 1973
3 Pages

The Controller of Educational Broadcasting gives a rundown of Margaret Thatcher's interests in the BBC.

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.