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Libya, William, Kate and the Oscars

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Shereen Nanjiani Shereen Nanjiani | 11:30 UK time, Monday, 28 February 2011

Much discussion of Libya in this week's programme and the government's handling of the airlift of Brits stranded there. In the studio with me were The Guardian's Severin Carrell, Lyndsey Moss of The Scotsman, and media lecturer and former SNP adviser Ewan Crawford. All were agreed that it wasn't the government's final hour. The Sunday papers were full of headlines of the airlifts which had finally taken place the day before. All spoke of "daring" or "dramatic" rescues by the SAS. But as Ewan pointed out, on closer reading there were no balaclavas and abseiling soldiers plucking people out of danger. The planes landed. People got on. The planes took off. Doesn't make for such a good headline though.

Sunday was the eightieth birthday of former Soviet President Mikhael Gorbachev. A good time to speak to my special guest, journalist David Hoffman. David's written a Pulitzer Prize winning book about the end of the Cold War and it has some fascinating behind the scenes insights into the talks that went on between Reagan and Gorbachev including a chilling account of what "The Dead Hand" of the title means (think Dr Strangelove) and why Gorbachev had a statue of a goose in his office!

Other topics on the programme included the coverage of William and Kate's visit to St Andrews. I think you can guess that a bunch of cynical journalists considered it too much. And, staying with a Royal theme, we debated the chances of The King's Speech at the Oscars. By the time you read this we will know the results but since I'm writing this on Sunday night I'm going to stick my neck out and make my own predictions:
Best Actor, Colin Firth,
Best Actress, Natalie Portman,
Best Picture, The Social Network.
If I'm right, move over Mark Kermode, if I'm wrong, well, the Academy were wrong.

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