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Paul Foot

12 minutes
First broadcast:
Thursday 05 July 2012

The New Elizabethans: Paul Foot.

Although he was born into a political family, Paul Foot chose not to go down the Parliamentary route, he was instead a lifelong, unapologetic campaigning journalist of the political left. A career in newspapers and at Private Eye brought many hard-found exclusives. He's best known for his work exposing corruption and for his tireless crusades against miscarriages of justice, and there's now a journalism prize named after him. James Naughtie assesses the impact of this 19th New Elizabethan.

The New Elizabethans have been chosen by a panel of leading historians, chaired by Lord (Tony) Hall, Chief Executive of London's Royal Opera House. The panellists were Dominic Sandbrook, Bamber Gascoigne, Sally Alexander, Jonathan Agar, Maria Misra and Sir Max Hastings.

They were asked to choose: "Men and women whose actions during the reign of Elizabeth II have had a significant impact on lives in these islands and/or given the age its character, for better or worse."

Producer: Alison Hughes.


    Paul Foot talking

    1 - about his background on Start the Week Radio 4; 26/11/90

    2 - the role of Private Eye on Saturday Scene. Radio 4 06/03/71

    3 - overturning convictions BBC 1 O’Clock news 28/11/94

    4 - disputing science Horizon – the A6 Murder BBC 2 16/05/2002


    The Rise of Enoch Powell by Paul Foot (1969) Cornmarket Press, ISBN 0-7191-9017-7.
    Who Killed Hanratty? By Paul Foot (1971) Cape, ISBN 0-224-00546-4.
    Red Shelley by Paul Foot (1980) Sidgwick and Jackson, ISBN 0-283-98679-4.
    My Friend Footy by Richard Ingrams (2005) Private Eye Publications . ISBN 1-901784-42-8.



  1. Image for The New Elizabethans

    The New Elizabethans

    To mark Queen Elizabeth’s Diamond Jubilee, James Naughtie introduces the 60 new Elizabethans who…

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