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45 minutes
First broadcast:
Friday 02 April 2010

Our national dish - fish and chips - is 150 years old and still going strong. In a 2008 poll of seven thousand Britons on what they most love about this country, it came first, beating the Queen into second place! There are over 10,000 fish and chip shops in the UK and each one has its own appeal. But who was the first person to put together the winning combination and does fish and chips hold its own with 21st century foodies?

Writer Kay Mellor has kept her play, A Passionate Woman, closely guarded over the years. Wary of selling out to Hollywood's production values, she feared that in the wrong hands, the story of a young woman's affair with her Polish neighbour, could be transformed into something unrecognisable from the story based on the life of her own mother. But a new BBC One adaptation of the story has been given the go ahead, with Billie Piper and Sue Johnston taking on the role of Betty, whose affair in 1950s Leeds has consequences that are still being felt decades later. Jenni Murray will be joined by writer Kay Mellor, to discuss A Passionate Woman.

Last week Baroness Ruth Deech gave a lecture at the Museum of London in which she called for a public campaign to discourage marriages between first cousins. It's a practice that's common in many immigrant communities and can put children at risk of serious genetic illnesses. Lady Deech called for more trained genetic counselling -and more openness in discussing the issues. She also warned that marriages between first cousins can be a barrier to integration of minority communities. To discuss these issues Baroness Deech joins Jenni Murray along with Waqar Ahmad, Professor of Social Policy at Middlesex University

In 1995 British mountaineer Alison Hargreaves became the first woman to climb Mount Everest without oxygen. Her strength, skill and determination made her an inspiration to thousands of women, and her achievements were front page news. But three months later she was back on the front pages when she was tragically killed attempting to climb K2. She left behind two young children - Tom, who was 6 at the time and Kate who was just 4. Her death lead to much criticism from the press who questioned how a woman with two young children could risk her life in this way. Now those children have grown up. Tom is 21 and Kate 18. The family have recently moved to the Swiss Alps where Tom is training to tackle some of the peaks his mother climbed. Early in 2011 he intends to attempt his own solo climb of K2. Jenni Murray talks to Tom and Kate and to their father Jim Ballard.


4 items
  • Kay Mellor

    Jenni Murray talks to the writer, Kay Mellor, about her play, A Passionate Woman, which is to be adapted by BBC One, starring Billie Piper and Sue Johnston.

  • Cousin Marriage

    Jenni Murray discusses the issues of marriage between first cousins, with Baroness Ruth Deech and Waqar Ahmad, Professor of Social Policy at the University of Westminster.

  • Jim, Tom and Kate Ballard

    Jenni Murray talks to the family of Alison Hargreaves the first woman to climb Everest with Oxygen and who was killed on K2 in 1995.

  • Fish and Chips

    Jenni Murray talks to Food Historian and author, Laura Mason, and Food and Drink Editor, Matthew Fort, about our national dish which is 150 years old.

  • Kay Mellor

    Kay Mellor

    Kay Mellor on the TV adaptation of her play A Passionate Woman, which will be on BBC One on 11th and 18th April at 9pm.

  • Fish and Chips

    Fish and Chips

    Anne Murphy and Linda Claigue from Murphy's Fish & Chips in Brinscall, Lancashire.


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