Winston Churchill was revered by millions as the saviour of Britain in the Second World War, but he wasn't just a great war leader - he wrote millions of words of journalism, he painted, he built brick walls, he owned racehorses, he gambled in Monte Carlo casinos and even wrote screenplays. Yet his personality was mercurial; bouts of hyper-activity were interspersed with black days of depression. While he had a loving marriage, he spent long periods apart from his wife and children, some of whom caused him deep anxiety and distress.
To mark the fiftieth anniversary of his death, celebrated historian Sir David Cannadine, author of In Churchill's Shadow, examines the life and career of Winston Churchill by looking at ten different themes that are less well known, but which are crucial to a fuller understanding of one of the most extraordinary individuals ever to occupy No. 10 Downing Street.
Winston Churchill is known to have drunk copious quantities of alcohol. But was he an alcoholic? He developed a taste for Havana cigars while visiting Cuba, but did he actually smoke all those cigars? Churchill was so keen on his food that, during the Second World War, the constraints of rationing were unknown to him. In the second programme of 'Churchill's Other Lives', Sir David Cannadine enjoys Winston Churchill's prodigious appetite for food, drink and cigars.
Producer: Melissa FitzGerald
A Blakeway production for BBC Radio 4.