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November, 2002
Winston's Won
Sir Winston Churchill
Sir Winston Churchill - the Greatest Briton?

Sir Winston Churchill has been named the greatest Briton of all time in a nationwide poll attracting more than a million votes.


Hear Mo Mowlam's defence of Churchill in an interview with BBC Radio Oxford's Jan Edwards.

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FACTS


The English statesman, Winston Churchill successfully led Britain through World War Two, a task which he described as his "walk with destiny" - a destiny which he believed he had spent all his life in preparation.

Sir Winston Churchill was born of prominent Tory politician, Lord Randolph Churchill at Blenheim Palace in Oxfordshire and attended the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst before embarking on an army career.

He became a politician in 1900 as Conservative MP for Oldham.

The next decade saw a decline in his status during a period of political downfall. However, when war came in 1940 and Neville Chamberlain fell from power, he came into his own.


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Mo Mowlam was one of those behind the great man and here is why she thought Churchill is the Greatest Briton:

Mo Mowlam
Mo Mowlam fights the case for Winston Churchill.

"I do think that Winston saved this country and I'm very proud to fight his case on the show.

"He had quite a tough upbringing eventhough he was in Blenheim Palace - which isn't exactly a tough environment.

Blenheim Palace in Oxfordshire, where Sir Winston Churchill grew up.

"Growing up where there was a lot of war symbols about him effected his thinking of what he had to do.

"It's from that period that he thought that he would be a fighter, that he would be at war and that he would be a leader.

"We did a lot of filming at Blenheim to show his past and his history."

"We also outlined his strategic thinking and his ability to talk to people and how he managed to bring the British people with him by visiting the country and his brilliant oratory. He managed to get people involved so that when the war came,they felt part of the effort."

quote He wasn't one to attract people front-on but he gave away his messages in other ways.

It was that kind of humour and ability to relate to others that made him what he was.quote

Mo Mowlam talking about Winston Churchill

"We talk about his diplomatic skills with Roosevelt and Russia and we try and be humorous."

"He was portrayed as a bit of nasty over the miners, over the women voters and the blacks. But, he was first and foremost a democrat. He did wonderful things for the working people of this country in terms of hours, leisure time - which he fundamentally believed everyone should be entilted to."

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