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Paddy Ashdown

58 minutes
First broadcast:
Saturday 30 June 2012

From rookie MP to Liberal Democrats leader, from the Royal Marines to high office in Bosnia, Paddy Ashdown relives his life from the archives in a frank and sometimes emotional conversation with John Wilson

From his early days in the army to his leadership of the Liberal Democrats, Paddy Ashdown - now Lord Ashdown- has been a singular political figure. He arrived in Westminster as a Liberal but soon his party voted for a merger with the SDP. He led the newly named Liberal Democrats for 11 years and then worked in Bosnia, trying to repair the damage that the war had done.

In this interview he meets his younger self at key moments from the sound archive and discusses his reactions with John Wilson. We hear his memories of serving in the Marines and also hear extracts from his first major speech at the Liberal Party Conference when he warned of the dangers of Cruise missiles.

There are highly emotional moments as well, when Paddy recounts the horrors of the scenes he saw in Bosnia in 1992 .

And the programme comes up to the present with a consideration of what the Coalition and the recent local elections have meant for the Liberal Democrats.

Producer: Emma Kingsley.


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